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munchnstuf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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. Usually it is only the top half or so of the display that blinks or flickers for a split second. Anyone else having the same problem?

MacBook Pro (Late 2008), Mac OS X (10.5.5), tv, iPhone, iPod Touch, et al
  • 1. Re: MacBook Pro screen blinks
    Hoojiemonster Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm having this problem too and I'm pretty sure mine is related to retrieving a lost mailbox off of Time Machine. My comp had a hard time digesting all of the new messages being added in Mail. Everything slowed down temporarily and Mail disappeared and was inaccessible. When it finally reappeared with the new emails, I noticed the intermittent blinks. I'm thinking about taking into the Genius bar, but I'm concerned that it happens so infrequently that I'll be unable to reproduce it on site. Any idea what could be causing it?
  • 2. Re: MacBook Pro screen blinks
    swechaos Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    I'm seeing the same problem on my macbook pro late 2008 that I just bought this weekend:( The screen just blanks out very quickly(for about 300ms) from time to time.

    I can not relate the problem to any specific application, the macbook pro was running just find for maybe 2 hours in the morning before this started to happen. Now its occurring with a frequency of maybe 10 minutes or so:(

    This is my first mac and I really like the machine and the OS so far except for this issue.

    I will call Apple on Monday to check if there is any resolution to this problem.
  • 3. Re: MacBook Pro screen blinks
    RoganJosh Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    mine has started blinking recently at an annoying rate - sometimes 10-20 per minute - this started a few months back and I thought it was a software issue - but since I have started looking into it - it appears the gfx card is at fault - an Nvidia 8600m GT - I think I'm going to bring it in for repairs before it dies completely.
  • 4. Re: MacBook Pro screen blinks
    swechaos Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Just a quick update, seems like the problem goes away if I switch over to the 9600m GT graphics chip.

    I have now been running for several hours without any flickering...
  • 5. Re: MacBook Pro screen blinks
    munchnstuf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    That's what I noticed as well. It seems to me that the problem probably lies with the integrated 9400M chipset. I got my MBP a couple of weeks after they were introduced so maybe it was from a bad batch. I would just run the 9600M instead but it tends to get the machine quite warm (and, of course, runs the battery down quicker).
  • 6. Re: MacBook Pro screen blinks
    steinzeug Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Yes, I am having the same issue aswell, seems to be getting worse. The big question here is if there is a software solution which can be resolved via an update or if there is indeed a issue with the graphics cards? Maybe the dual graphics card construction wasn´t such a great idea? or is this just a faulty batch of early machines. if this keeps persisting then maybe I will have to get a replacement.

    Also om my screen there are "sparkling" artifacts over the screens at times.
  • 7. Re: MacBook Pro screen blinks
    steinzeug Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Just to add on to my last post, after switching over to the faster 9600M card things appeared to have been resolved, however this is of course not a long term solution.

    The key Question remains: is this a software issue or is it due to a faulty NVIDIA 9400M graphic chip?
  • 8. Re: MacBook Pro screen blinks
    Aunty June Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
    does the screen actually blank out on and off? or is it just a mild pulsing?
  • 9. Re: MacBook Pro screen blinks
    steinzeug Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Flickers and blinks, top half of screen goes black for a milli second then whole screen might do the same, then it´s ok for 10.20 seconds and it starts again.

    As stated, when using the faster graphics chip all is well.
    Software? or faulty slow chip?
  • 10. Re: MacBook Pro screen blinks
    swechaos Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    This article just came out, scary reading:
    http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2008/11/29/nvidia-heat-causing-macbo oks

    Who knows if this is true or not, but it sure feels like there could be some truth to this since the problem goes away when using the 9600 GPU.

    If the 9400 GPU's are barely with-in spec this could explain why not everyone are experiencing the problem.

    I gave Apple here in Sweden a call this morning. Seems like I will have to go through the normal software check-up procedure tonight with the Apple support, and then see how to proceed from there.
  • 11. Re: MacBook Pro screen blinks
    natxofp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have the same problem, but in my MBP, only blinks the screen when work with the gforce 9400, I hope that problem will are software.... if any have a solution please say we!

    thaanks
  • 12. Re: MacBook Pro screen blinks
    worldsound Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    My MacBook Pro blinks as well, but there doesn't seem to be any specific event that triggers it. Not to be dumb but how do I switch to the 9600 GPU to see if that stops it? Thanks!
  • 13. Re: MacBook Pro screen blinks
    steinzeug Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Hi,

    you can change the graphics chip via the systempreferences under the "energy saver" lightbulb icon.

    In addition to earlier postings in this thread, I changed over to the faster graphics chip and the blinking and visual artifacts dissapeared. The good news is (at least for the moment) that when i changed back to the native chip the problems seem to have gone.

    Another thought is that, after reading the link/article on malfunctioning N chips, the problem seemed to have to do with over heating, which to my mind seems illogical as i had usually had the problems directly after a (cold) start-up.

    So considering that the problems dissapered after switching back and forth between chips and that the original problems occured while the comouter was still cold, does imply some sort of soft ware problem. Come on Apple, let´s have a fix.
  • 14. Re: MacBook Pro screen blinks
    PHOTOlink.net Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    i use the fast graphic chipset and every 5 minutes my screen blinks black then
    comes right back again.. occurs most all the time, no matter what i am doing
    or if its idle.
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