My Mac Mini (mid 2011) frequently freezes under medium to heavy graphics load (e.g., while using Citrix RDP or playing games). Until today I used to think this was caused by overheating but after a thorough cleaning at the genius bar the overheating is gone for sure but the random freeze remains. Here is a photo of the display when my computer froze.

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Any clues as to what may be the issue here?

Edit: I am thinking this is to with overheating because when I place an ice pack on the mini then I can play as much as I want. If I remove the ice pack then it crashes within 15-20 minutes.

Edit2: Shutdown cause is -128 but memory checks out fine in Apple Diagnostics Test.


The image you showed are symptoms of the graphics chip on the logic board failing.

This requires a hardware repair (replacing the logic board) unless you find a place that would do component level repairs.

Given it's a 2011 the Apple Store will still be able to help but the cost of the logic board is (last I recall) usually $157.99 Plus tax plus $79 labor. You get 90 days of warranty on the replacement logic board.

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  • I ran hardware test on my mac and it says "No trouble found". Any way I can confirm this diagnosis? – user24976 Aug 13 '17 at 7:27
  • If you can hook up a second display you will most likely reproduce this issue on it. Combine that with booting up to another operating system: if the issue persists it's clearly a hardware issue and you would need the repair I mentioned. The included hardware test on Macs doesn't help all that much, don't depend on it to be absolute. – Cory T Aug 13 '17 at 15:14
  • I tested further this weekend. It reboots on both the USB-C as well as the HDMI port. The connected display does not matter --be it a TV or a monitor. Furthermore, the reboot happens only when the mini gets hot. I can play a whole session of Chopper2 when I place an ice pack on it. But if I remove the pack then it crashes within 15 mins (air temp: 29 C). – user24976 Aug 27 '17 at 6:48

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