Q about 2011 MBP and GPU problems

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bixby, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. bixby macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2011
    I have an early 2011 i7 15" MBP, with the high res anti glare display.
    I bought it used more than 2 years ago and didn't know about any potential GPU problems at that time.
    In the meantime, I upgraded it with 16GB RAM and a 500GB SSD.
    Most of the time, I am using it with a 24" display, so the dGPU is needed constantly.
    So far, I never had any issues with it and I really like my MBP (matte screen, RAM, SSD).
    Now with the repair program coming to an end in February, I am not sure what to do:

    - do nothing and keep using it. And hope it'll last. :)
    - try to sell it now (it's quite well equipped IMHO) and get a new 13"/15" rMBP (maybe wait for next release). I have to say they are appealing (Retina, lighter weight, ...)
    - run some GPU heavy games/demos to see if it fails and then have it fixed. But will it be fixed for good?

    What would you suggest?
    Thanks for any comments!
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Only you can decide how to go, if it has to be fixed it will very likely fail again in an indeterminate amount of time, although i think apple guarantee the repair for 90 days.

    If it was me I'd sell and buy something new but due to the well known GPU issue prices for that model aren't what they were.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If it was me facing this issue, I'd sell it now and get a different machine, most likely an iGPU equipped MBP.

    Just as an FYI, apple's repair program uses refurb logic boards, that is logic boards that previously failed were repaired and released. In a number of cases, they fail faster then the original logic boards. I'd not look to make your MBP fail, you're only asking for frustrations and headaches.
  4. ron1004 macrumors 6502


    Feb 6, 2010
    Louisville, KY
    Others have reported getting upgraded later model replacements after theirs failed three times.
  5. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    If it does fail and you do get it repaired, it most likely will not be fixed for good. The replacement part will in all likelihood have the same problem and will fail at some point, too.

    Your profile doesn't mention where you live. If it's within the EU, the replacement part may be covered by a 2 year statutory warranty, or perhaps even longer.
    I have practically the same machine, have had the logic board replaced, and now have a new 2 year warranty on the replacement logic board, plus one additional year under local consumer laws, for a total of three years of protection against further GPU-related errors.
  6. bixby, Jan 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016

    bixby thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2011
    Thanks for all your feedback!
    To be honest, I was hoping for something along the lines "See, there are lots of 2011 MBP that don't go bad, people just don't write about them on the message boards. Chances are, yours is fine!" :)

    Keeping it would be the simplest option.
    Even upgrading to El Capitan didn't kill it :)

    I'm from Germany btw. Too bad the repair program is ending in February. :(
    Of course everything will be fine till 2/29 and then I'll be greeted by a faulty GPU ;)

    JTToft, so far yours is doing well again after the repair I assume?
  7. lclev macrumors regular


    Jul 29, 2013
    I just took mine in because I noticed when I opened a website one day I had half inch columns of little pinkish to bluish fine hash lines. It showed them for about a minute and then the page showed correctly. It happened twice. So I took it to Apple. Needless to say it passed the in-store quick video test. So it is in for a 24 hour stress test now. If it fails it is off to the repair center. If not I get it back with a recommendation to take a picture if it happens again. Wish I would have thought of that when it first happened.

    I have upgraded the memory (16GB) and the hard drive to a 500GB SSD. It runs great - I just hope either they fix it or it was a fluke and all is good. We shall see.
  8. BrettApple macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2010
    Heart of the midwest
    Personally I'd sell it. But you could still easily get a few more years out of it to try and maximize your original investment. It seems to me that most of the ones that will fail have already done so.

    We have a 2011 15" that runs on the dGPU almost exclusively since it's running a projector and some light bars on stage. It's been upgraded to 16GB RAM + SSD like yours and we will keep it till it dies I suppose. El Capitan didn't kill it either :)

    My uncle also has a 15" MBP with the infamous 8600M GT that is still kicking and it was used with an external monitor most of the time, and its dGPU 100% of the time since there wasn't an integrated option back then. The MBP itself is in rough shape from traveling state to state for 7+ years, but it's still functional. It's no stranger to high heat either as it's used for web development and graphic design. Video encoding and 3D design included.
  9. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    - Like butter. Had the repair in March of last year. So I'm covered for possible future repairs of this issue until March 2018, by which time I'll likely be eyeing a new machine anyway. So I'm reasonably satisfied with my situation.
  10. ajcgn macrumors regular


    Oct 19, 2014
    Toronto, Ontario
    I got my early 2011 15" reflowed about 16 months ago and had to get it reballed a couple of weeks later. However, it's been fine ever since. Bit of a crap shoot, but in my case the price was definitely worth it (wasn't eligible for reimbursement as it was a hole in the wall type place).
  11. ron1004 macrumors 6502


    Feb 6, 2010
    Louisville, KY
    Reflowing is destined to fail repeatedly, however if it was reballed using lead based solder it could last indefinitely.

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