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Unobody 17" Macbook Pro 9600M broken gfx card?

82614 Views 364 Replies Latest reply: Apr 24, 2009 12:16 AM by macquarius RSS
  • Christoph Kempen Calculating status...
    Adjusting my basic fan speed to around 3000rpm seems to solve it for now...
    MacBook Pro 17", Mac OS X (10.5.6), 2.93Ghz 4Gb RAM Anti-glare, 7200rpm 320Gb
  • Ricky19 Calculating status...
    Same issue.. I call Apple Service for a replacement, I also have 2 dead pixel..
    MacBook Pro 17 Unibody, Mac OS X (10.5.6), 2.66GHz 4GB
  • Dan Bush Calculating status...
    Hey...

    It sounds to me like this is could be a cooling problem and NOT a faulty GPU issue.

    No GPU remains stable if it is overheated. The fact that these machines aren't cooling properly sounds like a fan/cooling/SMC issue.

    Has anyone been able to recreate the artifact symptoms under "low temperatures?"

    I just got my brand new 17" MBP last night. I ran two 1080p HD movies simultaneously at full screen. The CPU/GPU heated up to about 80 degrees celcius and the fans increased from 2000 rpm (standard) to 3500 rpm. It dropped the temp back down to 70 degrees and held it there. I saw no artifacts.

    However, tonight, I'm going to try the same experiment, then put the computer to sleep ( *there is a reported problem that the SMC "forgets" the proper fan speed settings after waking from sleep* ) and then I'll try the experiment again. If the fans don't speed up and artifacts are visible, I'll deduce this is a cooling issue and not a GPU issue.

    Luckily, Apple can just release an SMC Firmware update to fix this (if my theory is accurate). In the mean time, we can use a 3rd party app like SMCFanControl or FanControl.

    REQUEST: To Everyone who is experiencing this problem... install the FREE app "+iStat Menus+" to monitor your temperature and fan speeds (http://www.islayer.com/apps/istatmenus/). Resume your heavy lifting using the NVIDIA 9600 and note if your fan speeds increase when the CPU/GPU heats up. Post back with the following info:

    1) GPU Temperature at which artifacts are first visible.

    2) Fan Speed (RPM) when artifacts are first visible.

    2) Did your fans speed up when the GPU got hotter? YES/NO What temperature?

    (Make sure you are reporting the GPU temps, not the CPU.)

    This data should help us determine the true cause of the problem.
    17" MacBook Pro Unibody (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.4)
  • Crighten Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 6, 2009 9:42 AM (in response to Dan Bush)
    The problem starts to show up at this point
    all temps F
    CPU temp 173
    Enclosure Base 88
    Enclosure Base 2 88
    Enclosure Base 3 77
    GPU 133
    GPU Diode 155
    GPU Heatsink 128

    L Fan 1996 rpm
    R Fan 2003 rpm

    Problem worse here
    CPU temp 202
    Enclosure Base 77
    Enclosure Base 2 77
    Enclosure Base 3 68
    GPU 155
    GPU Diode 180
    GPU Heatsink 149

    L Fan 2050 rpm
    R Fan 2054 rpm

    Problem self cleared here when computer left idle

    CPU temp 133
    Enclosure Base 81
    Enclosure Base 2 81
    Enclosure Base 3 74
    GPU 126
    GPU Diode 115
    GPU Heatsink 110

    L Fan 2003 rpm
    R Fan 2001 rpm

    I installed SMC Fancontrol and set the fans to 3000 rpm and it took a lot longer for the problem to show up. I set the fans to 4000 and the problem did not show up.
    MacBook Pro 17", Mac OS X (10.5.6), 2.93Ghz, 4Gb RAM, 320Gb 7200rpm
  • Dan Bush Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 6, 2009 10:10 AM (in response to Crighten)
    Yup... looks like your fans aren't speeding up beyond their default rpm (2000).

    Fans should increase to 3500 when the CPU hits between 75-85 degrees Celcius (167 - 185 F).

    The fact that your CPU temp can get to 202 degrees F and the fans don't increase beyond ~2000 rpm sounds like there is a problem with the SMC.

    Uninstalling SMCFanControl and then resetting the SMC would probably solve it for one cycle, but as soon as you put your computer to sleep (or log out/in), the SMC settings will be lost and the problem will resurface.

    Apple needs to fix this!

    Does anyone else have numbers to coroborate?
    Mac OS X (10.4)
  • Christoph Kempen Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 6, 2009 10:29 AM (in response to Dan Bush)
    Yes... Same here.. Also fancontrol cannot read the temperature when the GT is active. It does in normal mode...

    Is there a way to reset the SMC?
    MacBook Pro 17", Mac OS X (10.5.6), 2.93Ghz 4Gb RAM
  • Plecostomus Level 4 Level 4 (2,960 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 6, 2009 12:21 PM (in response to Dan Bush)
    If you want a convenient and repeatable way to see if high CPU temperature is a contributing factor, the processor can be stressed by opening two Terminal windows (one for each core). In each window, run

    yes > /dev/null

    To stop, press Control-z in each window, or close the window.

    There is a thread concerning fan behavior and high temperatures in the 15-inch model here:

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1823105

    On the 15-inch model, resetting the SMC changes the fan response temporarily. Resetting the SMC is described here:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1411
    MacBook Pro (Late 2008) 2.53 GHz 4 GB, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Christoph Kempen Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Resetting the SMC seems to fix the problem. The RPM's are back in fancontrol. I'm testing as we speak playing two movies.

    The fans are now doing their work. And the temperature stays under the 135F (56C). I don't know the default thresholds of the fans. But lowering the lower threshold a bit seems to help.

    The artifacts starts above the 135F mark on my setup, so I need to keep it below that... Is that consistent with other MacBooks?
    MacBook Pro 17", Mac OS X (10.5.6), 2.93Ghz 4Gb RAM, 7200rpm 320Gb, antiglare
  • Boph Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 6, 2009 1:45 PM (in response to Crighten)
    I am still testing this but my numbers are close to yours Crighten.

    The problem starts here.
    all temps F
    CPU temp 124
    GPU 133
    GPU Diode 144

    L Fan 2001
    R Fan 2008

    The problem gets worse as the heat rises.
    I did reset the SMC and everything seems ok for now.
    Macbook Pro 17 inch Unibody, Mac OS X (10.5.6), NVIDIA GeForce 9400M / 9600M GT - Glossy Widescreen Display
  • Plecostomus Level 4 Level 4 (2,960 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 6, 2009 2:30 PM (in response to Boph)
    Another option for testing would be to install Cinebench, a free 3D benchmarking utility.

    http://www.maxon.net/pages/download/cinebench_e.html

    I just tried running it on my 15-inch model. I've never had the black screen or green lines problem, but do experience high temps and have had random freezing in the past (not recently). Running Cinebench all tests and watching the temp and fan speed in the iStat Pro dashboard widget, I saw no graphics problems, but -- in line with previous experience -- saw the "CPU A" hit 110 deg-C (230 deg-F) before the fans started to ramp up from 2000 rpm. (This is on the high performance GPU.)

    For those with graphics problems, Cinebench might be a repeatable way to stress both the GPU and CPU at high temps.
    MacBook Pro (Late 2008) 2.53 GHz 4 GB, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • frankabignale Calculating status...
    Hi,

    I don't think absolutely everybody will have this problem, since different video chips are produced with varying quality (one batch of chips from nvidia's manufacturer may have poor thermal performance while others may be a little better).

    To test whether your machine has the problem, you need to stress all components of your system. Download prime95 (http://www.mersenne.org/ftp_root/gimps/mprime258-MacOSX.tar.gz) and run it in torture mode, while at the same time running a 3D game at high graphical settings beyond what the laptop can play smoothly on the faster chip (something like Crysis maxed out), or a 3D benchmark program like 3Dmark (not sure what the Mac equivalent is).

    Somebody said this a few posts down:
    "It sounds to me like this is could be a cooling problem and NOT a faulty GPU issue. No GPU remains stable if it is overheated."

    It's true any microprocessor will have undefined behavior when overheated, but this doesn't mean it's a cooling issue. It could also be faulty video chips that produce too much heat - i.e. a defect on nvidia's part.

    I think I know what Apple's going to do about this. They will release a software update that makes your fans spin fast and loud very often. I think that's a case of "making a new problem to hide the real problem" and wouldn't accept it personally. If I had just put down the cash for a laptop with an engineering defect, I'd want it replaced.

    Ps... some people are thinking it might have to do with the antiglare / gloss screen. The difference between antiglare and gloss is a thin sheet of adhesive plastic on the screen, which would not cause or interact with this issue in any way. To prove this, connect a different monitor to your video out port when the video artefacting is occurring. You will still see it on the external monitor.
    PowerPC, Mac OS X (10.5.5), Remoting in via SSH.
  • Boph Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 6, 2009 9:40 PM (in response to Boph)
    Even resetting the PRAM and SMC does not get rid of the problem for very long.

    I think I will bite the bullet and call support for a replacement.....cross my fingers and hope it will not have this issue.
    Macbook Pro 17 inch Unibody, Mac OS X (10.5.6), NVIDIA GeForce 9400M / 9600M GT - Glossy Widescreen Display
  • freesparks Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 6, 2009 10:38 PM (in response to forcefedmedia)
    This is extremely disappointing!!!! Up until today, i was ready to make my purchase specifically because of this notebook's potential to run 3D software, and now, having read all of this, I can't see myself forking out my hard-earned money for something I will inevitably have to return. I'm all for trouble shooting because for the most part that is the way to learn the best. However, in this respect, I can't say that this is a quality product and especially one of good value; especially juxtaposed to the world we are now living in. I guess and hope that Apple/ Nvidia resolves this soon because there are a lot of loyal customers that want to be proud to say that they do all of their work on a MAC. Still, much thanks Apple for pushing the limits and setting new precedences.

    Regards,

    P.S. Please,, someone please post when this is resolved.!!!
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.2), Dual Intel Xeon Quad 3.0
  • stepheneleven Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 6, 2009 11:38 PM (in response to forcefedmedia)
    I've got the same problem too, its only been a week so i guess im gonna exchange for a new one or jsut get my money back while I still can. Dont trust repairs and and definitely dont wanna hope that a firmware update fixes it. I didnt pay almost $3000 for a computer that i cant run the better of the two graphics cards on. Kinda depressing, my first mac and already something like this. It's ironic, this is the whole reason that i waited for this new model to come before i made the switch, because i heard so many bad things about the nvidia chips in the last generation MBPs. Sounds like nvidia and apple just arent a good team. Back to my PC i guess, it was a fun week though.

    Bye all.
    uMBP 17', Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • freesparks Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 7, 2009 12:11 AM (in response to forcefedmedia)
    Yeah, it's very ironic, people are willing to pay for quality and something of good value even during a nasty recession, hence the reason why Netbooks are doing so well. And, even more importantly, when what they are spending their money on is a means to a better livelihood. Please Apple, throw us a bone. There's a lot of us out there that want to someday get to the level of manufacturing our own computers.
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.6), Dual Intel Xeon Quad 3.0
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