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Model A1297 Unibody: Early 2009, Mid 2009, Mid 2010, Early 2011 & Late 2011

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Intermittent Device Display Issues

My late 2011 MBP has recently started giving issues with the display. What I’ve found is much along the lines of previously reported issues with Macbooks: there are green pixels where the display is rendering “shading”. This only happens on the laptop display and intermittently.

I’ve installed gfxCardStatus and it only occurs with the Discrete card and only on the laptop display, I frequently connect an external display when working at my desk.

I’d like to know if this is repairable, there doesn’t appear to be any display parts on iFixit and from the other questions and answers, it’s not clear what the fault it.

As I type this, the issue isn’t presenting itself, however when I was using it this weekend (while disconnected from the external display) whenever I used Chrome it would start flickering (presumably because of the reliance on the AMD GPU).

If this continues and worsens, is it likely that my external display will stop working or would it be limited to the Macbook screen?

Any answers and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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It usually worsens into a certain color that runs along the whole screen straight away on boot up and then hangs on the apple logo making the MacBook not able to boot.

It’s the GPU failing on the 2011 17” A1286, a common fault but can be fixed using various methods:

http://dosdude1.com/resources.html

The second option on that link is the easiest out of all of them, not a permanent fix but does the job.

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Thanks Ben, is this something that will affect external monitors or just the MBP screen?

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If I remember correctly external monitor display uses the Intel Integrated Graphics from the CPU.

The MBP screen uses the discrete graphics by default, disabling it through the software will stop the artificating appearing on the MBP screen.

It is recommended to have it disabled as it will get worse to where the MacBook won't boot past apple logo.

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@danielbigred Unfortunately on such dual graphic systems only the dedicated GPU handles external screens. With that disabled or failing, connection to external sources will stop working too.

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@arbaman that's such a pity! I guess I'll disable it, sell it and replace it with something more reliable. It's such a pity because other than this issue, I love this Macbook. Have you seen the suggestion here about reflowing the card: https://forums.tomsguide.com/faq/how-to-... is it worth attempting? I believe I have the ability just not sure if it's worth the effort. Thanks for helping!

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@danielbigred Since it's your Mac, unless you're planning to sell it right after, I'm not inclined to discourage any attempt to fix it by whatever means, including reflowing which I deprecate as a real solution, since it isn't. No need to buy a hot air station, a hair dryer will do the job just as much or you can look for the oven "baking" solution which would be even much more efficient as reflow method. It won't fix the issue but it may buy you some further time and you can repeat it when needed.

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At this point you don’t have much to lose.

Here’s DosDudes solution for turning off the dedicated graphics. I have had success (limited) on machines where gfxcardstatus failed

http://dosdude1.com/gpudisable/

This failing, I have also had success using a hot air workstation and reflowing the GPU.

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Thanks @mayer I've seen this guide https://forums.tomsguide.com/faq/how-to-... on reflowing so I'll give it a bash!

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