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  1. #1
    Macbook Pro Graphics Card -- possible upgrade?

    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2009
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    Macbook Pro Graphics Card -- possible upgrade?
    My screen has gotten really messed up lately...lines all over it (they move, it's not the screen itself), graphics get distorted...am I right in diagnosing the problem as my graphics/video card?

    If so, is my problem just that it's not new enough, or that it's damaged? From the research I've done some people are saying Macbook Pros can't have upgraded graphics cards because of how they're connected to the computer (basically you can't replace the graphics card without replacing a bunch of other crap)...is that right?

    I'm trying my hardest to avoid paying $349 for Apple's official upgrade...do I have any other options?

    P.S. I purchased my Macbook Pro from Apple in August of 2006. I have 2 gigs of memory in it plus a 400 GB external hard drive. It has a 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo processor.

  2. #2
    Macbook Pro Graphics Card -- possible upgrade?
    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
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    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Your kind of using the wrong terminology is a couple of places.

    First the graphics hardware on MacBook Pros is on a chip or chips which is soldered onto the logic board...it's not on a stand alone graphics card that can be removed.

    Second, even if the graphics hardware on a MacBook Pro could be easily removed...it wouldn't be an "upgrade"...it would be a "replacement"...since you would be removing bad or non-working hardware & replacing it with good hardware of the exact same specs (but this cannot be done anyway).

    The bottom line is...the graphics hardware on a MacBook Pro cannot be upgraded or easily replaced by the user.

    HTH,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3
    Macbook Pro Graphics Card -- possible upgrade?

    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2009
    Posts
    9
    I figured it wasn't something I could fix myself, I'm just getting REALLY annoyed with these distorted graphics on my screen (horizontal lines that move around when I scroll). Trying to figure out what's causing it and how to fix it. I'm long past warranty, so I know I will have to pay someone to do the actual repairs. I just can't find how to fix this problem! My closest Apple store is 2 1/2 hours away, so Genius bar is out

  4. #4
    Macbook Pro Graphics Card -- possible upgrade?
    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
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    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Did something happen to your MBP to possibly cause the issues you're having?

    Does this problem happen all the time, or only with certain programs?

    How often to you restart your computer vs. just putting it to sleep all the time when finished?

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  5. #5
    Macbook Pro Graphics Card -- possible upgrade?

    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2009
    Posts
    9
    The problem started after I installed The Sims 3. That's what alerted me to the fact that my video card is old...the game would crash after a few minutes. I have XP partitioned and when I tried to run the game from there, it said my video card was too old to play. I just gave up on playing the game on my Mac in favor of playing it on my family's PC with a much newer card. I uninstalled the game, but now I'm having problems with the screen. Not sure how the game could have harmed the computer...I'm thinking it was just a coincidence. But who knows.

    I usually don't turn my computer off. It sleeps a lot since it takes forever for it turn on (it takes awhile to load everything, not physically power up). I use SMC fan control to keep the computer under 140 degrees.

    My dad is helping me find a place to have the problem diagnosed tomorrow. I'm afraid I may need a new logic board. Good Lord I hope that's not the case because that is just so expensive!

  6. #6
    Macbook Pro Graphics Card -- possible upgrade?
    D3v1L80Y's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Your kind of using the wrong terminology...
    You're doing kind of the same thing...
    __________________________________________________
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  7. #7
    Macbook Pro Graphics Card -- possible upgrade?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y View Post
    You're doing kind of the same thing...
    You are ABSOLUTELY correct!!!

    I actually make this mistake many many many times when I'm composing a posting...but 95-98% of the time I catch the mistake when I proof-read.

    You caught one of my rare "your/you're" mistakes...and now I'm p-i-s-s-e-d at myself!!!

    I'll send you $1.00 for catching the mistake! Now I will redouble my efforts to not do it again!!!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  8. #8
    Macbook Pro Graphics Card -- possible upgrade?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    May 20, 2008
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by kinetickatie View Post
    The problem started after I installed The Sims 3. That's what alerted me to the fact that my video card is old...the game would crash after a few minutes. I have XP partitioned and when I tried to run the game from there, it said my video card was too old to play.
    So it sounds like you have XP on your Mac. Is it via Bootcamp or Parallels or VMFusion?

    Does this display issue only happen when doing "XP" stuff, "Mac OS" Stuff, or both?

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  9. #9
    Macbook Pro Graphics Card -- possible upgrade?

    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2009
    Posts
    9
    It seems to only happen when I'm using Leopard. The distortion doesn't show up in Parallels. Interesting, good question to ask. What can that mean?

  10. #10
    Macbook Pro Graphics Card -- possible upgrade?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by kinetickatie View Post
    It seems to only happen when I'm using Leopard. The distortion doesn't show up in Parallels. Interesting, good question to ask. What can that mean?
    My thoughts behind that question would be to help determine if the problem is hardware or software based.

    Obviously if it's not hardware based, that would be a BIG relief on your end, since at the beginning of this thread you seemed to be convinced it was your graphics hardware.

    In an earlier post I asked if this graphics problem happens all the time, or just in certain programs...and you answered about installing Sims 3. That didn't really answer my question.

    For example if you restart your computer, and say ONLY launch Safari, and do some internet surfing...does this graphics problem appear? Or if you happen to use Microsoft Office, does the problem appear when using MS Word or Excel?

    Thanks,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  11. #11
    Macbook Pro Graphics Card -- possible upgrade?

    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2009
    Posts
    9
    Ah, sorry. It happens in Firefox, and the worst is in Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. The lines are also present on my desktop. But the worst lines are in Illustrator, and the worst distortion (shapes of color randomly appearing and then disappearing) is in Firefox. I haven't noticed anything in Office or in Acrobat Reader.

  12. #12
    Macbook Pro Graphics Card -- possible upgrade?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by kinetickatie View Post
    Ah, sorry. It happens in Firefox, and the worst is in Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. The lines are also present on my desktop. But the worst lines are in Illustrator, and the worst distortion (shapes of color randomly appearing and then disappearing) is in Firefox. I haven't noticed anything in Office or in Acrobat Reader.
    If this were my computer, before I would conclude that there is a hardware problem...I would do a fresh/clean install of the OS.

    Over time you may have installed various applications (you mentioned the problem started after installing Sims 3), misc. programs such as widgets, and other system personalization or user optimization programs that may not be "playing" nice with each other.

    Some people find reinstalling the OS to be a big deal...to other folks like me, it's absolutely no big deal....I would do it in a heart-beat.

    If after a fresh install of the OS the problem still persists...then we might have to sadly conclude that the problem may be hardware based.

    Good luck,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  13. #13
    Macbook Pro Graphics Card -- possible upgrade?
    clayneal's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location
    Lincoln Nebraska
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    2,146
    Specs:
    late 08 macbook 2.0 4gig 320hdd10.7.3 32 gig iPhone 4s
    Pigoo3 is correct. If you don't experience this problem in bootcamp ( which uses the same hardware ) then I would say a fresh install is your fasted and safest bet. And if that doesn't do it your out nothing. But I'll bet that takes care of it at no cost to you.
    MY ADVICE COMES WITH A DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!

  14. #14
    Macbook Pro Graphics Card -- possible upgrade?

    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2009
    Posts
    9
    Thanks for all your help, guys, I'll have to try it before spending any money.

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