Mid 2010 MacBook Pro Faulty Intel Graphics?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jihuiwen, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. jihuiwen macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2008
    So as my title suggests, is the mid 2010 MacBook Pro built with faulty Intel Graphics chips?

    I first notice the graphics glitch while safari's loading Top Sites, and it happens very frequently. It usually just flashes for a second during the Top Sites' launch animation, and it clears itself after Top Sites' loaded. What I get on my screen is usually blocks of messed up graphics with different color and textures.

    The second problem I've noticed is that Itunes is constantly having trouble rendering album art placeholders correctly(third screen shot attached), and it is even worse than the Top Sites problem as no matter what I do, it won't fix itself. Although the weird patters do change a bit some times.

    Also, although it only happened to me twice, all of the folder icons in finder would turn into squares filled with garbage graphics, while only rebooting the system can fix it.

    Occasionally, the whole screen would get messed up(check out the youtube video at the end of this post and the second screenshot), and when I try to take a screenshot, I only get an image filled with black and it prevents me from capturing what is really going on on my screen(first screenshot attached).

    So to further id the source of the problem I installed gfxCardStatus to see which graphic card is causing the glitches, and it turns out, it's the integrated Intel HD Graphics to blame. Every time the on screen graphics gets messed up, the system is on Intel HD Graphics, and if I force the system to use the GT330 graphics card, everything goes back to normal. But as soon as I switch back to Intel graphics, the same stuff reappears.(please refer to the video attached)

    I don't if there's anyone else having similar problems, but I do suspect there should be plenty as this is the second Mid 2010 MacBook Pro I had with these problems. I had my first replaced due to an LED backlight flickering issue.

    I have a mid 2010 core i7 MacBook Pro with anti-glare high-rez display.


    Attached Files:

  2. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Try an SMC reset. I believe you turn it off, connect the power adapter if not already so, and press/release Shift+Control+Alt/Option+Power Button at the same time. And then reboot. Btw, the Intel HD graphics are complete crap. It's a step backward from the 9400M integrated graphics on the MBP before yours (i.e. like mine). It's one of the reasons I've held back on getting an i5/i7 MBP since I use the integrated card more often than discrete.

    Note: The Killers are a great band.
  3. jihuiwen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2008
    Thanks, I've already tried reseting SMC and PRAM. But the problem always returns. It's not like it stays after a reboot, and usually it just disappears after a few minutes of use, but it sure is very annoying.
  4. MyRumors macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2009
    I have the exact same problem.

    I did a reinstall of mac os x and the problem went away for some weeks. but today it started again :/
    Apple hardware check does not give any faults.
    I would guess this is a software problem, since it was solved with reinstall for a while at least. My problem usually start when in flash video and sites and then affect other things.
  5. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    That makes no sense. If you use the integrated card, then you obviously aren't after performance. The Intel HD card is fine for its purpose.

    You are aware that OS X switches between the GPU's on the fly and there is no official way of solely selecting the integrated GPU on the iX series?
  6. tatehre macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2007
    The same...

    I've the same MacBook Pro (Core i7, without changes), and happens the same with Safari. My hypothesis is that when Safari uses Flash, it activates the graphic card, and the switch between the intel HD and the Nvidia, makes this problem! Is a problem of Apple, that doesn't know how to fix this, because they didn't know in the first place how to make this update! Don't forget how many months we had to wait for this computer! I think the software is part of the problem, but the hardware is too, because I think only Nvidia can make the switch between the cards without problems! It's time that apple adds the Optimus Software for Mac OS X!
  7. MyRumors macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2009
    Its not a problem when switching the graphics.

    i have mine locked to intel with gxfcardstatus and still happens.
    if i switch to nvidia it goes away. switch back to intel, still there.
  8. Unlocker macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2010
    Have had 3 previous 17" MBPs that all had graphics cards faults, and rejected 2 others, before ending up with this replacement machine which is an i7 like yours.

    This exact kind of fault happened every now and then, and has happened a LOT more since the graphics card updates.

    Really do not think that Apple can currently make a laptop with fault free graphics, which is gut wrenching as I really do like this machine, but I personally can't see what course of action I can take apart from a full refund.

    Then what do I do? Buy a PC? That thought horrifies me, but it's looking like I have no choice.
  9. califfo1975 macrumors regular

    May 21, 2010
    I note as well some short glitches (black bands or coloured very short) when coming out of full screen view in the adobe (http://tv.adobe.com/fr/show/apprendre-photoshop-cs5/) site. Sometimes dock is also a little bit lazy to wake up and once crashed (short 30sec stall with crash report but no complete freeze). I think Intel HD chip is crap!!
    this happens though I updated SL graphic and useless EFI 1.9
  10. kbk75 macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2009
    Same problem

    I have a June 2010 15" Core i7 MBP with the hi res anti-glare screen and the exact problem as the original poster. It doesn't happen very often, but every now and then the screen completely gets covered in squares, like the second picture posted by the original poster.

    gfxCardStatus confirms that it is the Intel graphics that is active when the problem manifests itself. If I switch to nVidia it immediately gets resolved, but the moment I switch back to Intel the garbled graphics are back.

    The only way to get the Intel graphics to work properly after that is a restart of the system.
  11. DEXTERITY macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2004
    I'm having the same issue. Ironically I just replaced the graphics card on my mac pro whose apple care expired a few months ago.

    Is this intel graphic card issue something Apple has a fix for? I assume if I take it to the Apple Store they won't blow it off as a non-issue. this is highly annoying. My computer was purchased in June. I guess its too late to demand a new one. I barely use my laptop so I had no idea this was going on.

    edit: Is the Intel card better than the NVIDIA? IM not familiar with the differences.
  12. kbk75 macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2009
    The Intel graphics are much weaker than the nVidia graphics, but the Intel card does use less power and generate less heat than the nVidia, so horses for courses kind of thing. Intel for most light use, nVidia for anything that needs 3D or more graphics muscle.
  13. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Take it in and get it repaired. Really. Why are people looking for any other solution but the obvious one? You have a warranty, use it.

  14. kbk75 macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2009
    The problem isn't present all the time for me, so I wouldn't be able to replicate it at will if I took it to the service centre. In any case, it's harder to get things fixed here, in India, than it is in the U.S.

    I'd like to know if anyone else is able to reproduce the problem and has been able to get it fixed by Apple.
  15. DEXTERITY macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2004
    take screen shots. I used grab and anytime I experience the issue with images becoming pixilated or whatever happens due to the graphic card I take a screen shot. I'm going to take mine in to get fixed. I have a feeling this will be a recurring issue if the continue to use the same Intel card.

    Thanks for the info in regards to the intel card vs the nvidia card.
  16. jihuiwen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2008
    Because it's simply not something that can be repaired. I've already had my computer replaced twice.
  17. Chemical1 macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2009
    Flash 10.1 Problem. I had my logic board and RAM replaced by Apple before I found it's Flash that causes a memory leak. Subsequent effects are the blocky graphics and kernel panics. My solution was to google and downgrade to Flash version
  18. greylee macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2010
    ok Im not a computer smart person thats why i ditched PC and went for my MBP. so basically this is something with the graphic card and flash 10.1 so it's kinda soft/hardware problem that even apple can't really fix it?!
    then what i do? wait for new apple updates? take in to genius bar have them try to fix it?
    im really paranoid....as i said, i spend a good amount of my college fund on this MBP i expect it to be perfect and last for couple years!!

  19. macfootrap macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2010
    Solution to screen flickering problem: BAD RAM MODULE


    I have been experiencing the same screen flickering on my new (bought Aug 2010) macbook pro 15". After having the mac care completely replace the system board and the display and finally giving me a completely new laptop and still having the flickering issue, I discovered that the Intel graphics card would flicker but the Nvidia would not.

    I initially ran a comprehensive memory scan of the RAM but did not find anything. I then tried changing the RAM and rearranging sequence and number of modules (from two modules to a single module) I identified the root cause of the flickering to be a bad RAM module. With the bad module only installed in either of the two slots, the Intel graphics card would cause flickering. However, the second module in either slot would not cause this flickering symptom.

    SOLUTION: If you macbook pro screen flickers, you most likely have a bad RAM module. To debug, only install one module at a time and look for the flickering.

  20. NZScotty macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2010
    Solved... kind of....

    I've had this problem for quite a while. I'm on the same system as the original poster (i7 hi res anti glare screen)

    I figured out it was a problem with flash, so i downloaded and installed the latest beta for flash and it fixed the problem (of getting a blocky screen)... but this beta version of flash comes with its own host of problems, being a beta. The most common and annoying issue is not being able to view you tube videos in full screen (regardless of which GPU you are using)

    So hopefully when they release the full version of the latest flash, it will fix all of these problems. I wouldn't say it was ram related because it only occurs during the intel-gfx card use and not nvidia.
  21. F7X macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2010

    I've got the exact same issue on a mid-2010 Core i7 15" MBP with high res anti-glare screen.
    It goes away too when switching to the Nvidia card using gfxcardstatus. And the problem comes back when switching back to Intel.

    Only a restart can fix the issue. It sometimes only affects Safari at first, then it gradually affects all apps. It does seem to arise after viewing flash videos or animations, although when only Safari is affected, even the apple.com page presents the problem (and I really doubt it uses flash!) ;o)

    I'll try installing the flash beta as mentioned above and see what that does (if I ever find the bloody link to DL it!) and let you guys know.

    Anyway, I feel a bit better about the issue as it apparently doesn't look like it's a hardware problem since so many people are affected.

    All that is starting to make me feel like it confirms (if it ever was needed) that flash is a pile of crap...

  22. AndrewDorsett macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2005
    Disable "Automatic Graphics Switching"

    Disable "Automatic Graphics Switching" in your Energy Saver settings. That fixed the problem for me.

  23. Melodeath macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2009
    I have this same issue. It's totally annoying. Switch to the nVidia card, and the issue goes away, but so much for your battery life...
  24. Becko, Nov 27, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010

    Becko macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2010
    I also have exactly the same problem on my MBP i7 15" here's a picture:


    I get these distorted graphics everyday while using safari, specially happens on Top Sites, on Gmail, Youtube ... I took my MBP i7 to Apple Care Center, they said they run all possible tests and didn't found any problem at all.

    So I got my computer back from Apple Service Center on Nov 26 (yesterday) and it is still happening... After reading posts regarding this issue on different forums I realize that is totally worthless to replace the logic board or anything since this exact issue is happening to many people, I have also read cases of people getting replaced their Logic Board and Video and after few days still the same problem.

    So what we can do besides of waiting for Apple to take action ?
  25. Ohmsford macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2010
    I'm in the same boat as everyone else here. My question is, has anybody found a way to cause the problem again? I'd like to bring it in but I need to be able to reproduce the problem. I'm gonna tinker tonight with a bunch of youtube videos open and pictures in preview, which is the two ways I notice it the most.

    I have an i7 15" with a glossy screen, standard resolution.

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