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Model A1297 Unibody: Early 2009, Mid 2009, Mid 2010, Early 2011 & Late 2011

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Leds dimming under heat?


I have a early 2011 Macbook Pro and lately i started to notice that when my computer reaches high temperature (first signs start to show above 65ºc) i can see a dark shadow in a cone shape right above the CPU and GPU fans.

I can only see them IF my screen image is black (in this case there is a difference between the black of the rest of the screen and the black of the "shadow") or a dark almost black gray. The last scenario is the one that the shadows are most visible.

If the screen image/color is lighter its perfectly normal. For example in the Solid Colours available on the wallpaper preferences, i can't see the shadows with any of them, it must be darker then the darkest gray there. :D

The higher the temperature the most visible the shadow is. If i'm doing some very intensive stuff and the computer is like 1 hour near 90ºc, then the shadows are easy to see on a dark background.

As the temperature drops, the shadow tend to disappear.

My first thought was that this could be the leds right above the heat exits getting dimm due to the hight temperature (they get brighter on colder situations), but i would like to know if this is a normal behaviour.

Should i get worried that somewhere in the near future i will be short of 2 leds?!

Anyway, here are 2 pics of the situation. The first one is with 80'ish ºc the second one is with 30'ish ºc.

Its a lot more visible in the naked eye. The camera didn't make it justice. :) But even so, its perfectly visible.

So, should i be worried?

P.S. - After searching a lot, when the temperatures are low (about 30ºc), i can see that in the same spot of the left side shadow the screen is a tiny tiny tiny bit brighter there.

Its really a faint difference and only noticeable when looking at it from like a 45º angle. And again only seen on very dark backgrounds.

If i look at it from the normal straight angle i can't see it.

I tried to take a picture of this, but its so subtle that the camera didn't picked it.

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Please give us the last three figures of your serial number. Thanks


Mayer: F93

It sounds like a military aircraft... :)


Apple MacBook Pro "Core i7" 2.3 17" Early 2011 Specs

Identifiers: Early 2011 17" - BTO/CTO - MacBookPro8,3 - A1297 - 2352-1*


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Your laptop is still under warranty. I would take it to the Apple Store. Make sure it gets on the hot side for them. There was a similar issue with the 2008 MBP. You can find that here. I would write down that Web address and take it with you to the Apple Store.

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Well, i will... The thing is that the closest Apple Store is like 300km's from here. There is a Apple representant like 70km's from here, but still, not a "be right back" trip. :D

I posted just to know if this is a recurring thing or if i should be very worried about it. :)

Thank you for your answer.


As I pointed out previous models of the MBP have had very similar issues. I've seen a few people come here with the problem and my understanding is the problem doesn't get better, it gets worse. That is why I advised you to take it to the Apple store.


Oh, and about that issue on that link. Its not very similar. My shadows are more like smudges in a cone (or tubular, depending on the angle you watch them) shape.

It looks like something is dim there, but you can't see the perfect dimmed shapes of the leds like in that problem.


Ok... So i talked to some guy in a Apple Service Provider and he said that while its not normal, its within the anomalies that are accepted in the construction of the LCD.

Its like the dead pixels thing... Its accepted because it would be extremely expensive to check and discard any LCD that had 1 or few dead pixels. This is the same stuff.

He said that i should not be to worried about it, and near the end of the Warranty i should take it to a Apple Service Provider to do a full check-up to the screen.


I asked a second opinion from another Apple Services Provider, and he basically told me the same stuff.

He also said that if the "smudges" were distracting me in any way, i could try to lift up the back of the laptop so more fresh air could enter in the right side of the hinge, and the hot air could have more space to go when leaving the fans.


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Just so everyone knows, LEDs dim under heat. No broken things, but that is just what happens. I don't know why, but they just do.

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i had the same problem with mine. I ended up getting the screen replaced free of charge by apple. this happened to me about 6 months after having my 17" MBP early 2011.

seems fine now!

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I had the same problem with my 2011 17" MbP. I simply cut a 2.5 inch strip of paper the width of my screen, folded it about .5 inches along the edge and placed it along the top back edge (below the screen, above/behind the keyboard) essential making a little manifold that diverts hot air from the fans away from the screen. Make shift, I know, but it seems to have solved the "dark spot" issue when my machine is running under heavy load.

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