Should I Upgrade Early-2011 MBP Despite Repair Program Expiration?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by RichardC300, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. RichardC300 macrumors 65816

    RichardC300

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2012
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    #1
    I have an early-2011 15" MBP that I've already upgraded RAM to 8 GB back in 2012 before the price skyrocketed, and now I'm looking to upgrade to to a SSD. My laptop has yet to be hit by the infamous GPU failure, so I feel like it will go out at any minute. The repair program that Apple recently announced has an expiration date of February 27, 2016, and I plan to keep this MBP at least until the Skylake but ideally until Cannonlake. Is it still worthwhile to upgrade despite the impending doom of my laptop?

    I would probably upgrade to a 250 GB Crucial BX100. Just looking for a SSD with good performance, reliability, and pricing. The BX100 seems to lag behind a bit in write speeds, but I don't think I'll notice. Also, what do you think will happen to SSD prices in the coming months?
     
  2. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #2
    Solely depends on how hard you are pushing the dGPU; the greater the usage, the higher frequency of heating and cooling the faster it will fail.

    I would go for the SSD, look to elevate the MBP and run MacsFan Control to spool up and more aggressively engage the fans. what you are looking achieve is to reduce the impact or "thermal shock" the slower the dGPU heats up and cools the likelihood of mechanical damage will be reduced.

    Q-6
     
  3. austinpike macrumors 6502

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    MN
    #3
    Prices are only trending down. If you are patient you can keep an eye on SlickDeals; I've gotten a couple 240/250GB for ~$70. Might not see that again until Black Friday though.

    Definitely worth the upgrade even at ~$100. You can always pull the drive and use it for external backup/storage if the video card dies.
     
  4. matty1551 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 7, 2009
    #4
    If you plan to keep the laptop that long I think it's a safe bet to go ahead and upgrade it. Even IF the laptop dies after the extended program is up you'll still be able to pull out your upgrades and get some of your money back. It's not like there won't be a market for SSD's.

    Plus, selling this thing off now may not be as profitable as you think. I haven't exactly done research but I wonder if this whole thing is hurting the secondary market for this specific year MBP.
     
  5. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #5
    There is a repair program that runs until next year. I'm not sure how well the refurbished boards will hold up, but it should be considered.
     
  6. RUGGLES99 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    #6
    Buying a used 2011 mbp

    I might be buying a used 2011 mbp, either 15 or 17 inch, on ebay. Once i own it, can i take advantage of the apple program to upgrade the graphics card, or do i have to be the original owner? Also, are the cards in the 15 more or less safe than the 17.? Or are both prone to have the card fail? Tia
     
  7. matty1551 macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I'd argue that the 17" may be minimally less prone only because you have more surface area in a 17" so your cooling will be slightly more efficient. Doubt it'd be enough to make any substantial difference though.
     
  8. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #8
    You will be better served by a 15" Retina, both 2011 15" & 17" MacBook Pro`s are prone to dGPU failure. Apple will very likely replace the failed Logic Board with a refurbished item with exactly the same components, which will be far more prone to failure.

    Once the machine is outside of the dGPU extended warranty period you will be on your own, nor is it straightforward process to effect the repair. The system must fail a specific test, if not it Apple may continue if you can substantiate dGPU failure, if not once again your on your own.

    Anyone thinking of purchasing one of the afflicted 15"MBP`s should think very carefully as the odds are against you. If you have owned the system from new, if the dGPU was used lightly, if you have been successful in moderating the systems temperature, it may run the course of time.

    There is no long term fix for these systems you either get lucky or you don't. Buying a used Notebook with a known flaw acknowledged by the manufacturer seems risky at best, foolish at worst...

    Q-6
     
  9. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

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    Mar 4, 2013
    #9
    Having the GPU re-balled with leaded solder is an effective fix and typically far less expensive than what Apple would charge for a flat-rate repair.
     
  10. RichardC300 thread starter macrumors 65816

    RichardC300

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2012
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    #10
    Thanks, guys. I didn't even think about re-selling it to recoup some funds. Gonna pick up an SSD soon then. I'm excited to see what Cindori releases for TRIM Enabler, because I've been seeing him post for a while now.

    Thanks for the advice! I had a gaming laptop that developed heat issues prior to my MBP, so I'm very cognizant of my MBP's temperature. I make sure my laptop is well ventilated at all times, and I've been using smcFanControl for a while, setting the minimum at 3K RPMs. Glad my old habits are not going to waste. I'm gonna check out Macs Fan Control, though. Looks a lot neater than smcFanControl.
     
  11. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #11
    You need to source and replace the GPU at minimum as the damage is more likely internalised to the component, reballing a damaged GPU only equals a short term fix and likely why so many of Apple`s refurbished boards fail in a matter of a few months.

    Even with a new GPU best you can hope for is another 2-3 years of use; same component, same thermal envelope, likely same usage pattern. Leaded solder has absolutely no impact to the wear and tear on the GPU due to rapid heating & cooling. The electronics industry resolved the issue of switching to lead free solder several years ago, if not such failures would be rife and not isolated to Apple`s dGPU implementation.

    To me it simply makes more sense to look for a Notebook that does not have this built in liability or at least mitigated by having adequate cooling for the TDP of the GPU.

    Q-6
     
  12. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #12
    Macs Fan Control is a far superior solution as you can trigger the fans on specific sensors, so the fans only spool up when required, similar to Apple`s solution only you can have a far more aggressive response. It also has the ability to have fixed RPM same as SMC Fan Control. I typically choose CPU Core temp and dGPU diode with an aggressive sitting biased to the GPU.

    SMC fan control is extremely stable and long in development, equally neither have presented is issue on my Apple portables. For the Mac`s with Intel GPU only I don't as a rule engage any third party app for cooling as there is very little evidence of any systemic issues related to operating temperatures, resulting premature failure.

    Q-6
     

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