Random white dots all over screen on RMBP (updated with video)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Jamesesesesess, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. Jamesesesesess, Mar 1, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014

    Jamesesesesess macrumors 6502a

    Nov 26, 2011
    I've noticed within the past week that when I'm watching any sort of video, whether it's web based or a downloaded file, there will be tiny specks of white static that jump around the screen. I have a mid-2012 Retina MacBook Pro 15", base specs with 16GB RAM. This happens mainly when the background is dark or black. There are maybe 100 on the screen max. It doesn't appear to be dead pixels considering they're constantly jumping around. I thought there may have been a static electricity problem since it's winter time right now, so the air is fairly dry, but I've reset the SMC and PRAM and neither have solved it. It's also still there when plugged in.

    It doesn't make videos unwatchable, but it is annoying, especially during darker scenes when it's more noticeable. I've already had to send my MacBook in for repair twice within the past 5 months for other screen/graphics related problems and have had both the screen and Logic board replaced twice. This isn't an issue I've had before. Has anyone else had this problem? Any tips?

    I remember reading in the past that if you have major problems with a MacBook three times, and repairs haven't resolved it, they will sometimes replace it entirely. I don't necessarily want to go through the process of backing up and restoring again, but this is a pretty annoying problem. I've also had occasional lockups where the system completely freezes, but I'm not sure if that's just because I've had a lot of tabs open recently (around 40).


    Just when I thought the update to 10.9.3 fixed it, it seems to have come back even worse than before! :(

    Last night I was watching 12 Years a Slave (fantastic movie, by the way) and it consecutively got worse throughout the movie. It started with small amounts of white specks, then more later on, and then it went from only white to red, green, and blue, and it was so intense that the movie was actually difficult to watch. Other graphics glitches occurred too, such as the bottom half of the screen ghosting to my desktop background for a quick second and random horizontal, white lines popping up briefly. With about 35 minutes left of the film, I tried and SMC and PRAM reset because of how annoying the colored dots were, but neither solved the issue. It's as if when more pressure is being put on the GPU, it glitches worse and worse.

    Another thing that I noticed is that when I adjust the angle of my display, it accelerates the dots, especially when I tilt it inward. It also causes thin strips of clustered white dots to flash. I don't know if there's simply a loose connection or what, but it's pretty terrible.

    I recorded a minute of the earlier symptoms on my iPhone when it was larger amounts of white dots. I was going to record the latest symptoms, but I wanted to record the flash ghosting and couldn't seem to get it, so I gave up on that.

    Watch it in 1080p and fullscreen to best see the issue. I'm not sure if YouTube's encoding makes it as noticeable or not. Ignore the part when it gets really blue, that's just my iPhone's color balance being funny.

    Looks like I'll be contacting Apple again.
  2. nickandre21 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2012
    Does it happen only while viewing videos or also with images and dark backgrounds? You can use a dead pixel checker tool to verify. For back ups use time machine to back up to an external drive which is as big as your main partition. A usb 3.0 drive should take 20-30 minutes to backup your drive. When you need to restore all you need to do is go to recovery mode and restore from time machine back up.
    I thinks its best you get your issue solved yes apple does replace but as per the case or if you demand that after repeated fixes the issue do not get solved. Always good to get issues fixed in warranty.
  3. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    It does sound GPU related, which means yet another trip to Apple. I guess there is a small possibility that the white specks are being caused by so e kind if interference, but that would, should mean you see it all the time.
  4. Vanquish22 macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2013
    I experienced the same issue before,these white statics appear randomly at the top black bar in the video but I have never encounter it again since changing to another video mirror link which uses different web player.Does your white static occurs randomly,passively or at a constant interval?
  5. Jamesesesesess thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 26, 2011
    Yes, videos with dark backgrounds. I haven't seen the issue with images. It seems that it has to be actually moving to cause a problem. The dead pixel checker brought up nothing, but I didn't really expect it to. The pixels seem to be mobile, so it must be a GPU problem and not a display problem.

    I suppose I could just buy an external drive :p I've been transferring files between my MacBook and my desktop with a flash drive the past two times, but I've been wanting an external drive anyway.

    I'll contact Apple today or tomorrow, thanks :)

    Yeah I was thinking it could be interference. My house has fairly old wiring. However, I noticed when using it at a family member's newer house, the issue was still there.

    That's strange, it must've been just the video link you were using? I'm not sure what the difference is between randomly and passively, but I haven't noticed a pattern of any sort. Like I said, it's mostly during dark scenes, and the dots just jump around everywhere. I would say they're only the size of one pixel, but there must be at least 100 on the screen, appearing in the darkest places and spaced out a little bit. I'll try to replicate the problem and record it for you guys (and Apple, since they'll probably need it).
  6. nickandre21 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2012
    Just a wild guess could it be image retention? Does the issue happen with streaming videos only or with videos played in quicktime etc? Well all the best let us know what apple says do back up before sending it in.
  7. Jamesesesesess thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 26, 2011
    Updating to 10.9.2 seems to have fixed the problem... :eek: not sure why. Slightly disappointed as I was looking forward to the possibility of a replacement, but I'm definitely happy that I don't have to go through the repair/replacement process again.

    Just in case anyone's curious what Apple said, I went on the live chat and had probably the most useless rep ever, but he told me to talk to a Senior Advisor about getting a replacement, so I wonder where that would've went.

    As I typed above, the issue seems to have gone away with updating my software, but thanks anyway! It was happening in Safari, Chrome, Quicktime, iTunes, and even when I was playing the The Walking Dead game. Basically any time that the screen was displaying dark, moving media. A strange problem indeed; the rep had never heard of that issue before.
  8. nickandre21 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2012
    Thats great you got yours sorted out. Well i can agree their reps can be useless at times. I currently have an issue with my retina early 2013 its been 10 days now its at the AASP they called for a board but that to was giving issues and its like 4 parts need to be replaced. Here in India not having an apple store means we cannot get a replacement unless we escalate high up. Luckily i had made a case id with a senior tech at apple care and shes been handling my case she just offered to have mine replaced since its been in service for alot of days with no sucess.
  9. Jamesesesesess thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 26, 2011
    Ugh! I thought the update fixed it but nope! Check the update in the OP for full details and video. It seems to be back worse than before :(

    Oh that's terrible. In my previous repairs, it's been with Apple for two days tops. Enjoy your replacement :) hopefully I can get a replacement too.
  10. nickandre21 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2012
    Well unfortunately they now denied my replacement saying my case did not justify. But if in 90 days a hardware fails they would then. Its now 2 weeks that it has been at the AASP
  11. manu6789 macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2015
    Hi Jamesesesesess,

    I am facing the similar problem, after replacing my broken retina screen, can you please tell me how did you resolved this issue.

  12. Aallex macrumors newbie


    Sep 11, 2017
    i have the same issue, does anyone know how to fix this?
  13. denni macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2009
    Same here. White dots all over the screen. It's been happening for a while. Seems to happen after I've left the computer on for a while.

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