Released April 2010 / 2.4, 2.53 GHz Core i5 or 2.66, 2.8 GHz Core i7 Processors

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Problem with NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M 256 MB?

I have never had a problem with this machine until 2 months ago when it began to crash badly (black screen) and frequently. I found one answer -- to disable switching between ordinary graphics and hi quality graphics. I disabled the switching so that the hi quality graphics is always in use and the crashing went nearly to zero. I also disconnected the 2nd monitor I was using. But I am still experiencing random seeming crashes and the reports seem to indicate graphics problems. Is anything to be done? or am I looking at a total replacement? (I also took it to the local Genius Bar and as was reported here, their tests did not detect any problem!)

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I have a MBP 6,2 i7 and also this bloody GeForce 330M - do you think it's also not possible to fix it?

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I have this same problem with my MacBook Pro mid 2010. My question is what is the exact value of the capacitor for the video switching?

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It controls the voltage going to the discreet video graphics (GT330M). If the original cap can't support the required voltage, the Mac experience a GPU Panic.

When the system recognizes the need for the discreet graphics card, it will switch over from the CPU's graphics and that's where the GPU panic comes up.

Hope this answers your question.

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I should add: You might find this tool useful to turn off the discreet GPU: gfxCardStatus that should stop the panic as proof the issue is within the discreet GPU logic.

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gfxCardStatus doesn't work if you are connected to an external display on the MBP6,2. When an external display is connected to the display port, it automatically activates the discreet GPU. The real proof is in the actual repair done by Louis Rossmann and that I've been able to replicate the repair to resolve the issue for FOREVER. gfxCardStatus only handicaps the MBP.

The real issue is, Apple just using parts that is just "good enough" to pass. Over time the caps just can't handle the voltage requirements. Given the amount of money they charge for their laptops, they should be using PREMIUM parts! Not "just good enough".

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My MacbookPro6,2 was experiencing GPU Panics. There are a lot of reports with regards to Apple previously replacing the boards and after a little while, the problem reappears. I did a lot of research on this issue when my MBP started to crash (GPU Panic) 5-6 times a day.

Results from my research, the issue is the Tantalum capacitor used to regulate power to the dGPU. When the dGPU is running at high performance settings, it requires a lot more voltage. Because the bad capacitor can't handle the voltage anymore, it cause the GPU Panic.

Solution was to replace the bad tantalum capacitor; not just with a similar part! If you do that, you'll end up with the same issue later down the road. The solution is to replace the bad capacitor with a better part! Louis Rossmann recommended using Aluminum Polymer capacitor because they are highly reliable! Here is the link to his video (https://youtu.be/DzcgT_fiVTA) ... just don't mind the language used! I used a Panasonic Aluminum Polymer Capacitor (https://www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en...).

Since I had the logic board out of the laptop enclosure, I decided to clean and replace all the original thermal paste that Apple applied. Note ... it is quite the mess they've created! Using more than actually needed.

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Last image highlights the Aluminum Polymer Capacitor I used in my fix.

Overall results ... no GPU panic since replacing the bad capacitor. MBP is running very smoothly.

My Mac: MacbookPro6,2; MacOS Sierra -10.12.2; 8 GB; 512 GB SSD; External Display - Dell U2713HM @ 2560x1440.

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Dear Edward, can you do this for my Mac as well? I'm in Europe and my parents are going to America next month, or do you know anybody who does it near Munich, Germany - I love my MBP 6,2 with all the connecting ports and SSD, so why to change, if it's easy to amend....

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Hi Ron, I am actually in Canada and don't know anyone in Munich, Germany. It was actually easy to do. As long as you have the necessary tools. All-in-all, I spent about $130 CDN (ordering parts and tools [I upgrade my tools because of this project]). I used the video from Louis Rossmann and the disassembly instructions from the iFixit website. Of course, soldering may be a bit hard but ... there are videos on how to do it correctly as well. Here is the link to the SMD soldering (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uiroWBk...). Of course, if you haven't soldered before ... find some broken old electronic circuit board and practise on it. Just don't overheat the board.

replacement cap: $5 CDN

new screwdriver set: $70 CDN

Soldering Iron: $30 CDN

Flux in a syringe: $20 CDN

Cleaning braid: $5 CDN

Patiences ... Free

Cap ordered @ Digikey; All other items were ordered on Amazon.

Try it, better than waiting yet another month! The feeling of accomplishment, Priceless! :)

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Edward.. Just only word.. Perfect!!! Simply perfect. I've repaired my MBP thanks your guide! If you travel in Rome a pint of beer waiting you! :-)

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dear lord, thanks for that!

I am going to replace the capacitor by myself aswell but am not an electonic enigneer or something..

first, how do i put the capacitor in the right way? i dont want to solder it in the wrong way obviously. And second, the capacitor you used from digikey is THE best, or is there a even better one?

Anyways you already helped me out so much, since i own a 3k+ device only not working because of a part worth a few cents and apple only would replace the whole board with the same $@$*!& capacitor they use.

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Hi Guys, thanks for the comments here. It was my first big repair! And I'm glad you've found it helpful! Now your old MBP isn't an expensive paperweight!

In my research, poly cap has been recommended for it superior characteristics. Someone did mention a similar size cap but Digikey didn't have them in stock during my repair; I believe it was a ceramic based cap. If you use the Digikey part link I included in my original post, Digikey has 3 images for the product. One of the images shows you which end of the poly cap is the positive side; the little bar on the cap should be positive ... better double check for yourself. Trust but verify! ;)

Good luck with your repair project. Use lots of patiences!

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Kernel panics?

You have an 820-2850 board. There are issues inside the vias in the board on these models. Some theorize it is an issue with pgood signal for VRAM dropping, some theorize it is LVDS_MUX issues inside the PCB. There are mods people have proposed to make the pgood signal more stable but they don't work. I've tried my own, no difference.

I think it's just a pile of junk. Apple knows it. http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203554

With other models you can replace the GPU and it works, with this board it really is just unfixable. Even the replacement Apple will give you under that program will not work properly.

I take pride in fixing all of the issues that other people say are unfixable, but I know my limits. When it comes to the 820-2850 board inside of 15" A1286 2010 models, it's time to give up. Unfortunately that machine belongs in the bin. :(

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hey guys,

Lets not give up, I had this issue since 2 years and i found this tool called gfxcardstatus. It allows you to manually switch between two graphics card. Once you installed it always choose integrated only option. I am sure this will help you. Only problem is some application will auto change the gnu which you have to switch it manually.

Hope this helped.

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@mohammed - This only helps if the NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M is the cause of the kernel panics. While the OP lists a 2010 system he should still check this out: MacBook Pro Repair Extension Program for Video Issues.

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There is a new very decent fix to this problem. It involves simply installing a kext.

http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/gpu-...

Install it and be happy. A hardware fix involves replacing the capacitator - it is NOT the GPU itself that is defective. The problem is the capacitator, which costs just about 2$ -> 10-15$ including shipping.

But you need to remove the old one with soldering iron from the logic board and solder the new one onto it so it requires technical ability and also you need to remove the logic board before doing this, so the kext fix is easier. It only has the downside that the dedicated GPU does run only at 70% of its maximum capacity, and external displays can still trigger the kernel panic, as far as I have read. So if you need to use an external display the capacitator exchange would be better for you. Nevertheless test the kext first to confirm it is 100% the capacitator that is causing the kernel panics and then do the repair.

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Had the same problem as OP and others here, system would just shutdown randomly eventually through weeks of troubleshooting narrowed it down to the nvidia card causing the issue. As others mentioned in the post the problem is not fixable but there is a work around. I use the gfxcardstatus 2.3 app to force the os to only use the integrated video card. Some applications will force your os to turn dynamic back on and go to the nvidia card gfxcardstatus notifies you of this and you just have to click integrated only back on. You will noticed the screen change color a little when the cards switch. Pretty useful tool I'd say system runs 90% of the time smoothly but eventually crashes here and there when os force switches cards without you noticing. Also unfortunately you can't use the minidisplay port out to hdmi/TV anymore since that requires the nvidia card for 2nd monitor which will crash the system. It seems the nvidia card is being overloaded or something.

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The root issue is the GPU was not designed to support today's heavy graphics in games and some online services. You may want to clean the old thermal paste and apply a good quality paste. I've seen wonders after this and a good dust cleaning.

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One of the victims myself for the past year or so, lost two boot hard drives because of the evil shut downs.... read somewhere that the issue is bad/substandard soldering of NVIDIA chip to the MB, which in my case came up 3 years after using it just fine, many external monitors, including HDMI out to 48" TVs (problem is I cannot work without the second monitor)

Just in time to not benefit from the Apple MB replacement program

I've tried locking the switching both on and off in the SysPrefs as root, but the lock doesn't stick (some of the most basic API from Apple sucks big time in 10.6.8) and it crashes sooner or later anyway. Skype seems to bring it down guaranteed.

So I'm going to replace the MB. Anybody knows where I can get a cheaper MB than the USD 568 from Aliexpress?

<http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-Ship...

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Have a MBP6,2 2.66GHz nVidia GeForce GT330M 512GB.

Using gfxCardStatus 2.2.1, and setting it to Intel HD Graphics ("Integrated Only") every time I bootup, has "solved" the problem for me, with no problems for several years now. Albeit it obviously means not running any graphics-intensive programs that would require the nVidia card.

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i have MBP mid 2010 330m , i remove the internal fan and use external fan,it won't crash anymore, i think the fan Interference the signal in vram

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What external fan do you recomend?

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I have found out that you have to take the internal monitor plug out too, and use external monitor when I do this it will crash very rarey . for use boot camp you have to down clock gpu to 300 mhz and you can play with out crash . for external fan I use this one http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ares-N2-6-Fans-L...

and I use http://www.heartfeltindustries.com/prodd... this type of fan but it has 220v use two of it to take the heat from the back of MBP out I use cling wrap with tape wrap between back of MBP to exterlfan 220v to take the heat out. temperature is between 50c to 70c which is ok I use this setting for 2 month and it work well it not crash often for a week with one crash.

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the internal monitor plug is on the right corner of bottom of MBP take this one out and take the internal fan out and it will work

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I had/have the same issues. Apple fixed mine once under the program and it lasted a few cycles then crapped out too. Apple said they would fix it again, sent me a box, shipped it, looked at it then sent me an email to cancel the repair order saying it was a vintage mac. Here is the rub, when they sent it back, the screen wouldn't come on at all. I see it on the network and can use screen sharing for a second but then it craps out then too. So with or without the built in screen, which i now sort assume apple disconnected then forgot to reconnect, the problem persists.

It appears that apple sold a piece of crap and just expects it's customers to accept that they bought a disposable, unfixable, unmaintainable computer.

They should at least return my computer in the condition it was in when i sent it.

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The problem you are facing is Apple is only replacing the cap with another tantalum cap which just doesn't hold up. You really need to get a good micro soldering tech to replace the cap with a better Aluminum Polymer unit.

Once we did that with many of our field units (200+ MacBook Pro's) our panic crashes have gone way down!

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@Ron - Check zzz's answer above, he seems to know what he's talking about. I've opted for a replacement board from www.aliexpress.com, a used but certified 820-2850 i7 2.66Ghz (same as I have now). It comes directly from China, money back guarantee, 90 day warranty, etc. same as Apple. Cost me USD 480 but shipping is free, delivery in 3-5 days. It's not cheap, but it is cheaper than coughing up 2000+ for a new current model running El Crapitan.

Apparently the GPU can be replaced, as the one I'm buying has an AMD / Radeon CrossFire GPU instead of Nvidia 330, and I don't remember Apple offering that custom option back then, so I figure previous owner or "macexpert" the outfit selling it (http://www.aliexpress.com/store/208174) must have done the surgery.

As mentioned previously in a similar thread (Can you install any A1286 logic board in 15" Unibody?) I'll report back when up and running with the new MB.

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I finally got a working MB, a new battery and new fans for about USD 500, shipping included. I highly recommend them for parts and spares.

I stand corrected on the replaceable GPU on this board - it cannot be done. ZZZ was dead on right. The seller screwed up his description post online.

The good news is that for $500 I have a working mbp that hopefully is going to last a while, I really don't want to give up on SL (10.6.8) - it is the most stable OS Apple has released to date. I frigging hate the feel and look (not to mention the sadistic real life beta-testing Apple inflicts on us lately, especially with El Capitan) of the "new and improved" OSes and lack of backward compatibility of the new machines with Snow Leopard.

The bad news is that I know I am on borrowed time. , that is until the next logic board disaster waiting to happen on this model. Meanwhile I'm gonna look and find myself a second hand 2012 mbp that apparently have better parts and can take me into the sunset for another few years.

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ARG!

I deactivated the PCI-PCI bridge and it seemed to work very fine for a long time with loads of heavy things for the videocard, then I closed all the programs and the problem reappeared.

This gives me an idea...

By the way... has anybody tryed any of this solutions:?

  1. http://www.asyncro.com/2014/03/24/macboo...
  2. External VideoCard
  3. Disabling Internal Fan (as told above)

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Hi

Did you try one of them in the meantime? Thx!

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Nop, still not... I'm looking forward to the next holliday vacations in December to try those.

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Hi, the first solution isn't really a solution... bacause disables the NVIDIA graphic card. I will try to remove the internal fan. I'll let you know.

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I could solve the problem temporarily by installing "gfxCardStatus1.8.1". For a more decent fix you can find all the info in this tread:

http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/gpu-...

Greetz

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There is a new very decent fix to this problem. It involves simply installing a kext.

http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/gpu-...

Install it and be happy. A hardware fix involves replacing the capacitator - it is NOT the GPU itself that is defective. The problem is the capacitator, which costs just about 2$ -> 10-15$ including shipping.

But you need to remove the old one with soldering iron from the logic board and solder the new one onto it so it requires technical ability and also you need to remove the logic board before doing this, so the kext fix is easier. It only has the downside that the dedicated GPU does run only at 70% of its maximum capacity, and external displays can still trigger the kernel panic, as far as I have read. So if you need to use an external display the capacitator exchange would be better for you. Nevertheless test the kext first to confirm it is 100% the capacitator that is causing the kernel panics and then do the repair.

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Zea Morvitz will be eternally grateful.
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