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LED Screen Flicker

11637 Views 119 Replies Latest reply: Sep 11, 2007 8:21 AM by James Coley RSS
  • SmilingPolitely Calculating status...
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    Jul 4, 2007 3:09 PM (in response to phantazm)
    I'm seeing the exact same behaviour after the latest update.
    15" MBP 2.4GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • SmilingPolitely Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 4, 2007 3:12 PM (in response to tlivings)
    For those of you with the flicker / horizontal bands issue, do you experience the problem when using Windows XP/Vista (via Boot Camp) as well?

    Although my MBP's display flickers in OSX, it does not in Vista. Here's to hoping that another software update will rectify this problem entirely.
    15" MBP 2.4GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • randfee Calculating status...
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    Jul 4, 2007 6:20 PM (in response to SmilingPolitely)
    Got mine today. It had the flicker first. After the update it reacted just as yours:

    The high frequency downward flicker has been replaced by slower upward moving bands of brightness-difference. This proofs to me that it can be resolved with software.

    I still have a very loud base noise (like static) on the audio out though!! C'mon, fix that too!
    MBP 2,4GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.10), 2GB RAM
  • Anders Thid Calculating status...
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    Jul 4, 2007 10:49 PM (in response to SmilingPolitely)
    Mine did not flicker in XP with boot camp. Updated the graphics drivers in OS X and had slow bands instead.

    Got my replacement yesterday - NO FLICKER -
    I dunno if this can be fixed by software or what causes the flicker, but since the new machine does not flícker my advice is to send them in for replacement.
    Powerbook G4 1ghz + Macbook Pro SR 2,4Ghz, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Stephan Kanthak Calculating status...
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    Jul 5, 2007 4:42 PM (in response to tlivings)

    I received my SR MBP on Monday. I was happy so far as I didn't notice any flicker, but today I went to

    Please look at the grey background with stripes. I perceive flickering at any brightness level, but it's most intense at max brightness.

    It's possible that not all perceive the same flickering as I have really quick eyes. I even notice CRTs flickering up to 80Hz and the LCD subpixel dithering on the last version of the G4 Powerbook during regular work.

    To me the problem with the grey background pattern looks like a dithering problem again and NOT an LED backlight problem. I can see neighbouring subpixels going on and off.

    I don't know wether this is a new problem or not and that web page is the only case I noticed it with so far. Strange enough, I didn't notice it on the calibration screens for setting up the RGB profile which look similar.


    MBP SR 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM, 160GB   Mac OS X (10.4.10)  
  • randfee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 5, 2007 4:58 PM (in response to Stephan Kanthak)
    Hey Stephan!

    What you see on that background of insidemacgames is NOT the backlight flickering! I guess it has to do with the subpixels because of the dithering... not sure, I know that effect but forgot why it's there on LCDs. Very incomfortable to look at on all displays too because the eye cannot deal with those small lines very well, it drives you mad. That is why I'll never understand how somebody can come up with a pattern like that for a webpage!!!

    I would really hate if I had to send it in. The update solved most of the flickering, now I got those moving bands that I see 3 steps down of max brightness on even gray backgrounds. It's the same effect as the flickering, they just changed the switching frequency of the LEDs. This tells me it is a software problem and that they will fix the issue in time!

    I also noticed this though:
    MBP 2,4GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.10), 2GB RAM
  • Gord Lacey Calculating status...
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    Jul 6, 2007 9:06 AM (in response to Gord Lacey)
    Why do the computer Gods hate me?

    I received my new (3rd!) MacBook Pro, and I was pleased to see that the flickering was gone. Then I tried copying something off another computer and noticed that the connection slows down so there aren't any packets moving in and out of the computer (I was watching in Activity Monitor). I tried copying a file from my G5 (airport via Ethernet) to both my PowerBook G4 and my MacBook Pro - the PowerBook took 8 mins to copy 700 megs, and the MacBook Pro said there was 2 hours remaining when the PB was done copying. OUCH!

    Called Apple and the lady walked me through a few things, then told me to reinstall the OS and also try someone else's network. I'm reinstalling the OS right now and sure enough, I have the 3 lines that move from top to bottom like others have described.

    As luck would have it I have one of the new Airport routers on a truck out for delivery to my place today, so I'll be able to test that out as well.

    I'm just sick of problems with the new MacBook Pros. Getting a new computer is supposed to be an exciting experience, but it's been nothing but hassles, without an end in sight.

    Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Stephan Kanthak Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 6, 2007 9:16 AM (in response to randfee)
    Hi randfee,

    yes, I definitely think its some effect different from the LED flickering as it appears at all brightness levels. Was just curious wether others see the same on that web page or it's only me with my quick eyes again.

    It doesn't really bother me as I haven't seen it with my photos or on any video yet. It's definitely less annoying than the half-tone stripes and subpixel dithering of my G4 powerbook display which was apparent to me ALL the time (watching photos and movies, moving windows, playing games). Sometimes after watching/sorting photos for 2 hours my eyes got so irritated that I already saw those stripes and dithering artifacts on white walls.

    Apart from that and the slight shading of the display to the corners which is obviously due to the much narrower viewing angle (less pronounced if you move your head farer away from the display), I'm really happy with the machine. Fast, silent, not too hot, lots of memory.

    BTW, just saw that you're from Aachen. Small world. I currently still live in Chatham, NJ, USA, but lived in Aachen for 10 years and will come back there soon (at end of August). We should meet for a pint of good German beer when I'm back .


    MBP SR 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM, 160GB   Mac OS X (10.4.10)  
  • conn5400 Calculating status...
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    Jul 13, 2007 8:37 AM (in response to tlivings)
    After running through an hour of s/w tests with an Apple product specialist to fix my flickering issue, nothing worked. He sent the information to engineering who 2 days later said to bring it into a repair shop. They said they couldn't get the problem to repeat (fair since it was intermittent), but they replaced my LED screen nonetheless....

    So, needless to say, i've not seen the flickering since (close to a week now). Clearly it was a HARDWARE issue.

    Keyboard's next on the list of bar squeaks like the leaf springs on my old truck.
    MBP SR 15" 2.2 2Gb Ram, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Iceduck Calculating status...
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    Jul 13, 2007 12:47 PM (in response to tlivings)
    Ok, so I just installed the new EFI firmware update (released 13/7) and it certainly changed things: It made it much worse! Basically it undid all the good that the MBP Software Update 1.0 did. Not only are the lines traveling across the screen faster than before, they are also much more visible. This probably is a hint to me that I have a hardware defect. Will get this unit replaced on Monday.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Iceduck Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Jul 13, 2007 3:02 PM (in response to Iceduck)
    Update: Apparently resetting the PRAM (commandoption+pr on boot up) fixes the issue. The computer seems completely flicker free now.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • phantazm Calculating status...
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    Jul 14, 2007 7:23 AM (in response to Iceduck)
    same here. You have to reset the PRAM. once this is done. its beautiful
    2.4GHZ SR MBP, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • cmorey Calculating status...
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    Jul 23, 2007 2:55 PM (in response to Stephan Kanthak)
    My 2.4 mbp is flickering on the page too. It doesn't do it on my 20" cinema display or either of two Macbooks, or an old TI- Powerbook i have here.

  • ramiruhayel Calculating status...
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    Aug 29, 2007 2:30 AM (in response to tlivings)
    Hi All,

    Hi All,

    I recently bought a 15" Glossy MBP. Prior to my purchase, I used to use a 13" Glossy Macbook. I also own a 24" Glossy iMac.

    Since I got the MBP I have noticed that after short periods of usage my eyes become irritated and strained.

    I have calibrated my LCD with several color profiles, experimented with several brightness levels, increased font size all to no avail. I also conducted the extended Apple Hardware Test, and found no faults.

    While surfing the net, I cam across this static background and I immediately noticed a significant flicker. This flicker was not visible on my 24" iMac, 13" MacBook nor my friends 24" iMac or 24" Dell display.

    Link to background ->

    I think the eye strain maybe caused by this very rapid flicker which is only apparent with certain color combinations etc.

    Went into Next Byte and tested the pattern ( on a 17" CCFL and 15" LED MBP.

    Sadly the flicker was apparent on the 15" Matte LED MBP however no such flicker was noted on the 17" Matte CCFL MBP.

    It seems this behavior is restricted to LED backlight units alone. Now I guess I am really stuck.

    If the Next Byte staff do diagnose this as an issue, then I don't think I want another 15" MBP. What is more likely though, is that I get fobbed off as a whining customer and stuck with a 2.7x10^3 dollar piece of junk as it seems this flicker is likely "within spec"

    I love OS X but I am not sure if I will be purchasing anymore Apple products if this issue is not resolved amicably.
    Macbook Pro 15" 2.2 GHz SR, Mac OS X (10.4.10), iMac 24" 2.4 GHz
  • James Coley Level 2 Level 2 (385 points)
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    Sep 11, 2007 8:21 AM (in response to Anders Thid)
    I am not sure my issue is the same, but when the computer has not been used for a couple of minutes, and it seems to want to conserve power, it still to completely flicker by turning on and off multiple times--THE ENTIRE screen.

    At first I thought this was a power supply problem, but now I am noticing it even when operating on battery.

    This is a 3 month old machine that otherwise has worked fine until last week with this issue.

    I have Applecare but really cannot go without a laptop for 3-4 days. Any ideas or suggestions?
    PB 17 1.33 GHZ & 12 1GHZ, Quad, iMac 20" & MBP 2.4 GHZ 15", Mac OS X (10.4.10)
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