Apple investigates MacBook graphics issues

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Apple has acknowledged two graphics issues with its new line of unibody MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops, and while a software update may remedy at least one of them, Apple is reportedly investigating whether the second one is software or hardware related (Nvidia must be crossing their fingers right now).

The lesser problem presents itself in the form of wave-like video distortions while scrolling in web browsers playing HD content, and since the distortions do not appear while running Windows, it is most likely just a Mac-specific driver issue. The second and more severe problem, however, causes the screen to go black after just a few minutes of gaming, while the system locks up and the audio enters into an infinite loop – leaving no option but to reboot the machine.

The issue exists under both Windows and Mac OS X, suggesting it could be a hardware problem, more specifically a thermal issue. Apparently some users have been able to mitigate the problem after installing alternative drivers for the notebook’s Nvidia graphics card and using a separate tool called SMCFancontrol to tweak the system’s fan speed.

The company is not offering customers exchanges until the issue is better understood, but those who have somehow managed to get their system swapped out for a new one claim the problems have disappeared completely, which fortunately suggests the flaw could be limited to an early batch of the notebooks. It’s a shame they let things like this slip, though, and it certainly isn’t the first time.

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