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

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2011 MacBook Graphics Card - Out of box solution

My beloved late 2011 15inch MacBook Pro is having graphics card problems. I believe the problem is specifically due to the chip overheating which then causes a number of symptoms - the end result being my display is all messed up.

And I believe the only solution is to replace the logic board - at which point I might as well get a new MacBook.

I had an out of the box solution to run by everyone - I was looking for your thoughts.

If the problem is overheating, is there a product out there that can greatly help keep the bottom of the laptop cool - some sort of high grade stand that cools the computer.

And if there is, would cooling down the computer actually solve the problem.

Looking forward to your thoughts!

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The issue here is that even a replacement will eventually fail due to the design of the IC. Here is a very "quick and dirty" explanation of what causes most of these failures.Sometimes it is a failure of the solder balls which connect the IC package to the motherboard. It does happen and you can see why on here. More commonly however is that the failure is due to the chip design itself.

Block Image

As you can see the "bumps' are what actually connects the die to the substrate to make the chip complete. If these bumps fail, the die does no longer make contact with the substrate and thus no contact with the circuit board. The chip has failed.

Block Image

Here you can see the space where the bump has failed and no longer makes contact. We are talking microns of space here. So a bit of pressure on the top of the die potentially close the gap. Same with a reflow, it may allow some of material from the bump to reshape and starting to make contact again. The heating of cooling of the chip during use is what will eventually cause it to fail again.

So if anything, the design of a more effective heatsink may provide a more viable solution.

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Hi there - just had this problem with my early 2011 mbp - it's a very common problem, and a good engineer can buy a new gpu chip and replace without replacing the whole logic board. Just had mine done, and all is well!

Hope that helps

Steve

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Sorry SDM getting the replacement GPU chip is quite difficult! Unless you but 1000.s of units AMD won't offer you GPU. In addition this is an older version which is not being produced any more.

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Hi Dan - the guy that fixed mine ordered a new part without much difficulty - not sure where from, but he seemed honest and very knowledgeable, he even gave me the the old chip! -He explained all the issues in this thread which is why he recommends not just 'reflowing' but also replacement.

Anyway, considering Apple now class my machine as 'vintage' I'm just please she is up and running again, and hopefully will be around for a few more years :-)

Steve

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Hello Steve, is it possible for you to give some information about the person who helped you get new GPU or may be more information on how/where he got GPU from.

Thanks

Kevin

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Hey SDM, I am in NYC. I am having the same issue on my Early 2011 MacBook Pro. Can you please share contact info for your guy?

Would love to reach out to him.

Thnx so much.

GRG

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SDM: Please please, share with US information about your new chip and the contact of your magic guy. Thank you

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Sadly you can’t uncrack an egg and in this case you can’t undo the damage caused by the chip overheating over the years you’ve had the system.

But! It may not be doom & gloom here. There are two distinct issues the tantalum caps failing and the other which is the worse the GPU is shot. You’ll need to find someone with the skills to properly diagnose which way your system failed and hopefully get it fixed.

Last glimmer of hope here is you can also force the system to use the Iris graphics services within the Intel CPU. While this will help you limp along for a short time it’s not as powerful a GPU as the Radion GPU.

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How do you do that? "force the system to use the Iris graphics services"

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@mayer - Here's the tool I use: gfzCardStatus

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A sollution (other than replacing the mainboard and if the chip isn’t toast yet) would be to properly clean the MacBook and replace the termal paste.

I have got a candidate for that right here, I will investigate and report back.

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Good point! I just assumed Chris had done this already.

I would stick with Arctic Silver products. The chemistry of the higher thermal products have issues (corrosive and/or conductive) which make them a bad choice in a laptop. Besides, a degree difference is not enough of a gain for the price.

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Hi guys - I posted a while back saying I had found a guy who sorted out this problem for me - his name is Lee and works in South Woodford, London, right next to the tube station in a small computer repair shop .

He replaced the chip, and the thermal paste. In all honesty the solution lasted about months, and then the same thing happened. I took it back, and he was quite surprised, and so agreed that I only pay for the chip and not the labour this time round. So he charged me £60 as opposed to the £180 he charged last time. Im pretty sure he changed the chip as he gave me the old one!

If it happens again then I guess it will be time to get a new mac! I will try and get his website details if anyone needs it.

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Have you head of swapping out the graphics card from a 17 inch late 2011 MBP with one from the 2012 line? And yeah, if you have a link to his website, that'd be great.

Sadly, the GPU in the late 2011 MBP's don't support graphics card acceleration under Mojave. Ofc, you need to use a tool to get around Apple's restrictions. Want to keep the laptop as viable for a bit longer as it's still speedy for everything I run.

thanks!

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Chris Coutinho will be eternally grateful.
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