Macbook Pro Flicker Late 1st gen Unibody

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by redneck6497, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. redneck6497 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #1
    Hi all,

    I recently took the plunge and purchased a refurbished UMP from the apple store online. I noticed within a day of using it that there was a slight but very noticeable flicker when the screen was dimmed. It is somewhat annoying, but I only paid 1350 for a 2.4/2g/250g 15" MBP. So, I am trying to decide if I should send it back or just live with it. Does anyone know if the model in June has this issue? I like the express card slot in the new model, and the fact I got both the 9400 and 9600 for a good price.

    There are lots of threads about the flicker in the last generation. I haven't seen anything much regarding whether they fixed it in the new one. Apparently there were also some color inaccuracies in the first UMP.

    What do you think??
     
  2. vanc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    #2
    Probably caused by the low light detector. You can turn the option off from Preferences=>Display.

    I find that with the option on, the screen brightness changes a bit faster than I like and causes eye strain. With the option off, I feel much better.
     
  3. jgo78 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    #3
    thats not the problem. It's a known fact some macs have screen flicker at low brightness.
     
  4. jamesryanbell macrumors 68020

    jamesryanbell

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #4
    My early '09 MBP does it at full brightness all the time now. Just started about a month ago. It's really annoying. Any more SOLID info on this?
     
  5. jgo78 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    #5
    nope, there is no definitive answer on this issue.
     
  6. xpovos macrumors 6502a

    xpovos

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #6
    Obviously I can't answer with any authority, but my June '09 15" (with only 9400M graphics) does NOT flicker under any circumstances. I knew exactly what to look for because I returned several last-generation MacBook Pros for screen flickering at low brightness. I also tried logic board replacement on one of those; no effect on flickering behavior. Five out of the six machines I owned had the flickering.

    I did some research. There was a lot of speculation that the dual-card graphics setup might be responsible somehow, given that the unibody MacBooks (with only the 9400M) did not widely exhibit the flickering behavior. Given that I had never found any real use for the 9600 before and preferred the longer battery life of the 9400, I chose the low-end June MBP. No flickering whatsoever.

    I have read one or two reports on these forums of new June MBPs with dual graphics doing the flickering.
     
  7. jgo78 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    #7
    i bought a mid june new 17" mbp and does not have the flickering, my original 15" umbp does have the flickering at low brightness though.

    I think it's just luck of the draw on these things.
     
  8. 11800506 macrumors 65816

    11800506

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    Washington D.C. Area
    #8
    Why not take it into an Apple store and have them look at it? They'll surely replace your screen if you take it in.
     
  9. jamesryanbell macrumors 68020

    jamesryanbell

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #9
    I can't make mine do it on command. It's very random. They'd have to just believe me.
     
  10. playalistic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    #10
    I had a similar issue with mine in that the screen would kinda blink off for a fraction of a second, sometimes the whole screen, sometimes just the top half. This was only occurring on the 9400M card and not the more powerful one.

    I brought it into the apple store (White City, London) and spoke to the genius. We couldn't reproduce it but he still took it in and replaced the logic board. I picked it up a week later and everything was running perfectly. Maybe you should make an appointment and see what happens.
     
  11. jamesryanbell macrumors 68020

    jamesryanbell

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #11
    Yeah I may have to do something soon. I switched to the more powerful card, and I've only seen it once.
     
  12. redneck6497 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #12
    It doesn't appear that my issue happens with the 9600 (or at least while its cold). It only does it with the 9400. Its annoying, but I don't know that its worth returning it for a refund and having to purchase the more expensive newer model that doesn't have the expresscard slot. It seems that I have almost as much pull to get something to happen without returning it during the 30 days as with returning it...no? They are still committed to either fixing the problem or maybe even upgrading you (if that works for you).
     
  13. fireman13 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Location:
    Florida Panhandle
    #13
    I've got the unibody macbook and I just turned my brightness down to 2 clicks and I can see what you guys are seeing. its not really bad but now that I know it's there, its going to annoy me. I don't usually have my screen down this low so maybe it won't be too much of an issue for me. Is Apple doing anything about this?
     
  14. redneck6497 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #14
    I think mine is going back. It is doing it at higher brighness levels now. Also, there is something funky going on with the magsafe adapter. Sometimes the light doesn't go on on the plug (not sure it its charging). If I put the plug in sometimes it will tell me it isn't charging, but when I reverse it, it works. Weird stuff. I can see all of this being an issue. I don't have a lot of faith in this particular computer right now. :mad:
     
  15. jgo78 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    #15
    i thought i could ignore it too, but it's always in the back of mind, like a little bug.
     
  16. jgo78 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    #16
    when my 9400 is cold, it flickers but then stops as it warms up. The 9600 is the opposite, no flicker when cold but when hot it flickers. silly eh? Again for me, it's only noticable below half brightness, usually between 1-4 clicks.
     
  17. redneck6497 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #17
    Which iteration of the UMP do you have? I am thinking about biting the bullet and getting the newest model with the dual video cards. I will be VERY unhappy if that model has it too.
     
  18. MrXiro macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #18

    Am I blind or lucky? I don't see it at all... is there a percentage of people that DON'T have this problem? I have the 2.53 ghz 4gb RAM, 512MB 9600GT MBP. I have had it on both modes... no "flicker" but maybe I'm just not noticing it?
     
  19. xpovos macrumors 6502a

    xpovos

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #19
    There's certainly a percentage who don't have the problem. While your generation of MBP appears to be widely affected, there have always been units that don't flicker at all. I owned one, but unfortunately it had more serious issues and had to go back anyway. Its replacement flickered, as did the replacement for that one, as did the following one.

    Besides, perception is everything. If you don't see it flickering, then for all practical purposes it doesn't flicker. (They actually all flicker and always have. That's how the LEDs simulate different levels of brightness. It's just normally too fast for us to perceive.)
     
  20. redneck6497 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #20
    Okay,
    I sent back the old MBP. I paid a good bit more for the new one, but the flicker appears to be gone. The funny thing is that the new on seems to be A LOT FASTER!!
     

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