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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > MacBook Pro 15" with "Grainy" Matte Display?

MacBook Pro 15" with "Grainy" Matte Display? (Page 2)
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Nov 11, 2006, 03:12 AM
 
I just recently received my CTO 15" Glossy MBP and at first I thought it was just my eyes that the display looked grainy. I've yet to see stock MBPs at an Apple store, as there aren't any within a reasonable distance of me traveling to there inbetween school and work, so I wouldn't have anything else to compare this display to but the image that was posted here is exactly how my display is as well. Is there any one else that has a display without this problem or is the only solution to return the notebook?
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 03:24 AM
 
My old iBook was what you'd call grainy.
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 03:43 AM
 
The Rev A Macbook Pro that I had was grainy. I called it "sparkly" at the time. I am typing this on a glossy Macbook that isn't grainy at all, it looks great. I've got a matte C2D MBP on the way, and if it has a grainy screen, I am sending it back and getting glossy. The MBP screen should look at least as good as the Macbook, but the ones I've seen so far haven't. My old Powerbook screen looked better than the MBP.
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 10:48 AM
 
Moral of the story.... go look at both screen types before you buy.

I've noticed the grainy texture on every matte screen I've owned. My 17" Studio Display, 12" Graphite clamshell iBook, 15" PowerBook and now this 15" MacBook Pro.

Usually I see right past the grainy texture, but if I shift my focus just slightly I see it immediately on any matte screen. I still prefer the matte screen overall. I'm surprised the original poster says he can't see it on his 15" PowerBook. Perhaps he is more sensitive to it depending on the DPI of the screen, thus it stands out for him on his MacBook Pro. Under the right conditions, glossy screens are beautiful, but having to adjust my screen to match my environment rather than how I want to situate myself drives me crazy
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 01:19 PM
 
I do see it on my PowerBook 12" as well... but, I really have to try hard to see it. On the MacBook Pro... it's really worse. It stands out really well. I don't understand how some people are saying their matte screens are fine and their glossy screens are fine while others are saying their matte screens are grainy and their glossy screens are grainy too.
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 01:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by themacolyte View Post
Moral of the story.... go look at both screen types before you buy.

I've noticed the grainy texture on every matte screen I've owned. My 17" Studio Display, 12" Graphite clamshell iBook, 15" PowerBook and now this 15" MacBook Pro.

Usually I see right past the grainy texture, but if I shift my focus just slightly I see it immediately on any matte screen. I still prefer the matte screen overall. I'm surprised the original poster says he can't see it on his 15" PowerBook. Perhaps he is more sensitive to it depending on the DPI of the screen, thus it stands out for him on his MacBook Pro. Under the right conditions, glossy screens are beautiful, but having to adjust my screen to match my environment rather than how I want to situate myself drives me crazy
ok guys,
after comparing all models at 2 apple stores and frys, i've come to realize that the "grainy" look is just a certain part of the new MBPs-both glossy and matte. and for those who reported that their mbp screens are perfect, simply they just couldn't see it (bad eyes, kakkak), but believe it or not, the "grainy" is there.
those who are sending their laptops back will receive new ones with the very same problem. (at least for the next few months)
end of story.
un jour,
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 03:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by outthere View Post
those who are sending their laptops back will receive new ones with the very same problem. (at least for the next few months)
end of story.
Longer than that. The original rev A MBPs look the same. I don't think it is considered a design flaw, just the way they are making LCDs now. Lots of other laptops have the same effect.
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 05:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by jasonsRX7 View Post
Longer than that. The original rev A MBPs look the same. I don't think it is considered a design flaw, just the way they are making LCDs now. Lots of other laptops have the same effect.
Why does is it worse on the MacBook Pro? Why couldn't I see ANY grain on the MacBook?

Answer that question!
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 05:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by TheSpaz View Post
Why does is it worse on the MacBook Pro? Why couldn't I see ANY grain on the MacBook?

Answer that question!
Glossy screen? Different manufacturer of screen?
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 05:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by TheSpaz View Post
Why does is it worse on the MacBook Pro? Why couldn't I see ANY grain on the MacBook?

Answer that question!
Not all LCDs, just a lot of them, apparently. I have a Macbook too and it isn't grainy at all, looks great.
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 08:29 PM
 
THIS IS CAUSED BY APPLE USING CHEAP, CRAPPY DISPLAYS. My PowerBook G4 1.67ghz model is much smoother and nicer. Even the iMacs now suffer from these CHEAP, CRAPPY displays: only the 23" model has a smooth, nice display. In fact, I bet that this is the reason they went to the glossy display: because they cannot "afford" to put a decent regular matt display on their PowerBooks now. Truly this is sad to me, since how are you supposed to work in Photoshop if the screen is showing you color/brightness variances that aren't really there?? I have noticed this on my GF's MacBook Pro vs. my PowerBook 1.67... Apple must be thinking that the "graininess" is something that "most people" wouldn't notice or care about (in fact, the Apple Store employee I asked about it claimed that it's not even there and it was just my eyes!!!). However I work in Photoshop for a living and to me it's just unacceptable -- as is the glossy display due to reflection. So I'm not buying a MacBook Pro until they put some better screens on them!!! Come on Apple!!!

-=DG=-
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 08:32 PM
 
OH yeah, and YES, it does affect color as well as brightness. To me it looks like sparkly color variances all over the screen. White isn't smooth white, it has a wierd speckledy sheen to it. If you take a smooth gradient image and move the window around, you will see the screen's grainy pattern stand out to you.

You'd think on a $2000+ computer Apple could put a decent-quality screen. I guess they are more worried about matching Dell's price.

Oh yeah, and how about smooth edges around the keyboard rest of the computer so I won't keep slaughtering my wrists against the sharp edges of my PowerBook? (MacBooks are the same way.) IBM ThinkPads have a nice, smooth wrist rest on them. I'm only 29 and my wrists are killing me from this...

-=DG=-
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 08:33 PM
 
PS -- I guarantee you Apple knows about this issue. I'm surprised no one has complained about it before. If they do they just tell them to buy the glossy screen.

-=DG=-
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 08:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by jasonsRX7 View Post
Not all LCDs, just a lot of them, apparently. I have a Macbook too and it isn't grainy at all, looks great.
I compared a MB to a MBP and the MB looked extremely clear where as the MBP was very grainy. I've been reading up as to why the problem is occuring and what type of fixes, if any, are possible. Many other PC notebook displays have similar problems, most of which have x1600s in them. Firmware fixes have been given to those notebooks and the problems went away. Everyone's been mentioning about dithering problems with the different bits but I don't fully understand it so I won't try to explain it here. I'm just curious as to if the situation with the MBPs now are fixable with a firmware update and if Apple even acknowledges the problem.
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 08:37 PM
 
PPS -- I'm not a troll, I've been using Macs since 1984 and my main concern with Apple these days is that their overall quality is diminishing due to trying to make things as cheaply as possible. I would rather pay an extra $200 for a computer with higher quality than pay the same as a Dell but get the same quality as a Dell. AT LEAST give the option to upgrade to the premium quality screen. But I think it should come standard.

-=DG=-
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 09:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dark Goob View Post
PPS -- I'm not a troll, I've been using Macs since 1984 and my main concern with Apple these days is that their overall quality is diminishing due to trying to make things as cheaply as possible. I would rather pay an extra $200 for a computer with higher quality than pay the same as a Dell but get the same quality as a Dell. AT LEAST give the option to upgrade to the premium quality screen. But I think it should come standard.

-=DG=-
I wholeheartedly agree but unless the consumers speak up, nothing will change.
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 09:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by pbmikez View Post
I wholeheartedly agree but unless the consumers speak up, nothing will change.
I wish the MacBook had a better video card, because I like it better as a laptop. I just need to be able to drive a 30" monitor. So I'm kind of stuck with the MBP.
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 10:00 PM
 
Wow... Apple's own forums didn't have this much response on the issue. I only found 1 (one) other post about this topic and it only had a few comments in it. Either most people don't notice it or they don't care or I am extremely picky. For me, I don't understand how people CANNOT notice something like this. It's big, it's obvious, it's right in your face, it's hard to ignore! I really really really hope it's an x1600 problem and that there will be a firmware fix for it.

Also, my friend has a MacBook Pro Core Duo and he has a glossy screen and he seriously claims that there is NOTHING grainy about his display. So maybe this effect is new on the MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo machines. Do the old Core Duo 'Books have the grainy screens?

Does anyone here have a Core Duo 'Book Pro with a glossy screen that can tell us if it's grainy or smooth?
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 10:02 PM
 
I'm totally starting to regret buying a MacBook Pro. I thought it was gonna be like a super-widescreen-fast-awesome version of my old PowerBook. I had no idea Apple changed them to save money. Sad, really... sad.
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 10:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by TheSpaz View Post
I'm totally starting to regret buying a MacBook Pro. I thought it was gonna be like a super-widescreen-fast-awesome version of my old PowerBook. I had no idea Apple changed them to save money. Sad, really... sad.
Well, I plan on making a trip to an Apple Store and I'm going to compare my grainy-screened Macbook Pro to the ones there on display. Hopefully we just got a bad batch and can have these issues fixed. I suppose the people at the genius bar should know what I'm speaking of when I start talking about the different bit panels and the issues with dithering and whatnot or it'll be a waste of a trip but we'll see. I'll keep ya updated.
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 10:16 PM
 
Hello folks! I have an update! I've found a TON of websites about the graininess issue from the x1600 specifically! Do not go and trade your computer for a different for glossy... I think it's a problem from the x1600 ATI card. Do a google search for "Grainy x1600" and you'll find a lot of websites with angry peoples on both Mac and PC side. Here's a couple of discussions I found:

X1600 Grainness issue update from Intel - NotebookForums.com
Laptop Screenproblem using a ATi X1600 - Notebooks - PC Hardware

So this is GOOD news and that there MAY be a fix in the near future (hopefully). I'm sure glad that we're not the only one with this problem. Please, don't blame Apple until we know if it's an ATI issue or not.... remember... this ATI chip is really really new.... there's something about dithering 18 bit graphics. (Not sure what that means)

Lets just hope Apple fixes this with a firmware update soon!!!
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 10:37 PM
 
[QUOTE=TheSpaz;3202191]Hello folks! I have an update! I've found a TON of websites about the graininess issue from the x1600 specifically! Do not go and trade your computer for a different for glossy... I think it's a problem from the x1600 ATI card. Do a google search for "Grainy x1600" and you'll find a lot of websites with angry peoples on both Mac and PC side. Here's a couple of discussions I found:
QUOTE]

Yes, I have done some researches ysterday after I ordered my c2d macbook pro, since your post makes me really nervous.
Yes, it does sound like the new X1600's problem instead of the apple flat panel. I have checked my friends' Acer and Benq, both have the same problems, but the ones use other chips dont have the grainy issue. So at this point, I dont think the replacement could solve your grainy display problem, because apple will not admit it is their mistake at all, and pretty sure the replacement you will get will have the same issue, unless you go for glossy display.

I think apple should release a firmware to fix this problem, but....well....i dont know how long we have to wait!? or hopefully ATi will fix dis soon, but as we all know, there is always some problem with Ati's drivers and softwares. So with us good luck!
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 10:45 PM
 
I found this as well. http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/7...enissuedu0.jpg

Kinda looks like what I'm experiencing. The photo is really zoomed in but, if I look really really really close at my display... I see those type of patterns.
     
gix
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Nov 11, 2006, 10:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by TheSpaz View Post
I found this as well. http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/7...enissuedu0.jpg

Kinda looks like what I'm experiencing. The photo is really zoomed in but, if I look really really really close at my display... I see those type of patterns.
i used nokia monitor test on my friends' notebook, but theirs dont look as bad as this one.
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 11:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by gix View Post
...pretty sure the replacement you will get will have the same issue, unless you go for glossy display.
It's not type of display, it's been narrowed down to the x1600 itself and the way it handles the dithering, at least in the cases of the other PC notebooks. With the MBPs, this dithering issue is evident in BOTH matte and glossy displays.
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 11:13 PM
 
pbmikez... you and I ROCK man! Thanks for helping. You were a BIG inspiration for all this research! I hope Apple does something fast... because my eyes are going crazy!
     
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Nov 11, 2006, 11:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by TheSpaz View Post
pbmikez... you and I ROCK man! Thanks for helping. You were a BIG inspiration for all this research! I hope Apple does something fast... because my eyes are going crazy!
Most definitely!

I'm glad I've been able to contribute something. Been reading around in the forums for quite some time and after spending about $2600 on this new MBP and having an issue as severe as this, at least to me, I felt it was time to create an account and post. Anyway, let's hope for a quick fix.
     
gix
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Nov 12, 2006, 12:11 AM
 
yes, pbmikez, you are right, since it might be the issue with x1600, the grossy display should also have this problem. and now we can only sit down and pray, hope it could be fixed asap.

btw...i only purchased the cheapest mbp c2d since i still have my brand new T60P, and i hope apple would fix all these problems before i try to upgrade to the better model. but besides apple, i think thinkpad workstation is another option for the designers, and i still trust its quality better than apple even after lenovo took over the firm.
     
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Nov 12, 2006, 12:53 AM
 
this is a VERY interesting thread. i will also attest to my 1.2Ghz iBook G4 screen having a fine grainy appearance, plus it is driven by an ATI GPU, the 32MB Radeon 9200.

now at our office we just purchased 4 Dell 2007WFP displays and they are all connected to ATI GPU systems via DVI (3 G4 Mac Minis with ATI Radeon 9200 and a 1.3Ghz PowerBook G4 with a 128MB Radeon 9700) and our President observed that the Dell displays looked grainy just like others have described. But this in fact may have nothing to do with the screen at all, moreso the GPU.

i'll keep everyone updated here as we'll be getting an Intel Mac Mini that has an Intel GMA 950 GPU on it to see if the graniness is still present. we unfortunately don't get a choice of GPUs to choose from for the portables, so it'll naturally be much more difficult to perform an equal comparison.
F = ma
     
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Nov 12, 2006, 01:05 AM
 
I have taken a photo of what my screen looks like. Check here:

Click Here for Photo

Warning: File size is 1.1MB. Please wait for it to load.
     
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Nov 12, 2006, 02:25 AM
 
Spaz, exactly the same as my ex Compaq. That one had an Ati Radeon Express 200M video card. I upgraded the drivers with no avail. changes.. then again it not the same as a firmware update. I changed it by a Fujitsu which uses the same GPu (ATI 200M) with a glossy screen and this one is flawless. I'm more inclined that the problem is the quality of the screen. I do really hope you find a solution.
One thing I did noticed though, is that within time of using it I thought I saw less grain on the screen..but it was probably some wishful thinking.

regards
     
gix
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Nov 12, 2006, 03:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by polendo View Post
Spaz, exactly the same as my ex Compaq. That one had an Ati Radeon Express 200M video card. I upgraded the drivers with no avail. changes.. then again it not the same as a firmware update. I changed it by a Fujitsu which uses the same GPu (ATI 200M) with a glossy screen and this one is flawless. I'm more inclined that the problem is the quality of the screen. I do really hope you find a solution.
One thing I did noticed though, is that within time of using it I thought I saw less grain on the screen..but it was probably some wishful thinking.

regards

i have 2 fujitsu and as what I know, fujitsu is pretty famouse for its display, which is glossy with rich colors, but doesnt hold dat much reflection. so maybe the quality of its screen reduces the grainy looking. dis is just my guess because i only have the fujitsu s and a series with intel graphic chip instead of ATI. but i just checked my uncle's hp with matte display w/ intel chip and it doesnt have the grainy feeling at all.

i think the easier way to figure it out is to use similar ones with different chips, and of course, both have to be the matte display.
     
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Nov 12, 2006, 09:42 AM
 
I hate to burst everyone's bubble, but the sparkle and grainy effect is indeed due to the actual LCD panel itself, NOT the ATI card. Restart your Mac and look at the boot process. It's still there - even before any ATI drivers have been loaded.

Ever since the glossy notebook display became successful (which Sony started quite a few years ago), other ODM's and manufacturer's started asking for more and more glossy panels from the various panel manufacturers that they use (now everyone sells them in their notebooks - Apple just happens to be late in the game).

Anyway, this caused a huge variable in quality since each LCD Panel maker has different panels to begin with and most large ODMs use several different panels for each notebook model (just as they do with memory, HD and other components). So people quickly realized that not ALL glossy panels are not the same, just as all matte panels weren't.

What seems to really cause this grainy/sparkle effect (which has been a problem on the PC side for years on matte screens, now on glossy ones) is the Anti Reflective coating they apply to the panel (which is usually just on matte screens and will be subtle or noticeable depending on the manufacturer).

However, there are marathon treads at various forums that concluded that when there is a sparkle or grainy effect on glossy screens, it means that the panel maker applied a glossy coating over the antireflective coating on matte panels. Perhaps they think it's the best of both worlds by having the advantages of the high contrast glossy layer while trying to minimize the reflectiveness a bit. Some panels have it, many others don't - depends on how they make them (or how they are ordered).

Look at the MacBook (which does not have this sparkle issue) and a glossy MacBook Pro side by side. Shut off the display on both at look at how much more reflective the MacBook panel is versus the glossy MacBook Pro. The MacBook does not have an antireflective coating underneath the glossy coating which is why it is more mirror like when the screen is black. More importantly, it explains why the MacBook display is silky smooth and clear versus the slight sparkle and grain to the new MacBook Pros.

I did a test in an Apple Store yesterday with both MacBook and Pro's side by side and both the manager and genius bar guy saw and agreed that the MacBook pro's have a different sheen to them when the display is off and that the sparkle/grain is very obvious when comparing both machines - especially against whites.

I'd wait a few months and reorder - maybe the current supply of panels will run out and the next one they use won't have this problem (like on the PC side, it's a crapshoot).
     
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Nov 12, 2006, 10:39 AM
 
The image TheSpaz posted shows tiny type on a very high resolution screen-the type is too tiny in fact. That causes a lot of interpolation between pixels and a fuzzy, grainy appearance. I'll bet if you change the resolution or the type size, it will look a lot cleaner.

StiZeven, I don't think this is at all a problem with the antireflective coating, nor with the LCD itself-it's all about how many pixels are dedicated to each image.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Nov 12, 2006, 11:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
The image TheSpaz posted shows tiny type on a very high resolution screen-the type is too tiny in fact. That causes a lot of interpolation between pixels and a fuzzy, grainy appearance. I'll bet if you change the resolution or the type size, it will look a lot cleaner.

StiZeven, I don't think this is at all a problem with the antireflective coating, nor with the LCD itself-it's all about how many pixels are dedicated to each image.
You're missing the point. It's not about text size or image size. This sparkle effect can be seen on anything white or gray and most other colors (except black). How can you deny the fact that people are fixing their displays with a firmware update on the PC side. People who have applied the update claim their displays look clear and un-sparkly. It just so happens that those PC laptops also use the ATI x1600 and it also just happens that the MacBook Pros use the x1600 as well. Why don't the MacBook's have this issue? It's because they don't use the ATI x1600.

Also people on the PC forum noted that the grain did not move when they moved windows around. This is the same exact effect I am seeing. Also, I read other PC users complaining about the same issue with the "glittery" displays on glossy and on matte... it doesn't matter. But, then they found the BIOS update and the "glitter" was gone.

So therefore, how can this be the coating on the display. I mean, some of the grain is caused by the matte coating on the display... but, not as much as I'm seeing. This is the worse I've ever seen... it's VERY noticeable and it's very un-ignorable and annoying. I can't trade in my computer for a different one because it will have the same effect.
     
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Nov 12, 2006, 11:24 AM
 
Another thing I wanted to ask is... are the people who are having this problem using the MacBook Pro with the 256MB VRAM or the 128MB VRAM. I'm using the 256MB version. I have a friend who has an older MacBook Pro that he swears doesn't have this effect and I also read other people who traded their matte screens for the glossy and it fixed the issue (But, those were old threads meaning it was the old MacBook Pro because the Core 2 Duos have only been out for a couple of weeks.)

And if they're using the same displays in the new MacBooks (Core 2 Duo) shouldn't the display look the same as the MacBook Pro? How do you explain that other than the video cards being different brands and models.
     
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Nov 12, 2006, 11:41 AM
 
This has nothing to do with resolution. Apple still offers some of the lower rez options out there (compared to the PC side) and I've seen a 17" VAIO with WUXGA - 133 dots per inch with silky smooth whites on glossy panels with ZERO grain or sparkle.

The reason why the sparkle/grain stays stationary while you move windows around is because it is on the panel itself. As you move them you can see how it would be the coating.

I've seen enough PCs with this problem and have read enough threads to know that it's not the GPU that causes this, it's the panel itself. I've sent back countless notebooks from various makers due to this very issue - and they've all had different GPUs (not the X1600).

The MacBook doesn't have this issue beacuse Apple is simply using a manufacturer who doesn't use an anti-reflective coating on their glossy panels. JUst like some VAIOs have it and others don't - it depends on the panel maker and how they produce them.

If those PC users fixed their problem with a firmware or driver update, then their problems are different than the ones we are seeing with the MacBook Pro and several PC notebooks out there with the same exact sparkle/grain issue. Perhaps their problems are due to the GPU, like the screen door effect i've seen a while ago - totally different problem.

LCD Panel + antireflective coating +glossy coating = sparkle/grain effect but slightly less reflective (on glossy screen). = MacBook Pro

LCD Panel + glossy coating = smooth, clear display, but highly reflective. = MacBook
     
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Nov 12, 2006, 11:48 AM
 
Also, people should know that Apple's ODM (Asus, Quanta?) like ALL others use several different brand LCD panels for their notebooks. Never assume what's in one (MacBook) will be in another (MacBook Pro).

BTW, I returned my new MBP due to this issue - it was perfect, except for the display. Ran cool, built well, quiet - but shite display.
     
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Nov 12, 2006, 11:49 AM
 
i would seriously take another look at the display setting in the preferences; this sounds like a classic case of display being set at 16-bit rather than 24
     
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Nov 12, 2006, 12:08 PM
 
I see it a little bit compared to myt PowerBook G4, but it's hardly noticeable - if I'm gonna get all worked up over everything on the unit, I wouldn't enjoy it. I can see the screen fine, and compared to some of the screens I've used in the past, it's great!
     
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Nov 12, 2006, 12:17 PM
 
The point I was commenting on is that there is going to be an issue with clarity at high resolutions and small text sizes. THAT IS ALL. I'm going to wade my happy butt out of this argument right now.

But I think everybody should back off and breathe a little bit. It's not like Apple's trying to cheat anyone, or that they're goofing up.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
TheSpaz  (op)
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Nov 12, 2006, 01:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by aesculanus View Post
i would seriously take another look at the display setting in the preferences; this sounds like a classic case of display being set at 16-bit rather than 24
Thank you but, I'm not an idiot. Why would I change it to Thousands of colors and then complain? This is actually the first thing I checked. Also, I think earlier in the thread I mentioned that it was specifically not the the bit depth. But, you wouldn't know how mac savvy I am so I do not blame you for asking that question.

Edit: I apparently didn't mention that I checked for Thousands of colors... it must have been a different forum that I said that on. My apologies.
( Last edited by TheSpaz; Nov 12, 2006 at 01:30 PM. Reason: Apologizing)
     
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Nov 12, 2006, 01:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
The point I was commenting on is that there is going to be an issue with clarity at high resolutions and small text sizes. THAT IS ALL. I'm going to wade my happy butt out of this argument right now.

But I think everybody should back off and breathe a little bit. It's not like Apple's trying to cheat anyone, or that they're goofing up.
I see the screen fine. I see the text fine. No issues with text at all. I'm simply talking about the sparkly effect that goes across the entire screen.
     
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Nov 12, 2006, 01:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by StiZeven View Post
The reason why the sparkle/grain stays stationary while you move windows around is because it is on the panel itself. As you move them you can see how it would be the coating.
I already said that even those PC users with the x1600 issue with grain experienced the same thing... they could move windows around and the pattern would not move. They too thought it was the texture of the screen until they learned that there was a fix. Once they applied the fix, the grain was gone. How can you deny that proof? Did you read those links I provided?

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe you're right. I think we need to do a little more research though on this issue.

Another thing is... I don't wanna return my MBP and get one with the same problem. It's a lot of hassle and it won't solve anything (if what you're saying is true). It seems to me that I'm not the only one with this problem and I've seen people's reactions to the fix and I've seen people's reactions without the fix. Then again, like I said... maybe we're talking about 2 different issues but, I find it a bit of a big coincidence that the PC folks with the grain issues are also using the x1600 and wouldn't you know, that's the same graphics chip as the MacBook Pro's. That's all I'm trying to say.

Tonight I'm gonna submit feedback to Apple directly and see if they have anything to say about this "Problem".
     
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Nov 12, 2006, 01:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by TheSpaz View Post
I see the screen fine. I see the text fine. No issues with text at all. I'm simply talking about the sparkly effect that goes across the entire screen.
I guess stating a clarifying fact is useless then? If you take the small text/high resolution effect into account, you can more easily consider JUST the effects of the screen coating. My point entirely.

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Nov 12, 2006, 02:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I guess stating a clarifying fact is useless then? If you take the small text/high resolution effect into account, you can more easily consider JUST the effects of the screen coating. My point entirely.
I'm sure he gets your point and is just clarifying just to make sure there's no misunderstandings.

Originally Posted by StiZeven View Post
This has nothing to do with resolution. Apple still offers some of the lower rez options out there (compared to the PC side) and I've seen a 17" VAIO with WUXGA - 133 dots per inch with silky smooth whites on glossy panels with ZERO grain or sparkle.

The reason why the sparkle/grain stays stationary while you move windows around is because it is on the panel itself. As you move them you can see how it would be the coating.

I've seen enough PCs with this problem and have read enough threads to know that it's not the GPU that causes this, it's the panel itself. I've sent back countless notebooks from various makers due to this very issue - and they've all had different GPUs (not the X1600).

The MacBook doesn't have this issue beacuse Apple is simply using a manufacturer who doesn't use an anti-reflective coating on their glossy panels. JUst like some VAIOs have it and others don't - it depends on the panel maker and how they produce them.

If those PC users fixed their problem with a firmware or driver update, then their problems are different than the ones we are seeing with the MacBook Pro and several PC notebooks out there with the same exact sparkle/grain issue. Perhaps their problems are due to the GPU, like the screen door effect i've seen a while ago - totally different problem.

LCD Panel + antireflective coating +glossy coating = sparkle/grain effect but slightly less reflective (on glossy screen). = MacBook Pro

LCD Panel + glossy coating = smooth, clear display, but highly reflective. = MacBook

The issue is grain on the screens. The solution? There's none on this side, but on the PC side there have been VGA BIOS updates to fix the graininess issue.
notebook forums thread
notebook review forums thread

Not sure if you'd wanna read through it but if you have the time, do so. This is the reason both Spaz and I believe it to be an issue with the BIOS itself, rather than the display. StiZeven, I understand where you're coming from with the problem stemming from the lcd panel itself, but that was the same type thinking that was done with the other ASUS, Acer and other brands of computers that sported the x1600 and had these problems. It wasn't until Eddie from Geared2Play, as well as some other users, helped to narrow it down to it NOT being a panel issue, though with what you said about it possibly being the way the coating is applied to the screen isn't to be discredited, yet.

I honestly do wish that it would be an issue that would be later fixed, not with new hardware but rather a update to the system. I'm going to speak with those at the genius bar and hopefully someone will have some background knowledge as to this issue. Tell me what you think.
     
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Nov 12, 2006, 03:01 PM
 
You guys must have 20/10 vision or something, because I definitely see it, but I have to be 8 inches away or less; practically right up to the screen. Moving windows around, the coating is definitely present. But, at normal viewing distance—around 12"-18", it completely disappears at normal usage.

I don't see a real problem here, unless it's glaring at the long distances for the other complaints.

What criteria (brightness, viewing distance, et al) are you using? How do we check what models are in the machines?

That said, I think this has to be the best portable I've used from Apple—quiet, cool, bright screen (albeit at somehat reduced viewing angles—but that only affects shoulder-peekers anyway ). All in all, top quality all around for me.
     
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Nov 12, 2006, 03:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by iomatic View Post
You guys must have 20/10 vision or something, because I definitely see it, but I have to be 8 inches away or less; practically right up to the screen. Moving windows around, the coating is definitely present. But, at normal viewing distance—around 12"-18", it completely disappears at normal usage.

I don't see a real problem here, unless it's glaring at the long distances for the other complaints.

What criteria (brightness, viewing distance, et al) are you using? How do we check what models are in the machines?

That said, I think this has to be the best portable I've used from Apple—quiet, cool, bright screen (albeit at somehat reduced viewing angles—but that only affects shoulder-peekers anyway ). All in all, top quality all around for me.
Oh, I wish i had 20/10 vision but sadly, I don't and this problem is still evident.

This is the issue at hand. It isn't really marks on the screen that we can rub off or anything of the like. It's more of what's in the image itself. Spraklies, grain, noise.. whatever you may call it, it's present. As for the brightness settings and viewing distance, at all brightnesses and distances, the problem is still visible. You should post your serial number, which is in your system profiler, and also what model MBP you have. If this problem isn't visible on your notebook, it might have been fixed on the later models. We'll see..
     
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Nov 12, 2006, 03:58 PM
 
Well, I stand by what I've seen in the past. I hope for you guys it's the GPU, but I know it's really not. If the grain/sparkle in the display is bothering you, I suggest you return it to Apple before you are stuck with it. Not for a new one, but hold off until they either switch panels or address the issue and then re-order. If you wait for Apple to address and correct the issue, do you really want to send it in and have them swap out the LCD?

Or, if it is by some chance something that can be fixed by a firmware update, how often has Apple done this in the past? Not very. A while back there was a 'grid' issue with one of the PowerBook's display. As far as I know, the issue went away when Apple either ran out of that particular manufacturer's display, or they quietly switched them at the ODM.

Here is a rundown of Notebooks I've had with the EXACT MacBook Pro sparkle/grainy problem:

Dell 9200 - ATI X300 (WXGA+) - matte, Philips LG
Dell 9300 - ATI X300 (WUXGA) - glossy, Samsung
Dell e1705 - ATI X1400 (WUXGA) - glossy, Philips LG
Dell e1405 - Intel GMA 950 - glossy, Samsung
Sony VAIO FE - NVIDIA 7400 (WXGA) - glossy, Samsung
Sony VAIO SZ - Hybrid Intel GMA and NVIDIA - no change when switching GPUs. (WXGA+) - glossy, Samsung
Sony VAIO TX - Intel GMA (WSXGA) - glossy, TMD
HP DV1000T - Intel GMA 950 (WXGA) - glossy, ??
MacBook Pro - ATI X1600 (WXGA+) - glossy, (looks like an LG from my experience, but that's just a guess as I don't have software for Mac as I do on the PC to see the manufacturer)

…some were worse than others and the displays were of all shapes and resolutions. I have found that (in terms of glossy screens), Hitachi (used in many VAIOs), AUO (smaller, 12 and 13" mostly) and certain LG screens are smooth, while most Samsungs have a bit of sparkle and grain (depending on the model).

Notebooks I've owned or played with WITHOUT sparkle/grain issues:

MacBook (??)
Dell 700m (AUO)
Dell m1210 (AUO)
Sony VAIO A Series (Hitachi)
Sony VAIO FJ Series (Hitachi)
Sony VAIO N Series (Hitachi)
Sony VAIO TX Series (the new revision) (TMD)
Toshiba Satelite Series (AUO, Samsung)
Gateway 14.1 and 15.1 Models (??)
     
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Nov 12, 2006, 04:09 PM
 
You know. I don't know if I mentioned this before but, I have a Samsung LCD monitor. There's a very very slight grain on it (and that I believe is just the nature of the panel) and it's HARDLY noticeable. However, it's really pronounced on my MacBook Pro. When I come home from work and sit down on my MacBook Pro after using the Samsung all day I can definitely see a HUGE difference in quality. I'm not talking about a minor sparkle that I have to squint to see. This covers the entire screen and stands out really good. When I look at my PowerBook G4, it looks a lot clearer (like the Samsung). I believe the coating on the screen has some of an effect on the image to a degree... but, I've never seen it this bad before.

I really hope it's a software fix.

You all have very good points. But, the main question is... what REALLY is the cause for this issue? On some computer it may just be the display but, on some computers it really is the GPU.... so go figure. I don't know what to think anymore.
     
 
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