Published in Graphics

More GPU failures on MacBook Pros

by on20 January 2014

You get what you pay for

There are more reports of early and late–2011 MacBook Pro owners with discrete graphics cards seem to be experiencing GPU failures and system crashes on their machines. As normal there is a lengthy thread on the issue on the Apple Support Communities which is mixed with Apple Fanboys insisting that they have no trouble or saying that it is morally wrong to expect a three year old computer to last that long. This usually happens when Apple has a problem which it is denying.

However it does appear that Apple’s stonkingly original design teams did actually release a flavour of MacBooks, which cannot handle graphics-intensive work or games. MacBook owners have noted visible striations and image distortion or an entirely blank screen, which can often be temporarily fixed with a reboot.  To make matters worse, MacBook Pro owners are also seeing frequent reboots to a gray screen. Apple was jolly clever at avoiding the blue screen of death on Windows machines by making the same sort of problems grey. Then it could hassle Microsoft users about their blue screen of death while experiencing the same sorts of problems themselves.

Apple actually suggests that if you see a gray screen you have to boot into safe mode and re-install the OS X. Windows users who get a blue screen of death just have to reboot. However re-installing OS X does not work and MacBook Pro owners experiencing issues. Reports suggest that Apple has done logic board replacements in some cases for affected users, but the issue has reoccured after a logic board replacement too. Some Apple users are starting to mutter heresy about design flaws which cause heating problems. 

The issue appears to affect 15 and 17-inch MacBook Pros that have discrete graphics cards. All of the 2011 MacBooks use AMD cards, including the AMD Radeon HD 6490M, the AMD Radeon HD 6750M (both 512MB/1GB variants) and the AMD Radeon HD 6770M. Last time around it was Nvidia that supplied the faulty GPUs used in Apple gear, so it's only fitting that AMD gets a crack at it, too.

In Fudzilla we have fixed the problem with a simple workaround. It involves hitting the MacBook with a sledgehammer mailing the pieces to the nearest Genius bar and buying a proper computer for a third of the price.

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