Apple investigates MacBook graphics issues

By on November 27, 2008, 5:15 PM
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.

User Comments: 12

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Emin3nce said:
What you get for buying a Mac.0WN3D.
captain828 said:
neah, it's common in all the industry
Julio said:
This kind of issues are somewhat inherent to first generation products unfortunately. I wouldn't blame it on Apple for being Apple, and it's not like your laptop battery is exploding or anything... Seriously, though, those affected must be pissed and it will hopefully come around to the manufacturer offering a clear solution or a product exchange.
foogan said:
Gaming mistake number 1: Gaming on a Mac.Gaming mistake number 2: Gaming on a laptopGaming mistake number 3: Trying to run games that a Mac cannot handle, such as Sims 1, Warcraft II, Duke Nukem 3D, and Diablo 1.Gaming mistake number 4: Getting financially PWND by a company who doubles the price of hardware, paints it white, puts fruit on it, and sells it to knobs via black-turtleneck-n-jeans hypermarketing techniques
therickster90 said:
It's a good thing Apple spends all their money on fixing their OS instead of just advertising and bashing their competitors, unlike Microsoft.
So your gonna say that Apple doesn't advertise and bash it's competitors???? Wow... Ever see your name again I will automatically have no credibility for you... Don't u remember the overplayed "I'm a mac, I'm a PC" Commercials?? haha ya I'm sure you do
Nirkon said:
Not really a problem... macs aren't for games.. whoever games on a mac deserves a black screen and an infinite audio loop.
therickster90 said:
Actually, it was complete sarcasm. Kinda didn't think anyone would take it at face value. 486 million on advertising?? The funny thing is they don't even talk about how good Macs are, or show features, they just say Windows sucks. Why does everyone hate MS but give Apple's business tactics a free pass?
yukka said:
Why is playing games on a Macbook or Macbook Pro such a bad idea?The previous macbook was intel graphics and was therefore useless for anything except the weakest of titles but the new ones are all Nvidia gpu's and should be fine.Dual boot them into Windows Vista/XP and play games on the core 2 duo. Ignoring the price issues and the anti-mac attitudes it should be possible to play decent games at decent fps on a Macbook (or definately on the new Macbook Pro that has the hybrid SLI mode).What is more worrying is the issue of Nvidia releasing more chips that have faults in them.I dont own a Mac but I do have to work with them daily and they are easily capable of running decent windows software in windows.
fullmetalvegan said:
Because gaming on a laptop is like racing in a two cylinder engine car. They do not possess the neccesary hardware power to play games at decent fps, especially when more and more games come out with higher demands. The price you pay for a laptop goes into mobility and the small size.Nobody has confirmed NVIDIA has released chips with issues yet either. It's likely Apple being Apple, pretty much all their first generation products are riddle with bugs and issues.
yukka said:
laptops as your main gaming platform arent preferable to a desktop BUT imagine you spend alot of time working away from home and your only method of gaming is the lovely expensive macbook pro that your company has purchased for you then at least you can get a decent game of halflife 2 or any other source related gaming - i would expect alot more than that is possible as well. but not if the chips make the screen go black.
Julio said:
Hardcore gamers will prefer the graphics power of notebooks offered by Alienware and company, but for more casual gamers that need a portable workstation, the 3d graphics performance of the macbook pro and other similar workstation-type laptops is relatively good.
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