Vertical Lines - iMac 27 inch i7

Discussion in 'iMac' started by acciogabby, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. acciogabby macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2013
    I bought my iMAC a little over three years ago and am now getting many vertical lines on my screen. They are transparent and only can be noticed with certain color backgrounds. They occur over the entire screen and seem to be getting more prominent. I am not covered by apple care and the closest store is 2 hours away. Not wanting to pay the fee for the phone call, I will probably take it in when I am in another city visiting. Just wondering if anyone else has these lines, what was the cause? I have attached a photo to explain. Please help!

    Attached Files:

  2. KLF macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2009

    I got the same problem, and my iMac is a 11,3 (Core i7)

    The video card is ATI HD5750 1GB

    Attached Files:

  3. CalebLevArn macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2013
    United States #
    My mothers 2009 iMac has the same thing.

    The lines are clear and they move.

    Must be the lcd panel.
  4. acciogabby thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2013
    How long have you had it for? It's been about 2-3 months since we initially noticed it. I read that it could be the LCD panel or the graphics card. I am hoping that it's the graphics card which would be the cheaper option. I have the ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB
  5. CalebLevArn macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2013
    United States #
    My mothers 2009 iMac also has the ati RADEON HD 4850.

    It showed up around 2011.
  6. defektion macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2010
  7. defektion macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2010
    I just wanted to post my experience with this issue.

    I brought it into the Apple store and the genius was very reluctant to actually finding a solution.

    Her claims were "This is within manufacturer specification" I pointed out that the 8 iMacs at work didn't experience this issue. All 27" 2009 - 2011 iMacs. She proceeded to the back and said 4 iMacs except for 1 experience this issue.

    I don't know if she wanted to actually help me, but i refused to accept the answer that this was within "spec".

    Would love to get some more incite from other uses.
  8. applefan289 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    I am having the same problem with my 2009 27" iMac (Intel Core 2 Duo). I started noticing it soon after my 3-year Applecare expired!
  9. henk53 macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2010
    I just started having the exact same issue :(

    Very small vertical moving "noise" lines at various places on the screen of my 27" Mid 2010 iMac. Just like all other reports here and elsewhere the noise or flickering in the thin vertical lines seems to move upwards.

    They typically appear as 2 or 3 lines next to each other with a very even distance between them, nearly exactly 1 cm. I've got a cluster of 3 on the left side of my screen, a few clusters of two in the middle and a few on the right side as well.

    From my usual working distance of approximately 65 cm they are basically invisible, but from a somewhat closer distance of 40 cm they are very obvious.

    It's remarkable perhaps that they aren't visible at all on a completely white background (not even when looking from 5 cm distance), but they are very visible on blue or green backgrounds, as well as on photos. They are somewhat visible on medium light gray backgrounds, e.g they are visible in the gray top window frame of OS X windows like Safari.

    Rebooting the computer or letting it cool down doesn't make a difference. I haven't done any repairs to the iMac ever and never opened the case or anything.

    The only small unusual thing that I can think of is that a week or so back I got some garbage in my web browser (I displayed one of my own pages in a completely wrong encoding), and when this garbage was on my screen occupying roughly the left half of the 27" screen, I heard a soft high pitched sound. As soon as I covered the window with another one the sound stopped. I'm not sure if this is in anyway related, but just mentioning it.

    Has anyone got any success of getting this issue diagnosed? Any clue to what may be causing this?
  10. cateye macrumors member


    Oct 18, 2011
    Thank you for resurrecting this thread, Henk, as it reminded me I wanted to post and say I'm having this issue as well: 2009 i5/2.66 27" iMac (Radeon 4850/512MB). The lines just "appeared" at some point in the last year. I've never opened the machine or made any hardware mods other than adding memory.

    I did talk about it with a former co-worker who previously was an Apple Store Genius Lead, although he had left Apple long before 21"/27" iMac models debuted. The problem didn't sound familiar, although he said any odd display issue like that he usually suspects the display cable first, the display itself second, and the video card/motherboard last. He also, in confidence, forwarded to me a "display diagnosis" internal Apple document used by Geniuses to ferret out display problems. It covers a stunning array of possible problems and troubleshooting (literally dozens of possible issues), but unfortunately nothing even remotely similar to what we're experiencing.

    He suggested I connect a monitor to my display port connector and see if the problem appears there as well, which would either rule in or rule out the video card. Unfortunately, I've never gotten around to it. The problem hasn't gotten worse in the year or so since I first noticed it, and I plan to replace this computer soon anyway, so I'm unlikely to put much more effort into finding the cause.
  11. Ddyracer macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2009
    Iv'e had mine since like march of last year. It sucks but what you gonna do.
  12. henk53 macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2010
    The external display would definitely be something to try, thanks for the suggestion!

    If I had one lying around I would have tested it right away, but I'll try to get my hands on one and when I do I'll report back.

    All in all issues like this are really nasty. The machine is not even 3 years old, so a bit wasteful to get an entirely new machine. But like the poster above mentioned, what do you do... sigh
  13. Macfan2001 macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2001
    I've also had the same issue on my 3 year old 27 iMac for about 6 months.
    It's still just within AppleCare so I need to see if anything can be done pretty quick!
  14. xSinghx Suspended


    Oct 2, 2012
    It sounds like a video card problem but as one person pointed out it could be a connection issue. Powering a separate monitor would help to verify if it is the card or not.

    The best thing to do would be to take it into a different apple store or find an apple certified repair tech. Apple doesn't charge to diagnose a problem even if it's not under warranty and a normal repair tech wouldn't charge that much I imagine for a diagnosis either.
  15. katti, Jun 24, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013

    katti macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2013
    you need to replace the screen

    I have a 2006 imac and have replaced the screen TWICE already - this is the third screen and it is getting lines again. Starts with one, then two...eventually many will show up and not go away. It is only on the iMac screen, not on an external display - I had an Apple repair shop replace the screen twice for free, even out of warranty because they knew it was a known problem for certain years/models. clearly my imac is super old now (happy to say it still works well) a third replacement for free is probably out of the question. there is clearly something wrong with the design of these screens. maybe Apple has fixed future ones - or maybe they just assume people upgrade their imacs after 3 years - right when the extended warranty expires. Good luck all, and by the way, i had mine replaced for free in france twice, so I would DEFINITELY try to get a place in the USA to replace. First you have to call the service number and force them to give you a code to get the screen replaced for free. Then you go to your nearest Apple repair center and show them that code to get the work done. It is a known defect, Apple needs to own up to it.
  16. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Mar 29, 2008
    The 2006 iMac isn't even the same screen as the 2010 iMac...
  17. Daeruin macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2011
    Any news or updates on this issue? My 2010, 27" iMac is experiencing the exact same problem as the OP. Vertical "noise" lines in groups of four all the way across my screen. Visible only on certain colored backgrounds, like blue or gray, but very annoying in those cases.
  18. cateye macrumors member


    Oct 18, 2011
    Unfortunately, I've since replaced my 2009 iMac which had this problem with a brand new 2013, and I never had the time to really pursue a cause beyond what I posted earlier. So I don't have anything else to add.

    The pattern seems to be that a subset of people with 2-4 year old 27" iMacs are seeing the problem with no obvious cause or solution, and no word from Apple (has anyone actually taken their Mac in to an Apple Store to see what they say?)
  19. macthefork macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2013
    Does yours fall under this Apple Replacement Program? Oh... this program is for the 2011 and 202 models... never mind...
  20. iAreku macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2014
    Just registered to add that my 2009 iMac 27" has the same issues, and today when i got to work i set full throttle to brightness and the issue has yet to appear, so i guess it's related to HEAT rather than just "deffective" panels... And most probably due to poor graphics card refrigeration.

    My other 2008 iMac 24" had the graphics card "refurbished" due to the other well known issue of Apple fitting "unplumbed" soldering into the gsx chips as per EU normatives...

    ...resulting in consumers being affected.

    This is totally unacceptable!!

    Apple is slowly falling from the proud podium I set them up after leaving the WindowsPC based computers after 35 years of computing experience :(

  21. bodoshot, May 12, 2014
    Last edited: May 12, 2014

    bodoshot macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2014
    Trying to repair my iMac 27 2009 i7

    Hi everybody, my name is george and i'm from germany.
    i bought a faulty imac 27 2009 i7 with harddrive damage but the seller didnt told me there were these digital vertical stripes all over the whole screen.
    so i waited a few weeks to buy another imac 27 2009 i5 with just another cpu and a faulty gpu which i repaired and now its working very well.

    so i startet replacing the parts of the imacs to analyse the problem.
    i ordered new lvds cable and v.sync cable. replaced them but nothing became better.
    i replaced the lcd und nothing was better.
    after that i replaced the power board next to the power supply and also i replaced the power supply. still nothing better than before. it cant be the gpu...

    i didnt try to change dumb things like the odd, camera, ram or cpu.
    maybe i should try that next.

    i want to repair that device and i will. but maybe i need some help from someone else. after that we will definitely know what the cause for that apple fault is.

    i think its the internal display port or damaged ic's in it or something else on the motherboard.

    also very important, i tried the mini displayport to hdmi. perfect screen on my tv, no lines und no problems.

    so what is it!!!???

    now, a few hours later, graphics card replaced and still nothing.
    pluggen everything thats not needed off, but still nothing.

    so its definitely the motherboard and something is wrong with the internal display cable port.
    but what is it!!!

    2 hours later I soldered all the connection points from the lvds port to clear out that there are no dead solder points.
    also its not the connector, maybe it is, so i would have to order a new port to solder it.
    where can i get more help???
  22. kpock macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2013
    I have an iMac 27" with the same problem. There are vertical "noise" lines in sections of 4 lines all the way across the display. I have tried replacing the LVDS connector on the logic board - no change :( Anyone else have any success with finding the issue? I don't believe it is the GPU but I think I may try rebelling and reflowing it next just to make sure.
  23. Bretzelburg macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2014
    Same problem here...

    Same problem here (27" iMac i7 16GB - mid 2010).
    I also experience:
    - a (vertical) scrolling bug. Very noticable in Safari: screen stutters when scrolling up/down.
    - when I place the pointer at the edge of the screen it gives a very fast "thrilling" effect (you can see this especially in the dock).
    - something that looks like dark burn-in (or dirt?) in the downright corner going up slightly vanishing into the upright corner.
    iMac is in repair now. Graphics card seems to be ok. They're advising me a screen replacement... (€ 450 (yes, that's $ 606!) + working hours 1? 2? x € 80)

    Al this started happening about a half year after Apple Care expired...
    It's a pity because it's a damn good machine running everything (CC2014 apps, FCP X,... ) VERY smoothly!
  24. Ronm01, Oct 26, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014

    Ronm01 macrumors newbie


    Dec 31, 2013
    I've been noticing the same problem as you on my 2010, 27" i-7 iMac for approximately the past three months. In addition, the display has intermittent screen flicker. I thought that it may be small photos distorting while in full screen mode, however, I just today noticed that it occurs on all darker backgrounds whether in photos or on the Internet. The more recent problem with flicker leads me to believe that the problem is with the graphics card, or worse.

    I'm thinking of purchasing a new retina iMac next year but wish to give my current one to a family member. Maybe Apple will repair mine during the process of purchasing a new one. I hope! :(

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