Released October 24, 2011 / 2.2, 2.4, or 2.5 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor

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Upgrade the Graphics card on MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2011

Hi guys,

I was wondering if there´s a way to replace/upgrade my graphics card.

On the System preferences I see that I have two graphic cards. One of those is integrated and the other one is using a PCIE connection, that's the one that I want to change.

Is that possible? Anyone did it?

Thanks you guys and thank you iFixit!!

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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It might be time to reinstate the Class action Lawsuit which initiated the Apple callback in the first place. I think 15-20.000 people where signed on to it, me included. 2 years ago I had Apple replace my logic board (for free) with another erroneous one, the ladder failing 2 years after the first one failed. And like the good people mention above here, Apple has pulled their deal.

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Exactly the same happening to me. Logic board replaced 2 years ago... same issue now. I am pretty sick of paying that much cash for computers that will probably break if you actually use their computing power. Not happy at all.

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Sorry, no you can't replace it.

Yes, the GPU is connected via a soldered PCIe connection, just as the keyboard, trackpad & camera are connected via USB (internal dedicated connections).

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Soldered PCIe connection? So, your answer is inaccurate. I've got custom MBPs with RGB backlit keyboards. They were soldered.

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How does a custom RGB keyboard have anything to do with the dedicated graphics chip?

As far as my reference it was in regard to the USB bus the system has internally and you can't add to it or modify it.

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PowerBook Medic is now doing this. They are working on a 2011 17" MBP for me now. Costs:

PBM estimate was $245 for the board repair, another $95 labor for the disassembly/reassembly and $35 2day return freight

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@mayer Are you happy with the repair? Does your laptop still work? I'm considering their services.

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Montag PowerBook Medic failed and I had to buy a used board.

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Thanks for a quick response, @mayer! Could you elaborate on your meaning of "failed"? Did PowerBook Medic fail to repair the board or did they repair it and it later failed? I've been in correspondence with their technicians and they seemed quite optimistic about the outcome of the repair.

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PowerBook Medic failed at the repair, then sold me another board.

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Anyone with a little background on electronics can do it all you need is a rework station 852d+ will do that’s the one I have I have done it plenty of times 100% success rate you can buy a new gpu on eBay brand new already reballed

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Hey, you can find a company which specialises in soldering BGA components. It should be fairly easy for them to upgrade your GPU with a version, which isn't plagued with overheating issues. The repair is very cost effective and eliminates the issue completely. Changing the logic board will likely cause the issue to come back.

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Well yes & no: Yes if you can find someone with the correct tools and skills replacing the GPU chip alone might be possible. The only rub here is you can't use a different series chip as the board is designed for a given chip (need to use the exact same GPU chip). So the answer is No you can't swap it out with something different. Besides often when the GPU goes some of the support chips also go so it often needs a bit more than the one chip. The bottom line here this is to advance a repair for a DIY person, hence swapping out the logic board is the way to go. Besides you would want someone who does this level of work to have done quite a few of these boards i.e. Apple.

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YOU THE MAN!

I changed my logic board (luckily for free.. but now the replacement program is over for good) on my late macbook pro 2011.

Now I had the problem again and I figured out it's the goddam stupid AMD integrated $@$*!& card. (not blaming AMD, totally apple's fault).

Now, wit gfxCardstatus I figured out that the AMD chip IS the problem. Every time it switches it collapses.

I can't believe Apple changed twice my board instead.

Now I understand why some people were claming (it's just a 5 min soldering and it's fixed) while my Apple guys said (no worry, we couldn't just solder it, we had to replace the logic board).

They have no idea what they did.

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Daniele - It's really both! AMD used a flip chip design which has soldered connections within the chip its self that shear as the system is heated and cooled. Then you have the crappy Lead-free solder Apple used to solder the chip (one of the places a bit of Lead in the solder would be useful) And then again for not having a more effective cooling system.

But its also US! While we can blame the hardware as being AMD & Apples fault, our demands for using more and more powerful applications pushed the system beyond what it was originally designed to do.

Heavy graphical apps like: games and photo/vid editing can push the system beyond what the cooling was designed to do. This gets into the differences between a Laptop Vs Desktop as we think they can do the same thing sadly they can't always do the same as well or as long.

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I have the problem, twice, as @Daniele... and I never used the computer with really demanding apps. The most demanding things I've been doing lately is is connecting the laptop to external screens. AMD, and of course, Apple since it the one selling you the laptop, are completely responsible for the mess. Even more, when it happened once and the happens again, instead of fix it for good.

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Well well, difference in laptops and Desktops , heh

As it turns out, Apple's Mac Pro late 2013 ALSO has this graphic problem

https://www.macrumors.com/2016/02/06/lat...

I replaced my MacBook Pro 17" late 2011 with a Mac Pro late 2013, and guess what,

the same graphic thing is happening to the Mac Pro. However, much more seldom. I can still work with heavy workloads.

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Hi, Just had the same issue - for the second time!

First time, just under a year ago the GPU issue was resolved by apple under the recall.

Now 12 months later it has failed again - This time I'm being told that the MBP 2011 is not covered as it's considered 'vintage'. Really, really annoyed that the original 'fix' was to replace a known fault with a part that still had a known fault - Apple should be ashamed - Originally cost over £2K and now a piece of junk unless I pay a 3rd party £420 to put a new chip in as a fix.

Another fix that may break again?

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Yep me too. Took it in and was told it was age because it's now 'vintage' and there was nothing they could do. Did some research and discovered the problem with the graphics card, so I contacted Apple again to find out what they could do to fix the problem. In the end, they said there was nothing to be done and stopped responding to my inquiries. I escalated this to a phone call to Apple Care, and after spending a half hour going in circles about whose responsibility it was to repair/replace the part, I was offered a credit for "maybe an iPod or something" but they definitely couldn't give me credit enough to equal the cost of the estimated repairs. After I laughed in disbelief, the agent hung up on me.

Way to go Apple.

Now what do I do with this expensive poc??

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I just bought a replacement (same model- will swap RAM and HD) on eBay, $400

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I'm so sorry to hear about all of your issues. FWIW, in May or June this happened to me and so I called Apple expressing my being a loyal customer and wanting to keep it that way, if they'd be willing to honor the repair for my "vintage" MBP that would be an act of good faith on their part. I asked to speak with a supervisor after they claimed they wouldn't be able to, spoke with the supervisor/specialist whom offered to comp a repair at an Apple authorized repair center. He actually found a spare logic board and had it shipped to a local Apple Store. I bought thermal paste to apply to my 2008 MBP (to prevent the heat issues) as well as in case of another repair for my 2011. I might buy an extra logic board just in case. That way if this GPU goes out I can put in the logic board while repairing the defective one with heat, thermal paste, or whatever the DIY repairs advise (there's a handful of them out there). Point is, some research on the class action lawsuit, and catching the flies with honey (I told the supervisor I'd send him a glowing review to his superior) led to a replaced logic board even though my early 2011 MBP was "vintage" .

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Hi there,

had a similiar issue with my MBP late 2011 -black screen , no booting, ... .

I sent it to the those LRZ(Laptop-Reparatur-Zentrum Thüringen).

They checked it for free and told me my GPU has to be replaced and that it is possible.

They made an offer to do so for nearly 280€ including tests and a 12 month warranty on their work and 24 month warranty on hardware they built in.

My Computer works just fine since then (July 2017).

Can´t say yet what happens after the given time of warranty but so far i am super happy and can only recommend those ppl.

Best,

Giorgo

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Thanks a lot for letting us know about his possibility. The price is definitely not incredible expensive and at least they offer warranty.

Probably the issue is going to happen again in 3 years or so, but in 3 years a MBP 2011 is going to be 10 years old.

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Yes, Will keep things posted about any updates and true that: in the near future it's time for a new one :)

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Actually, the lrzt.de quote is €219,- + €20,- return shipping. Really excellent value!

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hello, i had the same problem with the GPU, at least it matched all of the known symptoms. i found a repair service on e bay ($240)and sent it off to NY with great hopes ! They returned it within two weeks. It would not boot from the SSD and only booted once from the backup sata drive. it displayed the same exact problems. I contacted the outfit and they claimed it was fully tested and burned in etc., to send it back and they would look at it. i escalated the case with e bay and that got their attention. i sent the unit back. they claimed that it was a cable leading to the display, which they ordered. after weeks of waiting and getting run around answers, they claimed that the cable did not do the trick and the it was the display, which is total bs. they said they would remove the cable and chip they installed and return the unit, they refunded some of the costs. all in all i think that tad vaas, et al. are correct. get a motherboard and drop it in and save yourself the exasperation of dealing with unknown shops. hopefully the aftermarket boards are lead soldered, which i understand is the source of the problem, a solder change mandated by the EU to eliminate lead solder in electronics, etc.

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Hi, I would like to note that the solder isn't the main problem and it's only one of them. The one and only solution is to change GPU with updated model, which operates at lower temperatures. Leaded solder + Updated GPU + professional soldering laboratory is the only answer to the problem. People selling their services on eBay are usually a one man company and most likely will provide bad after sale service.

Component replacement isn't simple process, see this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y67Qp-8m...

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where does one get an updated gpu? I've had my logic board replaced twice and its failing again. supposedly I have the leaded solder in now, but the problem is coming back anyway

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You can definitely get a newer date code GPU, which isn't prone to internal bumping failures.

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@tfixrepairs

where? how? :)

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Ya exactly - where? Since the Apple quality program ended Dec 31, 2016 there will be no more extended warranty replacement logic boards that only lasted about two years after the swap anyway. Does anyone know where to get an upgraded GPU for these models, as the stock one is a POC.

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Cant a new chip be simply soldered onto the logic board?

I am asking because i too have fallen to the GPU issue that has plagued MacBook Pro Late 2011 models.

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Sadly its time for a logic board swap out. You need very specialized tools to de-solder and then re-solder the GPU onto the logic board.

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As to this being a big issue, nope its not. We have over 150 systems in this series and we've only had three that needed a new logic board due to a bad GPU luckily they were still covered under warranty.

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My GPU died, and to my surprise and glee, the Apple Store "genius" told me it was covered under Apple's quality assurance program. So I had a free replacement installed there in the store. (They couldn't ship mine out for faster repair because of my aftermarket upgrades.) So if you still have your old MacBook, it may be salvageable if you have an Apple Store in driving distance. :)

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How old was your MacBook Pro when you brought it in? The graphics card (no idea which one) on my early-2008 just died this morning.

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So, so upset, my mac book pro has died and Apple are saying it's the faulty graphics card that's caused the problem! Other than this the computer was in perfect order. I'm told that Apple have stopped providing the fix? After 5yrs the £1,600 plus machine is now only fit for the bin.... Why oh why did Apple not offer this fix when I dropped my computer in for repair in 2014? Why did they not send a fxxxing email to their "valued customer" to say I'd bought a faulty product? Another mis selling scam??

Can anyone advise if there is anyway to fix this? Can anyone recommend somewhere I can bring the laptop to safely retrieve the data? This product was a huge investment for me, it will be a longtime before I can afford a new computer. I have all of my photos of my 4yr old on the computer (of course I have backup) but I have nothing to view on.

Any advice would be very welcome. Is there a place / forum where I can post to shame Apple? Can take a claim against them? Through trading standards for example?

Tia

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In case people haven't found this:

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-r...

Explains how to put the logic board in the oven and lots of people clalm it worked. It's the solder not the chip it seems

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Lots of people think the world is flat. Lots of rats and cockroaches live in New York City but that does not make them the dominate life form there (yes, I know is this is debatable).

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@captainsnowball - I don't tin foil hats for the same reason!

Pushing the laptop to to point it needs extra cooling it the sure sign the system is being pushed beyond what it was designed to do.

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Has anyone tried the t- light trick used very successfully by myself on the old iBook many times lots of vids on utube showing how and safer than the cook in oven method which can damage other connections

buddymarvelous

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I installed Macs Fan Control and rev'd up the fan speed and monitored the temperature of various internal components. This helped quite a bit but it'd still get overheated ( 180 degrees) while using different websites. When the temperature started climbing I would bring up "terminal" from "utilities" and find out what was causing the overheating and then shut that down. Fox news does a lot so I really check the temps there. I know this doesn't solve the main issue here but I haven't had a login board failure and have owned 4 or 5 different MBP's that have this problem. With no real way to replace the graphics card this was the best option I could come up with.

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Dan: I'm afraid you're wrong. It is possible to change the defective GPU for a 2nd generation one. Total cost: about $200

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There is no 2nd generation GPU. Apple's repair program was just a swap out of the same chip. The chips that where failing were a bad lot. So you are only getting a different lot chip. AMD has long since stopped production of the chip and its just not available as new. All you're getting is a recycled chip if that. $200 does not cover the cost of the chip and the labor. So this sounds like a ripoff! I would suspect all they are doing is heating the chip hoping the chip comes back to life (just long enough for you to give up). And, lastly you need specialized equipment which most repair shops just don't have.

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Dan, stop discouraging those who would like to try to replace their GPUs. You keep saying "no, you can't do it", which is a complete pile of B.S. Yes, you absolutely can replace components on your logic board, including the GPU chips, and no, the tools needed to do so are not made from some magical unicorn horn that you can only find on the surface of Mars. Apple isn't special, ok? It's a computer company and computer chips and motherboards can and should be tinkered with. You're being completely inaccurate and misleading by telling people they "can't" make changes to their MacBook Pros, including admittedly complicated changes to their logic boards. Quit telling users they "can't" make these repairs and say "yes, you can.. it's difficult, but you can do it if you have the patience and time and the right tools... here's where you can get all the right tools and parts for it". Stop just shutting down people with this "only Apple can do it" baloney.

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Sorry to bust your bubble. Apple had a extended repair program which one should have taken advantage of when it was offered. Thats the only reason Apple was mentioned.

As far as upgrading the GPU sorry not going to happen as the soldered in chip would need to be pin compatible with what was used and Apple only offered drivers for a given subset of GPU's. Other GPU's cooling requirements may in fact need more than what this system can offer. Finding the chip new is also very difficult! And I don't recommend recycled chips.

The last issue is you need specialized tools to do it right. Don't take my word for it take a look at Louis Rossmann's vids on YouTube. As I stated before this is not a DIY project!

So the answer is still not something I would even do! I know enough not to even try as I would end up needing to find a new logic board for my customer do to me messing his up! Instead of making money I would loose money!

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@danj it's something I'd be crazy enough to try, but I'd need to know someone with the equipment and have practice boards before I did it on the real machine.

It's not something I can look at for a minute and figure it out. As much as I can get away with it, it's NOT a novice job and is easily an advanced DIY one.

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Sorry not even an ultra advanced DIY job! Strictly a Pro who has the gear like Louis! I don't think anyone is going to spend 20k on the needed tools to do it for the one time repair.

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Eduard will be eternally grateful.
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