17" MBP8,3

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by CooperBox, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. CooperBox macrumors 65816

    CooperBox

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    #1
    We're talking Intel here which as it's a 17" I believe is still quite appropriate to this forum.
    I have the chance to purchase an early 2011 model (the penultimate 17" version) in perfect working order at a good price, and would like to know the following:
    How widespread were the reported AMD-built GPUs faults with this early 'Sandy Bridge' 2011 model?
    Are these considered a huge risk purchase, and in the worst case scenario are long-term repairs available?
     
  2. weckart macrumors 601

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    #2
  3. CooperBox thread starter macrumors 65816

    CooperBox

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    #3
    Weckart, thanks for your feedback. Actually I won't be doing any weeping just yet, as to date I've not purchased this particular MBP ;)
    Since initially posting I've done some additional surfing and read that an app GFXCardStatus v2.1 when set-up correctly provides a work-around to disabling the integrated GPU.
    Any feedback from users having done this and how effective is it?
     
  4. Amethyst1 macrumors 6502

    Amethyst1

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    #4
    It is possible to disable the ATI GPU via EFI (I'd prefer this method over gfxCardStatus) and just use the Intel HD3000. You can't hook up external monitors anymore then though as the DisplayPort is hard-wired to the ATI.
     
  5. galgot, Mar 17, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019

    galgot macrumors regular

    galgot

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    #5
    I have one like that, the GPU failed twice. The first time was just one month before the Apple support program for these models ended, so they changed the board. Second time was a year ago (?), luckily was still able to boot in super user and do the trick as described on the link Amethyst1 posted above. Though , I'm not sure it's the exact procedure that I followed cause it wasn't on the same page.
    Anyway, so far so good, it works fine on the Intel HD Graphics 3000 only. I can't have hi demanding display settings in Blender or Maya anymore though, like displaying hires texture on a model in the viewport, it just crashes the program... But for rendering it's OK as it uses the CPU. Didn't noticed changes in performance with Photoshop. I kept it in 10.11, and will leave it like that until replacement.
    My main problem is that the procedure I followed to disable the AMD GPU via EFI causes it to never go to sleep :/
    But as mentioned, I'm not sure the one described in the link above is exactly the same and cause that too.
     
  6. Eriamjh1138@DAN macrumors 6502a

    Eriamjh1138@DAN

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    #6
    This is the PowerPC forum, not the Old Intel forum. ;)

    I’d avoid any 2011 MBP because of those GPU issues. They will all fail.
     
  7. galgot macrumors regular

    galgot

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    #7
    Time to create an Old Intel forum then, be my guest :)
    I think a few PPC users like to post their questions about their old Intels Mac here in the PPC forum cause i've noticed some contributors here are very knowledgeable (beyond PPCs) , polite and courteous, compare to other parts of the main forum. That is the way I see it, not a problem for me.
     
  8. bobesch, Mar 17, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019

    bobesch macrumors 65816

    bobesch

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    #8
    For heaven's sake, don't go for any 15/17" 2011/2011 i5/i7 MacBookPro!
    You might be lucky to get a device, that was lucky to take part at Apples repair-program.
    But it rather might end up as a big hassle.
    I once bought a faulty 2010 15" MBP. (As it turned out, the seller was/is IT-specialist at a high decorated research-institute and just tricked me in ...) Instead of just deactivating the faulty NVIDA-GPU I went for GPU replacement/repair. Now, after 2 years, the GPU runs into other problems (pink stripes and other artifacts). With that 2010 MBP fan always got beserk, as soon as the additional GPU went into action (which required additional software ...).
    "Do not waste money on bad money" - This is how I've finally learned my lesson.

    I'd only go for a c2duo (15"/) 17" MBP if it's all about a 17" device.
    Or a "real" non-retina 2012 15" quad-i7 2.3/2.6 MBP. (beware: some MBP were sold as "bought in 2012" but are late-2011 models)

    I cannot believe, how Apple got away with that 15/17" i5/7 2010/11 GPU-disaster ... - I guess, heavy users had been the first to be aware of that problem: they got their hardware replaced and upgraded hardware after 2-5 years. So no problem - no complaints.
    The problem seems to be only in the aftermarket or with home-users, who are not heavy users-Now unit after unit start to fail at random and there is no more warranty or replacement available.

    Everyone tries to leave the sinking ship ...
    Recently I've been looking for a display-replacement for a mid-2012 15" MBP.
    The 2011/2012 MBP share the same display. (unfortunately my faulty 2010 does not ...)
    There are so many 2011 15" units on sale !!!
    And so many devices on sale advertised as "defective" and "... oh, maybe just the GPU, but skilled people easily may get this sorted out ..."

    --- Post Merged, Mar 17, 2019 ---
    Thanks for your kind words!
     
  9. heyimquinn macrumors newbie

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    Jun 19, 2017
    #9
    Stay away from 2011 dGPU models.

    I work at an 'unauthorized' Mac and iPhone repair shop. While I'm not the one that actually does the soldering jobs I do at least diagnose and fix all of the other stuff, be it software or part replacement. Now, a lot of Macs come in for an HDD swap or a RAM expansion but the majority of 15"/17" models, especially the 2011's either come in already spewing artifacts, framebuffer anomalies or literally having it's graphics chip die during a simple GPU/CPU benchmark be it Valley or Heaven from UNIGINE.

    I've seen folks who dropped a lot of money on chip swaps, reballing or reflowing the faulty chips, sometimes coming in for the third or fourth time. I personally would tell the customer to buy a new computer but since my boss insists we still take those in and a lot of customers still want to fix these, even if it's obviously not worth their money (1000PLN + VAT 23% in Poland so about $330 post tax).
     
  10. bobesch macrumors 65816

    bobesch

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    #10
    Thank's for this true whistleblower's point-of-view!
    For sure there are so many unaware people going for these crappy 15"/17" 2010/2011 MacBookPros.
    Are there any pre-retina i3/5/7 13" MBP models prone to fail?
     
  11. CooperBox thread starter macrumors 65816

    CooperBox

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    #11
    Ok, thanks for all your comments.
    As a little background to this, when I saw the ad I thought about a possible purchase for my son as a gift, but from what I'm reading and hearing today, believe it could turn out to be a poisoned present, so will look for some other, more reliable model.
    Actually I have two 17" MB's. One a G4 1.67GHz PowerBook5.7 (pictured HERE) which is still going strong, and an i7 'Arrandale' MBPro6,1 which with 8GB RAM and 500Gb SSD has so far never missed a beat.
    Another (a MacBookPro2,2) that I bought, completely refurbished and sold to a friend is still in daily use today, and continues to give good service.
     
  12. bobesch macrumors 65816

    bobesch

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    #12
    Well for such a gift I'd go for a non-retina 2012 15" MBP9,1 quad-i7 2,3. They'll come at 500-600 EUR currently.
    https://everymac.com/systems/apple/...re-i7-2.3-15-mid-2012-unibody-usb3-specs.html
    I've got the very same model for my son, too. It does a great job and he's happy with it!
    They are the last models to be able to swap the hard-drive for reasonable money. Preferably a 250-500GB SSD.
    The 15" (or better 13") are much more handy. Young people have got better eyesight and do focus more on smaller and lighter. It's all about portability. (The 2014 11" MacBookAir would be my favorite! - mine has got stolen, maybe due to popularity?) You may hook up an external monitor, when at home.
    And even a smaller harddrive would be ok: a 250GB SSD + external USB 3.0 case comes at 40 EUR and can be secured by FileVault2 (Well, you'll have to add two more of them, to get your stuff perfectly save...)

    Each generation of 15" MacBooks have their gems: 15" PowerBook-G4 1.64 DLSD; pre-unibody 15" intel MacBookPro4,1 A1260; 2009/2010 c2duo 2.5-3.0 15"/17" MBP; 2012 pre-retina 15" i7 MBP.
    Just my two cents (or "keep it to what you know")
     
  13. heyimquinn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2017
    #13

    The 2012 13" MBP non-Retina model is probably the most reliable.
    The SATA HDD ribbon cable is supposed to be the fixed, more reliable one (unlike pre-2012 where it just stopped seeing the drive or at least stopped booting off of the drive) and apart from user caused failures (cracked glass, cracked LCD, cracked trackpad, liquid spills, overheating from lack of maintenance) only the drives and batteries die. At least that's what I can say from seeing those machines when they come in to our shop.

    I can't speak for the RAM slot failure due to thermal stress (we had several 2010 and 2011's come in but not a 2012 yet). From my experience Ivy Bridge CPUs don't get too toasty with proper maintenance unlike Sandy Bridge does... (I'm looking at you, ThinkPad T420 and ThinkPad X230...)

    Apologies for my chaotic post structure. I hope it's at least somewhat readable! :)
     
  14. B S Magnet macrumors 6502

    B S Magnet

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    #14
    Not that I'm aware of, no.

    I have an early 2011 i5 13". It's still in use daily, and as all the unibody laptops (retina inclusive) I've owned and used have gone, it's been solid, though with some heavy-use asterisks.

    Asterisk one is the well-known SATA cable failing. I'm on my third cable. I've replaced them all on my own. (I've also done a number of drive swaps along the way, so each time I moved stuff about I'm sure weakened that flat cable to failure.)

    Another, if less discussed is the keyboard, and possibly endemic of all unibody models. The first keyboard failed within the first year (at the worst possible time: in the final fortnight of writing a masters thesis), and Apple replaced the entire top case. The second keyboard failed when the laptop was four years old. With that one, I took everything apart and, yes, this meant every single screw which held the keyboard in place to the top case. That keyboard, which I bought on ebay, has worked fine ever since.

    The last minor problem is possibly of my doing. One of the RAM slots failed at the same time a tall, heavy pepper mill fell onto the corner of the running laptop (making a superficial impact mark near the power button). I gather the impact gave everything inside a bad jolt. Ever since, no RAM will work with the inner/lower slot, limiting me to 8GB.

    Aside from these, the early 2011s (and late 2011s) in the 13" range are consistently good, and unlike the mid-2012 13" which stayed on sale for four years, the 2011s can natively boot into Snow Leopard, which is a big deal for me.

    We ought to have a Snow Leopard sub-forum on MR.
     
  15. Amethyst1 macrumors 6502

    Amethyst1

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    #15
    I've been considering opening a Snow Leopard Thread to complement the others for quite some time - if this subforum isn't the right place for it, which one might be? (That's a rhetorical question :D)
     
  16. Project Alice macrumors 6502a

    Project Alice

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    #16
    Don't touch a 2011 15" or 17". It isn't a question of "will it fail". It is WHEN will it fail. They will ALL fail. You can bypass the AMD chip, but if you're going to get a 17" laptop the intel iGPU is useless IMO. If all you're doing is web browsing, then an intel iGPU is fine, but is that what you're doing with a 17"? The 2011 13"s were all fine being as they never had a dGPU (which in my opinion makes it a MacBook and not a MacBook Pro)

    As others have said, go find a pre-retina 2012.
     
  17. galgot macrumors regular

    galgot

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    May 28, 2015
    #17
    Hi, sorry but...
    If like me, you bought it new, you're a bit obliged to touch it.
    I agree that it's not the best model to buy now though :D I wouldn't buy any now...

    As for being useless when running on the intel iGPU, I have to disagree. I have one, on which I love working cause I love that big screen, they are the only Mac 17" laptop with a i7. I can assure you that I can work with Blender, Maya (only with few graphic display limitations that I mentioned earlier, but it doesn't affect render time) or Photoshop, without problem. Last image i worked on , on that particular machine, was 811 Mb in size, I'm still alive.
    It will eventually die also, but still for time being it's not useless at all. Luckily the intel iGPU is a good GPU.

    Now, again, I agree : If you need a MacBook Pro now, go for another model. Or if you really need a big screen mac laptop, wait for the 16" or 16.5" MBP to come (Praying...).
     
  18. B S Magnet macrumors 6502

    B S Magnet

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    #18
    I think this is the right place for it, given that the probability that it'll appear anywhere else on MR, given current sub-forums, is improbable.

    If we can't have a Snow Leopard sub-forum, then yes, why don't we have a Snow Leopard thread? It might not be where to go to discuss Snow Leopard-related matters (outside of what software is available and what hardware can run it), but it's definitely a good place to start!
    --- Post Merged, Mar 18, 2019 ---
    Yah, this take is fire.
     
  19. LightBulbFun macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

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    Nov 17, 2013
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    #19
    if you really want a 2011 17 inch MBP without worry of dGPU issues

    you can bypass the dGPU entirely when it does die, with this nifty device @dosdude1 developed :) https://computeco.de/MuxHat?utm_source=dosdude1&utm_medium=trans_link&utm_campaign=MuxHat
     
  20. dosdude1 macrumors 68000

    dosdude1

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    #20
  21. B S Magnet macrumors 6502

    B S Magnet

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    #21
    I'm… speechless.
     
  22. dosdude1 macrumors 68000

    dosdude1

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    #22
    And, after a ton of work and research, we have success!! No backlight brightness control implemented yet, but everything else works perfectly! The system runs great with NO hardware modifications, NO special NVRAM/EFI variables set, NO OS modifications, and the dedicated GPU PERMANENTLY disabled!

    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
     
  23. CooperBox thread starter macrumors 65816

    CooperBox

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    #23
    Brilliant job!
    I can see you eventually getting some GPU modding work from forum members here..........
     
  24. Amethyst1 macrumors 6502

    Amethyst1

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    #24
    Indeed, brilliant :) With an eGPU tied in via ExpressCard (on the 17in) or Thunderbolt, the lack of a dGPU shall be utterly negligible.
     
  25. galgot macrumors regular

    galgot

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    May 28, 2015
    #25
    Impressive !
    "NO hardware modifications", doe that mean no need to have a hot air station to install a MuxHat ?

    Do you know one that could work on the 2011 MBP 17" ?
     

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28 March 17, 2019