mid 2012 15"rMBP VST failure advice

drccw

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 1, 2012
27
0
Hi I have a mid 2012 MBP 15" that has a VST failure. Apple wants $580 to replace to logic board, which isn't something I'm overly keen about. I've used 3fxcardstatus to varrying sucess to keep it in integrated mode but really doesn't seem to be a great solution. quick quesiton: will the machine run in clamshell mode using the integrated graphics?


Also looking for some advice re: my next computer option. I have a line on a refurbished late 2013 rMBP 13" with 8 GB/256 GB at $560. It's got a battery with just 33 cycle and no dead pixels. Are there any inherent problems with this computer (see rMBP nvidia GPU failure)? What attracts me to this computer is the lack of USB-C and the potential to upgrade the SD... Or, am I a fool for considering a computer that is 4 years old and should just buy the new 8Gb/256 13" for (non touchbar) for 1400-1500? plus the cost of whatever dongles I need.....

thanks
drccw
 

hallux

macrumors 68030
Apr 25, 2012
2,774
485
If you plan to use the Mini-DP output for display, no it will not work in clamshell mode. That output is only connected to the discrete card that is failing the VST, if you plug into that port for video output it will force use of that card.
 

leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
9,952
4,548
Whats VST? Never head that term. If you don't want to commit to current USB standards, the 2013 13" for $560 is a very reasonable price. If you are lucky, it could server you for another 2-3 years until when the transition to USB-C is less painful.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
Hi I have a mid 2012 MBP 15" that has a VST failure. Apple wants $580 to replace to logic board, which isn't something I'm overly keen about. I've used 3fxcardstatus to varrying sucess to keep it in integrated mode but really doesn't seem to be a great solution. quick quesiton: will the machine run in clamshell mode using the integrated graphics?


Also looking for some advice re: my next computer option. I have a line on a refurbished late 2013 rMBP 13" with 8 GB/256 GB at $560. It's got a battery with just 33 cycle and no dead pixels. Are there any inherent problems with this computer (see rMBP nvidia GPU failure)? What attracts me to this computer is the lack of USB-C and the potential to upgrade the SD... Or, am I a fool for considering a computer that is 4 years old and should just buy the new 8Gb/256 13" for (non touchbar) for 1400-1500? plus the cost of whatever dongles I need.....

thanks
drccw
No the mini dip and HDMI output are only connected to the dGPU so external screens will not run on the integrated graphics i’m Afraid.
The 2013 is a great machine (it’s my only current computer) there is still very little option for upgrading the SSD though and none for ram. It will be fine graphics wise as it only has the intel graphics no extra graphics card. This obviously limits its graphics performance depends what you use your computer for.
 

drccw

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 1, 2012
27
0
If you plan to use the Mini-DP output for display, no it will not work in clamshell mode. That output is only connected to the discrete card that is failing the VST, if you plug into that port for video output it will force use of that card.
Thanks. so are there really any options for what I can use this computer for? maybe a headless server? I currently have a 2006 iMac that I use for my serving needs/photo storage.

Whats VST? Never head that term. If you don't want to commit to current USB standards, the 2013 13" for $560 is a very reasonable price. If you are lucky, it could server you for another 2-3 years until when the transition to USB-C is less painful.
I think VST is the test that Apple uses to investigate whether the GPU has failed and the device qualifies for replacement. Unfortunately, the warranty extension program expired at the end of last year
No the mini dip and HDMI output are only connected to the dGPU so external screens will not run on the integrated graphics i’m Afraid.
The 2013 is a great machine (it’s my only current computer) there is still very little option for upgrading the SSD though and none for ram. It will be fine graphics wise as it only has the intel graphics no extra graphics card. This obviously limits its graphics performance depends what you use your computer for.
Thnaks! I love my computer and it would be perfectly fine for my needs, even if only the integrated graphics worked. I have added a new iMac recently that has taken over any of the heavy lifting required. From what I understand teh 13" 2013 machine ssd is upgradeable (though does take effort). I've poked around the inside of my iMAC and my MBP so I don't think it'll be a terribly tough upgrade...

One major bummer is I literally just got the battery replaced in April...

drccw
 

Audit13

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2017
4,367
1,096
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I also had a late 2011 15" MBP with a failed video chip. I got the machine off Craigslist for cheap so I decided to have the video chip replaced by a local repair shop that does board-level repairs and chip replacements. It wasn't cheap but it came with a 1 year warranty. I decided to get it fixed since it had a new battery installed in January and 16 GB of ram.

I believe VST = video stress test.
 

drccw

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 1, 2012
27
0
I also had a late 2011 15" MBP with a failed video chip. I got the machine off Craigslist for cheap so I decided to have the video chip replaced by a local repair shop that does board-level repairs and chip replacements. It wasn't cheap but it came with a 1 year warranty. I decided to get it fixed since it had a new battery installed in January and 16 GB of ram.

I believe VST = video stress test.
Thanks. Not sure where I can find this type of repair locally? Anyone ever use powerbookmedic or 365computerrepair?

thanks
 

ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,150
My personal opinion...

I ultimately opted not to have a reball/reflow on my 2011 mainly because I had a hard time determining which vendors were of better quality than others, and the permanence of such a fix seems highly variable where as the warranties of such fixes are usually quite short. I choose to intentionally overheat it so it booted using the iGPU, disable the dGPU (I did both GFXcardStatus & Switch GPU), and then just use it as a desktop and never shut it down (surprisingly, more than half a year later it's still functioning like a champ even without a single restart.) That said, if my 15 Uni was either the 2.6 or 2.7 2012 model, I'd probably take the $580 plunge, especially considering the 650M seems much less prone to GPU issues (but obviously not immune) than the 2011 AMD models.

The late-2013 13-inch is a solid machine - but with 33 cycles, it is possible the run times may not be very good depending on how the battery was used/stored (i.e., did it stay at 100% constantly [bad] or was it periodically seeing light discharges [much better]?) - on a positive note, for $130 you can get a new battery, trackpad, keyboard, and topcase, which ain't a bad price at all. If you wind up considering the 15-inch, the 2014 may be worth considering for the 750M, which I would argue that (while never a high-end GPU and currently technologically obsolete), for those not needing cutting-edge graphics performance, it's a design that has proven quite reliable.

As I am sure you are aware, SSD upgrade options are obviously limited in selection, and the limited selection of options that do not require any system-level modifications are generally not cheap. Excluding OWC (for obvious reasons), the late 2013, 2014, and 2015 MBP offerings all now have at least one viable third-party SSD upgrade path, which is the just-released Transcend 820 (IIRC the MCE offerings are OEM Apple SSDs, rather than third party products.) The Transcend is a 3D TLC PCIe SSD supposedly using Micron NAND, and depending on the model MBP will have faster, similar, or slower read/write speeds than the OEM SSD. It is available in the 256/512/1,000 GB sizes, and IIRC supposedly uses a Silicon Motion controller. Preliminary pricing looks...well...pricey - potentially to a point where buying the 13-inch you are eyeing + a larger SSD may be less economical than purchasing a different 13-inch with a larger SSD to begin with?

How bad are the graphical glitches/system failures on your machine at this point? Are you already getting the lovely screen distortions, white/black boot screens of death, or kernel panics induced by the GPU switching to the dGPU?
 
Last edited:

drccw

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 1, 2012
27
0
My personal opinion...

I ultimately opted not to have a reball/reflow on my 2011 mainly because I had a hard time determining which vendors were of better quality than others, and the permanence of such a fix seems highly variable where as the warranties of such fixes are usually quite short. I choose to intentionally overheat it so it booted using the iGPU, disable the dGPU (I did both GFXcardStatus & Switch GPU), and then just use it as a desktop and never shut it down (surprisingly, more than half a year later it's still functioning like a champ even without a single restart.) That said, if my 15 Uni was either the 2.6 or 2.7 2012 model, I'd probably take the $580 plunge, especially considering the 650M seems much less prone to GPU issues (but obviously not immune) than the 2011 AMD models.

The late-2013 13-inch is a solid machine - but with 33 cycles, it is possible the run times may not be very good depending on how the battery was used/stored (i.e., did it stay at 100% constantly [bad] or was it periodically seeing light discharges [much better]?) - on a positive note, for $130 you can get a new battery, trackpad, keyboard, and topcase, which ain't a bad price at all. If you wind up considering the 15-inch, the 2014 may be worth considering for the 750M, which I would argue that (while never a high-end GPU and currently technologically obsolete), for those not needing cutting-edge graphics performance, it's a design that has proven quite reliable.

As I am sure you are aware, SSD upgrade options are obviously limited in selection, and the limited selection of options that do not require any system-level modifications are generally not cheap. Excluding OWC (for obvious reasons), the late 2013, 2014, and 2015 MBP offerings all now have at least one viable third-party SSD upgrade path, which is the just-released Transcend 820 (IIRC the MCE offerings are OEM Apple SSDs, rather than third party products.) The Transcend is a 3D TLC PCIe SSD supposedly using Micron NAND, and depending on the model MBP will have faster, similar, or slower read/write speeds than the OEM SSD. It is available in the 256/512/1,000 GB sizes, and IIRC supposedly uses a Silicon Motion controller. Preliminary pricing looks...well...pricey - potentially to a point where buying the 13-inch you are eyeing + a larger SSD may be less economical than purchasing a different 13-inch with a larger SSD to begin with?

How bad are the graphical glitches/system failures on your machine at this point? Are you already getting the lovely screen distortions, white/black boot screens of death, or kernel panics induced by the GPU switching to the dGPU?

wow thanks for the very very detailed review

My current mid 2012 is the 2.7 with 16GB/768. Very very loaded when it came out... still an awesome machine and very capable of heavy lifting. $580 is right there on the cusp; unfortunately it has a bit of a dent in the case because it's well loved (my kid pulled it off the counter....) and the Apple Store says it's not eligible for a depot repair (totally would have done it for that because from what I understand that's almost a a refurb). The option would be a logic board swap... I don't really need the iGPU as this computer has taken a backseat in terms of photo editing etc to my my new hackintosh... it's really only middle aged in my family because we still have a 2009 MBP and 2006 iMAC that gets daily use....

the late 2013 already got the battery replacement option, which is why it's only got 33 cycles.. it's iGPU has got to be better than the one that is in my mid 2012.. might still consider picking it up because $580 seems like a good and my wife's 2009 MBP is getting a little long in the tooth (but dang she loves her DVD drive)

I really probably don't even need additional storage but like having the option...

When I went to High Sierra my computer was pretty much unusable. Tried using the 3fxstatus app and really didn't work. Right now I've reinstalled Sierra on my computer, using fan control to crank up the fans, and 3fxstatus and things seem to be stablish so far.. I've ran some computer stress tests (cinebench, sun spider, youtube 1080p etc etc) and things seem to be holding up so far

really appreciate the thoughts