2011 iMac and video card defect

Discussion in 'iMac' started by archer75, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. archer75 macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2005
    I have a 2011 imac whose serial number falls in the range of potentially defective Radeon 6970 cards.

    I'm not having any of the problems mentioned here http://support.apple.com/kb/TS5167

    I'm wondering if just because I don't have the problem now doesn't mean i'll get it later? I'm out of warranty next week and i'd hate for this to crop up later.

    Anyone with a 2011 imac get the video card replaced even though it wasn't exhibiting this defect?
  2. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    This is a good thread and glad I found it...

    My 2011 27" iMac just started exhibiting graphics card problems on Tuesday of last week. I was getting screen distortion and flickering which persisted, and then the screen would go black. I restarted several times and it did the same thing. I then tried to boot and got a grey screen. I tried to boot into recovery mode and got a screen with blue vertical lines. After many attempts, I was finally able to boot into recovery mode and backup all my data from my drives, and wipe the drives, and re-install OS X.

    I scheduled a Genius Bar appt. at my local Apple Store for today, and just got back from taking my iMac in. I explained my issue, and they were unable to replicate the problem again, and it passed all graphics tests. However, the machine is one of the problematic batch from 2011 and was eligible for a free graphics card repair. They had the part in store, and are repairing it for free!!!! No cost to me at all (under the Apple repair program for this model). They are even putting a 2GB AMD Radeon 6970 in there, an upgrade from my 1GB card.

    I could not be more pleased. They expect to have the machine repaired and back to me in 3-5 days, which makes me super happy.

    This problem really was a serious issue, and I do not know if I could live with it. It was bound to present itself again. I was even considering buying a new i7 iMac, but could not conjure spending near $3000 for one. Now I am happy that I can get my 3.4GHz i7 2011 27" fixed with a BETTER video card, free of cost.

    Thank you Apple.
  3. MacTech68 macrumors 68020


    Mar 16, 2008
    Australia, Perth
    Whilst I applaud Apple for offering free replacement of the defective video card (yet another in a long line of iMac video card problems), I wonder why this doesn't show up here:

  4. Peepo macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2009
    I don't have this issue with mine. Unfortunately if I did, I wonder what would happen if they realized that I installed a 240GB SSD, upgraded the internal HDD to 3TB, and changed the superdrive to a Blu-Ray burner. Somehow I don't believe it would be covered. I suppose I could put everything back in stock but I'm not going to do that preemptively now if I don't have issue. Nearly 3 years old is time for a new computer anyways. I would replace with Macbook Pro 15" Retina.

    I do remember a graphics issue couple years ago but most everyone had and they fixed with OSX upgrade.
  5. bushman4 macrumors 68020

    Mar 22, 2011
    Apple has acknowledged that they will fix the problem even for machines out of warranty. How many years past is the question.
  6. macthefork macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2013
    Why would you think it wouldn't be covered? As long as you didn't damage the GPU or the wiring to it during your upgrades, a defective GPU card would be covered and replaced under warranty. It would not be covered only if they found that any of your mods caused damage to, or the failure of the Radeon 6970 card.

    See the Magnuson–Moss Act for further clarification of warranty coverage responsibilities by manufacturers. (in the U.S.)
  7. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    I sent my iMac into OWC and they installed a 3rd party 120GB SSD in the computer. I told Apple about about this yesterday, and they were perfectly fine with it. It did not affect its eligibility for the graphics card replacement program.

    My iMac was presenting distortion and flickering on the display, and the display would go to solid black, leaving the machine unusable. It would present issues booting and go to a grey screen, or present a screen with vertical blue lines when I tried to boot to the recovery partition. The flickering was reproduced several times and was a static and full screen flickering issue, and was obviously some sort of graphics card issue. The computer has been 100% perfect without issue up to this point. This problem only started presenting itself last Tuesday morning under normal use.
  8. MacRazySwe macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Does this also apply to the base 21.5" config of the same year? I think mine has a 512MB 6950-card. Am I right?
  9. WardC, May 5, 2014
    Last edited: May 5, 2014

    WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    No. It only affects the Radeon 6970 1GB and 2GB cards used in the 3.1GHz and 3.4GHz 27-inch models (Mid 2011).

    The problem is not present on the 21.5" model, at all.

    It's just on 27" Mid 2011 models that use the 6970 card, both the 1GB VRAM and 2GB VRAM model.

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