MBP 2013 - Display issue but hardware is ok

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Nellodee, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. Nellodee, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013

    Nellodee macrumors newbie

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    Rome, Italy
    #1
    Hi guys, I could use some help.
    I have a Retina Macbook Pro, which I purchased a month ago. It is running Mountain Lion.
    I am not really sure how to explain this... in the last couple of days, when I open certain demanding applications (Photoshop, Illustrator, but also iPhoto),
    my Finder, my menus and even the Dock popups are affected by some kind of weird pixel anomaly (see attached screenshot). This affects all menus, not only the ones of the app that started it.
    The pixels don't move while the menu is open, but they change location if I open it again. Apart from that everything works fine and the problem disappears as soon as I close the demanding app.

    Now, I tried the following:
    • start in safe mode
    • reset the pram
    • smc reset
    • create a Test Admin account and the problem seems to affect the whole system, not only my account
    • reinstall the OS
    • go through a complete diagnostic test and all hardware seems to be fine
    • tested memory with Rember and everything seems to be fine

    Everything seems to have started after I enabled the access for assistive devices to play Civilization V o Steam (of course I disabled that now, and even uninstalled Civ V and Steam).

    I contacted Apple Support and they are at a loss. They recommended either to bring the laptop into assistance or to do a complete erase and reinstall of the OS from scratch (that's what they would do and I could do it myself at this point). That is, since the problem doesn't seem to be hardware related.

    Now, the only clue I have apart from the Steam thing (that could be completely unrelated, since I noticed the problem only the day after), is that This issue disappears while starting in safe mode.
    Could the problem be related to a corrupted kext file that is being loaded or something else that doesn't happen when I start in safe mode but does when I start normally?

    Going through a complete reinstall it's kinda of a drastic step (also, I wouldn't want to use a Timemachine backup, since the problem could be carried together with the backup itself - so I should restore everything manually).
    Do you have any suggestions/desperate things I could try?


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Vanilla35 macrumors 68030

    Vanilla35

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    Location:
    Washington D.C.
    #2
    Seems rather annoying. Will leave this to people who actually know things about OS X
     
  3. Nellodee thread starter macrumors newbie

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  4. w00t951 macrumors 68000

    w00t951

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    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #4
    Well graphical glitches are usually signs of a failing graphics processor.

    When you ran the hardware test, did you see any error codes like "4YDC" in the results list? That is the specific code for a video card failure. However, the diagnostic test may not detect the impending failure - it may only recognize already failed components.

    Regardless, if you wish, a clean reinstall (use Disk Utility to wipe your startup disk during installation) of OS X would be useful in eliminating any variables that could be responsible for your problems.

    One other thing - it appears as though you have scaled your desktop resolution. Have you tried changing it back to the native unscaled resolution? Not only does changing to a scaled resolution increase load on the graphics processor, other applications may not support scaled resolutions on the Retina display, leading to graphical corruption and other issues.
     
  5. Nellodee thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Let's see... diagnostic test was ok, and I think the hardware is ok because the problem does not appear at all in safe mode.
    Also, resolution is not scaled but best for retina.
    I am still partly convinced the problem is caused by a broken extension or something else that gets loaded at regular startup but does not in safe mode. This is why I would love to fix it instead of doing a complete erase and reinstall
     
  6. b06tmm, Aug 17, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013

    b06tmm macrumors regular

    b06tmm

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    Jul 23, 2009
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    #6
    Is yours the 15" with both the integrated and discrete graphics?

    If so, I wonder if booting into safe mode uses the integrated graphics while regular mode uses the discrete. This may indicate a problem with the discrete graphics card.

    You could install gfxCardStatus which will let you manually switch to Integrated Only or Discrete Only mode to force one GPU on or the other for testing.

    Edited to add...

    Since I have the 15" with integrated and discrete graphics I decided to try gfxCardStatus myself but was having a hard time finding a site that had something to download, even the developers site timed out. I finally found it here and it is pretty slick.

    As I am typing this I can see an "i" in the menu bar and when I start Portal 2 I get a notification that the graphics system was switched to the discrete card.
     
  7. Nellodee thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Thank you so much! You are absolutely right: if select the integrate-graphic-only option the menus are ok. My discrete memory has something wrong.
    Thank you again for this!
    Now, I wonder... shouldn't this show up in the diagnostic test? Is it hardware related? Should I try the erase and reinstall anyway or just directly bring it in for assistance?
     
  8. b06tmm, Aug 17, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013

    b06tmm macrumors regular

    b06tmm

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    Location:
    South Louisiana
    #8
    FYI - Since I responded to this thread and installed gfxCardStatus I've noticed that my rMBP uses the integrated graphics unless another app calls for some heavy lifting.

    If I were you I would exchange the laptop, or call Apple and explain your issue again - you probably have a bad graphics card.

    Tim
     
  9. Nellodee thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Yup, I already scheduled an appointment with the Genius guys for tomorrow.
    This computer is supposed to do a lot of heavy lifting (I use Photoshop and Illustrator on a daily base and I bought it exactly because I need it to withstand demanding work). A failing discrete graphic won't do.
    I will have to show the problem to them using gfxCardStatus, since the diagnostic test was ok. I hope this won't be a problem.
    Thank you so very much for sparing me the hassle of a useless erase and reinstall. :)
     
  10. wmage macrumors member

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    Jun 14, 2012
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    San Francisco
    #10
    I had something similar, colorful vertical lines, brought it to the store, they just exchanged it for a new unit.
     
  11. Nellodee thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    It'll timemachine the heck out of it, then. I thought they would just replace the faulty piece and give it back.
    I have manual backups, but better safe than sorry.
     
  12. b06tmm macrumors regular

    b06tmm

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    #12
    Let us know how you make out.

    Tim
     
  13. Nellodee thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Rome, Italy
    #13
    Just got back. The Genius guy was immediately convinced and quite impressed with the diagnosis (thank you again, Tim).
    They ordered a new logic board for me and it should arrive within the week. I'll bring the Macbook in and they should be able to replace it in one day.
    Everything went better then expected. :)
    Thank you again guys.
     
  14. b06tmm macrumors regular

    b06tmm

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    #14
    Glad to have helped!

    If they are changing the logic board that must mean the discrete GPU is soldered to that and is one unit?

    Again, let us know how it works with the logic board replacement.

    Tim
     
  15. Nellodee thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    I guess so. They didn't offer other options.
    They considered replacing the whole macbook pro, since it's just one month old, but I purchased it in the U.S. and I live in Italy, so their policy of substitution is not viable after 14 days because of that.
    Too bad, I would have liked a new keyboard: this one is missing one key compared to the italian one and I have no backslash. :D
    But as I said, everything went better than expected.
     
  16. Nellodee thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    I brought my macbook pro in yesterday at 6 p.m and I just got it back. Less than 24h to get a new logic board and the computer is good as new. :)
    Thank you guys again for all the help!
     
  17. b06tmm macrumors regular

    b06tmm

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #17
    Great News!

    I've come to the conclusion that the gfxCardStatus utility is a must have when troubleshooting dual GPU graphics issues.

    I just hope I won't need it anytime soon!
     
  18. Nellodee thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    I hear ya. :)
    GfxCardStatus is also an interesting tool to monitor which apps are more demanding GPU-wise. For example Illustrator switches to discrete only when opening big files, Photoshop switches on opening. Same for iPhoto.
     

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