I love my MBP but..... (does the 2015 models have the same GPU issues that the 2011 does?)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by blackcap11, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. blackcap11 macrumors newbie

    blackcap11

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
    #1
    Hi all,

    My first and current MBP is an early 15” 2011 model which has the infamous GPU issues. Mine has failed 4 or 5 times in the past 6 years and when it went again last week I decided I have got my moneys worth and can’t justify another $600 to $700 to get it repaired in the knowledge that it will only happen again in about 12 to 18 months.

    Because this issue has been such a massive headache for the life of this MPB, I’m now genuinely concerned about getting another MBP that will only let me down again and again, costing me income and repairs like this one is now doing. I love the look of the new 2016 models but I’m a little concerned about the inability to replace individual components like the SSHD. Eventually minor components like this will fail on any machine, but because it’s soldered to the logic board, replacement will likely be something that only apple can perform and hence ridiculously expensive.

    Which has led me to the consideration of a late 2015 15” model. From what I understand it still has SSHD that can be individually bought and replaced by anyone with a decent understanding of computers BUT I’m worried about the GPU failures happening on this model too. I’ve searched around on the forums a little but can’t find any solid trends to indicate that these machines suffer from the same failure that my 2011 does, but does anyone have any other information contrary to this? Do they have and Achilles Heel that I need to be concerned about like this paperweight of a 2011 does?
     
  2. Sanpete, Mar 1, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017

    Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    #2
    The dGPU situation for the 2015 is peculiar. I haven't heard of it failing, or not at an unusual rate, but Apple did stop producing 2015s that had it before they stopped producing 2015 models. There was speculation that it wasn't working well, or was contributing to thermal throttling. It appears based on limited evidence here that the 2015 dGPU throttles at a relatively low temperature, and may cause more CPU throttling due to added heat. [Edit: it appears Apple didn't stop manufacturing 2015 MBPs with the dGPU early, as I though they did.]

    But you can buy the 2015 model without a dGPU, which many prefer, if they aren't editing video or the like.

    I just posted the below in another thread, so since I have it handy, here are some of the differences between the 2016 and 2015 models:

    The advantages of the 2016 are a screen with about 50% more brightness and contrast, about 25% broader color gamut (though the content for that is limited for now), better speakers, better dGPU (a lot of the 2015s don't have a dGPU), better external monitor support (though most people won't want to drive 2 5K or 4 4K monitors), Touch ID, smaller size and weight. The 2016 runs cooler and more quietly--thermal throttling can be an issue with the 2015s in heavy use like video editing. The 2016 has better battery life for light to medium tasks like browsing and watching video.

    People disagree about whether the keyboard and larger trackpad are better, and about whether the touch bar is worth having. The ports are definitely more powerful and flexible, but many prefer the older ports anyway.

    The 2015's SSD isn't soldered in, so if the logic board fails, you're more likely to be able to get your data from it, if you didn't back it up. SSDs aren't prone to early failures, though.
     
  3. atlas_0 Suspended

    atlas_0

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    Dec 30, 2016
    #3
    You could always just go with a non-dGPU model if you're worried about it.
     
  4. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 12, 2009
    #4
    non-GPU model FTW! I did that...upgraded the SSD to 512GB...another 50 bucks and I could have gotten the graphics card but nay...Thrice bitten...fourth time shy :)

    Apple's laptops are excellent for couch surfing...They can last for years. If there is serious work involved, then it is a lottery...the laptop might or might not last. The thin enclosures don't really help in the heat dissipation I think....nor does all that funky fan design. This is classic Apple...form over function.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #5
    I think for the most part Apple was able to resolve the dGPU failure, because there does not seem to be any massive failures of the dGPU on the 2012 rMBP, nor any models beyond 2012.

    Yet with that said, Apple did produce iGPu only 15" MBPs, so if you can get your hands on one of those, that certainly will give you peace of mind.
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    I'm with atlas in reply 3 above.

    Get a MacBook Pro with an integrated GPU.
    They just seem to last longer with fewer problems.

    My old 2010 MBPro 13" runs better today than when new (because I put an SSD into it). No graphics glitches at all, ever.

    For some reason, Apple has a very poor track record on their laptops with discrete GPU's. Could be design, could be heat, could be the lead-less solder, or other things.

    Unless you really, really need "discrete", I'd get a model with an integrated GPU and be done with it...
     
  7. Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    #7
    The new MBPs, the thinnest ever, run cooler than ever. But the mythology of form over function remains.
     
  8. caramelpolice macrumors regular

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    Oct 6, 2012
    #8
    I'm pretty sure the general belief is they discontinued 2015 dGPU models to get people who want a dGPU to step up to the 2016 model instead.
     
  9. Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    #9
    Could be, but it happened well before the 2016 models were announced, and that dGPU did exhibit odd behavior. On the other hand, Apple continued to sell it in refurbs.
     
  10. ZapNZs, Mar 19, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

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    #10
    Unfortunately, there is no easy way to know whether the 2016 models will suffer the same fate as the 2011s. Apple seems to have made effort to substantially reduce heat, but the fact remains that the issues with the 2011 took about two years before they really surfaced in great quantities and the most hardcore of Apple cult members could no longer blame the User for a serious design defect. As heat was the 2011's enemy, and as the 2016 has tackled the issue of heat, this is positive, but not a guarantee. Further, after suffering through the humiliation of the 2011 debacle, Apple has strong financial incentive to ensure it never happens again.

    Further, the iGPU has gotten quite capable in recent years. The iGPU on my 13 nTB is almost as capable as the dGPU on my 2014 15 MBP. That's a lot of progress in under 3 years! The case for the iGPU could get even stronger if Apple supports eGPUs.

    Apple, and arguably the industry that is progressively following as a whole, has moved in the direction of greater control over what a User can['t] do with their system (this makes them more money up front, potentially more money in earlier upgrades, and gives them more control over maintaining a consistent User experience.) For many, that means nothing and is of no consequence. For others, it means a lot. The reality is that the current generation is the least serviceable system made ever, but out-of-pocket repair costs appear to be more heavily subsidized than ever before, offsetting some of the burn. If something goes wrong with a modern laptop, chances are it won't be cheap to repair, and the best we can do is either take it or leave it.

    I think the 2015 is still a safer bet simply because of the time it has been on the market and how a mid-tier refurbished 15 can be purchased for around $800 less than the mid-tier 2016 (so that's one full logic board replacement.) But if you like the 2016 design more, then you are spending a lot of money on the product you like less that doesn't incorporate the newer features (unless you have a preference for some of the design features Apple removed), and, for all we know, the 2016 could wind up with a better long-term record than the 2015...
     
  11. caramelpolice macrumors regular

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    Oct 6, 2012
    #11
    It happened literally the day the 2016 models were announced. They didn't discontinue the dGPU models before then.
     
  12. Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    #12
    Ah, then I was misled by comments I saw about that. I should edit my post above.
     
  13. RetroCase macrumors newbie

    RetroCase

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    Mar 19, 2017
    #13
    I'm in the same camp. I've got a dGPU in my iMac, but always keep my MacBook Pros non-dGPU. I was only burned once, but it was enough.
     
  14. EnderBeta macrumors 6502

    EnderBeta

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    Aug 5, 2016
    #14
    The 2012 retina Mac book pro was included in the repair program. https://www.apple.com/support/macbookpro-videoissues/

    My 2015 13" Mac book pro gets a lot warmer then I would like before the fan kicks on.

    I would not be shocked to find the 2015 and 2016 models have heating issues too. Now Apple is trying to make the replacement cycle shorter by soldering the kitchen sink to the machines so nothing is repairable or replaceable.

    What works for iPads and iPhones won't work long term on Macs. There are more models of machines then heat crippled ultrabooks.
     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #15
  16. Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    #16
    The 2016 has been shown to run comparatively cool.
     
  17. EnderBeta macrumors 6502

    EnderBeta

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    #17
    Thats good to know. :D
     
  18. blackcap11 thread starter macrumors newbie

    blackcap11

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    Mar 1, 2017
    #18
    thanks for all the replys everyone. ended up finding a 2015 2.2GHz with 4 months warranty left on it that ill extend with applecare. i need the dGPU for photo and video editing and there doesnt seem to be the flood of failure reports that the 2011 model had. the 2016 is a beautiful machine but being largely non-servicable is a huge turnoff. why would i pay some 'genius' $100/hr to undo a handful of screws when i can do it myself? and the USB-C only ports might be future proofing but i like having the option of USB, thunderbolt, HDMI and an SD card slot on the 2015. its only 80% of the weight of the 2011 too, and just quietly, im slowly falling in love with this machine now.

    if it dies every 12 months like the old one did though, ill be abandoning technology altogether and going to live in the forrest.
     
  19. azpekt macrumors regular

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    hp, illinois
    #19
    i have mid-2015 15 rmbp with GPU, and it does behave wonky. artefacts, glitches - although they arent really an obstacle for GPU related work (i do a lot of color-correction/editing stuff) - but cat get quite annoying

    so, if your work does not require you to use GPU intensive software, get yourself an iGPU one, and have a beer for the rest of the money :)
     
  20. Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    #20
    Same with the 2015, of course, but it appears you saved some money, which is always good.
     
  21. blackcap11 thread starter macrumors newbie

    blackcap11

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    Mar 1, 2017
    #21
    i get the artifacts with this 2015 too when its switching graphics cards too. i can live with that as long as the machine doesnt turn into a brick on me.

    you can change the SSD on the 2015. no deal with the 2016 unless you have a PCB pre heater
     
  22. Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    #22
    The options for changing the 2015 SSD are very limited because of the custom controller. The main advantage of the removable SSD is that if the motherboard dies you don't lose your data, which is what can happen with the 2016, in some cases.
     

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