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Apple uncovers faulty NVIDIA graphics in MacBook Pros

by Scott Bicheno on 13 October 2008, 09:48


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The problem grows

Ever since NVIDIA announced its ConnectorGate crisis it has tried to insist that the extent of the problem is limited and only a small number of products affected.

This effort has been undermined by the recent announcement from Apple that: "MacBook Pro computers with the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processor may be affected."

Perhaps the more embarrassing part of Apple's statement for NVIDIA is the opening passage: "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."

Apple apparently didn't believe NVIDIA, which is what led it to undertake its own investigation and come to a different conclusion. With rumours abounding of Apple looking to switch to NVIDIA chipsets in its latest MacBooks, you have to wonder how such a breakdown in trust will affect relations between the two companies.

Here's what clarification Apple currently has to offer on the problem:

What to 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

Specific products affected:

  • MacBook Pro 15-inch and 17-inch models with NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processors
    • MacBook Pro (17-Inch, 2.4GHz)
    • MacBook Pro (15-Inch, 2.4/2.2GHz)
    • MacBook Pro (Early 2008)
  • These computers were manufactured between approximately May 2007 and September 2008

Apple is offering to repair products showing these symptoms for free. No prizes for guessing who will ultimately have to cover these costs.