Bizarre intermittent graphics card failure on 17" MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macbook123, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. macbook123 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    #1
    My wife's 17" MBP (last gen) has an odd graphics card issue that is intermittent: when the screen saver is on it disappears, then when the screensaver is disabled the screen has a strong purple hue, with color-shadows making it hard to use the screen. Now when one pushes on the palm rest the bug goes away and the screen becomes perfectly legible again. So it seems to be not necessarily a broken card, but a loose contact of some sort. We brought it to a local Mac repair shop that is usually less expensive than Apple itself, but they said they'd have to replace the graphics card (which I find hard to believe given the above description) and that would cost $700.

    Any clue if anything cheaper could be done? 3 year Apple Care is expired on the laptop.
     
  2. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #2
    This is a widespread issue with the 2011 models... Check here:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/13...o-lineup-suffering-from-sporadic-gpu-failures
     
  3. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Feb 11, 2006
    #3
  4. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

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    Mar 4, 2013
    #4
    Try both, though forcing integrated will likely produce better results. Unfortunately, it will likely be only a matter of time before it ultimately fails completely.
     
  5. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #5

    You can force the integrated graphics to be used solely. However, with sufficient information you may be able to negotiate a free repair.

    Google 2011 MacBook Pro Graphics and you will find gold mines of information. Print as much as possible and take a trip to the Genius Bar. Worst case get in contact with Apple Executive Relations. I have one of their numbers if you need it to go that far...

    Be respectful and polite yet firm. Depending on the Genius, you may need a manager's involvement to get the OOW repair approved.
     
  6. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    #6
    Sorry! It's the 2009 version...

    I hope you can accept my apologies...I just realized that the laptop is from 2009. The 2.8 GHz version. "MacBookPro5,2" is the model identifier. Do you know the things you mentioned still apply? I've downloaded gfxCardStatus version 2.3 but it requires a newer version of OS X than what she has on it. I can't find older versions through legit channels.
     
  7. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Feb 11, 2006
    #7
    Hi, does anybody know if this is a known issue with the 2009 Macbook Pro's?
     
  8. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    www.emiliana.cl/en
    #8
    I use v2.2.1 under OS X 10.6.8. This version is available via:
    https://github.com/codykrieger/gfx.io/blob/master/downloads/gfxCardStatus-2.2.1.zip?raw=TRUE

    Other versions:
    https://github.com/codykrieger/gfx.io/tree/master/downloads

    v2.2.1 does not restore the previous setting if you reboot your Mac.

    ----------

    My Mid-2009 17" MBP has a dead discrete GPU (NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT), so it is not surprising that the discrete GPU in those models causes also other problems.
     
  9. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Feb 11, 2006
    #9
    What do you do about it? I tried switching to the integrated GPU with no success.
     
  10. whitedragon101 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    #10
    There are 3 ways to repair :

    1) Replace the whole logic board as Apple have said to you which is expensive and you get another board which has the same problem built in. It will fail again because it is a manufacturing defect with the solder.
    2) Reball the solder on the GPU using a 3rd party service (see below). (This option could fail as you still have the original GPU).
    3) Replace the GPU with a new one and have it properly soldered onto the motherboard using a 3rd party service.

    Option2 and 3 are available. Here is a UK ebay shop that offers it. Scroll down and you'll see they offer new GPU and fitting for £169+postage

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Macbo...ther_Computing_Networking&hash=item43c405a254


    Its really scandalous that apple are not offering to do this. The same problem occurred on the iMacs and they started a replacement programme.
    http://support.apple.com/kb/TS5167
     
  11. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #11
    The 27" Sandy Bridge iMacs were given a repair programme because the cards were easily replaceable as they weren't soldered. The 6970M cards were connected via an MXM slot.

    On the 2011 MBPs, the Radeons were soldered.
     
  12. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816

    l.a.rossmann

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #12
    3 is the only one that makes sense.

    I wish people would cut the reballing and reflowing junk out. If you heat the chip to 100c and it works again after, it's the bumps on the chip that are messed, the chip is dead, and needs to be tossed in the garbage.

    Reballing is fine if you do it on your own, but if you pay someone to do this for you, you're just getting ripped off. Pay for a new GPU, or do one of the nonsense home remedies yourself for free. Just don't pay a professional to give you a home remedy.
     
  13. whitedragon101 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    #13
    Yes I think thats why Apple won't acknowledge it as a problem because its a trickier process to replace a soldered GPU.

    Yep I agree thats why I put the bit in the brackets afterwards " (This option could fail as you still have the original GPU)."

    I went with option 1 as I was within Applecare when mine died. But I can already hear the ticking count down to when this GPU dies. Probably will get 2 years out of it though.
     

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