Radeongate on 2012 rMBPs (risk of dGPU failure)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by maflynn, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #1
    With the dGPUs failing on 2011 MBPs is there any assurance that this won't hit the 2012 rMBPs?

    Apple's track record for discrete GPUs doesn't seem all that great in light of the failing 2011 MBPs
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #2
    The thermal paste was nicely applied on the 2012 MBPs with GT 650M (both 15" variants of the cMBP and rMBP), so Radeongate (more appropriately, NVIDIAgate) is far less likely to occur on these models.

    That said, unleaded solder is still used (so much for environmental concerns, eh?).

    So far, here's the GPU failures that I know of, on Macs:
    2008 MBPs: NVIDIA 8600GT (NVIDIA's fault, not Apple's). Extended repair programme offered.
    2010 MBPs: NVIDIA GT 330M (not sure whose fault was it). Extended repair programme offered.
    2011 MBPs: AMD Radeon 6490M/6750M/6770M. Clearly Apple's fault (shoddy application of thermal paste. Using unleaded solder added insult to injury). No extended repair programme offered, because:
    1. The 6xx0M chips aren't made anymore.
    2. Logic board replacements won't work as all the logic boards have the same manufacturing flaw on the GPU. Which means the only solution from Apple, if any, is to replace the board 3 times and offer a new rMBP of at least 2.3/16/512/750M.
    3. Giving everyone new rMBPs is way too costly.

    Side note: The 2011 27" iMacs with Radeon 6970M also suffered from the same failures, but Apple launched an extended repair programme for that because the GPU wasn't soldered (it was connected to an MXM slot).
     
  3. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #3
    What does unleaded solder have to do with GPUs failing? I'm not familiar with it and its uses.

    I've reapplied thermal compound on CPUS/GPUs in the past, maybe that's something I should look into now, though I'm beyond the point of wanting to tear apart my laptop. I just want it to work.

    It may be a moot point if this unleaded solder has issues with longevity.
     
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #4
    Unleaded solder doesn't withstand heat cycles as well as leaded solder.

    Heat cycles is the number of times something expands and contracts due to heat.

    When heat cycles build up, the solder is weakened and will crack. Leaded solder, if I recall correctly, is significantly better in withstanding this.
     
  5. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #5
    Thanks,

    I've been googling this and so far there is no evidence that we have a consistent issue with dPGUs on the 2012 rMBPs but still, the use of the unleaded solder is troubling.
     
  6. chrfr macrumors 603

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    #6
    I'm hoping that after the issues with the 8x00 GPUs that Nvidia has figured out how to build a chip now. I too haven't run across any widespread issues with the 650M in the 2012 MBPs, but then again, the 2011s are really starting to have problems so maybe we have a year to go.
     
  7. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #7
    Just look here at the increased occurrence of people posting threads about the GPU issues with the 2011 models.

    That's what I'm worried about, so on one hand things may have been improved with the fabrication methods and manufacturing techniques (thermal paste) but with the use of unleaded solder, it keeps the door open on whether we'll be incurring widespread failures.

    I'm running on a dGPU 99% of time, because when I don't travel, its hooked up to my external display. So for 2 years this rMBP has been only on the discrete gpu.
     
  8. chrfr macrumors 603

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    #8
    Nvidia first used lead-free solder with the 8x00 GPUs, and that's what triggered those failures. They had smaller scale problems again with the 330M in the 2010 MBP, which is probably why Apple went Radeon on the 2011 MBP.
    I use a 2012 cMBP at work that's been on and connected to an external display nearly every day and no graphics issues so far. My fingers are crossed.
     
  9. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #9
    Yours is a 2012 rMBP, so you have a far better ventilation system compared to the cMBP.

    Don't get too worried about it, because:
    1. The 650M has a far better thermal paste job on it.
    2. It's got a far better ventilation system, so heat cycles probably aren't as much.

    ----------

    Apple didn't seem to have problems with the 9400M in the 2009 MBPs.
     
  10. chrfr macrumors 603

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    #10
    No, nor the 320M, but neither of those are really dGPUs.
    Presumably the 330M had heat issues because there was no repair extension for the 17" MBP which had the same GPU as the 15".
     
  11. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #11

    Perhaps, and temps are not that bad on my rMBP (low 40s Celsius) Yet the fact remains Apple's recent track record with discrete GPU's is not all that encouraging.

    I was thinking of selling the rMBP and this may be the justification, peace of mind goes a long way in my book and while the rMBP may be ok given the better ventalation and improved fabrication process by nVidiea, we can't be totally sure.
     
  12. T5BRICK macrumors 604

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    #12
    What about environmental concerns? Lead free(or unleaded as you call it) solder is what manufacturers are moving towards because lead based solder is potentially harmful.

    Apple has been using lead-free solder for quite some time now(. Pretty much all consumer products are. I believe even medical devices are required to move to lead-free solder as of this year.

    Lead free solder is harder, more brittle and has a higher melting point. This makes it more susceptible to fractures due to thermal cycles and mechanical stress. The higher melting point means that slightly different design methods must be used when laying out a circuit board. Manufacturing processes have improved over the years and most(but not all) of the issues regarding lead free solder have been resolved.
     
  13. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #13
    So are you saying my concerns are unfounded at this point?
     
  14. T5BRICK macrumors 604

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    #14
    No, whoever is building the logic boards for Apple may have a process that isn't working properly.

    I'm just saying that lead free solder probably isn't the (main) issue here.
     
  15. Traverse macrumors 603

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    #15
    Selling it and leaving Mac, or getting another Mac?
     
  16. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    #16
    How can it be Radeongate? It should be Nvidiagate...

    If you are too worried, you can always sell in the last few months of AppleCare (i.e. shortly before 3 years) and buy a new model. Also gives you an up to date machine as a side benefit!
     
  17. TechZeke macrumors 68020

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    #17
    Actually, it should be called Geforcegate.
     
  18. UBS28 macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    What heat issues? My 2010 MBP 15" with the 330m runs perfectly in 2014. There are probably some isolated cases of people who got a bad batch of GPU's.

    Intel had problems with the motherboard a while ago so there a few bad units there. That's no reason to avoid Intel also.

    ----------

    So when people started to post about the widespread SSD failures of OCZ, you also started to avoid SSD's in general? :confused:
     
  19. Quackers macrumors 6502a

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  20. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #20
    No but it would give me pause in purchasing OCZ. Likewise we're not talking about all computers. I asked about this since if you look back Apple's track record with dGPUs is not that stellar.

    That means perhaps in the future it may be wise to avoid MBPs with dGPUs (not all computers with dGPUs just apple's). Besides, the Iris pro is a great iGPU and for my needs that would be enough.

    You missed my point with your comment about avoiding all SSDs due to OCZ. I already own a 2012 rMBP and wanted more information and opinions, I was not looking for purchase advise.

    ----------

    I haven't run that, maybe I'll get to that tonight when I get home from the office. I don't have an issue throttling or temperature issue. My rMBP typically stays in the 40c when in OSX, though I've seen it climb as high as 80c if I was doing something intensive. If I'm in windows (which I need when I worki from home) I don't have a temperature utility so I have no idea how hot its getting
     
  21. chrfr macrumors 603

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    #21
    There was a repair extension from Apple for Nvidia defects with the 330M in the 15" Mid 2010 MBP.
    http://support.apple.com/kb/TS4088
     
  22. Quackers macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    The initial temp spike on the individual runs plus the overall temp plus any throttling may give some indications.
    I wasn't aware of any throttling as such before I ran it on mine.
     
  23. UBS28 macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Did you read that link? It says that a small number of Macbook Pro's 2010 15" are affected, so it's isolated to a small batch. It's not a widespread failure of the 330m.

    My 2010 15" with the 330m runs perfectly still (4-year old machine) so I can vouch that this is not a widespread problem.

     
  24. chrfr macrumors 603

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    #24
    It's a big enough problem that Apple issued a repair extension. Your sample of one is not large enough to say one way or the other. I have 3 of these at work. 2 have video issues.
     
  25. UBS28 macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Apple has officially stated that it affects only a small number of machines, so I don't see why you try to twist it otherwise. 3 machines is statistically irrelevant either.

    You're twisting Apple's great customer service into a big problem which doesn't exist.
     

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