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  • billm Level 1 (25 points)
    I've been running my 30" ACD from a macbook pro, and also an eSata RAID0 array (via PCI express card). So I bought a Mac Mini to run the screen and a Newer miniStack v3 to run the eSata. Still about 1/2 the cost of a Macbook Pro and having the MBP portable is great.

    The flashing I've been observing is worse when the Mini is hot (i.e. over CPU over 50 degrees C). It was also worse when I booted the mini from a 500 GB hard drive that had my Macbook OS and software on it. I put the original 120 GB hard drive that came with the Mini, back in, and ran the boot up registration and the flashing has been much reduced. So, there may be a driver that matters on the Mini's OS build from Apple.

    So, when the Mini is cool, the flashing isn't a large deal. Not worth loosing the Macbook Pro's freedom anyway.
  • Kl l Level 1 (15 points)
    Looks like heat build-up that's causing your problem. The hdd is mounted right over the northbridge chip where I believe the integrated gpu is at and that tiny heatsink isn't designed for heavy use such as HD videos.
    Until we get a patch that will lower the temp threshold for the fan and since you already got Temp Monitor installed you might want to try getting an app to control the mini's fan speed.

    There's scmfancontrol, but this one only let's you set a constant fan speed no matter the temp.

    The one I'm using now is Fan Control, this one let's you set the temp thresholds so that the fan speed will scale with the temp.

    When the fan is turned up it can get noisy, but I'm thinking at that point the movie will be louder haha. Hopefully this helps.
  • jogiba Level 1 (70 points)
    I am sure putting 7200rpm HDs in the Mini is not helping with the heat issues.
  • billm Level 1 (25 points)
    I can see no separate video card in the Mini. The northbridge chip has the video and ethernet and all the rest in I'm assuming. There is a big heat sink on the CPU chip and a smaller heat sink on the northbridge chip. I've been experimenting with placement of the OWC/Newer miniStack v3 and the Mac Mini. Keeping the Mac Mini on top of the v3 raises all the internal chip temperatures by 15 degrees. The Temperature Monitor readings for my Mac Mini with the v3 away from the mini are:

    CPU A 47 degrees C
    Hard drive bay 44 degrees C
    Northbridge 54 degrees C <== graphics temp
    Smart disk 43 degrees C
    Wireless 53 degrees C (and I don't even have wireless on!)
    CPU Core 1: 47 degrees C
    CPU Core 2: 46 degrees C

    Having put the original Apple drive back into the Mini, I've had dramatically fewer flashes of the screen. Like 2 all day yesterday. I've had one today already, but It isn't a show stopper with 4GB of RAM and the 7200 3.5" drive with 32 megabytes of cache. Takes maybe a second of time.

    I am less convinced that my heat-hypothesis is valid. Data: I had the Mac Mini directly on top of the OWC/Newer miniStack v3 last night. When I checked the temperature CPU was 60 degrees and everything else was 15 degrees higher as well. And ... just 1 flash all evening. The second flash in a day.

    So I've had cool mini (no cover, away from the v3) with many flashes when running on a Macbook generated hard drive (my 500 gb drives are all 5400 rpm btw). And I've had a hot mini with few flashes when running on the stock Apple drive. So, heat seems less involved than I originally was paranoid about.

    It is beginning to feel more to me, like drivers. Apple put up a new driver and then took it down to fix the flashing, I bet the northbridge driver is the culprit. They've got so much functionality in that chip, it wouldn't surprise me if they needed to evolve the code to avoid dropping the video when the chip is doing lots of other work (i.e., ethernet, memory management for video and main RAM, etc.).

    I'm loving having the Mini take the load of driving the 30" display (any other 30" display owners feeling like this monitor is becoming an albatross?????) so I can use my Macbook Pro more. I hope I can get the eSata in the miniStack v3 to talk to my FirmTek 5 drive RAID0 array. If and when, I'll be in fat city. Yes, the Mac Mini is underpowered to protect the iMacs and Mac Pros, but it is GOOD ENOUGH for my daily work. Full screen video is no problem streaming mp4 files from my Synology NAS.

    Hope this helps!

    bill meade
  • billm Level 1 (25 points)
    Thanks for the pointer to Fan Control. Makes it easy to keep the temperature down in the 40s and 50s C. I can't hear the fan at 3,000 rpm under my desk. What has been driving my temp up is the automatic sync with mobileme.
  • billm Level 1 (25 points)
    With the fan control (which runs from system preferences) set to 2000 rpm, 45, and 70, my Mini's temperatures are as follows:

    CPU A Heatsink 41 degrees C
    CPU A Temperature Diode 46 degrees C
    CPU Core 1 51 degrees C
    CPU Core 2 50 degrees C
    Hard Drive Bay 1 39 degrees C
    Northbridge Position 1 49 degrees C
    Smart Disk 39 degrees C
    Wireless Module 48 degrees C

    Thanks again to the link for the fan control program!!!
  • Kl l Level 1 (15 points)
    Np, but are you still getting graphic artifacts/flashing? lol
    I'm still new to macs and I just found out, but Fan Control is a pita to uninstall. I was thinking of extending functionality on the program.

    Uninstall directions thread:
  • e.f. Level 1 (0 points)
    After installing RAM upgrade (and HD upgrade) my Mini is still having same problems with 30" ACD and dual-link adaptor. Apple will waive the restocking fee if I return it, but I'm hoping a firmware or driver update might fix the problem. I can live with it for a little while. Some people say no updates will fix the problem, nvidia has hardware defect in their chip. Does anybody have any sense of this? Or is there anyone else using the 30" ACD with no problems on their Mini, including things like Front Row?

    One interesting thing I've noticed is that the pixel noise seems to be related to OpenGL and perhaps other types of accelerated rendering. For instance, while most of the screen looks fine, windows of Cover Flow or DVD playback have pixel noise. Processing (java) applications using OpenGL or Java2D acceleration also have pixel noise.

    Sometimes when switching between fullscreen modes where one mode is really bad, e.g. Front Row, the monitor will not switch back. Usually unplugging and replugging adaptor into miniport fixes it. Obviously this all adds up to an unacceptable product. But it's sad to wait so long for a non-desktop Mac to support the 30" and have it be a failure. I suppose the new 30" LED with MDP will be out in 6 months or so...? but will be, what, $1600?
  • jogiba Level 1 (70 points)
    The current 30" ACD will be 5 years old in June so I would expect a new 30" ACD with mini display port like the 24" ACD coming soon. A mini display port to display port cable would also be great so you could use the Dell 3008WFP.
  • billm Level 1 (25 points)
    I'm running a 6 month old 30 ACD. I don't notice any graphic artifacts or distortions. My ACD has 1 vertical yellow line on it when it first wakes up. Once it warms up the yellow line goes away. But, that line was there before I hooked the display up to the Mac Mini. So, the problem is with the LG panel in the ACD.

    I do have occasional screen flashes. Maybe 2 to 3 times a day. The flash for me starts with the screen going black, and then re-drawing with the desktop and programs as normal. The entire event takes about 1 or 1.5 seconds. I've got 4 GB of RAM and a 1.5 TB 3.5" drive so flashes are faster for this display than others in this thread.
  • e.f. Level 1 (0 points)
    @billm: just to confirm, you have a Mini with 30 " ACD at 2560x1600 and dual-link adaptor, and other than the black-screen flashes, you have NO graphics problems, even in Front Row, DVD Player, Quicktime Visualizer, or switching between resolutions?

    if that's the case, then i should definitely return mine.
  • weiweigeng Level 1 (0 points)
    This reply is somehow off topic. I just put in 4GB of DDR3 RAM (crucial) and a 320GB 7200rpm WD black scorpio in my 2.0 new Mac Mini. I noticed an average 5-6 degrees C increase in all components in my istatnano application. I wonder if anyone else who did the same thing experienced the same result (temperature wise).
  • e.f. Level 1 (0 points)
    i brought my Mini in to Apple Store and they verified pixel noise problem. they gave me a brand new Mini and I tried that and have the same problem, actually it's worse now. the Apple tech said he sees on internal database that Apple is "aware of the problem" and they think it can be solved with an OpenGL/video card driver update. the update will supposedly fix the macbooks and MBPs with same problem. no word on when that update will be available, or if in fact it will fix everything. but i'm going to keep the Mini for now, live with the pixel noise, and hope for a fix within 4 weeks...
  • billm Level 1 (25 points)
    To confirm:

    30" ACD at 2560x1600: yes, that is what I have and the resolution I'm running.
    Only blank screen flashes: yes, that is the only abnormality I can detect.
  • david gleeson Level 1 (130 points)

    I have exactly the same configuration and exactly the same problem. (Plus my bluetooth mouse and keyboard drop off several times per day).

    Tech support gave me a case number on 3/25/09 and I finally got a 'fix' from engineering today:

    "unplug the minidvi and duallink connectors and then plug them back in again."

    brilliant! needless to say, it didn't work and only escalated my level of frustration.

    what's really upsetting is that they seem to be blissfully unaware of all the other people reporting the same issue. I would hope most people who've come to the discussions boards have also reported the problem to apple - but it would seem not. Or at least apple is not collating the data in any way that would lend itself to providing a useful remedy.