or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Current Mac Hardware › Apple posts fix for 17-inch MacBook Pro visual glitches
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple posts fix for 17-inch MacBook Pro visual glitches

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Addressing widespread reports of visual artifacts on the 17-inch MacBook Pro's display, Apple on Wednesday night released a firmware update that it hoped would clear up the issues for its premium notebook.

MacBook Pro Graphics Firmware Update 1.0 (770KB) specifically tackles "vertical lines or distorted graphics" that can appear on the unibody portable's screen during regular use.

The problem became particularly evident when new owners at Apple's support forums and elsewhere began noticing visual patterns on their systems, such as off-color "noise" in patches or vertical lines across the entire length of the screen.

From the outset, users only noticed the problems when relying on the dedicated GeForce 9600M graphics chipset and not the integrated 9400M that also comes as part of the computer. It occurs regardless of the application and is sometimes dependent on the intensity of the task, exhibiting symptoms not unlike an overheating graphics chip.

Apple doesn't mention whether heat is the culprit and doesn't mention in its release notes for the firmware update what steps it has taken to fix the issue, which hasn't been detected in every shipping model.

An early example of the unibody 17-inch MacBook Pro's visual errors from the Apple support forums.

AppleInsider readers using the desktop replacement notebooks are encouraged to provide feedback on whether or not the update has eliminated the flaw on their own systems.
post #2 of 35
at least apple actually does fix things and sends out updates.
Apple had me at scrolling
Reply
Apple had me at scrolling
Reply
post #3 of 35
Please fix the 15inch MacBook Pro too!
post #4 of 35
I have an early 2009 unibody 17 inch. On low brightness, like many other users the display annoyingly flickers, Its as though there is a ceiling fan in the room, and you are seeing a reflection of the shadow. Of course there isn't. To fix, increase brightness (to above medium) or select the better performance graphics ship. This usually helps.
Ths version 1.0 firmware did not fix this problem. Later tonight i will see if it fixed the external monitor - clamshell closed issue.
Sad - i no longer think software will fix this, I have applecare notice, and probably will have to send it in.
Model NametMacBook Pro
Model IdentifiertMacBookPro5,2
Processor NametIntel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speedt2.93 GHz
Number Of Processorst1
Total Number Of Corest2
L2 Cachet6 MB
Memoryt8 GB
Bus Speedt1.07 GHz
Boot ROM VersiontMBP52.008E.B00
SMC Versiont1.42f4
post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by wplate View Post

Please fix the 15inch MacBook Pro too!

Seriously, I can barely work!

My 15" macbook pro is plugged into a 30" HP LP3065, and I can't go more than 10 minutes without some form of visual disturbance. I called apple, and after about 1 hour of trying everything they told me (with no avail), they told me that apple was aware of the problem, and was working on it.

they've released two graphics fixes in the past 2 weeks. When are they going to get to this one!!!!
post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCarbon View Post

Seriously, I can barely work!

My 15" macbook pro is plugged into a 30" HP LP3065, and I can't go more than 10 minutes without some form of visual disturbance. I called apple, and after about 1 hour of trying everything they told me (with no avail), they told me that apple was aware of the problem, and was working on it.

they've released two graphics fixes in the past 2 weeks. When are they going to get to this one!!!!

Thats what they told me two weeks ago - that a fix for the external monitor flicker was due any time. It also took two people, and almost 40 minutes to get to the point where they told me apple was aware of problem and will be issuing a software fix. I already had a 2007 17 mbpro - which i pulled rank and gave to one of my junior engineers, so i could have the new one. Tired of seeing his smug face!
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

at least apple actually does fix things and sends out updates.

You're pitiful.
post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

at least apple actually does fix things and sends out updates.

Perfect them before they're released and then we wouldn't need fixes.
post #9 of 35
This fix should have been fixed before they released the MBP's.

It should not have taken over a month for the release either.
iMac 20" 2.66 2008/9 model
Nano 3rd/4th gen
iPhone 2G/3G
Reply
iMac 20" 2.66 2008/9 model
Nano 3rd/4th gen
iPhone 2G/3G
Reply
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

at least apple actually does fix things and sends out updates.

Just wondering...

If problem is driver/firmware related, then all machines built and shipped within specific dates (when that driver/firmware were used) should have the same problem. But that does not seem to be true.

Otherwise, it looks more like bad batch of graphics chips/motherboards Apple was unlucky to receive from manufacturer. But problem there is - you cannot fix hardware problem with software update. sometimes you can hide problem by reducing/disabling features (like reducing number of colours, refresh rate etc) but that is hardly a fix.

Bottom line - hardware problem requires replacement. If problem is of hardware origins (information Apple should come out with), I'm finding extremely unfair if Apple is buyin their time and trying to avoid proper fix by offering software updates. Specially to customers who have paid premium money for that product...
post #11 of 35
I used Windows all my life and made the switch in August of 2008.

I have learned that Macs are no better and have just the same problems as PCs!

No more No less!

You just pay more for looks!
iMac 20" 2.66 2008/9 model
Nano 3rd/4th gen
iPhone 2G/3G
Reply
iMac 20" 2.66 2008/9 model
Nano 3rd/4th gen
iPhone 2G/3G
Reply
post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by italiankid View Post

This fix should have been fixed before they released the MBP's.

It should not have taken over a month for the release either.

There is no such thing as bug free product release. Electronics, cars, and everything composed of multiple parts made by multiple manufacturers will have a percentage of defective components. Disadvantages of mass production.
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

There is no such thing as bug free product release. Electronics, cars, and everything composed of multiple parts made by multiple manufacturers will have a percentage of defective components. Disadvantages of mass production.

There would be IF they took the time to make sure it was bug free before releasing it. This attitude just empowers large corporations to continue putting out junk figuring they will fix it later.
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulk001 View Post

There would be IF they took the time to make sure it was bug free before releasing it. This attitude just empowers large corporations to continue putting out junk figuring they will fix it later.

Maybe... If we are in a perfect world!!! But we are not in a perfect world. Even the latest most advanced military airplanes which are maintained and testing every hour crashes due to defects. I am not defending Apple or large corporations. Things are easier said than done.
post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulk001 View Post

There would be IF they took the time to make sure it was bug free before releasing it. This attitude just empowers large corporations to continue putting out junk figuring they will fix it later.

You don't know what you're talking about. No mass produced product in the world can be assured of 100% lack of defects. It's not possible for Apple to extensively test every single one of the millions of computers they sell.

Since it is not effecting every single laptop, it is clearly not a "bug" of the design but rather some kind of manufacturing defect, which cannot ever be eliminated.
post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by italiankid View Post

I used Windows all my life and made the switch in August of 2008.

I have learned that Macs are no better and have just the same problems as PCs!

No more No less!

You just pay more for looks!

If by "having the same problems" you mean they are also electromechanical devices which are prone to failures and manufacturing defects, then you are right.

I'm sorry, but if you switched expecting that macs were made out of marshmallows and chocolate chip cookies and ran on the power of unicorn tears, you were bound to be disappointed.

Now that I've disillusioned you, maybe you can stop being a douche all over these forums and get on with your life.
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by meelash View Post

You don't know what you're talking about. No mass produced product in the world can be assured of 100% lack of defects. It's not possible for Apple to extensively test every single one of the millions of computers they sell.

Since it is not effecting every single laptop, it is clearly not a "bug" of the design but rather some kind of manufacturing defect, which cannot ever be eliminated.

I agree its tough to eradicate all hardware bugs, however the delays, associated (according to close sources) with nvidia chips and the many many complaints bout flickering lead me to believe it was a known issue with hardware. Considering these things end up over $4K, it should have been fixed. Having apple tell me - just turn up the brightness or use the additional graphics ship invalidates the fantastic battery life claims - and just plain sucks.
Won't happen to me again - buying new released design from apple
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

There is no such thing as bug free product release. Electronics, cars, and everything composed of multiple parts made by multiple manufacturers will have a percentage of defective components. Disadvantages of mass production.

Liar! Apple was suppose to be the perfect product. As a previous Windows user, that is what I thought. Apple made me believe this. Boy was I wrong! Coming to Apple has opened a can of worms for problems. No better than PCs or Windows IMO!
iMac 20" 2.66 2008/9 model
Nano 3rd/4th gen
iPhone 2G/3G
Reply
iMac 20" 2.66 2008/9 model
Nano 3rd/4th gen
iPhone 2G/3G
Reply
post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by italiankid View Post

Liar! Apple was suppose to be the perfect product. As a previous Windows user, that is what I thought. Apple made me believe this. Boy was I wrong! Coming to Apple has opened a can of worms for problems. No better than PCs or Windows IMO!

If you want to be silly go ahead but won't get much attention from me at least.
post #20 of 35
On the other hand, the video for my 15" unibody MBP has worked flawlessly since I bought it, both on the built-in screen and the 24" LaCie (and on both simultaneously for that matter) I do most of my work on. No flickering, no pixel patterns, on either of the graphics chips.

From my point of view, working perfectly - as expected.

And yes, this idea of "bug-free products" is an increasingly practical impossibility these days, especially when dealing with machines as complex as a modern laptop. There's always something. That said, my last PowerBook has run for 5 years with no operational defects and I don't see any reason not to expect this new one to do the same. But of course, that's just speculation right now - we'll see in five years

Clearly, some people are experiencing problems and that sucks, but there are also a lot of us who aren't.

I'm just sayin'.
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Right_said_fred View Post

I agree its tough to eradicate all hardware bugs, however the delays, associated (according to close sources) with nvidia chips and the many many complaints bout flickering lead me to believe it was a known issue with hardware. Considering these things end up over $4K, it should have been fixed. Having apple tell me - just turn up the brightness or use the additional graphics ship invalidates the fantastic battery life claims - and just plain sucks.
Won't happen to me again - buying new released design from apple

Why is this so hard for you to understand? If it were a hardware bug, it would affect every device they shipped. Clearly that is not the case.
post #22 of 35
Apple used to have be the company that made the hardware and software that went hand in hand from day 1. What is going on these days? At lost of these posters have valid points- this is not to be expected from a company that's making both the hardware and its software to have major bugs.
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by meelash View Post

Why is this so hard for you to understand? If it were a hardware bug, it would affect every device they shipped. Clearly that is not the case.

No need to get snarky. I design for a living, and I make a good living, which allows me to buy a whole lot of stuff like this I probably don't need. Mostly this stuff works as advertised. In the case of macbook pro, sold as having fantastic battery life and excellent graphics I expected better.
In this case I would guess there are some issues with the silicon. I have had to use silicon with similar problems. A combination of tolerances on supply voltage, tolerance on bypass capacitors etc., can all effect a percentage of production, not the whole. Interestingly, if you look at the errata for most complex semiconductors these days, you will see issues that may affect only some, even within the same silicon revision. Such a problem as this flicker will be hard to weed out during test, since it only occurs at lower backlight intensity, and not all/every time.

I could also not think too hard, and say 'clearly if this were a soft(firm)ware bug it would affect every device they shipped.

I hope it IS just soft(firm)ware, then I can live in hope that it will be fixed any day soon.
post #24 of 35
My 17-inch MacBook Pro has had no problems since installing the firmware update... but then it never exhibited this problem to begin with (which is odd, since I'm exclusively using the 9600 performance chipset, both on battery and on adapter). Another flawless fix for a problem I've never experienced, courtesy of Apple
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

at least apple actually does fix things and sends out updates.

Can't think of many IT companies that don't to be honest.
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

If you want to be silly go ahead but won't get much attention from me at least.

Er ... but you replied to him .... \
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scruffy View Post

Clearly, some people are experiencing problems and that sucks, but there are also a lot of us who aren't.

That's some great insight -- look forward to your next nugget of wisdom!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scruffy View Post

I'm just sayin'.

post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by meelash View Post

You don't know what you're talking about. No mass produced product in the world can be assured of 100% lack of defects. It's not possible for Apple to extensively test every single one of the millions of computers they sell.

Since it is not effecting every single laptop, it is clearly not a "bug" of the design but rather some kind of manufacturing defect, which cannot ever be eliminated.

The fact that Apple had to release a patch because it affected so many people means it IS a bug.
post #29 of 35
The fact that Apple had to release a patch may only mean that the manufacturing defect can be circumvented by software. Or that it is a bug. Since Apple doesn't say it upfront, it's up to speculation on everybody's part. A post-modernist would say then that all speculations would be true. Or was it Schrodinger? Can't remember .
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayz View Post

Er ... but you replied to him .... \

I know.. But I wanted to know if he was stupid or was acting stupid
post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

I know.. But I wanted to know if he was stupid or was acting stupid

Can't say if he is stupid or not but with a degree of certainty I can say you are being petty.
post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulk001 View Post

Can't say if he is stupid or not but with a degree of certainty I can say you are being petty.

Thank you for your analysis Dr. Phil.
post #33 of 35
What's the bets they've done the same thing they did with the original MacBook Pro when it was launched underclock something?
OK, can I have my matte Apple display, now?
Reply
OK, can I have my matte Apple display, now?
Reply
post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

Just wondering...

Bottom line - hardware problem requires replacement. If problem is of hardware origins (information Apple should come out with), I'm finding extremely unfair if Apple is buyin their time and trying to avoid proper fix by offering software updates. Specially to customers who have paid premium money for that product...

Hardware cannot be fixed by software but hardware problems can be circumvented by software updates.

Some people think only software is bugged but since complex hardware nowadaysis either built with help of software tools or contains software on it, as in 'firmware'. And by a rule of thum, since widespread usage of flash memory, firmware is upgradeable.

I had a really hard problem once, in an engineering project, with modems devices freezing after a fixed number of reading operationson an engineering project once... As it became clear that the problem relied on the hardware itself, we look to our options. We were able to eliminate the problem simply by switching to another init string. A really simple solution, but it took many hours of work...
post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Thank you for your analysis Dr. Phil.

You're welcome NasserAE.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Current Mac Hardware
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Current Mac Hardware › Apple posts fix for 17-inch MacBook Pro visual glitches