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  • GPU Failure Issues Surface in Apple's Early 2011 MacBook Pro Lineup


    Those who own early 2011 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pros are starting to report issues with the discrete AMD graphics processors in their notebooks. In some cases, the issues result in the failure of the component, leaving an expensive logic board replacement as the only remedy for the situation. The problem, which is highlighted by multiple threads on Apple’s Support Communities forum first presents itself as a graphical glitch and in serious cases, completely system lockup when an affected MacBook Pro switches from the integrated Intel graphics chip to the discrete AMD graphics processing unit. The issue seems is seemingly becoming one that continues to occur more frequently now as opposed to before.

    For those of you who didn’t know, in 2010 Apple introduced the automatic graphics switching system, which dynamically shifts the processing load between the integrated chip and the discrete GPU based on what the user is doing. Owners of the MacBook Pros built prior to 2010 have to manually select the more powerful GPU from OS X settings, which causes the operating system to restart.

    Those who have affected machines are reporting that display discoloration, banding and image distortion are the most common visible symptoms while others say that their computers suddenly freeze without any of the graphical warning signs. Rebooting doesn’t really seem to fix the problem and some have even tried to resolve the issue by forcing their laptop to use the integrated chip exclusively with only moderate degrees of success.

    After compiling data from several Apple Support Communities threads, forum user “saramwrap” suggests that the majority of the users who are affected are using early 2011 MacBook Pros with the AMD Radeon 6750M GPU, though failures aren’t exclusively found for this specific chip. Other notebooks which contain the 6490M, 6750M, and 6970M GPUs are also said to be experiencing the problem.

    Apple hasn’t addressed the issue yet and many users are reporting that the only repair option given to those who don’t have AppleCare coverage is a complete logic board replacement which comes at a cost of $500 or more. Apple’s popular laptop line ran into similar issues soon after its early 2011 hardware refresh, coming to light in another Apple support forum thread which stretches more than 140 pages and has over 2,000 replies. That issue was resolved with a special build of the OS X 10.6.7 update. We’ll have to wait and see how Apple tackles the current issue.

    Are any of you experiencing GPU issues with you early 2011 MacBook Pro?

    Source: Apple Support Communities via AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: GPU Failure Issues Surface in Apple's Early 2011 MacBook Pro Lineup started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. hitman10's Avatar
      hitman10 -
      Wow, i just had my logic board replaced 2 months ago. Also my battery went to crap at 500 cycles, and needed a new trackpad. If it wasnt for Crapplecare. Or wait.. if it wasnt for a machine that wasnt over priced and could last more then 3 years would be nice.
    1. mikeyblv's Avatar
      mikeyblv -
      I have an early 2008 MBP A1260 that has the Nvidia 8600m GT. It has failed on me twice since I've had it. Replacing the logic board is expensive and not cost effective., I went to a computer shop that replaced the chip for about $100 includes labor. I am just curious if it were to fail again if I could use a different model GPU so it will fix the problem indefinitely. If anybody has any suggestions please feel free to comment.

      Cheers,

      Mike
    1. ecalderon's Avatar
      ecalderon -
      I have noticed this a lot! I wasn't sure what it was, but my computer would all of a sudden lock up and freeze on me. It has happened when I have run certain programs that use the graphics card and also when there was never anything demanding running which was always really strange to me. Hopefully they can get this straightened out.
    1. Mahboi's Avatar
      Mahboi -
      If anyone needs to force their MBP to use the integrated graphics only, they should try gfxCardStatus. It shows you which GPU is currently being used, which applications are using the discrete GPU if it's active, and allows you to force the computer to use only the discrete or integrated GPU.
    1. jmvegas21's Avatar
      jmvegas21 -
      Yeah, my early 2011 MBP has been having issues lately also. Darn screen keeps turning a blue hue every time I open an app. If I am sitting on the desktop it is fine but when switching video cards or whatever turns blue. Curious to see what Apple does to fix this.
    1. meecheeman's Avatar
      meecheeman -
      This is music to my ears! I thought I was going crazy, as the guy above me mentioned my screen kept turning bluish every time I would open an app. And my MAC does freeze up from time to time. Im glad its a widespread issue and not a localized one because Apple needs to fix this ****, not me! And they have the money to do it!
    1. jmvegas21's Avatar
      jmvegas21 -
      Oh trust me! This has sucked haha knew other people had the same issue but just dealt with it and didn't have money to buy a new one. So want Apple to fix it or come up with a solution asap because I hate it switching. Especially when showing clients work I am like "oh don't mind that, it's not actually that blue" lol.
    1. DC_Dave's Avatar
      DC_Dave -
      Hi, I have seen my MacBook Pro and a friends Dell, and HP laptop fail with GPU faults, never mind the numerous Xbox 360s and Playstation 3s. This flow solder technique on CPUs and GPUs is prone to fail with a mixture of heat and flexing/vibration over time. It's about time the manufacturers put though plated sockets on the board and plugin GPU/CPUs like we have with the majority of desktop computers. Ok, it might make the laptop case 10mm thicker, but better that than a £450 motherboard swap and would also give more room for a bigger battery.
    1. paragsj's Avatar
      paragsj -
      Late 2011 15" MBP with 1GB Graphic Card. It started with freezing screen after 15mins. Next day my MBP stopped booting on white screen with horizontal lines all over the display. Took it to Apple store, the genius told me the fix would cost flat rate $310 with everything changed to original configuration. Sadly even after all the GC failure complaints Apple has no program for unfortunate customers.
    1. steven07968's Avatar
      steven07968 -
      Got an Early 2011 15" MBP, not as posh as some of you lads, so have "AMD Radeon HD 6490M 256 MB" in mine.

      Touch wood, I've not had any issues with it as yet. Hope this isn't the kiss of death and I start getting problems.

      Is there anything in specific that has started the issues off with your MBP's? Or is it sporadic with when it happens?
    1. Dreamson's Avatar
      Dreamson -
      Apple should start an quality investigation and do a recall on all these flawed models!

      Join us and comment on the page (mbp2011.com) if you have encounter the same issue! We are trying everything we can so apple cannot ignore this. check this out :mbp2011 dot com