Inside the Geek Mind: My iMac broke down yesterday after four years. The screen suddenly showed stripes and the iMac rebooted. The issue is a known problem with the 2011 iMac Graphics Card.
It is always a hassle when a computer has a hardware failure. My 2011 iMac started to break yesterday. The screen would start to flicker after a couple hours of use and stripes appear. Seconds later it reboots. Apple has identified this as a known problem years ago and offered a free replacement program.
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iMacs that fail the VST hardware test qualify for the replacement program. The program has according to the Apple Repair shop ended, but Apple Support still granted me today a free replacement of the card despite an expired Apple Care program. Apple has released a support page about the AMD Radeon HD 6970M replacement program. What puzzles me is that the failure surfaced after 4 years of owning this iMac. Why has this problem not surfaced much sooner.
The whole process of bringing the iMac to a certified repair shop and working with Apple Support was a straight forward and quick process.
My 27-inch Core i7 iMac is now four years old. On paper its only worth about $600, but the productivity value is still high up. To pay for the graphics card would have not been very economical as the card is almost is as expensive as the value of the iMac. With the free replacement my iMac can continue to work and I can wait to get a new one when Apple is finally releasing a new iMac generation.
So far there are no rumors that an iMac refresh is near. The WWDC 2016 is reportedly not featuring any hardware announcements. New Macs are expected in the months after the WWDC. So far rumors about new 2016 MacBook Pro and 2016 MacBook Air have surfaced.