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Apple investigating graphics issues on new MacBook lines

post #1 of 75
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Apple is investigating two separate graphics issues with its new line of MacBook and MacBook Pros, and is reported to be preparing a software update to remedy at least one of them.

The first issue, which some are calling "the black screen of death," manifests itself on unibody MacBook Pros during game play. Users report that their screens go black after just a few minutes of gaming, while the system locks up and the audio enters into an infinite loop.

Once the systems lock up, users say they lose control of their cursor and are left with no other option but to restart their Macs through a hard reset. The issue exists under both Windows and Mac OS X, affecting a wide range of titles that include Call of Duty 4, World of Warcraft, Ages of Empire III, Command and Conquer, Oblivion, Company of Heroes, and others.

Some users believe the problem may be a driver or cooling issue, where the MacBook Pro heats up faster than the internal fans can spin up to provide ample cooling, which then leads to a crash. A few of these users have had some luck mitigating the problem by installing alternative drivers for the notebook's NVIDIA graphics card and using a free software tool called SMCFancontrol, which lets you tweak your fans to maintain a certain speed.

Not all users have had the same success, however. Others report the only surefire solution was to have their MacBook Pro's logic board replaced or have their system swapped out for one manufactured more recently. In these cases, the problems disappear completely, leading some to believe there is a hardware-related issue with an early batch of the notebooks.

For its part, Apple is reportedly acknowledging that an issue exists but has not yet identified the cause.

"Just spoke to AppleCare UK and they also confirm 'Apple are [sic] aware of the issue and are investigating,'" said an Apple Support forum member by the name of omv. He reported that the company is still trying to determine whether the root of the problem lies in hardware or software.

Separately, owners of both the new unibody MacBooks and MacBook Pros are reporting wave-like video distortions while scrolling in web browsers of viewing HD content. They say the problem is common on most systems on display at Apple retail stores, but note the distortions do not appear while running Windows, which may suggest a Mac-specific NVIDIA driver issue.

Adding to that theory, other users note the problem also exists on NVIDIA-based iMacs, but does not show up on the MacBook Air with integrated Intel graphics or iMacs with ATI graphics cards. Another theory is that a combination of the NVIDIA graphics card drivers and Apple's Webkit rendering engine is to blame, which would explain why the distortions do not appear under Windows or Mac browsers that do not rely on WebKit, such as Opera.

Again, Apple is said to be aware of the issue, but in this case is already working on a software fix, according to Apple Support forum member rnicolson:

After discovering this problem on the MacBook Pro I purchased a few weeks ago, I visited the Apple Store in Regent Street to check whether the problem was common to all the new MacBook Pro's. I checked five MacBook Pro's they had on display and they all had exactly the same wave distortion on the screen, when scrolling in Safari using the side bar. There was no distortion when the up/down keys were used. I showed this screen distortion to an Apple salesperson, who seemed genuinely surprised. He disappeared to the back office in the store for a discussion with a 'senior Apple Engineer' and after five minutes he returned with the statement that this was a known problem and there will be a software fix for it sometime...
post #2 of 75
'Apple are [sic] aware of the issue and are investigating . . ."

There is absolutely no need for the [sic] annotation here. Our British cousins consider all collective nouns plural. Hence, "Apple are" is perfectly acceptable since it references the company's representatives in the UK.
post #3 of 75
I'm having a different problem on my new macbook - when I put it to sleep or just close the lid, I have trouble waking it up. Sometimes I can't and and screen is just black (lit, but black) - sometimes if I close the lid and open it again it'll start working - sometimes I have to give it a hard start.

Oh - and I almost forgot - My Spaces never work when I want to F5-key to see all 4 Spaces at the same time. It has never worked and I'm not sure why... I should call.

P
post #4 of 75
World of Warcraft also crashes my old-style c2duo Macbook pro 15" - I fix it by putting ice packs underneath it for long gaming sessions, and by propping it up on blocks (to get more airflow underneath) for short ones. In the end I bought a Mac Pro tower to fix the problem, and it worked .

SMC fan control is not enough, it still overheats and hangs (but no audio loop) even if you crank the fans all the way up before starting.
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post #5 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

World of Warcraft also crashes my old-style c2duo Macbook pro 15" - I fix it by putting ice packs underneath it for long gaming sessions, and by propping it up on blocks (to get more airflow underneath) for short ones. In the end I bought a Mac Pro tower to fix the problem, and it worked .

SMC fan control is not enough, it still overheats and hangs (but no audio loop) even if you crank the fans all the way up before starting.

My (now gone) MBP first edition (but last revision) burnt out its graphics card from over heating. I had a ghosting issue that progressivley got worse. Even with fans on full the entire time the system was running, it was still too hot. I sold the machine as is and left Apple products since I've seen the same issue in many other people's MacBooks. Thin and cute, and well... Hot (literally).

When will Apple learn that 80C is not an acceptable temperature to start to ramp up the fans?

(2 grand lasted me all of 2 years. Way to go. My old PB3400c is still alive and well after 11 years.)
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post #6 of 75
I'm not having any issue with my new macbook, despite that I am let down by the original 5400rpm hdd after trying out a WDC Scorpio Black 7200rpm hdd. I switched back to the original one because the new macbook is too nice to have any noticeable vibration for me.

However, I've got a question of heat. It is running extremely cool when I am using it for some normal purposes, but it gets pretty warm when running XP via VMWare Fusion in the meantime. I wonder adding more memory will help because it came with standard 2G memory. Any help would be appreciated!
post #7 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post

'Apple are [sic] aware of the issue and are investigating . . ."

There is absolutely no need for the [sic] annotation here. Our British cousins consider all collective nouns plural. Hence, "Apple are" is perfectly acceptable since it references the company's representatives in the UK.

I always find it weird to say "Apple are". Do you also say "My company are..." or "That group are"? Aren't those collective nouns?
post #8 of 75
I just sent in my lappy this Monday once I noticed that the processor was reading at 220 degrees F (or for my Global friends, that's over 100 degrees C) while playing Call of Duty 4. You could fry an egg on the left top corner of the casing and certainly make a decent cup of hot tea on the processor. I called up Apple and they sent me a box in under 6 hrs. Now I'm forced to use my old IBM StinkPad.

I believe the speculation about the first batch being bad is correct. I bought mine the day after it released and now the repair facility is telling me the repair is on hold as they wait for new parts. I thought that it was just an issue with an over smattering of thermal grease on the cores. I guess they're giving me the whole replacement deal.
post #9 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rokken View Post

I'm not having any issue with my new macbook, despite that I am let down by the original 5400rpm hdd after trying out a WDC Scorpio Black 7200rpm hdd. I switched back to the original one because the new macbook is too nice to have any noticeable vibration for me.

However, I've got a question of heat. It is running extremely cool when I am using it for some normal purposes, but it gets pretty warm when running XP via VMWare Fusion in the meantime. I wonder adding more memory will help because it came with standard 2G memory. Any help would be appreciated!

Your computer is going to run hot when running VM especially, since virtualization requires a good bit of processing power. As far as Windows... well, they've never scored high marks for power management. I have the same issues.
post #10 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Admiralkymia View Post

Your computer is going to run hot when running VM especially, since virtualization requires a good bit of processing power. As far as Windows... well, they've never scored high marks for power management. I have the same issues.

Oh, that sucks. So it wouldn't help even if I maxed 4G memory? Thanks for the answer btw
post #11 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rokken View Post

I'm not having any issue with my new macbook, despite that I am let down by the original 5400rpm hdd after trying out a WDC Scorpio Black 7200rpm hdd. I switched back to the original one because the new macbook is too nice to have any noticeable vibration for me.

However, I've got a question of heat. It is running extremely cool when I am using it for some normal purposes, but it gets pretty warm when running XP via VMWare Fusion in the meantime. I wonder adding more memory will help because it came with standard 2G memory. Any help would be appreciated!

Memory will increase the speed of your applications and reduce any lag you might be noticing. It will not however cool down the computer. The processor (and possibly GPU?) is what's hot, and it'll stay hot even if/when you add memory.

then again, max memory just makes apps better. end of story.
post #12 of 75
There is another video problem where white lines flash on the screen when there is a dark/black background. I don't know if it is caused by hardware or software but is very annoying. Sadly I don't see any acknowledgement of it by Apple.

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post #13 of 75
Wow, that's bad. Is it just me or does it seem like Apple are having more and more problems with their new products? I was going to get a new MacBook in January, but i think i will skip it for now. So much for "it just works"....
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post #14 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan1 View Post

Wow, that's bad. Is it just me or does it seem like Apple are having more and more problems with their new products? I was going to get a new MacBook in January, but i think i will skip it for now. So much for "it just works"....


I tend to not buy stuff when it first comes out... from anybody.

It's especially great advice for cars. Even Honda and Toyota have significantly fewer defects when you don't buy a car during it's first model year, i.e. right after it's been revised.

In the dictionary under 'early adopter', it says "synonym: sucker". \

That said, Apple's quality-control problems are disappointing.


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post #15 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post

'Apple are [sic] aware of the issue and are investigating . . ."

There is absolutely no need for the [sic] annotation here.

Indeed. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post

Our British cousins consider all collective nouns plural.

Or singular. In British English you can take your pick; plural is used most often in my experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hzc View Post

I always find it weird to say "Apple are". Do you also say "My company are..." or "That group are"? Aren't those collective nouns?

It sounds weird to you because in American English it's wrong; collective nouns are nearly always treated as singular. As I said, in British English they can be treated as singular or plural. The grammar girl blog has a good explanation.
it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
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post #16 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post

'Apple are [sic] aware of the issue and are investigating . . ."

There is absolutely no need for the [sic] annotation here. Our British cousins consider all collective nouns plural. Hence, "Apple are" is perfectly acceptable since it references the company's representatives in the UK.

hehe I had the same thought when reading the article. We've covered the topic of "is v. are" usage across the pond many times on these very forums, yet it are still an issue.
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post #17 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan1 View Post

Wow, that's bad. Is it just me or does it seem like Apple are having more and more problems with their new products? I was going to get a new MacBook in January, but i think i will skip it for now. So much for "it just works"....

"It just sucks less than dell". I am still buying a new laptop when the 17" gets upgraded to the new form factor. I will never go back to windows - these problems are still a lot less than what I put up with in that other world.
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post #18 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan1 View Post

So much for "it just works"....

"It just works" has always been a lie. The phrase should really be: "it sucks less".

I've got a brand new MacBook Pro and so far, no serious problems.
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post #19 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

I tend to not buy stuff when it first comes out... from anybody.

It's especially great advice for cars. Even Honda and Toyota have significantly fewer defects when you don't buy a car during it's first model year, i.e. right after it's been revised.

In the dictionary under 'early adopter', it says "synonym: sucker". \


...

The problem with that theory is Apple only puts out 1 model these days with their own set of proprietary cables that aren't compatible with anything but the new model.

Then next rev theyre on to the "NEW" cool thing of the hour and everything else is not compatible.

Getting a little old.
post #20 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

yet it are still an issue.

Well, that's wrong whichever side of the pond you're on.
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post #21 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

It sounds weird to you because in American English it's wrong; collective nouns are nearly always treated as singular.

While I personally prefer to refer to collectives in the singular, grammar can't be wrong if it's the accepted standard for a prevalent group.
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post #22 of 75
Ahhhh.....reason number 8,364 to not buy a first revision product.
post #23 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I've got a brand new MacBook Pro and so far, no serious problems.

I've got a new MacBook with no issues, but I don't play games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Well, that's wrong whichever side of the pond you're on.

I'm aware of that, hence my italicizing of are.
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post #24 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I've got a new MacBook with no issues, but I don't play games.

Ah yes, forgot to mention I don't play games either...

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I'm aware of that, hence my italicizing of are.

Oh noes! The spiral of mis-understandings! Yes, I was aware you were being deliberately incorrect.
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post #25 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubert View Post

Ahhhh.....reason number 8,364 to not buy a first revision product.

What's reason 2192?
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post #26 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Well, that's wrong whichever side of the pond you're on.

Without the little differences it wouldn't be half as much fun to hop across the pond.

In general - can anyone say if the new Macbooks or MBPs run cooler? I don't game, but I get annoyed when the thing gets hot playing back YouTube or Hulu. Can anyone with a previous gen lappie comment on that?
post #27 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

Without the little differences it wouldn't be half as much fun to hop across the pond.

In general - can anyone say if the new Macbooks or MBPs run cooler? I don't game, but I get annoyed when the thing gets hot playing back YouTube or Hulu. Can anyone with a previous gen lappie comment on that?

I used to love Apple due to their "It just works" philosophy. I am afraid them getting large is making them slack off. Question for others:

Friday is the discount day for the MacBook Pro, however, according to this, it is having major issues. Buy or not buy? I doubt I will get this deal in the future, however, if it is having issues...
post #28 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

In general - can anyone say if the new Macbooks or MBPs run cooler? I don't game, but I get annoyed when the thing gets hot playing back YouTube or Hulu. Can anyone with a previous gen lappie comment on that?

If you get a MacBook or a 2.4 MacBook Pro and use the integrated as opposed to dedicated graphics, it should definitely run cooler. These machines use "P" model Penryns rather than "T" models. The "T" version has a 35 watt TDP, and the "P" model has a 25 watt TDP. Sadly, the 2.53 GHz MBP uses a "T" version despite a "P" version being available with the same clock speed (the "P" is slightly more expensive in lots of 1000; in the volumes Apple buys at the difference would probably be about $10).

My previous machine was an original MacBook 1.83 GHz Core Duo. The fans on that would start to blow like crazy when watching flash-video stuff. The new MacBook Pro doesn't break a sweat. In fact, in terms of CPU-bound stuff, it takes a lot to make the fans come on with this machine. I'd been waiting a long time for Intel CPUs to hit 25 watts and I'm very happy with this new MBP.
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post #29 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoogH View Post

I used to love Apple due to their "It just works" philosophy. I am afraid them getting large is making them slack off. Question for others:

Friday is the discount day for the MacBook Pro, however, according to this, it is having major issues. Buy or not buy? I doubt I will get this deal in the future, however, if it is having issues...


I'd buy the previous generation ('early 2008') Macbook Pro off Amazon for $1444.

But that's me.


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post #30 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by hzc View Post

I always find it weird to say "Apple are". Do you also say "My company are..." or "That group are"? Aren't those collective nouns?

Well, actually you might, though it depends on the context, ie. whether you're talking about it as a single entity or as a collection of individuals, eg. "my company is called XYZ", but "my team are often to be found down the pub on a Friday lunchtime".

Back on topic, I've been seeing a few intermittent display problems on my new MBP too, eg. refresh issues when scrolling windows, and I'm hoping it's something that can be fixed with a software or firmware update rather than having to send the machine back. Not sure about it being heat related though. Compared to my previous MBP the new one runs *very* cool.

-Rolf
post #31 of 75
zzzz, if its Nvidia fault again then I will be really pissed, they already made users with the 8600M GT wondering if their GPU will die within the 2 years to get a replacement, and now this?
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post #32 of 75
Wonder if they're gonna roll the attempted software fix into 10.5.6 (thus perhaps holding its release up some), or release it separately?


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post #33 of 75
I hope they are also working on the "video tearing" issue with Silverlight, which is noticeable when watching Netflix Watch Instantly. I've contacted Apple support about this. We'll see...
post #34 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

If you get a MacBook or a 2.4 MacBook Pro and use the integrated as opposed to dedicated graphics, it should definitely run cooler. These machines use "P" model Penryns rather than "T" models. The "T" version has a 35 watt TDP, and the "P" model has a 25 watt TDP. Sadly, the 2.53 GHz MBP uses a "T" version despite a "P" version being available with the same clock speed (the "P" is slightly more expensive in lots of 1000; in the volumes Apple buys at the difference would probably be about $10).

My previous machine was an original MacBook 1.83 GHz Core Duo. The fans on that would start to blow like crazy when watching flash-video stuff. The new MacBook Pro doesn't break a sweat. In fact, in terms of CPU-bound stuff, it takes a lot to make the fans come on with this machine. I'd been waiting a long time for Intel CPUs to hit 25 watts and I'm very happy with this new MBP.

Thanks Mr. H. I've got a MBP Santa Rosa that I don't plan on replacing. But I've also got a white Macbook that I'd like to trade in for a Uni-Macbook. I'm hoping it'll be a lot quieter. We got the MB for my wife and it was so loud. She watches a lot of movies on it - so we traded machines. I actually like the smaller size.

The other thing about the white MB is that the front edge was SHARP! I got used to it quickly - but she hated it.

I'm working on a post for Murphy Mac about this scary fact: We've spent $11,000 on Apple stuff since 2004.
post #35 of 75
This just happened to me yesterday on my new Macbook, not the pro. I had to restart my computer.

Let me clarify though, aside from that brief hiccup, I love this computer. It certainly has met the "it just works" standard that I expected.
post #36 of 75
I wish all the grammar queens on here would just go away.
post #37 of 75
I had the same "patchy", blocky display while scrolling effect on my 2.2GHz MacBook Pro. Something def in the webkit as it is fine at first then something happens while using Safari and then it effects finder scrolling to.

A log out will resolve the problem until Safari / wbkit goes haywire again... really didn't expect to see this on my new MacBook Pro. \

Wholly crap, I registered in 2002 and made my first post today! that's got to be some kind of lurking record..
post #38 of 75
These are exactly the sort of issues that blow the Apple fanboys objections against Mac OS x86 out of the water.

So much for Apple offering a better user experience because they design both the hardware and software they can't even get their hardware to work properly with their software!

What a joke!
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post #39 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

Without the little differences it wouldn't be half as much fun to hop across the pond.

In general - can anyone say if the new Macbooks or MBPs run cooler? I don't game, but I get annoyed when the thing gets hot playing back YouTube or Hulu. Can anyone with a previous gen lappie comment on that?

I don't own a previous model of MacBook, but from my handful experience using my cousin's Early 2008 MacBook browsing internet solely, I would say the Late 2008 model is much more cooler. I usually have 5 or 6 apps running at the same time and the machine is just dead cold.
post #40 of 75
See this thread:

http://discussions.apple.com/message...441698#8441698

Any reports of Apple doing anything about these?

Thanks!

Jaime
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