Users levy class action law suit against Apple for mid-2011 MacBook Pro GPU failures

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Date: Tuesday, October 28th, 2014, 16:26
Category: Hardware, Legal, MacBook Pro, News

If the GPU on your mid-2011 MacBook Pro failed and you wound up picking up the cost of replacing it, there may be some legal recourse that could help you out.

Per AppleInsider, a long-running issue with owners of Apple’s 2011 series of MacBook Pros has resulted in a class-action lawsuit, seeking compensation for apparent graphics card failures experienced by customers.

The firm of Whitfield, Bryson & Mason LLP announced on Tuesday that it has filed a class-action complaint in a California federal court against Apple. The lawsuit covers residents of both California and Florida who purchased 2011 MacBook Pro notebooks with AMD graphics.

The complaint was filed on behalf of plaintiffs Zachary Book, Donald Cowart, and John Manners. The lawsuit alleges that Apple failed to reimburse owners for out-of-pocket repairs that could cost anywhere from US$350 to US$600.

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The Mac mini’s Intel GPU won’t cut it as a 4K media center

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Date: Tuesday, October 28th, 2014, 07:18
Category: 4K, Apple, Hardware, Mac mini, Television, UHD, Yosmite

Yosemite's 4K support is pretty poor - Jason O'Grady

I purchased a Samsung 4K television (a UN65F9000) for our family room and was super-excited to buy a late-2014 Mac mini (Macmini7,1, model A1347) to complete our entertainment center. The problem is that the Mac mini’s anemic GPU can’t drive a 4K display at a fast enough refresh rate to play smooth video, which is a bummer.

I’ve used a Mac mini connected to a 1080p panel in my living room for years, and it’s always worked great. A Mac mini is great in a media center computer, there’s nothing like having a real web browser for watching live streams and video podcasts and VLC media player is the de facto standard for playing every video CODEC known to mankind. (Tons of people also swear by Plex but I haven’t taken the time to set it up.)

I was optimistic that Apple would properly support 4K (UHD, 2160p) after early Yosemite rumors claimed that it would. When connected to my 65-inch Sammy 4K TV, the 2014 Mac mini can only muster a paltry 30 Hertz refresh rate, which is unacceptable for video. It results in choppy, unwatchable playback. The mini’s poor video performance is a result of its underpowered Intel Iris Graphics.

If you’re thinking of connecting a Mac to a 4K panel, beware. The only Macs that will do 4K justice are those that have a discrete graphics card – and you’ll probably need a $3K Mac Pro to do it right.

I connected my MacBook Pro Retina 13-inch to the Samsung F900 panel and it too only supports 30 Hz output, which won’t fly for video playback. The 13-inch rMBP only has Intel Iris 5100 Graphics which isn’t enough to drive a 4K panel at 60 Hz. According to the Apple Discussion Forums:

  • the 15″ rMBP w/NVidia does support 60Hz
  • the 13″ rMBP w/Iris does not support 60 Hz

If you want to drive a 4K monitor at 60Hz from a Mac you’ll need one with a discrete GPU. Boom. Sounds like the best justification I’ve heard to purchase a Mac Pro yet.

What’s your Mac media center setup?

Displaymate performs Display Technology Shoot Out tests on iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, finds both impressive and disappointing results

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 27th, 2014, 16:58
Category: Hardware, iPad, News

ipaddisplayshootout

The tests have been run, the results have come in and the answer may be a bit of a downer for iPad 3 mini owners.

Over on displaymate.com, Raymond Soneira has just pitted Apple’s recently released iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 displays against each other in almost every category imaginable. The tests and results, which can be found here, run the tablets through criteria such as power efficiency, viewing angles, screen brightness in high ambient lighting, absolute color accuracy, etc.

The tests found that the iPad Air 2′s new anti-reflection coating on its glass cover helps cut ambient light by about 3:1 over most other tablets and smartphones (including the previous iPads), and about 2:1 over all of the very best competing Tablets and Smartphones (including the new iPhone 6). The tests recorded a 62 percent decrease in reflected light glare compared to the previous iPads (Apple claims 56 percent) and agree with Apple’s claim that the iPad Air 2 is “the least reflective display of any tablet in the world”.

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Rumor: Apple in negotiations to use NFC technologies as entry keycards, transit tickets

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Date: Monday, October 27th, 2014, 10:14
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Rumor

If NFC technology isn’t as widespread as it could be, Apple wants to increase its presence. According to 9to5Mac and The Information, Apple is actively scouting out partnerships to increase the utility of the NFC chip inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Right now, the chip can only be used for payments through Apple Pay as the API is not available to third-party developers.

Sources have stated that the company is talking to potential partners about using the technology for things like building security, public transit tickets and more. The report names that Apple has already been in talks with HID Global and Cubic, who make electronic ‘keycard’ secure building access and transit fare systems.

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The Apple representatives have talked to technology providers like HID Global and Cubic, which enable secure access to buildings and transit fare systems, respectively, said people briefed on the discussions. Spokespeople for the companies declined to comment about any discussions with Apple, but executives there discussed how they could integrate their systems with the iPhone.

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AT&T confirms Apple SIM card lock, says customers will need to buy new SIM card to change carriers

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Date: Monday, October 27th, 2014, 10:11
Category: Hardware, iPad, News, wireless

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There may be increased competition and good deals to be had in the wireless markets, but the major carriers will still try to lock you in…

Per Re/code, wireless carrier AT&T has apparently taken advantage in the change to the SIM card found in the new iPad, which apparently allows customers to designate which wireless carrier they’d like to use it with, by essentially locking its customers in to the service, requiring the customer to purchase an entirely new SIM card to change their provider.

AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel confirmed to Re/code that customers who use the Apple SIM on AT&T will need another SIM card to switch carriers, but stressed that the device itself remains unlocked.

“With us you can change carriers with this iPad any time you want,” he said. “It is an unlocked device. … All [you] have to do is switch out the SIM in the device so it works on another carrier.”

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iFixit completes teardown of iPad 2 Air, posts discoveries

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Date: Thursday, October 23rd, 2014, 08:54
Category: Hardware, iPad, News

The cool cats at iFixit have torn down the iPad 2 Air and found some interesting stuff inside.

Per iFixit and AppleInsider, the new tablet comes with a 9.7-inch laminated touch panel, A8X SoC, 8MP rear-facing camera, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Touch ID fingerprint reader. The shell was also redesigned, seeing the deletion of the orientation lock/mute button and minor aesthetic modifications to the speaker grille and volume control buttons.

The teardown finally put a number on battery capacity, with the Air 2 sporting a 27.62 watt hour, 7,340mAh dual-cell unit, down from last year’s 32.9 watt-hour configuration. According to Apple, that will get you about 10 hours of continuous use per charge, or 9 hours on the Wi-Fi + Cellular model.

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Rumor: A8X processors allegedly feature three cores, 2GB of RAM

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Date: Tuesday, October 21st, 2014, 17:47
Category: Hardware, iPad, Processors, Rumor, Uncategorized

While Apple has yet to reveal the exact specifications of its A8X processor, it seems to feature some sexy tech traits. Per AppleInsider and Gizmobic, a new benchmark purports to show the horsepower of the CPU, revealing a triple-core processor with 2 gigabytes of RAM.

The purported details on the A8X chip claimed to show a new “iPad5,4″ model. Based on Apple’s IPSW files available to developers, that model would be a LTE-capable iPad Air 2.

A separate test focused on RAM speed also appears to show that the iPad Air 2 has a full 2 gigabytes of RAM. In contrast, the A8 CPU found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is a dual-core processor with 1 gigabyte of RAM.

The benchmarks published represent an out-of-date testing tool not optimized for assessing the performance of Apple’s latest hardware, which may explain why the iPad Air 2 performs poorly in some of the tests.

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iFixit tears down late-2014 Mac mini, offers positive and negative findings

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Date: Tuesday, October 21st, 2014, 11:01
Category: Hardware, Mac mini, News

The grand masters of the hardware teardown have cracked open Apple’s new Mac mini and found both positive negative things about it.

Per 9to5Mac, the mighty iFixit has completed a teardown of the new Mac mini and confirmed something that’s been a point of contention: the RAM is soldered into the logic board and can’t be upgraded, so you’ll have to pay Apple’s price when you initially purchase the machine.

Getting access to the inside of the new Mac mini is more difficult than it used to be …

The twist-off bottom cover of the previous model is gone, with a new plastic cap needing to be levered off. Beneath this is a plate with three tamper-proof screws.

iFixit identified these as TR6 Torx, and said it was the first time it had ever seen these in use. The company’s Torx drivers only went down to T7, so they had to improvise – but will be getting TR6 drivers in stock.

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iFixit completes teardown of 2014 iMac with 5K Retina display, posts findings

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Date: Monday, October 20th, 2014, 10:48
Category: Hardware, iMac, News, Uncategorized

The cool cats at iFixit performed a full teardown of the 2014 iMac and found some nifty stuff.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, the firm, which gave the 2014 iMac a Repairability Score of 5 out of 10, discovered that a fair number of the components were similar to the 2013 iMac. The SSD is the same drive that ships with Apple’s late 2013 13-inch MacBook Pro, while the AirPort/Bluetooth card, logic board and other components are described as being “nearly exactly the same” to last year’s 27-inch iMac.

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Apple has yet to respond to 18,000+ signature regarding 2011 MacBook Pro GPU issues

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Date: Friday, October 17th, 2014, 11:10
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, News

If you have a 2011 MacBook Pro that’s been suffering from GPU failures and glitches, odds are Apple won’t be doing anything about it in the near future, in spite of an impressive petition campaign to see the issue addressed.

Per 9to5Mac, an online petition calling for Apple to fix or replace affected machines has reached more than 18,000 signatures.

The petition reads as follows:

To:
Timothy D. Cook, Apple Inc
Craig Federighi (Apple Inc) (Apple Inc), Apple Inc

Replace or Fix All 2011 Macbook Pro with Graphics Failure

The petition notes the premium spent to buy Apple laptops, and says that Apple’s only response to date has been to ask owners to pay for an extremely expensive logic board replacement …

Owners of machines suffering from the problem have also been tweeting with the hashtag #MBP2011, and there are a number of websites devoted to the issue. Owners are reporting Apple repair costs of between US$300 and US$700, with diagnoses often pointing to failure of either the soldering or thermal paste on the AMD Radeon HD 6750M.

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