REPAIR SERVICE - Graphics Card Reflow for MacBook Pro 2011 Dual GPU Models

85.00 + vat

REPAIR SERVICE - Graphics Card Reflow for MacBook Pro 2011 Dual GPU Models
Stock Status: Available.

Important: There is a warranty extension program that Apple announced 20th February 2015 that covers some of the machines that develop this fault up until 31st December 2016 (note: this program has been extended from the original end date of 27th February 2016). Since Apple will offer a free repair, presumably a logic board replacement, we advise everyone effected to see if they are eligable for the Apple service first (details on the Apple service here, you can find whether your warranty has been extended with Apple's serial number based warranty checker here). If your machine is not covered by the warranty extension, or Apple does not agree that your fault is the one that the program covers, then we may well be able to resolve the fault with this service.

This is a repair service that is performed on our premises. Once booked you will need to either bring or send your machine into us, or you can have us send our courier to collect it - see here. Once complete you can collect the machine from us, or we can ship it back to you for our standard courier delivery charge (applied during the checkout process).

What is this service for?

There appears to be moderately common issues with the graphics cards in some 2011 revision MacBook Pros - effected models are those which have a dual GPU setup with both and an integrated and dedicated graphics card (so all the 2011 15in and 17in models, but none of the 13in). The dedicated card develops a fault, which can sometimes be worked around by forcing the use of the integrated GPU only, but often ends up with a completely non-functional machine.

What is reflowing?

Reflowing is the use of controlled direct heat to the graphics chip in order to melt the solder. This is achieved using infra red pre-heating plates and direct hot air soldering stations with fine temperature control. The logic board is removed from the machine, the heatsink and old thermal paste removed and cleaned and the board examined. The board is then heat treated as described. The board is left to cool before reassembly and reapplication of thermal paste. A period of GPU intensive testing is then run to test the machine.

How does this help?

The truth is, we are speculating about the underlying problem. We suspect that the solder used in these machines is suffering from problems with whiskers, which are then creating shorts. The reflow causes the whiskers to be re-absorbed, and resolves the problem. But the truth is, we don't know.

We have been offering our graphics card reflow service for 2008 MacBook Pros with the defective NVidia 8600 GT graphics cards, and 2008 24in iMacs with the NVidia 8800 GS cards, for some years now - see service page here. With the 2008 models the procedure is a reliable way of bringing machine with a failed graphics card back to life, but the longevity tends to be variable. Our experience with the 2011 models so far has been just as good with the initial results, and the machines we have done so far are all working fine many months down the line.

What if it doesn't work?

We offer a 50% refund of the fee paid (excluding any shipping charges) if the reflow either does not resolve the fault successfully, or if it should fail with the same fault within 3 months - optionally can instead reflow the machine again for free within this period. If the reflowed machine should fail after that period, we offer to do the procedure again for half price, but with no additional warranty.

More information on reflows can be found on our blog here, though please note that that article deals specifically with the 2008 machines. Please do contact us if you would like to discuss the procedure further.


This product is compatible with the following Macs:

MacBook Pro 15" Unibody
For MacBook Pro 2011 dual graphics cards models with graphics card issue.
MacBook Pro 17" Unibody
For MacBook Pro 2011 dual graphics cards models with graphics card issue.