Graphics Card Fixes - MPB GPU

Repasting the heat sinks (which had old and very dried out compound).
Will also reflow the solder under the GPU using a butane torch.

Then …

Install Macs Fan Control and use a better cooling profile. ← strongly suggested for any 2009 to 2015 mac power book user … i.e. seth  Will likely extend the life of your laptop by several years. Nearly every MPB in that year range eventually fails due to overheating GPU.

Then if still needed ...

I have this system and the same problem. The only thing that has worked is to download the gfxCardStatus app at the link below.

When you reboot your system select ’Integrated Only’ to ensure that your discrete (Nvidia) graphics card does not get used. This should resolve the panics.

Note that you may need to adjust the settings in apps like your browser to ensure they don’t have an option selected to use your discrete graphics (hardware acceleration or something similarly titled). If the option is selected it can override the gfxCardStatus setting.

This could slow down applications that are graphics intensive, but it is better than having the frequent reboots.


i don’t have a MacBook Pro … i have a MacBook Air. 

Sorry. Figure of speech. Essentially all mac laptop products suffer from GPU failure within a year or two after the original apple care runs out. For a few reasons. 1) Apple, for whatever reason, uses very low quality heat sink compound that dries our about that time. 2) The default apple fan profiles are conservative on the noise side, not the cooling side, which works in Apples favor for the first few years but kills the GPU’s in the long run. 3) Even though it is easy, few people take their mac laptops apart every year and clean all the lint and fuzz from the heat sinks.

My main mac laptop just failed. I am running on my backup. I have done a lot of research on this now. If you would like to benifit from that research then you would do well to 1) Have your macbook air cleaned. 2) Install one of several free and simple utilities to apply a more aggressive fan profile. You will thank me in the long run.  

… and p.s. my backup macbook (older) was also showing early signs of GPU issues. Occasional tearing of the screen and color patterns. A cleaning of (quite a bit of lint) from the heat sinks and the new fan profile has completely fixed that. The fan is a little more noisy, especially when doing lots of scrolling or watching a video, but it’s well worth getting more years out of this beast!  

i have never opened my mac air, nor do i even know how. 

Plenty of You Tube videos on it. Plenty of knowledgeable teen hackers that could do it for a few bucks too (a simple cleaning that is). And even if you pay a shop to do it for $35 or something, it’s well worth it if you have been using your laptop in bed for a few years (bed lint is the worst). It can be $700+ bucks to replace the mother board otherwise.

#thanks → nathan … i will look into cleaning my #MacAir #LapTop … #sethhmmm

… and the fan profile. That apple is underagressive with their fan profiles to make their mac’s extra quiet at the expense of eventual GPU failure is a well known industry issue from way back to 2006. You can google it. Applies to virtually all apple computers, laptops and imacs. My 27” iMac GPU failed 2 years ago (2 months after apple care ran out) and I had to bake it in an oven to fix it … now that is something you don’t want to do yourself! Only for fearless tiggers!