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News Archive for Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

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2010 MacBook Pro owner notes on Nvidia 320M Problems:
(from a reader mail. Also see our previous related posts/info/update links below.)
"Subject: MacBook Pro 13"/Mac mini/MacBook Air (2010) Bad Video
I was wondering if you could take a moment to look over this issue with the nVIDIA 320M included with the MacBook Pro 13"/Mac mini/MacBook Air 2010 models. Maybe some of your readers are going through this problem as I found on Apple's Support forums and plenty of other forums.

The models affected display a checkerboard-like pattern of distorted graphics, progressively worsening until it becomes unusable.

My 13" MBPro is going through the early stages and has already been confirmed by my local authorized service center that it is the 320M graphics subsystem with plenty of other customers affected (no official Apple Stores in South America yet, that is, if there will ever be one).

I have investigated the matter extensively discovering that the problem is in fact widespread and common. In many cases Apple usually replaces the logic board only to have the problem surface again. All 320M chipsets are defective but seems like Apple does not want another fiasco on their hands like the one with the pre-unibody 15" MBP. (ref: Nvidia 8600M GT, flaw was made public (Nvidia) months before affected MBP repair program/extension started.)

I asked for a replacement (currently under Apple Care) and Apple refuses to do so, instead forcing me to go with a board replacement routine (sigh!). A complete waste of time that I reluctantly and justifiably disagree to go with as the replacement LB is prone to fail eventually.
(I've not followed this one like I did with the 8600Ms and have not read every post in those threads, but was it confirmed to be a mfg defect/flaw in the 320M? And if so was it said to be fixed in a later rev/build of the part?
(There were some posts here in Oct/Nov 2011 on 2010 MBP 15in (which has Nvidia 330M GPU per specs) video problems w/related apple doc & updates for Lion/SL - see below)

Seems that Apple would rather replace a machine that was subjected to negligence than a factory defective one -with a widespread problem- under their premium warranty. Check this link to see what I'm talking about - No use crying over Coke spilt on a MacBook Air.
(*That's the same UK story link I posted in Monday's news here and commented under it that liquid damage is not covered by the warranty normally. Stories like that make great click bait but are rarely typical. But the same could be said about the PowerMac G5 coolant leak damage where a few (very lucky) owners said they received new Mac Pros (vs repairs), even though the original G5 warranty had long expired.-Mike)

Next time I'll spill coffee over mine to get the appropriate service.
Thanks, Barton"

If anyone else was able to get a repl. MBP or had a repl mb fail again - send a note.
Ditto for anyone with a 320M Mac heavily used and has never seen this problem. (This reminded me of past posts here on 15in Mid-2010 MacBook Pro (w/Nvidia 330M) video problems so I added the links below.)

Previous Reports/Info/Updates on Mid-2010 MacBook Pro 15" Video Problems:
For anyone that missed these earlier, here are some previous links/posts on 15-inch Mid-2010 MacBook Pro video problems, related apple doc and updates. (Updated Aug 6th, 2012 for latest report.)

Update/FYI: As of 7/31/2012 revised date, the original Apple doc (first posted Oct. 2011) on MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010): Intermittent black screen or loss of video now notes if the software updates do not fix the problem that they will service affected models for 3 years from purchase date, and that may be extended as needed.
(Originally the doc just said to take it to apple service if the problem persisted after applying the video/software updates, then was revised to note a 2 year extension, then 3 years. Similar to the extension history for the Nvidia 8600M/MacBook Pro repairs, which went to 4 years last I checked that doc which also had the note on 'further extensions as necessary'.)

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