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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Display issue - HELP! MBP 13'


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Nikonshooter

 
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Have one of the first MB Unibody notebooks before renamed MBP. About 3 weeks ago this happened, see pic, display pixels acting weird, now permanent. Anyone see this or know how to fix? Driving me crazy!

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chscag

 
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Do one of the following:

1. Attach an external monitor or TV.

2. Take a screenshot.

Does the same thing show up on the attached monitor or screenshot? If it does, the problem is with the graphics chipset. If not, the problem is a defective monitor.

Either way if your machine is covered by Apple care, let Apple repair it. If not, you have a decision to make.
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Buzzard2010

 
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Could also be a loose connection to consider look on iFixit's website if you are out of warranty and feel comfortable taking apart the laptop yourself.

- Simon


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May 2011
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wheelguy12

 
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If it is the worst - bad video chips - you can still use your MBP with a USB-to-Video device. It actually has a video chip inside, and moves pixels back and forth using the USB port. Not as fast as the internal display, but plenty fast for most things.

There are several to choose from, but the best is the NEW Kensington USB dock+Video IMHO. I drive display #3 with it at 1920x1200. Also has 5 USB ports + the one you connect to your MBP. I think 3 of the 5 are a high power type, but I only use the one in the front for my 2.5" backup drive because it is most convenient. The other 4 USB ports, audio out, and the DVI connector are in the back.

By "best", I mean - it has OSX 64 bit drivers, the drivers are stable (download the latest), and the max resolution is higher than most. Also, I like that it stands vertically instead of having to lay it down.
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That's quite interresting, have you got a link for the dock? I would like to look at it

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May 2011
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wheelguy12

 
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This is it: Universal Docking Station with Video sd300v - K33930US - Kensington

Get the latest drivers from the video chip maker, DisplayLink:
DisplayLink: Mac OS X Software

It plays nicely with my Apple 27" Cinema display. I just plug 1 USB into my MBP, and - poof - I've got external speakers, printer, keyboard, scanner, backup disk, and tethered phone modem. In addition to 2 big displays + the laptop screen. Close the laptop, all 3 screens sleep. Open laptop, all 3 screens wake - sweet!

To put this in perspecitive, less expensive/older models may limit you to mirror only mode, lower resolution, and even cause screen or system crashes. I found just 1 that appears to have done things correctly, but if you know of another - please chime in.

On the video speed - the USB video chip drops frames instead of holding up the system. USB 2.0 just isn't fast enough for real time frame rates at high rez, and the choice of dropping frames is the best option IMHO.
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Nikonshooter

 
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Thanks guys, will try it out.

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wheelguy12

 
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It can handle videos at 800x600, but anything higher will noticeably start dropping frames.

Yesterday, I found a circumstance which causes the display to freeze - playing video at maximum resolution (1920x1200). I would never do this because it is just annoying to watch a video with frames dropped, but it also happens at max rez with the motion screen savers.

To fix it, I unplug and replug power into the hub. Best guess as to cause - probably heat buildup on the video chip. Maybe I'll add a heat sink on there at some point just for fun.
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