Failing Graphics subsystem in 2011 MacBook Pro?
Late-2011 15" MacBook Pro, High Sierra, 16 gigs RAM, 1 Tb SSD (OWC). Graphics card/logic board replaced in 2016 under Apple's extended warranty.
Long story short(er): in the last few days, this computer has intermittently locked up, showing a screen with horizontal lines, and the open window split down the middle vertically.
I rebooted into Safe Mode (it took several tries), reset PRAM and SMC, ran Apple Hardware Test (short and long versions) which showed no issues, unchecked the box in Energy Saver that allowed automatic switching of the graphics cards. I finally got the machine into a seemingly stable state.
This morning I arose to the fans blazing, and a frozen, blank screen. I had to force quit. Rebooting took over 5 minutes, and temporarily displayed the horizontal lines/split screen. (I believe this episode was kicked off via a security update - to 10.13.6 - that ran overnight.) After the boot process completed, the security update finished its install, taking roughly 20 minutes.
Again, it has been running fine the rest of the day.
This makes me think the replacement graphics subsystem is now failing, and this MacBook Pro will soon be off to the land of retired Macs. Amirite?
[BTW, I've tried to attach images and videos of these events, but even an 86k image is too big... "Max file size 10B" - 10 bytes?]
OK - I installed gfxCardStatus and will give it some time to see how it does.
Initially, it took several boots to get to a usable screen, but I was eventually able to download and install the app. The toolbar icon showed the integrated "i". I clicked it and selected the choice to use Integrated Only, at which time the laptop immediately crashed. It took perhaps a dozen reboots, including another SMC & PRAM reset, to finally get an operable. At that point, I again selected "Integrated Only" and the setting to run on boot.
That did not prompt any fritz out, so we're going to see how long that lasts. Fingers crossed!
Again, thanks for the suggestion.
Yeah, tightwad that I am, I’d really like to keep it for something like that, but if it’s going to randomly lock up, I can’t use it for anything I’d depend on. But now I’m wondering about installing one of the Linux builds on it, to learn a new OS, and just for the hell of it.
It’s my wife’s machine, and talking about it today, she seems like she’s leaning towards an iMac as a replacement. A 27” screen is really enticing to her.
As you are an acknowledged "tightwad", maybe consider a Mac mini with a nice 27" monitor (or 2), or maybe one of those ultrawide curved monitors that have been showing up recently, then when it gets old and your Wife needs a new Mac, you can move the monitors to the new system and repurpose the Mac mini for other tasks in the basement (or where ever you put your servers). Just a thought.