Thousands Of MacBooks Made In 2011 Have Self-Immolating Graphics Cards

These pink and white stripes are not pretty.

These pink and white stripes are not pretty.

Models of Apple’s higher-end portable computer, the MacBook Pro, have come to the end of their three-year extended warranties. That leaves their owners at the mercy of Apple when something goes wrong, and at minimum thousands of the computers have had the same computer-killing problem with their graphics processing unit. Apple has not publicly admitted that the machines have a problem.

Of course, MacBook Pro owners are people who have spent at least $2,500 on a computer designed for serious graphics work. That means that they’re probably media professionals or serious amateurs, and able to make YouTube videos making fun of the situation with really great production values.

Some iMacs from the same period were recalled and their graphics cards replaced, but for the notebook computers, Apple appears to be making decisions on a case-by-case basis. Some of those decisions are leaving computer owners with unusable aluminum-encased lumps.

There’s a Washington, D.C.-based law firm gathering plaintiffs for a class action suit, but that process will take a long time, and most likely resolve once all of the users will have long since moved on, purchasing new, non-self-destructing computers. (For example, a class action against Apple regarding power adapter for Macbooks was filed in 2009, and not settled until 2011.) It also might not help customers who live outside of the United States, as many of the people complaining of issues with their MacBooks do.

A petition pleading with Apple to repair or fix all affected computers now has more than 18,500 signatures. A single repair may not help when some users report that they’re on their second or third logic board replacement.

This is not a new problem. Widespread failures of the soldered-on graphics card, which users more battery life and kicks in during graphics-intensive tasks like watching video, was first reported over a year ago on Apple Insider.

2011 MacBook Pro and Discrete Graphics Card [Apple Support] (via Reddit)
MBP2011 [Official Site]
Replace or Fix All 2011 Macbook Pro with Graphics Failure []