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Apple releases fix for iMac graphics flickering issue

post #1 of 65
Thread Starter 
Apple Monday afternoon released a firmware update for its new 27-inch iMac that aims to fix flickering graphics issues that have plagued some users.

27-inch iMac Graphics Firmware Update 1.0 is available via Software Update or for download direct from Apple. The small 683KB file requires Mac OS X 10.6.2 or later.

Apple said the firmware update applies to the big-screen iMac's ATI Radeon HD 4670 and 4850 graphics cards. It reportedly addresses issues that may cause image interruption or display flickering.

Users are asked not to shut off the power on their iMac during the update. Loss of power could result in the iMac failing to start.

Earlier this month, as reports of flickering on the 27-inch model continued to grow, shipments of the hardware were delayed past Christmas for some customers. Apple responded by apologizing for the delay, which the company implied was due to high demand. However, Apple did not state whether the display issues played a role.

"The new iMac has been a huge hit and we are working hard to fulfill orders as quickly as possible," a company official said. "We apologize for any inconvenience or delay in delivery this may cause our customers."

An example of the screen distortion issue is included below:



Despite the reports of issues, the iMac was the best-selling desktop in the U.S. in the month of October. The new 21.5-inch model took the top spot, while the big-screen 27-inch version came in at No. 3 for the month.
post #2 of 65
Apple better be more careful and spend more time/money on quality issues.

This is exactly the type of problems that people like to use when talking about "overpriced hardware" and it can be avoided!
post #3 of 65
Who was it that was complaining about this issue and calling for no less than a complete recall of all 27” iMacs?

edit: Ah! http://forums.appleinsider.com/showp...0&postcount=37
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post #4 of 65
Never had any issues at all with my imac 27.
Everything works perfectly.
post #5 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roos24 View Post

Apple better be more careful and spend more time/money on quality issues.

This is exactly the type of problems that people like to use when talking about "overpriced hardware" and it can be avoided!

"Shame on Apple?"

I would suggest that if one were to become the BEST OF THE BEST in what he/she invented, made, lead or managed, and done it with consistency, for more than a day, then perhaps one has the right to cast direction on someone.

In the meantime, perhaps one could take out the garbage once in their lifetime without being told.

Until then, 'shame' is not on Apple'
post #6 of 65
Finishing up week two of using my i7 iMac. It's an incredible machine and I have had zero issues with it. Sucks that some units have had problems. I wonder what the percentage is of those 27" machines having that issue.
post #7 of 65
I too have had no problems w/my 27" i5. Any thoughts/recommendations on the download if there haven't been any issues?

peace,
wmt
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post #8 of 65
Segue… Is there a formula or law that describes the relative number of complaints or issues for a product growing at a rate much faster than sales are increasing, even if the actual percentage of issues say the same or even lower?
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post #9 of 65
I have had my 27" iMac i5 for a few weeks now and I have had no problems with it at all - it is a superb and flawless system. Worth every single penny I spent on it.
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post #10 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by willmtaylor View Post

I too have had no problems w/my 27" i5. Any thoughts/recommendations on the download if there haven't been any issues?

peace,
wmt

I think everyone should update to the latest firmware of all hardware.
post #11 of 65
Next up? Users screaming that the firmware update bricked their iMac. The bitching never, ever, stops.
post #12 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Next up? Users screaming that the firmware update bricked their iMac. The bitching never, ever, stops.

And you're implying that you wouldn't be screaming. Laughable.
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post #13 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Who was it that was complaining about this issue and calling for no less than a complete recall of all 27” iMacs?

edit: Ah! http://forums.appleinsider.com/showp...0&postcount=37

And they still should. Those that got the software fix after Apple STOPPED shipping them are getting a band-aid fix at best.
Stopping Shipping a product and claiming it's because of popularity is the typical Apple reply to a probem.

Does it really mean that much to you to be right all of the time at any cost?
Seems pretty immature.

Won't be on-line the rest of the week. Yes, taking my laptop but time with my family is far more important than bickering with you. So trash away as you normally do.
post #14 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudder View Post

Never had any issues at all with my imac 27.
Everything works perfectly.

Same here with my quad i5 iMac. Well apart from it burning my eyes out with its awesome brightness. LOL
post #15 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngusYoung View Post

And they still should. Those that got the software fix after Apple STOPPED shipping them are getting a band-aid fix at best.

So youre still holding that its a HW problem, not a driver problem and that every 27 iMac should be recalled despite the many that are working just fine. Great argument!
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post #16 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngusYoung View Post

And they still should. Those that got the software fix after Apple STOPPED shipping them are getting a band-aid fix at best.
Stopping Shipping a product and claiming it's because of popularity is the typical Apple reply to a probem.

Does it really mean that much to you to be right all of the time at any cost?
Seems pretty immature.

Won't be on-line the rest of the week. Yes, taking my laptop but time with my family is far more important than bickering with you. So trash away as you normally do.

Might be easier to just admit that you were wrong about it needing a recall. You are correct though, you seem immature. You are incorrect about needing a recall, but you are sticking to your original argument even though the fix is a simple software patch. Does it really mean that much to you to feel like you are right even though you aren't?
post #17 of 65
@AngusYoung and Roos24

Here's to heaping contumely on both of you, for your holier-than-thou positing is infantile and embarrassing.

I've had my 27" iMac quad-i5 from the very beginning (purchased from the local Apple Store). No problems whatsoever . . . but little is ever heard from those with perfect hardware, huh? It's only the squeaky wheels that get the grease (and column inches) today, so if only .0001% of iMac owners have had problems with the 27", it is THEIR voices people like you choose to hear. Not the 99.9999% who are more than satisfied with their machines.

NOTE: A well-respected national consumer advocate is frequently heard to say that it is not how many perfect products a company ships that merits his respect: It's how that company subsequently treats its customers who receive imperfect ones! And Apple, Inc. is the world's best in this arena. That's a fact and something you two elect to ignore. Shame on you, for your opinions are unworthy of our respect and consideration.

NOTE 2: Applied the update this afternoon anyway. Display still perfect. No change.

One would have to pry this machine from my cold, dead fingers to take it away. It is a dream come true.
post #18 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post

@AngusYoung and Roos24

Here's to heaping contumely on both of you, for your holier-than-thou positing is infantile and embarrassing.

I've had my 27" iMac quad-i5 from the very beginning (purchased from the local Apple Store). No problems whatsoever . . . but little is ever heard from those with perfect hardware, huh? It's only the squeaky wheels that get the grease (and column inches) today, so if only .0001% of iMac owners have had problems with the 27", it is THEIR voices people like you choose to hear. Not the 99.9999% who are more than satisfied with their machines.

NOTE: A well-respected national consumer advocate is frequently heard to say that it is not how many perfect products a company ships that merits his respect: It's how that company subsequently treats its customers who receive imperfect ones! And Apple, Inc. is the world's best in this arena. That's a fact and something you two elect to ignore. Shame on you, for your opinions are unworthy of our respect and consideration.

NOTE 2: Applied the update this afternoon anyway. Display still perfect. No change.

One would have to pry this machine from my cold, dead fingers to take it away. It is a dream come true.

"Hear! Hear!" Well put.
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post #19 of 65
Quote:
Apple said the firmware update applies to the big-screen iMac's ATI Radeon HD 4670 and 4850 graphics cards. It reportedly addresses issues that may cause image interruption or display flickering


ATI is punishing Apple for not choosing AMD (parent company of ATI) x86 processors for their Mac's.

Although I hear some other devices Apple uses AMD chips..






Also let this be a warning!

Never, never, buy a first generation Apple product unless your two steps away from a Apple Store, got cart blanche and a lot of time and money to spare. Certainly buy Apple Care, because after the first year, they drop you good.

Apple likes to innovate and unfortunately doesn't test any of it's products before release, rather relying upon the "surprise" and hype factor and cleaning up the mistakes later on if not at all.

Also the second and third generation has a more mature product offering, better processor, features, etc.


And yes I'm still on Leopard, because we called it Leoptard for the first 8 months out of the gate.

The Snow Leopard "guest deletion" problem is proof it's better to wait for things to get a bit solid before committing.




I've done enough beta testing for Apple over the years, my heart just isn't into it anymore, it's not making me money, so why bother?
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post #20 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngusYoung View Post

And they still should. Those that got the software fix after Apple STOPPED shipping them are getting a band-aid fix at best.
Stopping Shipping a product and claiming it's because of popularity is the typical Apple reply to a probem.

Does it really mean that much to you to be right all of the time at any cost?
Seems pretty immature.

Won't be on-line the rest of the week. Yes, taking my laptop but time with my family is far more important than bickering with you. So trash away as you normally do.

how is this a band-aid fix? it fixes the problem without needing to get up from your chair. the fix was available in a reasonable amount of time.

of course you'll just say "i'm not going to be online with my make believe family after i post a stupid comment so i won't see the endless flames it generates"
post #21 of 65
My beautiful astounding perfect iMac i7 which arrived Nov 27 is still working 100% after the firmware upgrade. This machine is a mega beastie beaut!
post #22 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

ATI is punishing Apple for not choosing AMD (parent company of ATI) x86 processors for their Mac's.

Although I hear some other devices Apple uses AMD chips..






Also let this be a warning!

Never, never, buy a first generation Apple product unless your two steps away from a Apple Store, got cart blanche and a lot of time and money to spare. Certainly buy Apple Care, because after the first year, they drop you good.

Apple likes to innovate and unfortunately doesn't test any of it's products before release, rather relying upon the "surprise" and hype factor and cleaning up the mistakes later on if not at all.

Also the second and third generation has a more mature product offering, better processor, features, etc.


And yes I'm still on Leopard, because we called it Leoptard for the first 8 months out of the gate.

The Snow Leopard "guest deletion" problem is proof it's better to wait for things to get a bit solid before committing.




I've done enough beta testing for Apple over the years, my heart just isn't into it anymore, it's not making me money, so why bother?



What electronics maker doesn't improve on their original with their second and third generation product? There would be no point in updating anything if the first was perfect, no?

I had the first generation MBP, on a switch from PPC to Intel, no less. The only issue it had was noisy fans (which I might add was a matter of opinion anyway.) I had to upgrade to N wireless as well, but that was 2006. There are still notebooks being sold today without gigabit LAN and N wireless. Big f-ing deal.

Apple is leaps and bounds ahead of everyone when they design something. To say they don't test their products is absurd. I suppose that's why you wrote the post, anyway.
post #23 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

<snip>

And yes I'm still on Leopard, because we called it Leoptard for the first 8 months out of the gate.

The Snow Leopard "guest deletion" problem is proof it's better to wait for things to get a bit solid before committing.

<snip>

Two point releases are not good enough for you to upgrade? What makes you think 10.6.5 will be better? I updated once 10.6.2 came out. Third party drivers, etc. are available and the system works as advertised. I don't see a point in waiting longer. As a question, how many service packs do you wait for before upgrading Windows?
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post #24 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by technohermit View Post

What electronics maker doesn't improve on their original with their second and third generation product?

I dont quite get that logic, either. I wait to see if the CE I want has any underlying flaws or changing that would prevent me from buying it, but that is just thorough research not an expectation that it will be broken.

With Apple (and many others) each new version is in many ways a 1st generation product. Even if they dont change the case and the CPU is just a speed bump there are still plenty of things that can change.

For instance, the current MBPs have a unique SATA controller that made the throughput only 1.5Gbps for the initial release with a 3Gbps firmware update coming later down the road and yet those machines still have problems with many 3rd-party HDD and SSDs. I think that model design and previous release both used a Penryn with the same socket and a unibody construction, though the battery and bottom cover were changed, along with ports. That sounds like a lot of changes to me yet I dont recall anyone calling those 1st Gen machines.
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post #25 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by willmtaylor View Post

"Hear! Hear!" Well put.

Agreed. My i7 hasn't had a single glitch. A recall would have been more embarrassing which is no doubt why folks are screaming they should have done it. If the update fixes the problem, then the argument is irrelevant. A few hundred bad iMac's according to the complaint posts in the forums. Considering the thousands that have been purchased, I'm not overly concerned.

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post #26 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I dont quite get that logic, either. I wait to see if the CE I want has any underlying flaws or changing that would prevent me from buying it, but that is just thorough research not an expectation that it will be broken.

With Apple (and many others) each new version is in many ways a 1st generation product. Even if they dont change the case and the CPU is just a speed bump there are still plenty of things that can change.

For instance, the current MBPs have a unique SATA controller that made the throughput only 1.5Gbps for the initial release with a 3Gbps firmware update coming later down the road and yet those machines still have problems with many 3rd-party HDD and SSDs. I think that model design and previous release both used a Penryn with the same socket and a unibody construction, though the battery and bottom cover were changed, along with ports. That sounds like a lot of changes to me yet I dont recall anyone calling those 1st Gen machines.

Perhaps you do get the logic, and your post above is reinforcing it. There are things that have never been on the market before, and to abstain from these inventions simply because they are first generation products is ridiculous.

Also, if there are first generation products within existing lines, due diligence on the part of the consumer must be made as far as researching is concerned before a purchase. Because something was limited to 1.5Gbps where the specification is required to be 3Gbps is a flaw and expected to be fixed. But to not purchase something because you expect perfection is going to leave you without much stuff.
There will always be improvements that need to be made, and there will always be changes coming that you didn't expect to see. Such is the world of things and stuff, especially technology. Most times the advantages outweigh the disadvantages when it comes to Apple's products for me. The Apple TV I think may be my only regret so far
post #27 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post

how is this a band-aid fix? it fixes the problem without needing to get up from your chair. the fix was available in a reasonable amount of time.

of course you'll just say "i'm not going to be online with my make believe family after i post a stupid comment so i won't see the endless flames it generates"

Well put. I wish I'd said that!
post #28 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roos24 View Post

Apple better be more careful and spend more time/money on quality issues.

This is exactly the type of problems that people like to use when talking about "overpriced hardware" and it can be avoided!

i would agree with you if every single imac sold had the problem. but it hasn't. just like not everyone got a busted i7.

computers are complex machines, one can not expect every unit to be perfect. Apple however does what they can to investigate, identify and fix problems as quickly as possible. And they do a pretty darn good job about it.

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(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #29 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post

@AngusYoung and Roos24

Here's to heaping contumely on both of you, for your holier-than-thou positing is infantile and embarrassing.

I've had my 27" iMac quad-i5 from the very beginning (purchased from the local Apple Store). No problems whatsoever . . . but little is ever heard from those with perfect hardware, huh? It's only the squeaky wheels that get the grease (and column inches) today, so if only .0001% of iMac owners have had problems with the 27", it is THEIR voices people like you choose to hear. Not the 99.9999% who are more than satisfied with their machines.

NOTE: A well-respected national consumer advocate is frequently heard to say that it is not how many perfect products a company ships that merits his respect: It's how that company subsequently treats its customers who receive imperfect ones! And Apple, Inc. is the world's best in this arena. That's a fact and something you two elect to ignore. Shame on you, for your opinions are unworthy of our respect and consideration.

NOTE 2: Applied the update this afternoon anyway. Display still perfect. No change.

One would have to pry this machine from my cold, dead fingers to take it away. It is a dream come true.

Right on the money.

1) My iMac i7 has been flawless. It's the 14th Mac I've owned. And so far, the best one.
2) Not all 14 were flawless, but just like VinitaBoy put it... it's how the company treats its customers that receive the imperfect ones. Apple has ALWAYS stood by their products and NEVER disappointed. All the way back to my first Original Mac. If only Ford stood by their products like Apple does, I might still buy Fords... Alas
post #30 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by technohermit View Post

Perhaps you do get the logic, and your post above is reinforcing it. There are things that have never been on the market before, and to abstain from these inventions simply because they are first generation products is ridiculous.

Also, if there are first generation products within existing lines, due diligence on the part of the consumer must be made as far as researching is concerned before a purchase. Because something was limited to 1.5Gbps where the specification is required to be 3Gbps is a flaw and expected to be fixed. But to not purchase something because you expect perfection is going to leave you without much stuff.
There will always be improvements that need to be made, and there will always be changes coming that you didn't expect to see. Such is the world of things and stuff, especially technology. Most times the advantages outweigh the disadvantages when it comes to Apple's products for me. The Apple TV I think may be my only regret so far

Just in case AngusYoung reads this , let me simplify it for him. There will never be the final, latest and greatest version of anything because new products are always being developed. If you try to wait for it, you will never have anything.
post #31 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cranky View Post

Just in case AngusYoung reads this , let me simplify it for him. There will never be the final, latest and greatest version of anything because new products are always being developed. If you try to wait for it, you will never have anything.

Second that. On Dec. 9 I picked up a 27" i5 from an Apple Store and am totally satisfied, as I have been since last year when I ordered a 13" unibody MacBook online just after that unit came out in October. Perhaps AngusYoung should hold off buying an i5 or i7 for at least two or three more years. He'll sleep much better without the perceived risk. In fact, I'll happily sell him my current units when I move to the next generation Apples. I'll have fully tested them for him by then!

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post #32 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJRumpy View Post

Agreed. My i7 hasn't had a single glitch.

Encoding 500+ frames per second h.264 video in Handbrake for the iPhone

Priceless...

Oh my! I almost ready to order one just for that. Just the waiting for something to encode can be frustrating whether it's Handbrake, VisualHub, or MPEG Streamclip.
post #33 of 65
Quote:
For instance, the current MBPs have a unique SATA controller that made the throughput only 1.5Gbps for the initial release with a 3Gbps firmware update coming later down the road and yet those machines still have problems with many 3rd-party HDD and SSDs. I think that model design and previous release both used a Penryn with the same socket and a unibody construction, though the battery and bottom cover were changed, along with ports. That sounds like a lot of changes to me yet I don’t recall anyone calling those 1st Gen machines.

That's the problem. All the haters/whiners/pundits were scratching their heads as to why it was 1.5gbps, then Apple forced it to 3gbps to silence the complainers, then all those using that speed had issues since that cable used in the laptop couldn't handle it.

Nothing was wrong with 1.5 except all the haters/whiners/pundits perception. Oh sure, you couldn't get more than 187.5mBps. Which one of all the SSDs tested here only broke the 1.5mbps interface limit, and all random reads and writes came in at around 40MB.

"But I paid $$$$ for that Mac! I demand that "feature" !!!"

Those who say that are also perhaps floored when their 2.5ghz C2D runs at 2.4987ghz.
post #34 of 65
My new 27" iMac has two problems... The video problem om my iMac is a little different that what I have seen here. It flickers, but also has an issue where the video has split, and ± ¼ of the bottom of the screen moved to the top of the screen. A restart of the system fixes the issue. My second problem is that of an electrostatic charge running through the aluminum of the system. Apple support was very good with this, and are sending me a new system. Hopefully the new one will be OK this time...

Besides those issues, I am very happy with my machine. Production errors occur on new lines of products, these things happen. At least Apple was very helpful in trying to resolve them as soon as possible.
post #35 of 65
Apparently the fix does not solve the flickering problem for many, according to user experiences at apple discussion boards. In fact Apple warned that if the problem persists, customers should look for a warranty hw fix.
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post #36 of 65
How can you work on a fix, when you aren't aware of a problem existing in the first place?

Somebody's telling porkies...
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post #37 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post

@AngusYoung and Roos24

Here's to heaping contumely on both of you, for your holier-than-thou positing is infantile and embarrassing.

I've had my 27" iMac quad-i5 from the very beginning (purchased from the local Apple Store). No problems whatsoever . . . but little is ever heard from those with perfect hardware, huh? It's only the squeaky wheels that get the grease (and column inches) today, so if only .0001% of iMac owners have had problems with the 27", it is THEIR voices people like you choose to hear. Not the 99.9999% who are more than satisfied with their machines.

NOTE: A well-respected national consumer advocate is frequently heard to say that it is not how many perfect products a company ships that merits his respect: It's how that company subsequently treats its customers who receive imperfect ones! And Apple, Inc. is the world's best in this arena. That's a fact and something you two elect to ignore. Shame on you, for your opinions are unworthy of our respect and consideration.

NOTE 2: Applied the update this afternoon anyway. Display still perfect. No change.

One would have to pry this machine from my cold, dead fingers to take it away. It is a dream come true.

I've had my 27" i7 for almost a month now and have had ZERO problems with it. It's a fantastic machine and better than anything Microsoft can offer.
post #38 of 65
I would much rather "put up" with Apple fixing these things than go back to the host of PC makers that don't honor their own warranties well within the warranty period. Ask anyone who has had a problem with an HP, esp. if they bought it at a Best Buy. That'll make you gouge your eyes out. Or anyone who has bought a Dell recently.
post #39 of 65
Apple's quality control has been abysmal the past few years - about the same time they started sourcing products from China.

I'll stick with my non-glare iMac that I've had zero issues with thank you very much.
post #40 of 65
Interesting that there hasn't been one comment in bthis thread so dar from an affected user.
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