What's wrong with my Macbook? Freezing = failing GFX or logic board? (with screenshots)


macrumors member
Original poster
May 13, 2012
Hey folks. Late 2013 Macbook Pro Retina 13". Running an up-to-date Mavericks 10.9.5 but haven't added any new software to the computer since getting it in 2013 - so don't see how this could be fixed with El Cap as it was working fine until recently.

Machine locking up / freezing
Past few months its been acting up - it started with a few audio glitches (when playing music from my DJ app, music would completely stop and then skip ahead) and trackpad/keyboard freezed up every now and then.

Turned it on last night and right after logging in, the trackpad/keyboard freezes immediately! No matter how many times I restart and try again, same deal. It works every odd time if I'm CONSTANTLY moving the trackpad - if I stop moving it for 3 secs, machine hangs.

Safe mode works fine, but GFX are quirky....
What's funny though is that if I boot into safe mode, I can use the machine no problems. However, I did notice some little quirks in safe mode in regards to the graphics. Everything is a bit laggy and jittery, and I'm experiencing the zigzag line jitters in a few places: (1st pic in safe mode with Preview app, 2nd pic is after entering login details in standard boot):

macbook-jumbles2.jpg IMG_2976 (3).jpg

Is this a telltale sign of a failing graphics card or could this also be a logic board issue? Would a failing graphics card really make the audio in my DJ software skip/hang and freeze up the trackpad? I have a genius bar appointment in 2 days, any advice/help would be great before then! Thanks <3


macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
The GPU is built into the CPU which is soldered on to the logic board. Regardless of which part is bad, you're most likely going to need a new logic board.


macrumors member
Original poster
May 13, 2012
I've now done a complete bootable backup of the macbook drive - which I can boot into fine on my Mac Mini, so at least the drive/data's not the issue.

Would you recommend trying to do a fresh El Cap install on the macbook to see if that helps? Or is it best to leave it as it is for the genius bar? I'm also a little worried if it is a failing gfx/board, it might lock up during install?


Staff member
May 3, 2009
Apple's issues with GPUs is with discrete GPUs not integrated GPUs. The iGPU is part of the same silicon as the CPU, so it may not be going bad like radeongate. Nonetheless something funky is occurring and I recommend taking it into Apple. It does seem hardware related.
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macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
As the others say the GPU is integrated on that machine, so it will be considered a logic board failure and they'll just replace the whole thing.