Late 2011 Macbook Pro: Logic board failure, 4th time in 6 months.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Benji1337, Jun 13, 2015.

  1. Benji1337, Jun 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015

    Benji1337 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hey guys,

    I just thought i'd take a moment to share, rant, and vent my frustrations onto a crowd who might supply a sense of calming, understanding relief.

    Around christmas this year my late 2011 macbook pro's logic board failed for the first time. I had read about this but as I was just inside the end of my applecare my worries were not massive. I took it in and they acted surprised as if they had never seen it happen before and politely offered to replace the logic board, free of charge of course. I was pleased at the service with a smile, one week later I had it back. Brilliant.

    This smile was short lived. One week after the logic board replacement, it failed, again. I took it back in with a 'what the ****' smile on my face, they looked embarrassed and quickly replaced it again. Job done.

    Job not done. One month later it failed again. After a few 'tale between the legs' excuses from the apple store staff, there's another replacement.

    Now it's been four months, and last night it failed again. Conveniently out of their three month cover plan. As you can imagine, for a machine I paid like £1600? for, I do not think this is really good enough.

    And after all of this it's brought me to two assumptions, that I believe the apple store cannot really, in their heart of hearts, while believing what they are saying, deny.

    1. The late 2011 Macbook Pro was built with a fundamental design flaw.
    2. The apple technicians are unable to provide a long last, high quality repair.

    I would love to hear what you think of my situation, the chances I have of any replacement, continued repair or part swap deal, or your experiences of this problem.

    I'm certainly going to go into my apple store appointment with a very polite, but no **** attitude, as I firmly believe, after four repairs in six months, they no longer have a leg to stand on.

    Thanks for reading.

    Ben
     
  2. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

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    #2
    Good news for you: within the past few months, Apple officially recognized the unusually high rate of failures on these computers and created an extended repair program. You can read about it on Apple's official page. Long story short, the late 2011 MacBook Pros are among a few others that will have repairs covered free of charge and regardless of Applecare status until February 27, 2016 or until three years from the original purchase date, whichever provides the longest coverage.

    Using a Late 2011 Macbook Pro, myself, and having gone through one repair, I was interested to find out if the repairs performed after Apple declared this a true problem were any good. I guess it's too recent to know for sure. Regardless, you've been through the repair enough times that I don't think it'd be unreasonable to start expecting Apple to do something for you. It takes time and effort to get to the Apple store, and then you're inconvenienced by being without your computer while the repair occurs. There are stories on this forum of people being given new, current-generation MacBook Pros when they're on their fifth or sixth repair. Don't expect anything, of course, but know that it happens. If you see an opportunity, go for it. I'm also displeased with the idea that my MBP may be just as faulty after the repair as it was before, but what can you do...
     
  3. Benji1337 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Thanks for the quick reply, I've also heard stories of people having repeatedly troublesome machines replaced with new models. I certainly feel like I must be approaching that level of troublesomeness soon. It's certainly been stressful and troublesome enough for me personally.

    I fully intend to go in with a replacement in mind, and while not asking for one directly, I aim to make it clear that I believe after four logic board failures, it seems pointless to continue replacing it... it's the definition of madness!?
     
  4. Vermifuge macrumors 6502

    Vermifuge

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    #4
    Just had my MBP 2011 15" "repaired" for the first time. I got my MBP i7 in early 2012 and and my Apple Care had just ran out. It was a bit of a hassle to get it replaced because the support people don't want to talk to you unless your applecare is paid up. I say "repaired" because all they really do is replace the logic board. Something Apple charges $800 for out of coverage.

    If you have one of these that failed I would get it fixed and just turn right around and sell it. these things fetch $800 - 1000 on the 2nd hand market. Hopefully that will take the sting out of getting a new macbook
     
  5. Queen6, Jun 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #5
    Absolutely no surprise, cooling is an ongoing issue with the 15" MBP, Apple replace failed Logic Boards with "refurbished" units which can and do fail in a matter of days if stressed, as you are all too painfully aware of. Personally I would want a new replacement MBP, as I agree the 15" MBP is fundamentally flawed.

    Am also extremely reluctant to purchase another Mac Notebook with dGPU as frankly Apple`s track record with portable Mac`s and dGPU`s is tragic at best...

    FWIW I have not a yet suffered this issue, equally I am beyond bored having to baby Apple`s finest portables year on year, due to form over function, or more directly piss poor design, from an engineering perspective.

    Q-6
     
  6. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

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    #6
    It's not thought to be a problem with the cooling system. When the computer is turned off (or suspended) and then turned back on, the components go through brief a voltage spike and very quickly rise from room temperature to operating temperature. That change in temperature is probably the greatest stress that the component can be subject to. The systems back in 2008 with the nVidia 8600 GTM (which I owned and had repaired once...) had issues due to faulty soldering on the graphics chip that couldn't handle those temperature spikes, but it wasn't limited to Apple. I haven't heard anything specifically about why the AMD graphics chips in the 2011 systems have a higher failure rate, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were a similar issue.
     
  7. Benji1337 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Precisely. I've had enough of logic board replacements, I see that they no longer have any choice but to give me a replacement Macbook, because it's clear that they have sold me a (very expensive) subpar product.

    What is the new 2015 Pro like? does it have the same overheating problems? I've read that the 2011 model's problems are due to a lack of lead in the solder? Does the 2015 have this issue too?

    I also wonder if a replacement is offered that I would have to sign a non disclosure agreement, If this post disappears maybe I've gotten lucky!
     
  8. Benji1337 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    I'm currently on my 13" 2008 macbook pro, still going strong….. if not very slow… but ultimately still alive and 100% more functional than the 2011 one.
     
  9. Queen6, Jun 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #9
    What you are describing is "thermal shock" and you really want to limit the "Delta" a much as is reasonably practical, with the 15" MBP it`s the opposite with rapid ramp up in temperature to elevated levels and equally rapid cool down cycles, all stressing components. Right now Apple is covering multiple versions of the 15" MBP for dGPU failure and for good reason.

    http://www.apple.com/support/macbookpro-videoissues/

    Search for Radiongate and you will rapidly see just how affected the 2011 MBP is, nor is it widespread across other brands. Petitions had been previously raised with 10`s of thousands of signatures related direct to the premature failure of the 2011 MBP with dGPU. The 2008 MBP`s got caught up in the industries change to lead free solder, equally the design exacerbated the issue due to the inefficient cooling of the GPU, I know as I used to run one and it`s still "kicking" around somewhere :)

    To me the 15" MBP with dGPU is a "buyer beware" product, if you need the dGPU there is potentially risk of premature failure. You need to be aware, as realistically the failure mechanism only "rears it`s head" 2-3 year after purchase, and Apple will only react if they perceive it`s a negative to the business and or are compelled by law.

    Q-6
     
  10. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #10
    I also have an Early 2008 and it still runs without issue, equally many have not been so lucky, the issue with Nvidia is well documented and acknowledged by Apple at the time, issuing extended coverage for the Notebooks.

    Q-6
     
  11. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #11
    2008 model`s was directly related to lead free solder, 2011 is down to Apple, as for the 2015 MBP, we will see in 2-3 years if Apple has resolved the issue.

    No NDA, it will take 3-4 instances and is ultimately at the discretion of Apple, unless your countries consumer laws enforce.

    Q-6
     
  12. Benji1337 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Well I'm in the UK, generally good for consumer laws. Do I have any power in terms of consumer law to push for a replacement on the fact it seems unfixable?
     
  13. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    #13
    Having had MacBook Pros replaced 4 times in the past, I was never asked to sign a NDA. All I had to do was release interest in the machine, and sign that Apple wasn't responsible for data loss/failure to wipe data. FWIW, I had an Early 2011 MBP 15". I went through, like, 8 logic boards in the first year all due to the GPU. I was constantly at the store for video problems again. About a week after the 1-year warranty ended and I purchased AppleCare (about a month after the last logic board replacement too), I started having video problems. Took it back, and got a 2012 Retina 15" to replace it and Apple had me pay a hundred and some-odd dollar upgrade fee.

    That machine had everything replaced within a year, plus 3-4 logic boards for GPU problems (ironically it was in the same recall as the 2011), and was replaced by a late 2013 discreet GPU model. One year, 3 logic boards with dead dGPUs, an external casing and SSD later, they refunded me the value of the late-2013 model and I bought a nMP.

    Long story short, don't buy a MacBook Pro with a dGPU. From my experience they are nothing but problems and your local store will end up hating you, like mine does me. If would like the full story, please check out my blog in my signature. I talk about the whole thing, including the iPhone 5 I was dealing with a the same time that had 14 replacements.
     
  14. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #14
    Try speaking with Citizens Advice to me Apple have sold a Notebook computer that is not fit for purpose, nor have they adequately effected repair. I am not certain on the details, however I do believe that there is a minimum legal expectation on the longevity of Notebook computers in the UK.

    First and foremost take it back to Apple as your 2011 is still covered by the dGPU warranty extension, you can expect them to replace the Logic Board with a refurbished item :rolleyes: equally if this fails, which it likely will if pushed hard, Apple may then replace with a new system.

    Q-6
     
  15. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #15
    Seriously if you use the 15" MBP as Apple implies in a professional environment, pushing the dGPU hard, I hate to say; This is your future...

    Q-6
     
  16. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    #16
    I wasn't even pushing it that hard. The most hard core app I used on the 2011 was iMovie (I made the transition to FCPX this year just before I got my nMP). I completely agree though. The dGPU MBPs are not Pro notebooks. None of Apple's offerings are. The only true 'Pro' is the Mac Pro.
     
  17. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #17
    Man that`s just plain bad :eek: Me I am just tired of coming up with more & more ingenious way`s to ease the thermal stress on the 15" MBP`s dGPU. Everything work related is now on iGPU and if I ever need the power of dGPU`s nMP will be the solution. For me the cost of downtime and fooling with Apple is a very simple calc :)

    Q-6
     
  18. Queen6, Jun 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #18
    Well you know how it is, "MacBook Pro" is just a sales gimmick, and depending on your profession you could easily be using a base 11" Air or Retina MacBook, equally I completely agree the "Pro" moniker for portable Mac`s is just pretentious :rolleyes:

    Q-6
     
  19. Benji1337 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    I don't see anything that I do as too intense for the laptop to handle in theory. Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Google Chrome, VLC, Traktor and Football Manager is pretty much the extent of the notable apps I use on it. It should be able to handle it just fine.
     
  20. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    #20
    Should? Yes. Does? No. Heck, mine died using an Apple official app. Their fan control sucks, and their heat distribution sucks too. Actually, no. It might work if it sucked. Its just flat out ****. We'll see if the newest generation is any better, but considering their track record I doubt it.

    Wow it feels good to vent lol.
     
  21. Benji1337 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #21
    Yeah that's why I made this thread. I needed to get it all out. Also I needed to see my whole story in writing in mental preparation for the apple store on tuesday.

    If I do manage to convince them to replace it, the new one is going to sit on a desk for its whole life and my old 2008 model becomes my new LAPtop.
     
  22. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    #22
    Your best bet (if you do get a new one) is to install SMC Fan Control that way the computer gets better air circulation. Also, I know there is an app to stop the dGPU from kicking in if they give a dGPU model.

    Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
     
  23. thewap macrumors demi-god

    thewap

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    #23
    Macbook pro 17" late 2011 here, have not had any problems with my logic board since one time replacement due to boot problem- going over two years now.. knowing of the heat issues and the board, I also installed two SSD's at the time, one in the main bay and one in the CD bay- (1.5T total) to keep the heat down and to maximize overall speed.

    I wonder now if an SSD installation on your 15" would improve the heat situation and your logic board problems?
     
  24. Benji1337 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #24
    Thanks for your help and support. Mind giving me a quick low down on dGPU and how it effects the MacBooks? Including which models have it ect?

    Feel like I want to go into my applestore meeting know as much as possible.
     
  25. Benji1337 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #25
    It's something I considered after the last logic board replacement. My optical drive is broken so in theory I have a space free to put something in, I looked up tutorials on doing it, and probably do have the ability to do it, although in the end I lacked the confidence to go ahead with it.
     

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