Sad Mac: The Chronology of a Broken MacBook Pro

The following is a record of the problems I encountered with my MacBook Pro (Early 2011) beginning in late August and hopefully culminating in a once-again functional laptop. I’m making an effort to document all of the steps I took in attempting to rectify the situation including my experience with the Apple Retail Store. I’ve had great experiences with the repair team at Apple Stores in the past and I hope this will continue the trend.

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Upgrades and Overclocks

After about two months of using my new Hackintosh without any custom modifications, I decided I wanted to overclock my 3.3GHz Intel Core i5-2500K processor a little bit to see if I would notice a performance increase. However, in order to do this, the horribly inadequate stock Intel CPU cooler needed to be replaced. After a brief search online, I settled on the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ as a suitable replacement for my CPU cooling needs. After an excruciating two-day wait, the part finally came in and I began the installation process of this gargantuan new cooling unit that just barely fit into my case. The new heatsink offered easily 10x more surface area for heat dissipation, which drastically increased the cooling efficiency of the running CPU. With the stock cooler, I saw the CPU idling around 45-50C. In stark contrast, the overclocked system now idles around 35C.

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The Hackintosh

In the weeks leading up to my winter break from classes, I decided I was going to build a gaming computer since I was tired of playing on my laptop. While I was originally planning on just building a beastly Windows machine, I realized it was now ridiculously easy to throw together parts to make a “Hackintosh,” or a computer running Mac OS X minus the Apple hardware and price. I spent several weeks researching the viability of the Hackintosh build, predominately on TonyMacX86, and selecting the components for my system. I ended up settling on the following list of hardware, rocking a SSD for my operating system and a regular HD for everything else.

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