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jlsm51187 Level 1 (0 points)
I recently got the new thunderbolt equipped base 15" MBP and use it with my 24" LED ACD. Randomly the screen will flicker on and off. It does this whether using the discrete or integrated graphics and have not seen it do it while using the built in display. I have not found any way to reproduce it since it seems to happen at random intervals. Is this a driver issue? Or a hardware problem and should I go replace it at my Apple Store?

MBP i5 2011, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Kyle O'Bannon Level 1 (25 points)
    I'm having the same problem with my 13-inch MBP i5 and 24-inch LED ACD. I posted a similar question yesterday. I exchanged my MBP because I assumed it was at fault, but the new one does the same thing. I don't think my ACD is at fault because it still works flawlessly with my late-2009 13-inch MBP. I can only assume it's a driver issue, a design flaw or an overheating issue in the new MBP. My CPU is running at 158 degrees F at the moment. That can't be good.
  • bendy1234 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi - unfortunately I have the same issue with my new 13" MBP w/ i7. It seems to get worse when the MBP gets hotter and the fans are at high speed. I fixed a similar issue with my last 13" MBP by detangling the power cable that runs from the ACD to the MBP, but that doesn't seem to help with the new MBP.
  • dbmilam Level 1 (0 points)
    Just wanted to add a "me too".
    Previously using Aluminum Macbook with 24" ACD display with no issues.
    Now using 2.2Ghz Core i7 15" MBP with 24" ACD. I've only seen one flicker to black. I see tearing randomly during the day though. E.g. bottom part of the screen gets offset to the left by about an inch sporadically. This can cover from bottom quarter to up to about half or two thirds of the screen.
  • AuPhinger Level 1 (0 points)
    Me too, me too!

    I just bought the new MBP with the intent of using it with an external LCD. While the built-in screen is fine, the external flickers badly - every few seconds. I am using the mini - DVI connector from Apple.

    In searching this, it appears to have been a problem for years. I had hoped (and used to justify the purchase to my wife) to use this computer as my primary for the most part, and a laptop occasionally.

  • Steven W. Riggins Level 3 (980 points)
    Same here, blinks off and on, and one time it came back garbled. I had to unplug it and plug it back in.
  • AuPhinger Level 1 (0 points)
    I found that the screen does not flicker on my Samsung (don't have the model number handy; it is a 26" screen with tv tuner, about 2 years old) at 1280 x 1024 (IIRC). It flickers on all other settings. I wanted to try different refresh rates, but 60 cycle was the only one offered.

    I connected to an old Sony LCD monitor; I had no flicker on all three resolutions offered.

    I spoke with phone support, and then went in for a Genius Bar session. On an Apple monitor, performance was flawless at all resolutions tried. We were using my video/DVI adapter, so it too is eliminated.

    In MY CASE (cannot speak for any others), I can only conclude that my Samsung monitor simply will not function without flicker on most resolutions.

    Good Luck,

  • joeypdx Level 1 (0 points)
    I too had this issue. I did an SMC and PRAM reset with the power from the Apple Cinema Display connected and it seemed to fix the issue. You can get instructions on the PRAM and SMB resets below.

    PRAM link:

    SMC link

    I hope this helps someone else!
  • Daniel M. Gattermann Level 2 (175 points)
    Is the change-to-black issue still solved for you or did it happen again?
  • AuPhinger Level 1 (0 points)
    I took the MBP in to an Apple store, along with the video adapter (DVI). It worked great with the Apple monitor we plugged it into there - all I can figure is that my Samsung 26" doesn't talk with Apple too well. At 1240 X 1048 it works great, at other resolutions, no.
  • cchiappone Level 1 (0 points)
    I am having the same issue with my new i7 15" MBP. I used the same 24" ACD with my older 2009 MBP and didn't have these issues. I have also used my new MBP with my 27" IMac and never noticed the problem. Its very irritating and seems to be pretty random.
  • randybias Level 1 (0 points)
    Same problem. New MBP 15" with Thunderbolt causes ADC to flicker intermittently. Problem did not exist on MBP 13" unibody (first gen).
  • SwizzleS Level 1 (0 points)
    Same here, my Samsung 46" (8000 series LED) TV flicker on and off randomly with the new MBP and the Thunderbolt to HDMI cable too. Don't know how to solve it yet.
  • Os Level 1 (15 points)
    Same here. New i7 MBP 15" and 24" LED Cinema Display. Display worked fine with old Core2 MBP, and continues to work fine with my PC via a DVI to MiniDisplay Port adaptor. So it looks like a problem with the new MBP.
  • cchiappone Level 1 (0 points)
    This is really annoying. I wanted to add that I have the 2.0gz i7 with the less powerful video card. I have a feeling it is something with the video card/driver.

    It seems as though it stops doing it after a while during the day but when you connect initially it randomly flickers and stuff for about 30 minutes.
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