MBP: Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

May 6th, 2006

This post is part of my MacBook Pro Complaints series. Instead of (or in addition to) linking directly to this post, consider linking to the series link, which includes a summary of all findings to date and direct links to the pertinent downloads that users may find useful. Thanks for reading!

I know everybody is sick of this issue. Believe me, I am too. But for the people following along from home I feel obligated to keep you posted on this until it reaches a resolution. Here is the latest chapter in my experience with getting my MacBook Pro repaired.

So far my machine has only been to AppleCare service once. I sent a long list of problems and hoped that at least some of them would be addressed. The machine came back largely unchanged, and now I’m trying to decide when and if to send it back. Most of the existing noise problems persist, and now that spring is descending on the Northeast with summer-like temperatures, the heat is more unbearable than ever. My hands literally get sweaty while typing on the thing! If that’s normal, then the world is due for a revision to laptop design. I bought the Apple argument that it’s “not a laptop.” But if it makes my palms boil there isn’t much I can do for that short of using an external keyboard.

I finally got up the psychic energy to call AppleCare back. It’s always hard to make these calls, because you have to steel yourself against the inevitability of them trying to convince you again that the problem isn’t really a problem. Yeah, OK. But anyway this time I got put pretty quickly in touch with a “product specialist” because my complaint was that a repair had come back with symptoms unfixed. To be honest, I was expecting most of the problems to be unfixed. But I didn’t expect the “display buzz” to still be there! That’s the one thing they had expressed confidence about fixing. I had agreed to send my machine in, and be without it for more than a week, so that I could at least get the display buzz fixed. I figured, if I had to suffer all the symptoms that everybody else does, at least I want to get the part that’s fixable fixed.

So now that Apple wasted a bunch of money on shipping and labor just to send me a machine nearly identical (except with the hard drive wiped) to what I’d sent them, I’m more than a bit hesitant to send it back off for another round of attempts.

To their credit, they claim that this time around it will go to a “higher level” of service. I guess that means somebody capable of actually repairing machines? I don’t know. It seems like it would have been worth it, sometime around when they were reformatting my hard drive, to also turn on the machine and see if the one symptom they were sure they could fix … was fixed. At least then I’d only be complaining about the CPU whine and the mooing. And I’d have a somewhat improved user experience (to be fair, they did manage to fix the “high pitched squeal” through some luck).

I’m pretty close to just accepting the flaws of the machine that may not be fixable. We may all be stuck with CPU whine and mooing. OK. If we’re all in this together, I think I can deal with it. I’m not happy about it, but I can deal with it. I’ll refine my QuietMBP application, embrace the udder cowness of my machine, and wear oven mitts or something while typing.

But I want the buzzing to go away! At least!

Now I’m faced with the prospect of going through all that “sending it in” garbage again, hopefully this time with a semi-joyful resolution at the end. But being without the MBP for that week and a half is damaging to my productivity. The very act of choosing a “least harmful time” to send it back in is stressful, and I’m liable to make the wrong choice, and end up wishing 4 days in that I had it available for Intel testing or portable use.

I’m going to think about it over the weekend and decide on Monday whether and when to send it in again.

Update: I meant to point out that there is a loose plan to do a launch a mass complaint against Apple in particular about the CPU whine problem. It tickles me pink to see any mobilization at all on the issue, so I am supporting the cause. But I don’t really care when you call, as long as you do call. One of the things that bothers me is that some people are running my software to workaround the whine, and therefore not complaining with Apple about the problem. I was guilty of this with the PowerMac G5 whining problem. I was just too busy and depended too much on my computer to let it out of my hands for a round of attempted repairs, so I never called.

If you have the whine and it bothers you, it’s imperative that you at least let Apple know once that the whine is bothering you and you want it fixed. If you’re not ready to send it in, at least call up and complain about the problem. Tell them you can’t send it in yet but you want to open a case for it and will think about when you can find time to send it in.

To encourage vocalization about the problem, I wonder if some kind of “I Whined” badge might be helpful? If there are any graphic artists reading this who would be interested in donating your time to whip up a quick graphical badge suitable for web display, let me know. If we can get people to place “I Whined” badges on their sites after calling Apple, then it might encourage others to do the same. I would also be willing to set up a page here dedicated in particular to the whine problem. Then users could have the badge point at that page for more information.

Just a thought. We can’t take this lying down (with our hands over our ears).

55 Responses to “MBP: Wash. Rinse. Repeat.”

  1. Haris Skiadas Says:

    I can’t understand Apple’s attitude in this. It is quite obvious that the computer is not really in what one would call a functional position, and it is to their advantage to have satisfied customers, especially on a machine that has just hit the market. I certainly have decided to not buy a MBP yet, partly because of all this trouble I’ve seen you go through. I’m sure I’m not the only one. When you’ve made a mistake like that, the best thing to do is just acknowledge it (I’m referring to Apple here).

    I would certainly send it back for repairs if I were you. And if I were Apple, I would just send you a brand new machine.

    I wish you a quick and satisfactory end to all this.

  2. maverick808 Says:

    You are right to stick at it for at least the display buzz. I can 100% confirm that I have a MBP with no display buzz at all. I had to return two buzzing MBPs to get it so I am very familiar with the display buzz. I think you are right that, as yet, Apple has no fix for the CPU whine.

    Despite this, on the 20th I am going to call and complain about the whine.

  3. Shane Says:

    I just can’t believe you’re able to consider living with the other issues you describe. My 17″ MacBook is being shipped right now and if it comes to me with any noises or heat issues that are that bad, there’s no way I’ll not “make” them replace or fix it. I also bought it on my Amex Platinum card so I get some added protection in case they want to tell me that a laptop so hot it makes my hands sweat is normal.

    If that’s normal then why has no laptop I’ve ever owned done anythinig close to that? Anyway, good luck and I’ll keep checking in to see how it goes. I might post a review and thoughts about my MacBook when I get it too.

  4. bigwasp Says:

    Here’s the thing: I am on my 4th replacement. The first two I sent back to get fixed. After 4 weeks of “engineering is looking at it” I finally said screw you. And then agreed a replacement will be sent. It did not have the buzzing and it did have the whine.

    If I were you, I would do this: I would tell them to ship you a new unit since it ships in 24 hours. And return the screwed up one. Don’t bother with them fixing it. It should be coming off the production line better now than before. I’ve heard a lot of people with week 17 MB that have flawless computers.

    Screw waiting 2 weeks, dude. Just tell them you want a replacement.

    PS. The fourth replacement I’m on is now actually a 17 inch MBP – it’s bigger but hopefully better! We’ll see about the whine with that.

  5. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    bigwasp: I would much prefer to just get a replacement at this point, but when I called AppleCare they wouldn’t budge on their resistance to that idea.

  6. Jon Hendry Says:


    Have you considered taking your MBP in someplace local, like the Apple store or The Computer Loft? If not, why?

    I was at the Darwin’s cafe next door (where 80% of the laptops are Macs) and overheard a woman talking about the Computer Loft, which I’d not heard of before. She seemed to think she got better service through them (they’re an authorized service place).

    – Jon

    PS: I think my main gripe right now is the temperature. I’ve been thinking about the feasibility of buying a sheet of metal, drilling holes where the MBP’s feet go so that there’s full metal-on-metal contact, then attaching a Peltier device to the metal sheet.

  7. Robin Goodman Says:


    Mine has been in to Apple three times now and it still has the whine, and still gets too hot to use when it is plugged in. I just got it back from the third service today, they replaced some heat stuff and included a not saying the whine is “in spec”. When I get the time and energy, I’m going to call them back. The guy I talked to, a notebook specialist, said he would “have to explore other options” if the third repair didn’t fix it. This is very very frustrating.

  8. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Jon: I think the main reason I haven’t tried a local place is because I don’t look forward to trying to explain to people in a noisy public place that there is an infuriating whining noise coming out of the machine. The other thing is I just figure if anybody knows how to fix this problem, it’s Apple. I expect that they would always know a tiny bit more about the problem inside than they’ve so far let on to even their authorized service centers. Who knows though, maybe the service centers could be more flexible in finding a solution.

    Robin: I’m beginning to fear that the whine problem simply hasn’t been fixed, and Apple’s in a position where they keep selling more and more computers with the problem, so they sort of have to defend it as correct more and more. I’m sure they are working on a design change that will eliminate or greatly reduce the whine in the next revision, but I keep hoping they’ll come up with some brilliant way to reduce or eliminate it for those of us who were excited enough to be early adopters.


  9. Jason Montilla Says:

    SO I just got my hands on the 17″ MBP. The good news is, it’s been on for over 2 hours and (at least idle with nothing really going on) it doesn’t feel hot. If I stick my face into the keyboard I still don’t hear the processor whine which is AWESOME because I returned 2 15 inch MBPs. The first one I bought in the store and the second one I got through the online apple system maxed out. I paid $100 less for my 17 and so far it looks like the only negative I can say is that the bottom left and right corners of the screen are a tad bit white ghosty but nothing at all that I don’t see on many laptops.

    If I put my ear down onto the left speaker, I can hear the processor whine a bit. I have to literally lay my head down onto the laptop to hear it though. With my 15’s it was noticible if I was close enough to type. So far with the 17 it’s there but very very quiet.

    I’ll keep you all updated on the status of the 17 as I think I’m one of the first to have it.
    I hope this helps people.


  10. Steve House Says:

    First off Jason, are you the Jason Montilla formally from IST in Orlando, FL? If not sorry. If so, what’s up and where is my Milkos royalty money!

    Second Daniel, I have been following you closely and I hope you dont give in since I have been following your lead and I can never give in to these headaches. Honestly, between the wine and the full brightness display I cannot work on this thing for long and this is completly unacceptable to me. Please keep on it since you have a strong following of readers and lets continue to keep the online chatter going. Eventually it should be enough to make Apple cave on this PROBLEM.

    Third, I just discovered a new noise issue. I hadn’t used my bluetooth for anything yet and this morning I paired it up with my PC at the office. Immediately after the pairing, my MBP sang like a canary. It was the loudest whine yet. The other neat trick was that as I put pressure on my desk about 6 inches from the MBP I could vary the intensity of the noice. It was crazy. I called a few co-workers over to listen to it and we all got a good laugh until I remembered the money I paid for this canary! Anyway I was wondering if anyone else has observed this. The noise has dies off now and I don’t hear it anymore but it was something strange when it was going on.


  11. Jason Montilla Says:

    That I am. The 17 is still running fine with no noise problems. I will report on it at the end of the week to see how I’m feeling about it.

    Hey Steve… milkos is making a HUGE comeback. I wish there was a way to send you my email address. My aim name is my fraternity nickname and my number (92).

  12. Hunter Ware Says:

    I have DHL sending mine off today for repairs on heat (65C idle, 88C full load) and whine. I’ll tell you how this works out in a week or so when I get it back. I personally would be very eager to hear how to approach convincing Apple to just replace instead of repair. Especially so if I wind up in Daniel’s shoes and need to resend. I had to go through 3 people just to get them to agree that burned fingertips are not normal and 65C is not a good idle temp. Sad. I expected better from a company that prides itself on customer experience. This also does not make me confident that Apple plans to actually handle the problem…

    Daniel, not only is your experience relevant to the rest of us (and continually so), but it also gives myself (and, I think, others) a place to get a better understanding about what is happening to all of us. Selfishly I say that I hope this site is a focus for those affected even after youe issues are resolved. This is the only blog I, and I bet many many others, check daily. *smile*

    – Hunter

  13. wasp Says:


    You don’t call applecare. You call customer relations and tell them to replace or refund. That this unit is not functional. They will DOA it through a product specialist. Keep telling the product specialist that you want either a refund or replacement.

    They’ll transfer you back to customer relations and you RMA the comp and get your new one sent.

    If you have a case number call 18002752273 and press option 3 = ask for customer relations with your case number

    IT WILL WORK as this is my 4th unit.

  14. jacob Says:

    Honestly, between the wine and the full brightness display I cannot work on this thing for long…

    That would do it, wouldn’t it?

  15. Mark Says:

    I have a “week 8” and it has the whine. It is very loud, and very f’n annoying. Yes, it’s very loud–no, it’s not the inverter. I originally posted about the Comic Life workaround on the Apple discussion forums about 6 weeks ago or so…it still works for me, but I’m -pissed- that I have to sacrafice 30-40 minutes of battery life to “fix” a problem that shouldn’t exist in the first place.

    My “Unofficial Whine Poll” is still running. With over 1400 submissions from kind people (who may have too much time on their hands ;), 82% are reporting the idle whine! 82%! If you haven’t filled it out already, please do so. The more data we have, the stronger our case about this crap. Another possibility is forming a rally and picketing at the Apple Developer Conference in August. With enough people showing up, we might be able to draw on some media outlets and get the message out.

    Whine poll: http://furrybeanbag.com/macbookprowhinepoll

  16. Steve House Says:

    Ha ha… yes the Wine helps mute the WHINE!

    I went to the local apple store today and got another “never heard of any whining” story and then after more talking the sales guy finally said, “Ohhh yeah I read about that online but its just a small handful of MBPs.” He said none of the ones in the store have the noises and I said that with all the HiFi’s blasting they would never hear it. Anyway, he said to send it back in for another “fix” so I guess that is what I will do this week. Here we go again!

    Jason, I emailed you from the alumni msg board. Your nickname is escaping me.

  17. Jason Montilla Says:

    I went to the mac store at the millenia mall and got someone that was totally understanding of my whine problem. He was going to let me return my 15″ for a full refund but I bought it online. My other friend Andy got a mbp and returned it at the same place and someone else he knew did the same thing. So out of 4 people I know personally (not just online blasters who like to complain) they ALL had the processor whine and all returned their machines to the same store except for me.

    I hate mac store staff sometimes. Im glad I found someone who was truly helpfull and didn’t deny the truth. Anyway…

    The 17 doesn’t get nearly as hot as my 15 did. And I haven’t noticed the whine yet. I even put QuietMBP on it just to play with the slider and see if I could generate a whine and it didn’t do anything. Maybe the whine is related to the thermal grease issue that was causing the machines to run so damn hot.

    I got your email steve. I emailed you back.

  18. steve Says:

    So Jason, I guess your 17″ doesn’t have any problem. I returned my 15″ a couple weeks ago, but I’m looking for every execuse to get a new one (I just have to get a mac :).

    But do you see any other problems with your 17″? Some people say that they have the heat problem, and some other people say that they have a display problem. Do you notice any of these problems? I just wanna make sure that 17s are okay before I go ahead and get one, especially after my frustrating experience with 15″.

  19. bigwasp Says:

    The 17 inch is perfect and has no problems it is better than the 15 inch

  20. Robin Goodman Says:


    The noise is annoying, but the heat is still bad. They replaced essentially the entire heating apparatus, but it still gets too hot. Maybe this is the thermal grease problem we’ve been reading about…

    On the heat…I opened up the memory compartment to put my extra 1GB back in after service, the computer gets so hot that the adhesive protective strip on the memory compartment cover is peeled and warped.

  21. Steve House Says:

    Well I bit the bullet and sent mine back in for another round of service today. I just can’t see holding off on really diving into the setup and configuration any longer. Either fix it right Apple or keep it, either way, I must go on with my life. Watch for updates here cyberdust.wordpress.com and also check out my _iWhine_ logo that you can feel free to add to your desktop wallpaper, web site or whatever.

  22. Gabe Prussin Says:

    I finally decided to send in my MBP for repair. It is a W8610, 2.0…has horrible heat issues (to the point of not being able to touch the bottom and f-key area without getting burned) as well as a worsening cpu whine. Its up to date on everything, and with the new keyboard update it seems to run hotter and louder. I was very specific with apple about the heat, and how I believe it is related to the thermal paste application. Hopefully they will fix the heat, that is my main concern. I highly doubt my cpu whine will change at all. One trip back to apple is more than enough for my MBP.

  23. Shane Says:

    If it helps anyone, I just got the new 17″ MBP and it’s 100% problem free after 3 days of continual use. Check it out: BishopGrey.com Post

  24. Hunter Ware Says:

    *sigh* well… 15deg C cooler is a good thing. Now that the fans actually turn on… well… the left fan is fine, but the right fan sounds like a cricket got caught in it. Don’t they actually check this crap before sending it back? Oh… and to add some spice… the whine is worse than when I sent it off. It’s looking like a round two for me.

    – Hunter

  25. Hunter Ware Says:

    Normally I wouldn’t back-2-back post, but I thought others would find this sad/interesting. Not only do I have the above problems, but two small bugs have crawled out of my machine 20 min after opening it (in a nice office where in 3 years I hadn’t seen bug numero uno). In addition, the display and keyboard backlight cannot be adjusted and that nice quiet left fan actually never turns off. Near as I can count I sent this puppy away with two problems and got it back with 5ish. I have another return box coming for round two on monday. If this doesn’t work I’m going to look very closely into following Wasp’s lead. I feel like I bought a bargin basement brand.

    – Hunter

  26. Very Mom Says:

    I couldn’t live with the issues. My keyboard was oh so hot and I was way too chicken to go busting open my expensive new computer to try to fix the thermal grease on my own. I exchanged it for an iBook. I’ll buy a Macbook again when they are a few generations out and all fixed. I really want to love everything Apple, but their lack of attention to these problems is hard to understand.

    The genius bar guys cocked their heads and said, “Hmmm” when I explained my over heating problems and pointed them to the thermal grease posts and articles. Clearly, they aren’t allowed to say anything that could indemnify the company but AUUUGGHHHH.

  27. Kabir Bindra Says:

    I FOUND THE TRUE CAUSE OF THE WHINE!!!!. Tis not the fan but the optical drive!!!!!!
    my local genius had discovered that the whining was coming from the optical drive but sounds like it was coming from the fan because thats where the air from the sound travels. They fixed the drive and now no whine and expected battery life!!!!!!!!!

  28. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Kabir: Sounds like maybe you’re referring to the moo? The whine I get is coming from the opposite side of the machine than the optical drive. Doesn’t seem very likely.

  29. Jason Montilla Says:

    After a full week or so of having my 17. I don’t have the monitor issue some people are talking about, I think it looks fine. I am not having processor whine that my 15 had and if I did I would notice it because I’ve been using my computer on my lap in bed before I go to sleep at night to do bills and stuff. I don’t notice any moo sound or any buzz that I was used to hearing with my returned 15. Oh yeah and… it’s not hot. I mean, sure it gets warm-ish from use but nothing I would take it off my lap for. It’s great.

    I think I got a good machine. I know it is always possible others did not. I know some people got a DOA screen problem but I am very lucky maybe? Who knows.

    Yes, there are at least a couple of 17s out there with no issues where I think it would be a challenge to find just 1 15 with no issues.

    Your mom goes to college.


  30. Jesse Says:

    It’s nice that some people with the 17″ have no issues, except there are those of us who don’t want a ridiculously huge laptop. I actually just sold a fairly recent 17″ laptop because it was too big and heavy. The 15″ MBP is prefect, but the heat issue is annoying. My palms literally sweat when I use it for a short while. Not good. This is a brand new MBP I bought last week from Apple. On the upside, I have no whine or problematic noises at all. It’s really quiet. The heat is the only issue. I love this computer otherwise, .. I really do. I have heard there are some instructions online for going in an adding more thermal gel/etc. and it totally resolves the heat issue. Of course this voids your warrantee, but.. no more sweaty palms. I’m considering it.

    Obviously Apple dropped the ball on the way they manufatured the heat dispersal. That’d be OK, considering it’s a new product, except that they aren’t owning up to it. Oh well.

    If anyone finds any other resolution to these heat issues, I’d really like to hear it.. but as I said, I’m sure it’s just a manufacturing defect effecting ALL 15″ MBP’s, and unless you’re willing to pop it open and throw down some thermal gel to fix that… you’re gonna have sweaty palms.

  31. jay Says:

    I’ve had a 15″ mbp for about a month now. I’m trying to figure out if the heat issue most of you seem to be having is more extreme or the same as mine. My palms don’t sweat, but maybe I don’t sweat as easy :) Basically the only part of my mbp that gets HOT is the thin metal strip above the keyboard. Touching that is just short of painfull. However the rest of my mbp feels fine. The speakers are warm, but no warmer than my old ibook used to get. Basically my question is if this is the same as the rest of you or if yours are worse.

    p.s. – I don’t have any noise problems.

  32. David Brown Says:

    Third MPB Pro and all whine. Not sure whether to get a refund or resign myself to insanity.

  33. Hun Says:

    I just got my MBP 15″ this Monday. The first day was perfect, but now I hear the zzzes and hissses and I found this blog. Thank you so much for the information.

    Today I saw that 13″ MacBook is released. So here is my question; should I return my 15″ and get the 13″ or should I try to get a new 15″? The 13″ have lower level of graphic card, but I am a scientist and for graphics I occasionally work with photoshop. I am worried that the 13″ might have similar issues. Does anyone have any suggestions? Any comments are welcome. Thanks.

  34. kidnplay Says:

    This is crap – my 17 inch has the whine, display hinge is loose. Apple can suck my fast ass.

  35. kidnplay Says:

    This is crap – my 17 inch has the whine, display hinge is loose. Apple can suck my fast ass.

  36. Trecaman Says:

    I just returned my second 15″ macbook pro and im getting my money back in 2 weeks. The whine and the heat were the only problems but i couldnt stand it. I sold my 5 months old powerbook and now im left with no machine and $5,000 worth of mac software!! Ill be calling tomorrow to let the fuckers know that they fucked my life

  37. Steve House Says:

    Well.. that’s it. After today I am out as well. Returning my second 15 inch MBP for a refund tonight! Heat and whining were just too much. Damn shame because I don’t know what I am going to replace it with. Apple just lost another convert. Maybe this is why they can’t overtake PCs and not M$. I’m going to blog the entire long and sometime hilarious debacle in the next couple of days so stay tuned. It may take me a little while to get to it… SINCE I DONT HAVE A LAPTOP!!!!!!! ARGHHHH

  38. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Steve: Sounds like a good move. I have suggested the possibility to my customer relations contact but she has so far flatly refused that as a possibility. I guess we’ll see how things go next week when I take the machine in to the Apple store (an alternative to having to do the DHL shipping thing again, but still just as crappy to be without my laptop for the interim).

    I’m thinking of buying a MacBook just to see if it suits me better, and have something to use while the MBP is gone again. I tell you what, I’ll be careful about the 2 week return period from now on. I thought by waiting I would give Apple time to figure out what’s wrong, but really it just gave them time to flatly deny me some of the rights they give early complainers.

  39. Joseph Williamson Says:

    Hey everyone, I’ve just had a quick investigation around the internet for the possible course for the whine problem. And I think it is indeed a design fault; mainly in the Switch Mode Power Supply


    If you read the first paragraph it says:

    “Switching regulators are used as replacements for the linear regulators when higher efficiency, smaller size or lighter weight are required. They are, however, more complicated and more expensive, their switching currents can cause noise problems if not carefully suppressed, and simple designs may have a poor power factor.”

    So it’s not just a matter of replacing a few components, it’s inherently designed badly. I doubt anyone’s will be able to get a quiet MacBook Pro out there, no matter how many times you change it. That is until Apple gets a better electrical engineer.

    That’s just what I think. Anyone have any other ideas?

  40. Slacker Says:

    I just spoke with customer relations and tech support for my awful whine and heat issue. I HAVE to send it in. They would not budge on a refund or return for a new one. This truly is a complete joke. The customer relations fellow was a snide ass. Other than over talking me, interrupting and assuring me that my macbook pro will go to the “best engineers we have” and “I guarantee they will find the problem and fix it” and “we will make sure to get your computer back to you ASAP” their customer service is a complete joke. My friend just hot his MacBook and no noise.

    I guess in the end I will send this in and see what happens, but a week without this will suck. I did the same thing as you did, Daniel. I thought if I had given Apple time they would fix it instead, I should have returned it the day I got it (heard the whine the first time it booted up).

  41. Hunter Ware Says:

    I got mine back on Friday (time #2). It still ran hot and had a broken backlight. I was more than a bit tense when I called customer support for the umpteenth time to complain about the complete failure of their repair houses. The customer support lady arranged an exchange for a new unit which should ship tomorrow. I thought about working for a Macbook instead but had read about their heat, chipping, and whine problems. I guess I’ll just hope this new one is better…

  42. colonel Says:

    i had the inverter noise, cpu whine, massive heat problems and mooing noise, the macbook pro was sent back to apple uk for repair. Today i received it back after 2 weeks, and guess what, the inverter noise and heat seem to be solved, other problems the same(they replaced logic board, inverter and screen!!!)

    i am happy to say(not) that the screen surround is bent, all the case screws are damaged, the left speaker rattles, and who knows what else….

    i have just had a lengthy discussion with my direct link to customer relations, and after being on the phone for about 1 hour they have finally agreed to send me a replacement… which my guy said is not policy, and that he was putting his neck on the line by doing it…..

    needless to say i am f***ing fuming at this whole situation, who the hell do apple think they are, taking our hard earned cash and treating us like this…

    i am just on edge now as to whether the replacement will have the same problems…… if it has then i will be doing the repairs myself,

  43. wasp Says:

    Ok guys – talked to senior level exec. Said that whine is normal and that apple is not only NOT releasing a statement, but that the whine cannot be eliminatee only reduced – it is a core duo chip problem.

  44. Jaques Lloyd Says:

    After a lifetime of buying, using, and discarding countless PCs, I am ready to buy my first Apple, and I want the Macbook Pro. That is, I would want it, if it were, or if turns out to be, a computer of superior quality which I have always been led to believe was at the heart of Mac users’ well-known reputation for loyalty to Apple and Apple’s products.
    I am taken back, and more than a little by surprise, at the numerous problems new MBP owners are having–annoying defects that I would find intollerable in any computer, but especially an expensive one–and by this reported less-than-satisfactory, even less than honest, response from the company.
    I can’t help but wonder whether my long-held belief that an Apple computer is the very best you can get if your willing to pay for it, and that the company stands firmly behind it products and its users, has all been quite mistaken.
    I am watching developments, and waiting with hope and an open mind. But I won’t buy ‘my’ shiney new MBP (or any Apple product) until I am convinced that Apple has responded effectively by fixing all the obvious design and/or manufacturing defects in the MBP, and that users of the new ones in the near future are *completely* satisfied with the product.

  45. OCDan7 Says:


    Had to chime in as one of the many vocal MBP owners (CPU whine). I used my local Apple store (Irvine, CA) for the replacement.

    Same Same Same – Geniuses that say ‘in spec’ and ‘I don’t hear anything’ – though I fought and got a logic board replacement and they didn’t wipe my drive. Bootcamp required a firmware update again (so I’m concluding a true replacement of logic board).

    Lo and Behold- the whine remains.

    I’ve let callouses develop on my palms to absorb the heat, so I haven’t made that part of the fight.

    I did give in to the smug manager who quoted a potential lead time of 2 weeks without Apple Pro Care- so trashed $99 to get better treatment from this local gang. Ta Da! The replacement was done by close of business same day.

    I’ll call Apple just for the sake of wasting an hour to update them… When I read that some people don’t hear it- I am left wondering if its a hearing thing. Really! I’m looking for an entry from ANY person that heard it once- and then reported it gone on another MBP. ;)

  46. Slacker Says:

    I will give a brief update before things start to get rolling;
    I sent a huge email to apple corporate, and in less than 48 hours, I got a call this afernoon from corporate executive relations (my main complaint was the horrible customer service I experienced twice in a span of 3 days) and they said they will do whatever it takes to fix the heat and and see if also they can fix the whine problems. I have never seen apple move like this before, but we will see when I get the MBP back from the engineers.

  47. Nik73 Says:

    Just wanted to say a huge thank you to Daniel (and others here) for all his hard work on this subject. I wanted a MPB initally but was put off by the issues that were doing the rounds (which I didn’t really understand), but this blog explained everything very clearly and informatively. Your stories were enough to put me off buying one, so I waited for the new MB.

    I enthusiatically ordered one on release day, foolishly thinking all issues would be resolved with this newer model. Recieved it on Wednesday and was initially blown away. However, after the novelty wore off I thought I’d check for the MBP issues, just in case……..

    Sadly, it has both the CPU whine and the screen inverter whine and tends to very hot just surfing the internet. UTTERLY gutted to say the least, especially as this was my first mac. However, I called Apple UK and they couldn’t have been more helpful. I’m getting a full refund with no fuss.

  48. jared Says:

    wasp, just wanted to point out that the whine doesn’t happen in windows. how don’t see how it could be a problem they can’t fix…

  49. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    jared: I have to assume that the whine doesn’t happen in Windows for the same reason as every other workaround: power is being consumed at a more consistent (higher) rate. I expect the battery life is much worse in Windows on MBP than in Mac OS X. If not, then perhaps there truly is still room for home. But I don’t think so.

  50. Jon Hendry Says:

    I found one momentarily amusing ‘feature’ of the screen brightness buzz:

    You can play your MBP like a theremin.

    Just use your hands to shade the ambient light sensors in the grilles on either side of the keyboard. The MBP will respond by varying the brightness of the screen depending on how much light you let through. As we know so well, the buzz varies with brightness, and on my machine, the pitch varies with the brightness, so dimmer screen = lower pitch.

    So, by waving your hands over the sensors, you can vary the pitch, and presumably play a song, without actually physically contact the ‘instrument’ – just like playing a theremin.

  51. Jon Hendry Says:

    Daniel writes: “power is being consumed at a more consistent (higher) rate. I expect the battery life is much worse in Windows on MBP than in Mac OS X.”

    Do Windows hardware-monitoring apps work on the MacBook*s?

  52. Jon Hendry Says:

    Daniel writes: “I”™m thinking of buying a MacBook just to see if it suits me better, and have something to use while the MBP is gone again. ”

    It’s tempting to me, as well.

    Although I don’t like the glossy screens, the MacBook has one *significant* advantage over the ‘Pro: apparently, it’s pretty easy to swap hard drives. That’s a big deal. Heck, I’m already wishing I’d bought a larger drive for my MBP – I bought the 80GB, have 25 GB free, and wish I had another 20 to 40 GB free for a Windows partition.

  53. Thinh Thang Says:

    I just bought a MacBook (2.0ghz/White) and I had to return it as well for the same reason as everyone else has been having. The screen buzzing, the heat, odd smudges on the right side of the body panel and the right speaker wasn’t working at all.

    My 12″ PB was perfect. Not a single flaw out of it besides the heat.

    Anyways, hope Apple makes us all happy in the end.

  54. Andi Zeidler Says:

    for anyone interested, i’ve had my mbp replaced two times now, and all three had the whine. the good news is that the second and third ran much cooler than the first and the last one was a free upgrade (from 1.83 to 2.0 ghz) and imho has a slighty better display as well… so all the hassle was worth something at least.

    on the other hand, i don’t think i’m gonna go through another round of replacements but instead keep my fingers crossed for the increw.com guys to fix the whine eventually…

  55. FalconDelta Says:

    I have a MBP with serial W8616 and it has the whine and the heat issue. As far as I can tell, and I’ve posted this other places, the whine seems to be from an offending kext file and not the hardware itself. If you boot into winxp you’ll notice there is no whine. Also, after I ran the latest SMC firmware update and implemented QuietMBP the temperature decreased to a tolerable level. While it’s still pretty hot, it doesn’t get super hot anymore. I assume once they figure out how to write a better SMC kext, we’ll see the noise issue go away. But, considering it seems to be a software issue, at least partially, I wouldn’t expect higher serials to be without the problem.

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