Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > The New MacBook Pro's with LED-backlit display

The New MacBook Pro's with LED-backlit display (Page 3)
Thread Tools
Dark Goob
Forum Regular
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Portland, OR
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 9, 2007, 11:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by pete View Post
The matte ones are treated with an antiglare coating which is very slightly visible when you drag a white window around. HOWEVER, it is completely normal for matte LCDs. The previous ones much have had a thick/defective layer because they were awful with a strong grain/dust/shimmer effect. I have the new LED and, trust me, grain is no longer an issue at all.
Yes I concur totally. The LED LCD on this baby is hott~! Looks fantastic. It's brighter than my CRT!

That said, totally get the 7200 RPM if you can. I have the 5400 and, well, lets just say that OS X uses lots of virtual memory. Even with 2GB of RAM, programs don't load as fast as I know they could. So, I guess after awhile I might spring for a 250GB 7200 RPM drive :$

Still, I wish they used true 8-bit panels... you can definitely see banding in photoshop gradients, but it was the same way on my PowerBook G4.

-=DG=-

PS -- Has anyone tried putting Vista on one of these yet?
     
Cadaver
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: ~/
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 9, 2007, 01:18 PM
 
So, no one has seen a 1920x1200 17" in the stores, eh?
I'd kind of like to check one out. Maybe they will be forthcoming.
     
voicebox
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: London UK
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 9, 2007, 04:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cadaver View Post
So, no one has seen a 1920x1200 17" in the stores, eh?
I'd kind of like to check one out. Maybe they will be forthcoming.
Hi Cadaver,
I am about to buy a new 2.4Ghz MBP 17" with the new 1920x1200 screen ..
I wanted to pay cash and buy it through the Apple Store here in London on Regent Street; I was told that I could not do this - the 17" Hi Res screen is only available via the online store using my credit card! In fact they (the Regent Street Store) will not even have the new MBP 17" with Hi Res screen available to look at in the store! It is considered an upgrade to the ordinary wide-screen display, so therefore can only be bought online ...!
Now if all the above info is true, how the hell are we the consumer able to compare the screens side by side before buying ...?
     
Person Man
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Northwest Ohio
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 9, 2007, 07:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dark Goob View Post
PS -- Has anyone tried putting Vista on one of these yet?
Yes. I have. I just bought my new 15" MacBook Pro 2.4 GHz yesterday evening, and I spent the morning installing Vista Ultimate under Boot Camp. Works beautifully, and it scored a 4.8 on the performance rating.
     
tmoney468
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Apr 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 9, 2007, 07:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Super Mario View Post
The 6 bit dithering thing never applied to MBP. Apple's documents state it only applies to a certain MacBook model. MBP's show all colors.

All Macbook Pro laptops use 6 bit screens...the Apple specs say that it has "support for millions of colors". There was a program I downloaded which gave me the model number of my 17' screen...It was manufactured by Samsung and is only 6 bit.
     
chipchen
Mac Elite
Join Date: Oct 2002
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 10, 2007, 12:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by voicebox View Post
Hi Cadaver,
I am about to buy a new 2.4Ghz MBP 17" with the new 1920x1200 screen ..
I wanted to pay cash and buy it through the Apple Store here in London on Regent Street; I was told that I could not do this - the 17" Hi Res screen is only available via the online store using my credit card! In fact they (the Regent Street Store) will not even have the new MBP 17" with Hi Res screen available to look at in the store! It is considered an upgrade to the ordinary wide-screen display, so therefore can only be bought online ...!
Now if all the above info is true, how the hell are we the consumer able to compare the screens side by side before buying ...?
The screen is considered a CTO (configured to order)... and Apple tends to carry "stock" models at first to guage interest and demand. Then they will decide on a "upgraded" model to carry. I'm sure the Apple Store will stock the hi-res screen soon. It will likely include more than just the screen upgrade (possibly more RAM or stock the larger hard drive).
     
himself
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Live at the BBQ
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 10, 2007, 12:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by MacosNerd View Post
Never going to happen. Apple sells solutions and computer systems not kits for people to add on too.
Of course it's not likely to ever happen. But it would be great to have that option. We can still dream.
"Bill Gates can't guarantee Windows... how can you guarantee my safety?"
-John Crichton
     
Dark Goob
Forum Regular
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Portland, OR
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 10, 2007, 04:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Person Man View Post
Yes. I have. I just bought my new 15" MacBook Pro 2.4 GHz yesterday evening, and I spent the morning installing Vista Ultimate under Boot Camp. Works beautifully, and it scored a 4.8 on the performance rating.
On what performance rating?

Also, is it possible to have *multiple* bootcamp partitions? For example one XP, one Vista? With all the problems I've heard about various things (esp. older software) not working on Vista, I doubt I would just want to only have Vista. If you can only have one, I will probably stick with XP, even tho it does not support DirectX 10.
     
ALvy
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 14, 2007, 05:39 AM
 
Hello all,

This is my first posting here, so I thought I'd say hi

I'm a photographer, and recently purchased a Macbook Pro 15" to replace my ageing Sony VAIO laptop. I shoot digital, and tether my camera to the MBP so all images go directly to PC.

I did my first bit of work with the MBP a couple of days ago - I was very eager to try out my new shiny macbook, so I was quite looking forward to it. The project in hand was a collage of objects - we were shooting a series of objects against a white background, to be used in a flash site.

I started noticing problems with the images, whereby I could see banding and pixelation going on. After a bit of research the next day, I came across the whole 6 bit display issue, whereby MBP were using ~262k + dithering to represent all colours in the spectrum.

The image in question is http://www.haushinka.org/media/cup_1.jpg - if looked at on any normal TFT display, or older generation mac, you won't be able to see any problems - a cup on a white background.

On my Macbook Pro, I have banding problems, and look something like http://www.haushinka.org/media/banding.jpg - This last photo is admittedly exaggerated, as I have to turn the notebook at an angle and turn the contrast up to be able to show the banding, but you get the idea of what the problem is.

I have looked at http://www.haushinka.org/media/cup_1.jpg on other Macbook Pros, and they suffer from the same problem, so it isn't just mine.

I've checked this image on a PowerBook G4 17", and it doesn't suffer from the same problem, so I'm assuming the current Samsung LCD Panels that the Macbook Pros use has a new type of dithering method, that doesn't work too well

If anyone knows of any solutions to this, other than taking it back and getting a PC laptop, do let me know - it's a bit annoying being a professional photographer, buying a "pro" laptop, and being faced with amateur hardware.
     
Super Mario
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2004
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 14, 2007, 05:59 AM
 
I'm having difficulty finding the specs page on Apple's site which state only the MacBook uses dithering. That doesn't mean I now believe Apple but here is some 20/20

Apple Using 6-Bit Displays: Separating Fact from Fiction at thomas fitzgerald.net

First and foremost, the panels do seem to be 6bit. But here’s the catch. So are the panels on the older powerbooks, and no one ever had a problem with those. More importantly, I spent several hours searching for information on LCD panels used by other manufacturers in notebooks and all that I have found so far that many use 6 bit panels. (I don’t have the resources to check all the panels made by every manufacturer). From what I can tell, most of those with true 16 million colors are low resolution panels.

he fact is people have been using notebooks advertised as “capable” of 16million colors for years which only had 6 bit panels (which give 262,000 colors) and until this law suit started no one cared. All over forums, people who never had an issue with their display are suddenly claiming it is sub standard. Unfortunately they are not sub standard, its just that everyone misled about what the standard was.
Apple Sued: Can 262,144 Colors Be Considered 'Millions'?

However, there's a catch. An LCD pixel isn't a single spot. It's a square composed of three side-by-side red, blue, and green crystals. By using adjacent crystals on the right and/or left (sort of borrowing them from the pixel next door), we can effectively display 7 bits per channel. That's 21-bit color, which means that using clever programming these "6-bit" LCDs can actually display 2,097,152 colors.

That qualifies as "millions" in my book.

By using the pixels above and below, we've got 8 bits of color per channel and the 16 million plus that Apple claims.

Further, it seems that Apple has no choice in the matter. According to postings on ars technica, nobody builds 8-bit-per-channel LCDs that Apple (or anyone else) could be using in their notebook computers. Although the video circuitry supports 8 bits per channel, none of the available LCDs displays more than 6 bits per channel.

My question isn't whether Apple will be able to win, as I've just demonstrated that mathematically they can make their case. Even if a judge doesn't see it that way, the end users aren't going to end up with 8-bit-per-channel displays in their existing 'Books. Nor are they likely to see much money - remember the class action suit over CRT sizes that resulted in the plaintiffs receiving only a $13 rebate coupon that could be applied to a new monitor purchase or a $6 refund?

Only the lawyers will get rich.
( Last edited by Super Mario; Jan 10, 2018 at 03:17 PM. )
     
Super Mario
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2004
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 14, 2007, 06:20 AM
 
I used SwitchResX and found out my PowerBook G4 uses an LG Philips LP121X04-C2 screen. It is a 6 bit screen!

12.1"XGA, 1024x768 LG.Philips LP121X04-C2 6 bit/ 262K
Yet I don't see any banding in that teacup image. I've never seen any banding in any graphics I worked on.
( Last edited by Super Mario; Jan 10, 2018 at 03:09 PM. )
     
ALvy
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 14, 2007, 06:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by ALvy View Post
I've checked this image on a PowerBook G4 17", and it doesn't suffer from the same problem, so I'm assuming the current Samsung LCD Panels that the Macbook Pros use has a new type of dithering method, that doesn't work too well
Hum
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 14, 2007, 08:37 AM
 
The dithering that Apple uses is handled by the graphics card, so the effect depends on the GPU used. I'm very happy with mine, a 6-bit LCD in and iMac G5 that is run by a GF 5200U - I can't tell the difference between the test images that people complain so much about.

Note that ATi claims that the dithering in their X1600 GPUs (the ones in the MBPs that everyone was complaining about) can produce 8-bit and even 10-bit quality colors on 6-bit panels. That's a lot more than what Apple claims.
     
Super Mario
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2004
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 14, 2007, 08:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
The dithering that Apple uses is handled by the graphics card, so the effect depends on the GPU used. I'm very happy with mine, a 6-bit LCD in and iMac G5 that is run by a GF 5200U - I can't tell the difference between the test images that people complain so much about.

Note that ATi claims that the dithering in their X1600 GPUs (the ones in the MBPs that everyone was complaining about) can produce 8-bit and even 10-bit quality colors on 6-bit panels. That's a lot more than what Apple claims.
So what's the final score? We got thousands of professionals who has used 6 bit for years without complaint. What's going on?

This ALvy guys says he just bought a new MBP and sees bad dithering. He can only show a badly made mock up so far. Who else is seeing bad dithering on the new 'Books?

Which has the best and worst dithering: ATI X1600, Geforce 7600, GeForce 8600, GeForce 7300, ATI 1900 XT or GMA950?
( Last edited by Super Mario; Jan 10, 2018 at 03:10 PM. )
     
ALvy
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 14, 2007, 09:18 AM
 
It's actually Alvy, but in the rush of registering, I put caps on the first two letters

I believe the problem is occurring on the new Samsung panels that the current range of Macbook Pro are using - as I mentioned before, it's not manifesting itself on older PowerBooks.

I think people are mis-interpreting the whole 6 bit per colour panels situation - most laptops have 6 bit panels anyway, Apple or otherwise. I think the main problem is the fact that the dithering in the current range, isn't up to it as well - I've seen some people say the dithering is done at the display level, and others at the graphics card level, I don't really know which one is correct.

Keep in mind that for most usage, it's probably ok. The example I've shown earlier on in this thread, is a very concise set of conditions - due to my photography, I do a lot of things that have colour ranges and gradients, and have therefore manifested themselves.
     
Super Mario
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2004
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 14, 2007, 09:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by ALvy View Post

I believe the problem is occurring on the new Samsung panels that the current range of Macbook Pro are using - as I mentioned before, it's not manifesting itself on older PowerBooks..
I don't get why before this news item came up a month ago nobody was saying anything. Thousands of graphic designers around the world using MBPs and nobody had a problem. Have you got a digital photo of that file on your Mac's screen instead of that mock up you made?
( Last edited by Super Mario; Jan 10, 2018 at 03:10 PM. )
     
ALvy
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 14, 2007, 10:10 AM
 
Both images I pasted in my first posting are digital photos, not mock ups

When I said it was exagerated, I meant that it shows more when you look at it from angle (like in that photo), and I turned the contrast of the photo up, so its easier to see.

It's not as bad as it is in that photo, when looking at it straight on in real life, but it is noticeable, to the point that it's relatively useless for a photographer - we work on "painting" light in our photos, so if we can't measure the light properly, then we can't do our job.
     
Super Mario
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2004
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 14, 2007, 11:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by ALvy View Post
Both images I pasted in my first posting are digital photos, not mock ups
I see. The screen was so bright it looked unreal.

Can you open it at the same time in Photoshop, Firefox, Safari and Preview and then hit Exposé and see if there is a difference in each.
( Last edited by Super Mario; Jan 10, 2018 at 03:11 PM. )
     
MacosNerd
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 14, 2007, 11:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by ALvy View Post
When I said it was exagerated, I meant that it shows more when you look at it from angle (like in that photo), and I turned the contrast of the photo up, so its easier to see.
I just did a quick search over on the apple discussion's board and there seems to be a fair number of threads regarding this issue. I'm not sure what that says other then that some people are concerned about the image quality.
     
Person Man
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Northwest Ohio
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 14, 2007, 12:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dark Goob View Post
On what performance rating?
The overall performance rating was a 4.8. And that was the memory, I believe. The processor scored a 5.3 and the graphics processor scored 5.7
     
Dark Goob
Forum Regular
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Portland, OR
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 14, 2007, 05:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by ALvy View Post
Hello all,

This is my first posting here, so I thought I'd say hi

I'm a photographer, and recently purchased a Macbook Pro 15" to replace my ageing Sony VAIO laptop. I shoot digital, and tether my camera to the MBP so all images go directly to PC.

I did my first bit of work with the MBP a couple of days ago - I was very eager to try out my new shiny macbook, so I was quite looking forward to it. The project in hand was a collage of objects - we were shooting a series of objects against a white background, to be used in a flash site.

I started noticing problems with the images, whereby I could see banding and pixelation going on. After a bit of research the next day, I came across the whole 6 bit display issue, whereby MBP were using ~262k + dithering to represent all colours in the spectrum.

The image in question is http://www.haushinka.org/media/cup_1.jpg - if looked at on any normal TFT display, or older generation mac, you won't be able to see any problems - a cup on a white background.

On my Macbook Pro, I have banding problems, and look something like http://www.haushinka.org/media/banding.jpg - This last photo is admittedly exaggerated, as I have to turn the notebook at an angle and turn the contrast up to be able to show the banding, but you get the idea of what the problem is.

I have looked at http://www.haushinka.org/media/cup_1.jpg on other Macbook Pros, and they suffer from the same problem, so it isn't just mine.

I've checked this image on a PowerBook G4 17", and it doesn't suffer from the same problem, so I'm assuming the current Samsung LCD Panels that the Macbook Pros use has a new type of dithering method, that doesn't work too well

If anyone knows of any solutions to this, other than taking it back and getting a PC laptop, do let me know - it's a bit annoying being a professional photographer, buying a "pro" laptop, and being faced with amateur hardware.
I looked at it on my new MacBook Pro and it did NOT have the same issues. It looks fine on my screen (though I do have one of the ones with a yellowish corner in the lower right, and a squeaky spacebar).

-=DG=-
     
ALvy
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 14, 2007, 06:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dark Goob View Post
I looked at it on my new MacBook Pro and it did NOT have the same issues. It looks fine on my screen (though I do have one of the ones with a yellowish corner in the lower right, and a squeaky spacebar).

-=DG=-
Having done a bit further research today, I'd be quite surprised at what you say, and are more inclined in saying that you probably don't know what to look for

Since my last posting today, I have tried that image on another Macbook Pro (two weeks old), and same problem. Additionally, I had another look at it on our old PowerBook G4 in the office, and that also does suffer from the same issue - albeit, a lot harder to spot, and not as obvious as the MBP.

I have also tested the image on a Sony VAIO A217M 17" (2 years old), Sony VAIO TX5 VN (2 months old), Toshiba M1 (1 year old), HP laptop (year and a half old), and a Fujitsu laptop. All of them, to some extent or another, suffer from exactly the same issue - slight dithering mismatch.

It appears this isn't a MacBook Pro issue, but rather the whole 6 bit per colour display panels that the majority of laptops use currently. One thing to be said is that the MacBook Pro does accentuate the problem well above the rest - I can only put that down to the specific Samsung LCD found in current generation MacBook Pros.

Quite a few friends have told me its perfectly white on their laptops, until I've pointed out the banding and how to find it - if you don't know what you're looking for, you probably won't find it.

So there you have it gents, you simply can't escape this, Macbooks or windows laptops. Having had a quick fiddle with the calibration tool in System Preferences, I managed to get rid of most of the banding, although the colours weren't right. Perhaps with some better calibration, I might be able to hide this problem a bit more.
     
pete
Mac Elite
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: New York
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 14, 2007, 06:24 PM
 
I think you're right that it's a 6 bit vs 8 bit thing. It's completely white on my 8 bit samsung display, and the artefacts are very visible on my new MBP.

I think the main reason the MBP makes them so visible compared to other laptops is that the display is brighter than most. In fact, I think a lot of the weaknesses of laptop LCD technology have been, quite literally, illuminated by the bright screens. We've been using 6 bit screens for a long time with few issues like this - only since the displays have become super bright have we started noticing the issues. Just a theory.
     
ALvy
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 14, 2007, 06:34 PM
 
That's pretty much on the money.

The photo itself isn't completely white - there's a gradient coming from the cup through to the left of the image, as the light was falling on it from that direction. The colour differentials are minimal - very very slight differences of grey.

Any display that has 8 bit per colour means it can do 256 shades of each colour - that is, 256 Red, 256 Green, 256 Blue. Put it all together, and you have 256 * 256 * 256 = 16777216 (or 16.7 million, roughly).

On the other hand, an LCD panel that has 6 bits per colour, means it can only have 64 shades of each colour, so 64 * 64 * 64 = 262144 (or 262k, roughly).

So to compensate for this, the display will attempt to dither the colours, by putting various shades together, that is - mixing the colours. I did see a technical explanation about the LCD panels having three different points per pixel, and how that augments the amount of colours, but you're still talking about less than 16.7 Million colours.

So, try and mix the colours - different displays will use different algorhythms for doing so. In the case of the MBP panel, and with that specific photo, it's mixing them wrong, and coming out a pinkish shade.

As I said, different laptops have varying degrees of this issue, but all 6 bit ones will suffer in one way or another.
     
ALvy
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 14, 2007, 07:00 PM
 
I've just done a quick photo to demonstrate the lack of colours due to the dithering. I apologise for the quality of the photo, its nearly midnight and I should be getting to bed - I couldnt get the shutter speed on the camera fast enough due to crap lighting, so there's distortion over the screen.

http://www.haushinka.org/media/banding_colours.jpg

Each one of those images is exactly 256 pixels wide, and have black (R: 0, G: 0, B: 0) at one side of the photo, and an even gradient of colour to each colour (so R: 255, G: 0, B: 0 for red, for example). I also did a white one but it doesnt show too well due to the camera exposure.

I know it's a bit difficult to see, but if you look at each image, you'll see a smooth gradient in the middle of every photo, then at either side, you'll see a solid block of colour - big chunk of red, then it kicks into the gradient, then reaches black and once again has a big chunk of solid black.

These solid chunks are where the display cannot reproduce the required shades of colour. It always manifests itself at extremes of the scale - the high and low levels of the colour. Likewise, with White and Black, the same problem occurs - this is why my photo of the tea cup has problems with the high end of the black/white scale.

Interestingly, in that photo, there's a lot less shades of red than there are of green, which also has less shades than blue. This could be due to calibration.

And a quick drawing up I've done on my Vista dual monitor desktop, for comparison. Looking at it, I'd say maybe the contrast is a little dark on the photo, and probably has a slightly longer range on the dark and shadow side of the photo, but not too far off what I can see with my own eyes - the right hand side of this photo is Photoshop CS3 on Vista doing exactly the same:

http://www.haushinka.org/media/banding_full.png
( Last edited by ALvy; Jun 14, 2007 at 07:08 PM. )
     
RogerR
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Oregon
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 14, 2007, 07:07 PM
 
I just picked up a new 15-in MBP, 2.4 Ghz, with matte screen, and the screen looks great. The screen is evenly lit and grain free. I have it sitting next to a 1-year-old MacBook, and when both are at 100 percent brightness, the new MBP looks better. And I definitely prefer the lack of glare provided by the matte screen.
     
Man-in-Black
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Arizona
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 14, 2007, 08:32 PM
 
I currently have a MBP Core Duo that I bought last November. I have been seriously thinking about upgrading to the newer, faster, sexier MBP when this thread brought me to a screeching halt. In my home office, I have my MBP attached to a Samsung SyncMaster 940bw using a DVI cable.

Looking at Alvy's "cup1.jpg"...the image on my 940bw display showed it to be perfectly white. So I decided to take the window and move it over to my MBP lcd to see what it looked like there (I am using the extended desktop feature...so I just drag the window over). To my amazement, the picture on my MBP display looks like what Alvy described...it has the banding and shading. It is clearly visible in the upper left corner and then there is a second, arc-like band about 1.5" from the corner. Wow...never ever noticed anything like this before. I move it back to the Samsung display and it is perfectly white. Scary.

I submit that it might not be the new display...but I will definitely be taking this image with me on a thumbdrive down to the Apple Store.

Comments?
MBP 17" Core Duo 2.16mHz, 2gb
     
ALvy
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 15, 2007, 03:31 AM
 
I'm doing exactly the same later on today - my "trial" period where I can return it lasts until the 21st of this month I believe, so it'll be interested to see what they have to say.

I can't help but think they'll just shrug their shoulders and offer me my money back, which is sad, because that's not what I want, I just want a working macbook
     
ALvy
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 15, 2007, 07:28 AM
 
I went in at lunch time to the Apple store in Regent street, Central London today, but apparently I need to make an appointment before anyone will even look at my mac - first free slot is tomorrow night. Sigh.

Interestingly though, I had a look at the MacBook Pros in the store, and both the glossy and anti-glare screens on the 15" suffer from the above described, but none of the 17" MBPs do...
     
Dark Goob
Forum Regular
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Portland, OR
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 15, 2007, 07:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by ALvy View Post
Having done a bit further research today, I'd be quite surprised at what you say, and are more inclined in saying that you probably don't know what to look for

Since my last posting today, I have tried that image on another Macbook Pro (two weeks old), and same problem. Additionally, I had another look at it on our old PowerBook G4 in the office, and that also does suffer from the same issue - albeit, a lot harder to spot, and not as obvious as the MBP.

I have also tested the image on a Sony VAIO A217M 17" (2 years old), Sony VAIO TX5 VN (2 months old), Toshiba M1 (1 year old), HP laptop (year and a half old), and a Fujitsu laptop. All of them, to some extent or another, suffer from exactly the same issue - slight dithering mismatch.

It appears this isn't a MacBook Pro issue, but rather the whole 6 bit per colour display panels that the majority of laptops use currently. One thing to be said is that the MacBook Pro does accentuate the problem well above the rest - I can only put that down to the specific Samsung LCD found in current generation MacBook Pros.

Quite a few friends have told me its perfectly white on their laptops, until I've pointed out the banding and how to find it - if you don't know what you're looking for, you probably won't find it.

So there you have it gents, you simply can't escape this, Macbooks or windows laptops. Having had a quick fiddle with the calibration tool in System Preferences, I managed to get rid of most of the banding, although the colours weren't right. Perhaps with some better calibration, I might be able to hide this problem a bit more.
Well I looked at that picture on my screen. It has no visible banding. (New LED macbook pro). I'm a professional graphic designer and photographer. I know what to look for. One thing you CAN see in the image is JPEG artifacting.

JPEG compression relies upon a wide color gamut to hide its artifacts. The difference in shades being compressed into a smaller gamut of the 6-bit display will cause JPEG artifacting to become more apparent. That's what you're seeing here. it's very subtle when viewed directly.

Frankly I wish Apple would just put 8-bit displays, and charge more, as an option. I'd pay it, who wouldn't?

Anyway I have the muddy corner on mine, so I took it into the Apple store and they're ordering me a new screen (though they're not sure how long it will take). I didn't want to just swap out my machine though, and then find out the other one I got was worse. Hopefully this way they get it right.

Still though you just have to accept that laptop screens are not going to be able to be used as color reference displays like a Barco or Lacie Electron. I picked up a 21" Apple Studio Display (Trinitron) on Craigslist for $15 for doing that sort of thing. The laptop screen is good enough for doing basic color balancing in Photoshop -- you can always "go by the numbers" with your Info pallette if you want to know your color balance, anyway (read some Dan Margulis books).

Look, everything in this day and age is made as cheaply as possible, in China etc. The quality of every consumer product from cameras, to stereos, to microphones, to Macs is going down the crapper. I guess this is just a sign of the times.

-=DG=-
( Last edited by Dark Goob; Jun 15, 2007 at 07:49 AM. )
     
ALvy
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 15, 2007, 08:07 AM
 
It's no artefacts though - even saved out as lossless PNG, or looking directly at the RAW files from the camera, it's the same - if you look at it on any normal display, it's completely white as it should be, and on most laptops, whilst there is some banding when looked at it at an angle, directly on is invisble - I can see it clearly, without even having to squint my eyes.

Originally Posted by Dark Goob View Post
Look, everything in this day and age is made as cheaply as possible, in China etc. The quality of every consumer product from cameras, to stereos, to microphones, to Macs is going down the crapper. I guess this is just a sign of the times.

-=DG=-
It might be made cheap, but I paid £1600 (thats $3151.87 US in current exchange rates) for it, and the least I can ask for is something I can work with - a laptop half that price can do it. This kind of attitude just makes Apple lose customers.
     
Jim Paradise
Mac Elite
Join Date: Oct 2000
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 16, 2007, 02:28 AM
 
I ordered one of the 2.2 MBPs a few days ago, but with the glossy widescreen. Have any of you tried one of them out yet? Do they compare favourably to older displays, or suffer from some of the above-mentioned issues?
     
ALvy
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 16, 2007, 03:43 PM
 
So I went to the local Apple store today, and I showed them the problem - they were relatively clueless about it. We tried it on various 15" / 17" models in the store, and only the current generation of 15" had the problem.

They said they'd escalate it to Apple Engineering to see what they have to say about it, and get back to me in a couple of weeks. I imagine that's the last I'll hear about it.
     
Mixa
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Denmark
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 16, 2007, 05:13 PM
 
Wow... I'm actually looking forward to hearing the answer from Apple on this one.

I'm waiting for my spankin' new MBP 2.4Ghz , should be arriving the 18th.

We'll see if i have the same prob, though i kindda doubt it would be any different from yours.

Should this be charcterized as a problem, or is it a matter of taste?

It's at times like this, that it sux to don't have a REAL AppleStore in your country(Denmark), and have to settle with Humac...
     
ALvy
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 16, 2007, 06:06 PM
 
I think overall, about 99% of Macbook Pro users wouldn't be affected - the fact that I managed to come up with an image that shows this problem is a matter of chance.

I did some work today on a white background (Alvaro Mari-Thompson | Haushinka Photography | 4.00), and no problems came up.

As mentioned before, the problem lies at the top and bottom of each colour scale, including black / white. The cup_1.jpg picture includes a gradient within the top end of the scale, which is why the problem came up so obvious.

I use the mac for location shooting, and all my processing is done on my Vista machine, so as long as I'm aware how the problem manifests itself, I can get by with rough previews.
     
mindflayer
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 17, 2007, 04:46 AM
 
ALvy - odd, as I just downloaded that image and viewed it on my Macbook Pro 2.4 Ghz 15" LED-LCD, and I do not see any banding.

I wonder if you guys in the UK got a bad batch?
     
ALvy
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 17, 2007, 05:18 AM
 
Have you tried looking at http://www.haushinka.org/media/cup_1.jpg at an angle, rather than directly at the screen? That will give you a more rough idea of what you're looking for exactly.

Also, on http://www.haushinka.org/media/banding_full.png - on the right hand side of the photo, where the three gradients are, can you see a smooth gradient on each colour, or is there a chunk at the left hand side thats a big block of colour?
     
Obi Wan's Ghost
Baninated
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: An asteroid remanent of Tatooine.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 17, 2007, 05:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by ALvy View Post
Have you tried looking at http://www.haushinka.org/media/cup_1.jpg at an angle, rather than directly at the screen? That will give you a more rough idea of what you're looking for exactly.

Also, on http://www.haushinka.org/media/banding_full.png - on the right hand side of the photo, where the three gradients are, can you see a smooth gradient on each colour, or is there a chunk at the left hand side thats a big block of colour?
I see the problem in both images when looking at an angle, the thing is dithering was created by software and hardware companies in such a way that a graphic designer or video editor looking directly at a 6 bit screen will see an accurate representation of what their output should look like when printed.

I use a PowerBook and Power Mac. I see the problem on the PowerBook but I have never worked on images while looking at the screen at a wild angle. My printed output has always been what I expected it to be, ie the image that was heads on in front of me on screen.

You really haven't a reason to complain or look at your screen from a wide angle when working. There are many people out there editing 10 bit color High Definition video on 6 bit screens without trouble.
     
ALvy
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 17, 2007, 06:00 AM
 
I was using the angle thing as an example of how to spot what to look for actually, I can see pink blocks looking at it directly, not just at an angle, as could the staff at the Apple store
     
mindflayer
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 17, 2007, 06:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by ALvy View Post
Have you tried looking at http://www.haushinka.org/media/cup_1.jpg at an angle, rather than directly at the screen?
Do you often use the laptop at a 130º angle?

I do see the issue, but I also see a great shift in color. I'd say that using the laptop at this wide a viewing angle is a bad idea.

That said, I tried this on a Vaio and a Dell. Same issue. I'd try it on my LCD TV, but I am tired.
     
MacosNerd
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 17, 2007, 07:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by mindflayer View Post
Do you often use the laptop at a 130º angle?
Well if you look at his response just above yours you'll see that he did that for illustration and ease of demonstration but the problem exists when looking dead on.
     
MacosNerd
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 17, 2007, 08:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by ALvy View Post
I was using the angle thing as an example of how to spot what to look for actually, I can see pink blocks looking at it directly, not just at an angle, as could the staff at the Apple store
I'm probably going to be hitting the apple store in a few days, maybe even today. I'll have the cup picture on a thumb drive, one quick question however. The pink artifacts, are they showing up with image or another?

I currently own a Macbook, but I need something with a little more screen real estate. Of course I'm about to view the image on the MB and see if it exists there.

Edit: just looked at my MB and the artifacts are present Since I never noticed it before I'm not sure if I should be upset. I suppose for what I do and how I use the laptop its won't matter too much to me.
     
Mixa
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Denmark
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 18, 2007, 09:11 AM
 
Well, just received my MBP today from UPS. I have the same problem as well(big suprise).
     
MacosNerd
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 18, 2007, 09:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by Mixa View Post
Well, just received my MBP today from UPS. I have the same problem as well(big suprise).
I'm not trying to split hairs but its not really problem insofar that its defective. It appears to be a conscience move by apple to use cheaper 6-bit displays over 8-bit.

I smell a class action suit over this, which of course will only have one winner - lawyers.

The current crop of Macbooks (as noted in my earlier post) have this issue and surprisingly I didn't notice it. Of course I use my MB as a backup, so its not used heavily unless I travel but that's besides the point. Apple advertises the displays as capable of handling millions of colors but that's no true.
     
Abbas
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Dec 2004
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 18, 2007, 09:19 AM
 
Got mine a couple of days back and it rocks. Luckily no dithering on the coffee cup picture for me. I'vve put together a mini-review with some benchmarks comparing to the older models:

t-break - Apple MacBook Pro Rev 3
     
ALvy
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 18, 2007, 10:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by MacosNerd View Post
I'm not trying to split hairs but its not really problem insofar that its defective. It appears to be a conscience move by apple to use cheaper 6-bit displays over 8-bit.
Like many others have already mentioned on this thread, I think that's a bit of a misunderstood fact.

You'll be very hard pushed to find any 8-bit displays on any laptops, Apple or otherwise. The problem here is not so much the use of the 6-bit display, but rather the specific Samsung LCD model used in the current range of 15" MBP notebooks - it can't handle the dithering correctly, unlike many other LCD panels.
     
KP*
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: New York, NY
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 18, 2007, 11:26 AM
 
I've just tried this on my new MBP with a gradient, and yes, the gradient does turn into a solid color a little bit before the edge of the image. I had to really look at it for a while from different angles to notice it, though. Looking at the same simple gradient image side-by-side with my PB, it seems like the MBP goes to solid color sooner. But since I can barely make out the image from a side viewing angle on the PB, I wonder if it's possible the brighter backlights and higher resolution on newer models are bringing out flaws that would have been imperceptible on older screens.

It's distressing that all this information has come to light about how inferior most (all?) laptop screens are to their desktop counterparts, but at least we're not the only ones with the problem.
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 25, 2007, 06:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
So apparently Apple is using Santa Rosa as a differentiator between the MacBook and MacBook Pro. This just seems silly to me - how many consumers even know what Santa Rosa is? And those that do know about Santa Rosa know that on a machine that has dedicated graphics like the MBP, Santa Rosa isn't a big deal.

I guess this means that the MacBook line won't get Santa Rosa until something new comes out to make it obsolete.
I agree. 2.0/2.2 GHz Meroms on SR with an X1300 would have been a much more attractive choice for the MB. When the MB first came out people were surprised about how much it closed the gap between the consumer level and the pro level notebook. Now it seems as though this gap has widened considerably.
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 25, 2007, 06:15 AM
 
Are there any reliable reports on how much temperature differs between 7200 RPM and 5400 RPM disks on otherwise identical 15" MBPs?

I'll go with the 7200 RPM option since the additional cost is not an issue, but I'm wondering if it will increase the case temperature considerably. I remember on my original CD MB the 7200 RPM HDD increased the case temperature by almost 10C although according to specs the wattage of the disks was almost identical. I'm not sure I want to put up with that again.
     
 
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:11 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,