2011 MacBook Pro Graphic Card Issues

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Chocolatemilty, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. Chocolatemilty macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    So, my trusty MacBook Pro began to succumb to the graphic card issue - random restarts and kernel panics with mine. Everything stayed ok if I didn't push the envelope with graphic extensive stuff, but that's pretty hard to do being an audio engineer, musician, and music education graduate student three weeks from graduation utilizing various DAWs, Microsoft Office, many safari tabs opened and the like. It's now at the Apple Store for a logic board replacement under the Extension Program.

    Is there anyone that is still using their Early or Late 2011 MBP after a logic board replacement with this new program? How is your machine faring? I still love my '11 MBP and truthfully have no plans to replace it yet (the rMBP's are dreamy, but I spent saved money during undergrad on this thing so I'm getting more than four years of use out of it). I hope I don't have to go through any subsequent repairs after this one!
  2. Rockadile macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2012
    Will be interesting to see if they actually change the logic board or swap your bottom panel to a refurbish one under this program.

    I have late 2011 15" and in two months it will be my third year with it.
    Got a logic board change 1.5 years ago & been alright since.
  3. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    I had my logic board replaced about a month ago when it suddenly stopped working completely after more than 4 years of faultless operation.
    No issues since.

    The ASP assured me the new logic board had had the issue fixed, but other users have had experiences to the contrary after repairs. So I guess I will see. Fortunately, the programme runs for nearly another year, and local legislation entitles me to free repairs of the same issue for up to three years after the initial repair date, so I'm not too worried.
  4. Chocolatemilty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA

    Well, the technician and the work authorization specifies a full logic board replacement, and I did read around this forum and the web that they'll using new logic boards with revised chips as opposed to refurbished ones. Great to hear your replacement has your MacBook Pro going strong.

    Hmm, where do you live where you're entitled to that essentially extended warranty? That's great! And yes, I did see some of those users complaints. The technician at my Apple Store said they're using new chips on the logic board now instead of refurbished ones, so it is my hope this problem will be completely rectified. Considering its out of warranty now, this is the only thing that'll be covered now.

    Additionally, the Extension Program website says this Quality Program doesn't extend the standard warranty, yet Apple's Repair Terms and Conditions specifies a 90 day extended warranty, with California residents entitled to a pause on warranty if services within warranty period (in this instance, a second repair) up to a replacement after reasonable attempts. Which is which? Surely Apple still honors the 90-day after this repair, right?
  5. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    - Denmark.

    National consumer protection legislation states that a customer has the right to expect a repair to effectively remedy the problem it was intended to for three years. If it does not, the customer is entitled to have the issue rectified again, after which a new three year period begins.
    In addition, my recently performed repair also gives me a 1 year Apple warranty, running from the date of the repair (though I'm not completely certain whether it applies to the whole computer or just to the logic board replacement; I'm guessing the latter).
  6. Chocolatemilty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    Wow, this was a pretty quick turnaround. I dropped off my Mac around 7:30 or so and it's already ready for pickup. Fast technicians at this location. [​IMG]
  7. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    - That's very nice. Same-day service then?
    They did mine in a day.
  8. Chocolatemilty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA

    I would suppose so. The thing is they told me it would be ready around Tuesday since there were about 15 repairs in front, so either their technicians breezed through repairs or they expedited mine. I did mention I'm graduating soon and have the biggest lecture of my life and its paper due next Wednesday. That might've helped, haha.
  9. bookwormsy macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2010
    Apple's will warranty your computer for 90 days after the repair if it is out of warranty. However, if it fails for the same reason, it'll still be covered under the program, so it can be repaired again.
  10. Chocolatemilty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA

    Great. Yeah, the Genius helping me with my pickup told me this today. They really need to change that warning on the Extension Program page.

    Everything is good so far. Just gonna have to do an SSD upgrade for sure now. The boot up time and app load up time is crazy after playing with those retina MacBook pros at the Store.
  11. nudoru macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2012
    That's great news - glad you've gotten it fixed so quickly.

    FWIW, I had mine in the shops several times before the recall and went though 3 replacements before they just replaced the whole computer. The techs said they had all be refurbs. It would be good if the ones they're installing post recall have been fixed!
  12. ron1004 macrumors 6502


    Feb 6, 2010
    Louisville, KY
    It will be covered under the program until Jan or Feb 2016.

    My late 2011 17" got a new logic board in Sept 2014 and still going strong.
  13. fav macrumors member

    Jul 3, 2013
    I got MBPr after 3 replacements. Had struggled over a half of a year, but it turns out to something worthy.
  14. Mintimperial macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2012

    Here is my story....

    April 2011 but a 15" MBP 500Gb HDD etc.

    March 2013 begins having problems with video. Scrambled screen etc..rebooting..put up with it for a few months and eventually the thing would no longer boot.

    Looked online and found a few other people having this issue.

    Called Apple and told them i believed it to be an inherent problem, and after an email to tcook@apple.com, eventually the executive relations guys called me.

    Unfortunately they insisted on me paying for repair, so i had to give in.

    £419 for a new logic board.

    Everything seemed fine until..

    October 2013 Same issue began occurring again. Escalated quickly to the non booting stage.

    Again called executive relations, and they stated that repairs only have a 3 month warranty but that as a gesture of goodwill, they would repair for free.

    Repair done, machine working fine again, until.....

    March 2014 Once again the dreaded video issue came back. Same problem.

    Called up Apple exasperated It was now 3 years since i bought it (and 2 out of warranty). Was told I would get a call back.

    Exec Relations called back, went through the problem with me with a head specialist who diagnosed the fault over the phone, and said i would hear back from ER.

    They call me back and say that they feel that under the circumstances they would now be looking to replace the 2011 MBP completely, at their cost.

    Quite happy, they said they would send me some papers to sign etc.

    They sent the offer of a Late 2013 rMBP with base spec:

    8mb Ram
    256Gb SSD
    Intel GFX

    I called them back and explained that I couldn't accept this.

    The problem was that although it was a far superior machine to my 2011 macbook pro, my 2011 had a 512Gb HDD and my time machine backup would not fit on the new rMBP..and that i used the optical drive a lot on the 2011.

    So, got put on hold and the lady came back and said she understood where I was coming from and would I accept the higher model..

    2.3Ghz rMBP
    16Gb RAM
    512Gb SSD
    Nvidia GFX

    And also, they would include a usb superdrive.

    I of course bit their hand off for it and arranged to visit my local apple store to exchange the machines.

    I was absolutely flabbergasted when i went into exchange and the managed had to write off the £869 difference between my old system and the new one.

    Needless to say I was pretty happy with the end result...

    but thats not the end of the story.

    Late March 2015 - get an email from Apple. The repair program was announced. As I had paid £419 for the original repair, Apple asked me to contact them for a full refund. Less than a week later, Apple came true on their word and the money i had paid them over 2 years earlier was returned to my bank.

    Sufficed to say I preordered an Apple watch with the money on the 10th!

    Heres the proof, if you require it. :)

  15. RichardC300 macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2012
    Chapel Hill, NC
    My early-2011 15" (bought July 2011) is still going on strong on its first logic board. I just hope it doesn't crap out after the repair program ends! I'm a college student, so my needs aren't intense. My work load rarely runs up my fans, even with 10s of Safari tabs and Office files open.

    Anybody else with light work loads having similar success with their first logic board? I wonder if people who have failing GPUs also work their machines to its upper limits, like photo/video/audio work or gaming.
  16. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    Based on what we learned with the 2008 graphics chip issue (of which I unfortunately have direct experience), the running temperatures aren't as big a deal as the temperature variations that the system goes through. It's true that "heat kills" but as long as you're not operating outside of the temperature range specified by the manufacturer you should be fine. The variation occurs when you turn your computer off (or put it to sleep) and then turn it back on; there's a voltage spike as things power on and quickly heat up, and this is what places the greatest strain on the components.

    In other words, don't baby your system. I wouldn't necessarily recommend leaving it on at all hours of the day, but there's a fair bit involved that's really out of your control.

    My Late 2011 succumbed to the graphics issue, about 2.5 years into its usage. The screen suddenly turned black and my music began looping over the previous second that had played. A reboot revealed a screen with red lines and some graphical corruption, wouldn't boot. Powered off, waited a few minutes, and was able to log in... but Photos loaded, activating the discrete chip and again causing the screen to go black. One more reboot and logged in, telling OS X not to load all other programs, and I was OK. I applied a system update and rebooted, and that was the end of it: I could get the Apple logo on screen (with red lines), but once the logo disappeared the system would get stuck.

    I dropped my system off on a Friday afternoon for repairs. The Genius knew about the extended warranty program for this model... not that it mattered, since my AppleCare is still active. I was notified that it was ready for pick-up on Tuesday - five days, including the day of drop-off. By comparison, the repair for my 2008 MacBook Pro took about 48 hours, also dropped off on a Friday. Those of you getting 24-hour turnarounds are really lucky. But then, I guess we're all unlucky to have to deal with this issue in the first place.

    Opinions are hard to come by about whether the replacement boards are "corrected." We were told that the new boards were fault-free with the 2008 Nvidia GPU issue, but a lot of people still had pretty quick failures with their replacements. It seems like there are some people reporting that they've experienced failures within a month of having their 2011 logic board replaced, but not too many. I highly doubt that anything has been changed and wouldn't be surprised if they're just as failure-prone as they were before, but I'm hopeful that it isn't the case.
  17. JTToft, Apr 28, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015

    JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    - My use is immensely varying. Some days I'll do hardly anything but web browsing, writing and looking at PDFs. Others I'll do video conversions or gaming that pushes the fans to their maximum.
    I have in the past done some occasional video editing, but don't really do that anymore.

    I had my logic board replaced a month and a half ago, and I've used the machine since Feb/early March 2011, meaning my first logic board lasted a little over 4 years.

    I think you're right that heavy users will have more problems than light users.
  18. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    I must have extremely good luck with my purchases because I have/currently own a MBP with the dreaded GeForce 8600M GT and now a 2011 with the AMD 6770M. Neither succumbed to failures associated with the GPU. The 8600M model was still going strong months after I sold it, and my 2011 model continues to serve me to this very day. The last several months I've been running my MBP in clamshell mode. Despite using it to create videos with iMovie and gaming (not at the same time), it is still going strong.
  19. Chocolatemilty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    2011 MacBook Pro Graphic Card Issues

    I'm glad to hear how your MBPs are faring everyone! Gives me hope everything will run fine on my machine.

    Mintimperial, that's a great story. I'm glad to hear Apple took care of you and you didn't have to come out of pocket for an Apple Watch with a rMBP to boot!

    This past weekend I had an idea and with a friend made a makeshift external heat sink of sorts for when I'm doing audio recording and editing at my home studio (the iMac will hopefully be coming this year!). I basically use my laptop cooling pad with thin sheets of metal fastened like a heat sink and then a tray of ice underneath so cool air is directed towards my laptop but vapors caught by the sink and the hot air away through the makeshift heat sink. This has kept the fans at bay and my operating temps rarely exceed 112F. I did a lot of testing too to check for condensation for any possible damage (even opening it up soon after shutdown underneath to check for condensation), and nothing. I understand as long as temps don't exceed Apple's warnings it should still work, but a cooler system when working with a lot of reads and writes and RAM loads in working in multiple projects in Logic, Pro Tools, and other DAWs can't hurt at all. Now that there's a new card in here, I'd love to keep this thing lasting for years to come.
  20. Pranky macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2015
    Late 2011 MBP 17" here, my card failed last week. Took it in Friday, got it back Tuesday.

    This is the 4th graphics card failure on 4 different Macs for me in the last 8 years. 2 work machines, 2 personal ones. At least this was a free repair.

    I'm really losing interest in Apple.

Share This Page