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Curase

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 19, 2016
12
1
I have a Macbook Pro mid-2012 Retina 17". It recently froze several times, then started working again. Now, during boot up, horizontal green lines appear across the entire screen, and it consistently freezes on the initial boot screen with the Apple logo. I cannot boot into safe mode. Resetting the SMC and the NVRAM did not help.

I'm currently in Kerala, India, so I cannot take it to Apple. A local technician opened it up and said that the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650M video card needs to be replaced because there was so much dust inside it that the GPU overheated, damaging it. However, this technician had relatively little experience with Macs I think.

We talked to another technician in a different city on the phone, who said he's seen this problem a lot in Macbook Pros, and that he can somehow fix the connections between the motherboard and the video card to make it work again the same day (which would be great because it would take weeks for a replacement part to get here). He said either way, whether we do his connection fix or replace the GPU, the problem will probably reoccur within 3 months to a year. I'm not sure, but I think he might have been referring to the known issue that Apple issued a video card replacement for for several other models, including the Mid-2012 Retina 15", but not the Mid-2012 Retina 17". I don't know if that issue applies to my 17" model. He said the issue was specific to the Nvidia GTX 650M.

Do you have any insights or advice about the situation? Thank you.
 

FlyingDutch

macrumors 65816
Aug 21, 2019
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Eindhoven (NL)
2012 model ? It is just to old for such a repair...
Basically the only way you could fix it in a reliable way is to replace the whole logic board, if you can find one.
 

Curase

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 19, 2016
12
1
2012 model ? It is just to old for such a repair...
Basically the only way you could fix it in a reliable way is to replace the whole logic board, if you can find one.

Why is that? Is this the same as the reason for the video card replacement program, even though it never technically applied to the mid-2012 17" model? It's a discrete GPU, no? So can't the GPU be replaced?

One of the technicians said he could "fix" the motherboard somehow to make it work for another 3-4 months or so, he thinks.
 

FlyingDutch

macrumors 65816
Aug 21, 2019
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Why is that? Is this the same as the reason for the video card replacement program, even though it never technically applied to the mid-2012 17" model? It's a discrete GPU, no? So can't the GPU be replaced?

One of the technicians said he could "fix" the motherboard somehow to make it work for another 3-4 months or so, he thinks.
unfortunately the GPU is soldered, even if it is a discrete model.
An almost 8 years old component, exposed to quite high temperatures (MBP is a small notebook after all), could fail.
I'm ok buying a 3/4 years old notebook.
Not an 8 years old notebook.

My two cents.
 
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Curase

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 19, 2016
12
1
unfortunately the GPU is soldered, even if it is a discrete model.
An almost 8 component, exposed to quite high temperatures (MBP is a small notebook after all), could fail.
I'm ok buying a 3/4 years old notebook.
Not an 8 years old notebook.

My two cents.
If we buy the same graphics card on eBay from a company in China, could a repair technician theoretically remove the old video card and solder the new video card to the motherboard? That's what this person seems to be telling us he wants to do.
 

tpivette89

macrumors 6502a
Jan 1, 2018
536
294
Middletown, DE
There was no mid-2012 17" model. The last year it was produced was for the late-2011 model year run.

So what you have is a late-2011 17" with the 6770M AMD GPU, which was known to fail. The solder joints between it and the logic board would breakdown over time and cause the laptop to have issues.

What the one technician is probably going to do is remove the logic board, and bake it in an oven for a few minutes. This is a known workaround and has a chance of getting the solder joints to expand and "reconnect" for a period of time. This is not a permanent fix, however, and eventually you will experience issues again.

There are only 2 permanent fixes... get a new logic board (highly unlikely to actually find one, and if you do, it will be expensive), or have an experienced technician re-solder the GPU to your logic board (do a search for Louis Rossmann on youtube... he performs this service I believe, but is located in NY city). Either option is going to be expensive and will probably exceed the value of the computer itself.

Your best bet is to try the oven method and ride it out as long as you can. It would cost you nothing if you can disassemble the computer yourself (while you're in there, you can do a probably much needed cleaning). It's either that, or start shopping for a new laptop.
 

FlyingDutch

macrumors 65816
Aug 21, 2019
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Eindhoven (NL)
If we buy the same graphics card on eBay from a company in China, could a repair technician theoretically remove the old video card and solder the new video card to the motherboard? That's what this person seems to be telling us he wants to do.
Technically is feasible, but the "new" GPU isn't new, since we are speaking about a very old model and Apple doesn't sell "original parts".
So the "new" GPU will be a refurbished one.
 

Curase

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 19, 2016
12
1
There was no mid-2012 17" model. The last year it was produced was for the late-2011 model year run.

So what you have is a late-2011 17" with the 6770M AMD GPU, which was known to fail. The solder joints between it and the logic board would breakdown over time and cause the laptop to have issues.

What the one technician is probably going to do is remove the logic board, and bake it in an oven for a few minutes. This is a known workaround and has a chance of getting the solder joints to expand and "reconnect" for a period of time. This is not a permanent fix, however, and eventually you will experience issues again.

There are only 2 permanent fixes... get a new logic board (highly unlikely to actually find one, and if you do, it will be expensive), or have an experienced technician re-solder the GPU to your logic board (do a search for Louis Rossmann on youtube... he performs this service I believe, but is located in NY city). Either option is going to be expensive and will probably exceed the value of the computer itself.

Your best bet is to try the oven method and ride it out as long as you can. It would cost you nothing if you can disassemble the computer yourself (while you're in there, you can do a probably much needed cleaning). It's either that, or start shopping for a new laptop.

What a twist! I'm pretty sure it's a 17" Retina mid-2012, and based on the model number, the GPU is an Nvidia Geforce GTX 650M. I bought it in India in 2012.
 

Curase

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 19, 2016
12
1
Ummm... are you sure it's 17"?

Can you post a photo of it with the lid open?
I found an old work order from Apple, and I stand corrected: it is a mid-2012 Retina 15" model.

That doesn't really change anything about my options though, does it? Does the baking trick also apply to this one?
 
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DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
13,498
4,418
Delaware
Another tip is to try reseating the RAM, which will occasionally help.
BUT, you have the first retina MBpro, which has soldered (permanent) RAM -- no replaceable cards on that one.

I've not heard of any suitable replacement graphics chips, but if the repair shop that you talked to is offering you a chance at that, might be a worthwhile, if the price is right.
I bet the shop is suggesting a "reball" or a "reflow", where they heat up the board enough to liquify the solder connections on the board, and (if the issue is a faulty solder connection) might get your graphics chip working again.
.. possibly
 

Curase

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 19, 2016
12
1
Does the video card itself need to be replaced, which would take weeks? Or does the current video card just need to be resoldered?
 

Curase

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 19, 2016
12
1
Another tip is to try reseating the RAM, which will occasionally help.
BUT, you have the first retina MBpro, which has soldered (permanent) RAM -- no replaceable cards on that one.

I've not heard of any suitable replacement graphics chips, but if the repair shop that you talked to is offering you a chance at that, might be a worthwhile, if the price is right.
I bet the shop is suggesting a "reball" or a "reflow", where they heat up the board enough to liquify the solder connections on the board, and (if the issue is a faulty solder connection) might get your graphics chip working again.
.. possibly
thanks for the information.
 

tpivette89

macrumors 6502a
Jan 1, 2018
536
294
Middletown, DE
I found an old work order from Apple, and I stand corrected: it is a mid-2012 Retina 15" model.

That doesn't really change anything about my options though, does it? Does the baking trick also apply to this one?
Yes, the baking trick will still apply.

I bet the shop is suggesting a "reball" or a "reflow", where they heat up the board enough to liquify the solder connections on the board, and (if the issue is a faulty solder connection) might get your graphics chip working again.
.. possibly
This is the same thing as the "baking trick"... the entire logic board is removed and placed in an oven. The GPU cannot be removed from the logic board as it is soldered to it.
 
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