So recently, after about a year of steady use, the onboard graphics on my 2017 MBP 13” failed. The setup I use every day for work is running two 1080p monitors off of the computer. One of the guys at the Apple store said that running two monitors is pretty intensive, and while I understand that, it doesn’t seem probable that it would cause the onboard graphics to outright fail.

I have the computer sitting flat on my desk, so I’m thinking once it’s repaired to get a stand to help elevate it off the surface and help with ventilation. The computer can and has run pretty hot (fans get real loud), so this is the only thing I can think of to try to stop this from happening again.

When I get the computer back, should i try only running one monitor off of it? Should i sell it/trade it in and get a 15” model that has a dedicated video card? I really want to do anything I can to not have this happen again.


No, it’s not too much for the 13 but it does get hot. The 15 churns out even more power in my experience, so I would stick with 13 inch models or the 2018 Air if you want less heat with the current generations of MacBook Pro.

I would get a stand and not run in closed clamshell mode and also consider a Mac mini and an Air or iPad if you can let your desktop run cooler and not need a MacBook Pro.

We buy Macs at work to run Adobe products as well. I have about 250 people globally that push their MBP hard all day in closed clamshell mode and we've had a handful of failures like you describe - KP / GPU halts / then need a repair. People that do not have one or someone new to running them without fail say "these are running too hot" - all 250 just run hot - especially driving pixels or doing video chat in MS teams for instance. Some even KP / GPU halt occasionally and never need repair (or haven't yet). The repair rate is less than 1% for us even when we push these hard / all day / CPU hot / closed / driving two displays.

  • thank you! really appreciate the feedback. so this is my work computer, and I work almost exclusively in the adobe suite, so having something like a MacBook Air or an iPad really isn't going to do it. I never have the case closed, so i'm thinking about picking up one of these. would you think that, in this case, the logicboard was defective? I'm sorry but i really can't give you much more detail, other than the computer started getting kernel panics one day and then it was just done. – Mark May 29 at 2:17
  • Yup - you had bad luck - don't think you caused the repair from heat or usage. A drop or just bad luck caused that. We also run Photoshop / Illustrator heavy and the 2018 Air is faster than 2016 Pro in almost all cases but 3D rendering. We're moving to external thunderbolt rendering so the Air or even a MacBook will outperform even newer Pro when docked. We've had 2 fail like yours and one get a swollen battery out of 250 or so from that era and newer. Of course we occasionally still buy the new pro / but the mix of high end MBP are dropping fast for us to get real work done. – bmike May 29 at 11:04

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