2014 rMBP 13" cursor stuttering issue

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by adune, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. adune macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2014
    I just purchased a 13" rMBP and have been using it for maybe an hour or so and I immediately started noticing a weird sort of cursor stutter. Basically, if I leave the cursor still for around 5+ seconds and then move it, it skips across the screen. It does this every time the cursor sits in one place for longer than 5 seconds, it's fairly frustrating -- especially when scrolling down a webpage. Besides this very specific situation, there is no general stuttering or trackpad skipping.

    I did some searching and I only found one person with my exact problem, he posted here: http://www.reddit.com/r/mac/comments/25igpc/2013_rmbp_cursortrackpad_stuttering/

    Has anyone else had this problem? The idea of taking my 1 hour old rMBP into an Apple store (nearest one is 2 hours away) to fix this or get it replaced is insanely annoying. Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. adune thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2014
    Already have an update. I tried resetting the PRAM and SMC, neither helped. I then decided to restore Mavericks using the restore partition, this encountered a problem so I made a bootable Mavericks USB and booted into it for a fresh wipe and install.

    The cursor stuttering was not occurring while actually reinstalling Mavericks. I could not reproduce the stutter at the "Installing Mavericks" progress bar screen. I also still cannot seem to reproduce it in recovery mode OR before I login (at the user selection screen, cannot cause the stutter here either). As soon as the desktop appears I can start reproducing the stutter with near 100% accuracy (so I know it's not entirely mind tricks...).

    This is very confusing! I guess my easiest option may be just to suck it up and return this one. What a bad experience thus far.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd take it back. If a brand new computer was acting like that, I'd not think twice about exchanging it.
  4. adune thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2014
    I have an appointment with my nearest Apple store for the end of the day today. I actually got in touch with the other guy who originally posted this same problem to Reddit and his response was interesting.

    He said he got 3 units replaced through Apple for this same problem, and on every device the same odd specific stuttering persisted. I'm now wondering if this is a problem rooted in the OS, trackpad drivers, or a general manufacturing default for the 13" rMBP.

    If you read this post and haven't experienced any issues with your rMBP, try to reproduce it anyways. Let the cursor sit for around 5 seconds then move it fairly quickly from its original spot. It skips across the distance traveled in the first ~1 second of finger movement on the trackpad. It is a very specific problem, but once you realize it it's quite annoying and always apparent.

    I'll, of course, post back here my experience with Apple and the new unit (if they decide to replace it).
  5. adune thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2014
    I have returned from exchanging my rMBP and here's what I can tell you in a synopsis: all 13" rMBPs with the i5 have this problem.

    I could replicate the issue on every single display i5 13" rMBP. The sales rep even admitted that his own personal rMBP (2.6 i5/8gb/256gb SSD) had this same problem and he recognized it himself. I even exchanged for an upgrade on the 2.8Ghz i5 13" (the only one they didn't have on display) and after returning home I could instantly reproduce the issue. I'll be posting on Apple's official forums and calling tech support to bring light to this issue. I believe this is an issue on every single i5 from the responses I've received here, as well as the Mac subreddit. My trip to the Apple store confirmed it.

    Bummer, now I'm left with what to do. I'll most likely exchange this laptop and look at some HD+ display Windows laptops.
  6. Tubamajuba macrumors 68020

    Jun 8, 2011
    That's ridiculous. It sounds like something a software update could fix, but I can understand why you wouldn't want to keep an expensive machine in the hopes that it might one day work right.
  7. adune thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2014
    Yeah, you're very right. I feel like it's not a hardware issue as the trackpad works flawlessly besides this one very specific issue. I don't want to make any hasty decisions because I do absolutely love the laptop, but this type of annoyance will never fall out of consciousness.

    I hope that Apple can respond quickly and this can be resolved, because I do honestly believe it can be with a software update.
  8. DJJAZZYJET macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2011
    I can confirm this

    After letting the mouse sit for 5 seconds plus, moving it quite quickly causes it to noticeably skip. Will probably be fixed in one of the SMC updates. Its a very small issue
  9. konradsa macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2014
    To me this looks like a power saving feature, where the touchpad gets disabled if not used for a few seconds. If you look at the log, every time it stutters, the following message is being logged:

    8/25/14 9:50:10.000 PM kernel[0]: The USB device Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad (Port 5 of Hub at 0x14000000) may have caused a wake by issuing a remote wakeup (2)
  10. adune thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2014
    Logically this makes sense, and how the cursor responds seems like this very well may be the issue. Solid find, any idea how that may be disabled/altered?
  11. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    I don't have this problem on my late-2013 13" rMBP (2.8GHz i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD), surprisingly.

    And I haven't experienced this on my spare baseline late-2013 rMBP (2.4GHz i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD) either.
  12. adune thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2014
    Consider yourself lucky. The trackpad issues with the late 2013 model are well documented and required 3 official firmware releases from Apple, as well as them receiving a lot of attention from tech-blogs about the blatant issues.

    It seems these problems have been largely mitigated, but still exists in this form for the 2014 model. Not sure if they're going to release another official firmware update but while I'm interested to see what they'll do, I don't think I'll wait around in hopes for it.
  13. konradsa macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2014
    Well, i still think it may work as intended and is a misguided power saving feature on the new 2014 model. If there is something to be fixed, I am sure Apple will release a software update.

    But IMO, this problem is really minor, and I would not return an otherwise perfectly working Macbook due to this.
  14. prymitywista macrumors member


    Aug 12, 2014
    I haven't got this issue and I've got exactly same rMBP, so maybe it is problem with your piece of hardware ;)?

  15. konradsa macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2014
    Maybe, but unlikely though. A hardware issue would manifest itself more randomly, such as the device not responding at all anymore or cutting out while being used. This seems too deterministic and intentional.

    What are your SMC and ROM versions? Here are mine:
    Boot ROM Version: MBP111.0138.B07
    SMC Version (system): 2.16f63
  16. prymitywista macrumors member


    Aug 12, 2014
    Are you asking me or him :apple:

    we've got the same SMC and ROM version mate
  17. konradsa macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2014
    I was asking you, thanks! :)

    Are you running it plugged in by any chance or on battery?
  18. prymitywista macrumors member


    Aug 12, 2014
    Half for half

    Now Im staying with it pluggin but I often use it on the battery and I have no problems.
  19. illusionx macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2014
    Brossard, QC
    2014 rMBP 13" cursor stuttering issue

    I don't think that is a PROBLEM. I was able to recreate the behaviour on my 2011 13" MBP

    Edit: if I wait that 5 sec, the cursor would jump about 2 inches further when I start to move it.
  20. adune thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2014


    You can see at those links any many more if you search rMBP trackpad issues that these are well documented. Apple released 3 official firmware updates for the 2013 model, which fixed some of the issues but this is still a form of the same firmware issues. It's not specific to my device, it's been happening with the rMBPs and Apple has taken quite a bit of heat for it. Here's a few of the blogs criticizing the various trackpad issues:





    I'm not wondering if it's a problem just with my device, as it's a very widespread problem. Those that can't get it to reproduce are either one of the lucky fews, or most likely still aren't noticing it. You can open up your system logs to actually confirm if it's happening or not, the above error message will generate EVERY time you move your cursor after taking your hands off the trackpad for at least 5 seconds.
  21. Artimus12 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 13, 2011
    Is there anything plugged into one of the ports - USB, Thunderbolt, etc. - when this happens?

    The reason I ask is because my cursors gets sketchy when I plug my wireless printer in to scan directly to my rMBP! it seems the Lexmark printer driver isn't of the best quality.

    If the answer's yes, you'll probably need a driver for whatever is giving issues, If No, it sounds like it could be the i5.
  22. adune thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2014
    Nope, this is with nothing plugged in. The problem cannot be replicated with a USB mouse, however, implying the problem is inherent of the trackpad or trackpad driver.
  23. nexus4life macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2014
    I have a 2014 rMBP 13" and can confirm this exists. However, it doesn't bother me at all, and I have yet to have any issues scrolling (I scroll with 2 fingers)... Other than it being slightly strange, I have absolutely no idea why someone would want to return their computer over it and get a windows machine.
  24. konradsa macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2014
    I agree. I guess people expect 100% perfection from Apple, otherwise they won't be happy. Good luck returning your Macbook and getting a Windows machine if that small issue already bothers you. IMHO, if your Macbook is perfect otherwise (e.g. no stuck pixel or other issues), then keep it. Very likely to get fixed in a future software update and even if it doesn't, no big deal. I still think it's an energy saving feature that's a little overzealous. Some day somebody will figure out how to mitigate it for the the people that are really bothered by it.
  25. adune thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2014
    How is it very likely to be fixed in a future update? These problems have existed since October 2013 and when they originated they were completely debilitating MacBooks by locking them up to the point of needing a hard reboot every time it happened. This problem has been around in one form or another and Apple has been slow to respond. It's not a minute problem, it's a problem in the drivers for their own trackpad. Considering Apple has always led the way in trackpad drivers, I'm going to assume their long delay in finding a fix is because the problem is rooted deep in the product.

    It may seem insignificant in day to day use, but what it implies is that there's something fundamentally wrong with the product line. That's fine if you can live with it, but rarely do I drop $1500 on a product that's flawed at a very basic level.

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