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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Is my graphics card on it was out? or is it software related? (screenshots)

Is my graphics card on it was out? or is it software related? (screenshots)
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formerly crazyreaper
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Dec 10, 2011, 05:28 PM
 
I've been experiencing issues with (possibly) my graphics card on my Mac Book Pro (late 2009). It seems to happen sporadically and have no idea where its come from. Im not sure if its software or hardware as I have had both a GPU and OS X Lion installed in the past 4 months and this issue has been happening now for around a month I think.

The effects turn up in screen shots and only apply to certain parts of the screen (with in apps) I have attached some screen shots below.

Has anyone got any ideas whats causing this?

Screen Shot 2011-12-02 at 15.14.19.png
Screen Shot 2011-12-02 at 15.57.24.png
Screen Shot 2011-12-02 at 16.04.52.png
Screen Shot 2011-12-05 at 13.03.30.png
Screen Shot 2011-12-06 at 21.15.37 (2).png

Thanks

Matt
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Dec 10, 2011, 05:51 PM
 
Its probably a software issue if its localised. I can see the effect is obvious in the Safari logo on the fourth pic but its much less obvious in the others.

How did you install a new GPU? They are built onto the logic boards in MacBook Pros.
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P
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Dec 10, 2011, 06:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Its probably a software issue if its localised. I can see the effect is obvious in the Safari logo on the fourth pic but its much less obvious in the others.

How did you install a new GPU? They are built onto the logic boards in MacBook Pros.
Not on 15" and 17", they're not. They're on MXM cards (like PCIe for mobiles) so it's possible that the GPU has been upgraded, but this is very rare. OP: do you really have an MBP with an aftermarket GPU?
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
formerly crazyreaper
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Dec 10, 2011, 06:48 PM
 
Yes I realised i should have highlighted where the issues were in the screen shots. If you look in the safari windows at the pages, the images and text are all rendering very very dark. This can flicker on and off too with scrolling. YouTube and FaceBook should hopefully be familiar enough to spot a shift in colour.

I've been lead to believe that my model (15" later 2009) has the GPU soldered onto the Logic Board. I have had the logic board replaced twice (one for an audio jack related issue and once i believe for the graphics card) both time carried out by apple under my Apple Care plan.
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Dec 10, 2011, 06:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Not on 15" and 17", they're not. They're on MXM cards (like PCIe for mobiles) so it's possible that the GPU has been upgraded, but this is very rare. OP: do you really have an MBP with an aftermarket GPU?
No, they're not.


Thats the GPU at the top of the board, soldered on as always.
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formerly crazyreaper
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Dec 10, 2011, 06:55 PM
 
As i was going to watch another ep of South Park, here is a photo of VLC working normal to compare to Screen Shot 2011-12-06 at 21.15.37 (2).png

Screen Shot 2011-12-10 at 22.54.04.png
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Dec 10, 2011, 07:50 PM
 
Its a weird one. Never seen a GPU do that before. My money is still on software.

Do you have two GPUs in yours? Switch to the other one if you can and see if it persists. Or boot from another disk and test.
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formerly crazyreaper
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Dec 13, 2011, 06:49 PM
 
Im currently away on work in Switzerland (hence me going quiet) but i have to admit ive not change anything but ive not seen repetition of the problem for a while now. Will keep an eye on it when i return back to the UK and go back to using it quite a lot for art working. Will keep you updated.

P.S. I have ran some software updates since i last saw it
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Dec 13, 2011, 06:52 PM
 
Could have been something as simple as bug in the interface library, fixed by an OS update. Hopefully it really was the fix.
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Dec 13, 2011, 10:41 PM
 
It looks like Safari was using a smaller color space. Something less than 16-bit color could explain the dark text - lack of grey shades to work with, so text renders as straight black. And the Safari logo in #4 looks like 256-color. I'm going to agree with Waragainstsleep - it was probably a software issue. A GPU glitch would affect everything.
     
formerly crazyreaper
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Dec 14, 2011, 05:53 AM
 
Thank you for the input anyway guys, much appreciated, as always!
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formerly crazyreaper
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Dec 21, 2011, 04:47 AM
 
Ok the issue has reared its head again. After a week away working on just my Laptop ive come back to London and see the issue both on an apple cinema (running in clam-shell mode) and when running dual screen at home with an external monitor. I should point out for clarity that the graphics bug appears on both monitors when running dual screen, so isnt an issue with the external monitor, but it looks like that running an external screen maybe pushing the card over the edge.

Attached are 3 new screenshots with the part of the screen with the issue highlighted.

With the new information has anyone got any further suggestions other than going to see apple about it. I am heading back to York form London today and its actually less effort to go to the Apple store in York than it is in London, so i may just call in to see them, but with it being a fairly new franchise store, i can see them not knowing what the issue is (over the official stores in London)

Screen Shot 2011-12-20 at 10.01.06.png
Screen Shot 2011-12-20 at 14.59.52.png
Screen Shot 2011-12-20 at 15.01.02.png

P.S. the halftone effect you see is just me hiding other peoples data on facebook and in the address book
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Dec 21, 2011, 03:48 PM
 
Have you tried an external display? Do you have another disk you can boot from? Maybe if you have a big USB stick you could put a fresh install on that and try to make the issue repeat. If it does, its hardware (probably GPU) and you need another logic board.

If you have to get a 3rd logic board swapped, I'd call Applecare and start fishing for a new Mac.

Also, its "an extensive range" and "sampling". I'm not sure "An all round fun but hard worker" is quite right either but I can't quite put my finger on why not. Maybe "Good fun but a hard worker" would be better.
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formerly crazyreaper
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Dec 22, 2011, 12:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Also, its "an extensive range" and "sampling". I'm not sure "An all round fun but hard worker" is quite right either but I can't quite put my finger on why not. Maybe "Good fun but a hard worker" would be better.
Ha Ha, I know, my rule of thumb at work is i will put my hand to anything, but for crying out loud, dont let me touch copy. Its all work in progress, Im planning on having a proper look at it over xmas. The guys at work said i should write it in 1st person and not third, but that feels really strange to me.

Thanks for the feedback on the GFX issue however, will have to find some time to sit down and have a look at it.
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