1 - Original issue

I own a Macbook Pro 15" from Early 2011, which suffers from the well-known-but-denied-by-Apple GPU problem.
TL;DR: the AMD Radeon HD 6XX0M is dead and the Macbook can't boot, or can boot but with huge graphic glitches on screen.

2 - Workaround

There is a workaround to this problem, which consists to disable the AMD GPU and only use the Intel HD 3000 chipset. The main way to do this is to use a software like gfxCardStatus.

However, since my Macbook wasn't booting (stuck on blue screen after Apple logo), I managed to disable my AMD Radeon HD 6490M by entering single-user mode and deleting the following files from /System/Library/Extensions/:


3 - Remaining problems

But, as I said, this is just a workaround to get OS X to boot. I now have 2 main issues:

  • I can't plug an external screen on the Thunderbolt port
  • I can't play any avi or mkv video

I know there isn't any solution for the first issue, since the Intel HD 3000 is not even physically linked to the Thunderbolt port.

However, I am looking for a solution to the second issue. The Intel HD 3000 chipset may not be a killer GPU, but I am sure it can handle a simple video, and even 1080p videos. When I open a video file in VLC, I get the following error:

OpenGL acceleration is not supported on your Mac
Your Mac lacks Quartz Extreme acceleration, which is required for video output. It will still work, but much slower and with possibly unexpected results.

And in the logs:

vout_macosx error: no OpenGL hardware acceleration found. this can lead to slow output and unexpected results

I think Mac OS X is trying to get OpenGL acceleration thanks to the AMD GPU. And since the GPU is supposed to work properly, it never tries to get the adequate features from the Intel HD 3000 chipset.

So, is there any way to get more from this chipset?

5 Answers 5


I'm having the same issue with GPU on my MBP 2011 and was using the same solution as yours (plus additionally disabled AppleIntelHD3000Graphics.kext). Saving money for motherboard replacement (or the new Haswell MBP whatever)…

I'm able to play most of videos with Miro player.

Although, I'm starting to have difficulties with my eyes since it's not possible to control monitor brightness anymore…

  • I tried to use Miro player without success. Maybe it's because I still have AppleIntelHD3000Graphics.kext. I will try to remove it when I get some free time. By the way, do you have Xcode? I can't launch iOS Simulator and I suspect my GPU problem to be the cause. Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 16:43
  • yes, it works on mine only if the mentioned kext is removed as well. seems that in this case the hw acceleration becomes disabled. Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 17:13
  • haven't tried ios simulator recently though... Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 17:17
  • I still didn't try. Maybe this evening if I get some time. How is your computer behaving without the GPU btw? Mine is slugish as hell since I removed these kext (but at least I can boot). Is it the same for you? Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 10:29
  • yes, of course, it's terrible. honestly, i just fed up and finally migrated to mbair (retina is not an option for me). now plan to find a cheap way to replace gpu for the broken mbp. then newest top mbair shows almost same speed in my day-to-day activities (java/gwt code compiling and debugging). Commented Nov 9, 2013 at 14:22

The Intel HD 3000 was used as single card also in some Mac Mini configurations.

You can start by these links:




but I strongly suggest to post your question on insanelymac forums, probably there you will find people with better knowledge about kexts and possible alternatives for your case.

  • I tried to replace my AppleIntelHDGraphics.kext and AppleIntelSNBGraphicsFB.kext by the ones provides in your second link, but it froze my Macbook at boot (stuck on grey screen with Apple logo and mouse in top-left corner). The first link seems too specialized for Hackintosh to me appropriate for my situation. So as you said, I will post my question on Insanelymac forum ;) Commented Oct 2, 2013 at 19:26

I've been dealing with this for the past six months... bought a new Air just to get past and have a lighter laptop vs the 17" early 2011 MBP, but I love that laptop. So, had some time today and read everything I could find on it. In short, looks like I'm fixed in similar fashion; however, I only removed the ATIRadeonX2000.kext file (I believe the 15" equivalent is the 3000. i have done some limited testing (Apature and MKV file with VLC), both say "Requires High Performance GPU" in the activity monitor, but they run. Don't use external monitors, so we'll see where it comes up short.

Good luck.


I had the same problem and disabled the drivers in single user mode. However it seems that macosx still uses the external GPU if you do that in some low performance mode, instead of using the internal GPU.

This solved my problem: http://www.asyncro.com/2014/03/24/macbook-pro-discreate-graphics-card-issue-fix-updated/

The key is to first let your macbook overheat and start up immediately afterwards which will disable your external GPU (with all the drivers in place). Then install gfxCardStatus, reboot and only then disable the drivers in single user mode.

I am able to play any video just fine now. The external display still doesn't work, but I guess there's no way around that.


I have an easy solution to have a Yosemite fully functional with the Intel GPU. The only drawback is: you can't use External Monitor.

Solution: install Yosemite on a mbp as if it was a hackintosh

  1. create a usb key with unibeast (laptop mode)
  2. boot on this key (option key pressed at start)
  3. install normally
  4. post install: a shell script to remove kernel_task cpu 250%


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