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I have one of the new 2.3Ghz i7 17" and it worked fine for 6 days using it 8-12 hours a day. I turned it on Saturday and everything seemed fine but then the screen went black and unit was froze. I powered it off and then turned it back on and it froze again. Tried a third time and it corrupted some part of the disk in the process. Took the disk out and put in a different one and still was freezing sometimes with screen on and other times with it off. Apple Hardware Test would often hang. Went to Apple Store and described the situation and they decided to replace it. New unit has been fine thus far after using Time Machine to restore my drive. Keeping fingers crossed but unlike other posts this was a sudden change.
It depends on the cause, but given that most (all?) who have reported this have said their machines were under relatively heavy work load, with fan noise noticeable it might be:
*Fans (GPU and/or CPU) - not spinning up quickly enough, or not spinning enough, period.*
*Could be a physical design flaw (heat generally not dissipating effectively) - excess heat resulting from the use of a more powerful CPU & GPU.*
*RAM overheating and thus not necessarily the GPU or CPU that's "crashing"*
*Or indeed a combination?*
Those would be my guesses - but this is certainly behaviour reminiscent of overheating.
That is: Not entirely predictable but with a pattern (such as only during heavy work load) and when it occurs it is catastrophic to the operating system - because at least one major component, fails. RAM, CPU, GPU would all have that kind of impact.
Firmware updates may address things like fan speeds etc, but they cannot address a heat dissipation issue beyond that.
I can't help wonder if the early release of the new machines (to coincide with Mr Job's birthday?!) has come at a cost.
But mine (ours) could all be part of a bad batch - here's hoping.
Ok, this is a bit weird, reinstalled the Snow Leopard OS, and now, during heavy workload
(After Effects Total benchmark multi-core render) the CPU shows only 80-85% Celsius and
the fans only reach just under 5000 rpm, wich means: much quiter.
Also the back of the macbook is now much cooler...
Yesterday, the same render hit around 94% Celsius and the fans went crazy, then 2 out of 5 times,
the macbook pro froze, and a hard reboot was the only option.
I will run some more tests tonight, try to stress the **** out of this beast and see if I can re-create the freeze problem again, I do alot of Final Cut/After Effects HD rendering, so i guess this will be quite a good benchmark to see if reinstalling the Snow Leopard OS is a proper solution.
Would be good to see if anyone else might have the same luck as I did.
I will keep you posted on the progress.
From my observation, it's this:
"Fans (GPU and/or CPU) - not spinning up quickly enough, or not spinning enough, period."
I've done some experimenting with CineBench, and I can make my MBP 15" Core i7 2.2GHz to freeze sometimes when I run the CPU test if started while the CPU was mostly idle.
In that scenario, the CPU temp go up to 95-100°C very fast, in a matter of 10-15 seconds max, and the fan start to get fast only in about 30 secs. Admittedly, this is a very special case, the CPU going from maybe 1-3% to 100% in an instant is not that much common.
Also the freeze doesn't occur systematically, sometime, this scenario go just fine, it may just be a matter of 1-2 secs whether the fast did kick off soon enough to cool the CPU soon enough.
On the contrary, if the CPU was already quite on load, and so the fan at middle speed, the CineBench test can be run and run again and again, without any issue and the CPU temp don't go any further than 90-95°C at worse.
So clearly it's a matter of fan control settings, that Apple should revise to be able to handle sudden full load from 1-3% to 100% and avoid freeze on that case.
This is not caused by overheating. The temperatures of the CPU/GPU every time it has frozen has been less than 180 degrees every time. Every time it has happened it has not just been during regular game play - it has been if I go to click on the menu, or click to quit, or click into dashboard while playing. If I just play the game it will not freeze.
Some 2010 owners reported that the freezing was linked to HDD and/or to the motion sensor: what kind of HDD do you have?
I am following you very closely in order to decide whether or not it is worth buying the 2011 MBP now (mine is less powerful than yours but.....).
My main use is video rendering (FCE) and photoshop / camera raw.
No offence, but there is a lot of input from users which certainly implies this may be heat related - though no one is stating anything definitely. None of us are Apple engineers after all?! Perhaps it is just a fan speed configuration or a GPU driver problem for example - firmware/software would be able to address those of course.
I'd just like to state that otherwise, I am amazed at the power of this machine. Logic Studio 9 is a blast to use and finally, I don't feel I am compromising vs a desktop. That's quite an accomplishment for a laptop.
I just hope Apple haven't rushed this release a little and not perhaps done the kind of thorough testing we deserve (as customers) - particularly as we are paying premium prices for what is generally, top quality gear.
Just spoke to Apple, and the guy said that there was a tech article on the problem for the 2011 MPB.
He would not give me any detail but advised me to power down the computer and then hold down the left hand side of the keyboard (shiftaltctrl + power button for 3 secs) then hold down (altcmd+pr) then power on and wait till the 2nd chime then release.
Confirmed I was running 10.6.6 and then past me on the a 2nd line engineer (more technical)
To which the guy basically told me to return the machine for a replacement as there was a fault!
Not sure if apple are aware of the problem and not letting us know!
£2100 I paid for this machine and its just not good enough, I could understand a one off but it does not look that way!
I've had this problem 3 times all while playing source games. I ran 8 instances of yes > /dev/null for about 45 min no crash my CPU never got over 87 degrees C.
Just for info, I dug through the logs and found the error. It was a SIGBUS, KERNPROTECTIONFAILURE.
Message was edited by: Zipties
MBP 2011 17" 2.3GHz Quad 8Gb
I agree this is not a overheating problem. At least in my experience with it.
I have noticed the screen will scramble momentarily when I start the computer.
This will only happen about 1 out of 5 times.
For me when I play a game it will not freeze while I am playing. But when I quit the game it will freeze immediately. But the mouse will still move. Some games the screen will go black others it will leave it on the games quit screen.
While encoding video you don't know when it's going to freeze you just know that it will.
My mouse has frozen during some of the video encoding.
I believe this is GPU/CPU related. I monitor the heat constantly. The temperatures are acceptable for the programs the computer is running.
I have the 2010 MacBook Pro 2.66GHz i7 as well. I did not have the problems others have mentioned.
I did have a problem when the graphics cards would switch. My screen would go black for a second.
That was fixed in 10.6.5