Concerns on the newly acquired 17 inch macbook pro 2011

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by howareyoukk, Nov 11, 2016.

  1. howareyoukk macrumors regular

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    #1
    Hi :) so i have been a huge fan of the 17 inch macbook pro with matte display and eventually got the chance of ordering a one used but in great condition off ebay few days ago. However, not until the order was placed do I come across of countless articles online stating the design flaw within 2011 macbook pros, which cause gpu failure. So here are my concerns:

    1) does the gpu failure problem frequently occur on late 2011 17 inch macbook pro based on information from macrumors users? (The seller is reputable and he claims the machine is perfect during his testing. I believe him but am still worried when the issue will occur once i have the laptop. #timebomb)

    2)Since Apple's repair program ends at the end of the year (2016), does it mean i will get charged for replacing the logic board after that time?

    Any 17 inch mac users are kind enough to share some of their experiences? thanks in advance ! :)
     
  2. jjjoseph, Nov 11, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016

    jjjoseph macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Did you pay more than $200 for it, because its hard to find a way to repair older laptops. Apple lists what models they will repair, and I think your laptop is not on that list anymore, did you search the Apple website? Older Tech is what it is. I had a G4 Laptop, one of the first MacBook Pro's and it still would boot and work up until this day.. It just got in the way, and I couldn't do anything with it.. But the build quality on most Apple Products is pretty amazing, and last for a long time. Just use it until it dies, or doesn't die. Not much else can be done.
     
  3. howareyoukk thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    For the laptop? It was priced at around 1500 usd.
     
  4. jjjoseph macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Did it come with a warranty? For that price, it should.
     
  5. howareyoukk thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    i dont think so. but it has an antiglare display and ram and internal storage were upgraded to 16gb and 1tb sshd respectively. The machine looks pretty new for a 5 years old product.
     
  6. nickbarbs macrumors regular

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  7. Altis macrumors 68020

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    #7
    Once 2017 rolls around, you'll be on your own if the logic board fails (and it's expensive). Sadly, it's like the plague for those computers, and the repair only buys you time until the next failure. I Just got my 2010 17" early this year for that reason... though I dearly wish it had the 2011 specs.

    From what I've read, some people suspect that it's the GPU heat that does it in. Try to make sure it's able to keep cool I suppose and hope for the best.

    It's possible that it won't fail, though.

    The 2011 17" MBP with matte display/i7/16GB is arguably one of the best laptops made... except for the logic board issue that plagues them.

    They're still worth quite a bit as a result, just like the classic Mac Pros.
     
  8. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #8
    Not trying to be rude but I think the saying a fool and his money are soon parted might be apt.
     
  9. jjjoseph macrumors 6502

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    #9
  10. Kudos6612 Suspended

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    #10
    Lmao this is just too funny if you paid 1500$ usd for a MacBook Pro 17" 2011.


    I might have paid that price for it... In 2012!
     
  11. haruhiko macrumors 68040

    haruhiko

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  12. Spudlicious macrumors 6502

    Spudlicious

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    #12
    No way out of the sale? Can you return it as not what you expected? 2011 was a long time ago, and even if the computer is in perfect as-new condition it just isn't worth $1500.
     
  13. jjjoseph macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I stopped selling stuff on eBay because the buyers rights outweigh the sellers now. The last round of computer stuff I sold, the buyers complained about everything and anything to lower the price post sale. I think eBay held their payment until it was resolved. Your the buyer, use those rights. :D Try to get it cheaper or returned.

    MacRumors is a great place for purchase advise. If you can return it you'd definitely be able to find something cheaper.
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

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    #14
    Yipes.
    $1,500 for a 5-year-old MacBook with known problems, just because it has a 17" display?

    Yipes!
     
  15. gooser macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    this is disgusting. the guy wrote about the reliability of the gpu and all he's getting in response is a rant about the cost of the unit. so he paid too much. so what? he wanted a 17" with a matte screen which aren't being made anymore. why doesn't someone try to help him out?
     
  16. iizmoo macrumors 6502

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    #16
    It's a device that is beyond the manufacturer's warranty of 3 years w/Apple Care, beyond the extended warranty of 5 years if OP purchased using a credit card that add 2 years more (if this were an original purchase). There's a reason the manufacturers and CC have those limits, beyond which time the component failures is high or end of life (a more politically correct way of saying we expect it to fail). There's a reason we have warranty of 3 years, if any manufacturer thought their product could last 20 years, they would put a 20 years warranty on it, even knowing the computer would be outdated much quicker than that. There's an entire R&D science of engineering products and devices so that the failure rate curve grow as soon as the warranty period is over.

    I thought most responders were pretty much helping the OP out by telling him he's buying overpriced, the risk factor to cost ratio is far too high and not in his favor, and to do any and everything he can to reverse the transaction.

    I can't event tell if the OP is trolling us or not.
     
  17. howareyoukk thread starter macrumors regular

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    #17
    hi thanks for the input and no i am not trolling. I was thinking about returning it and getting refund but then i realised my current mac (macbook pro 2012 non retina, bought it in 2013) has already developed display problem 1 year ago, and the 2012 non retina version is not known of any major defects. Besides, the seller is recommended by a facebook friend and he said he has done thorough testing on the machine (i am guessing the stress tests and etc.). So at this point, with my love towards the 17 inch macbook pro, i will wait for it to arrive and test it under normal usage. If it fails in 3-4 years, i will still fix it by replacing it with a new logic board. Anyways, I rather take a 2010 or 2011 17 inch macbook pro than the newly released 15 inch model with the touchbar design. thanks and goodday.
     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #18
    The 2011 era Macs all have an issue with the GPUs, its not a question of if, but when.

    As for the 1,500 price tag, that's way too much money for a machine of that age. Heck, I think my 2012 rMBP has a market value of 800 or even less at this point. The 2011 is not only older but has the known GPU issue.

    If you can get your money back, definitely return it.
     
  19. howareyoukk thread starter macrumors regular

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    #19
    thanks for the input you reckon the 2010 macs are free from the gpu issue? If I return the machine and get a refund i will probably spend it on a 2010 17 inch macbook pro instead. its cheaper as well thanks :)
     
  20. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #20
    Nope, I believe 2008 through 2011, all had various dGPU issues. While the repair program that apple instituted, covers MBPs up through 2012, I think the 2012 model is safe. I have one and its been rock solid (knocks on wood) and I've not seen any reports about failures on that model.
     
  21. Queen6, Nov 13, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2016

    Queen6 macrumors 603

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    #21
    I still have a stock 2011 15" MBP in the house so feel I am reasonably well versed; key as others have stated is to keep the GPU as cool as reasonably practicable, equally much will be dependant on your usage/workflow. There are some practical things that can be done to help;

    So Being an owner & user of the 15" MacBook Pro forever; Over the years the 15" has frequently struggled with it`s thermals, especially when an external display is connected as the dGPU switches on by default, internal temperatures soar, equally there are some steps that can be taken to reduce the systems temperature;
    • Elevate the rear, aluminium passive coolers generally work best (I use RainDesign`s mStand & iLap)
    • Increase base fan RPM to 3K or as much as you are comfortable with (MacsFanControl or SMC Fan Control)
    • Limit the dGPU`s usage with gfxCardStatus
    • Swap out Chrome for Chrome Canary as it`s generally more optimised for OS X and will extend battery run time, reduce thermals
    • Swap out VLC for Movist as again it`s a reduced load on CPU/GPU
    • Uninstall or block Flash
    • Install an ad blocker Wipr or AdGuard works well
    • Powered coolers are very much a "mixed bag" when it comes to Mac portables, you need one that has a high capacity (100 CFM minimum) and preferably a large single fan, this can help to keep the 15" internal fans below 4K which for many is good enough as often it`s this point and beyond where the fans become intrusive. Don't expect a powered cooler impact internal temperatures, beyond a couple of degrees
    • Older notebooks can benefit from cleaning of the cooling system
    • Retina`s can benefit from cleaning of the cooling system, as the heat syncs are far smaller and loose efficiency faster, due to build up of dust
    • Replacing the thermal paste has been hit & miss, some with very positive results, some with no improvement over stock. Personally I would only do this on a Mac Portable that was either very old, or one that I can confirm was definitely running hotter than stock.
    • If your MBP has a discrete GPU, it will fire up when an external display is connected as default, temperatures will rise rapidly.
    • Consider a specific vertical stand when using a MPB in "Clamshell" mode allowing for greater circulation of air. Some recommend inverting the MBP in the stand with the exhaust at the top & intake at the bottom (Retina`s)
    The key to a quiet life with a 15" MacBook Pro is several incremental changes that do add up to reduce thermals. From my experience over the years if your going to push a 15"/17" hard the fans are going to max out fast, with associated temperature & noise. If your using it with a moderate load life can be made quieter For the most part your MBP runs hot as that`s how Apple designed it, the trade off for form over, function, thin & light...

    The old adage still applies; it`s easier to keep a system cool, than cool-down an already overly hot machine. This being said it`s not strictly necessary, equally it`s nice to know that there are some options for reducing temperature out there.

    Q-6
     
  22. howareyoukk thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    hey thanks for your input :) i assume your 2011 15" laptop has never ran into any gpu failure that the masses have for the past few years? thanks for the advice.
     
  23. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #23
    No, it`s still the same as it left the factory, equally the issue with premature dGPU failure is real and present. Keeping the dGPU below 80C - 85C will very much help to preserve longevity. The 17" has the slight advantage of having a larger thermal envelope thx to it`s physical size.

    Best thing to do first is just monitor the operating temperatures, especially the dGPU, if it does look to be getting overly hot, you would be wise to have it cleaned internally, at very least checked to ensure the heatsyncs are clean. A little history on the previous owner also helps; their usage etc.

    What actually kills the dGPU is Thermal Shock, therefore the less "Delta" the better. I also still have a stock Early 2008 pre unibody Classic 15" MBP and it`s still runs barring the battery, and that has the notorious 8600GT dGPU, equally I managed the temperature as much as reasonably possible. 80C - 85C is the key, once you start pushing consumer grade components past this point combined with rapid heating & cooling cycles you can expect to compromise on longevity..

    Apple exacerbates the issue with it`s approach to cooling, only really ramping the fans up when the CPU & dGPU are already close to maximum values. The likes of MacsFanControl is the solution by implementing a more aggressive ramp to the cooling fans. As initially stated much will be down to your usage/workflow, if that requires frequent heavy use of the dGPU, you will be far better served by one of the newer Retina`s

    Q-6
     
  24. howareyoukk thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 1, 2013
    #24

    Thanks for the detailed input again. I use my mac with an external monitor a lot so I guess i need to monitor the temperature more closely. Your testimony of a fully functional 2011 macbook pro 15 inch is quite encouraging to a new user of the 2011 mac such as myself, one last question if you dont mind: at this point if your newly ordered 2011 17 inch is on the way and it is known for dgpu fault, will you still keep it and try your best to maintain it or return it straightaway (p.s. the seller claims testing was done and no problems were found) thanks :)
     
  25. jjjoseph macrumors 6502

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    #25
    I think one thing to note is that dGPU problems are not as slowly degrading as you seem to allude towards. It's more of a switch. On =working. Off =broken. Just because it's working now doesn't mean it cant break any second.

    The threshold to when then GPUs breaks, if it does, it might not, is very slight and quick. You could run a defective GPU to 99% of its death threshold and it could run forever. That one time for whatever reason it hits 100% its toast.

    Also You can watch with a heat monitor internal temperatures, but what happens if you are GPU encode something or rendering something In the GPU. As soon as you see the heat jump up your gonna shut your computer down? Harder with a laptop cause of the battery. But doesn't that seem impossible? If the GPU hit that 100% braking point it's toast before you can do anything to to stop it.

    I think my point is you can't say a GPU is healthy just because it's never been fried before.

    I think. If you wanted to get serious. I Would see if Apple replaced the 17" close to the serial numbers you want to buy.
     

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