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Screen Flicker with External Monitor

71668 Views 188 Replies Latest reply: Apr 14, 2014 11:01 AM by mloseke RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • tomas_c Calculating status...
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    Sep 18, 2011 3:44 AM (in response to Wycliffe)

    Using Snow Leopard btw.

    This is NOT ok....

  • Rodsphere Calculating status...
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    Sep 23, 2011 9:34 AM (in response to Wycliffe)

    I just bought a new MBP 15 fully tricked out with i7 2.3GHz and 512GB SSD and 8GB memory, which replaced my 2008 MBP 15 which was the most tricked out you buy at that time.  I have a Cinema HD 30 screen, that I was first sold a hookup by the Apple folks at the Store, but was a non Dual Link DVI Adapter, which worked fine, except it turned my 2560x1600 monitor into a 1200x800 monitor from the stone age.  I was then told to go out and buy (! I already had spent $3500 on the computer, due to the other one failing minutes after Applecare was expired) a Dual Link DVI Adapter for $100, which I begrudgingly did.  Now the monitor displays the full resolution, but it blinks the entire screen off for a half a second every minute or two, WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY MIND NUMBINGLY ANOYING, and probably will lead to epileptic fits or the like.





  • nramos03 Calculating status...
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    Sep 23, 2011 1:58 PM (in response to Rodsphere)

    No, there is no fix yet.  The supposed "EFI and Thunderbolt Update" was suppose to take care of this problem.  Which apparently it did, but for only the Apple Thunderbolt displays, not third party LCD/LED monitors.  Now this may not be the case for everyone, but the majority of users you will find on this thread (and other threads of the same nature) have been saying that they are using a 2011 Macbook or later, and have had the problem once they upgraded to OSX Lion; which only leads me to believe that it is a software interference with the thunderbolt display itself.  Many people have sent emails/made calls and all people are getting back is a "can we use your log files to send to our engineers? they should have a solution shortly"


    For now...we can either deal with the flickering, or find other means.  I know on my Acer S231L 23" LED screen, I had it connected to a 2011 15" 2.2 MBP through miniDisplay Port connection (minidisplay -> HDMI) and it started to flicker.  I actually had a minidisplay -> VGA and was able to get the same resolution, and it solved the flickering, but for some reason, i started to get waves (the screen looked like it was oscelating over and over again on the sides very rapidly).  That usually happens when you have something like a vacum or a microwave on the same outlet, something that consumes a lot of power, but I was connected to a surge protector which only had the computer and the monitor connected.  So like i said, this seems to be a software issue, and it's known, but Apple is still working on it.  If you can deal with the waves (and it doesn't happen all the time, only some times) I'd suggest to go through that method for now.



  • debito Calculating status...
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    Sep 23, 2011 2:40 PM (in response to nramos03)

    I do not have Lion, I have Snow Leopard, and I still experienced this problem.

  • nramos03 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
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    Sep 23, 2011 2:45 PM (in response to debito)

    which macbook do you have?

  • debito Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
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    Sep 23, 2011 3:11 PM (in response to nramos03)

    Macbook Pro 15-inch early 2011.

  • Allison Sheridan Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Sep 23, 2011 5:43 PM (in response to nramos03)

    My problems started well in advance of Lion as well.  The problem is between Thunderbolt Macs using early generation display-port displays.  My new Apple Cinema Display which is also display-port is working perfectly - no signs of the problem at all.


    For those asking Apple to acknowledge the problem - they have.  Repeatedly.  Every time I called from the very earliest (early June) they said, "known issue, wait for a firmware update".  I agree that it's appalling that they haven't fixed this, but it's not fair to say they haven't acknowledged it.


    When I sent my paper letter I did refer to this thread, just in case it could help others.


    My advice is to keep calling AppleCare. over and over and over.  Waste their time.  If ANYONE here hasn't called them, do so. Over and over and over.  Persistence does win.


    Allison Sheridan

    NosillaCast Podcast at

    A technology geek podcast with an EVER so slight Macintosh bias!

    Follow me at

  • stevenj7 Calculating status...
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    Sep 23, 2011 6:41 PM (in response to Allison Sheridan)

    I worked through all the issues with Apple support and they didn't have a clue.  My problem is with the Apple 24 inch Cinema display.  It doesn't work (flashes all the time) with a MacBook pro 2011 regardless of the operating system.


    I called Apple public relations and told them this is embarressing for Apple.  And I left them with this Steve Jobs quote he made about a software product.


    "You baked a beautiful cake, unfortunately you used dog sh*t for frosting."

  • christos_gr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 23, 2011 9:52 PM (in response to Wycliffe)

    ok, the update:

    Thunderbolt Software Update version 1.0 (60mb aprox)


    fixed all the flickerings. Using 10.6.8 with macbook pro early 2011, i7 connected to a Philips 32pfl 5604h/12 television.


    but now I cannot send sound through the thunderbolt-dvi-hdmi cable.

    fix one issue, create another issue.


    I don't care about sound, cause I can send sound through minijack (as I did in the past).


    naughty naughty apple :-P


  • ramalloy Calculating status...
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    Sep 23, 2011 11:39 PM (in response to Wycliffe)

    Have a 24 Cinema display (bought in December 2010) plugged into MBP 17" (bought at the sametime) - I suffered from flickering


    MBP 17" was stolen in march 11


    Replaced with MBP 13" (all on snow leopard), still suffering from flickering, infact its got so bad I called Apple (outside of warrenty) they told me I'd have to pay for a repair...

  • nramos03 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
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    Sep 23, 2011 11:46 PM (in response to Wycliffe)

    Okay, so update for everyone.....


    I decided to try something out for ***** and giggles....


    I decided to return my 24" LED Acer Monitor and i got the 20" LED monitor ( max res at 1600x900) and i've restarted, moved it, changed res, played games and my desktop is even on the external...nothing. No glitches.  I think this problem may have something to do with resolutions at XXXX by 1080 and above?


    Can anyone try this? (just lower resolution to below 1080). I'm curious to see if this resolves some of your problems too....

  • Leoparder Calculating status...
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    Sep 25, 2011 12:51 AM (in response to Wycliffe)

    Hello all,


    I was looking for something for my problem and I see I am not the only one !


    I bought a MacBookPro8.3 17" 2.3Ghz i7 one month ago.

    When I plugged it into my newly bought HP 23" LED screen using the Minidisplay-port to DVI adaptater, I experienced black-outs everytime the GPU was heavily needed (Aperture, games, sometimes youtube, iTunes ...)

    It almost never appens if I do nothing, but sometimes, I click on the Aperture window or iTunes or I plya a game and then the external screen will go black (the macbook's too) for 2 seconds, then the Macbook's will come back on with the entire system on it (as if it reseted itself as onescreen-system. Then 2 seconds after this, everything black again and then both screen light up correctly back to a two-screen system.


    My thought ? *** for a 3000$ computer !


    Hope it will be fixed soon !

  • Menlo Park Matt Calculating status...
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    Sep 25, 2011 1:04 AM (in response to Leoparder)

    I am so sad after spending all this money to set up my dream computer of a 27 inch iMac and 2 24 inch Apple Cinema Displays.  One display is rock solid while the other is now unusable due to extreme flickering / blackouts. 

    Apple, I love you and all, but look how many people are having issues!  Work with Intel and get this problem fixed ASAP or at least refund me the $4500 I spent and let me know when this is fixed on the new models.

  • Ahmadb Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Sep 29, 2011 2:14 AM (in response to Menlo Park Matt)

    New firemware for 24 inch apple display to prevent flicker.



  • Ahmadb Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Sep 29, 2011 2:28 AM (in response to Ahmadb)

    Apple quietly issues firmware fix for Thunderbolt flickering issues on 27-inch LED Cinema Displays


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