Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

sat24

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 2, 2019
230
144
I have a 16" MBP that has unacceptable ghosting problems (when comparing with mid-2014 rMBP 15"). This thread covers it:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/16-ghosting.2212842/

Unlike many others have stated, this is a REAL PROBLEM for me.

I am currently on my 2nd unit (the first one had case creak so was replaced).
However, I dont remember that unit having the ghosting issues (I only had it for 2 days tho but within that much time on the replacement I was able to notice the issue...). The manufacturing date on that was 2019-11-11, while the unit #2's date is 2019-10-14. There is at least 1 other forumer who has the same ghosting issue with same manufacturing date.

SO the hypothesis is that there was a particularly bad batch made on 2019-10-14 that has this problem.

When I go in for the replacement, how can I avoid getting another laptop from that same batch? There's nothing on the box that reveals when the laptop was made.

Appreciate any tips.

Edit: clarified what machine i am comparing to
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: StONE_ROdGEr

Quu

macrumors 68040
Apr 2, 2007
3,415
6,777
According to Coconut battery mine was manufactured on 2019-10-21 and it has the same ghosting. Just thought I'd add a data point.
I already commented a lot in the other thread so I won't repeat what I said there about it.
 

-narcan-

macrumors regular
Sep 29, 2011
174
207
Yeah interesting, fwiw I have a 2019-11-11 date too, and no ghosting as far as I can tell.
 

Quu

macrumors 68040
Apr 2, 2007
3,415
6,777
Yeah interesting, fwiw I have a 2019-11-11 date too, and no ghosting as far as I can tell.

What kind of displays are you comparing it to if any as from what I saw in reviews the 16" has a similar pixel response time to the 2016-2019 15" Retina MacBook Pro's (which is quite high at about 30-34ms) and those reviews are using October built machines.

My personal opinion is that all these machines have the same pixel response time regardless of purchase date and it's just the owners are having different perceptions of it. But Sat if you return yours and get one without any ghosting certainly let us know.
 

mightyjabba

macrumors 68000
Sep 25, 2014
1,586
328
Tatooine
I’m not convinced that there are actually some machines that are significantly better or worse in this regard. I think it’s more likely that some people are just more picky/sensitive to it. For what it’s worth, I never would have noticed it as a problem, or even realized that it existed if I hadn’t been reading here.
 
  • Like
Reactions: morze and Arise2B

sat24

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 2, 2019
230
144
What kind of displays are you comparing it to if any as from what I saw in reviews the 16" has a similar pixel response time to the 2016-2019 15" Retina MacBook Pro's (which is quite high at about 30-34ms) and those reviews are using October built machines.

My personal opinion is that all these machines have the same pixel response time regardless of purchase date and it's just the owners are having different perceptions of it. But Sat if you return yours and get one without any ghosting certainly let us know.
From the NotebookCheck review, you are right - they measured a pretty abysmal GtG (Grey to Grey) time which puts the 16" MBP at the bottom 10% of all laptops they measured!!! :(. The 2018 MBP was ~20% better in terms of GtG as well. They don't have numbers for the 2014 MBP that I am using for comparison, but I am sure that one is wayy better.
[automerge]1575545285[/automerge]
Yeah interesting, fwiw I have a 2019-11-11 date too, and no ghosting as far as I can tell.
Ah!!! that's the manu. date on my unit #1 on which I dont remember having the ghosting issue! Now I almost wish I had just kept that unit. :(
[automerge]1575545499[/automerge]
I’m not convinced that there are actually some machines that are significantly better or worse in this regard. I think it’s more likely that some people are just more picky/sensitive to it. For what it’s worth, I never would have noticed it as a problem, or even realized that it existed if I hadn’t been reading here.
I am hoping we can get folks to post their manufacturer date + if they have ghosting or not to determine this more objectively. My hypothesis is that the very first batches of machines (manufactured in 2019-10 month, before they unveiled the laptop have the ghosting issues; it was then corrected and those manufactured in 2019-11 or newer are OK (at least better)). Love to get more data to prove or disprove this hypothesis!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: pragmaLT

mightyjabba

macrumors 68000
Sep 25, 2014
1,586
328
Tatooine
The only way it’s going to be useful is if we can have someone compare two 16” machines side by side and show that one is much worse than the other. Then maybe we could try and see if there is a correlation between manufacture date and ghosting. The “I have ghosting” and “mine is fine” type of posts really can’t be trusted because we all have different standards.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ascender and Quu

Nacho98

Suspended
Jul 11, 2019
729
674
Mine is an 11/18 production BTO and as best I can tell, doesn't have it. Yes I scrolled on a white MR front page and it was no different than my 2015 which was sitting right next to it that it was replacing. They were both identical, and not an issue.

You can't ensure a production date of one you buy, unless you're doing BTO. Even then, it may have been made earlier. I placed my order on 11/21 and got a machine built to my specs with an 11/18 date, meaning Apple was/is also pounding out random BTO configurations at the factory, knowing they will sell shortly anyway.
 

x-evil-x

macrumors 603
Jul 13, 2008
5,576
3,234
I’d just return it and wait for a screen upgrade. Hopefully next year this time with mini led and upgraded panel.
 
  • Like
Reactions: StONE_ROdGEr

Sanpete

macrumors 68040
Nov 17, 2016
3,695
1,665
Utah
The only likely way to improve your chances is to trade it for a machine designed for quick refresh rates.
 

Quu

macrumors 68040
Apr 2, 2007
3,415
6,777
sat24 - Are you going to exchange it for another? - Also did you buy it in a store or online or? Just wondering the time table. I'm thinking about calling Apple and having them send me another unit so I can compare the two, I expect one sent now will have a newer build date, had mine 2 weeks as of tomorrow.
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,183
1,245
NYC
So I re-read through the posts in the other thread... it seems the ghosting that the OP describes and what I see are not the same. I just notice the lower refresh rate especially scrolling, but I don't have any problems with image retention and artifacts when switching apps, nor do I have stutters.

Mine is a CTO, full spec build, ordered 11/14/2019, built 11/18/2019, delivered 11/26/2019.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sat24

Quu

macrumors 68040
Apr 2, 2007
3,415
6,777
So I re-read through the posts in the other thread... it seems the ghosting that the OP describes and what I see are not the same. I just notice the lower refresh rate especially scrolling, but I don't have any problems with image retention and artifacts when switching apps, nor do I have stutters.

Mine is a CTO, full spec build, ordered 11/14/2019, built 11/18/2019, delivered 11/26/2019.

None of us have image retention or artifacts, it's just trailing ghosts from the panel not updating fast enough I believe. Scrolling texts just looks slightly more blurry with brief trailing etc
 

7even

macrumors 65816
Jan 11, 2008
1,048
79
The panels are the same, at least in the 3 I checked (one was an October build). That said I’m in the “what ghosting?” camp especially coming from a 15" touchbar MBP :)
 

sat24

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 2, 2019
230
144
sat24 - Are you going to exchange it for another? - Also did you buy it in a store or online or? Just wondering the time table. I'm thinking about calling Apple and having them send me another unit so I can compare the two, I expect one sent now will have a newer build date, had mine 2 weeks as of tomorrow.
Here's my plan:
1. Go to apple store and check for ghosting on all their floor model laptops
2. If all of them have it, then I refund. Go to step 5.
3. If some don't, then I will exchange to try my luck one last time.
4. If that exchanged item (unit#3) has same ghosting (or any other issue), I will refund.
5. Go get drunk and curse Apple.
 

pragmaLT

macrumors newbie
Jun 13, 2017
25
36
FWIW 2020 MacBook Pro will most likely feature miniLED
Instead of playing lottery this year, might be worth refunding and waiting (if you can)
 

sat24

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 2, 2019
230
144
Here's my plan:
1. Go to apple store and check for ghosting on all their floor model laptops
2. If all of them have it, then I refund. Go to step 5.
3. If some don't, then I will exchange to try my luck one last time.
4. If that exchanged item (unit#3) has same ghosting (or any other issue), I will refund.
5. Go get drunk and curse Apple.
UPDATE
I just returned from the Apple store.

Tried out a series of different machines. Same forums.macrumors.com page for scrolling test. White text on black background mode. Safari browser, page zoomed in to fill width.

1) 16" MBP (2019) - Just as worse as my unit. :( Major bummer. I tried 2 floor models, both showed the same issue without any doubt whatsoever.
2) 13" MBP (2019) - Also just as worse as the 16" MBP - maybe a tad better, but below my acceptable levels. This tells me that the issue may not be specific to the 16" macbook line of laptops.
3) iMac - No issues at all. It compares well with my 2014 15" rMBP. Damn - I would've just bought one if not for a) my theory that iMac is due to for a bezel reduction soon, and b) I need the portability.
4) iPad Pro - I did see the ghosting issue on it (which was super surprising given it has a 120Hz screen, I think). It wasn't too bad, probably right at the level where it would be acceptable to me. But surprising, nevertheless given I was expecting it to be like really "awesome". It was very beautiful and super vibrant but meh on the ghosting/trailing issue. This may be an indication that Apple does not see the ghosting/trailing as an issue at all (or that some of us may be in the minority when it comes to seeing this "effect" or letting it bother us too much)

So... decision time. I think I will return the unit and wait for the mini-led version. (cant accept spending close to $5000 and having this issue nagging me). The 2014 MBP is my refuge in the meanwhile. I might look at a refurb Mac Mini (or build a hackintosh if I am sufficiently pissed off at Apple), maybe.
 
Last edited:
  • Sad
  • Like
Reactions: pragmaLT and Quu

jerryk

macrumors 604
Nov 3, 2011
7,415
4,204
SF Bay Area
UPDATE
I just returned from the Apple store.

Tried out a series of different machines. Same forums.macrumors.com page for scrolling test. White text on black background mode. Safari browser, page zoomed in to fill width.

1) 16" MBP (2019) - Just as worse as my unit. :( Major bummer. I tried 2 floor models, both showed the same issue without any doubt whatsoever.
2) 13" MBP (2019) - Also just as worse as the 16" MBP - maybe a tad better, but below my acceptable levels. This tells me that the issue may not be specific to the 16" macbook line of laptops.
3) iMac - No issues at all. It compares well with my 2014 15" rMBP. Damn - I would've just bought one if not for a) my theory that iMac is due to for a bezel reduction soon, and b) I need the portability.
4) iPad Pro - I did see the ghosting issue on it (which was super surprising given it has a 120Hz screen, I think). It wasn't too bad, probably right at the level where it would be acceptable to me. But surprising, nevertheless given I was expecting it to be like really "awesome". It was very beautiful and super vibrant but meh on the ghosting/trailing issue. This may be an indication that Apple does not see the ghosting/trailing as an issue at all (or that some of us may be in the minority when it comes to seeing this "effect" or letting it bother us too much)

So... decision time. I think I will return the unit and wait for the mini-led version. (cant accept spending close to $5000 and having this issue nagging me). The 2014 MBP is my refuge in the meanwhile. I might look at a refurb Mac Mini (or build a hackintosh if I am sufficiently pissed off at Apple), maybe.


Sounds like you are more sensitive to ghosting than I am. My 16" looks fine to me. Also my 11" iPad Pro looks fine to me. But like coil whine and other issues, some people are more sensitive to them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ascender and sat24

Nacho98

Suspended
Jul 11, 2019
729
674
So... decision time. I think I will return the unit and wait for the mini-led version. (cant accept spending close to $5000 and having this issue nagging me). The 2014 MBP is my refuge in the meanwhile. I might look at a refurb Mac Mini (or build a hackintosh if I am sufficiently pissed off at Apple), maybe.

Fool's errand.

You really think mini LED arrives and BOOM in year 1 all problems solved? This place will be absolutely ON FIRE with complaining about any and all issues when that drops. People claimed to holy hell that OLED would solve it all and how'd that work out on iPhones? Don't kid yourself.

Every screen tech, every generation, will have problems and you'll be subject to panel lottery no matter what.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ascender and 88Keys

sat24

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 2, 2019
230
144
Sounds like you are more sensitive to ghosting than I am. My 16" looks fine to me. Also my 11" iPad Pro looks fine to me. But like coil whine and other issues, some people are more sensitive to them.
I agree. We are all sensitive to different things. I, for e.g. have no idea what "coil whine" even means. I also have had a case of tinnitus in the past, so... yeah. Not sure why I am more sensitive to ghosting, but I am.
 

mightyjabba

macrumors 68000
Sep 25, 2014
1,586
328
Tatooine
The fact that you see the issue on literally every portable you tried says a lot I think. People are treating this like it is some kind of unique problem for the 16”, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Could it be that the people who are complaining about ghosting are just used to very high refresh gaming displays or something?
 

Quu

macrumors 68040
Apr 2, 2007
3,415
6,777
The fact that you see the issue on literally every portable you tried says a lot I think. People are treating this like it is some kind of unique problem for the 16”, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Could it be that the people who are complaining about ghosting are just used to very high refresh gaming displays or something?

I think we're just used to the Pre-2016 models and see a decline in quality.
 
  • Like
Reactions: serge94

mightyjabba

macrumors 68000
Sep 25, 2014
1,586
328
Tatooine
I compared it to my 17" 2009 MBP, 15" 2014 MBP and 13" 2016 MBP and still don't see a notable difference in terms of this issue.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sat24
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.