I have an early 2011 MacBook Pro that is affected by the well known problem on the graphics card (AMD 6490M 256MB). Apple Forum thread
Hopefully waiting for an Apple replacement program I want to disable the discrete graphics and enable only the Intel HD3000 chip in the i7.
I have been able to access the system by running these commands in "Single User Mode":
$ mkdir /DisabledExtensions $ mv /Library/Extensions/AMD* /DisabledExtensions/
After that the Mac boot up in Mavericks but I have no graphic acceleration whatsoever, every animation is very slow. I can't change the brightness of the screen, the color calibration is different. Under "Settings > Monitor" shows that the computer is attached to an external monitor.
I have installed gfxCardStatus v2.2.1 which shows that I am running on the discrete graphics card and there is no chance to switch to integrated one.
Even though I can see that the HD3000 Extension is loaded:
$ kextstat | grep HD3000
110 0 0xffffff7f837dc000 0x62000 0x62000 com.apple.driver.AppleIntelHD3000Graphics (8.2.4) <84 11 7 5 4 3 1>
The apple customer service says that they don't have an "official" procedure to disable the discrete graphics card.
Here are the specs:
Processor: 2 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory: 4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6490M 256 MB
Software: OS X 10.9.5 (13F34)