MacBook Pro issues addressed with 'Rev. D' logic board

MacBook Pro issues addressed with 'Rev. D' logic board

Summary: Apple's MacBook Pro is undoubtedly the fastest and most powerful notebook computer Apple has ever launched, but it's not without its problems.


mbp-half-open.jpgApple's MacBook Pro is undoubtedly the fastest and most powerful notebook computer Apple has ever launched, but it's not without its problems.

Tuan Nguyen at Daily Tech has posted a number of issues with his MBP:

- AirPort doesn't automatically rejoin a preferred network after waking from sleep.
- AirPort reception drops down to nearly 1 bar randomly once in a while.
- At the lowest screen brightness setting (one bar), the LCD's backlight flickers noticeably.
- Heat is a big issue. Using the AC power, the palm rest area becomes very warm, and the area above the F keys is very hot.

Apple's own MacBook Pro discussion boards are filled with posts about various issues with the new notebook but it doesn't mean that it's defective. After all, only people that are having problems are going to post to the boards. Apple's dedicated MacBook Pro Support page has some great tips on troubleshooting most issues.

While I agree that it gets pretty hot (especially above the F2 to F4 keys after more than an hour of use) my Airport reception is good and I don't have any LCD backlight flicker on my MacBook Pro 2.0GHz.

Other users have reported a high-pitch "CPU whine," which I hear intermittently on my particular MBP. Another problem is "Display whine" which is caused by a buggy display inverter and is only head at higher brightnesses. To test if you have this listen carefully and turn your MBP brightness all the way down to two bars. If the sound goes away, you have the problem.

According to Daily Tech the MBP issues are well known at Apple. Apple has started addressing the issues by replacing affected machines with a new "Revision D" logic board. The revision of your logic board is only identifiable by the serial number. You can get the serial number from inside the battery bay or by clicking on "About This Mac" in the finder and clicking twice on the software version number.

- Serial numbers starting with W8611 are Revision D
- Serial numbers starting with W8610 are Revision C

For what it's worth, my MBP serial number starts with W8607. MacBook Pros shipping now are in the W8612 (Rev. D) serial number range.

Have you experienced any problems with your MacBook Pro? Which ones? Which serial number range? Post your comments in the TalkBack section below.

UPDATE 2006-0404 10:20 EDT:

Daniel Jalkut has posted a pretty detailed analysis of the MacBook Pro "CPU whine," "Display whine" and a has a link to a little app called MagicNoiseKiller that opens access to the iSight camera which fixes the problem for some.

Topic: Apple

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  • So much for those low power Intel chips.

    Hot keys and hot palm rest, hmmm. Guess Intel still makes the incandescent lightbulb chip.
    • The heating problem with this product ...

      ... has more to do with Apple's thermal design then the processor but then I wouldn't expect someone with the name GoPower to blame the real culprit!
      • not really true

        the G4s they were using before were lower heat and lower power then the current Core Duo chips they are using.
    • low power

      low power intel chips are fantastic. the MacBooks have the highest power portable chips that intel makes. Intel does make osme very low power and low heat versions of its mobile processors, but they are much slower and are not used in the MacBook Pro for performance reasons.
      • Completely true!

        There are PC designs using the same chips as the MacBook Pros that don't have the same heat issues. Although the Intel processors are hotter, the additional heat can be compensated for in your termal design. PC manufacturers do so. Apple does not!
        • nope!

          i have a Dell Latitude D800 with a Pentium-M 2ghz chip that gets hotter than my MacBook Pro.

          this is a buncha old timer Mac only people who are whining about a non-issue
  • Beta-testers for new Apples are wanted. Entry fee is as little as 2K. (NT)

    Vily Clay
  • Will not awake after sleep at times

    I have to remove the battery and reconnect it before I can restart.
    Seems to be related to being plug in to the power supply and
    disconnecting before restarting.
    Gary Gramolini
    • i did see that once, but...

      i did see that once, but i found when the battery is low it doesnt just stay in sleep mode like the older powerbooks do. It actually hibernates. The only time it was acting like it was stuck in sleep and wouldnt wake up normally, i tapped the power buttons a couple times and it came back up and left off where it was last time i used it, didnt reboot.
  • Will not awake after sleep

    I have to remove the battery and reconnect it before I can restart.
    Seems to be related to being plug in to the power supply and
    disconnecting before restarting.
    Gary Gramolini
  • Serial Numbers don't reflect MLB Rev.

    Your serial number that begins with W8607 simply means that the
    unit was manufactured in facility W8 in the 7th week of 2006.
  • Saved me from making a mistake!

    Thanks for this news about the new Apple Powerbook. I was all set to buy one but after reading these horror stories, I won't until these problems are addressed.

    Come on Apple, you can do MUCH better than this!
  • Have A MACBOOK Pro, Not really experiencing these issues

    I have had a minimal problem with loosing WiFi connectivity but its not very consistant and I would blame the routers first before the air card.

    In terms of heat, yhea its hot, but I got an IcePad and no issues here. In terms of a hum or whine under the keybloard, nope, just have not experieinced this reported defect either.

    At the end of the day, Im running faster and just as clean as my Powerbook 17".

    I will be taking it in to the Applestore just for a small visit and discuss the issues as a pre-emptive strike against these so reported issues.

    However, I have just as much comfort in with Apple solving this issue as I ever had and do not regret purchasing the MBP for a second.

    Now, off to the complete my Windows Installation.

  • MacBook Pro

    I have a serial number W8609. I find the area above the F2-F4 is
    quite hot. I had not ever had the occasion to touch there prior to
    this article. I do see the wireless strength meter fluctuate quite a
    bit and have lost connectivity when the router was only twenty feet
    away. I had not considered it a problem. Other than that I am quite
    pleased with the performance.
  • Lucky Me Gets a Replacement

    I had gone through all the posts available online, regarding the
    multiple problems that were making the MBPro irritating, to say
    the least. I had a 1.83 MBpro with 1Go ram with serial number
    starting with W8608, and had the LCD whining (inverter
    problems?), the heat issue, the idle processor noise... the screen
    would make noise on all brightness levels except on the very
    brightest or "off" setting... and on the lowest bright setting, the
    screen would flicker...

    I am fortunate enough to live close to a few Apple retail stores,
    so I went to one and talked to the geniuses there... I let them
    know about the above problems, and got a work authorization.
    They sent my MBP off to repair overnight, and I received it back
    in about 5 days.
    AppleCare Service replaced:
    605-0861 Thermal Module w/temp sensor
    630-7569 PCBA, 1.83GHZ, 128VRAM (M1) MBPRO 15".
    (the logic board)
    When I turned my machine back on and used it for 2-3 hours
    (mostly on battery power), I was greatly frustrated to hear even
    MORE noise coming from the processors, and to realize that
    nothing was done about the noise coming from the screen/
    inverter. However, the temperature of the machine seemed to be

    So I went back to the retail store and talked with a genius there
    for a bit... I mentioned how I saw a lot of issues appear online in
    forums, and how I was in great need of all of this to be dealt
    with immediately... then he talked to the manager, and they
    decided to give me a replacement one... SO a word to those in
    despair, replacements are possible!

    When the genius came back to tell me that I was going to get a
    replacement, he said something like this: "As you have been
    reading online, there have been certain issues with the MB Pro,
    and we (Apple) are well aware of these problems... so we want to
    give this one (the problematic one) to the engineering
    department so that they can look at it and see what's going on."
    Curious about how many of these MB Pros they had seen come
    back to the store/to Apple in general, I prodded for a bit more
    info, and got the general response of "We're really not supposed
    to discuss that", but then as I pushed a little bit more and asked
    "So there have been a lot of issues like this?" he answered,
    "Possibly" with a look that said yes.

    After trying to replace my W8608 MBPro with one fresh out of
    the box and noticing that the side of this new unit was cracked,
    we replaced it finally with a second new MB Pro, which I am
    pretty content with, apart from a tiny greyish spot in the very
    bottom right hand corner of the screen that doesn't light up
    completely like the rest of the screen( about 1/8" x 1/4").
    Though it's annoying to not have a "perfect" machine, it's a
    problem so small that I won't really notice it that much, and I
    don't have the patience nor time right now to go in again and
    complain about that little spot... which I'm not even sure Apple
    would consider a problem worthy of yet another replacement...
    And then there is always the risk that a possible 3rd replacement
    would have other issues I don't have on this new one with the
    gray spot... I haven't had the best luck with these, after all.

    My new MBPro starts with W8614... and the screen makes no
    noise, although I suppose the processors will always be making
    a soft noise when idle. It doesn't bug me anymore, and I don't
    really see how a computer could be silent anyways, after all it
    calculates and electricity is running through so many
    components all the time.

    Despite all of my problems with my MBPro, I do love it, and I love
    the other things that I get to use with it, ie. Aiport express...
    Hopefully this review will help spread the word and confirm that
    Apple is well aware of the MBPro's multiple problems, and that
    replacements are possible... Good Luck to ALL!
  • Problems with battery and performance

    Hi, I just have a MBP W8608 but I bought it through a distributor
    here in Mexico City, I will try to contact him to ask for a
    replacement, but I want to ask you if you know if I can send
    directly my report to Apple US or I should go through my dealer?

    Specifically, I?m having issues with overheating, and battery life
    (sometimes it turns off without notice).

    Thanks for your support
  • RE: MacBook Pro issues addressed with 'Rev. D' logic board

    I've been using one of those earlier version of MBP in 2005 and love it so much.
    I've had the battery replaced (the recalled bulging-out one)for free in 2006.
    Here is my most recent problem and its very frustrating because the apple store in my area couldn't detect the problem and had to ship my MBP to apple service center (I guess the only one in our country: Malaysia). A few days later I received a shocking quotation to pay for a "Logic Board 2Ghz". The total cost=RM2399.00. Thats a huge sum for me.
    I depend on my MBP for work, blogging and many more online stuffs.
    I really hope Apple will replace the Logic Board for free since this is a well known issue.
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