More Problems Emerge For 2011 MacBook Pros

Posted in Mac on 21/03/2011 by J. Glenn Künzler

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Earlier we reported on 2011 MacBook Pro models having issues with iTunes Home Sharing. Now it appears additional and more serious problems have been emerging. Many users are reporting issues with screen flickering on external displays and system-wide freezing under heavy workload.

These issues appear to be both common and widespread among adopters of the 2011 MacBook Pro models. The problem is reportedly so persistent that one user was able to reproduce the unfortunate effect on every single 2011 MacBook Pro at his local apple store.

While this issue is certainly irritating and confusing, it’s quite unclear what could be the cause. It may be a hardware error with the chipset, it could be a problem with the graphics driver, or even a problem with a buggy software extension for the new Sandy Bridge processors.

As much as I tend to suggest that early adopters should be prepared for some issues and imperfections, this scenario has risen above standard consumer tolerances, in many cases making the new laptops unsuitable for their users, having to force restart their systems multiple times per day, or even per hour.

While Apple hasn’t formally acknowledged these issues, it is said that they are investigating them. But I posit that this is not enough! Apple needs to be proactive – they need to offer their users a workable computer – perhaps one of a previous generation – to use in the meantime while they attempt to figure out what is wrong.

To add a little more scope to this issue, consider some of the threads at MacRumors, as well as the Apple Support Forums. In one thread at Apple, consisting of over 41 pages of complaints, the issue is being called “systemic”, and suggestions are being made to use only the integrated graphics.

Additionally, the MacRumors discussion forum is being plagued by users experiencing these issues, with the common threads being that their machine is essentially unusable for a large number of purposes. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to help these users in the meantime.

Apple, you need to step up to the plate here. Whether or not this is your fault, it is your problem, and it’s unfair to expect your consumer base to have to absorb all of the inconvenience from purchasing an Apple product that doesn’t work correctly. The fact is that additional testing pre-launch likely could have avoided this issue, and even if it couldn’t have, the responsibility is yours to ensure that your customers aren’t the ones getting screwed. After all, they just dropped a fat load of cash on your doorstep expecting a product that worked.

But enough about our rant about the consumerism aspects of this issue – what are your thoughts? Have any of you noticed this problem (I know I have, and I am getting by by only using the integrated graphics)? What should Apple be required to do about this issue (considering that it is apparently very widespread)? What should their responsibility entail, and what should affected consumers be entitled to? Sound off in the comments.

Via 9to5Mac, MacStories


  • Chris Wong

    My 13" MBP freezes like hell when i open Parallels Desktop 6. The whole device will be frozen for like 2-3 minutes before going back into normal state. After quitting the app, it's still laggy too, until i restart my whole system. There is actually also a bug on sleep mode when your display will be moved to your external display and leave your main laptop's display totally black. I opened up System Preferences, click the Detect Monitor button and everything is back to normal. Weird.

  • Mathieurobbins

    Funny, I have screen-flickering on an external display with my late-2010 27-inch iMac! Called Apple Care and they were miffed, unable to resolve. I stopped once they started going on about partitioning my hard drive, and did I have back-up (no, I didn't). Maybe now MBPs have the problem it'll get resolved with iMacs too. I frigging hope so.

  • S_B

    I have a 15" MBP but I have not experienced any issues with it. Although, I have not connected to an external display.

    I have had it on a decent workload though, running some movie conversions and video rendering. It seems to be fine.

    Hopefully I got a good one.

  • Craig

    I'm experiencing the same problems on my late 2009 MacBook pro. It could possibly be a software problem because this has just pccured recently… At least I hope it is a software problem. Computeris also overheating very easily than previously.

  • stajp

    this is shameful for apple. macbook pro have to be top product of apple in laptops and they have to be near perfect.this is serious problem..I was thinking about to buy one, but now I will think one more time again…

    hope that apple will reply fast and with concrete solutions

  • Kenza

    My new 15" MBP freezes after running games ,and I had to unlock the cooling fans from 2000rpm to run at 4000rpm where it auto increases as core temp increases I also got an external cooling pad.

    Temps of the MBP can hit 70~80C with the above cooling feature in place..

    I placed auto graphics switching but when I play games,the Raedon 6750m kicks in and resulted in freeze.

    I'm now just worried if my MBP will be damaged(CPU from heat,or the built in fans from going faster)as I just received it 2 days ago

  • Ryan

    I purchased the 13" MBP and have not yet come across any of these issues. This just may be due to lack of workload however, although I do use VMfusion with windows 7 on a regular basis which someone said they had a problem with.

    I guess well see.

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  • sotiris

    i have a late 2011 13” MBP and i have all the above problems!!! Every 10 minutes everything crashes and i cant work!!!! I need to make 2-3 restarts every day!!! Whats happening here?? Even my 2007 MB its at least 2-3x times faster than my new machine!

    • Make sure you’ve applied all the latest software updates. If that doesn’t work, take it into the Apple Store to get it checked out.

Author

J. Glenn Künzler

Glenn is Managing Editor at MacTrast, and has been using a Mac since he bought his first MacBook Pro in 2006. Now he's up to his neck in Apple, and owns an old iBook, a 2012 iMac with an extra Thunderbolt display for good measure, a 4th-generation iPad, an iPad mini, 2 iPhones, and a Mac Mini that lives at the neighbor's house. He lives in a small town in Utah, enjoys bacon more than you can possibly imagine, and is severely addicted to pie.