Do you have a 2011 MacBook Pro by any chance?
Noticed any problems? Forums around the web have started reporting failures of the GPU in this model MacBook Pro, resulting in corruption, crashing or freezing, intermittent video issues and, in the worst case scenario, total failure.
And, fortunately for Apple, these machines are of course now out of warranty. So, if you are the owner of a 2011 MacBook Pro and unless you were smart/organised/prescient enough to have bought AppleCare, you could find yourself in a sticky situation.
Blackwizard, a submitter at Slashdot.com, notes that reports of failures have sprung up on both Apple’s own forums (where at least one user experienced the Apple equivalent of the notorious blue screen of death) and other blogs, such as this one from Dreamson, where the writer complains vehemently after being told by an Apple ‘genius’ that his only recourse was to replace his Logic Board, at a cost of 4489 Hong Kong dollars ($660.52).
Blackwizard refers to a post by MacRumors, which claims to have also received several tips regarding the issue, notes a Facebook group has been initiated and links to reports of trouble on its own forums. MacRumors also posted the below image, showing the sorts of display problems some users have experienced.
“The issue appears to affect 15in and 17in MacBook Pros that have discrete graphics cards,” says MacRumors. “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.”
Blackwizard’s post at Slashdot.com reports that Apple has yet to address this issue and wonders if the company will take “ownership of the issue, or continue to ask customers to pay for an entire new logic board when just the GPU fails”.
Other commenters at the website, however, are defending the Cupertino, California company’s track record in this department, with many reporting instances of Apple replacing parts for free, even on machines that were well out of warranty.
“My mother-in-law’s four-year-old MBP was replaced with a new model after repeated logic board failures (all of which was done for free),” says Anonymous Coward (one of many on the site apparently, as it seems to be a default name), while Just Some Guy says, “I bought a used, out-of-warranty iMac which developed bad capacitors (swollen and leaking) on the graphics card a year later. I called Apple and they replaced everything inside it without charging me a penny. I never heard of that being a big scandal, and in the US I doubt they had any legal obligations to fix my 3.5-year-old used Mac.”
“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,” concludes MacRumors.