If you purchased a MacBook Pro between 2007 and 2008, you’re probably aware that Apple had more than a little bit of trouble with the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GTs they used to build the Pros that generation. In fact, Apple’s been repairing MacBook Pros for customers for free since October of 2008 if they experience blank screens or image distortion issues related to the faulty GPUs.
A new report by Mobile Magazine suggests, though, that the tool Apple has been using to determine whether or not a defective 8600M GT is responsible for rendering your MBP unusable is in itself faulty, and may have resulted in several false positives for logic board and not GPU issues.
The problem? Apple’s fixing 2007 and 2008 MacBook Pros with GPU issues for free. Logic board replacements, on the other hand, usually cost more than a grand.
According to Mobile Magazine, Apple evaluates Pros for a faulty GeForce 8600M GT GPU by using a USB stick running NVIDIA diagnostic software. However, because these faulty GPUs can overheat and actually short out your logic board, this test can indicate the logic board as the fault when, in fact, the logic board was fine before the GPU fritzed out.
Simply inspecting the logic board physically on these models would accurately diagnose the true nature of the problem, but right now, Apple’s not doing that, potentially charging customers over a thousand dollars to fix a problem that they should be fixing for free. Let’s hope Apple Geniuses get a memo addendum in their inboxes about this issue soon.