2012 Non-Retina 15" MacBook Pro Failure Points?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iamMacPerson, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030


    Jun 12, 2011
    I'm going to be replacing my laptop with a newer model soon and I would like to stick with the older 'FatBook' generation so I can just move all my upgrades over. I've been pricing out a 2012 15" with the high-res display, but knowing that both the 2011 MacBook Pro and 2012 MacBook Pro with Retina both had problems with graphics (as I had both in their early days), I was wondering if anyone has had a 2012 non-Retina model fail like the Retina models. Considering the better cooling in the larger models and having less pixels to drive, I'm willing to bet that they don't have the issue (and also a quick google search returned nothing).

  2. Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Apr 29, 2003
    As far as I know, the graphics failure is not caused by cooling as the problem is inherent in the design, which is supposedly related to lead-free solder to bond the GPU BGA chips to the circuit board and eventually it either detaches due to insufficient resiliency or forms whiskers and short out. This problem was never fully solved, Apple extended the repair program to the end of this year for the affected laptops (both AMD and Nvidia dGPUs). I would not recommend buying one of these machines now, with the failure of the dGPU being more or less eventual, rendering the machine essentially unusable even on iGPU.

    The machines in this repair program are from the 2011-2013 era, only the earlier 2013 rMBPs with the Nvidia GT650m were included. Which means - the probability that your non-retina machine needs repair is higher with a non-retina model.

    Long story short, my recommendation is to avoid any used MBPs (retina or not) from 2013 and earlier with a dGPU.
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Myself and 4 other people I know have the 2012 15" cMBP. 16GB RAM, SSDs across the board.

    No failures for us. They're as reliable as a wood-burning stove in my experience. YMMV though.

    Regardless, I would never buy tech that old, so would look towards a newer Retina model when they're released.
  4. organicCPU macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2016
    I'm using a MacBookPro9,1 (2.7 Ghz, i7, 16 GB, 1680 x 1050) since almost 4 years.
    I didn't have general problems and I'm really happy to own a solid Laptop with a matte screen unlike the newer retina displays. Nevertheless, I want to mention two very specific glitches that could be graphics related and couldn't be solved.

    From time to time:
    1. I'm suffering of this error when using gaussian blur filter in Adobe Photoshop.
    2. I'm getting image interference while screen sharing with Messages.app until new dial-up
    I went to genius bar after Apple telephone support was uncertain if my model is also going to meet the conditions of the "MacBook Pro Repair Extension Program for Video Issues". The genius bar appointment made clear that my model is NOT affected by the issue. This means, the software they are using to identify problematic models does not recognize MBP9,1 to make further tests.

    Hope that helps to make a decision!
  5. iamMacPerson thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jun 12, 2011
    I've been looking at that too, but I'm curious to see what exactly Apple does with the new model. Regarding tech that old, the current 15" MBP is still using the same processor as its 2013 sibling so I'm not worried about age. My current laptop is a 2009 15", so anything would be an upgrade at this point. Believe it or not FCPX still does basic operations on it.

    I've also been looking at a 13" model, but I think the screen might be too small.
  6. markieG84 macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2016
    I have no problems with either of my mid 2012 cMBP which were bought used. They still work great and with an ssd are almost as fast as any macbook available. However, I would just wait a little longer till the next release and buy that. Your current upgrades can't be worth that much anymore. The only big advantage to cMBP would be an affordable large ssd, so if that is what you're thinking I could see a good reason to buy it. Again mine is solid, just non retina is getting way too dated. Also no 4k output.

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