Intermittent Screen Distortion on New Powerbook

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by mactim, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2005
    I've just purchased a new Powerbook 15" which I'm very pleased with except for one thing: on rare occasions the screen will distort for a fraction of a second. It's happened to me quite a few times now and I've noticed chatter in other threads of people possibly seeing the same problem. On one occasion the sound also broke up, again for a fraction of a second. Perhaps we have a design flaw or chipset bug in our Powerbooks?
  2. macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2005
    I posted about this in tekmoe's mini-review of his new 17". I'm experiencing it too. My thought is that it's a function of the automatic speed stepping of the CPU/chipset/ATI chip in relation to the usage. The only times I've seen mine do it is when I go from doing something video/processor intensive to idle - like my example was after playing WarCraft III at 1680x1050 for like 4 hours the screen shifted a time or two after quitting back into OS X.
  3. macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2005
    I'm not sure the two are related, but I had the same problem and it seems to have stopped since I unchecked "automatically adjust brightness as ambient light changes" on the displays preference pane.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2005
    I've not had this exact problem, but the dispaly certainly goes funky upon waking from sleep - kind of black and white...

    Anyone else see this?
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 26, 2004
    I believe Apple had delayed its new Powerbooks from the Paris Expo because it was having some difficulties with the hardware. I don't think those problems have been 100% solved. There was a thread earlier where somone called Applecare and was told that they (Apple) were hoping this problem would not rear its head. I hope most people are not suffering the same problem otherwise I fear more of this issue to crop up.
  6. macrumors regular


    Sep 19, 2005
    Newark, DE
    How has WoW performance been for you? I'd heard that the stepdown can happen due to heat buildup, and nothing builds up heat like 6 hours of WoW--I'd hate for the PB to drop to 1/4 speed just as I enter a massive multiplayer instance:eek:
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 1, 2005
    When an avi is running on top or behind the Dock a half a second of distorted graphics appears where the dock should be. Seen it like 3 times within the last 3 days. When I run fullscreen no distorted graphics appears.

    Do you guys have the "glitch" when not running games or video?
  8. macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2005
    I have only seen it once. When starting a divx after having been just surfing the web and stuff. It looked to me as if the whole screen jumped.
  9. thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2005
    I've just had an iChat session and seen in twice in about 10 mins. I am thrilled with OSX and all its apps, but this issue is really starting to annoy me.
    Perhaps if we publicise it enough, there might be a firmware/software fix in the future.

  10. macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2004
    Yep I have the same thing with a new 15" PB. On mine the bottom half of the screen seems to jump / flicker for a fraction of a second.

    It seems to happen the most when video is playing - it happened five or six times while I had an apple keynote stream open for example. On the other hand I've seen it when just doing regular iTunes / iPhoto stuff, just not as often.

    One other odd thing I've had that seems related - some really crazy loud sound distortion. It's happened a couple of times in iTunes - I've started playing a song and it sounds like it's being played through an ice cream van - far too loud, with loads of echo and reverb. If I stop the music then start again it goes away. I've also had a couple of similar sound glitches while watching videos. Has anyone else had that?
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 1, 2005
    I've had a sound glitch in iTunes, songs get stuck for 2 - 3 sec.
    It's also on the bottem of the screen on mine the graphics screws up, also divx/xvid movies.
  12. macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2003
    I have the new 17" PowerBook, and I have noticed it too.

    I have used my new Mac for about 15 minutes, and it happened:

    1. When shutting down
    2. When closing System Update

    It seems isolated to the middle right side of the screen.

    After trying my new Mac for 15 minutes, I shut it down. But after about 45 minutes, I botted it again to see if I could see the problem again. It didn't happen.

    This really bums me out since it is intermittent and will take Apple time to acknowledge. I really hope this turns out to be nothing or a software based problem.

    I really really hope I don't have to return this beautiful new Mac.

    Fingers crossed...

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