Which Macbook (Pro or Air) without dGPU?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Beliblis, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. Beliblis macrumors regular

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    #1
    Hi,

    On my previous 15" MBP (late 2011) my dGPU died (Radeongate). This was last year, before Apple issued a recall, and I've had another company try to fix it by replacing the Radeon video chip (proper replacement, no reballing). Unfortunately, the replacement didn't work. And I guess Apple would notice that someone's already worked on the machine, so I guess I don't qualify for the recall programme. (Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong).

    I've been working on an 2.5 GHz i7 Macmini ever since my MBP died, and I'm very happy with it. Intel 4000 seems good enough for what I do (which includes high-end retouching with heaps of layers etc...)

    I would like to buy a used Macbook which I'll use maybe 10% of the time (when I travel). The other 90%, I'll do on my MacMini.
    I'd like a reasonably powerful machine. Something snappy (SSD), reasonable battery performance (about 5-6 hours of working in Keynote, Powerpoint, e-mails, occasional Photoshop).

    Options are: MBP 13" or 15". Or Macbook Air. Retina is not important. 2011 or 2012 models maybe, to keep cost down.

    What I _DONT_ want is another machine with a dGPU. Built-in Intel graphics is good enough.
    What would you recommend? What's best "bang for the buck"? Any particular models/years to avoid because they have known problems?

    Thank you for your advice!
     
  2. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    #2
    MacBook airs are really nice. The 2012 13" MacBook Pro is a good one too.

    Are Apple refurbs available where you are? You can get a computer with warranty and a discount if you're able to go that route.
     
  3. heisenberg123 macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

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    #3
    I too had a 15" 2011 the GPU died I went with the 13" 2105 rMBP and I am loving it
     
  4. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #4
    if your dGPU died it doesn't mean all will die.
    I have a late 11 MBP 15" perfectly working, for example.

    I would like my rMBP 13" to have a discreet GPU instead ...
     
  5. Beliblis thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Apple has a bad track-record with dGPU on various models. Other manufacturers suffer similar problems. I remember reading somewhere that chances of a dGPU machine failing are about 10 times higher than one without dGPU.
     
  6. Beliblis thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    Refurbs are available, but to be honest: although I like working in MacOS (and have been doing so for over 15 years), I am reluctant to spend any more money with Apple directly. Not because my MBP failed, but because of Apple's late recall on those machines. Very bad customer service, and it took Apple a class-action suit to recognise the problem.
    I'd rather buy second-hand, and don't mind if it's a slightly older machine.
     
  7. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #7
    well, every time I remember it wasn't really Apple's fault, but the dGPU supplier....
     
  8. Beliblis thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    I don't care whose fault it is. A broken dGPU is a broken dGPU. Besides: thinner, lighter and quieter laptops = higher temperatures = higher dGPU failure rate. Either way, CPU + dGPU are kind of similar to "RAID 0" hard-drive config. If one component fails, the entire machine fails.

    What I _do_ care about is customer service. Especially when I purchase a premium product. And that's where Apple definitely had a problem, the way they handled the 2011 MBP radeongate. Same for Apple's recent trend of soldered ram/ssd, glued-in batteries etc...
     
  9. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #9
    A problem? Apple is repairing MacBooks several years out of warranty.... Link me any other vendor doing that.
    2011 MBP are from ..... 2011 ! It's four years ago, and they are going to service them until 2016, so 5 years of extended warranty. So much for a "poor customer service ".
     
  10. Beliblis, Oct 12, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015

    Beliblis thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    Yes, a problem. It took a class-action-suit for Apple to even recognise the 2011 MBP Radeongate issue (4 months after the actual class-action suit):
    http://www.macrumors.com/2014/10/28/macbook-pro-2011-graphics-lawsuit/
    http://www.macrumors.com/2015/02/19/2011-macbook-pro-repair-program-apple/

    So much for a "poor customer service". (And by the way: this is not "extended warranty". It's a recall.) Take a look at the top-rated comments in that 2nd link, and you'll find I'm not alone with my opinion.

    Either way: You want a dGPU machine, that's your choice and fine with me. I _dont_ want a dGPU machine, and that's my choice. This thread is not intended to discuss Apple's customer service. It'd be nice to keep it on-topic.
     
  11. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #11
    It's not a recall: they are servicing only affected units and they said there are just a small number involved.
    I'm not going to questioning your choice about dGPU
     
  12. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    #12
    Sounds like any 13 inch retina from late 2013 onwards would be perfect for you.
     
  13. Beliblis thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    Looking at an early 2011 MBP 13".
    Yes, I've been looking at these. Retina is not that important for me, though. So I may go even older, maybe mid-2012 or late-2011.
    2011 don't have batteries glued in, and like I said: it'll be used for travel only, and that way I'm hoping to get quite a few years out of it. So battery replacement may become important at some point. (Plus: the 2011 i5 13" has a geekbench of only 10% less than my current macmini). If I put in an SSD, it should be good enough.
     
  14. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    #14
    Yeah cool go for your life but I'd go 2012 onwards for USB 3 if nothing else. Also don't underestimate the retina that display makes text much easier on the eyes and for me it's the main reason to go retina, they are also a lot ligther for travel. It costs $120 for a battery replacement from apple and an apple battery for the older modeels are $90-$100 anyway so don't think you'll save there either.
     
  15. Beliblis thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    USB3 would be nice, sure. But I mainly use USB for graphics tablet and charging iPhone, only occasionally for large amounts of data. So USB2 is good enough. (Considering the laptop will only be used as a travel machine).

    I just bought a late i5 2011 MPB 13" with 8gigs of ram and 256gb SSD for £400 (USD640). Quite happy with that. Thanks for all your opinions & advice!
     
  16. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #16
    Yes and no, in some instances yes the fault was isolated to the dGPU chip, in many others it`s related to the elevated operating temperatures and rapid heating & cooling cycles due to the lack of thermal headroom on the 15" MBP.

    Q-6
     
  17. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #17
    The Retina models have significantly improved cooling, that in isolation is one of the most compelling reasons to purchase a Retina MBP. If the Logic Board has to replace due to dGPU failure it`s very expensive and you only get a refurb Logic Board with the same issues, which will arguably be even more prone to failure. Depending on your planned usage the 2011`s can be literally "time bombs" due to the weak dGPU and inefficient cooling system

    Q-6
     
  18. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #18
    that's just an hypothesis .... Nobody proved it was an inefficient cooling system.

    We actually don't know the percentage of MBP affected by this issue. Apple claims it was a "very little percentage"
     
  19. Beliblis thread starter macrumors regular

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    #19
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know the 13-inch models from 2011 don't have a dGPU, so shouldn't be a time bomb as such. (Though of course one never knows, it may fail for other reasons).

    Also: How did the cooling in the retinas improve? It's the same material (aluminium), but even thinner. Are the dGPUs or CPU running at lower temperatures?
    I'd be interested to hear more about that...

    Up to early 2013 models are still running the Core i5/i7 "M" series chips (same as 2011 models are all "M").
    From October 2013 onwards, Apple has been using the "U" (ultrabook) series i5 and i7, which indeed run cooler. Not sure if that has any positive impact on dGPU temperatures, though...
    I'd be interested to hear more on that if anyone has some in-depth/technical knowledge on these kind of things.
     
  20. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #20
    Close to 40K here alone; Apple has been compelled to release or forced to release multiple extend warranty programs over the years for dGPU. I do agree that only Apple knows the real numbers, equally I have little doubt the number will be significant.

    As for inefficiency, it`s fairly obvious, Apple simply chooses to prioritise thin, light & quiet, the trade off is higher operating temperatures, and greater potential for failure. I have conducted extensive environmental testing & analysis on far bigger toy`s than the MBP and I can assure you, that high operating temperatures combined with frequent thermal cycling result in one thing; premature failure and or reduction in lifecycle even when the electronics are Mil Spec and rate to 150C...

    Q-6
     
  21. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #21
    40K seem a big number, but how many units did they sale ? 20 Millions ? It isn't so big then ....
    Surely the MBP with Radeon dGPU was "more prone" to failure, but it's quite different from consider it a "time bomb".
    As I said, I'm not using my Macs for gaming (PlayStation and Xbox for that ....), but regarding your "higher operating temperatures" on my 2011 MBP I can say it definitely isn't hot. CPU operating temperature usually stay well below 45° C, and even when doing heavy task I'm not experiencing anything above 80-85° C, and for a relatively short time.
    This is soooooo far from being dangerous.

    In a different scenario (users keeping their Macs well above 60-70° C for prolonged periods daily) the situation could be different, but in my case I'm not using a time bomb (actually I'm selling the MBP 15" since I switched to the 13" a few days ago).
     
  22. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #22
    Correct the 13" does not have the high power dGPU, and in general runs significantly cooler. The Retina`s have a more traditional cooling system where cool air is pulled in the front sides of the chassis, accelerated and exhausted out the rear (hinge). This helps to keep the airflow cool prior to passing through the heat exchangers.

    The aluminium chassis/case has very little to do with cooling the system, it simply radiates heat generated by the internals. It`s the cooling system that keeps the CPU/dGPU cool.

    Off the top of my head the Air uses the U series CPU, MBP`s M series and the new MacBook Y series (Core M)

    Q-6
     
  23. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #23
    Told you it will be significant, companies don't issue warranty extensions for a small percentage of random failures, the cost is simply too high. We still have a 2011 and know the thermal profile well, 45C for heavy tasks, not even the 13" Retina can do this.........


    Q-6
     
  24. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #24
    That doesn't reflect my experience.
    In this moment my 13" rMBP (early 2015 brand new and perfect) has 40°C of cpu temp while web browsing with a couple apps in background.
    In the same situation my 15" MBP late 11 was 36-38° C using the Integrated GPU.
     
  25. Max(IT), Oct 13, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015

    Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #25
    Read again what I wrote, please.
    Under 80°C for heavy task and always below 45°C for the rest of the time....

    Small percentage you can't know: maybe it's 8%, and it means thousands and thousands of units, worth a warranty extension, but not a time bomb...
     

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