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Apple Fixes 17" MacBook Pro Graphics Issue

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 23 comments

Over the last few weeks, a number Apple customers who invested in the new 17-inch unibody MacBook Pro have been reporting problems with the graphics on their new machines.

For those unaware, the notebook contains both a GeForce 9400M and a GeForce 9600M GT. Through March, many customers have been complaining about vertical green lines on the display. While the lines only seem to appear when users switch to the 9600M GT card (sticking with the integrated graphics fixes the issue), it’s not surprising that those who had forked out serious cash for the machine were pretty ticked off.

Apple today released a graphics firmware update and published an article entitled “About the MacBook Pro Graphics Firmware Update 1.0” on the site’s support pages that explained this recent update would take care of people’s problems of nasty lines all over their screens.

The document walks you through the firmware update (usual stuff like making sure you’re plugged into a power source and making sure you’ve successfully updated by checking your “About This Mac” details afterward).

Unfortunately, Apple has not revealed what the new firmware changes or fixes to rid the system of the graphical flaws. We just hope that it's not hardware related to the Nvidia GPU as we've all been down that road before.

We know there a few of you out there who had ordered these (we found you out when Apple was screwing around with shipping dates). If you guys had issues with the graphics let us know if the update has solved your problem.

And if you don't own one of these, read on Tom's Guide about someone who spent $2,845 on one.

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  • 0 Hide
    christop , March 26, 2009 12:39 PM
    This sound familiar... The ibook graphic card would separate from the board and go crazy like that or just blank screen... It could have been repaired by Apple if you had problems at the time of the recall.. I just would never spend the money on a laptop that cost 3 times the price for the hardware and the O.S is not that great to me.. They have good advertising that's about all...
  • 2 Hide
    Spanky Deluxe , March 26, 2009 12:44 PM
    Glad to see they're fixing it. Its a shame to see people still whining that Apple products cots "3 times the price for the hardware" though.
  • 0 Hide
    seboj , March 26, 2009 12:52 PM
    spanky deluxeGlad to see they're fixing it. Its a shame to see people still whining that Apple products cots "3 times the price for the hardware" though.


    It's a shame that for "3x the price for hardware" the product doesn't "Just work". :p 
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 26, 2009 1:04 PM
    but they do?
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , March 26, 2009 1:05 PM
    the "but they do" comment was in regards to the 3x price... stupid posting delay!
  • 2 Hide
    Master Exon , March 26, 2009 1:49 PM
    It's a shame, too. I would have liked to have seen this Mac product as Apple's first competitive mid range gaming laptop.
  • 6 Hide
    waffle911 , March 26, 2009 2:25 PM
    I would have liked Apple to offer a 9800 or something, and enable hybrid SLI. I understand the hit it would take on battery life, but perhaps it really comes down to an issue with heat. As cool as the MBP looks, it's svelte dimensions don't allow for much airflow. Shame, really. But I would still rather have a MBP than a flimsy plastic/partly plastic notebook. I'm looking at you, Fujitsu and Toshiba. Your durable metal cases are held together by extraordinarily flimsy plastic screen hinges. I've seen them break all too often. Don't get me started with Dell or HP, either.
    That said, the price for Mac notebooks is hardly 3x the cost of competing notebooks. They bother to use higher quality components on their circuit boards. It really does make a difference, especially when using headphones and the electronic hissing noise of the mainboard circuitry is all but filtered out.
  • -4 Hide
    copenhagenlc , March 26, 2009 2:32 PM
    "Glad to see there fixing it"?

    They are not telling us how they fixed it, which is bogas. Apples is probably down clocking the chip to reduce the heat output, therefore gimping your GPU
  • 4 Hide
    barrychuck , March 26, 2009 2:45 PM
    Quick end to the debate of gimping would be to xbench before and after the firmware update. Same score means it was just a glitch, I mean undocumented feature.

    You would think they would use a couple of copper heatpipes to use the entire aluminum case as a heatsink, but then somebody would sue for a burn on the lap (or worse)http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/11/22/man_burns_penis_with_laptop/
  • 1 Hide
    frozenlead , March 26, 2009 3:09 PM
    Yeah. I'm betting a GPU downclock and/or making the fans run longer/faster.
  • -1 Hide
    cruiseoveride , March 26, 2009 3:27 PM
    Benchmarks before and after firmware update.

    What are the chances they just underclocked the processor?
  • -1 Hide
    MrCommunistGen , March 26, 2009 3:45 PM
    Someone could boot one into Windows and check using a program like GPU-Z or Everest...

    -mcg
  • -1 Hide
    Tindytim , March 26, 2009 3:48 PM
    Master ExonIt's a shame, too. I would have liked to have seen this Mac product as Apple's first competitive mid range gaming laptop.

    Only if you plan on installing Windows.
  • 0 Hide
    tipoo , March 26, 2009 6:45 PM
    Hmm, wonder what kind of fix it is...MBP owners had better hope it doesnt cripple performance like the AMD TLB thingy.
  • 1 Hide
    sezyboy , March 26, 2009 7:18 PM
    For a moment there I thought they fixed "the issue". It is still too expensive.
  • 0 Hide
    SneakySnake , March 26, 2009 9:35 PM
    nice to see the maturity of some posters here. cough :: christop :: cough
  • 0 Hide
    christop , March 27, 2009 1:13 PM
    Big deal just wanted to start a fire I did and it's over....
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