MacBook Video Corruption

In early June of 2006 I bought one of the new MacBooks. Nostalgic for my old NeXT machine, I frivolously spent $150 to make my macbook black (the black one comes with a larger hard drive, but you can add that option to the white macbook and still pay $150 less).

One problem. I ordered the laptop with the minimum amount of memory and a small hard drive, planning on upgrading them myself (Apple doesn't sell 7200rpm notebook drives, and they rip you off on memory).

Boy, am I lucky I tried the upgrade within the 14-day return window. It turns out that a lot of the macbooks have a defect in the graphics chip that only shows up when you put more than a half-gig of ram in them. Apple insisted I had faulty ram until I explained that because I had bought the laptop less than 14 days ago, I could simply return it for no reason at all and buy another one. That at least convinced them that it was worth some “genius time” to test my macbook with 2gb of “Apple brand” (really just Samsung) memory.

They had the same results that I did. Here are some crude cell-phone cam shots of the carnage:

At that point they started apologizing and gave me a new laptop.

So, lesson learned, if you're going to upgrade the memory in a macbook, do it immediately, lest you get stuck with an unreturnable laptop that can never have more than the minimum amount of memory in it. Apple's response to the whole situation was frighteningly shady and unprofessional.

For the record, I bought 2gb of samsung ram from these guys for $180 (Apple charges $600 and makes you wait three days!) and a Hitachi 100GB, 7200rpm drive from Both work marvelously.

I cannot recommend the memory upgrade enough; MacOS is incredibly bloated at this point. Anything less than 1gb and you shouldn't even bother getting a new laptop.