Laptop Down! Laptop Down!

So, ah, looks like my "trusty" old MacBook Pro may have gone to the big Apple Store in the sky.

As I was browsing a twitter feed during lunch, the video glitched out and froze the machine. Hard-resetting resulted in a glitchy-looking Apple boot screen, then the "Kernel Panic" message. Several hours of research and debugging steps later, I may have to call it: my GPU is fried.

Unfortunately, it's in that sweet spot of repair cost ~= replacement cost. And even then, I'd have a "new" MacBook Pro with the same possible issue. (Faulty nVidia 8600)

This laptop was how I made Mac and Linux builds for NEO Scavenger. I could probably find another way to do it with my desktop, but this MacBook also was one of those machines that ran OSX/Windows 7/Ubuntu with a triple boot setup, and that was a killer feature for working away from home. And besides, it helps to have a natural Mac for testing Mac-specific things (e.g. trackpad, hardware weirdness, etc.)

Soooo, I'm looking at options. I could try to get a new MacBook and set it up similarly. This'd likely be $1200-2000. I could also try to replace exactly what I had (2008 model), which will probably run about $500. There are also "Hackintoshes," which are non-Mac machines loaded with OSX. These tend to be cheaper, since one can buy non-Mac hardware. But they are also more dodgy in their support of OSX. Plus, they wouldn't allow me to test Mac-specific issues as well (and might even cloud my testing).

This was not the problem I hoped to be tackling today. I hoped to be working on shader and lighting stuff. I only barely got some of that done, but not much more to show. (I did happen to see some old OpenFL shader example code with new eyes, so to speak. I may have missed some tricks they did when I first saw them because I was still figuring out how OpenGL worked.)

Anyway, kind of a downer to end the week on. But hey, could be worse! Anyway, have a good weekend!


cplr's picture

Those GPUs were recalled by nVidia. Same thing happened to my wife's MacBook and the Apple Store replaced the GPU for her free of charge, since the serial number confirmed that hers was affected.

Might be too late for you to get free service, technically. But if you are really nice to one of their service guys at an Apple Store, they are known to reciprocate in kindness... It'd be worth a shot.

dcfedor's picture

Thanks! I read about that recall, and I believe it ended in 2012. Also, my MacBook was second-hand, pushing me further from the comfy Apple fold :)

The price I pay for savings on eBay, I guess!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games