MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Many early and late-2011 MacBook Pro owners with discrete graphics cards seem to be experiencing GPU failures and system crashes on their machines. In addition to several tips received by MacRumors, there's a lengthy thread on the issue on the Apple Support Communities, a Facebook group, and many reports of trouble on our own forums.

It appears that the MacBooks, first released on February 28, 2011, are displaying screen glitches primarily during graphics-intensive work or games. MacBook owners have noted visible striations and image distortion or an entirely blank screen, which can often be temporarily fixed with a reboot.

mbp20111gpufailures.jpg
An example of the screen glitches 2011 MacBook Pro owners are seeing
Along with graphical issues, MacBook Pro owners are also seeing frequent reboots to a gray screen. Apple has several suggestions for customers seeing a gray screen, including booting into safe mode and reinstalling OS X, which has not managed to solve the problem for MacBook Pro owners experiencing issues.

Apple has done logic board replacements in some cases for affected users, but reports indicate that the issue has reoccured after a logic board replacement as well. It is unclear why the MacBook Pros are experiencing problems, but Apple forum users have speculated that it could be heat related.

The issue appears to affect 15 and 17-inch MacBook Pros that have discrete graphics cards. All of the 2011 MacBooks use AMD cards, including the AMD Radeon HD 6490M, the AMD Radeon HD 6750M (both 512MB/1GB variants) and the AMD Radeon HD 6770M.

Mid-2011 iMacs with AMD Radeon HD 6970 graphics cards experienced similar failures and in August of 2013, Apple initiated a Graphics Card Replacement Program for the computers, replacing the graphics cards of affected iMacs at no cost.

Article Link: Some 2011 MacBook Pros Experiencing GPU Glitches, System Crashes
 

magbarn

macrumors 68030
Oct 25, 2008
2,507
1,659
2008 MBP Nvidia'gate' redux :mad:
I wonder if it's from 'lead-free solder'...
 
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jcw5002

macrumors newbie
Apr 30, 2010
21
7
Yep, this happened to me about a year ago. Early-2011 15" MBP. Luckily I had AppleCare and Apple replaced my logic board. No issues since.
 
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MacMadHatter

macrumors newbie
Jun 4, 2011
27
1
This really pisses me off. My 2011 17" MBP was doing this and I thought it was giving up the ghost and I needed a laptop so had to buy a new MBP right before the 2013's were released..

And I really liked my 17" MBP which I still have.
 
Comment

Prof.

macrumors 603
Aug 17, 2007
5,009
1,017
Chicago
This really pisses me off. My 2011 17" MBP was doing this and I thought it was giving up the ghost and I needed a laptop so had to buy a new MBP right before the 2013's were released..

And I really liked my 17" MBP which I still have.
If apple offers free repair services, get it fixed and then sell it...?
 
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WestonHarvey1

macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2007
2,502
1,434
I have a Mid-2010 MacBook Pro with the defective NVIDIA 330M. It will randomly kernel panic a couple times a day unless I force it to use integrated graphics at all times, which means I can no longer use my external monitor.

NVIDIA apparently paid Apple for these defective chips, but mine started showing symptoms just a couple months after Apple's 3 year warranty extension ended, and they will not fix it.
 
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Vikz

macrumors regular
Nov 13, 2007
134
2
San Juan, Puerto Rico
My 2009 MBP reboots randomly. I have already tried reinstalling with and no backup. I've also seen that in a 2010 MBP of a classmate while studying and giving out a presentation.
 
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the_ron

macrumors newbie
Jan 27, 2003
26
2
Charlottesville, VA
My 2011 15" with a Radeon 6750M started kernel panicking and rebooting constantly just last Wednesday. I did a clean reinstall of OS X but the crashes returned last night. I'll have to monitor my graphics card switching and see if the panics are linked. Luckily, I still have Applecare...
 
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pski

macrumors newbie
Jan 17, 2014
1
0
Had this problem on my Early 2011 MBP last year. Apple replaced the logic board and battery(!) an no charge under AppleCare. No problem since.

Always get the AppleCare.
 
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BetaPro

macrumors member
Oct 30, 2010
34
1
Exactly what happened to mine, costed me over 600$ to get it repaired by Apple. In the process of selling it, don't want it to happen again as I believe it's quite possible.
 
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taptic

macrumors 65816
Dec 5, 2012
1,338
437
California
Well at least it might get some attention from Apple... unlike some other computer companies I know.
 
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lupado

macrumors newbie
Dec 8, 2011
14
0
Washington, DC
2008 Freezing

I have a 2008 Macbook Pro and it has been freezing and locking up on me. Anyone else having this issue? Maybe it's the upgrade to Maverick.
 
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bakernt

macrumors newbie
Jan 17, 2014
2
0
Same issues Mid-2010

I have had the same issues with my 15" Mid-2010 MBP and it didn't start till I upgraded to Mavericks. Fresh install of OSX, replaced the logic board and NVIDIA 330M twice, the ram, for some reason the magsafe and it's still having issues. It's even doing it in specific programs. Just got :apple: to agree to a replacement though.
 
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WestonHarvey1

macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2007
2,502
1,434
The MacBook Pro Mid 2010 models also have a Replacement Program. While not really the same thing, it seems the video chipsets in MacBook Pros are having issues.

MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010): Intermittent black screen or loss of video

That program has expired, unfortunately.

It sucks because it's not like the chips broke out of warranty - they were defective the day they left the factory. It wasn't until some kernel changes in Mountain Lion that many people really started to notice it.
 
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epirali

macrumors member
Apr 9, 2010
52
19
Maryland
I had same issue with 2011 17" MBP

Paid apple to replace the motherboard, but not willing to give up the 17" I bought another refurbish in the meanwhile as backup. I saw tons of reports of this on 15" and 17" but Apple claimed there is no known issue.

I wonder if I'll get a refund if they ever acknowledge the problem.
 
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vertgo

macrumors member
Dec 18, 2006
56
13
It sounds to me very likely to be a heat issue.

Intermittent problems like this that crop up after a couple of years are probably because of degraded hear dissipation after fans accumulate some dust. Also eroded solder or thermal paste. I wonder if people going through this opened up their machines and blew dust off would see a reprieve.
 
Comment

MacMadHatter

macrumors newbie
Jun 4, 2011
27
1
I have a 2008 Macbook Pro and it has been freezing and locking up on me. Anyone else having this issue? Maybe it's the upgrade to Maverick.

No my issue started before maverick released and Mavericks did not fix it either.
 
Comment

vertgo

macrumors member
Dec 18, 2006
56
13
I wonder if I'll get a refund if they ever acknowledge the problem.

It's too bad. We pay almost double what other manufacturers charge because we trust their build and QA, so it's disappointing when this stuff happens and you buy other machines of theirs in the meantime. You've essentially rewarded them with more money for your previous hardware failure
 
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Tankmaze

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2012
1,689
326
Damn, I own mbp late 2011 but found no issues *knock on wood.

This is reminisce of the nvidia 8600, which is a shame :(
 
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timbloom

macrumors 6502a
Jan 19, 2002
745
25
We have one at our office that's doing the same thing... Expensive to repair so we've just held off, and we've given the user a PC.
 
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