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Apple acknowledges graphics glitch with latest notebooks

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
Apple is investigating problems with its new Penryn-based Intel notebooks that cause flickering and graphics corruption during media playback and web browsing.

The two issues have been widely reported by users of the company's latest 13-inch MacBooks and 15-inch MacBook Pros, both of which began shipping in February.

In particular, users on the Apple discussion forums say (1, 2, 3, 4) that QuickTime playback of video files is routinely marred by flickering or the appearance of "washed out" graphics on their new machines.

"When I am watching the Video Tutorials for any of Apple products my QT flickers dark and light, not to the point where I can't see the video, but to the point where it is annoying," one user wrote.

"Exact same problem here," replied several others.

Meanwhile, the same batch of users are also reporting instances of graphics corruption on their machines when scrolling through Safari webpages or Mail messages -- both of which rely on Apple's Webkit framework.

"My wife has got a current gen Macbook Pro that is exhibiting a very strange behavior," one user wrote in an AppleInsider forum thread on the subject. "When she's on battery power she gets graphical glitches/tearing when scrolling in a browser."

"I have a current generation [MacBook Pro] and I have the same problem," said another. "Also when loading web pages, often with pictures, the content in the active window flickers a lot."

Thus far, it appears the anomalies are the result of a software glitch rather than a flaw within hardware. Several users attempting to diagnose the problem on their own report that the issues became noticeable only after installing the Leopard Graphics update that was released alongside the recent Mac OS X 10.5.2 Update.

One user even went as far as to install a build of the still unreleased Mac OS X 10.5.3 Update -- which is said to include fixes for graphics corruption -- on his system to see if it remedied the issue. Although he claimed the upcoming update fixes the problem, another user performing the same kind of check reported that while 10.5.3 does indeed alleviate some symptoms, it "doesn't completely correct the issue."

Graphics corruption experienced on Apple's new notebook systems.

For its part, Apple over the weekend formally acknowledged the issues for the first time in an email response to one customer.

"Apple has received reports similar to the behavior you are describing and we are investigating those reports," the company said. "Further information will come in the form of a Knowledge Base article, Software Update, or Software Release."
post #2 of 52
I hope they do the same with the banding issue on the LED screens on the new MBP. The thread about it on Apple Discussions is growing daily....
post #3 of 52
"For its part, Apple over the weekend formally acknowledged the issues for the first time in an email response to one customer. "

This is the correct thing to do; it speaks well of Apple to do so.
post #4 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

"For its part, Apple over the weekend formally acknowledged the issues for the first time in an email response to one customer. "

This is the correct thing to do; it speaks well of Apple to do so.

Yes, how noble of Apple.
post #5 of 52
I have been having the flickering or sparkles of green and blue dots, that act up every so often when watching video or using safari or editing in FCP6. Is this the same problem they are talking about here?

I have the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT.
post #6 of 52
It's not just the new machines. I have a first-gen MacBook and I get it too, although not very often. I get flickering too occasionally but the whole screen flickers, not just a particular part of it. That could be a hardware problem though.
post #7 of 52
If it was just the MacBooks, I would blame Intel's integrated graphics, but with the MacBook Pro also exhibiting this behaviour I guess that there's an SSE4 optimised memcpy routine in Mac OS X that is causing the issue on Penryn based systems (which introduced SSE4). When you scroll a window, you copy the existing contents to the new location (memcpy, or in this instance a graphically oriented memcpy / software blitter) and draw in the new content. It's not done on the graphics card because of Mac OS X's OpenGL compositing engine. Wonder if enabling/disabling Quartz 2D Extreme (or whatever it is called now) in Leopard resolves the issue?

It should be fixed soon enough, but to be honest 2 months since the first report is rather appalling.
post #8 of 52
The type of corruption in the picture regularly occurs on my iTouch. It only shows up in Safari, and usually only a random line or two.
post #9 of 52
Since about 8 months ago i have had a flickering screen on my 'Late 2006' MacBook, also recently been having glitches with stuff coming up blurred and for split seconds black and white lines appearing when i use the dock.
post #10 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

"For its part, Apple over the weekend formally acknowledged the issues for the first time in an email response to one customer. "

This is the correct thing to do; it speaks well of Apple to do so.

It would speak far better of them if they did more thorough product testing so these things never ended up being a pita to consumers. I abhor the way they remove threads from the discussion forums that they find embarrassing.
post #11 of 52
I get scrolling issues on my PowerMac G5 Dual Core when using Safari. Have since the last updates. If I have multiple (meaning 3-5) tabs open and running in Safari for a few hours, when I try to scroll down the page using the keyboard arrow keys the scroll is choppy and almost unusable.

If I quit Safari and relaunch it, no problems what so ever.

Another issue I keep having with Safari is that it freezes and then crashes when I'm on the Apple Store on Apple.com. I've sent dozens of crash alerts to Apple for the last 3 weeks about this. I end up using Firefox to browse the Apple Store now. THAT IS SAD!
post #12 of 52
Now, I realize it's slightly off-topic, but how about an acknowledgment from Apple also of the random/erratic cursor and trackpad behavior on the MacBook Air (and, according to the discussions on Apple Support, on some MBPs too).
post #13 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

It would speak far better of them if they did more thorough product testing so these things never ended up being a pita to consumers. I abhor the way they remove threads from the discussion forums that they find embarrassing.

Love to see your proof that Apple "…remove(s) threads from the discussion forums that they find embarrassing." That is not hearsay, anecdotal incidences or bloggers smoke, but real certified evidence.

P.S. It is not because I haven't seen or found anything to support your claim. It is just difficult for me to accept anything that you have to say about Apple, Mac or Jobs when it is obvious that your comments will be disparaging, as evidence by a previous posting of yours, i.e., "My only suggestion is stop buying Apple products - I have."
post #14 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Love to see your proof that Apple "remove(s) threads from the discussion forums that they find embarrassing." That is not hearsay, anecdotal incidences or bloggers smoke, but real certified evidence.

Well a removed thread would be hard to document don't you think? I do agree with him however. Apple will typically do this or lock a thread that is not singing the praises of Apple from on high, or extolling he who must not be named.

One thread that comes to mind had to do with the 5.5 G iPods and the fact that some vids that worked previously no longer did. The threads were not flattering to Apple so they were removed. More thinking differently in action I guess. Think different but keep it to yourself should be the new mantra.
post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobaby View Post

Well a removed thread would be hard to document don't you think? I do agree with him however. Apple will typically do this or lock a thread that is not singing the praises of Apple from on high, or extolling he who must not be named.

One thread that comes to mind had to do with the 5.5 G iPods and the fact that some vids that worked previously no longer did. The threads were not flattering to Apple so they were removed. More thinking differently in action I guess. Think different but keep it to yourself should be the new mantra.

Interesting that nobody has proved it. Just the same guys who repeatedly dis Apple on everything and in some cases, never even owned a Mac.
post #16 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post

I get scrolling issues on my PowerMac G5 Dual Core when using Safari. Have since the last updates. If I have multiple (meaning 3-5) tabs open and running in Safari for a few hours, when I try to scroll down the page using the keyboard arrow keys the scroll is choppy and almost unusable.

If I quit Safari and relaunch it, no problems what so ever.

Do you have Flip4Mac installed to watch WMV files? I don't know if the fault lies with Flip4Mac or Safari, but for some reason in Safari 3 (at least on a G4 PowerBook), after I've visited a page that causes the Flip4Mac plug-in to load, I found that Safari performance and responsiveness would slowly degrade to the point of unusability. Even if you close all your Safari windows, the plug-in apparently never unloads and keeps eating up more and more memory and processor. Quiting Safari was the only fix until I disabled the Flip4Mac Safari plugin altogether. Since I've done that the issue never happened again.

Have a bunch of pages open with lots of Flash adds can also degrade performance sigificantly, but I wouldn't think that would impact your G5 as much as it did my G4.
post #17 of 52
When will they admit and fix iTunes Apple TV sync? That thread is growing as well.
post #18 of 52
Goodness! I just placed my order and I'm getting cold feet now reading about this, coverflow and quicklook problems on the Apple discussion boards.
post #19 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

It is just difficult for me to accept anything that you have to say about Apple, Mac or Jobs when it is obvious that your comments will be disparaging...

The converse could be said about you, and your ceaseless Apple cheerleading.
post #20 of 52
I'm curious about where this problem actually resides. I don't think it's strictly a laptop/Penryn issue.

Recently, on my QuickSilver-2002 PowerMac G4 (GeForce 4MX video), I noticed a similar light/dark problem when playing YouTube videos. Every few seconds, the video would dim and then come back, sort of like how a laptop's panel dims when it has been idle for a minute - except that only the video would dim, not the entire screen.

I assumed it was a bug in YouTube's Flash application or in the latest Flash Player plugin, but after reading this article, maybe it's a Mac OS X issue. I guess I'll find out when 10.5.3 comes out.
post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Love to see your proof that Apple "remove(s) threads from the discussion forums that they find embarrassing." That is not hearsay, anecdotal incidences or bloggers smoke, but real certified evidence.

Unless someone leaks/steals one of Apple's log files, you're not going to find proof.

The best I can suggest is that you start reading Apple Discussions for a while, especially those topics that appear to be embarrassing to Apple. Eventually, you'll notice that some threads you were reading are no longer available (bookmarks won't work anymore, etc.) even though older threads are available.

I, personally, have had some of my comments deleted, and they were not whining complaints. (They were attempts to help other people's problems, by pointing out some of what I learned about Mac OS after poking through the guts of some system packages.) I don't know what the reason is, but I suspect they see their discussion forum as an extension of their support documentation, and therefore don't want to allow anything that they wouldn't publish in a support page.

I don't think any other explanation makes sense. They certainly don't do anything to stop the flow of information, since the complaints and analyses end up getting posted elsewhere anyway.
post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Now, I realize it's slightly off-topic, but how about an acknowledgment from Apple also of the random/erratic cursor and trackpad behavior on the MacBook Air (and, according to the discussions on Apple Support, on some MBPs too).

I thought that was just my MBA!

Apple should just jump on these small issues and solve them. Then they should publicize how
responsive they are to their loyal user community. For Pete's sake, they don't need to
sweep relatively minor annoyances like this under the rug. They should be shouting about
how small OSX's problems are and how quickly they are addressed, especially compared
to a certain alternative. Aren't the other guy's customers begging them to NOT retire XP in a
couple of months, because they can't stand Vista?
Journalism is publishing what someone doesn't want us to know; the rest is propaganda.
-Horacio Verbitsky (el perro), journalist (b. 1942)
Reply
Journalism is publishing what someone doesn't want us to know; the rest is propaganda.
-Horacio Verbitsky (el perro), journalist (b. 1942)
Reply
post #23 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post

I get scrolling issues on my PowerMac G5 Dual Core when using Safari. Have since the last updates. If I have multiple (meaning 3-5) tabs open and running in Safari for a few hours, when I try to scroll down the page using the keyboard arrow keys the scroll is choppy and almost unusable.

If I quit Safari and relaunch it, no problems what so ever.

Another issue I keep having with Safari is that it freezes and then crashes when I'm on the Apple Store on Apple.com. I've sent dozens of crash alerts to Apple for the last 3 weeks about this. I end up using Firefox to browse the Apple Store now. THAT IS SAD!

I've not had that problem with any PMG5, and that doesn't sound like a graphics issue.

I will be picking up my Mac Pro tomorrow though, it would get horizontal speckled lines when I play HD video. If I really stress the video, I can get corruption within 15 minutes of a cold boot.
post #24 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Love to see your proof that Apple "remove(s) threads from the discussion forums that they find embarrassing." That is not hearsay, anecdotal incidences or bloggers smoke, but real certified evidence.

I've seen it happen, but I didn't make printouts or have them notarized like you would want.
post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Interesting that nobody has proved it. Just the same guys who repeatedly dis Apple on everything and in some cases, never even owned a Mac.

I hear you. Thank goodness only we the few, the privilege who have owned and continue to own multiple Macs and Apple products, and who have Steve Jobs number on speed dial have the right to speak ill of Apple. How dare someone that has no access to the secret decoder ring or handshakes speak about Apple in a less than flattering light.

Stone them. Stone them all.
post #26 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I've seen it happen, but I didn't make printouts or have them notarized like you would want.

Let's be perfectly clear.

I asked for evidence to support the contention that Apple removes "threads from the discussion forums that they find embarrassing."

So far, nobody has been able to do so. And in most cases those that support such are mainly the same individuals that repeatedly dis Apple on just about everything. Some in fact don't even own a Mac and never have.

I would suggest that if any posts have been removed, they fall well within Apples Legal Terms and Conditions for their Discussion Forums. http://discussions.apple.com/help.jspa#personnel.

However, I too have no evidence to support my contention. It is just that if I had to rely on some of the responders here, I too would be embarrassed, and thus have them removed from my list of references; that is, if they were every on it in the first place.
post #27 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Let's be perfectly clear.

I asked for evidence to support the contention that Apple removes "threads from the discussion forums that they find embarrassing."

So far, nobody has been able to do so. And in most cases those that support such are mainly the same individuals that repeatedly dis Apple on just about everything. Some in fact don't even own a Mac and never have.

I would suggest that if any posts have been removed, they fall well within Apples Legal Terms and Conditions for their Discussion Forums. http://discussions.apple.com/help.jspa#personnel.

However, I too have no evidence to support my contention. It is just that if I had to rely on some of the responders here, I too would be embarrassed, and thus have them removed from my list of references; that is, if they were every on it in the first place.

AI really needs a *yawn* emoticon.
post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilco View Post

The converse could be said about you, and your ceaseless Apple cheerleading.

Too funny !!!!!!!!!
post #29 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilco View Post

Yes, how noble of Apple.

Amazing, complaints when apple withholds and when they are up front. I guess you find what your looking for.
post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I've seen it happen, but I didn't make printouts or have them notarized like you would want.

Would it be a safe bet that those of us with the secret passwords, and handshakes who actually spend a far amount of time in the Apple Discussions Forum have a pretty good grasp on what goes on there rather than speculating about what is and what is not?
post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Let's be perfectly clear.

I asked for evidence to support the contention that Apple removes "…threads from the discussion forums that they find embarrassing."

So far, nobody has been able to do so. And in most cases those that support such are mainly the same individuals that repeatedly dis Apple on just about everything. Some in fact don't even own a Mac and never have.

I would suggest that if any posts have been removed, they fall well within Apples Legal Terms and Conditions for their Discussion Forums. http://discussions.apple.com/help.jspa#personnel.

However, I too have no evidence to support my contention. It is just that if I had to rely on some of the responders here, I too would be embarrassed, and thus have them removed from my list of references; that is, if they were every on it in the first place.

The part I had a problem with is the "...real certified evidence". If I had evidence, it certainly wouldn't be certified. You'd have to take it on faith that I didn't fabricate or alter it, though I think that would take more time than it's worth.

But I do believe you are right to ask for proof. And I think a valid rules violation was a component to it. But either contention can't be proven as a deleted thread is that way without record of what the thread was, or why it was deleted.
post #32 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Interesting that nobody has proved it. Just the same guys who repeatedly dis Apple on everything and in some cases, never even owned a Mac.

your comment is not helping anyone.. anyways

from my experience with everything Apple, never buy innovation product from them, not least dont be the first one. I had problem with the MBP, MB, iPhone... the only one not having any problems is the old iPod. the second generation. Somehow i think they did not test their product properly. And their quality control is very poor. No wonder Apple is known for their best service.. Its because a lot of people need it.

I had Sony Vaio for 3 years and it never had any problem that require fixing or sending it to Sony. NEVER. although i'll admit that their service is no where near Apple's...

FYI, if you want to buy the innovation product from Apple, please buy the Apple Care. its worth it. especially for the new macs. the only ones that do not need apple care and are great are The powerbook G4s. it last for a long time.
post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner View Post

Amazing, complaints when apple withholds and when they are up front. I guess you find what your looking for.

No one was complaining that Apple (eventually) was "upfront".

The complaint was that certain Apple users like to lavish praise on Apple for doing something that should have been done months ago.

Not to mention that it can be argued that being "upfront" by definition entails being forthright about the problem(s), which Apple clearly wasn't.
post #34 of 52
Just passing by to say my Penryn Macbook does not have this problem, no graphical issues whatsoever.
I also was a first day adopter of the Alu iMac and never had the much mentioned issues with that machine either.
Perhaps I just get really really lucky

Just saying it's not because an Apple product issue is all over the interwebs that every machine is plagued by it
post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Do you have Flip4Mac installed to watch WMV files? I don't know if the fault lies with Flip4Mac or Safari, but for some reason in Safari 3 (at least on a G4 PowerBook), after I've visited a page that causes the Flip4Mac plug-in to load, I found that Safari performance and responsiveness would slowly degrade to the point of unusability. Even if you close all your Safari windows, the plug-in apparently never unloads and keeps eating up more and more memory and processor. Quiting Safari was the only fix until I disabled the Flip4Mac Safari plugin altogether. Since I've done that the issue never happened again.

Have a bunch of pages open with lots of Flash adds can also degrade performance sigificantly, but I wouldn't think that would impact your G5 as much as it did my G4.

Good idea. I've tried installing the previous two versions of Flip4Mac and always had issues with WMVs ever since the Safari 3.1 upgrade.

I'll try just getting rid of it completely. Wonder how the old MS WMV Player works in the latest Safari? Guess we'll see tonight!

Thanks for the thoughts.
post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by naphtali View Post

Goodness! I just placed my order and I'm getting cold feet now reading about this, coverflow and quicklook problems on the Apple discussion boards.

If it makes you feel any better, I've had my new MBP for about a month now. I haven't used QuickLook very often, but I've used Coverflow extensively while sorting and organizing folder of hundreds of photos. I've not had any issues with it. As far as these other display issues, I've used FrontRow a bit to play DVDs and video Podcasts. I haven't played very many QuickTime movies if that's where the problem is. But I haven't seen any of these other display issues (although I have seen some similar issues in Safari on an old PowerBook, which leads me to believe some of the problems are Safari/WebKit related).

I'm not saying there aren't some real issues out there. Just saying that it's not a pervasive as these boards may make it sound. You only hear from the people who are experiencing the problem, not the from the people with no problems. And from the people who do have problems, "the sky is falling!"
post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hattig View Post

If it was just the MacBooks, I would blame Intel's integrated graphics, but with the MacBook Pro also exhibiting this behaviour I guess that there's an SSE4 optimised memcpy routine in Mac OS X that is causing the issue on Penryn based systems (which introduced SSE4). When you scroll a window, you copy the existing contents to the new location (memcpy, or in this instance a graphically oriented memcpy / software blitter) and draw in the new content. It's not done on the graphics card because of Mac OS X's OpenGL compositing engine. Wonder if enabling/disabling Quartz 2D Extreme (or whatever it is called now) in Leopard resolves the issue?

It should be fixed soon enough, but to be honest 2 months since the first report is rather appalling.

OpenGL's compositor for OS X is rendered on the GPU.

From Apple:

OpenGL Improvements

OpenGL is the industry-standard API for developing portable, interactive 2D and 3D applications. Mac OS X has supported OpenGL from the outset and in Leopard it adds pixel buffer objects, color managed texture images in the sRGB color space, and improvements in the shader programming API.

Leopard also provides a dramatic increase in OpenGL performance by offloading CPU-based processing onto another thread which can then run on a separate CPU core feeding the GPU. This can increase, or in some cases, approach double the performance of OpenGL-based applications.

---------------

The problem of the memcpy is between SSE4 and the GPU could be [speculating here] that Apple has moved from SSE3 code to SSE4 code and the device driver has issues dealing with some of it's matrix compilations. Flaws most certainly would include artifacts on screen with Quicktime and streaming.

Reference below from nVidia's CUDA reveals this link:

http://softwarecommunity.intel.com/a...s/eng/1248.htm

From Nvidia's forum:

http://forums.nvidia.com/lofiversion...hp?t58202.html

On a side note: The CUDA tools from nVidia are in Beta for OS X.

I'd expect that Apple will have to release a device driver update to address these issues.
post #38 of 52
It certainly isn't just the new models. The Leopard Graphics Update has caused a large number of problems for !2" Powerbook users. Many discussions on Apple's support website mention that attempts to launch Apple's DVD player cause the machine to freeze entirely with the only option being a forced restart. We have posted feedback to Apple but no one has received a response.

I only hope that a solution is also provided in the next Leopard update...
post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post

Good idea. I've tried installing the previous two versions of Flip4Mac and always had issues with WMVs ever since the Safari 3.1 upgrade.

I'll try just getting rid of it completely. Wonder how the old MS WMV Player works in the latest Safari? Guess we'll see tonight!

Thanks for the thoughts.

Yeah, I tried installing previous versions of F4M, too; but it didn't help. It appears to only affect the Safari plug-in; so if I really want to watch a WMV badly enough, I'll just download it and play it in QuickTime Player, which doesn't develop the same symptoms as Safari would. If I remember correclty (not at my Mac right now, ), in the F4M system preference, there is an option to not load movies in Safari, but to download them and play them in QuickTime Player instead.
post #40 of 52
Apple is in deep kempchi (spelling) with various products atm. ATV is having connectivity issues, the MBA has several problems as well, and now this. I am sure Apple can and will fix many of these issues but it has to be an embarrassment.
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