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2011 MacBook Pro and Discrete Graphics Card

457942 Views 4,364 Replies Latest reply: Apr 17, 2014 7:49 AM by misterbuster RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • Randall57 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 7, 2013 2:13 AM (in response to DannyZinhoW)

    Unbelievable! After reading the 26 pages in this discussion I know exactly the current value of my $3,700+ investment in an early 2011 MBP, adding 4 gigs of RAM, some Apple Music Production Apps and associated Apogee external recording hardware. Add to that the precious time I have wasted since early spring trying to understand and fix what I thought surely were patchable software glitches that have been increasingly disrupting, stopping and worse, losing recordings completely due to computer freezes. Then consider the goodly amount of hours spent over the past two years studying digital recording techniques, learning to operate various recording programs, external hardware and it's associated software with intentions and standing requests from several respected, local/regional to at least co-produce and assist in arranging some of their most recent material as soon as felt technically competent to begin. The well marketed promise of Apple quality, serviceability, reliability, compatibility with other well regarded digital audio device manufacturers, digital audio recording software developers and the personal assurances of a sales associate representing  the Apple brand convinced me to make their products the heart of my small, but professional audio recording service.


    I declined, and still would, any additional Apple Extended Care at the time I acquired my Macbook.The purchase of "extended warranties" for any product is acknowledged in any credible opinion article as the biggest scam currently legal in United States business canon. I certainly remember my hearty share of loot from adding a nicely printed, intentionally legal looking document to nearly every item I sold back in my retail electronics days. Behind closed doors sales professionals are taught exactly how to entice the customer into accepting the additional "benefit", as it were, and it's associated cost as though the retailer lost money on warranty's they were not obliged to extend at any cost, offered solely for the customer's benefit and peace of mind. A careful reading of these documents reveals the exceptions, exclusions and numerous conditions that nullify what is practically just a piece of paper that cost no more high end stationary. In those days I got half the price of each extended warranty sold, in cash, at the end of each day as a special incentive. The retailer got the other half, sharing some unknown percentage of that with the manufacturer. The negligible cost of printing was born somewhere, but the actual cost of honored extended warranties was born by the consumer's obligation to pay certain fees, prorated portions for major repairs, etc.


    I'm absolutely certain Apple is responsible for selling me a defective item and worse, not advising me of known potential issues with the product. Considering I've been trying to get roughly a thirteen dollar credit for an unintentional iTunes purchase double billed twenty months ago, I am not anticipating They say I purchased it once for thirteen bucks and they did indeed refund a single download purchase, but a second purchase of the same item, two minutes after the purchase of the first exists in my history and quick addition and subtraction of downloads I've purchased and are on my computer and the exact amount I've deposited via iTunes gift cards clearly shows the thirteen dollar discrepancy.


    I won't hold my breath expecting any major company in this country to acknowledge any fault, liability, oversight or just plain, perfectly obvious, glaring stupidity on their part, much less for Apple to own up to this bungled mess. They will protect their perceived reputation at the price of their actual reputation in the name of the hype that sells outrageously expensive, highly profitable phones and tablets to the fashion conscientious, hyper-text messaging, facetiming, media consuming, instagraming culture. They obviously don't need those who purchase these products for serious production use anymore.


    I am sad and sick about the whole thing, but my G-5 is still a fully functioning beast of technology that I am proud to own. Incidentally, I pulled my 2006 Compaq Presario out of the box, under the bed the past two years and it still works! This irony is not lost on me.


    Enough griping and pontificating here...time to file the official complaint, footnotes, references, technical observations and all.


    Thanks so much to everyone who posted their issues here. Even in my bitter disappointment, it's the first time in months I haven't felt vexed and perplexed about the Gremlins in this here thing and that is a great relief.

  • nudoru Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 7, 2013 8:27 AM (in response to abelliveau)

    I'll to this.


    Installed 10.8.5 on my late 2011 over the weekend and this morning, stated to get all of the graphics glitches described in this thread. But now it won't boot at all! Genius bar apointment tomorrow afternoon for them to look at it.


    Here's my story

  • Anil SF Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 7, 2013 8:46 AM (in response to Anil SF)

    Hi all,


    An update on my mbp - in a 3 week span it went from intermintent problems to completely bricked. In my last post I said it took 50 reboots to startup (the 49 other times the grey boot screen had interlaced-like graphics, and would freeze before loading the OS). Well, I was forced to reboot due to a VPN issue afterwhich the machine was not willing to boot again.


    Apple Store Repair pricing confusion (US Apple Store, San Francisco)


    Last December I took a 13" MBP early 2011 to the Apple store to have the logic board replaced (a chip on it got wet). I was quoted over $800 which was almost equivilent to the resale price so I didn't do it.


    I assumed the logic board on the 15" MBP would be at least as expensive. I was extremely surprised when they said I could get it done in house for ~ $500, or ship it off for repairs which would take 3-5 days for $310. Three hundered dollars later, I'm back up and running.


    S1580LL/AFlat Rate Repair Charge, PBG4/MBP15"$ 210.00$ 210.00
    S1586LL/ALabor Charge, PBG4/MBP15"$ 100.00$ 100.00


    So what's the deal with the flat repair rate? Is it always available, available only for older machines, or available when Apple knows it's might have some responsibility for the problem?


  • clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (26,655 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 7, 2013 8:50 AM (in response to Anil SF)

    I always recommend asking for Apple's flat rate repair option to those with 'older' machines... you can learn more about it here.


    Just curious, though: do you have an early 15" 2011? I'm very surprised that Apple would have considered that model 'old' enough to qualify for the flat rate repair scheme!



  • sammysimpson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 8, 2013 1:35 AM (in response to abelliveau)

    To add another tale of woe:


    Sam challenge as everyone else…machines powers on with lots of thin horizontal lines most of the time then crashes with either blue and black vertical lines or just a grey screen.  Occasionally boots ok but as soon as Discrete graphics are enabled (i.e. loading VMWare Fusion or Apple Bridge) it locks.  Only way to use the machine when is occasionally boots is to do a quick switch to Integrated graphics only with gfxCardStatus then everything is fine for a while.



    • MBP, 15-inch, Late 2011, 2.4Ghz.
    • Problems started 5th Oct 13
    • 3rd party RAM but it's in an identical pair.  3rd party SSD and HDD (replacing the CD Drive).
    • Never connect to an external monitor.


    Haven't approached Apple (UK) yet but hoping that they've recognised this as a 'known problem'

  • clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (26,655 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 8, 2013 1:46 AM (in response to sammysimpson)



    Most of the posts here are from users that have EARLY 2011 15" MacBook Pro. I've seen very few reports of prevalent problems with the LATE 2011 15" MacBook Pro, so your problem, while still probably a GPU problem, doesn't fit neatly in the problems that most users here are having.


    Take your machine to your local Apple Store or an AASP and have them diagnose the problem. If it is the GPU then the logic board will need to be replaced. Did you purchase the extended AppleCare Protection Plan?



    MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2011), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.5), 16GB RAM 512GB SSD Apple TB Display
  • danieltothemax Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    clintfrombirmingham, we've had this conversation before...the late 2011 mbps are having the same problem as the early mbps...why are you so defensive of a company you dont work for?  read the multitude of posts on these discussion boards yourself!  my radeon 6750M 512MB exhibits the exact same symptoms are everyone else in these threads.  so does the guy who posted above do many other unfortunates..


    <Edited By Host>

  • Flamenco13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 8, 2013 12:52 PM (in response to abelliveau)

    Apple has admitted to this defect on other models.  Other manufactures have also had the same issue of the GPU defect (by using the type and method of soldering that has caused this issue).  Because the class of users for the 17'' Macbook Pro is lower, and a more costly repair than the other models, Apples has brushed the issue under the rug.  I would like to see them be held responsible not only for replacing the hardware, but for damages due to their customers  data corruption, and the wasted time spent seeking resolution to a known problem.  This issue is a ticking time bomb.  It obviously shows itself after 22 - 24 months like clockwork.  At the very least, Apple should have provided a firmware update to disable the discrete GPU so the system would at least boot to a state capable of a backup.  The moral thing would be to recall or replace the machines.  (But this would cost $$$ that  Apple does not have...)


    If any user reads this thread and has not posted a 'same issue here' comment, please do, and help document this criminal behaviour.


    BTW, I am on motherboard #3.

  • saramwrap Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 8, 2013 1:07 PM (in response to Flamenco13)

    I've been synthesizing the major community threads about this issue into a spreadsheet with dates, models, etc. (slowly, because 2500+ posts is a lot of data, and it's too messy for me to automate).  What's been interesting to me so far is that these issues were actually quite prevalent immediately after these models were released in late February 2011 - within the first three weeks of March, at least 125 people posted about issues that sound pretty much exactly like ours!  There were already external wikis and Reddit threads about this in March 2011.  If you fast-forward to just about any month between then and now, you'll see several dozen people post about these issues. Fortunately for the early posters, many of these early issues were resolved with replacement/repair under warranty - something many of us don't have the fortune of at this point. 


    So while I agree that there's something wrong with these models that's showing up on more and more of them... it's been appearing since the release.  Who knows how many folks have given up and moved on since they made their posts in 2011, 2012, or early 2013?  We're only capturing the voices of the people affected and involved at any given time - which, right now, are the folks whose problems showed up around two years after release.  Only Apple really has a shot at documenting the scale and spread of the issue, and they have yet to acknowledge this as a known issue.

  • sammysimpson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Clinton - thanks.  Did notice that most reports were from early '11 models...But my issue is pretty much identical ('interlaced' grey lines on boot screen, vertical blue/black bars when the machine switches to discrete, can be resolved by switching to Integrated graphics only when cold etc).


    As Flamenco13's precisely 22-24 months as well. 



  • nbar Level 5 Level 5 (6,480 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 8, 2013 1:49 PM (in response to danieltothemax)

    Clinton's comment had nothing to do with defending Apple, and he is right in saying the majority of these posts have been in regards to the early 2011 model...I have been following this thread from the beginning...


    ...(and the GPU's are different). Here is a helpful comparison between early and late 2011 MBPs.

  • Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 8, 2013 7:31 PM (in response to saramwrap)

    Dear saramwrap!


    Two thumbs up for your effort in collecting all the info and pushing this crucial issue upwards. I can easily understand its a huge amount ow work.


    Im pretty sure the best way to act would be a class action by guys from US Because the spread of issue is obviously huge worldwide but there's not much we folks in another countries could do except fill feedback forms, write letters to Tim Cook and fill in google survey regarding the problem.


    I feel thousands of people been affected and feel strangulated and disappointed.

    Obviously the critical mass will gain when this issue could be avoided by Apple any longer.

    It's just a matter of time.

  • danieltothemax Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 9, 2013 12:50 AM (in response to nbar)

    lol from your link:


    "Even internally, the "Late 2011" MacBook Pro models are almost identical -- with the later line only packing modestly faster processors across the board and faster graphics or larger hard drives in some models. "


    Yes I know that some early 2011 MBPS had the radeon HD 6490...some also had the radeon HD you're saying that early 2011 MBPs w/ the radeon 6750 are affected but that late 2011 MBPs with the same video card are not affected?   How does that make sense?  I'm sorry for attacking clinton but he pops up in every post after me saying "well actually its mostly early 2011..." Okay?


    Well my late 2011 MBP suffers from these same problems.  Why wouldn't it make sense that they used the same logic boards and video cards for both the early and late 2011 mbps with the radeon 6750?  Why do you guys persecute late 2011ers in this thead when it's clearly the same problem? 

  • clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (26,655 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 9, 2013 1:12 AM (in response to danieltothemax)

    I simply haven't seen a vast number of late 2011 models with a GPU problem with the same frequency as I have early 2011 models. That's why I still claim that the GPU problem is primarily contained in the early 2011 models.


    Note that the early 2011 models have:


    AMD Radeon HD 6490M or 6750M discrete GPUs.


    ...whlist the late 2011 models have:


    AMD Radeon HD 6750M or 6770M discrete GPUs.


    ...and it seems that the majority of the problems are found with those models that have the 6490M GPUs.


    I don't doubt that there may exist some problems with the 6750M's... but the problems don't seem as prevalent in the late 2011s as the early 2011s.


    Note that this is just my observation after reading the number of threads on the matter - not a scientific analysis of each post!



  • saramwrap Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Well, I can't claim that my attempts to gather and synthesize information are particularly scientific, but they have produced some numbers and trends that I'd be happy to share. 


    • Of the 184 early 2011 MBP owners who have responded to the survey, 112 have the 6750M and 56 have the 6490M.  Nearly all of these respondents report graphics issues, regardless of which GPU they have. 


    • Of the 220 people whose information I've logged from threads about this issue, only 104 provided enough information about their affected early 2011 models to know which GPU they have.  Of these 104 users, only 11 have the 6490M, and the remainder have the 6750M.  (This sample size should be a lot larger once I've made it through more posts on the largest thread about this issue.)


    I'm not incredibly surprised by these numbers, as only one of the standard early 2011 models offered the 6490M, and the remainder used the 6750M.  By comparison, only one of the standard late 2011 models offered the 6750M, and the remainder used the 6770M.  And, in case you're wondering, the mid-2011 iMacs whose faulty GPUs are being replaced through the latest video card replacement program use a 6970M.  I've seen a number of complaints from other mid-2011 iMac owners whose models were not covered under the replacement program even though they have graphics issues as well, and - guess what? - the rest of the mid-2011 line used a 6750M or 6770M.  The more I look, the bigger this gets.  In 2012, the iMacs and MacBook Pro models switched to using NVIDIA graphics processors, which had been heavily used in MBPs before 2011 (most famously, in the 2007 and 2008 models that ended up covered under a GPU replacement program).


    There are certainly affected late 2011 users posting in the threads about these issues, though so far their numbers seem to be a bit smaller than the affected early 2011 users - but not insignificant.  If the early 2011 models have so many with the 6750M that are affected, then it would seem logical that the late 2011 models with the same GPU could have the same problems.  I'm actually more curious about whether there's a problem with the 6770M, because we know the 6490M, 6750M, and 6970M have issues.  All of these are part of the AMD Radeon HD 6000M Series, and share many specs and features among them.


    When I started the survey over the summer, I had no idea how big this would turn out to be.  If I were doing it all over again, I'd structure the survey quite differently to accommodate owners of any of the affected 2011 MacBook Pros or iMacs.  If someone else is interested in creating a broader survey, I'd be glad to provide the form I created as a basis to manipulate - I'd work on this, but my hands are a bit full with the thread logging and the governent shutdown. 

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