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Early i7 MacBook Pro Graphic Problems & Solutions

June 17, 2019 Comments off
It doesn’t take much searching to find lots of articles about graphic problems on a 2011-2013 MacBook Pro.

We get questions. Good ones, in fact, about all sorts of Mac problems.

Recently, the owner of an early 2011 15″ MacBook Pro with an i7 processor was experiencing some disastrous graphics issues.

These machines (15″ and 17″) offered two graphics processing units (GPUs). One is the graphics processor that’s part of the Intel CPU. The second graphics chip is made by either AMD or NVIDIA and was designed to provide an additional graphics performance boost for the laptop.

The problem is that the AMD/NVIDIA GPU has what Adam Barscheski of Realmacmods says is a “tragic defect” that causes that i7 to either have lost its video or soon will.

As our MacRecycleClinic laptop Guru explains, “The supplemental video chip was incorrectly soldered to the motherboard and when the cold solder connections separate, boink goes your video.”

As he wrote the owner, “There are some specialty shops that will try resoldering the video chip.  Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t last very long. The clinic has lots of i7 machines with your new woes.”

Solutions

There are frankly no good solutions to this problem, but here’s what MRC is recommending:

  • Search the web for sites that claim to resolder the
    video chip.  Good ones insist on removing the
    motherboard, removing the chip and reinstalling;
  • Go to the MacMedics website and see what they say
    about the problem;
  • Realmacmods offers one possible way to fix the video issue by disabling the AMD/NVIDIA GPU so that only the Intel GPU is used;
  • Find an older i5 (2013-2015) machine with retina display if your work does not require intensive graphics/video support. This series of machines does not have supplemental video problems.
  • Look for a newer i7 on Craigslist or eBay that did not experience these problems.

A Crazier Solution…

A quick search on YouTube found this video from HotshotTec – who basically took the MacBook apart and COOKED the motherboard. It worked for him, but it’s not something you should consider unless you are very comfortable taking apart – and putting back together – a Mac laptop. But the process is certainly interesting:

If you’ve had this problem – and found a solution – let us know and we’ll share it here!

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