Video glitches plague new MacBook Pro

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Apple's new MacBook Pros with Touch Bar should be hitting store shelves by the end of the week.
You might want to hold off on buying the new MacBook Pro.
Photo: Apple

The new MacBook Pro may not have been worth the long wait for many customers that preordered.

Early owners of Apple’s new machine are reportedly encountering problems with the GPU that cause the display to glitch so bad the MacBook Pro becomes unusable at times.

At this point, it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly is causing the widespread MacBook Pro video glitches. It could be a hardware-related problem that effects a few machines. Other reports have suggested that driver issues could be the cause.

MacBook Pro video glitches galore

Based on posts on Apple’s support forum, it appears that the video glitching happens on both integrated and discrete GPUs on the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Apple unveiled the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar in October, but the first units just started shipping to customers over the last few weeks. Some owners have also reported issues with the boot screen, while others have seen screen flickering and color hue changes.

One common link among the glitching MacBook Pros seems to be the use of Adobe software, such as Adobe Media Encoder and Lightroom. Cult of Mac asked Apple for comment on the GPU glitches but we have not heard back yet.

Here’s what the problem looks like for one owner:

Have you experienced video issues with your new MacBook Pro? If so, drop a comment below with your model and specs to help us track down any possible causes.

Via: 9to5Mac

  • Not good.

  • PapaGeek

    One time for me on MacBook Pro 15 with Radeon Pro 455 2048 MB, when using Apple Photos

  • Darren Gosnell

    nope. mines fine.
    My first thoughts on this new bit of kit ….

    I have my new MAC Book Pro -late 2016 (Touch bar) – 16GB, 512 SSD with the 3.3GHZ i7 chip. I got one of the first in Brisbane I understand (20/11/2016) . Very happy with performance. Lucky for me Apple stuffed up my order and I got 10% of the price. I had canceled my online order and ended up picking up the only one they had in store. They had accidentally misreported the specs to me and I cancelled my online order only to find the one in store was a higher spec. I took that as my online order was only days away – and had now been cancelled. So I got the upgrade effectively free.
    Im a heavy user I do software development , Arduino electronics and data analysis on a regular basis. The MAC is the center of my world for all data and office activities. I am also an author and do a lot of digital photography (see my blog below). And I write Excel VBA apps that would make your toes curl. Im now just starting to experiment with Swift in Xcode 8.
    The bigger trackpad has been a bit odd. I seem to sometime nudge it or something and find myself typing midway through a word a few paragraphs back. Just a case of getting used to it I suspect. The Force click and Haptic feedback I turned off. I was dragging folders around when I only wanted to right or double click them – it got a bit scary – thank you Mr. UNDO !
    That new Touch bar… A gimmick? Well on the face of it yes, but once you start using it it becomes a habit. The oddest thing I have found is breaking the habit and looking to your keyboard for visual feedback – it’s a 30 year habit to break for me !. Many apps of course don’t support it yet, but I can see it being very useful going forward.
    No GetMail button available for touch bar in OSX Mail – everything else is there!
    Time machine backup was not able to be restored onto new Macbook as it was ‘not compatible with an earlier MacBook” !! WTF !??? … as my old MAC no longer lives in this world – this was a major problem ! – My data came back to me via Google Drive and I attempted to bring back apps via the Migration Assistant – which worked but did not bring over my licenses. Weird
    No ‘charging’ LED light on the charger. A little bit annoying when you have left the wall switch off ! :-( … charge time is similar to my past MAC
    I note that when the battery runs flat, then you have to hit the power to restart once on power – the touchbar seems to disappear and not come back until you restart the computer – thats a bit mucky.
    My gut feeling is that the battery life is about 15% less. It is hard to tell accurately as Ive been using the new MacBook a lot more – setting it up etc, and also been playing with location services and trying to get a decent joke out of SIRI. But it seems to chew through the battery a bit more.
    The charger cable is quite thick and heavy, may be able to use this to jump start my car!! I do miss magsafe
    About those ports – friggin awesome. I bought USB C dongles from eBay for about $20. Moved a 256mb CSV file from my usb via a dongle cable to the new MAC USB-C port. I cant even observe the progress indicator in time – it happened in less then a second. Being able to plug in my power cable to any port has been a strange new feeling. No longer draped over or under things to reach around to the other side of my computer. Also I think the cable is a smidge longer which is good.

    • James

      Hi, have you found a good alternative for excel vba scripting on a Mac? I’m thinking of switching, but worry that all my vba scripts will be rendered unusable.

      • Darren Gosnell

        I use Office for Mac. The Excel VBA manipulates sheets into dashboards so would not much apply elsewhere. The good thing is those sheets can run on any shitty old Windows PC and works also. Look at what market you are coding for I use VBA for Office Doc manipulation only. Arduino for my electronics controllers, SQL for DB work, and Im learning Swift for Mac apps (just for fun at the moment). Different code base for different environmental needs.

    • DCJ001

      As an Apple enthusiast, you should know:

      Mac, not MAC. MacBook Pro, not MAC Book Pro.

      • Darren Gosnell

        Love my ‘MAC’ … I call him Brian

    • spinoza2

      Darren, give the trackpad a bit of time, once you get used to it and its haptic qualities you’ll love it, it really is an ergonomic wonder.

      And yes, the tech journalists calling the Touch Bar a ‘gimmick’ don’t know what they’re talking about. They think they can try the thing for a half an hour and they’re suddenly an authority on the subject. I’ve already fully integrated it into my work routine and love it, it’s a great addition to my laptop work day.

      I agree that not having any indication of charging status is a big step backward. In fact, it’s obvious that Steve Job’s ‘touch’ is sorely lacking with the degrading of Apple cable quality over the past couple of years. The new MacBook Pro cable is a clunky and cheap-feeling dog in comparison to earlier MacBook Pros, and it’s the same with iPhones. I can understand the move to Thunderbolt 3, but they could have at least maintained their cable quality in doing so.

      Battery life has definitely taken a hit with this new machine, its notably less than my earlier MacBook Pro. The good news is that it charges *very* fast, like lightning fast. So I guess it’s a wash here, you win some, you lose some.

      All in all I’m like you, I’m really loving my new MBP 25″, it’s a fantastic computer!

      • Darren Gosnell

        Totally agree. I cant put mine down ! … is that a fault ?? lol On your advice I’ll give the trackpad another go :-)

  • CommShooter

    Apple is dying a slow death since Steve Jobs died.

  • Kris

    MacBook Pro 15 with Radeon Pro 455 2048 MB…

    Saw one time on the boot screen!

  • William Staney

    MBP 15″ 2016 Radeon Pro 460 4096 MB
    Intel HD Graphics 530 1536 MB
    2.9 GHz Intel Core i7

    Get video glitches during every boot-up. When waking from sleep it does not recognize my HDMI linked 27″ monitor unless I do a full reboot.

  • NoNonsense74

    so far so good… no issues. have used photos. i am on 13″ touchbar version with integrated intel iris.. so too many factors in play, is it and dedicated graphics card issue / compatibility issue or a few bad lemons? oh by the way the touchbar…i slowly getting more and more addicted to it…its fun and sure useful ..

  • Naver Niva

    Might be a gpu switching issue like the late 2011 MBP.

    • Pier

      The problem with the 2011 was related to heat and power consumption.

  • Mo Ham

    The time has come for Apple to come to the realization that it needs to spin off the computer operation to people thatt actually care about making computers. Apple has become a consumer products company.

  • Rackmaster

    No, but I have keyboard and trackpad issues. They’re replacing my MacBook (2.9ghz / 16gb / 2Tb / Radeon 460).

  • spinoza2

    Seems like a classic click-bait headline from a cheap tech journalist. From what we can see, “plague” is a bit over-drawn, if the problem is a third-party software issue or if it really exists at all.

    My 15″ has been working like a Swiss watch since getting it: build quality, performance, and reliability have been stellar, better than any notebook I have ever owned in the past. I’m using Adobe Creative Cloud extensively, and haven’t had any graphics problems at all.

    • RoadOfMajor

      Your absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. There are dozens of reports, all proven with videos/screenshots while using native OS X apps. One even reported it in Windows 10 through Bootcamp, suggesting that the problem lies deeper in the hardware or firmware level.

  • Jasper Dunn

    3 times for me with 460 and 2.9ghz CPU
    This really sucks. Twice happened while just web browsing. Once when converting video.

  • Matt Withoos

    It happens once every 5 minutes on my MacBook Pro 13inch. I have the latest MacBook, just without the touch bar (so it’s space gray). Argh, so annoying.

    • Pier

      Just return it already

  • Julian Carrington

    The display on my 13″ Touch Bar model flickers quite frequently. Sometimes it’s every few minutes, sometimes the screen will flicker multiple times within a few seconds. The computer isn’t locking up in any way, but it’s a pretty distracting graphical tic. My stats are:

    Processor: 3.1 GHz Core i5
    Memory: 16GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3
    Graphics: Intel Iris Graphics 550 1536 MB

  • carlenesummers

    1 year have passed since I abandoned my office work and I am so happy now… I started doing a job online, over a website I stumbled upon online, few hours each day, and my income now is much bigger then it was on my last work… Pay-check i got for last month was for $9k… Great thing about this gig is that now i have more time for my kids… CHILP.IT/728813e

  • Macbook Youp

    Happened to me while watching a video on youporn :)
    The screen froze completely and had to reboot.

    MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2016)
    2.9 GHz Intel Core i7
    16 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3
    Radeon Pro 460 4096 MB
    Intel HD Graphics 530 1536 MB

    And yes I Have Lightroom.

  • I’m noticing a little flickering during boot screen (MacBook Pro 15 with Radeon Pro 455 2048 MB). What would you guys to do? Send back, wait? Maybe just software issue?
    It’s not a big deal at the moment, but maybe something worse will coming.
    Is there any way to test and exclude bigger problems?

  • RationalThinker

    Just had this happen to me. Set up the new computer last night and got to testing today. Tethered to my camera and took some test shots via EOS Utility. Started opening photos in Affinity Photo and the screen went crazy. Just enough time for me to get my phone out and take a video when the screen went purple and I had to force quit. Computer would not wake up for 20 minutes. Thought it had completely died on me. Definitely taking it back.

  • Julie Eriksen

    I bought my new Macbook Pro less than a week ago, and when I watch videos (on youtube, netflix etc) there’s these black flickering things. I dont know how to explain it but for less than a split second the screen goes black! Its not really that noticeable but its really annoying and idk what to do. At first I thought it was just on netflix, but today it happened when I was watching a youtube video too. I have barely used it, as it´s brand new and I haven’t damaged it in any way. Am I the only one experiencing this? It´s the newest Macbook Pro 13″, without the touch bar.

  • Gavin Anderson

    I’ve had this issue with my 15″ MacBook Pro. Get screen glitching when I’m working in Premier Pro. It crashes the machine and have to restart. I’ve tried resetting the PRAM but no luck there. Needless to say Apple aren’t being very helpful. I think its the upgraded graphics card causing the problems.

  • SHB

    2016 Macbook Pro 13″ w/ Touch Bar: flickering of display graphics in full screen mode of Microsoft Office PowerPoint.

    I told a representative at an Apple Store and he was very surprised to hear I was experiencing this issue; it was the first he had heard of it.