Since early this month owners of the new 2011 15” and 17” MacBook Pro’s have been claiming they’ve been experiencing freezing while processing heavy loads.

Based on comment threads at various Apple-fan sites, the issue is occurring when users run extensive applications, intensive games or multiple applications simultaneously. The freezing varies and the complaints range from trying to import files to iMovie and playing desktop games.

After one user contacted the company regarding the issue, the user reported on MacRumours that the Apple representative said to wait for a further update and mentioned he’d saw the problem in an internal employee article. The user also says that the employee assured him that it’s a priority issue and that “lots of machines” are affected.

Several comments in the thread speculate that it’s not a hardware issue and more likely something Apple can fix with a firmware or driver update. The user who said he spoke with Apple also wrote that the company was sure it was firmware causing the problem “this IS a firmware/driver related problem, not a hardware one”.

Users having the issue have tried fixes such as disabling card switching and reinstalling the OS but to no avail, the freezing persists.

Macbook Pro 15″ Core i7 2.3 Ghz. I’ve had 4 Kernel Panics in the last two days, and two freezes under load. Rendering video, or running VMware seem to exacerbate the problem. Fans ramp up, and then Voila! Kernel Panic. This is ridiculous… I’m calling Apple for a replacement.