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Is the video card defective on my 2010 MacBook Pro 15"?

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  • Macbook Pro
  • Mac OS X
  • Graphics Cards
  • Mac Os
Last response: in Mac Os X
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November 9, 2013 6:17:38 PM

Hi. I know this is the Mac OS X section but this seems like the best place on this forum for a question about a Mac's hardware. For the last several months, I've noticed that my MacBook Pro 6,2's fans are cranking up when the computer is plugged in. More recently (it may have been happening for longer), I've noticed that it doesn't even go to sleep when plugged in to the wall, even if charging is done. The white light comes on/pulsates but the fans keep running and I think I heard the hard drive working. About a month ago, I found a thread on the official Apple forum: https://discussions.apple.com/message/17456703#17456703 about resetting the SMC and typing a command in the Terminal. I tried the Terminal command while the laptop was plugged in and it returned a "1" next to "PreventSystemSleep", so I just moved on and planned to take it to the Genius Bar when I got a chance. I wish I would have taken it in sooner, because yesterday, I turned it on to back it up (which I didn't do) for its appointment today, and I guess I left it in sleep and forgot to turn it off last time I used it, since it came up with the bars going across the grayed out screen. The bars froze, and so I did a hard shutdown. I don't know if the freezing there was a result of its likely problems I'm about to mention, but possibly. I started it up again, with the power cord connected, of course, and it seemed ok, and it said 0% battery, as I expected, at the login screen. But, it said "Not Charging" (I've seen it before occasionally, but it's gone away-not permanent like this) once I got to the desktop and the MagSafe light was still green, not orange. I turned it off and back on, and it had the same problem. It seemed to run fine though, with the power cord plugged in.

Today I took it to the Genius Bar, and the Genius ran the diagnostic test from the ethernet cable. It showed that the battery had too low of an amperage, but he said that it wasn't the battery's fault, and it showed that only one video adapter was detected. Everything else was reported to be ok, even the logic board. However, the technician said that it would need to be replaced, which I think was because it's soldered to the discrete video card. This laptop has an integrated GPU (Intel HD Graphics) and a discrete card as well. It showed the discrete card in the diagnostic utility, and the technician wasn't sure if that was the faulty one or the one that was detected. The technician thought that the discrete card was faulty, which makes sense because I don't think the IGP would be likely to fry unless the CPU did too, which it didn't. He said that the logic board was causing the battery to not charge.

The technician at the Genius Bar was very friendly and knowledgeable but I'm wondering if there's anything else I can do to try to fix this laptop. Like I said, it works fine when plugged in, and I haven't seen any proof of the video card being faulty other than in the diagnostic test today, but I don't want to have to pay $600 to replace the logic board and video card and I really don't want to give up on the computer altogether, or deal with it as it is.

Please tell me if there's anything else I can try to fix this. I might be willing to try to fix it myself if you think I can and should solder a replacement video card to the motherboard, but obviously that would be very risky. It's out of warranty. Also, please tell me what you think caused this to happen, if you have an idea. This laptop reported temperatures of I think 90 degrees C and 80 degrees C while playing games sometimes. This certainly didn't help.

Thanks! Sorry for the long post.

Specs:
Apple MacBook Pro 6,2 (Mid 2010 15" with 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 4GB RAM and Nvidia GeForce GT 330M)
Mac OS X 10.7.5 (Lion)

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November 9, 2013 11:20:34 PM

The graphics 'card' is part of the main logic board, have a look on ifixit.com they have pretty good repair guides.
Personal opinion is get Apple to fix it unless you are experienced at repairing laptops.
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November 10, 2013 8:02:57 AM

JustSomeJoe said:
The graphics 'card' is part of the main logic board, have a look on ifixit.com they have pretty good repair guides.
Personal opinion is get Apple to fix it unless you are experienced at repairing laptops.


Alright. Thanks for the reply. Can anybody please explain what they think happened?
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