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If you have a 2011 MacBook Pro with a discrete AMD graphics card that's not suddenly acting wonky, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. As ModMyi reports (via Cult of Mac), a staggering number of units have suddenly started to crash and suffer from hardware troubles, and as of right now the epidemic shows no sign of abating.
It's so bad, in fact, that the relevant thread in Apple Support Communities has ballooned to over 187 pages. Reports of similar behavior first surfaced around February of last year, but now so many reports are starting to rush in that Apple must be having a hard time handling them.
Apparently the troubles begin when users start playing games or watching HD video--actions that tax the CPU, in other words--causing the display to either blank out or distort the image. Reboots provide only temporary respites from the issues, and eventually some MacBooks give up the ghost after fighting the problem for too long.
As numerous sources have suggested, this seemed to be the same brand of overheating issue that's always plagued the MacBook line, but rarely has one model proven so susceptible as the 2011 MacBook Pro. Cult of Mac states that the only way to fix it is to replace the costly logic board (although some users report that it was replaced for free with AppleCare), and right now there's no word from Apple on whether it'll institute a replacement program.
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