2012 Macbook Pro 15 inch... is the 650M a dealbreaker?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tpivette89, Jul 28, 2019.

  1. tpivette89 macrumors 6502


    Jan 1, 2018
    Newark, DE
    Have read a few posts on various forums about the failure rate of the dedicated Nvidia 650M thats in the 15inch MacBook Pro from mid-2012. Did this iGPU come in ALL the 15 inch models? Or do some of the lower end configurations have only the HD 4000? Also, is this more of a "when" it will fail vs an "if"?

    There are a few nice machines near me for sale on craigslist in the $400 range and was thinking about upgrading from my late-2011 13" i5. However, I will be using it with an external monitor from time to time, and have read that the 650M powers the external display when connected. Should the 15 inch models from 2011 - 2013 be avoided altogether due to the faulty dGPUs in these machines?
  2. FlorisVN macrumors 6502


    Nov 8, 2013
    As far as i know, the 650m only had problems with retina mbp’s, not with the non retina standard A1268 mid 2012 models.

    As far as I know it has to do with a voltage regulator chip that gives the power to the 650M on retina boards.
    This chip will die most of the time, which gives graphic artifacts..

    I would say avoid 2011 and retina 2012 and early 2013 15” models !

    I would advise you to also maybe take a look at this nice article :
  3. Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    I'm typing this on my 2012 15" cMBP. Basically a daily, home use, driver for all these many years. Graphically intensive tasks are done on a different machine. But for Browsing, documents, historical info, device backups, etc... it's great.

    There is a thread around here that talks about forcing the 2011 to always use the integrated graphics. I'd do search in that thread to see if they talk about doing the same thing to a 2012.

    But as Floris said, I think it's the retina ones that had an issue
  4. niray9 macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2019
    I have the retina 2012 MBP with 650M. Never had any issue.
  5. tpivette89 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 1, 2018
    Newark, DE
    That's relieving to hear. The few that I found on craigslist were NOT retina models, so it seems as though I may have dodged a bullet there. Really warming up to the idea of the larger screen real estate, plus upgradeability that the 2012 models bring to the table. Also, the CPU would be a big step up from my 2011 MBP... the 15 inch models are like having the coveted 2012 Mac mini quad-core in a portable package.

    The two models I have to choose from are:

    2.6ghz quad-core
    8GB 16000mhz RAM
    240GB SSD
    1440 x 900 screen

    2.3ghz quad-core
    8GB 1600mhz RAM
    250GB SSD
    1680 x 1050 anti-glare screen

    Not sure if I like the look of the aluminum bezels on the anti-glare screen, but it would be nice to have that option plus the slightly better resolution. Which would you choose if the price was the same?
  6. Aldaris macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2004
    Salt Lake
    I had artifacts on my original LG screen (nothing to do with the graphics card) and haven't had any issues with it at this point other than its age (not bad for 7 years). I have done some decent gaming and CAD Renders on it with no issue other than the limits of the actual card compared to newer offerings, really has been solid, depending on the price it really could be rock solid.
  7. FlorisVN macrumors 6502


    Nov 8, 2013
    I have a mid 2012 15” 2.6ghz and also high res anti glare screen.
    I must say the extra resolution and antiglare is awesome compared to the standard glass 1440x900 resolution.

    But mine to has screen problems, had dead pixel lines.
    I have to replace te screen someday.
  8. grmlin macrumors member


    Feb 16, 2015
    I have a 2014 with the nVidia GPU, and it aged pretty bad. I would not get it. Especially using it with external monitors on a modern macOS sucks.
    Apple stopped supporting nVidia GPUs and imo the last macOS running good on them was Sierra if I'm not mistaken.

    I'm talking about the 15" Retina though.
  9. flygbuss macrumors 6502


    Jul 22, 2018
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Changed the logic board from my 2011 15 inch to the 2012 version because the AMD gpu on my 2011 failed twice.
    I looked into that matter before doing so and as far as I know the 2012 NVIDIA is much more reliable then the 2012’s AMD. Nice bonus: Usb 3 and native metal support. I think you should be good.

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8 July 28, 2019