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  • the_commander Level 1 (0 points)
    same problem here. the screen flickers the same like with 10.6.5, but 10.6.4 doesn't make any problems...
  • Thomas Brierley Level 3 (535 points)
    Same problem... i've been discussing this in another thread started by a mac mini owner with the same GPU...

    We've compared nvidia kext versions and there is a change from the 10.6.4 kexts to the 10.6.5 kexts ... i haven't compared the 10.6.6 kexts yet but the update hasn't made a difference on my machine.

    Also - just to save anyone else the trouble - transplanting older nvidia kexts from 10.6.4 doesn't work, it will boot but the video is messed up. And the kexts on the nvidia website are only for mac pros despite saying they support 9400m/gt.

    I have a MBP 5,1 from late November 2008

    Screen flicker/blink is quite rare, but i constantly get flash freeze my whole computer (or at least the display) when visiting certain websites - one that consistently does it is the channel 4 website (uk tv channel)

    If I visit this webpage the bottom half of my display flickers madly from the image to black and then the whole display is frozen except for the mouse:

    make sure you save any work before you try it as you will probably end up doing a hard reset:

    I can't believe how OS X in all it's stability with it's protected memory.. sandboxed safari pages.. has now turned from "Just Works" to "Just Breaks" with the single view of a web page...

    But i guess even XNU isn't invulnerable to crappy device drivers as it's not a true microkernel.

    Any word from Apple on this?? at least a hint that you have acknowledged the problem and are working on a fix ?? or shall i just throw my 2 year old £1500 notebook in the bin? ... longevity my arse.
  • cookj128371 Level 1 (0 points)
    Does anyone have problems with the 9600M GT in their late 2008 MacBook Pro? Occasionally my screen will garble and the whole computer freezes up and I have to do a hard shut off. Usually the cursor is still visible and moves around, but the computer is completely unresponsive. This has been getting more and more frequent, and is exactly like what happened to me with my previous MBP that Apple replaced due to the faulty 8600M GT (the one the NVidia class action lawsuit is about). Eventually the graphics chip just died, and though the computer worked fine (could navigate using VoiceOver), my screen stayed black all the time. I'm afraid that was not the only bad batch of NVidia GPUs.
  • jorrelemargi Level 1 (0 points)
    @cookj, indeed. The problem you are describing occurs rather frequently with 2008 MBP owners.

    Here's a blog post about the problem and fixes people have tried:

    Until this point, there's no real solution except for going back to MacOS 10.6.4 it seems. That was the version with the least GPU problems
  • Thomas Brierley Level 3 (535 points)
    I get the problem with both gpus...

    This is making me want to ebay this machine, but -

    A) what can i get for a half usable 2 year old MBP

    B) It ****** me off that Apple are blatently ignoring this defect.

    and finally and what should be of most concern to YOU apple is

    C) Whats to say any new Apple hardware i buy isn't going to end up with problems like this?? The aesthetic and constructional designs of your products is improving and dazzling the world, the software just as good... and all the while the quality and reliability of the underlying electronic hardware is worsening. - that's the most important part ! I don't want a pretty looking box with awesome software if it doesn't actually work properly... that i might expect if i was paying pc prices.
  • Al'x Gi Level 1 (0 points)
    though I run on 10.5.8, I am posting here since I do not think the problem is software related. I have a late 2008 15' MBP with the Nvidia 9400/9600 graphic card.
    Like many others, I had the flickering screen issue when I was running on the 9400 chip and which stopped when I switched to the 9600. And then one day, running on the 94000, my screen got black. Having no spare monitor available to check if the problem came from the screen or the graphic card, I went to the Genius Bar.
    There we plugged an external screen and we got a clear display on the external screen but impossible to get something on the MBP screen. The Genius told me that my screen was dead, that my guarantee was passed and that I could only use my computer as a desktop with an external screen.
    Back home, I plug an external screen and switch to the 9600, reboot, and miracle, I can display on the MBP screen. Running some tests, it appears that I can switch between 9400 and 9600 while only closing the session but if I reboot the mbp running on the 9400, I got a black screen.
    Going back to the genius bar, I show the issue to the new Genius and he answers that I need to change the logic board to fix the problem. Since my MBP is not under guarantee any more, I now run on 9600 all the time and I have a ridiculous autonomy.
    I am planning to switch to snow leopard and will report on that soon.
    I am really disgusted about the poor hardware quality for such an expensive machine. I have not read about anybody else having the same issue but in my case the "flickering screen" problem got a lot more serious!
  • jorrelemargi Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi Al'x Gi, unfortunately several people on the forum reported that replacing the logic board didn't make any difference. In some cases it even made the flickering appear more often...
  • Neville Mayfield Level 4 (1,305 points)
    Hi Thomas

    I'm replying to you and also to previous contributors to this thread.

    1. I always recommend that MBP purchasers buy the Applecare extended warranty. I have had to use this several times to my advantage. I've noticed that Apple (Australia) are very responsive to those having this extended warranty and usually prompt with their fixes.

    2. In Australia there is a statutory requirement that a product must meet its stated and implied claims, including claimed working life, and if it doesn't the manufacturer must make it good or refund its cost regardless of the minimum warranty. There are of course conditions such as the client having kept and used the machine according to company recommendations.

    3. You cannot expect Apple to keep an eye on these forums as they are intended for users like you and me to communicate with each other & to help each other. To get Apple's attention use the 'Contact us' link at the bottom of this page and go to the 'Feedback' section on the page that comes up. Choose the most suitable Feedback link and report the issue there. If it is a driver/firmware issue or some other OS issue they will prepare an update to correct it which will usually be incorporated in a Software Update. If it is an identifiable hardware issue they usually will make an adjustment to their stock of spare parts and offer an extended warranty for this issue alone.

    I must add that Apple do not usually reply directly to these Feedback issues but those I've mentioned to them they have acted on within a month or two.

    4. Sorry I don't have a specific solution to the problem!

  • Destructiva Level 1 (0 points)
    That's my case, they already replaced the Logic-board twice and the flickering continues, also the computer frizzes every-time this happens, only the cursor responds but noting else works, I need to reboot the computer when this happens.

  • jorrelemargi Level 1 (0 points)
    hi desctructiva,

    can you let us know what exact macbook model you have? (late 2008?) and what macos version your are running.

    That way, we can see better where the issue happens and I can add it to my blog post about this problem as well:
  • Destructiva Level 1 (0 points)
    hi there jorrelemargi

    yes, is late 2008, the specs on my MacBook Pro are the following:

    *Hardware Overview:*
    Model Name: MacBook Pro
    Model Identifier: MacBookPro4,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 1
    Total Number Of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache: 3 MB
    Memory: 6 GB (but I've tested with 1GB, 2GB, 3GB and 4GB memory cards working in perfect conditions in other machines and failed with each configuration).

    NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT:

    Chipset Model: GeForce 8600M GT
    Type: GPU
    Bus: PCIe
    PCIe Lane Width: x16
    VRAM (Total): 256 MB
    Vendor: NVIDIA (0x10de)
    Device ID: 0x0407
    Revision ID: 0x00a1
    ROM Revision: 3212
    Color LCD:
    Resolution: 1440 x 900
    Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
    Mirror: Off
    Online: Yes
    Built-In: Yes
    Cinema HD:
    Resolution: 2560 x 1600
    Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
    Main Display: Yes
    Mirror: Off
    Online: Yes
    Rotation: Supported

    I've noticed that in this thread the architecture of the computers was different from mine so I've opened my own thread detailing the problem here:


    Message was edited by: Destructiva
  • Destructiva Level 1 (0 points)
    Just to make clear that they've replaced twice the Logic-board at the Apple Genius Bar assuming that it was the nVidia issue.

    Message was edited by: Destructiva
  • Thomas Brierley Level 3 (535 points)
    Hi Neville

    1. That's fine and dandy but no amount of warranty will fix this unless they would replace this machine or the logic board with a newer model with a different GPU. (check the failed fixes people have tried):

    2. Well maybe that is the way to go if everyone who has this model with the issue approaches Apple as a group and demands the issue to be rectified one way or another.

    3. They didn't fix it in the update - maybe next time, i really hope so - because perpetually being stuck at an older OS revision ***** for such a new machine. I haven't tried the direct contact method but only because of the standard front of generically trained tech support you usually have to battle through before getting someone to admit that it's not the users fault... even then, in recent years people seem to end up being put through the hassle of generic hardware fixes... you'd think after the 10th logic board replacement someone would suspect that the issue for a particular problem is not an isolated fault - i don't know what it takes for that realisation to bubble back up the chain of command.

    I post the problem here instead, because this is the official forum, and others who have the problem can see. They can see what doesn't work and what is not fixed - until there is one. The point is to apply pressure.

    4. no worries, it's not your fault !
  • Thomas Brierley Level 3 (535 points)
    I'm doing some software admin on a couple of imacs next week, they both have the 9400m gpu... will be interesting to see if they exhibit the same problems once updated.
  • Neville Mayfield Level 4 (1,305 points)
    Yes, many of us will be interested. It's possible that it's a particular batch of gpu's or a particular combination of this gpu with some other hardware component batch. It is often difficult to isolate the specific cause for such problems.