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Released on July 21, 2011. Core i5 or Core i7 Processor. Thunderbolt. This unit is also used to run the Mac mini Server configuration.

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2011 Mac mini GPU failed (Radeon 6630M) - repair options?

Recently my mac mini failed critically while streaming videos. The screen started garbling, then went a weird pink colour. Now it wont fully boot, after showing the apple logo with the boot progress bar for a few seconds it flashes to a white screen with some faint vertical banding.

I managed to disabled the discrete GPU (Radeon 6630M) and now it boots to desktop but the graphics are pretty awful using the integrated GPU.

My options seem to be:

1. Try to 'reflow' the chip. However, it seems this would only be a temporary fix. Or can anyone recommend a high quality repair service that could fix it in a more permanent way? (reball the chip?)

2. Replace logic board. Second hand logic board $150 to $200 on ebay. Some risk that it would fail again.

3. Buy a new system (most expensive, $800ish for comparable specs).

Anyone else faced this? Any other options to consider?

If you reflow/reballed, how long did it last?

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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I had mine reflowed and it is starting to have issues again 6 months out.

IOS doesn't throttle back video resolutions as it should even though it knows your system. That's what I was told anyway. If so it's another more devious way apple gets you to upgrade.

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Hi Ben,

I am facing similar issue on 2011 Mac mini where I get green apple logo with progress bar and then get stuck in white screen without the login window. how did you switch to integrated graphics and be able to connect to an external monitor and login?

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8 Answers

Chosen Solution

Sadly you're between a rock and a hard place ;-{

Reflowing or reballing doesn't fix things. Replacing the GPU is your only option in saving your logic board. Not may people have the right gear to do this.

Replacing the logic board I think is a good option but it will also limit you! You see this series had two versions of the board one with AMD Radeon HD 6630M and the other with Intel HD Graphics 3000. I would recommend you stick with the Intel HD Graphics 3000 versions of the board. The graphics are not as good as the AMD Radeon HD 6630M but you'll less likely have a GPU issue.

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Thanks Dan! Are there any compatibility issues with replacing the Radeon graphics logic board with the Intel version? I mainly use it for media streaming so don't mind downgrading the GPU. Will the software need reinstalling with the new logic board? Thanks again

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Straight drop in ;-}

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Just an update for anyone else facing this problem: I successfully replaced the logic board with a 2nd hand one that I bought off ebay for about $150. The replacement board is the lower-spec intel HD graphics 3000 version, and its working perfectly. Manually replacing the logic board took a couple of hours, but wasn't too difficult with the right tools. Cheaper than dropping $800 on a new mac mini!

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Most Helpful Answer

I use L2 http://l2computerinc.com/ for all my reball needs. I just recommend reballing when placing an order. My experience when reballing is it can last to up to a year, and with reflow the results usually last about 30 days.

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@j0vian - The true failure is within the GPU its self. Reballing or reflowing doesn't fix the real issue it only buys you a little time. Not worth the effort

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I agree, This is true.

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I think reflow + good thermal paste + Mac Fan Control to speed up fans + light use = over year usage

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I'm having the same problem… Could an external video board (through thunderbolt) could possibly fix that ? Did anyone try this solution?

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Hello,

How should I install Win 10 on a 2011 Mac mini with a broken Radeon 6630M GPU? Do I have to install bootcamp?

(win 10 is not supported by bootcamp on Mac mini 2011).

Thanks

Max

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Just prepare a USB stick or external HD with EFI boot of Windows 10 installation and it will works like a PC.

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Must i format a USB pendrive with Utility Disk in FAT32 with GUID partition map and then burn a iso file of windows with Unetbootin? And then reboot the mac mini with Option key during startup?

Thanks

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I thought windows 10 could not be installed on these macmini (macmini5,1 macmini5,2 and macmini5,3) due to a lack of Win10 drivers for HD3000 iGPU. -> black screen after windows tries to update the generic VGA driver

Did I miss something?

Best,

-a-

PS: macmini5,2 have a radeon hd 6630M dGPU but I don’t know if this can compensate for the issue with HD3000 iGPU drivers missing in Win10. Please let me know

EDIT: Found out Win10 can be installed on those macmini with a dGPU as long as the unsupported iGPU (HD3000) is disabled and Group Policies are setup to prevent Windows Update to update the driver or anything.

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Hi Ben, how did you switch to integrated graphics and be able to connect to an external monitor?

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Imran - I think its best to post a fresh question here as this is over two years old.

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After months and years

I have tried to use a DisplayLink usb graphic card and it works with High Sierra but the definition is low.

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My Mac mini shows green apple logo and then goes to permanent white screen and does not show login screen. Will the Mac automatically use the DisplayLink usb graphic card while booting?

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Ben will be eternally grateful.
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