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Defective NVIDIA GPUs present in MacBook Pro

Apple has now joined the ranks of Dell and HP and admitted that some if its MacBook Pro notebooks have been shipped with defective NVIDIA GPUs.
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Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributor on

Apple has now joined the ranks of Dell and HP and admitted that some of its MacBook Pro notebooks have been shipped with defective NVIDIA GPUs.

Here's the announcement.

In July 2008, NVIDIA publicly acknowledged a higher than normal failure rate for some of their graphics processors due to a packaging defect. At that same time, NVIDIA assured Apple that Mac computers with these graphics processors were not affected. However, after an Apple-led investigation, Apple has determined that some MacBook Pro computers with the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processor may be affected. If the NVIDIA graphics processor in your MacBook Pro has failed, or fails within two years of the original date of purchase, a repair will be done free of charge, even if your MacBook Pro is out of warranty.

Note how Apple is blaming NVIDIA for supplying it with incorrect information. This statement alone will add weight to the lawsuit that NVIDIA is facing from shareholders who are claiming that the company breached US securities laws by concealing for at least eight months the fact that its GPUs were affected by a serious thermal defect.

I pointed out in July that NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT was used in the MacBook Pro and that it was possible that one of Apple's flagship products could be affected by this issue.

Here's what you look for:

  • Distorted or scrambled video on the computer screen
  • No video on the computer screen (or external display) even though the computer is on

Affected devices:

  • MacBook Pro (17-Inch, 2.4GHz)
  • MacBook Pro (15-Inch, 2.4/2.2GHz)
  • MacBook Pro (Early 2008)

I'm getting the overwhelming feeling that the $200 million that NVIDIA has put aside to clean up this mess isn't going to be anywhere near enough.

NVIDIA stock (NVDA) currently stands at $6.55.

[UPDATE: NVIDIA responds:

NVIDIA has worked diligently with Apple, as  we have done with all of  our customers and partners, to analyze their notebooks and determine if there are potential problems. 

Modern notebooks are complex, and every system is different. The OEM is ultimately best able to assess the reliability of their own systems.  Apple, like other OEMs, decides on their own how to handle their warranty and repair programs.

Regardless, we stand by our products, thus the reason why we set aside such a large reserve, and we have and will continue to work closely with Apple and their customers.]

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