Users find some new MacBook Pros suffer from major graphics issues

Joe Rossignol, MacRumors:

Since new MacBook Pro models launched last month, an increasing number of early adopters have reported serious graphics issues on Apple’s latest notebooks. The glitches and other problems appear to be most prevalent on built-to-order 15-inch models, but standard 13-inch and 15-inch configurations are also affected.

One owner, Jan Becker, reports:

Apple called me from Cupertino. They put together a group of engineers to get to the root of this. I re-created the incident while I was on the phone with them and sent them the log files of the crash. They also want to “capture” my MacBook Pro with all the files on it to investigate more.

I love this response by Apple. Though they appear silent, they really do throw everything they have at a problem to get to the heart of it. They take this very seriously.

In a possibly related note, ZDNet’s David Gewirtz wrote about switching from the high end 15″ dual-GPU model to a 13″ single-GPU MacBook Pro:

It’s pretty interesting how the dual GPU architecture is supposed to work. Part of the time, the lower power, but also lower-performing, on-chip Intel HD 530 graphics processor is used. When crunch time comes, the Radeon Pro 460 with 4 GB of video RAM kicks in and pounds pixels onto the screen.

I’ve used this dual GPU architecture before. About four years ago, I bought the most powerful Windows laptop I could find, a beast of a Sager. It had a dGPU configuration.

When it worked, it was breathtakingly fast. When it worked.

Over the 18 months or so that machine was my main machine, I had constant driver problems. The GeForce GTX 670M didn’t always run properly. The on-chip Intel video driver wouldn’t properly change settings. System hangs and freezes attributable to driver conflicts were a regular occurrence. It was maddening.

It’s not clear that the dual GPU design is behind this wave of glitches. Reportedly, some of the glitches occur on a 13-inch single-GPU model. But most of the issues seem to occur on the 15-inch dual-GPU model.

Regardless, an interesting problem. Hoping Apple shares the details on the cause, once they figure it out.