Backlight issues when hot??

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mikethebigo, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. mikethebigo, Aug 29, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011

    mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    Hi everyone,

    I noticed this on my new base 13" MBP. I was playing Portal 2 on it last night and obviously the system heated up (only to about 80 C). The blacks on the screen were quite irregular with the middle being much darker than the sides. I thought at first I had a dead LED, but then after quitting the game and doing some internet searching (which cooled the laptop off), I noticed the issue was much less pronounced. The darker line also seems to occur above where the system was most heated.

    Is it common for this to occur? It only seems really bad when the computer heats up... but the computer heats up for videos and netflix so it may be a bit annoying at times when I'm watching video.

    Any info/corroboration would be great, thanks!

    Attached Files:

  2. mikethebigo thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    Here it is after about 15 minutes of cooling. CPU now at 50 C. Still some black splotchiness but much less than before.

    Attached Files:

  3. Kiriga macrumors newbie


    Sep 22, 2009
    Somewhere in time...
    I guess it is normal, since all the heat comes out of the center of the hinge, affecting negatively the LED's that are located there. Can't tell you for sure if it's a defect LED or normal operation. I try not to push my machine too much, so I haven't actually noticed anything like that.
  4. mikethebigo thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    Could someone try a video game or flash video or something CPU intensive and see if they have similar results? I'm trying to decide if this is a faulty LED or normal operation. I have a friend who told me that LEDs succumb to "droop" when heated, but it shouldn't be until much higher temps that this failure occurs.
  5. madonionrings macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2007
  6. mikethebigo thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A5302b Safari/7534.48.3)

    Can anyone else comment on whether their monitors do this or not? May take it to the genius bar tomorrow.
  7. sandylp macrumors regular


    Jul 10, 2004
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I've watched quite a few movies from Amazon and Netflix on my 15" mbp, and the temps go up to 80 C sometimes, but I've never noticed what you describe. Not sure if the difference in size would make any difference or not. Please post back with your experience at Apple.
  8. mikethebigo, Aug 30, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2011

    mikethebigo thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    Took it to the Genius Bar today. I couldn't really demonstrate the issue in a well lit environment where I haven't really been taxing the CPU/GPU, so I just showed them the pictures of the screen that I posted here. The repair guy was kind of surprised, he said he's never had someone come in with this complaint before (saying it sometimes happens, under these certain conditions, etc etc).

    Because it's a brand new computer, they said they'd replace it once so I could see if it happened again. I have a different panel this time - 9CC7 instead of the 9CC5 I had on the other one, so we'll see if it does the same thing. Ironically, the replacement computer they gave me was one of the old Snow Leopard models, so I currently waiting for Lion to finish downloading and installing before I install Steam and Portal 2 and all that.

    At first I was a little pissed to get an older replacement computer without Lion, but then I realized except for a few different key symbols it's the same exact thing, except now I have a Snow Leopard install DVD as well should the need arise. Not a horrible deal.

    I will update this thread once I get to test the unit in about an hour.
  9. Jottle macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2003
    This is not a defect. This has happened on all three of the 15'' mbp unibodies that I've owned over the past few years. You'll see that the darker hotter areas that are discolored on the screen are right where the fan outlet is (1 fan in the case of the 13'' mbp). It's just a kind of crappy design for letting heat out. You only notice it after an hour or more of high cpu/fan activity typically. It sucks, but at least it goes away.
  10. mikethebigo thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    I can confirm that this still happens with the different monitor. What's interesting though is the effect is significantly less pronounced than on the other monitor, so that's a plus. On the down side, there is now a faintly noticeable vertical light column on the left side of the display. At this point, I'm giving up on getting something 100% perfect and am just going to use and enjoy the machine.

    PS Portal 2 co-op is a ton of fun!

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