20053 Views Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next 66 Replies Latest reply: May 12, 2009 7:32 PM by Andrew Allcorn Go to original post
I have experienced a similar problem with my MBP 2.5G (late 2008) edition, wherein the display blinks momentarily. To analyze the issue, the glitch/ blink was vide taped and watched in slow motion. I found that the glitch is really a corrupted video signal followed by a partial/ complete blackening of the screen. The problem only occurs while using the GeF 9400 M mode in OSX and is never evident when using the 9600 processor.
Further, the problem is random and independent of memory or processor usage.
In my analysis, it is a hardware bug similar to that with 8600 processors with the only resolution of replacement of the MBP. Please reach out your nearest Apple Store ASAP, in case the problem is observed.
If you are experiencing this issue, please help everyone by doing the following:
1) Take a screenshot of the distortion whenever it occurrs(ShiftCommand3). Try to get shots of it happening in different apps, under different circumstances.
2) Make a note of what you were doing when the glitch occurred. How long had the machine been running? AC or battery? Were you scrolling the contents of a window? What apps were running?
3) CALL APPLE. I called them for the second time regarding this issue, and they seemed appropriately concerned. Be patient and courteous. Describe the problem as best you can. Tell them you have screenshots. They want to know what is going on, and we can help them by providing more data.
The problem will be resolved sooner if we all do our part to help document the issue.
This happened to me very early on--about two weeks after purchasing--and I took it back to the Apple Store for a fix. If they couldn't fix it, I told them I wanted to return it without a restocking fee because it's pretty much unusable when on battery power. It's not just Safari and Mail (or anything based on WebKit). The glitches show up in the OS X GUI, such as when you're installing something. The progress bar flickers. At least, that was my experience.
I'd installed an SSD when I got this because I'd purchased one preemptively when it was on sale. I installed it right away and so when they found out I put in the SSD they wanted to test the computer without it. Of course, being so lucky, it worked fine when they put the 250GB stock hard drive back in. Two weeks later? The problems are back. I'm headed back to the Apple Store tomorrow to complain.
What's ridiculous is that I said it couldn't possibly be an issue with the SSD because the SSD is faster than the stock drive and they were trying to tell me it was because it couldn't keep up. Also, I went around the store with them and we found another MacBook with a stock hard drive that exhibited the same problem! EXACT same problem. They insisted it was a different issue. Honestly, I was happy enough that the problem was gone so I didn't care enough to keep fighting a hopeless battle. Now that the problem is back I am really, really angry. I mean, they spent the whole time trying to get rid of me and it's not like I was mean. I make a habit of being as friendly as possible when I go to those stores because I know how far angry people get at the Genius Bar. Lord knows I've been there enough to see these arguments play out. I've also worked in technical support and I know that once a customer gets angry, I don't want to help them anymore.
Not that I expect to solve this by tomorrow, but I'm trying to find some definitive proof that it's the 9400M. I mean, that makes the most sense. On the other hand, it's entirely bizarre that it disappeared for two weeks with a fresh system install. How is that possible? I mean, obviously we're not going to start re-installing OS X every time the issue arises. That's a little ridiculous. But still, what's the inciting incident here? What happens at two weeks that causes this issue? I duplicated the SSD to the stock drive so the data was identical. It's not something I installed. I didn't give the machine one moment of rest so it's not like it cooled off for a few days and regressed back to working form for two weeks (which is sort of a silly idea to begin with). I think the most likely answer is that the machine has a bad graphics card, but that doesn't explain why a fresh hard drive solves the problem.
Or maybe it does. I don't know a lot about how OS X works under the hood, but I know a little bit. I know Safari, like any web browser, caches everything. Additionally, OS X's virtual memory caches tons of crap to the hard drive regularly. The swap files it creates are enormous. Maybe there was something to the silly answer the Genius Bar tech gave me. Maybe the hard drive, in a round-about way, isn't keeping up.
Bear with me here. Clearly I'm reaching, but with no help from Apple this is about all we've got to do. Because the batteries in these new MacBooks and MacBook Pros have lower capacities than their previous models, more efficient power management becomes very relevant. Both the CPU and GPU are more efficient on their own, but I imagine that when on battery power there is going to be some serious throttling whenever possible. The errors we're seeing look like the graphics card is having trouble keeping up when redrawing areas of the screen. We're seeing flickering when watching videos or when high frame rates are present in other operations, and then we see page tearing when scrolling smoothly through web sites. Notice how it doesn't happen when just jumping down the page? So I imagine this is more of a power management issue than a graphics issue.
But to get back to the hard drive, it seems to happen with applications that cache more than others. It's not that the hard drive is the issue, I think, but that the machine is relying on cached files in an effort to keep the computer cool. The hard drive is going to generate less heat than the CPU and GPU, so why not throttle them both and rely on the caches as much as possible. This would make for slow redrawing because the display looks like it's trying to use old information when it clearly should be updating to what's new on the screen.
Obviously there are some holes in this idea. I'm not an expert with OS X and UNIX. I just have some surface knowledge and want to figure out what's going on here. I'm hoping someone more knowledgeable can chime in and help make more sense out of all this.
If not, we can still all gather data and call Apple as George suggested. I'll be hammering at them tomorrow.
But one thing I noticed about these new machines is that they run considerably cooler than any other Apple laptop I've ever owned. The fans rarely run. It seems like heat is hardly an issue. So I have to ask, is that consistent with the rest of you? Are your machines cooler than past models? I'm curious if the machines with this issue tend to run cooler than the others, or if it really is a benefit of the new hardware.
A couple of things I should have been more specific about:
1) We should be doing what George suggested regardless. I think I came across as saying it was an alternative. We should be doing this no matter what. This is Apple's problem and they need to know that.
2) The reason I think it takes time for this to show up and could still be cache-related is because of hard drive fragmentation. I forgot to mention that. Nonetheless, it's still a shaky conclusion.
I've got some good news and bad news, and it may not be news at all. It looks like I may have actually been right.
So I went on exploring the different types of caches in OS X and went through clearing them until I either ran out of options or something actually made a difference. Something did. After clearing the boot and kernel caches, the graphics glitches disappeared--for now, anyway.
This doesn't solve the problem but it, at least, gives us a temporary fix that's only mildly inconvenient. It's also reassuring because it's likely that Apple can fix this with a software update. The downside of that situation is that Apple is incredibly slow when fixing software issues.
Now I'm a little happy about this a bit early. Who knows if this will last a full two weeks or if I'll start seeing graphics issues again very soon. I urge everyone to try it, though, and see what sort of success is had. If you don't want to dig into the Terminal, you can clear caches and run other maintenance scripts with a free app like Onyx (http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/11582/onyx).
Anyway, I hope this ends up working for me and for everyone else until there's a proper fix. I guess only time will tell...
Apple's confirmed that they're aware of the issue and they're working on a fix. They didn't really say much else that's worth mentioning, but they are going to issue a fix. Since they said they would for the trackpad issues and took care of that this evening, I hope it's safe to assume they'll do the same here.
Anyone tried to run Solidworks in the Window XP using this New MacBook with Graphics card? I am not sure what goes wrong but the Graphics will mess up when I opened another application. Regardless of what the application is. The graphics will mess up. What's the possible problem? As I read from the reply for this post, you guys experience in at the Mac OS. But I have no problem with the Mac OS with any application but when comes to Win XP, is horrible when running solidworks. Is it some setting issue ? Please advise if anyone try it before.
You might want to try posting this in a separate thread and probably a separate discussion altogether, since the topic is related to Windows. I think everyone in this thread is primarily an OS X user and your problem is going to most likely be overlooked if not in the most relevant forum.
But since you're here, have you checked with SolidWorks about compatibility with the 9400M? I can't really fill this form out correctly, because I don't know enough about your situation, but they have a tested and certified graphics card page:
I fooled around with it a little bit and it doesn't seem like the 9400M is listed at all, so I think you're more likely to find a solution by talking to SolidWorks than posting on Apple forums (not that there's anything wrong with trying everything). Good luck!
I started noticing this about a week after purchasing my new 2.4 GHz Macbook Pro (upgraded through the Apple Store to a 320GB Serial ATA @ 7200 HD). In order, this is what I did after searching through many articles online;
1. Zapped PRAM (originally did because had issues with time/date after migration from previous Powerbook G4)
2. Installed 10.5.6 (this seemed to work)
However, the problem has come back now after about one week. I get graphic glitches if scrolling with the trackpad in Safari, loading a new page in Safari, sometimes dragging windows out (resizing) in Safari, and have noticed that dragging windows out (resizing) on the desktop also creates constant graphic glitches.
After running the update, is my only option now taking it in to the Apple retail store for a replacement or fix? If so, which one? If not, are there other options, ie. is it a software issue that Apple needs to address yet again in an update?