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Question: display anomalies

hello everyone,
ever since the last two os updates, i'm getting these weird anomalies quite frequently,
if i resize the window, they go away


i looked around, but no one seem to be having the similar problem,
my vga is ATI Radeon X1600

thanks in advance,

mbp, Mac OS X (10.5.4), 2.16 ghz // 2 gb ram

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Sep 26, 2008 8:15 AM in response to rami bishara In response to rami bishara

Well, it is nice to see that I am not the only one having this problem. At first, I thought it might be a memory problem, so I swapped out both DIMMs. That is not it. The problem persists.

The other thing I suspected is the GPU heat. Temperature Monitor says the GPU Processor Chip is in the high 60C range as well as the Graphics Processor Heatsink. The behavior seems to start as the temperature rises from the mid-50C range to nearly 70C.

The one thing you did not note is that the anomalies do not go away when you refresh a page in Safari or any other app. You have to close the window with the garbage and reopen a new window to make the graphics return to normal. By the way, it is not limited to apps, it also happens with wallpaper.

I have the original MBP from 2006. Any other theories about this would be appreciate as it is annoying and not normal at all.

Sep 26, 2008 8:15 AM

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Sep 29, 2008 2:43 PM in response to rami bishara In response to rami bishara

There are definitely others reporting this same behavior. I had it happen again yesterday when I ran Photoshop for about 30 minutes and the GPU temperature hit 65C.

Check these other threads.


I do believe these are all related and have something to do with GPU temp.

Sep 29, 2008 2:43 PM

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Oct 14, 2008 3:14 PM in response to rami bishara In response to rami bishara


*under 10.4 i experienced a green pixel written into the graphic cards ram* (could drag this thing around in a window just as it works with the lines or color boxes)

this problem was definitively heat related, was linked to massive CPU. It disappeared after cleaning the fan and cooler unit.

*now i have exactly the same problem since 10.5.*

i tried:

- switched RAM
- cleaned FANS
- reinstalled OS

- Heat seems to be ok, around 60° C

Don`t know what to do, i am out of warranty and a new MBP logic board for my MBP is expensive and still doesn`t take more than 3 GB of RAM so there is no reason to invest in this any more.

has anybody a solution for that or can anyone point it out to heat related problems? if so i will try tune the temperature by using something like FanControl, increasing the BaseSpeed (i try this at the moment and it doesn`t look so bad) or switch fans and cooling unit.

looking forward to your auggestions

Oct 14, 2008 3:14 PM

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Oct 15, 2008 6:01 AM in response to macuser128 In response to macuser128

i doubt its a hardware problem,
on tiger i used to have these little anomalies but they were insignificant,
and never that frequent.
since i updated to leopard, the problem keep getting worse.

my warranty is long over, and i live where warranty doesn't really help,
i usually take my computer apart to clean the fans or change harddisks,
so i'm ready for any hardware experiments you guys throw at me,
but again, doubt this is a hardware problem

Oct 15, 2008 6:01 AM

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Oct 16, 2008 2:29 PM in response to rami bishara In response to rami bishara


I tried to cool the machine down using fancontrol with increasd base speed, as explained above. It looks like the problem is starting at 54°C (GPU Heatsink) and higher, at 60°C you will get this effect very often.

*Below 55°C this doesn't happen on my machine*

I used my mac very much (6 Month ago) and my GPU heat reached up to 89°C with no results like this before.

First thing under Tiger i expected was that tiny green pixel (4 Month ago), but same effect (dragable failure) what turned me crazy because i could not explain this behaviour.

now, under leopard (3 Month ago) i expecting the crap explained above, also dragable errors in the Vid Memory. In conclusion one question:

+Did you used your mac very hard for long times (something like playing WOW, using a renderer, 3D Engine or any kind of this)?+

Maybe long hot usage of the mac *destroys the heat-conductive paste* and u have to replace it. Maybe the GPU is even hotter than it looks like.

good Luck

Oct 16, 2008 2:29 PM

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Oct 16, 2008 3:20 PM in response to macuser128 In response to macuser128

my usage patterns have been pretty consistent for the past 6 month,
but maybe after the leopard update, since its more graphic intensive
the heat is now above normal, but that doesn't explain why Radeon X1600
are primarily affected..
funny you mention the thermal paste,
yesterday after my system froze over 5 times, let alone the display artifact,
freezing is a much worse problem.
i kinda took my rage out on the hardware, i took the motherboard out to inspect
the thermal paste, and see if the fans and heat sinks are in good shape.
needless to say, the thermal paste is in a horrible condition,
dried out and barely consistent, i scooped the excess and applied it to the chips
and dampened it with water a little, while putting it back together i noticed a lot of heat damage,
from parts de-coloration to glue pealing off.

today no freezing at all, and the anomalies are less prominent, but i can't confirm that for sure
i'll see how it goes for the rest of the day and let you know

Oct 16, 2008 3:20 PM

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Oct 29, 2008 8:04 AM in response to macuser128 In response to macuser128


Referring to the heat-conductive paste theory, i found some other interesting sites. I will try that next time, so my display failures are as stable as the MBP's temperature. I want it fixed.

*Check out here if you are insterested in replacing the paste and get some background information why to so or why not:*


good luck

Oct 29, 2008 8:04 AM

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Question: display anomalies