Early 2011 Macbook Pro graphic card died

I contacted Apple and they agreed to supply a replacement logic board free of charge, however I had to pay the labour of $180. The Macbook was repaired a couple of weeks ago and is now a Happy Mac.

I've just discovered that Apple have finally bitten the bullet on this issue and started an Repair Extension Progamme on these faulty MacBook Pros:

This means they will also reimburse my labour repair costs.


geek_nealeb, Feb 23, 2:26 pm

Hi all. My early 2011 15" Macbook Pro had it's discrete graphic card fail a couple of weeks ago. Now a very sad Mac which will only boot in Target Firewire mode, and occasionally in Hardware test mode.

I'm looking at requesting a partial refund from the original supplier, benchmarked on what the current resale value would be for a Macbook Pro of similar vintage (but not one of the cursed AMD graphic card models).

Has anyone got suggestions on how to approach this? And any links to cases where New Zealanders have successfully gained compensation.

geek_nealeb, Jan 1, 5:37 pm

CGA may cover it. You'd probably have to lodge a dispute. 4 years is pushing it.

geek_suicidemonkey, Jan 1, 5:49 pm

It is pretty scandalous the NVIDIA failure in macbook pros.

geek_gibler, Jan 1, 6:22 pm

This is a recognised issue and I believe that Apple has now agreed to replace failing 2011 MBPs. You will certainly be covered under the CGA in New Zealand for this. I'm assuming you purchased from a reputable supplier in NZ? If so, go there directly and make sure you don't get fobbed off. Google for this issue to get backup information. 4 years is entirely reasonable for a quality laptop bearing in mind existing precedent in NZ CGA law.

You are not entitled to a partial refund. You are entitled to get Apple to fix the product, which is likely to be a new logic board.

geek_tillsbury, Jan 1, 7:48 pm

Use gfxCardStatus to boot using only the integrated GPU using this method

http://www.asyncro.com/2014/03/24/macbook-pro-discreate-graphics-card-issue-fix-updated/ Use this link if the one above doesn't work

geek_wickedtrader, Jan 1, 8:16 pm

I see the seller of this MacBook Pro must have had the logic board replaced by Apple outside of the warranty period.

I purchased the Macbook from Tosh Computers in Sept 2011, and it was the high spec high resolution screen model. I sent an email to Tosh just before Christmas, but haven't had a reply yet.

My preferred option would be a partial refund, as the replacement logic boards all have the same faulty AMD chip. I suppose I could flick of the MacBook after repair (as other people are doing), but it would just be a ticking time bomb.

I installed gfxCardStatus and it ran OK for a few days. and then Sad Mac.

geek_nealeb, Jan 1, 8:28 pm

Under the CGA, the retailer has the option to choose between refund/repair/replacement. They'll probably replace the faulty component.

geek_suicidemonkey, Jan 1, 11:02 pm

Not if the fault is serious .

geek_gibler, Jan 1, 11:19 pm

See the bit where I said "probably"?

Depends on a number of factors. I've had a couple of Macbooks repaired for various reasons. Both times they replaced the motherboard. It's cheaper than refunding or replacing.

geek_suicidemonkey, Jan 1, 11:45 pm

geek_nealeb, Jan 2, 5:33 am

Apple dont make quality products at all. My friends are Apple fanboys and I do agree their stuff syncs great, its innovative and just works great. However, every laptop they have owned has had faults. Chassis coming away, hinges broken, trackpads broken, batteries failing, hardware issues etc etc. If you have a look on trademe for a secondhand mac (like i have as have always wanted one , currently looking at getting an Air) more than not they have issues.

geek_ryanm2, Jan 2, 8:34 am

I would imagine apple would of made a new revision of the board that resolves the issue (I would hope they did anyway)

geek_yellowsubmarine, Jan 2, 11:55 pm

I've had my share of problems with Apple laptops (since my first in 1999), however it's probably similar to what people experience with any other manufacturer. Because Apple is so popular we get to hear more bitching and groaning about their failures than with the others.

One of the problems with laptops is that the manufacturers are on the bleeding edge of making them faster, more compact and loaded with new technologies ?? all in response to consumer demand. It's inevitable that some new design aspects will fail. I've had two logic board failures on the early plastic iBooks, which were most likely caused by the plastic cases flexing and causing soldering failures where large chips were mounted. That's why I shifted to buying metal body Apple laptops from then on, and I suspect Apple's primary reason for the design shift as well (hey, it's not all style).

My first metal body Powerbook purchased 2003 is still running OK. It had two design faults. One was a screen hinge which seizing up over time, but was fixed during warranty. The second was one of the two RAM slots dying (a known issue) but the Powerbook still runs OK with only one RAM card. I had one hard drive failure, but that happens with any computer. Thanks to Time Machine backups I didn't suffer any data loss (Yaay for Time Machine. No excuse for a Mac user to loose data).

Where the current graphics card problem differs from previous Apple laptop problems, is that it effects ALL of those early 2011 laptops. The laptops which have not yet failed are most likely running low graphics intensity applications and not being used to watch Youtube.

The AMD graphics cards are failing due a cumulative effect of running too hot for long periods. Work any of those early early 2011 MacBooks hard enough, and they will ALL eventually fail.

As an example, my Macbook first died when I went to open a 35 MB Indesign document. The AMD graphics card probably had one foot in the grave already, but that graphics intensive document put it over the edge. It was also the first time I had opened the document since installing Mavericks, and that may have also played a part as well (other people have reported recent OS upgrades trigging the failures).

Watching Youtube and opening Indesign documents (as examples) can't be considered extreme use of a laptop, and Apple should be coming to the party to either repair these machines or provide partial refunds. From what I've read the repairs haven't been working, so I'll be pushing for a partial refund.

geek_nealeb, Jan 3, 10:04 am

So your Macbook lasted close to 4 years? Not an ideal amount of time, but surely this is acceptable enough from a warranty or CGA standpoint. To me this just sounds like a loss you'll have to suck up and accept. There's probably a reason you can only buy a warranty up to a 3 year period.

geek_schizoid, Jan 3, 3:19 pm

Exactly 3 years, 3 months & 3 weeks. Did the final RIP on 19th December.

geek_nealeb, Jan 3, 4:31 pm

Not for a MBP it isn't. Plenty of people using 2007-2009 Macbook pros happily. They are being repaired, do some googling.

geek_tillsbury, Jan 4, 6:39 am

The MacBook Pro cost $2997 in 2011. It was a top of the line machine and I expected it to last a long time.

If on the other hand it was a cheap & cheerful $600 HP I wouldn't be loosing any sleep over it dying.

geek_nealeb, Jul 14, 9:22 am

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