15 inch PB G4 - Graphic artifacts

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by elchruler, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. elchruler macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2008
    Hi everyone,

    I've been lurking on these forums for quite some time now - actually having a problem with my laptop now was enough reason to finally register :).

    I own a 2004 Powerbook G4 (first aluminium 15 inch model). The screen was replaced 2 years ago by apple due to the then-famous bright display-spots lots of the first models developed after quite some time.

    A couple of days ago, I suddenly had some quite strange graphic artifacts in MacOS (10.4.11, all updates installed). They reach from small black and white horzontal stripes to minor discolourations of fonts. They get worse in areas where stuff is moved or animated (mouse cursor, blinking cursor, dock, animated websites.. just about everywhere).
    If the laptop is put into sleeping mode and woken up again, the artifacts are shown shortly and vanish afterwards. The computer then behaves completely normal until the artifacts appear again.

    I could narrow down a few situations in which the artifacts start to appear: leaving the computer alone for a long time when animated content (like flash adverts on a webpage) is shown can cause them to appear. It gets even more likely if the computer is somehow moved - this is especially annoying: you are glad your laptop works just ok at the moment, so you pick it up and.. there they are.

    Did someone experience similar behaviour with their computer? It looks like some kind of heat problem if the graphics chip to me. On the other hand, I can't really imagine what could have happened there. I would be reasonably comfortable with taking apart a laptop - as soon as I know what I'm actually looking for ;).

  2. elchruler thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2008
    noone? just made a really weird observation today: I can actually take screenshots of the artifacts (see attachment)..

    yes, they actually in the background in this case.. I can move an icon over it, remove it again and they are still waiting for me. Unfortunately, they're not always that well-behaved...

    Attached Files:

  3. agentphish macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2004
    Could be a loose cable coming from the logic board to your LCD.

    Could be a bad logic board.

    Could be a failing video card.

    Could be a failing LCD.

    Those would be my guesses.

    I'd check ifixit for some instructions on how to disassemble.

    And go in for some exploratory surgery :) You've got nothing to lose as long as you're careful. See if you can find and check your connections.

    My fiancee experienced something like that, but not quite the same. Her powerbook was still under applecare at the time and apple replaced the Logic Board.
  4. amedias macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2008
    me too!

    I have similar strangery on my 1st gen 17inch using Geforce 4MX...

    I often get areas that 'tear' buttons go skewy, and sometimes shadows render as a kind of black tartan.

    this occurs on external deisplays as well
    this occurs after clean install of OS
    this occurs when booted from different HD or via Target disk mode
    I can take screenshots of the corruption too which re-enforces it is not an LCD issue.

    It occurs 'less' with leopard, but still happens.
    It seems to be worse when the PB is cold

    It does NOT occur when booted to install CD

    My PB had screen replaced about a year ago as I cracked it. I have had the machine apart and all cables are solid, so its not a dodgy connection and it happens on DVI out as well.

    I'm wondering if this has something to do with Quartz extreme or similar as this would all be disabled when booted from CD, and I assume the reason it is better under leopard could be advances in the QE...

    I'm currently re-installign and will y disbaling QE and see what happens and report back.

    anyone else got anywhere with issues like this?

  5. trickytree1974 macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2007
    Had the exact same shenanigans on my iMac G4 swivel head sunflower within a few months of having it, and it was the video card.

    'twas still covered by guarantee so all was well, but it was exactly the same as your problem.

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