2017-2019 models screen flickering - macbook pro

emraha06

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 1, 2017
182
42
My question is for macbook pro 2017-2019 users: has anyone noticed little short time flickering periods on somewhere of screen? I mean when you are especially on white screen like browsers web pages or blank word document, pixels on somewhere of the screen vibrates like low refresh rate (hz) and return to normal in very short time period. Has anyone experienced this?
 

CRoebuck

macrumors member
May 16, 2014
61
41
Check out this thread: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/pwm-on-new-baseline-2019-mbp.2189621/

It tends to be that the flicker is in the periphery of my vision and not directly where my eyes are focussed.

I have noticed a "PWM-like" flicker on the 2018 / 2019 models but not on the 2017. I am particularly sensitive to PWM however the PWM frequency of all the models 2017 to 2019 is around the same (120KHz) so shouldn't be a problem. My current thoughts are that intel is employing more aggressive dither in their latest drivers as I've seen Screens I was quite happy with (my Surface Pro 5) become painful to use following an update to the drivers. Rolling back seems to help. Unfortunately not an option on the Macbook.

I use my 2017 MacBook Pro 8 hours plus per day with no issue. I have a 2018 on the desk, identical specs (except the panel in A03E model instead of A034) and I get sore eyes after only 15 minutes.
 

emraha06

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 1, 2017
182
42
Check out this thread: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/pwm-on-new-baseline-2019-mbp.2189621/

It tends to be that the flicker is in the periphery of my vision and not directly where my eyes are focussed.

I have noticed a "PWM-like" flicker on the 2018 / 2019 models but not on the 2017. I am particularly sensitive to PWM however the PWM frequency of all the models 2017 to 2019 is around the same (120KHz) so shouldn't be a problem. My current thoughts are that intel is employing more aggressive dither in their latest drivers as I've seen Screens I was quite happy with (my Surface Pro 5) become painful to use following an update to the drivers. Rolling back seems to help. Unfortunately not an option on the Macbook.

I use my 2017 MacBook Pro 8 hours plus per day with no issue. I have a 2018 on the desk, identical specs (except the panel in A03E model instead of A034) and I get sore eyes after only 15 minutes.
Is there a method or modulation to fix it? Are all MacBook pros affected?
 

CRoebuck

macrumors member
May 16, 2014
61
41
Is there a method or modulation to fix it? Are all MacBook pros affected?
In the other thread, a poster recommended an App called Gamma Control. This effectively lets me run the screen at 100% whilst reducing the white luminance. This did appear to help somewhat however I would be concerned about battery life.

In 2016 / 2017 there were several screens in use (at least 2 each on the 13" and 15") however in 2018 onwards there's just one panel model for 13" (A03E) and 15" (A040) and both exhibit the problem I've observed. I've tried over 8 different units now.

It might be an artefact of the true tone implementation (even though I have TT turned off) who knows though ?....
 
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getheo

macrumors member
Jul 3, 2011
93
10
Hello. How I can see what panel the macbook pro has? Is there a terminal command?
 

TheBigApple2006

macrumors regular
Feb 20, 2006
236
14
In the other thread, a poster recommended an App called Gamma Control. This effectively lets me run the screen at 100% whilst reducing the white luminance. This did appear to help somewhat however I would be concerned about battery life.

In 2016 / 2017 there were several screens in use (at least 2 each on the 13" and 15") however in 2018 onwards there's just one panel model for 13" (A03E) and 15" (A040) and both exhibit the problem I've observed. I've tried over 8 different units now.

It might be an artefact of the true tone implementation (even though I have TT turned off) who knows though ?....
Battery life is indeed an issue, but did Gamma Control actually reduce your eye strain? Have yet to receive my own MBP, but will certainly give it a try.
 

emraha06

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 1, 2017
182
42
Hello. How I can see what panel the macbook pro has? Is there a terminal command?
https://appsliced.co/ask/how-do-i-d...anufacturer-for-my-macbook-pro-retina-display
[doublepost=1563287606][/doublepost]
Check out this thread: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/pwm-on-new-baseline-2019-mbp.2189621/

It tends to be that the flicker is in the periphery of my vision and not directly where my eyes are focussed.

I have noticed a "PWM-like" flicker on the 2018 / 2019 models but not on the 2017. I am particularly sensitive to PWM however the PWM frequency of all the models 2017 to 2019 is around the same (120KHz) so shouldn't be a problem. My current thoughts are that intel is employing more aggressive dither in their latest drivers as I've seen Screens I was quite happy with (my Surface Pro 5) become painful to use following an update to the drivers. Rolling back seems to help. Unfortunately not an option on the Macbook.

I use my 2017 MacBook Pro 8 hours plus per day with no issue. I have a 2018 on the desk, identical specs (except the panel in A03E model instead of A034) and I get sore eyes after only 15 minutes.
may i ask, is this problem about screen manufacturer of macbook pro (lg, samsung)?
 

CRoebuck

macrumors member
May 16, 2014
61
41
Battery life is indeed an issue, but did Gamma Control actually reduce your eye strain? Have yet to receive my own MBP, but will certainly give it a try.
It certainly helped but not to a level where I am comfortable using this machine as a daily driver
[doublepost=1563291085][/doublepost]
https://appsliced.co/ask/how-do-i-d...anufacturer-for-my-macbook-pro-retina-display
[doublepost=1563287606][/doublepost]

may i ask, is this problem about screen manufacturer of macbook pro (lg, samsung)?
I doubt it. There's only a single screen since 2018 (13 inch is A03E and 15 inch is A040) before that there were at least 2 of each. I have no idea who the manufacturer is. The code is 0610 but I don't know if that's LG or Samsung
 

emraha06

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 1, 2017
182
42
It certainly helped but not to a level where I am comfortable using this machine as a daily driver
[doublepost=1563291085][/doublepost]

I doubt it. There's only a single screen since 2018 (13 inch is A03E and 15 inch is A040) before that there were at least 2 of each. I have no idea who the manufacturer is. The code is 0610 but I don't know if that's LG or Samsung
if this is a problem caused PWM, why do not all the users experience this? are we the unlucky ones?
 

jerryk

macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
6,111
3,088
SF Bay Area
if this is a problem caused PWM, why do not all the users experience this? are we the unlucky ones?
Varies from person to person. Some people cannot tolerate any flickering and it can cause them seizures.
Other people hear a bothersome coil whine (electronic noises) when SSDs are accessed.

We are all different in what we can preceive
 
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getheo

macrumors member
Jul 3, 2011
93
10
My screen is LP154WT5-SJA2. I have the 15inch 2019. Where I can find more info? Thanks.
 

TheBigApple2006

macrumors regular
Feb 20, 2006
236
14
It certainly helped but not to a level where I am comfortable using this machine as a daily driver
[doublepost=1563291085][/doublepost]
Good to hear. I take it to mean that anyone with eye strain problems should give it a go - it could assist others.
 

CRoebuck

macrumors member
May 16, 2014
61
41
My screen is LP154WT5-SJA2. I have the 15inch 2019. Where I can find more info? Thanks.
System Preferences > Display > Colour > Open Profile ..... then scroll to the bottom of the list (item 16 for me) and select. You should see manufacturer and model
 

ghanwani

macrumors 68020
Dec 8, 2008
2,043
1,478
System Preferences > Display > Colour > Open Profile ..... then scroll to the bottom of the list (item 16 for me) and select. You should see manufacturer and model
What do the numbers there mean?
Manufacture: 610
Model: A03E
 

CRoebuck

macrumors member
May 16, 2014
61
41
What do the numbers there mean?
Manufacture: 610
Model: A03E
I believe 610 means an LG display

A03E is the current 13 inch MacBook Pro screen. There is only one model right now. In previous years there were several suppliers (Samsung and LG) and each had different models also
 

ghanwani

macrumors 68020
Dec 8, 2008
2,043
1,478
I believe 610 means an LG display

A03E is the current 13 inch MacBook Pro screen. There is only one model right now. In previous years there were several suppliers (Samsung and LG) and each had different models also
Do folks with the 1.4 GHz model have the same one? Some posters have suggested it’s different and comparing side by side in store they do look different.
 

ghanwani

macrumors 68020
Dec 8, 2008
2,043
1,478
OK, I checked a 1.4 GHz machine in the store and it had:
Manufacturer: 610
Model: A03D

So the display is different on the base (2TB3) model.
 

CRoebuck

macrumors member
May 16, 2014
61
41
OK, I checked a 1.4 GHz machine in the store and it had:
Manufacturer: 610
Model: A03D

So the display is different on the base (2TB3) model.
Interesting. So it's an LG panel but different to the 4 port MBP. Hopefully Notebookcheck do a review
 

BLBL

macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2018
951
142
Interesting. So it's an LG panel but different to the 4 port MBP. Hopefully Notebookcheck do a review
Is it really LG panel in 2019 entry Pro? Becase I have one and when I check panel information using ioreg command it says FMX. Is it some of those new Chinese IPS-like panel manufacturers? I mentioned my finding in another thread a while ago. I put few links for the finding, ioreg command instructions and list what it shows (that is from another member but mine is almost identical).

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2019-13”-mbp-1-4ghz-quad-core-benchmarks.2189413/page-5#post-27542497

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2019-13”-mbp-1-4ghz-quad-core-benchmarks.2189413/page-5#post-27542587

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2019-13”-mbp-1-4ghz-quad-core-benchmarks.2189413/page-5#post-27542769

When I look at display menu it says manufacturer 610 and model A03D there. But isn't 610 only just referring to Apple and not to actual panel manufacturer? Also isn't model just referring to panel specification / generation so that that actual panel brand and model can be different but made to comply certain specification?
 
Last edited:

CRoebuck

macrumors member
May 16, 2014
61
41
Is it really LG panel in 2019 entry Pro? Becase I have one and when I check panel information using ioreg command it says FMX. Is it some of those new Chinese IPS-like panel manufacturers? I mentioned my finding in another thread a while ago. I put few links for the finding, ioreg command instructions and list what it shows (that is from another member but mine is almost identical).

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2019-13”-mbp-1-4ghz-quad-core-benchmarks.2189413/page-5#post-27542497

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2019-13”-mbp-1-4ghz-quad-core-benchmarks.2189413/page-5#post-27542587

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2019-13”-mbp-1-4ghz-quad-core-benchmarks.2189413/page-5#post-27542769

When I look at display menu it says manufacturer 610 and model A03D there. But isn't 610 only just referring to Apple and not to actual panel manufacturer? Also isn't model just referring to panel specification / generation so that that actual panel brand and model can be different but made to comply certain specification?
There were terminal commands that worked under older version of OS X (that were removed several years ago) that returned detailed panel information. My understanding from some old threads were that 610 = LG. This was back in the days of image retention when the LG and Samsung panel lottery was a big deal.

BTW I've just taken delivery of another A03E panel refurb and this one is the worst I've seen regarding this pixel flicker effect. I'm going to hang on to it for a few days and try as many settings variations as I can to see if it can be resolved in Software
 

BLBL

macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2018
951
142
I also noticed when checking demo models at the local shop that 2.4 2019 Pro model has 3E panel while 1.4 2019 entry Pro has 3D panel. I have entry Pro myself and I don't think I have noticed flickering but it has quite a lot banding in grey scale gradient patterns and such (like when running Lagom LCD gradient pattern) when TT and / or NS is activated and also in some color gradient patterns there is banding even without TT and NS. It looks a lot like what 6+2bit panels used to look like so probably dithering is used but for for reason I don't noticed flickering in mine...

I think that terminal command still works because with my previous Air 2018 running latest Mojave version listed panel model starting with LP (referring to LG), just as it should. Also that command works in my Entry Pro but it says FMX, so that's what made me think panels it probably something other than LG or Samsung (which should say LSN with that command).

Obviously they use different parts in different models sold and manufactured at the same time, even they have the same specs on the paper. For example newest generation butterfly keyboard between 2.4 and 1.4 feel and sound different. In entry Pro it is noisier (more clicky), needs more force to press the key and it has hollow sounds in certain locations (which could be from machine structural things under the keyboard. In 2.4 Pro keyboard is less noisy and has the pleasing nice soft feeling to type.
 

ghanwani

macrumors 68020
Dec 8, 2008
2,043
1,478
I also noticed when checking demo models at the local shop that 2.4 2019 Pro model has 3E panel while 1.4 2019 entry Pro has 3D panel. I have entry Pro myself and I don't think I have noticed flickering but it has quite a lot banding in grey scale gradient patterns and such (like when running Lagom LCD gradient pattern) when TT and / or NS is activated and also in some color gradient patterns there is banding even without TT and NS. It looks a lot like what 6+2bit panels used to look like so probably dithering is used but for for reason I don't noticed flickering in mine...

I think that terminal command still works because with my previous Air 2018 running latest Mojave version listed panel model starting with LP (referring to LG), just as it should. Also that command works in my Entry Pro but it says FMX, so that's what made me think panels it probably something other than LG or Samsung (which should say LSN with that command).

Obviously they use different parts in different models sold and manufactured at the same time, even they have the same specs on the paper. For example newest generation butterfly keyboard between 2.4 and 1.4 feel and sound different. In entry Pro it is noisier (more clicky), needs more force to press the key and it has hollow sounds in certain locations (which could be from machine structural things under the keyboard. In 2.4 Pro keyboard is less noisy and has the pleasing nice soft feeling to type.
Did you notice any flickering or banding with the display in the 2018 Air?
 

BLBL

macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2018
951
142
Banding yes (with NS on), flickering no. My Air was with LG panel (ioreg command said LP).
 
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