Apple acknowledges graphics glitch with latest notebooks

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    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....
  • Reply 2 of 51
    crebcreb Posts: 276member
    "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.
  • Reply 3 of 51
    wilcowilco Posts: 985member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 51
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 51
    shookstershookster Posts: 113member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 51
    hattighattig Posts: 830member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 51
    kreshkresh Posts: 379member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 51
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 51
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 51
    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!
  • Reply 11 of 51
    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).
  • Reply 12 of 51
    abster2coreabster2core Posts: 2,501member
    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."
  • Reply 13 of 51
    sapporobabysapporobaby Posts: 1,079member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 51
    abster2coreabster2core Posts: 2,501member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 51
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 51
    jawportajawporta Posts: 140member
    When will they admit and fix iTunes Apple TV sync? That thread is growing as well.
  • Reply 17 of 51
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 51
    wilcowilco Posts: 985member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 51
    shaminoshamino Posts: 412member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 51
    shaminoshamino Posts: 412member
    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.
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