How to do an 820-2915-B Apple Logicboard GPU repair or replacement?
The Apple MacBook Pro 15 inch is widely known to have video issues. The no video issue is present in the Core2 Duo from 2009 to 2010 and the Intel iSeries from 2010 to 2012. Our office fields nearly 1 to 5 calls a week in regards to the 2009 to 2012 15 inch MacBooks from all over the country. The typical issues are scrambled video, gray lines, scrolling video and partial boot options.
Most customers state that Apple, an Apple Authorized Service Technician, Apple Authorized customer service, or a third party Apple retail location such as MicroCenter, BestBuy, SimplyMac, or the likes have notified them their unit is under a recall and warranty repairs can be performed.
Does AppleCare not cover this repair on an 820-2915-B logicboard?
This is not true. The website, https://www.apple.com/support/macbookpro-videoissues/, did give an individual steps on how to get a recall repair under the extended AppleCare support. The MacBook Pro systems that were covered were sold between February 2011 and December 2013. As quoted on the Apple website the following is the terms to fall under extended AppleCare:
“The program covers affected MacBook Pro models until December 31, 2016 or four years from its original date of sale, whichever provides longer coverage for you. The following models are no longer eligible for this program: MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2011), MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2011), MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2011) and MacBook Pro (17-inch, Late 2011).”
With this being, stated Apple will no longer extend warranties or offer them outside these terms.
What is a customer to do to fix an 820-2915-B logicboard?
A customer has two options to get the unit repaired. A customer can purchase a logicboard from eBay, Amazon, or any number of stores found through Google or the customer can get their current board refurbished. Most of our calls want to compare purchasing a new board versus getting a board repaired. Our office reminds the callers that at this time most all boards if not every board for sale online is a refurbished or recertified working pull from a broken MacBook, ie. Screen, keyboard, or such.
Our office can refurbish the logicboard in your MacBook for nearly half of the cost of purchasing a refurbished board from eBay.
What causes the issue in the 820-2915-B logicboard to crash?
Our experience is that most companies, including Apple and their third party Apple Authorized Service Centers, only address a very limited portion of the failure in the logicboards. The standard explanation is that the chipset has failed due to heat or solder. This statement tends to be true. Heat does cause the units to fail. In the 820-2915-B the issue is pointed toward the AMD Radeon chipset failing to include the Intel 3000 or Intel 5000 shared video chipset. The 820-2915-B logicboard has dual video GPU chipsets and depending on the task switched between the two.
The Intel GPU in most 820-2915-B is an Intel SLJ4P.
The AMD Radeon GPU is an AMD Radeon 1123.
What is the typical way to fix an 820-2915-B MacBook logicboard?
Our typical repair process for a 15 inch MacBook Pro falls into two types of repairs. Actually, the repair process falls into three types. The customer or the technician can replace the logicboard in a logicboard exchange. The technician can reflow the logicboard to rejuvenate the solder points under the GPU. The technician can reball the GPU chipset, which replaces the solder points under the chipset.
Our office follows the steps in this order: reflow, test, stress. If the chipset fails simulation then we go from reflowing to reballing, testing, and then simulated stressing. Our repairs on the 820-2915-B logicboard series tend to not fail beyond the reflow process due to our standard in-office procedures.
What can you tell me about my 820-2915-B MacBook Pro?
The MacBook Pro “Core i5” 2.53 15-Inch (Mid-2010) is powered by a 32 nm, dual-core 2.53 GHz Intel “Core i5” I5-540M (Arrandale) processor, with dedicated 256k level 2 cache for each core and an 3 MB shared level 3 cache. This system also supports “Turbo Boost” — which “automatically boosts the processor speed based on workload” up to 3.06 GHz for this model — and “Hyper Threading” — which allows the system to recognize four “virtual cores” or “threads.”
By default, it is configured with 4 GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM (PC3-8500) installed in pairs (two 2 GB modules), a 500 GB Serial ATA (5400 RPM) hard drive, an 8X DL “SuperDrive”, and dual graphics processors — a NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M with 256 MB of dedicated GDDR3 memory and Intel HD Graphics with 256 MB of RAM shared with the system — that Mac OS X automatically switches between for better graphics performance and better battery life, respectively, depending on application use.
The standard configuration of this model has an LED-backlit 15.4″ widescreen TFT active-matrix “glossy” display (1440×900 native resolution), but it also is available via custom configuration with a “high-resolution glossy” 1680×1050 display and a “high-resolution antiglare” 1680×1050 display for an additional US$100 and US$150, respectively.
Connectivity includes AirPort Extreme (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, Gigabit Ethernet, a Firewire “800” port, two USB 2.0 ports, optical digital/analog audio in/out, a “Mini DisplayPort” that supports an external display at 2560×1600 (it also passes an audio signal), and an SD card slot. It lacks an ExpressCard/34 slot.
This model uses a “Unibody” aluminum case design — milled from a single piece of aluminum — and has a backlit keyboard, a new “no button” glass “inertial” multi-touch trackpad, and a non-swappable battery design that provides up to 8-9 hours of battery life.
Compared to its predecessor, this model has a very similar external enclosure, but an enhanced trackpad, and the same connectivity, except for the enhanced audio passing Mini DisplayPort. Internally, however, it has a substantially different architecture with a faster “Core i5” processor and faster graphics as well, although it shares the same memory. Battery life hass improved too.