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Macbook Pro graphics tearing

Poll Results: Are you seeing tearing when scrolling documents in your 2008 Macbook Pro?

 
  • 56% (9)
    Yes
  • 43% (7)
    No
16 Total Votes  
post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
My wife has got a current gen Macbook Pro that is exhibiting a very strange behavior. When she's on battery power she gets graphical glitches/tearing when scrolling in a browser. I'm not sure if it happens in other documents as well and she mainly has it plugged in so it normally isn't happening.

I've been patiently waiting for a SU to fix the problem assuming that it is something that everyone is experiencing, but I finally decided to start looking around for a fix and am not seeing a lot of info about the problem. Is this something that others are seeing or is there a problem with this specific machine?

I'm attaching an image to show what it looks like.

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post #2 of 34
Odd. I have the same MBP and don't get this.
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post #3 of 34
I have a current generation mbp and I have the same problem. Also when loading web pages, often with pictures, the content in the active window flickers a lot.
post #4 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkland View Post

I have a current generation mbp and I have the same problem. Also when loading web pages, often with pictures, the content in the active window flickers a lot.

This happens to me all too frequentlyand on a variety of machineswhen I use Word.
post #5 of 34
i occasionally get that same problem on my penryn MBP.
post #6 of 34
See this news report:

Apple's latest notebooks plagued with graphics glitches
http://apcmag.com/apples_latest_note...s_glitches.htm
post #7 of 34
I purchased my new 15" MBP in early March... the 2.5ghz model (mid range) and I do not see any of these graphics problems yet. I would certainly like to assist with this problem, so I am wondering how I can replicate the issues.

1) What browser were you using?

2) Is the problem occuring only when the laptop is running on batteries?

3) Can I replicate the issues using quicktime too?
post #8 of 34
Thread Starter 
It happens in Safari and Firefox both. It only seems to happen when it is on battery, not when it is plugged in. Not sure about Quicktime - I'll check that at some point when I get on the machine (it's not mine )

This has happened from day one so if you're not seeing it I doubt you will. It also exhibits a dramatic flickering when viewing flash movies online.
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post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pie Man View Post

It happens in Safari and Firefox both. It only seems to happen when it is on battery, not when it is plugged in. Not sure about Quicktime - I'll check that at some point when I get on the machine (it's not mine )

This has happened from day one so if you're not seeing it I doubt you will. It also exhibits a dramatic flickering when viewing flash movies online.

Thanks Pie Man!!!

I hate to see my fellow lemmings having trouble with their machines... Did the machine you are looking at download the Leopard Graphics Update that was offered a month or two ago as a update??? I was going to install that update but was too lazy to and it eventually disappeared from the update offerings...

I guess the next step would be to identify the lot serial #s of the afflicted machines......


MacLemming
post #10 of 34
Thread Starter 
I believe it did get that update.

Looking at the news thread over on Ars, I reset the PRAM and it seems to have fixed the tearing problem with scrolling web pages. I haven't gotten a chance to do much testing other than to reset and browse a few pages, but initially it looks like it fixed the issue.

Be curious if others see the same result by resetting the PRAM.
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post #11 of 34
I have been having the same problem for months now.

I have the original 17 inch MBP when they came out in May of 06.

I took my MBP to a mac store back home and had them run a full diagnostics check, but i got nothing back.

I get the problem when scrolling online, as well as with play back on VLC
post #12 of 34
it happens to me sometimes on my brothers MacBook (owned by his school.... so not really his MacBook)
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post #13 of 34
I may be speaking too soon, but I _think_ the Safari 3.1.1. update Apple pushed out today might have fixed this.
post #14 of 34
Thread Starter 
I'll have to update and see what happens. Resetting the PRAM fixed the scrolling issue, but the flickering flash still remains apparently.
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post #15 of 34
Peryn MBP owner here... I don't see any graphic tearing, but I have to say the first days of use, scrolling was painfully slow and not smooth at all. Not the warmest welcome back since having owned a Performa 550 back in the days.
post #16 of 34
Thread Starter 
So the tearing is back (the PRAM reset only worked for a couple days). Flickering is there with flash videos still, and this morning my wife had a kernel panic for the first time. I'm wondering if this isn't GPU related and not something in software.
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post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyWRX View Post

Peryn MBP owner here... I don't see any graphic tearing, but I have to say the first days of use, scrolling was painfully slow and not smooth at all. Not the warmest welcome back since having owned a Performa 550 back in the days.

Please use your head. Don't compare the bitmap dumping to screen of a Performa 550 to direct line by line draw to screen/memory back and store double buffering of a modern web browser and today's system capabilities.

One plausible scenario: Flash
When you are getting more and more pages with embedded Flash you will continue to see more and more tearing until the mechanism for Flash is improved. I'm on Linux and OS X and all my browsers go into lock mode waiting for flash to fully download, store in cache and run execute priviledges to the memory buffers.

It's getting extremely annoying that everyone and the mother is turning their entire web sites or many blogs with dozens of flash embedded "YouTUBE" files in their pathways [mainly external links] and begin to bitch that their browsers are slowing down.

This biggest piece of bloatware Macromedia, now Adobe owned, has made browser and parsing web sites an absolute pain in the ass.

There is nothing more invigorating than going to a site and in a single page their are 10 or more externally linked Flash snippets that are from various sites with varying bandwith capabilities.
post #18 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Please use your head. Don't compare the bitmap dumping to screen of a Performa 550 to direct line by line draw to screen/memory back and store double buffering of a modern web browser and today's system capabilities.

One plausible scenario: Flash
When you are getting more and more pages with embedded Flash you will continue to see more and more tearing until the mechanism for Flash is improved. I'm on Linux and OS X and all my browsers go into lock mode waiting for flash to fully download, store in cache and run execute priviledges to the memory buffers.

It's getting extremely annoying that everyone and the mother is turning their entire web sites or many blogs with dozens of flash embedded "YouTUBE" files in their pathways [mainly external links] and begin to bitch that their browsers are slowing down.

This biggest piece of bloatware Macromedia, now Adobe owned, has made browser and parsing web sites an absolute pain in the ass.

There is nothing more invigorating than going to a site and in a single page their are 10 or more externally linked Flash snippets that are from various sites with varying bandwith capabilities.

This isn't a browser choking on flash (I'm a web designer btw). Tearing is happening on any and all pages, and the flash issues are something I've never seen before in 10 years of web design across many many different machines.

But yeah, flash on Macs sucks.
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post #19 of 34
Ok.. it appears that the Leopard Graphics Card update was bogus and caused this headache.

Refreshing the PRAM and other things just DONT get it done.

Here is the fix.

Load the Leopard install disk and reload Leopard onto your mac. You need to be careful not to reformat your hard drive. Choose the second options which creates a folder and places your old operating system files into that folder and reinstalls Leopard onto your computer.

Then update the system. This time the software update will not include the graphics card update.

This fixed everything for me.

Chow.

Clint Harris
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pie Man View Post

My wife has got a current gen Macbook Pro that is exhibiting a very strange behavior. When she's on battery power she gets graphical glitches/tearing when scrolling in a browser. I'm not sure if it happens in other documents as well and she mainly has it plugged in so it normally isn't happening.

I've been patiently waiting for a SU to fix the problem assuming that it is something that everyone is experiencing, but I finally decided to start looking around for a fix and am not seeing a lot of info about the problem. Is this something that others are seeing or is there a problem with this specific machine?

I'm attaching an image to show what it looks like.


how do u get a picture of ur screen because on a mac there is no print screen button like on a pc keyboard,

also it bight be because i have the wireless one
post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdhockeyfan424 View Post

how do u get a picture of ur screen because on a mac there is no print screen button like on a pc keyboard

http://www.apple.com/findouthow/mac/...ial=screenshot
post #22 of 34
An update to this: I am a technical journalist covering this issue. My own MacBook Pro is affected by the problem, and like everyone else I have been waiting for a solution to the issue from Apple.

I now strongly suspect that the issue is hardware related, because after contacting Apple's media relations department I was asked to bring my MacBook Pro into the Apple Store Sydney for repair and lent a loan-pool MacBook Pro. The loan MacBook Pro does not have the problem at all... neither the scrolling graphics corruption nor the flickering/flashing animation/video problem.

The notebook they've lent me is almost exactly the same config as the one I had problems with too -- a 2.6GHz Core 2 Duo with the 512MB NVIDIA 8600M GT graphics chip. The only difference with theirs is it only has 2GB of RAM, whereas I had mine upgraded to 4GB.

Looking at the System Profiler info, I can see the NVIDIA chip has the following device info:


Chipset ModeltGeForce 8600M GT
TypetDisplay
BustPCIe
PCIe Lane Widthtx16
VRAM (Total)t512 MB
VendortNVIDIA (0x10de)
Device IDt0x0407
Revision IDt0x00a1
ROM Revisiont3212

Can someone with a faulty machine look at their System Profiler > Graphics info and see if their ROM revision or Revision ID is different?
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clint H View Post

Ok.. it appears that the Leopard Graphics Card update was bogus and caused this headache.

Refreshing the PRAM and other things just DONT get it done.

Here is the fix.

Load the Leopard install disk and reload Leopard onto your mac. You need to be careful not to reformat your hard drive. Choose the second options which creates a folder and places your old operating system files into that folder and reinstalls Leopard onto your computer.

Then update the system. This time the software update will not include the graphics card update.

This fixed everything for me.

Chow.

Clint Harris

Clint, I'd be curious to know if the problem remains fixed or if it has crept back in. If, as others are say, it is a hardware problem, then it would seem that the problem will return. But if it's as simple as reinstalling Leopard, then this is encouraging. Please give us an update.
post #24 of 34
This happens to my own MacBook (not the Pro one)
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by srojtas View Post

This happens to my own MacBook (not the Pro one)

Macbook user here too and I have tearing only in some PDF files heavy in graphics and color and in relatively high resolution. Scrolling again slowly refreshes the page and the tearing dissappears.

I had a similar problem with my (much) older Powerbook when scrolling in Mail. Sometimes tearing appeared if scrolling while the computer paged out. This makes me think that it must be software related. Or this is what I want to believe.
post #26 of 34
I have a July 2007 MBP and I have the tearing issue. Only happens when running on batteries just like the original poster. Also began happening after upgrading from 10.5.1 to 10.5.2 and still occurs in 10.5.3 and 10.5.4. I got sick of the issue so I removed Leopard and went back to Tiger 10.4.11. No issues and runs great.
post #27 of 34
I've got a 2.1GHz MBP and I've only seen that once and it was after I marked up a PDF file that I had downloaded.

I've been marking up PDF files almost everyday for over a year and don't know why I only saw it once.
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by sc_markt View Post

I've been marking up PDF files almost everyday for over a year and don't know why I only saw it once.

It is probably the file. In my case at least it seems file-related. Not all files produce display corruption and the ones that do, usually are heavy in color. Probably there is some other hidden parameter in the file that affects the way it is displayed on screen.
post #29 of 34
MBP...same problem Pieman, did PRAM reset, OK 2 weeks, starting to creep back in. danwarne : my ROM Revision 3175
post #30 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MXROK View Post

MBP...same problem Pieman, did PRAM reset, OK 2 weeks, starting to creep back in. danwarne : my ROM Revision 3175

My wife's Pro still has this problem - I've been waiting for a software fix but it sure doesn't seem like it is coming (or is a priority if it was). We're expecting another child towards the end of this month so it looks like that's when her machine will go in for repairs.

The sad thing is I've got a 2008 alu 24" iMac which just started tearing today. Wonder if this thing has a shoddy GPU as well.
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post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pie Man View Post

My wife's Pro still has this problem - I've been waiting for a software fix but it sure doesn't seem like it is coming (or is a priority if it was).

Well, there is still hope. From this thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

More recently, developers were treated to build 9F29. That build tacked on a pair of fixes, one of which tackles an issue between Macs and previously joined AirPort networks, people familiar with the software say. The second fix was related to a graphics framework.

So... better be the one we expect here.
post #32 of 34
Thread Starter 
Yeah I saw that. I'm really not sure what to think. My iMac is now showing the same symptoms, although not nearly as frequently or noticeably. Thinking back, I actually cloned this iMac onto her machine at one point and the problem wasn't there. After reverting back to her install it started again immediately. That sure seems to point to a problem with software.
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post #33 of 34
OK, so 10.5.5 is finally out and it reportedly addresses many graphical glitches. Has anyone tried it? Has the graphics tearing finally disappeared? I am not going to install before October since I do work of critical importance these days.
post #34 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PB View Post

OK, so 10.5.5 is finally out and it reportedly addresses many graphical glitches. Has anyone tried it? Has the graphics tearing finally disappeared? I am not going to install before October since I do work of critical importance these days.

So 10.5.5 sure looks like it has fixed the problem on my wife's MacBook Pro. I just did a quick couple of scrolling tests unplugged, and there was no tearing at all. I'm amazed - I was just about to call Applecare to repair the machine. We'll see if it pops up again, but it looks good out of the gate.

Anyone else fixed/not fixed with 10.5.5?
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