rMBP GPU failure. It will happen?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Kekulus1, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. Kekulus1 macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2016
    Hi! I have a mid-2012 rmbp and I am wondering... if this problem with the gpu failure is affecting a small number of macbooks or the issue will affect every macbook from 2011 to early 2013 models.

    Is it safe to use it or do I need to change it ? Because I don't like the idea to have a product that have such problems.
  2. xb2003 macrumors 6502


    Jan 18, 2016
    As far as I've seen, the problem is with the non retina 15 pros. So I think your good. But someone may correct me.
  3. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    It depends on how you using it, I suppose.

    If you are pushing the dGPU to high temperature (for example, editing videos with Final Cut Pro), eventually, it will develop a fault.

    Even the new 2016 MacBook Pro with dGPU is having issues.

    You best bet is to buy a Late 2013/Mid 2014/Early 2015 model without dGPU.
  4. Kekulus1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2016

    But I don't want to lose the power of my quad core :(
    I work a lot in Logic Pro and I need that extra power from i7.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 3, 2016 ---
    It happens on retinas as well. From mid 2012 to early 2013
  5. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    There are MacBook Pro 15" with Intel Core i7 Quad-core and Iris Pro graphics without dGPU.

    Specifically Late 2013/Mid 2014/Early 2015
  6. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    I still have a stock 2008 & 2011 15" MBP running in the house so feel I am reasonably well versed; as others have stated the MBP is prone to premature failure when used hard, the retina models (2012-2015) less so. Key is to keep the GPU as cool as reasonably practicable, equally much will be dependant on your usage/workflow. There are some practical things that can be done to help;

    So Being an owner & user of the 15" MacBook Pro forever; Over the years the 15" has frequently struggled with it`s thermals, especially when an external display is connected as the dGPU switches on by default, internal temperatures soar, equally there are some steps that can be taken to reduce the systems temperature;
    • Elevate the rear, aluminium passive coolers generally work best (I use RainDesign`s mStand & iLap)
    • Increase base fan RPM to 3K or as much as you are comfortable with (MacsFanControl or SMC Fan Control)
    • Limit the dGPU`s usage with gfxCardStatus
    • Swap out Chrome for Chrome Canary as it`s generally more optimised for OS X and will extend battery run time, reduce thermals
    • Swap out VLC for Movist as again it`s a reduced load on CPU/GPU
    • Uninstall or block Flash
    • Install an ad blocker Wipr or AdGuard works well
    • Powered coolers are very much a "mixed bag" when it comes to Mac portables, you need one that has a high capacity (100 CFM minimum) and preferably a large single fan, this can help to keep the 15" internal fans below 4K which for many is good enough as often it`s this point and beyond where the fans become intrusive. Don't expect a powered cooler impact internal temperatures, beyond a couple of degrees
    • Older notebooks can benefit from cleaning of the cooling system
    • Retina`s can benefit from cleaning of the cooling system, as the heat syncs are far smaller and loose efficiency faster, due to build up of dust
    • Replacing the thermal paste has been hit & miss, some with very positive results, some with no improvement over stock. Personally I would only do this on a Mac Portable that was either very old, or one that I can confirm was definitely running hotter than stock.
    • If your MBP has a discrete GPU, it will fire up when an external display is connected as default, temperatures will rise rapidly.
    • Consider a specific vertical stand when using a MPB in "Clamshell" mode allowing for greater circulation of air. Some recommend inverting the MBP in the stand with the exhaust at the top & intake at the bottom (Retina`s)
    • If using professionally consider a backup system
    The key to a quiet life with a 15" MacBook Pro is several incremental changes that do add up to reduce thermals. From my experience over the years if your going to push a 15"/17" hard the fans are going to max out fast, with associated temperature & noise. If your using it with a moderate load life can be made quieter For the most part your MBP runs hot as that`s how Apple designed it, the trade off for form over, function, thin & light...

    The old adage still applies; it`s easier to keep a system cool, than cool-down an already overly hot machine. This being said it`s not strictly necessary, equally it`s nice to know that there are some options for reducing temperature out there.


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