What is so special about Macbooks?

ZodaEX

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So after getting comsically fucked by Valve ((they shot me a pop up for my steam deck, then allowed the charge to go through, then told me I couldn't get my steam deck because I was late, then all of a sudden I had a steam decks worth of steam bucks instead of my card refunded, que much swearing cursing, asking them to kill my steam account (stupid I know but oh well) which they did not do, and four days later after all this someone finally emailed me)) we just pulled the trigger and got the MBP 14 with an upgraded proc 32gb 1tb.

I know apple jerks people around as well and I'm not making much of a statement to valve but christ what a bunch of idiotic assholes.

You can still buy the deck with those Steambucks. All my friends are going crazy over theirs.
 
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You can still buy the deck with those Steambucks. All my friends are going crazy over theirs.

And yet no. It was to be a thing to use at work and the experience was so fucking horrible that after having been failed by valve on each past hardware issue I'm just done. I don't need this.
 
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Egads. I don't think Valve was being malicious, but that's not exactly inspiring confidence in the company's approach to hardware sales. Apple is a bastion of consistency and fairness in comparison to what you went through.

I suspect your MacBook Pro experience will be much better. Goodness knows I'd trip over myself to get one with those specs.

See, and that's the thing. I don't ask much, I just ask not the stupid. The MBP is great so far. Went to the store which is a few blocks from here, took it home, turned it on and after getting in we have appointment to learn all about it at the store. While that's still odd ass in "way too much info but oh well" it's not 'we took 700 bucks, won't give your your shit, so here is 700 in funny money" level insanity. Who does that?
 

Mad Maxx

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Have you tried Universal Control between the two?
Works well. Nice new feature, but I don't foresee using it much. If I keep the Air my iPad will be my primary media consumption device.
 

Mad Maxx

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Got my new M2 MacBook Air 16GB/1TB today. Feels strange using it after over a year with my M1 iPad Pro 12.9" and magic keyboard. I keep reaching for the Air's screen to touch an icon or scroll through a website. Had no idea how acclimated I became with the iPad's touch screen. Same with the iPad’s Face ID vs. Touch ID on the Air. Face ID easily wins that battle. If I made the decision today, I'd return the Air and stick with my iPad + magic keyboard setup. Gotta give it at least a week, though. Never thought I'd be so comfortable with a tablet.

View attachment 495101
Well, after 2 days my M2 Air is on its way back to Apple. I didn't need a week of use to know it had to be returned. All it took was a text from the director at my agency that they offer remote workers who've been with the company longer than 5 years a $2500 equipment allowance. I had no idea. They couldn't simply reimburse me because any job-related purchases need to go through them. Process takes 30-45 days, but I can live with that! :) (y)
 

mryerse

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We recently hired a person who uses a Macbook Pro. And has been using Apple products since the late '90s. So we purchased a Macbook Pro for him for business use back in February. $$$$. Supposed to arrive this month, but we got a notice that it's on backorder till June. Why are Macbooks so much more expensive than Windows-based laptops with the same or similar specs. What is so special about them? Do they accel in certain uses? Plus, so much harder to ac
We recently hired a person who uses a Macbook Pro. And has been using Apple products since the late '90s. So we purchased a Macbook Pro for him for business use back in February. $$$$. Supposed to arrive this month, but we got a notice that it's on backorder till June. Why are Macbooks so much more expensive than Windows-based laptops with the same or similar specs. What is so special about them? Do they accel in certain uses? Plus, so much harder to acquire?
For me it’s the touch pad. Until 2010 I wouldn’t use a laptop without a mouse because the touch pads were trash. The IBM nub wasn’t terrible, but only Mac had a decent way to control your UI with a touch pad. The multi finger gestures in combination with keyboard shortcuts are great. Plus I like to have a Unix style terminal. Also I like how it works with my phone. Airdrop is great, as well as clipboard working between Mac/iPhone. The construction is also pretty good. Also the displays are fantastic, great color quality. Battery life is amazing with M1. Basically, if you’re not a gamer or otherwise someone with specific hardware needs, I don’t understand why you’d want anything other than a Mac. I suppose if you work closely with a lot of Microsoft tech it’s nice to have Windows, but I don’t.
 

raz-0

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We recently hired a person who uses a Macbook Pro. And has been using Apple products since the late '90s. So we purchased a Macbook Pro for him for business use back in February. $$$$. Supposed to arrive this month, but we got a notice that it's on backorder till June. Why are Macbooks so much more expensive than Windows-based laptops with the same or similar specs. What is so special about them? Do they accel in certain uses? Plus, so much harder to acquire?

So what's "special" about macbooks. First I'll give the genuine praise. Their track pad is the best. Period. The implementation physically as well as the integration into the OS with gestures and things like palm rejection is second to none. They also do sleep/standby when you close the lid very, very well. The PC side of things is absolute trash by comparison. They don't succumb to install bloat as bad as windows based PCs do over time, although windows seems to be improving on that front. With the M1 and M2, the performance per watt is excellent.

Then there's the "good, but" stuff. Their screens are never bad, and when they introduce a new screen technology, it's usually as good or better than the bleeding edge in PC laptops, and become ubiquitous to their lineup pretty rapidly. Then there's build quality. The materials and execution of the materials is top notch. The fit and finish will be good. But do not confuse good physical design and fit and finish with good engineering choices. There's also, historically, a bunch of "good but" feature where OSX introduced it first, or did it better for a while, but that stops being the case over time. One example of that is 4k displays and UI/font scaling in apps. Apple was very, very solid from day one, but windows has caught up.

There's a shit ton of bad stuff though, and increasingly I'm hardware choices that should be of concern to enterprise deployments that are rarely considered prior to permitting them to be purchased. Their reputation for longevity is really not deserved.

Years ago, I remember hearing that Macs excelled as a CGI/CGA workstation. Do they still have an edge over PC?

They held no particular edge in 2D digital art at any point in time other than color management is better integrated into the OS, and in built font management was better. That has gotten worse, and now if you need font management you go 3rd party on OSX same as windows. Most of the platform's reputation was and is inertia from design places that keep buying apple with no real justification. The degree of magical thinking and unsubstantiated beliefs around platforms in that area is staggering. For 3D stuff, they were ass by comparison and still are. Bitching powerful discreet GPUs are still a killer app there. The one place they have genuinely, finally, earned any kind of deserved reputation is in video editing. The acceleration built into the M1 and M2 SOC is genuinely good, and when actually utilized brings a level of performance in a mobile platform that nobody else matches as of yet.
 

Zinn

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I've used Windows, Linux and Apple computers for software engineering work, and I find that Macbooks and MacOS are just a bit better to use for the types of work I do (some linuxy terminal stuff plus a lot of browser and Adobe Creative Suite). The only way to run Linuxy stuff in Windows is via WSL which is a nightmare, or a virtual machine, which is another can of worms. So for my specific use-case MacOS is way better. I game on consoles.

I think for the vast majority of people, Apple's shit is way overpriced and inferior to competition in a lot of ways.
 

Icy006

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I spent so many years buying midrange laptops from various brands, and they all fell apart on me within 3 years. Then I spent $700 on a used macbook, and many years later it's pretty much in the same condition I got it. New prices are nuts, though.
 

Zepher

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I spent so many years buying midrange laptops from various brands, and they all fell apart on me within 3 years. Then I spent $700 on a used macbook, and many years later it's pretty much in the same condition I got it. New prices are nuts, though.
I am still using a 2014 MacBook Pro 13". Build quality and feel are awesome. Just recently upgraded the storage to 512GB and put in an iFixit battery since mine was swollen and failing (noticed it when I was upgrading the SSD).
Paid $100 for it 4-5 years ago from a friend of a friend who wanted a Windows PC.
 

raz-0

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I spent so many years buying midrange laptops from various brands, and they all fell apart on me within 3 years. Then I spent $700 on a used macbook, and many years later it's pretty much in the same condition I got it. New prices are nuts, though.

Except it's a crap shoot. I typically drop decent cash on a higher end laptop and expect it to last about 5 years as a portable supplement to my desktop. I have yet to have a a windows laptop fail on me for that. I bought the first gen 15" retina display macbook pro because it had a good screen with decent internals and non-idiotic air pathing, which was hard to find together on the windows side at the time. It lasted 3 years before I found out the motherboard had a design flaw and Apple never notified anyone of the stealth recall on it. So I could pay $1000 to fix it because it failed a few weeks after the end of the free repair window or just toss it and call it a lesson learned. It got tossed. We also go through a lot of them at work historically. They suffered the nvidia GPU failures like every other laptop with them (oddly, my windows latpop at the time was also nvidia powered and dodged that bullet). Then there was the pros that got SUPER hot and would roast your balls. Those failed a lot due to heat. There was one gen where it went through about one motherboard a year. There was the generation that would keep on killing the batteries (at least they were removable then). And currently the 16" M1 macbook pros have issues with the charging circuit frying the motherboard. Apple will claim it is liquid damage.

We also have computer labs full of apple stuff. It fails a lot, and a lot more often for the dollar than windows stuff. It's just that on the windows side, they will build a turd of a system to a pricepoint apple doesn't deal in. And those cheap ass systems tend to be junk.

Apple stuff is physically constructed very well most of the time, but the designs aren't always very good inside, and they don't do quality control on the components any better than anyone else (you would be surprised how many of the big imac LCD displays were different color temps in each zone and how comfortable apple was with saying that was normal and fuck you very much). Sometimes they are solid, sometimes not. Historically, apple has a cavalier disregard for heat management, and the thin x86 laptops with no optical drives were the aberration, not the norm.
 

Icy006

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Very interesting, thanks for sharing your insight, particularly since you have much more data. It really does feel like as a consumer, pretty much everything is luck of the draw. This is why I like buying used / refurb and lower- to mid-end stuff, so at least it doesn't suck as bad when I hit issues.
 

vegeta535

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Only thing I like about Apple is that they make chassis out of aluminum. You can spend $3k on a PC laptop and it could be still made of plastic.
 

UnknownSouljer

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Except it's a crap shoot. I typically drop decent cash on a higher end laptop and expect it to last about 5 years as a portable supplement to my desktop. I have yet to have a a windows laptop fail on me for that.
I would say I had a similar experience in the Mac world. I've owned 4 Mac laptops, each of them lasted well over that amount of time. My 2015 MacBook Pro, I used until it was finally way to slow to edit 4k compressed footage on (5+ years as just one example) and the person that bought it from me was going to keep using it as a DJ machine. I'm using a 2019 now. I don't "need" to upgrade it, but man, once the M2 Pro/Ultra chips drop, it will be mighty tempting.
I bought the first gen 15" retina display macbook pro because it had a good screen with decent internals and non-idiotic air pathing, which was hard to find together on the windows side at the time. It lasted 3 years before I found out the motherboard had a design flaw and Apple never notified anyone of the stealth recall on it. So I could pay $1000 to fix it because it failed a few weeks after the end of the free repair window or just toss it and call it a lesson learned. It got tossed. We also go through a lot of them at work historically. They suffered the nvidia GPU failures like every other laptop with them (oddly, my windows latpop at the time was also nvidia powered and dodged that bullet).
Okay, I'm not going to say: "you're lying" but your timeline is incredibly sketchy. Apple stopped working with nVidia in 2010. The last Macbook with nVidia graphics was the 2010 Unibody if memory serves with the GT330M. The 8600M GT that had nVidia's BGA desoldering problem was in the 2008 MBP (I actually owned one, but that's neither here nor there). The 2011 and beyond all were AMD only. The Retina MacBook Pro didn't come out until 2012. So I'm not really sure which machine(s) you had. Or if it was multiple machines, but to say it concisely, there was no Retina Macbook Pro with nVidia graphics. And certainly not one with the BGA desolder problem, again because nVidia graphics were no longer being used. That could have possibly been a 2008 Pre-Unibody MBP you had. The 9600M GT in the first Unibody I don't think had the BGA desolder problem. But either way, to say that: "that is deep in Apple's past and no longer relevant to machines they're making today" is an understatement.

Not only because failures like that with Apple are uncommon, but also for the obvious reason that at this point there is no hardware in their machines that isn't their own. And it's much better regulated now than ever before.

Here is a Wiki of all Intel based Macs for reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacBook_Pro_(Intel-based)
Then there was the pros that got SUPER hot and would roast your balls. Those failed a lot due to heat. There was one gen where it went through about one motherboard a year. There was the generation that would keep on killing the batteries (at least they were removable then).
Removable batteries were last seen in 2012, pre-Retina. You're talking laptops that at minimum are 10 years old. Let's just say it would be easy to find plenty of PC's that are 10 years old with critical failures as well. Including business laptops or above from Dell, IBM (not Lenovo back then!), HP, etc.

Applecare ftw in that case. Could've gotten multiple free machines. My friend got his 2010 17" MBP upgraded to a maxed out 2011 due to lemon laws. However, frankly, I've seen far worse on the PC side. It's also worth noting that he ran that 2011 17" MBP problem free for nearly a decade. His wife, whom he also found and then married in that time used that as her machine for a number of years. Until it has now become so outdated that a $500 tablet is faster. But it didn't experience any hardware failures, which is my point.
And currently the 16" M1 macbook pros have issues with the charging circuit frying the motherboard. Apple will claim it is liquid damage.
Haven't heard about this one. Do you have more info about this topic? Frankly I haven't heard a bad thing about the current 16" MBP's other than perhaps available software isn't good enough, all the extra speed is "wasted", or they otherwise don't need that level of performance and therefore don't want to pay for it. Usually it's from people that were trying Macs but don't benefit from all the other features that Macs have. They just want a fast portable machine, but don't care about all day battery life, a much nicer display, size, weight, specific accelerators, etc - or at least they don't care enough about all those features where the added cost to have them seems "worth it" to that person. Especially if said person wants to do any level of gaming.
We also have computer labs full of apple stuff. It fails a lot, and a lot more often for the dollar than windows stuff. It's just that on the windows side, they will build a turd of a system to a pricepoint apple doesn't deal in. And those cheap ass systems tend to be junk.
For most system admins, paying for Applecare is worth it because it guarantees every aspect of the system for 3 years (other than user generated physical damage). And generally in IT, hardware is disposed of after 3 years. In other words it's incredibly cheap insurance - and if anything does go wrong then the admin isn't the one that has to deal with it. However there are quite a few admins in here that work with Apple hardware and have a very opposite position and experience to yours.
Especially considering things like admin time or the inability of most users to break macOS or do something otherwise dumb with it. If you're dealing in general IT, Macs are a good investement there as in general software wise there is far less to go wrong. No updates that need to be pushed. No driver updates that will break things. And no Windows Update that can cause the Windows install to destroy itself. If uptime and productivity matter, Apple wins. Especially if you're stretched thin as an IT person and need to be working on more serious problems and not user error.
Apple stuff is physically constructed very well most of the time, but the designs aren't always very good inside, and they don't do quality control on the components any better than anyone else (you would be surprised how many of the big imac LCD displays were different color temps in each zone and how comfortable apple was with saying that was normal and fuck you very much).
I would expect display inaccruacy in general for all monitors including $20,000 scientific reference displays. If you work in any visual industry at all, you invest in at minimum a colorimeter and calibrate your screen(s). If you're not, you're 100% looking at a color inaccurate display. It's serious enough that the recommended interval for calibration from most companies is 2 weeks. Drift is definitely experienced inside that time. After any form of initial calibration though, there won't be anything so serious as a "color cast".

This is why calibration from the factory is "useful" but it also isn't the end all be all. It has to be done at regular intervals if accuracy is remotely desired. Most people don't really care. Or not enough to do anything about it anyway.
Sometimes they are solid, sometimes not. Historically, apple has a cavalier disregard for heat management, and the thin x86 laptops with no optical drives were the aberration, not the norm.
Well, it has more to do with Apple caring about other aspects of the computer other than just pure performance. With modern processors and GPUs, all that means is less performance in the form of throttling. Apple values having machines that are actually portable and don't feel like a tank on your back. And machines that take up a minimal amount of space on your desk (in the case of things like the Mac Mini). And they also value loudness for things like fans as their machines are for people that work in audio/visual industries. It was and still is possible to keep all Mac's cool. You can download third party software and run your fans in all your Apple devices at 100% all the time, or otherwise control the fan curve in a non-stock way if your interest is performance and not for the purposes that Apple intends.

However at this point, all the ARM chips that Apple makes finally meet what they've always wanted to do under Intel, but couldn't because Intel was too slow to develop chips that could run quickly and cool. Which is one of the major reasons why Apple jumped ship when they did. Intel was lagging behind with 14nm chips even in 2020 that were and are incredibly hot and power hungry. That issue has only gotten worse; so I think Apple did make a smart decision. They definitely don't want to deal with the heat or power requirements of Intel 13th gen.

Now Apple makes their own chips that are incredibly power efficient and can be designed with accelerators for common tasks that people buy Macs for. It's uncommon to have MBP fans spin up, not just for silence reasons at this point, but also because it's hard to get the computer to heat up. And this bears out in terms of both power and heat. Hence why it's possible to video edit on an MBP now for 10 hours while being unplugged from the wall. There is no PC with that kind of capability. Especially not in that size, and weight. It would take a massive battery to do that on an Intel based PC with say nVidia based graphics at this point. And even still the PC would have to clock down to extend its battery life whereas the MBP will not.
 
Last edited:

voklskier4452

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I would say I had a similar experience in the Mac world. I've owned 4 Mac laptops, each of them lasted well over that amount of time. My 2015 MacBook Pro, I used until it was finally way to slow to edit 4k compressed footage on (5+ years as just one example) and the person that bought it from me was going to keep using it as a DJ machine. I'm using a 2019 now. I don't "need" to upgrade it, but man, once the M2 Pro/Ultra chips drop, it will be mighty tempting.

Okay, I'm not going to say: "you're lying" but your timeline is incredibly sketchy. Apple stopped working with nVidia in 2010. The last Macbook with nVidia graphics was the 2010 Unibody if memory serves with the GT330M. The 8600M GT that had nVidia's BGA desoldering problem was in the 2008 MBP (I actually owned one, but that's neither here nor there). The 2011 and beyond all were AMD only. The Retina MacBook Pro didn't come out until 2012. So I'm not really sure which machine(s) you had. Or if it was multiple machines, but to say it concisely, there was no Retina Macbook Pro with nVidia graphics. And certainly not one with the BGA desolder problem, again because nVidia graphics were no longer being used. That could have possibly been a 2008 Pre-Unibody MBP you had. The 9600M GT in the first Unibody I don't think had the BGA desolder problem. But either way, to say that: "that is deep in Apple's past and no longer relevant to machines they're making today" is an understatement.

Not only because failures like that with Apple are uncommon, but also for the obvious reason that at this point there is no hardware in their machines that isn't their own. And it's much better regulated now than ever before.

Here is a Wiki of all Intel based Macs for reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacBook_Pro_(Intel-based)

Removable batteries were last seen in 2012, pre-Retina. You're talking laptops that at minimum are 10 years old. Let's just say it would be easy to find plenty of PC's that are 10 years old with critical failures as well. Including business laptops or above from Dell, IBM (not Lenovo back then!), HP, etc.

Applecare ftw in that case. Could've gotten multiple free machines. My friend got his 2010 17" MBP upgraded to a maxed out 2011 due to lemon laws. However, frankly, I've seen far worse on the PC side. It's also worth noting that he ran that 2011 17" MBP problem free for nearly a decade. His wife, whom he also found and then married in that time used that as her machine for a number of years. Until it has now become so outdated that a $500 tablet is faster. But it didn't experience any hardware failures, which is my point.

Haven't heard about this one. Do you have more info about this topic? Frankly I haven't heard a bad thing about the current 16" MBP's other than perhaps available software isn't good enough, all the extra speed is "wasted", or they otherwise don't need that level of performance and therefore don't want to pay for it. Usually it's from people that were trying Macs but don't benefit from all the other features that Macs have. They just want a fast portable machine, but don't care about all day battery life, a much nicer display, size, weight, specific accelerators, etc - or at least they don't care enough about all those features where the added cost to have them seems "worth it" to that person. Especially if said person wants to do any level of gaming.

For most system admins, paying for Applecare is worth it because it guarantees every aspect of the system for 3 years (other than user generated physical damage). And generally in IT, hardware is disposed of after 3 years. In other words it's incredibly cheap insurance - and if anything does go wrong then the admin isn't the one that has to deal with it. However there are quite a few admins in here that work with Apple hardware and have a very opposite position and experience to yours.
Especially considering things like admin time or the inability of most users to break macOS or do something otherwise dumb with it. If you're dealing in general IT, Macs are a good investement there as in general software wise there is far less to go wrong. No updates that need to be pushed. No driver updates that will break things. And no Windows Update that can cause the Windows install to destroy itself. If uptime and productivity matter, Apple wins. Especially if you're stretched thin as an IT person and need to be working on more serious problems and not user error.

I would expect display inaccruacy in general for all monitors including $20,000 scientific reference displays. If you work in any visual industry at all, you invest in at minimum a colorimeter and calibrate your screen(s). If you're not, you're 100% looking at a color inaccurate display. It's serious enough that the recommended interval for calibration from most companies is 2 weeks. Drift is definitely experienced inside that time. After any form of initial calibration though, there won't be anything so serious as a "color cast".

This is why calibration from the factory is "useful" but it also isn't the end all be all. It has to be done at regular intervals if accuracy is remotely desired. Most people don't really care. Or not enough to do anything about it anyway.

Well, it has more to do with Apple caring about other aspects of the computer other than just pure performance. With modern processors and GPUs, all that means is less performance in the form of throttling. Apple values having machines that are actually portable and don't feel like a tank on your back. And machines that take up a minimal amount of space on your desk (in the case of things like the Mac Mini). And they also value loudness for things like fans as their machines are for people that work in audio/visual industries. It was and still is possible to keep all Mac's cool. You can download third party software and run your fans in all your Apple devices at 100% all the time, or otherwise control the fan curve in a non-stock way if your interest is performance and not for the purposes that Apple intends.

However at this point, all the ARM chips that Apple makes finally meet what they've always wanted to do under Intel, but couldn't because Intel was too slow to develop chips that could run quickly and cool. Which is one of the major reasons why Apple jumped ship when they did. Intel was lagging behind with 14nm chips even in 2020 that were and are incredibly hot and power hungry. That issue has only gotten worse; so I think Apple did make a smart decision. They definitely don't want to deal with the heat or power requirements of Intel 13th gen.

Now Apple makes their own chips that are incredibly power efficient and can be designed with accelerators for common tasks that people buy Macs for. It's uncommon to have MBP fans spin up, not just for silence reasons at this point, but also because it's hard to get the computer to heat up. And this bears out in terms of both power and heat. Hence why it's possible to video edit on an MBP now for 10 hours while being unplugged from the wall. There is no PC with that kind of capability. Especially not in that size, and weight. It would take a massive battery to do that on an Intel based PC with say nVidia based graphics at this point. And even still the PC would have to clock down to extend its battery life whereas the MBP will not.
I owned a 2012 rMBP 15" and it had a GT650m in it. If you look at the link you posted it shows the 15in rMBPs all using nvidia GPUs up until the 2015 revision when they switched to AMD.
 

UnknownSouljer

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I owned a 2012 rMBP 15" and it had a GT650m in it. If you look at the link you posted it shows the 15in rMBPs all using nvidia GPUs up until the 2015 revision when they switched to AMD.
You're right about that. Not sure how I forgot about it. But in terms of the BGA issue, that was from the 8600m gt and 9600m gt and not from any model after that point.
 
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