15" Early 2011 Hi Res Macbook pro doomed for GPU failure?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jjahshik32, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    Hey guys,

    I have a 2 and a half year old 15" 2011 Macbook Pro that has been flawless but by reading about the GPU failure, it seems that the 3 year mark is the magic number for these to fail.

    Ever since hearing about this issue, I've forced the GPU to be on the HD3000 using the gfxCardStatus application.

    I'm thinking about selling this on eBay before the risk of this laptop's GPU dying on me. I also do not have apple care extended warranty.

    What do you guys think? Are there any 2011 Macbook Pro users still chugging along just fine? Or have you guys forced yourselves to use the HD3000 GPU just in case.
  2. caseyfriday macrumors member


    Apr 8, 2011
    Mine died about a month ago. :( 17" 2.3 GHz anti glare. I was quite pissed, and I've already started parting it out on eBay. Freaking ridiculous that Apple's doing nothing about it.

    If I were you, I'd probably feel bad about selling it if it already started falling, but if it hasn't started yet, I say offload that thing!
  3. TechGod macrumors 68040


    Feb 25, 2014
    New Zealand
    Sell it before it stops functioning. Then get a 2014 rMBP.

    Warn the buyer there is a chance it may fail however because I certainly would want to know that as a buyer.
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    My early-2011 15" (2.3GHz, 16GB RAM, 512GB 840 Pro, 1GB 6750M and matte screen) failed at the 3-year mark, and so I got myself two separate rMBPs (13" and 15" rMBPs) - one for everyday tasks and one for heavy tasks.

    After my exams were done with, I sent my early-2011 baby to a third party for a reball and that resurrected it.
  5. CaffeinatedNoms macrumors member


    Jun 8, 2014
    Northeast England
    I've got an early 2011 MacBook Pro 15" and the only thing to go at all was the battery last week, which Apple replaced for free because it had managed to die so spectacularly (7000mAh to 400mAh capacity drop in 5 days).

    I don't much see the point in deliberately nobbling my machine on the off-chance that it may preserve the graphics chip for a while longer - and as far as I remember the current version of GFXCardStatus doesn't actually let you force the machine to use one card or the other anyway. I bought this laptop so I could do graphics rendering, and if it dies while rendering then so be it, it died doing what it was bought to do rather than tip-toeing along being useless :p
  6. The Unseen macrumors member

    The Unseen

    Jun 24, 2012
    Naples, Italy
    I have a refurbished Late 2011 15' Macbook Pro with 2.2ghz CPU, 8gb of Ram and a Samsung 840 EVO ssd, Radeon 6750 512mb. I use It 80% of the time hooked to an external display with thunderbolt to VGA adapter (non Apple), mainly with Adobe Lightroom, Safari with 10-15 tabs open, Pages, iTunes, Mail, Transmit, Grab, and others (On Yosemite PB) and no problems so far.
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Mu vote is to sell it before you start incurring GPU problems. I don't know if 100% of the MBPs are doomed to fail but do you really want to take a chance?
  8. Hustler1337 macrumors 68000


    Dec 23, 2010
    London, UK
    I'm in the exact same position as the OP. Using gfxCardStatus to run on integrated graphics and ensuring it runs cool.

    Looking to sell mines on eBay very soon and get the 2014 rMBP, except I don't think I can afford it at this moment in time. :(
  9. Ak907Freerider macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2012
    I think you are being silly ditching a computer that is working fine to roll the dice on another computer that could have issues. Bottom line period is all electronics can fail at anytime. It could last 1 min or it could last 100 years. I wouldn't go running to the hills just because people had theirs fail. Remember people who have issues run to the internet to complain and vent. People who have perfectly fine ones don't because they are enjoying their machine. So even if lets say 1 million failed, now think how many apple sold. Thats a pretty small percentage. I was being told all over the forums to avoid buying a new iMac they all have "yellow screen" issue yadda yadda. Well guess what I ignored them and my iMac is flawless. I also ignored the people venting to not buy a 2011 macbook pro. Well it is running flawless. So don't be a dork take off the tin foil hat and realize it is a machine. It can break or work flawless. New or used they all can fail. Enjoy your computer and don't "chase gear" cause you are just wasting valuable time that is better spent creating rather than worrying.
  10. jocamero macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2008
    My 15" early 2011 high res MBP failed initially at about the 1.5 year mark; after 12 months in, I had it primarily connected to a 27" TBD requiring use of the dedicated GPU, prior to that I only used the built in screen. So in my estimation 6 months of heavy usage will kill the GPU. The first logic board was then replaced under Apple Care. Then it failed again about 9 months later. Then again about 6 months later (about a month ago). At this point it was just out of the original Apple Care warranty but Apple Care support over the phone agreed to replace the logic board again for the third time. I went to my local Apple Store and explained the situation and they immediately offered to replace the logic board again or return my 2011 MBP for a new 15" rMBP. I'm using a new top of the line 15" rMBP. Beyond irritated with the 2011 model, but very happy with how the local manager ended up handling the situation.

    Lots of users with this issue; more details here:
  11. casperes1996 macrumors 68040


    Jan 26, 2014
    Horsens, Denmark
    Mine just bit the dust today :/
  12. caseyfriday macrumors member


    Apr 8, 2011
    I sent my logic board (17" early 2011) to an ebay seller who reflowed the GPU for $27, and now it's working like new again. :)
  13. Xace macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2012
    Mine was working fine until 2 days ago, and failed without warning. It lasted about 3 years.

    Yes, I think the 2011 models have a design flaw that makes them all doomed to fail prematurely. There are an unusual number of reports, and I think that not all people take their time to report their problem on the forums.

    I would say that most people simply take the MacBook to the apple store and are told that the computer has failed, that it's out of warranty and they just had bad luck.
  14. ogremoustro macrumors 6502a


    Aug 17, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Dont know if you guys know this, but there's a class action lawsuit pertaining to this problem.
  15. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    Yes but the reason they are citing is BS. It is not down to lead free solder. It's down to crappy ATI graphics chips.
  16. poiihy macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2014
    I thought it was the soldering that wears out and breaks
  17. lionkin macrumors regular


    Nov 8, 2014
    West Hollywood
    My previous mac was early 2011 15inch macbook pro. After 2.5 years without any issues my dgpu started fail I took it to apple store then I paid flat rate $310 and they gave me 90 days warranty. After the first repair I though the problem will not return but unfortunetely the problem continue and 5 repairs till apple store offer me brand new mid-2014 15inch macbook pro retina. I accepted the offer and I was happy with it.
  18. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    It's not. That's the reason given by the lawyers, but it's BS.
  19. nerowolfe macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2014
    Just out of curiosity, are there reports of widespread failure of this ATI graphics chip in other laptops?

    Either way, 2011 MBP owners affected by this dGPU problem are customers of Apple, not ATI.
  20. catean macrumors 6502


    Jun 16, 2013
    Timisoara, Romania
  21. poiihy macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2014
    Soo... if it's not the soldering... then what is it?!?!
  22. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
  23. mcapanelli macrumors regular


    Aug 2, 2008
    Whitestone, NY
    Well my GPU has held up pretty well so far. Beside an occasional flicker or a screen from a bad acid trip its been wrong ok. I've had other issues related to this logic board though. My USB failed twice now, my headphone jack is blown, and now my battery is only holding a charge for 2 hours under no use other than being on. If I open safari it drops to 1 hour. These late 2011 MPB's are plagued and its really disgusting Apple has taken no action whatsoever to resolve the many issues these machines seem to have.

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