15" 2015 Macbook Pro Graphics Card Reliability

testbunji

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 14, 2018
2
0
For the past 8 years I have owned a 15" 2011 macbook pro, and have been extremely happy with it. In fact, with a nice SSD, upgraded RAM, and a twice-replaced discrete AMD GPU, it's still really snappy. Unfortunately, I have started getting the dreaded signs of GPU failure again -- at the moment the computer only has GPU tantrums 1-2 times/month, and a couple SMC resets usually fix the problems, but I am worried that it will get worse. Once this third GPU goes, I will have no way of using the computer anymore because apple has discontinued its replacement program. I know it's possible to disable the discrete GPU, but whenever I give lectures, I project my computer, and losing the discrete GPU would (as I understand it) eliminate the ability to use external displays. So I may need to get a new computer.

I don't want a current MacBook Pro, but I am considering a 15" 2015 MacBook Pro -- used ones can be found for ~$1,200 currently. There were two breeds of 2015 15" MacBook Pros:
  • MacBookPro11,4 (MJLQ2LL/A) with integrated Intel Iris Pro 5200 graphics
  • MacBookPro11,5 (MJLT2LL/A) with dual graphics (Intel Iris Pro 5200, and AMD Radeon R9 M370X)
Which one should I get? Obviously I would prefer to get the discrete graphics if possible, but, as I have learned, the discrete graphics on the 2011 machines constantly are overheating and failing. Should I avoid the 2015 discrete graphics versions as well?

Thank you
 

leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
9,963
4,550
You can use external displays with an iGPU without any limitations. I'd just get whichever is cheaper. Paying more then $1000 for a four year old machine is everything else than a good investment in my book, but if thats the model that suits your needs best, just go for it. Do have a look on the current 13" and the MBA though.
 

pshufd

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2013
1,274
872
New Hampshire
I bought a 2.5 Ghz with 500 GB and Discrete graphics for $1,123 in January and I've been very happy with it. I like the idea of dedicated RAM for Graphics. I also have a 2014 2.2 Ghz with Intel Integrated and sometimes the graphics does lag when I'm doing a lot of other things.
 

testbunji

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 14, 2018
2
0
You can use external displays with an iGPU without any limitations. I'd just get whichever is cheaper. Paying more then $1000 for a four year old machine is everything else than a good investment in my book, but if thats the model that suits your needs best, just go for it. Do have a look on the current 13" and the MBA though.
Are you saying that the 2011 15" MacBook Pro with dual graphics can drive an external display with the discrete graphics card disabled?

And of course I've had a look at the current stuff -- I don't want them!