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I have an early 2011 MacBook Pro (2.2 GHz Intel Core i7, 8 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 memory) running OS 10.8.2. It has two graphics components: an AMD Radeon HD 6750M and a built-in Intel HD Graphics 3000. Since I've had the computer, the screen would get a blue tint when the computer switched between them.

However, as of two days ago, the problem has become substantially more severe. The computer was working fine, when all of a suddent the screen when completely blue. I had to force restart the computer. Since then, the screen has gone awry (see photos below) on numerous occassions - each time necessitating a hard reset.

Two images:

You can see here that the problem isn't restricted to the "blue screen" outcome. In one of the images, there is a severe amount of horizontal distrotion (especially in the menubar); in the other, the screen became split (the left side of the screen is on the right and vice versa!).

I installed gfxCardStatus, and have discovered that the computer runs fine using the integrated card, but as soon as I switch to the discrete card - the screen breaks in some fashion (typically vertical lines, alternating blue and green).

I am just wondering what my options are (any input on any of these would be appreciated!):

1) Replace the logic board. Would this necessarily fix the issue?

2) Is there any way to "fix" the graphics card?

3) Keep using gfxCardStatus and only use the integrated graphics card. This is definitely the easiest/cheapest option, but to have such a computer and not be able to use the graphics card seems like a real shame.

4) Is there any other alternative?

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  • I think I would try a full OS reinstall (or just installing a separate partition and testing it) to make sure it isn't software before going as far as to replace the logic board. But if it's hardware, that's the only thing I can think of, as the GPU isn't removeable. Feb 4, 2013 at 8:51
  • I've been having exactly this issue these days. I even upgraded from Lion to Mountain Lion. I'll have to wait some time before I can do a full reinstall, so I can test that scenario right now. I hope someone know some way to work around this, or if replacing the logic board is the only way.
    – Wilerson
    Feb 8, 2013 at 1:57
  • Yeah, I want to try booting off of an external hard drive and runnning gfxCardStatus and see what happens, but I'm pretty sure I will run into the same problem. If I do, I have gathered that the only fix is to replace the logic board - which is not going to be cheap! Feb 8, 2013 at 12:35
  • Apple's Repair Extension Program for these machines has ended together with the year 2016. Four options remain: baking the logic board, replacing the GPU alone, sourcing a used logic board – or disabling the dGPU via software like so: apple.stackexchange.com/a/295805/251859 Oct 8, 2017 at 13:17

1 Answer 1

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My early 2011 MacBook Pro just started having the exact same issue. I encounter the same graphics artifacts you do. I can tell you what does not work:

  1. Snow Leopard
  2. Lion
  3. Mountain Lion
  4. Different Memory
  5. Different Hard Drives
  6. Different Power Adaptors
  7. NVRAM Reset
  8. SMC Reset

The only thing I have found to keep the system stable is using gfxCardStatus to force the Intel GPU to remain active. The issue with this is sometimes the system will end up crashing before gfxCardStatus loads. I would love to find a permanent solution which did not involve replacing the system board, but I have pretty much lost hope at this point.

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  • I'm sorry to hear you are having the same issue. I ended up replacing the logic board, and (thankfully) haven't had the problem since. It was pretty costly but, for me, worth it in the long run. Apr 23, 2013 at 12:39
  • @Twitch_City Is it still running OK with the new logic board? Oct 6, 2014 at 3:51
  • It is! (knock on wood} Oct 6, 2014 at 10:52

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