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Apple pulls NVIDIA graphics update, reasons unclear

post #1 of 44
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Apple has yanked a software update that was intended to fix graphics-related issues with its latest notebooks just two days after pushing the patch to users via its Software Update mechanism.

It's unclear what prompted the removal of the patch, released Monday as NVIDIA Graphics Update 2009 and pulled from the company's website and automatic software update system on Wednesday.

The Cupertino-based Mac maker said the update was supposed to improve cursor movement when using the Apple Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI adapter with the Mini DisplayPort-enabled MacBook Air, MacBook and MacBook Pro introduced this past October.

It was also said to improve playback of HD video on the new unibody MacBook Pros with GeForce 9600M graphics cards, as well as legacy Mac systems that include NVIDIA's GeForce 7300 GT chip -- namely the first-generation Mac Pro and Late 2006 24-inch iMac.

In general, Apple Discussions forums have been buzzing with users reporting trouble with their new notebook's graphics performance for some time. *In one MacBook Pro thread, user munchnstuf reported, "My new MacBook Pro display screen is blinking or flickering every few minutes now. *I've only noticed it when I've switched to the integrated 9400M graphics processor. *I don't recall seeing any blinks when using the discrete 9600M GPU."

Since that post in late November, there have been 59 replies, leading all the way up to this week. *Even after Apple released NVIDIA Graphics Update on Monday, the issues have continued. *User volvr said, "Just installed the new nvidia.patch from yesterday....but flickering goes on!"

Another user, Pipecat, believes it's a software issue, writing, "My external display (lacie electron) goes black 4/5 times in hour, for 5sec each time, (then) go back to normal state... under bootcamp its PERFECT!!! *No issue with the external display!!"

"While the flickering snow corruption was still showing on the external monitor I switched from the onboard graphics card (GF9400) to the discrete card (GF9600 GT) and the corruption was still there," said a forum member named Harvex. *"The solution for me is to switch my monitor onto standby and back on again on it's front buttons, but this doesn't prevent the issue from reoccurring after the computer has been sleeping."

In this YouTube video, Harvex demonstrates the poor display performance.

Over on the MacBook forums, the same issues with the update have been cropping up.

"I downloaded the update today and regret that I did," wrote allanlance. *"The problem for me is now worse. *I cannot use my external samsung 22inch monitor on extended desktop mode, only mirror mode, and that is not helpful to me. *In extended mode it goes black for extended times, flicking on occasionally to remind me that its there still."

Another YouTube video shows severe flickering on a display driven by a MacBook.

Since Apple is notorious for providing users with very little information about its software updates, it's unclear precisely what prompted Monday's patch to be retracted. While severe and frustrating, none of the issues being reported on the company's support forums seemed to have been the target of the latest NVIDIA patch based on its description.
post #2 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

it's unclear precisely what prompted Monday's patch to be retracted.

Seems clear to me, the update fixes NOTHING! (or makes things worse)
Where's the mystery?
post #3 of 44
When it comes to graphics drivers (and maybe drivers in general), Apple has really lost its mojo.
post #4 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

When it comes to graphics drivers (and maybe drivers in general), Apple has really lost its mojo.

Or maybe graphics in general...

 

 

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post #5 of 44
They'd better get a new fix out soon at that solves all the display and external display problems or else once those new unibody 17" models start arriving, those folks who paid $3,000+ for them will be awfully upset that their 30" external displays hooked to it will be continually distorted.
post #6 of 44
doh! ......
post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbg View Post

They'd better get a new fix out soon at that solves all the display and external display problems or else once those new unibody 17" models start arriving, those folks who paid $3,000+ for them will be awfully upset that their 30" external displays hooked to it will be continually distorted.

This could be one of the reasons why the 17" MBP ship date was delayed...

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Mac Mini (Mid 2011) 2.5 GHz Core i5

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post #8 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

When it comes to graphics drivers (and maybe drivers in general), Apple has really lost its mojo.

IMO, it should be up to NVIDIA to make the drivers, not Apple.

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post #9 of 44
For me, the only issue I had was the jumpy HD playback. It is still there, but better. I have the new LED display and have had no issues with the mouse/flickering, etc.
post #10 of 44
Precisely BuzzyZHead, but Apple doesn't seem to get it.
post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

IMO, it should be up to NVIDIA to make the drivers, not Apple.

I recall people saying that there were problems when that happened, the graphics card makers didn't know what they were doing and were making very flaky drivers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squuiid View Post

Seems clear to me, the update fixes NOTHING! (or makes things worse)
Where's the mystery?

Your suggestion is likely, but not assured. That's also a vague answer, not a specific one.

Maybe the mystery is that the exact reason isn't known, there haven't been complaints aired yet.
post #12 of 44
And you thought Microsoft had problems? LOL

Apple is not immune to problems it seems.
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post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

IMO, it should be up to NVIDIA to make the drivers, not Apple.

Would be nice, but historically Nvidia has had much less interest in the Mac platform than ATI. Nvidia basically told Apple they they would sell them chips and give them their driver source code, but they wouldn't devote any of their resources to the Mac. ATI always had a hand in writing their Mac drivers because of retail products. How much this has changed recently, I don't know.
post #14 of 44
is it just me or Safari has been weird since this update?
post #15 of 44
Apple should've known this was coming. NVidia has a VERY POOR quality track record over the past years...

Then again, the first alu iMac had screen-freezing issues as well and those were ATI powered...

Oh well, all electronics suck nowadays
post #16 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Your suggestion is likely, but not assured. That's also a vague answer, not a specific one.

Maybe the mystery is that the exact reason isn't known, there haven't been complaints aired yet.

LOL Very true. Touché
post #17 of 44
Jobs leaves- the whole company falls apart.
post #18 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorre View Post

Apple should've known this was coming. NVidia has a VERY POOR quality track record over the past years...

Then again, the first alu iMac had screen-freezing issues as well and those were ATI powered...

Oh well, all electronics suck nowadays

Those ATI issues were software or driver based as updates fixed those problems. However the nVidia 8x series fiasco was purely hardware issues that software attempted to try to stop (by reducing heat and increasing annoying fan sounds on most laptops).

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post #19 of 44
I bought my Macbook Pro 15" 2.8Ghz beginning of Dec. 08 and haven't had a single problem with the display. I'm running most the time off the integrated chipset for longer battery life and have installed all updates as they came out. Hasn't affected me 1 bit. I do not use an external display, but have now bought the adapter to start doing this, so will report back if I experience any issues. Also, I'll switch to the dedicated GPU to see if I spot any problems.

Edit: I use my Mac as a work laptop so it's in constant use every day (12+ hours)...
post #20 of 44
Hi there,

I'm the founder, owner and one of the editors of macbug.de - a german website for problems regarding all the products from Apple.

Actually I had several problems after updating to the latest drivers with my macbook pro late 2008 (512 vram).

As you can see from this link:

http://www.macbug.de/2009/01/27/nvidia-graphics-update-2009-achtung-finger-weg/

even though you don't understand german you can see the clip from the console showing several coregraphic-errors. I had really worse problems with iCal and the coloring of the calendars as well as the whole finder noch responding and drawing windows improperly or not at all.

I recommended all readers not to update until verified - now I know I was right

Greetings from Germany,

Takeo / macbug.de
post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by italiankid View Post

And you thought Microsoft had problems? LOL

Apple is not immune to problems it seems.

In Apples defense. It has a lot more on its plate considering it actualy does the computer and the software
post #22 of 44
This is always why I wait at least a few days for other people to install software updates first.
post #23 of 44
Considering Graphics Drivers now have around the same amount of source code as an operating system. The complexity of Graphics Drivers are really getting out of hand.
It is no wonder why apple is having trouble getting drivers right.

There are only two kind of people in this world.

Those who dont understand Apple and those who misunderstood Apple.

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There are only two kind of people in this world.

Those who dont understand Apple and those who misunderstood Apple.

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post #24 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by vandil View Post

This is always why I wait at least a few days for other people to install software updates first.

What does one do now? Can I/should I uninstall this? Or just wait for another update?
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by talkshowonmute View Post

In Apples defense. It has a lot more on its plate considering it actualy does the computer and the software

Except that Apple only has a handful of computers that actually use Nvidia graphics, whereas Windows has to work with a multitude of configurations.

It's either Nvidia's fault, or Apple's poor QC, but for the cost of the actual HW, it should work better, controlling the SW and HW is supposed to make things much simpler.
post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by guinness View Post

Except that Apple only has a handful of computers that actually use Nvidia graphics, whereas Windows has to work with a multitude of configurations.

It's either Nvidia's fault, or Apple's poor QC, but for the cost of the actual HW, it should work better, controlling the SW and HW is supposed to make things much simpler.

The interesting thing is that the Nvidia and ATI solution for Windows (especially gaming) bugginess is either (a) live with it, (b) upgrade to the latest 176.21 driver. Failing which, upgrade to 176.25 driver, see how it goes. (c) still having problems? downgrade to 175.55 driver. (d) see part (a), repeat.

In some cases, ATI gaming cards (or Nvidia, though it seems to a lesser extent) for some games will show sharp drops in frame rates - and hence some users have a negative impression of ATI drivers.

ATI and Nvidia show acceptable graphics performance in the PC world because the solution is almost always "upgrade to the latest graphic drivers", where graphic drivers are updated almost every month or even a few times a month.

Unfortunately Nvidia looks guilty of expecting Mac users to suck it in and accept this kind of thing. Which is very difficult for Mac users to accept, because, yeah, the PC-Windows way of dealing with graphics drivers seems ridiculous compared to the stability of the Mac.
post #27 of 44
I downloaded this update for my pro 1st generation - the replay of video has improved from what I was getting so no complaints from this end.
post #28 of 44
If only we had ATIs software smarts combined with NVidias hardware smarts. On the Mac Pro, the low cost ATI card outperforms the higher cost NVidia one in OS X, through driver strength alone. The ATI retail cards used to have a proper System Preferences box for the video card, which NVidia has never had. Despite all this, NVidias hardware is usually faster.
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by talkshowonmute View Post

In Apples defense. It has a lot more on its plate considering it actualy does the computer and the software

Why give them excuses, they charge a fortune for their devices and claim they just work
post #30 of 44
As many people have said on these boards Apple's plus is the tight integration of hardware and software. But reading about the constant trouble on the graphics side (although using dated hardware), is there some design hurdle in OS X or is Apple just clueless how to write good drivers?
post #31 of 44
If you take a look at:

New MacBook connect to external VGA display screen flash
http://discussions.apple.com/message...sageID=8605577

there are currently 240 replies. The main problem seems to be that the on-board graphics chip appears to drop or corrupt the video signal to some external monitors (including some Apple models).

My experience with a new MacBook5,1 is that my LG L246WP monitor will behave like it is changing display modes (blanks the screen for ~6 seconds) randomly (a couple dozen times a day) when connected with the mini DP to VGA adapter and at the native resolution of 1920x1200. Reducing the resolution eliminates the problem at the cost of a fuzzy display. I lucked out in that the problem does not appear when connected with the mini DP to DVI adapter at native resolution (some have not been so lucky).

Some have reported success in eliminating the problem by swapping mini DP to VGA adapters. Others by using the shareware product SwitchResX to change monitor frequency from 59.x to 60.0 Hz. Several are stuck waiting for Apple to resolve the problem.
post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by talkshowonmute View Post

In Apples defense. It has a lot more on its plate considering it actualy does the computer and the software

But with their limited hardware support, they have much less things to test before giving green light (or not). In this case, it seems their quality control testers failed miserably.
post #33 of 44
<<In general, Apple Discussions forums have been buzzing with users reporting trouble with their new notebook's graphics performance for some time. *In one MacBook Pro thread, user munchnstuf reported, "My new MacBook Pro display screen is blinking or flickering every few minutes now. *I've only noticed it when I've switched to the integrated 9400M graphics processor. *I don't recall seeing any blinks when using the discrete 9600M GPU.">>

I'm using the new aluminum MacBook (not the Pro) and having the same problem with the video cutting out, but only on my external monitor. (The monitor works fine on my Windows system downstairs, so there's no problem with the monitor.)

What I haven't seen discussed is the possibility that it's the mini-DVI to VGA adapter, not the graphics chip, that's causing the problem. Isn't this the adapter that has some digital-rights management chip embedded in the adapter cable? Maybe that's the problem instead of the graphics chip?

In any event, the problem seems to be with the video output, not with the chip itself; I've had no problems with the built-in LCD even running it for 4+ hours on battery power. That's probably a clue to what's going on.

--Geoff (ghart@videotron.ca)
post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Unfortunately Nvidia looks guilty of expecting Mac users to suck it in and accept this kind of thing. Which is very difficult for Mac users to accept, because, yeah, the PC-Windows way of dealing with graphics drivers seems ridiculous compared to the stability of the Mac.

As someone on these boards said before:

"Mac Users don't take shit."
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Now running on a 20" aluminium iMac (Fall 2008), as well as a Macboook Pro 13" (mid 2009) and an iPhone.
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post #35 of 44
################
# graphics update kills #
###############
(obvious since 1.0 update)

flickering snow disappeared after 10.5.6 comboupdate having been installed

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denmaru View Post

As someone on these boards said before:

"Mac Users don't take shit."

Unfortunately Mac users aren't the target audience anymore. The iPod switchers that are quickly becoming the majority have much lower standards.
post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

The interesting thing is that the Nvidia and ATI solution for Windows (especially gaming) bugginess is either (a) live with it, (b) upgrade to the latest 176.21 driver. Failing which, upgrade to 176.25 driver, see how it goes. (c) still having problems? downgrade to 175.55 driver. (d) see part (a), repeat.

In some cases, ATI gaming cards (or Nvidia, though it seems to a lesser extent) for some games will show sharp drops in frame rates - and hence some users have a negative impression of ATI drivers.

ATI and Nvidia show acceptable graphics performance in the PC world because the solution is almost always "upgrade to the latest graphic drivers", where graphic drivers are updated almost every month or even a few times a month.

Unfortunately Nvidia looks guilty of expecting Mac users to suck it in and accept this kind of thing. Which is very difficult for Mac users to accept, because, yeah, the PC-Windows way of dealing with graphics drivers seems ridiculous compared to the stability of the Mac.

The good old days are gone. Once Apple went PC hardware, they opened up a can of whoopass. Their decision to go with Nvidia is also interesting, apart form thier Top end cards the rest of thier hardware has been lacking for a few years now, poor choice apple.

Well at least you can get the latest driver for xp running in bootcamp
post #38 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

Unfortunately Mac users aren't the target audience anymore. The iPod switchers that are quickly becoming the majority have much lower standards.

Bingo....the new macbooks/pros are now aimed at the person who says 'oww this is so good looking, will go perfectly with my new ipod" And they will use 20% potential of thier new purchase. All glossy displays are aimed at this new market.

My all time favorite mac was the 12" powerbook Pro, you could actually call it a pro machine and it was amazing for its time. Pro's these days are just 15" Macbooks with firewire.

I also would not say they have much lower standards, they have much lower understanding/grasp of technology....and are attracted to bling bling...
post #39 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by talkshowonmute View Post

In Apples defense. It has a lot more on its plate considering it actualy does the computer and the software

So? Apple decided to do hardware and software for a reason... Because it just works... Guess what? It hasn't. They have had so many hiccups along the way with hardware.


Apple should take the extra time to make it right.
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post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MH01 View Post

The good old days are gone. Once Apple went PC hardware, they opened up a can of whoopass. Their decision to go with Nvidia is also interesting, apart form thier Top end cards the rest of thier hardware has been lacking for a few years now, poor choice apple.

Apple's own choices made it almost impossible for Moto and IBM to get any kind of return on their investment making competitive PowerPCs. I don't think its the hardware as much as Apple catching a bit of the Microsoft syndrome. They realized that they are basically playing with a captive audience who will find it very difficult to switch to something else, the ones who are here as a quazi-religion are going to take what ever they are given anyway and the switchers aren't going to look much beyond window dressings and are used to bugs anyhow, so why put as much effort in if the revenue steam isn't going to change?
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