Yellow 27" screen

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Ctrl2k, Dec 23, 2012.


Does your 27" 2012 iMac show a yellow tint bottom to fading at the top?

Poll closed Apr 22, 2013.
  1. Nope. It's one color.

    65 vote(s)
  2. Yes, a little, but I don't really notice it.

    10 vote(s)
  3. Yes, and it's fairly bad and will get it fixed.

    7 vote(s)
  4. Yes, but it's not fading from the bottom - I see hotspots or something else

    0 vote(s)
  1. macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2007
    I am starting to wonder if I'm the only one who has a yellow screen (tinted yellow towards the bottom, going away as you get to the top). Even with calibration its a bit noticeable with an all white window (like Safari).

    My 2011 iMac showed none of this. My Apple LED Cinema Display shows the issue a little (and has for years) but the new 27" 2012 iMac is worse.

    I will likely get it replaced; just waiting for some more parts and machines to make it into the channel so I don't have to wait long for a fix.
  2. macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2012
    Couldn't vote, I'm right between option #2 and #3.

    I'm quite unsure what to do. At one time it's really noticeable and at other times I barely notice it.

    How does it work with yellow-tint replacements? Is that considered a genuine defect? I can't be without a machine, therefore I need to get the replacement really quickly or I need to keep the one I have now until the new one arrives.
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2007
    I am in the same boat as you in that sometimes I don't see it (when I don't have a fully white window open) and other times like in white safari pages such as this, I do.

    Apple has very good in the past about replacing models with yellow, at least for me. But, it will take time for parts to get into the repair stream, so I'm waiting a little bit. It's quite possible that it's a glue curing issue, and it will go away. But I doubt it – on my other Apple screen it's been yellow for years.
  4. Chuckstones, Dec 24, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012

    macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2012
    Here's my latest take on this yellow screen issue!

    I really don't think it is a yellow tint. Or for that matter a glue issue. It is just down to the backlighting!!
    As I have mentioned in earlier threads I have at home with me now, two 21.5" iMacs. One my original and the other an advanced replacement. The original is worse than the replacement as regards the tint. But they both have this issue to a certain degree.
    I am keeping the original because the flaws with replacement far outweigh it!
    One of them being bad backlight bleed across the bottom of screen. Which in turn lights up the bottom of the screen so the tint change wasnt so obvious!

    Now. I visited my local apple store today.and looked at the 2 display models. And even under the bright store lights could see a shift in tint from the top to the bottom. And ALL the iMacs (ones that I have seen) are lighter at the top not the other way around!
    Some are obviously worse than others. So it is more obvious, but it is there!
    I'm not one to go through testing the screen with all these test patterns. Different greys etc. but just open the calender to full screen on year setting and look at the dates right at top , then glance down to the bottom dates!!
    I don't want to worry anyone who is happy with their new iMacs. But I just think they are all the same to a certain degree. It is just the backlighting being stronger at the top than the bottom for whatever reason!!

    And before anyone comments or asks. My eyes are fine! I just had them checked out!
  5. macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2006
    On its own, my iMac looks white, but when I put my iPhone 4S in front of it, it looks warmer and more yellow. I see the same difference when I put my iPhone 4S next to the iPhone 5 and the HTC One X at the store. My iPhone looks much whiter to me, but others tell me that it is blue and not accurate.

    I don't see a gradient from the top to bottom on the iMac, though. What I do see is some variation in the backlighting. On a dark-grey screen I can tell that the backlighting isn't uniform across the screen. I also see dark spots/shadows in the corners of the screen on a dark-grey screen.

    In my opinion, if it doesn't look right to you when it's brand new, take it back. When I'm not happy with something from the beginning, I'm never happy with it. Even if the color temperature is different than what you're used to, it should at least be uniform so that you don't see a major shift from the top to the bottom.

    Whatever happens, I wish you luck in getting what you want. I know how frustrating it is having display problems. It seems as if that is the most common problem I have with computers and phones.
  6. macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2012
    Guelph, ON
    Just got mine last night and after using for a few hours, it is pretty obvious that it has a strong yellow tint in the bottem 2/3 of the screen, whites only appear actual white in the top 1/3. Not sure what to do...argh.
  7. macrumors 604

    Mar 29, 2008
    Mine is the same. After calibration it's a lot better, but I think it's par for the course, along with really awful black viewing-angles. It's much worse than my old 27" iMac (late 2009).
  8. macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2012
    Hmm. As I mentioned in my post. Isn't it strange that they are white in top 1/3 of screen. And none seem to be the other way around!!:confused:

    I discussed this with apple again recently. And they offered me another exchange. But I think I will decline!
    Also I don't think it matters if you have a bit of backlight bleed here and there as the viewing angles especially with blacks are pretty bad with these new screens!
  9. macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2007
    I'm in two minds about mine, it's a warm profile screen, but again, the bottom third has increase yellow.

    It's exaggerated in the photo, but to illustrate:

  10. macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2012
    Guelph, ON
    I've got a genius appointment setup for Monday morning - I'm happy with it otherwise, but I'm going to be using this almost exclusively for video and photo editing, which will include a LOT of colour correction - without a uniform screen, that is going to make it harder for me to do a good job.
  11. macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2007
  12. macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2012
    Guelph, ON
    I can't tell since I'm viewing your photo on the affected screen ;) Yes though, when you open Calendar it is extremely obvious - I first noticed it when I was using safari on another forum.
  13. macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    might be best to get them to take into back,as main part of store is so bright i wonder if yellowing would show?
  14. WilliamG, Dec 29, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012

    macrumors 604

    Mar 29, 2008
    That doesn't look bad to me (mine looks similar). I've actually discovered that a lot of the yellow is simply a poorer viewing angle on these new iMacs than on my old 27" 2009 model. If I move my head lower, the top of the screen gets more yellow. Same with side-to-side movements. If I move my position to the right, the left of the screen gets yellower.

    So... not sure if a replacement would fix it. A colorimeter calibration definitely adjusts things, but the viewing angles on this IPS panel (at least in my case) aren't great.
  15. thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2007
    Mine looks like shiny blanket's. Or it did. Three things have happened since I wrote the original post:

    1) I re-calibrated the screen more blue. Now it looks whiter than my old benchmark, the Apple LED Cinema Display. That screen ironically also shows a little more yellow towards the bottom... which I believe is just a backlight evenness issue.

    2) The screen has gotten better over the last week


    3) My eyes got used to it.

    There's no doubt it's more yellow towards the bottom (still) if you objectively stare at it. But over time and with an important recalibration, I really don't notice it much anymore. It's still there, but now it's so slight that I would no longer call it a problem.

    Besides the changing of the color, the only thing that changed was time. I really do think something settled in there, either with the glue (the screen IS laminated after all) or backlight, or maybe just me. I don't know.

    Now if I could only get 4 sticks of 8GB to work in it without a kernel panic. That's an issue that may require me to take it back.
  16. macrumors 603


    Aug 5, 2010
    This isn't the absolute best display on the market for that, but if you get a good one, it should work out fine. If you're within the return period, you might consider swapping it. If you get a unit with good uniformity and no obvious issues, you will still want a colorimeter to properly profile it to a known target. This goes for every display.

    Blah that makes me sad, although if it's true it would support what I've said in the past. Implementation matters as much as the panel used.
  17. macrumors 604

    Mar 29, 2008
    FYI my calibration colorimeter had me calibrate at 7 notches of brightness as 120cd/m2.

    I still think the poorer IPS viewing angles are a huge part of the yellow/black bleed issue.
  18. macrumors demi-god


    Jun 10, 2006
  19. macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2012
    after reading this thread I actually noticed that the laptop im using right now because I haven't received my iMac yet, does have the yellow issue towards the bottom of the screen and in my opinion, I obviously do not know the exact cause, but it seems to be related to viewing angles and the backlight, I say this because if I change the level of my eyes the problem becomes less or more severe depending on how I look at it and also since the start this display has more backlight bleed on the bottom than at the top... even when I bought this laptop I just knew that a bundled display can never be of as high quality as a display that is meant to be top notch, of course you do want the display on these $2.5K+ iMacs to be good but the fact is it will not be the best by far since its not really meant to be a top end display..

    thats why I accepted the "problem" with mine as normal and will tolerate any discrepancies with my iMacs display to a certain level, if its just unacceptable I will return it and so should anyone that is not happy with it, but you should realize that displays that are meant to reproduce colors very precisely cost from 1.5K-3K+ and thats conservative there might be some that cost way more
  20. macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2007
    I sold my calibration back a whole ago, after been pleasantly surprised by how good the colour profiles have been on my last macs.
    I did quickly alter the white point to 6750k last night and it did look better.
    Would it be possible for people to share their calibrated ICC profiles to see if it improves over the standard tool?
  21. macrumors 68000


    Feb 11, 2009
    I think if you really look closely most monitors have some minor defect in some way. slight color change towards corners or, tiny yellow tint, etc. unless it´s a specifically expensive screen made exactly not to have any issues. My Dell Ultrasharp U3011 also have some corner brightness change even though its a high class expensive monitor that´s suppose to be perfect...and so did my cinema display a few years back. The imac screen is a above mid-class regular monitor the way I see it. It works nicely for image editing, unless you are going to make prints and calibration details are of extreme importance...but then relying on one imac monitor would be a bad idea to begin with IMO, its not the screen with most calibration possibilities and monitors never show the same result, some are a bit warmer some a bit colder. I mean this is if you are extremely picky.

    If your screen has a slight yellow tint ( I have, even I really try to look hard for it) and you want to get it replaced. It sounds like a never ending hunt, because I think you´ll keep getting faulty monitors.
  22. macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2007
    Bought an i1 Display Pro to calibrate it with tomorrow. I'll share feedback once it's calibrated.
  23. macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2012
    Guelph, ON
    Maybe I'm being too picky, showed it to a friend who acknowledged that it looked a 'little yellowy, slightly warmer bottom half, but not too much'. I hate to be the guy who finds little faults that should be overlooked...I was just hoping for better uniformity.
  24. macrumors 603


    Aug 5, 2010
    It told you that because you set your target to 120. If the contrast/gamma hold up well at 120, that is great. Specific targets do vary based on use, but it's nice to be able to use a brightness level that isn't totally glaring.

    It's a bit more complicated than that. Uniformity makes a big difference in perception. You notice it directly looking at a plain screen, but it can still influence your decisions on a busy one. Target brightness is another thing to be considered. Some of the really really expensive ones are optimized for lower brightness levels. I never had great luck with Apple at max brightness levels, but it seems like they may be backing away from the insane max brightness. In my opinion that's a good thing, although uniformity and color temperature become a big deal, as you will start to notice them.

    Anything labeled as broadcast quality is insanely expensive. Much of it relates to development costs. Some of the super expensive ones use vetted panels even if they're made at the same factories. I sometimes suggest against using a third party retailer if you're purchasing a Mac with a built in display due to Apple's return/exchange policies. Third party resellers can't really afford to match them.
  25. macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Where can I find that image, I would like to try on mine. I just got mine today, and I feel the white is yellow tinged compared to my two thunderbolt displays

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