What exactly does 'grain' look like?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Icewind, Jan 19, 2007.

  1. Icewind macrumors regular

    Icewind

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    #1
    Hi Guys,

    Ok... I've been reading about this "grain" issue with MB's and MBP's. Can someone explain exactly what this looks like?

    I mean, what should I be looking for to determine if a new MacBook screen has grain or not?

    Thanks in advance...
     
  2. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    #2
    Some people describe it as "sparkly". I think it looks like a very thin coating of dust on the screen. Personally I'm not bothered by it on my screen at all. I can't even see it unless I look really closely.
     
  3. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

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    #3
    I can't see it on mine at all and I have the laptop and ACD side by side. They look the same to me.
     
  4. PDE macrumors 68020

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    #4
    It looks like there is a coating of dust on the display. You'll see it mainly in whites which end up looking dirty rather than crisp and smooth. They ALL have it, though you may be less sensitive to it than others. on the 0C57 display I had, the grain when looked at closely seemed similar to my cinema display, but on the 0C60 it was much worse. It also seems as if the newer cinema displays have more grain the older ones, but I havent' directly compared the two side-by-side so I may be imagining things.
     
  5. Icewind thread starter macrumors regular

    Icewind

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    #5
    I just got a new MacBook today and I "think" the screen looks as though there is a very fine covering of, what I can only describe to be 'chicken wire'. It's very fine and mostly noticed on whites or light greys. I might just be paranoid after reading all these posts about grain, but it certainly doesn't seem to be visible on my Powerbook G4. This little 13" screen is a whole lot brighter mind you.

    Anybody else got any descriptions of 'grain'?
     
  6. e12a macrumors 68000

    e12a

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    #6
    ...I think those are pixels..

    Macbook screens are better than MBP screens. My suitemate has a C2D Macbook and it looks "clearer" than my MBP.

    The grain appears to make the screen seem textured, even though there is a solid color on the screen. I've seen Dells with just as bad or worse screens though.
     
  7. PDE macrumors 68020

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    #7
    I had a macbook with that similar criss cross pattern. Apple immediately exchanged the display for one that didn't have it. That's very different from the grain of the MBPs though. Call apple and get them to replace it if it bothers you.
     
  8. copanewbe macrumors member

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    #8
    Traditional Grain

    Traditionally, grain can best be seen in watching 8mm or 16mm film when compared to standard 35mm. It looks like a loss of detail or quality, and you can literally see grains in the picture.

    What people are describing about the LCD screens, matte in particular, seems more like a color noise to me. This is entirely typical of all LCD screens like this. I don't get what big deal is about.
     
  9. PDE macrumors 68020

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    #9

    The big deal is that the 17" MBP and the much cheaper 13" macbook have almost no grain at all and have silky-smooth crisp solid colors - as opposed to shimmering, grainy, dust-like solid colors of the 15". Why would anybody say that this is normal when we have two Apple laptop models that don't exhibit grain at all. Going back in time, all apple powerbooks prior to the last generation powerbook had grainless displays and relatively even backlighting. Are we supposed to accept that progress means having screens that look much worse than LCDs several years ago, except for the brightness factor?

    If the 15" display graininess is normal, does that mean that the 17" and 13" are not within specifications because they don't exhibit the grain at all?
     
  10. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #10
    It is not that they don't exhibit grain at all, but on the 15" the "grain" seems a lot more opaque. They change the underlying colour more than the screens on a 17" or a Macbook. That's why they are worse.
     
  11. PDE macrumors 68020

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    #11
    When I compare the 17" with he 13" macbook it's clear that the macbook has even less 'grain'/texture. However, even on the 17" it's not in any way disturbing like the 15". Too bad the 17" has such uneven backlighting though!

    And the winner is......the macbook!
     
  12. CaptainCaveMann macrumors 68000

    CaptainCaveMann

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    #12
    There is no winner. Macbook has flaws to. ;)
     
  13. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #13
    Tell me about it, right now I am polishing one up to pack off to its new owner. These things scratch easily!
     
  14. PDE macrumors 68020

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    #14
    Of course they do. I was only talking about the display which seems better and more consistent between macbooks. Some macbook flaws:

    - whites one scratch just by looking at them
    - black ones get smudges just by breathing on them. Coating can peel and scratch easily.
    - sharp edges all around
    - noisy fan that starts up way too early
    - left side screw is fake but should be real to prevent flex
    - Poor volume


    Hmm, any other? I'm sure I forgot something. Still, at least they have really nice displays. Wonder who makes their displays? I know it's not AU..
     
  15. copanewbe macrumors member

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    #15
    HHhmmm, I have no idea what you're talking about. I've compared the 17 to the 15 and havent noticed a difference. I guess I'll look closer next time. Also, the Macbook is glossy, correct? I was only comparing matte finish - I should have specified.
     
  16. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #16
    If you really noticed no difference, do us a favor and check what panel that particular 15" screen has.

    Of course the other explanation could be that you are going blind :p
     
  17. holamiamigos macrumors 6502a

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  18. Icewind thread starter macrumors regular

    Icewind

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    #18
    I think you may be right. The more I look at this screen, the more this "cross hatch" seems to look like pixels.

    Don't get me wong, I think this is a nice little screen. It's not as nice as my 15" PowerBook though, albeit, brighter and possibly sharper, but I would have to say that the overall quality is lesser. I agree, it seems like Apple are putting cheaper displays into their Notebooks now than they were a year or two ago.

    Overall though, it's not too bad, certainly not bad enough to make me want to exchange the Macbook. There are ZERO dead/stuck pixels (which I think is blessing), so I'll stick with this one. I just wanted to know what exactly this 'grain' phenomenon was, i.e. how to tell if this is what I'm actually seeing here.

    I also noticed that it seems to have pretty poor viewing angle. If I move my head slightly off dead centre, the blacks become like nagatives (inverse colour). Is this the same as everyone elses?

    I know iW00t has ploughed many, many hours of research and hard work into this issue, and I know that he has witnessed both the MBP and the MB LCD's recently, and I tend to agree with him. It looks like all the laptops on offer right now have some form of LCD defect and surprisingly, the 'non-Pro' MacBook seems to be of slightly better quality than their more expensive siblings.

    Just for info... DVD playback on this little MacBook is really nice. Very watchable indeed :)
     
  19. MacsomJRR macrumors 6502a

    MacsomJRR

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  20. decksnap macrumors 68040

    decksnap

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    #20
    The chicken-wire... interesting. I just got a Macbook that has this same problem. It is NOT pixels, and I have never seen it before, or heard of anyone else having this problem until you mentioned it. I have dealt with a lot of Macs and have never seen this. I'm sure you could exchange if you wanted.

    The grain I'm afraid can easily be confused with anti-glare coating, though probably not on the glossy screens, unless they sandwich it in there somehow. For instance, my cinema displays are quite grainy, but it's just how they are- 'shimmery', when compared to a CRT. This is normal. I'm afraid that after the real 'grain' issue arose, there have been a lot of false positives just due to people viewing the anti-glare as a defect.

    As far as the chicken wire, I guess I'll deal with it since it's a work system.
     
  21. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #21
    To give the 9C60 some credit. It has very good contrast ratios. Blacks on these are very black.

    I notice very little colour shift for blacks when you shift about, but what I noticed is for whites and lighter colours. All the lighter colours kinda turn yellowish and more importantly, banding will start to be a lot more apparent. It is as though from extreme angles the display is having *significantly* few colours rendered!

    The issue isn't THAT bad, but it is definitely noticeable. Like for the dialog box you get prompting for your password before unlocking your screen, that dialog has a pinstripe pattern right? On this display you can't really see the pinstripes because it is all blotchy.

    The people who say they can edit photos and blah blah how they are professional/serious photographers on these displays just make me laugh. I do some photography as a hobby but the photos I mostly edit are just stuff for ebay listings. On this screen I can't even tell if it is my shot that is off focus and needs to be sharpened or if it is the screen. For what it is worth I declare the Macbook Pro to be absolutely worthless if you are a "creative pro".

    I will definitely keep my eye out for the next update of the Macbook Pro though, and I am saying that because I have already bought it and am kinda stuck with it for lack of alternatives. If I am still in the market for one I'd definitely hold out on my purchase.

    After this experience I will wait for stuff to show up in stores first before purchasing.
     
  22. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #22
    Your Apple Cinema Displays don't shimmer. You may see some texture on your display, but as you move your head, the colour and contrast on the texture stays constant. It doesn't "shimmer" like it does on the MBP as you move your head and contrast/colour changes due to its extreme viewing angles.

    Also don't forget the 20" is (obviously) a 20" monitor, you are expected to sit like at least 2 feet or so away from it, definitely not so for a 15" MBP.

    The issue I guess is the texture on the 15" is not proportionate to its size. It kinda has very big lumpy grains for such a small monitor.
     
  23. decksnap macrumors 68040

    decksnap

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    #23
    Thanks for telling me what my ACDs do and don't do.

    I'm sticking with shimmer.
     
  24. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #24
    Whatever. Like I care what you are sticking with.

    What I do care is how people interpret what you choose to stick with.
     
  25. decksnap macrumors 68040

    decksnap

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    #25
    Just to make sure the truth is your truth? :rolleyes:

    They shimmer. Deal with it. :D
     

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