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MacBook Pro Nvidia 8600M GT replacement

edited April 2015 in MacBook Pro
We bought a used MacBook Pro last year. 3.1 A1229 with the 8600M GT video chip, 256 Meg Memory.
We were not aware of the video chip problem but after using it for Pro Tools for a couple months, the video died.

A couple of months ago I found a vendor on Ebay that offers repair service for MacBook. They use a re-flow machine and offer to replace the chipset, not just re-flow it. When they returned it to us I found that the video chip they installed is an
8600M GT with 128 Meg Memory. The revision ID is 0x00a1 Rom Version 3175.

Some searching on the web turned up posts from 2008 with this same ID numbers. My question is :
Did the 128 Meg Version have the same overheating failures as the 256 Meg Version?
The Vendors add on Ebay said they would replace the chipset with the newest version. That doesn't look like thats
what this is?s

I tried to find the dates that these video chips were manufactured but no luck.



  • Hi Mike! Thanks for the post!

    Very interesting be honest I have no idea whether or not the 128MB version is more or less vulnerable. I have learned to be suspicious of the 8600 in general, and I try to get rid of laptops that have it as quickly as possible, because if the defect hasn't arisen yet, it's likely to soon. I am not sure that there is necessarily a version of the chip that is "defect free" may be that an 8600 that is still working just hasn't gotten to the point of it's life where the defect occurs.

    There's also the school of thought that says the defect is not in fact a defect of the chip, but rather a defect in its application to the board, such that it eventually "comes apart" from the board, causing the issue. So if that's the case, you could say that the quality of your vendor's work is more of a determining factor than the chip itself. I'm not an expert at chip replacement or board repair, so it's not for me to say whether it's the chip or the application of the chip...I've read rational arguments from seemingly-competent people on both sides of the issue. It definitely seems negligent of the vendor to give you a 128MB version though, so I'd ask them to make up for that mistake.

    The 2008 15" Pro is only worth about $300 these days, so for the most part it's beyond the point in its life when a chip replacement makes sense. If this laptop causes you any more headaches, I'd definitely recommend upgrading. Just stay away from the 2011 Pro, because that model is notorious for having the same type of issues.


  • Hi and thanks.

    I have seen some of both of those arguments. I was trying to run down some info before contacting the vendor on Ebay, since his add says "Latest version, new chipset"
    We hated to lose this one as its a 17" in perfect cosmetic condition. And I need the firewire :)
    Take Care,

    I did find this info on macrumors about chip model numbers.

    According to unofficial sources:
    G84-600-A2 - chips with defect (it seems that there is no DC10 version)
    G84-601-A2 - chips without defect (revised chip G84-600-A2)

    G84-602-A2 - chips with defect (it seems that there is no DC10 version)
    G84-603-A2 - chips without defect (revised chip G84-602-A2)

    Unfortunately, scammers quickly found an opportunity to take advantage of NVIDIA G84 chips affair:

    Reballing in most cases is not required at all and helps because technician during reballing process technician heats up a whole chip (remember that problem still lies in underfill -> solder bumps under between die and laminate!!!)

    Also many of G84 chips are re-marked - some users noticed that after reballing the system detects 128MB instead 256MB VRAM or 64-bit instead 128-bit bus. There are also G84 chips from 2012 which is rather suspicious. I do not believe that TSMC manufacture these chips so long for NVIDIA.

  • Really interesting info, thanks for posting! I had no idea there were so many complexities to it.
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