Some 2011 MacBook Pros Experiencing GPU Glitches, System Crashes

Many early and late–2011 MacBook Pro owners with discrete graphics cards seem to be experiencing GPU failures and system crashes on their machines. In addition to several tips received by MacRumors, there's a lengthy thread on the issue on the Apple Support Communities, a Facebook group, and many reports of trouble on our own forums.

It appears that the MacBooks, first released on February 28, 2011, are displaying screen glitches primarily during 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.

mbp20111gpufailures

An example of the screen glitches 2011 MacBook Pro owners are seeing

Along with graphical issues, MacBook Pro owners are also seeing frequent reboots to a gray screen. Apple has several suggestions for customers seeing a gray screen, including booting into safe mode and reinstalling OS X, which has not managed to solve the problem for MacBook Pro owners experiencing issues.

Apple has done logic board replacements in some cases for affected users, but reports indicate that the issue has reoccured after a logic board replacement as well. It is unclear why the MacBook Pros are experiencing problems, but Apple forum users have speculated that it could be heat related.

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.

Mid–2011 iMacs with AMD Radeon HD 6970 graphics cards experienced similar failures and in August of 2013, Apple initiated a Graphics Card Replacement Program for the computers, replacing the graphics cards of affected iMacs at no cost.

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Top Rated Comments

Sure, Not Avatar
136 months ago
That's quality right there.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rishey Avatar
136 months ago
Thanks

Thanks. Good idea. I'll upgrade to a new 17" Macbook pro with Matte display.

Nothing to see here guys. I don't think anyone uses a 2011 MBP with ATI graphics anymore anyway? IF they do, its time to upgrade.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
magbarn Avatar
136 months ago
2008 MBP Nvidia'gate' redux :mad:
I wonder if it's from 'lead-free solder'...
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ka-spot Avatar
136 months ago
This is really BAD thing !
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RoelJuun Avatar
136 months ago
Had this problem on my Early 2011 MBP last year. Apple replaced the logic board and battery(!) an no charge under AppleCare. No problem since.

Always get the AppleCare.

Apple should deliver better products or provide better warranty. A 3 year old (2011 you say) computer of €2000 shouldn't crap out randomly and in need of a €500 repair. And when it does Apple should just replace whatever parts necessary free of charge.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pski Avatar
136 months ago
Had this problem on my Early 2011 MBP last year. Apple replaced the logic board and battery(!) an no charge under AppleCare. No problem since.

Always get the AppleCare.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)