Friday, February 8th 2019

Apple MacBook Pro 2018 Appears to Have a Serious Design Flaw

Apple's MacBook Pro (2018) with the AMD Radeon RX Vega 20 graphics option appears to have a serious design flaw related to its video subsystem. The laptop tends to show severe screen flickering and lines crossing through the picture after waking up from extended periods of idling (after the display has turned off). The problem persists even through reboots. A reboot will make the flickering go away, however the next time the MacBook idles and decides to turn off its display, waking the machine will bring the flicker back. Most common remedies an enthusiast could think of, such as disabling the auto-switching between integrated- and discrete GPUs, and preventing the monitor from idling, don't appear to fix the problem.

The problem was discovered on a brand new $4,500 15-inch MacBook Pro (Intel Core i9, AMD Vega 20, 32 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD). Upon its discovery, it was taken to the Apple Store, where the employees immediately replaced it without further questions when they heard "display corruption after standby". The replacement process was hassle-free, it looks like others have faced this issue with this MacBook Pro model and Apple is trying to quickly resolve it to keep the lid on it. However, after a couple of days, the problem re-surfaced on the replacement MacBook, too. Both models were running MacOS "Mojave" version 10.14.2.
TechPowerUp staff member Crmaris depended on this MacBook Pro to see him through the rigors of TechPowerUp's CES 2019 coverage, which includes image editing and video rendering on the move, which requires the serious CPU and GPU power on tap with this particular MacBook Pro variant. Video rendering and transcoding tasks can run up to hours, during which the MacBook usually sits unused, plugged in. By default, the monitor times out after a certain amount of time. Perhaps this is the key to reproducing the issue: let the display time out while the machine is utilizing the discrete GPU for something other than driving the display. Crmaris is also the editor of HardwareBusters, and has described the issue on a more personal level in the video linked below.

If you have encountered a similar issue, please do let us know in the comments below, so we can get an idea how widespread this problem is. Source: Hardware Busters (YouTube)
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150 Comments on Apple MacBook Pro 2018 Appears to Have a Serious Design Flaw

#26
ZoneDymo
XXL_AI, post: 3990804, member: 182013"
nope, we're just amazed how people likes to get f*cked by a company which doesn't give a flying f. about it's customers.
I don't hate apple, apple is forcing innovation, others following by creating "better" hardware. apple is the artist of the computer world, asus, msi, hp, dell are the engineers.
I mean, what do you base this on? quite consistently Apples products rise above what the competition puts out as a means to copy what Apple is doing, atleast thats what professional reviewers conclude time and time again.
And if others "like to get f*cked by a company" or maybe dont even see it as such, how does that impact anyone else? why do people feel the need to drop hate fueled comments every time anything is written about Apple, or Tesla, or Justin Bieber, etc etc etc etc? Its like people being against gay marriage or something.
Posted on Reply
#27
Imsochobo
ZoneDymo, post: 3990813, member: 66089"
I mean, what do you base this on? quite consistently Apples products rise above what the competition puts out as a means to copy what Apple is doing, atleast thats what professional reviewers conclude time and time again.
And if others "like to get f*cked by a company" or maybe dont even see it as such, how does that impact anyone else? why do people feel the need to drop hate fueled comments every time anything is written about Apple, or Tesla, or Justin Bieber, etc etc etc etc? Its like people being against gay marriage or something.
Apple have started copying others more lately.
They never have bad products per se but the difference is smaller now.

This might as well be on AMD and not apple, wouldn't be the first time an gpu manufacturer is the cause (Nvidia!) on some of the products it's apple's fault.
Overall apple has higher death rate of the products because of design over function at all cost.
Some poeple like that, I am not one of them, OSX is pretty ok (have hackintosh on my rig too :) )
Posted on Reply
#28
ShurikN
cdawall, post: 3990779, member: 28601"
There are other laptops with that profile with those same specs?
No, and there isn't even a MacBook Pro with those same specs considering how much it throttles.
Posted on Reply
#29
XXL_AI
ZoneDymo, post: 3990813, member: 66089"
I mean, what do you base this on? quite consistently Apples products rise above what the competition puts out as a means to copy what Apple is doing, atleast thats what professional reviewers conclude time and time again.
And if others "like to get f*cked by a company" or maybe dont even see it as such, how does that impact anyone else? why do people feel the need to drop hate fueled comments every time anything is written about Apple, or Tesla, or Justin Bieber, etc etc etc etc? Its like people being against gay marriage or something.
We want people to read, search and commit to buying products with intelligence. Almost all intelligent beings tends to hate stupid ones.
Most of the ignorant people likes to get carried away by their idiom and they want to continue their life like they used to. Intelligent people can adapt and improve. Stupid can talk and criticize nothing more, youtube full of these people, one of the biggest tech/channels on youtube pewdiepie, ltt, gamersnexus instigate this instinct on homo sapiens.
Posted on Reply
#30
raptori
cdawall, post: 3990779, member: 28601"
There are other laptops with that profile with those same specs?
DELL Precision 5530 @ $2,709 I didn't went deep in customizing the specs just the main components : Intel Core i9-8950HK + 32GB,DDR4-2666MHz Non-ECC + M.2 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD + Nvidia Quadro P2000 w/4GB GDDDR5

https://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop/pdr/precision-15-5530-laptop/xctop5530hwus?selectionState=eyJPQyI6InhjdG9wNTUzMGh3dXMiLCJNb2RzIjpbeyJJZCI6MywiT3B0cyI6W3siSWQiOiJHSk1TVDRLIn1dfSx7IklkIjo2LCJPcHRzIjpbeyJJZCI6IkcwU01ZNTkifV19LHsiSWQiOjgsIk9wdHMiOlt7IklkIjoiR0s5SjE4TiJ9XX0seyJJZCI6MTEsIk9wdHMiOlt7IklkIjoiR1dJOTg2WSJ9XX0seyJJZCI6MTQ2LCJPcHRzIjpbeyJJZCI6IkdDQldaVTIifV19LHsiSWQiOjE0OSwiT3B0cyI6W3siSWQiOiJHNUdBSUM4In1dfSx7IklkIjo3NDksIk9wdHMiOlt7IklkIjoiRzhCWFdZSSJ9XX1dfQ%3D%3D&cartItemId=



ThinkPad P1 Mobile Workstation @ $2,904 with Intel® Xeon® E-2176M ( Not i9 but Comparable) (6 Core (2.70GHz, up to 4.40GHz)) + 32 GB DDR4 2666MHz ECC + 1TB PCIe-NVMe OPAL2.0 M.2 + Nvidia Quadro P2000 4GB

https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/p/20MDCTO1WWENUS1/customize?guid=ca98f45c-0230-4b30-bbf0-aad903e96099&options_11=
Posted on Reply
#31
king of swag187
For $4800, you can get a fully configged P870TM1 with a 8700K+Dual 1080's


ZoneDymo, post: 3990813, member: 66089"
I mean, what do you base this on? quite consistently Apples products rise above what the competition puts out as a means to copy what Apple is doing, atleast thats what professional reviewers conclude time and time again.
And if others "like to get f*cked by a company" or maybe dont even see it as such, how does that impact anyone else? why do people feel the need to drop hate fueled comments every time anything is written about Apple, or Tesla, or Justin Bieber, etc etc etc etc? Its like people being against gay marriage or something.
If you mean rise above in purely how many flaws there are, sure
Posted on Reply
#32
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
raptori, post: 3990911, member: 50662"
DELL Precision 5530 @ $2,709 I didn't went deep in customizing the specs just the main components : Intel Core i9-8950HK + 32GB,DDR4-2666MHz Non-ECC + M.2 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD + Nvidia Quadro P2000 w/4GB GDDDR5

https://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop/pdr/precision-15-5530-laptop/xctop5530hwus?selectionState=eyJPQyI6InhjdG9wNTUzMGh3dXMiLCJNb2RzIjpbeyJJZCI6MywiT3B0cyI6W3siSWQiOiJHSk1TVDRLIn1dfSx7IklkIjo2LCJPcHRzIjpbeyJJZCI6IkcwU01ZNTkifV19LHsiSWQiOjgsIk9wdHMiOlt7IklkIjoiR0s5SjE4TiJ9XX0seyJJZCI6MTEsIk9wdHMiOlt7IklkIjoiR1dJOTg2WSJ9XX0seyJJZCI6MTQ2LCJPcHRzIjpbeyJJZCI6IkdDQldaVTIifV19LHsiSWQiOjE0OSwiT3B0cyI6W3siSWQiOiJHNUdBSUM4In1dfSx7IklkIjo3NDksIk9wdHMiOlt7IklkIjoiRzhCWFdZSSJ9XX1dfQ==&cartItemId=



ThinkPad P1 Mobile Workstation @ $2,904 with Intel® Xeon® E-2176M ( Not i9 but Comparable) (6 Core (2.70GHz, up to 4.40GHz)) + 32 GB DDR4 2666MHz ECC + 1TB PCIe-NVMe OPAL2.0 M.2 + Nvidia Quadro P2000 4GB

https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/p/20MDCTO1WWENUS1/customize?guid=ca98f45c-0230-4b30-bbf0-aad903e96099&options_11=
Those laptops are as thick as my 2014 MBP.
Posted on Reply
#33
ZoneDymo
XXL_AI, post: 3990892, member: 182013"
We want people to read, search and commit to buying products with intelligence. Almost all intelligent beings tends to hate stupid ones.
Most of the ignorant people likes to get carried away by their idiom and they want to continue their life like they used to. Intelligent people can adapt and improve. Stupid can talk and criticize nothing more, youtube full of these people, one of the biggest tech channels on youtube pewdiepie, ltt, gamersnexus instigate this instinct on homo sapiens.
I dont think its very intelligent to hate on the less intelligent....
Also cannot believe you called pewdiepie a "tech channel" and called it in the same sentence/breath as gamersnexus.
Lastly non of it answered anything I said
Posted on Reply
#34
bug
cdawall, post: 3990921, member: 28601"
Those laptops are as thick as my 2014 MBP.
Here's the thing, outside Apple nobody buys laptops by the mm or kg.
You're seriously telling me two similarly configured laptops priced over $1k apart aren't comparable because one of them is like 5mm thicker? Well, here's something for your thought: the thicker laptop will do better job cooling that CPU and actually give you better performance.
Posted on Reply
#35
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
bug, post: 3990927, member: 157434"
Here's the thing, outside Apple nobody buys laptops by the mm or kg.
You're seriously telling me two similarly configured laptops priced over $1k apart aren't comparable because one of them is like 5mm thicker? Well, here's something for your thought: the thicker laptop will do better job cooling that CPU and actually give you better performance.
Quite a few people buy laptops based on size. Mainly people who travel and don't want a 14lb brick carried around with them.

A huge number of modern companies also fully engulf the applesphere of tech so using Apple products becomes basically expected and almost impossible to do without them.

Most people using these or even the ones you linked are doing a 4hr render of whatever. Having the added cooling capacity is wasted space for a large portion of the people actually purchasing these. My 4980HQ based MBP absolutely throttles. It also wipes the floor with anything in its class.

I don't care your opinion on Apple. The laptops are brilliant feats in engineering. Makes the MSI and Dell products look like they were designed by toddlers with crayons.
Posted on Reply
#37
XXL_AI
ZoneDymo, post: 3990922, member: 66089"
I dont think its very intelligent to hate on the less intelligent....
Also cannot believe you called pewdiepie a "tech channel" and called it in the same sentence/breath as gamersnexus.
Lastly non of it answered anything I said
-intelligent hates the ignorant and they use them worldwide, you have to see the big picture.
-you missed the / between tech and channel.
-in the end it is all related to ignorance or knowledge, if you can't understand this I don't think you'll understand anything at all.
Posted on Reply
#38
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
king of swag187, post: 3990956, member: 180102"
You're one funny man is all I can say...
Ever taken apart the pair? MSI is the closest laptop in size and probably quality and you take it apart and it looks like a 2008 MBP design. Tons of terrible nonsense all over that gets brittle and fails.

The logic boards also seem to have 3-4 the lifespan an alienware of a similar gen. I can't tell you just how many Dell boards I replaced because the dumb things went bad.
Posted on Reply
#39
Totally
ZoneDymo, post: 3990813, member: 66089"
I mean, what do you base this on? quite consistently Apples products rise above what the competition puts out as a means to copy what Apple is doing, atleast thats what professional reviewers conclude time and time again.
And if others "like to get f*cked by a company" or maybe dont even see it as such, how does that impact anyone else? why do people feel the need to drop hate fueled comments every time anything is written about Apple, or Tesla, or Justin Bieber, etc etc etc etc? Its like people being against gay marriage or something.
That hasn't been the case for years, Steve jobs was still alive and cancer free when that was remotely true.
Posted on Reply
#40
Darmok N Jalad
I’ll tell you what, I’ve owned a lot of hardware over the years, and Apple has had a really good track record of durability for me. Maybe things have changed in recent years—especially on ultra-thin laptops, but every iOS device I’ve owned has worked well for years, and my desktop Macs ran just fine (had a perfectly functional 2009 cMP that I just sold last year). I always found Apple hardware to be quite well engineered to be honest. Compared to the many MS devices I’ve owned (Surfaces, Bands, Xbox, Lumia), the differences are night and day. I’ve RMAed more MS hardware than I can count. I won’t tell you Apple is perfect, but they have produced a lot of worry free devices for me.

That said, I do think Apple tried to stick too much hardware into too thin a chassis, so I’m not surprised that there are thermal or other issues. I do wonder about the GPU, too—are there even any other Vega 20 laptops on the market?
Posted on Reply
#41
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
It's not a design flaw, it's a driver/firmware/operating system bug which will likely get fixed pretty quick.
Posted on Reply
#42
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
A single device failed? My god, call in the military, we desperately need assistance! :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#43
TheinsanegamerN
cdawall, post: 3990921, member: 28601"
Those laptops are as thick as my 2014 MBP.
Oh NO! An extra .3 inches thick! My POOR BACK! Wont somebody think of those without muscles!
Posted on Reply
#44
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
TheinsanegamerN, post: 3991089, member: 127292"
Oh NO! An extra .3 inches thick! My POOR BACK! Wont somebody think of those without muscles!
Dude I barely wear clothes when I travel. Which is more often than probably a lot of people on here. Trust me 0.3" and half a pound for something with similar performance, but somehow worse battery life? Lol yea y'all keep hating apple products. I'm going to keep using my 2014 MBP which still maintains solid performance today. Something I cannot say about any thin and light windows machine.
Posted on Reply
#45
jonnyGURU
"TechPowerUp staff member Crmaris depended on this MacBook Pro to see him through the rigors of TechPowerUp's CES 2019 coverage, which includes image editing and video rendering on the move, which requires the serious CPU and GPU power on tap with this particular MacBook Pro variant."

Why would anyone knowingly do this to themselves when it's obvious there are more capable laptops on the market?
Posted on Reply
#46
Assimilator
jonnyGURU, post: 3991110, member: 38536"
"TechPowerUp staff member Crmaris depended on this MacBook Pro to see him through the rigors of TechPowerUp's CES 2019 coverage, which includes image editing and video rendering on the move, which requires the serious CPU and GPU power on tap with this particular MacBook Pro variant."

Why would anyone knowingly do this to themselves when it's obvious there are more capable laptops on the market?
The master has spoken.
Posted on Reply
#47
Patriot
FordGT90Concept, post: 3991032, member: 60463"
It's not a design flaw, it's a driver/firmware/operating system bug which will likely get fixed pretty quick.
Which is why they hastily traded out the device, you need X amount to root cause the issue.
As an engineer, when something fails... you want as many devices that reproduce as possible.

Years ago I made the mistake of trying to help track down fail state on drive carriers... they wanted 4 drive carriers with fail states...
Found 1 carrier in 2k drives... I made myself unavailable for future research sessions.
Posted on Reply
#48
xtreemchaos
the last good macbook pro was the 2012-14 the all alloy one with the i7 quad core since then thay have gone down hill and up in price. charl.
Posted on Reply
#49
XXL_AI
jonnyGURU, post: 3991110, member: 38536"
"TechPowerUp staff member Crmaris depended on this MacBook Pro to see him through the rigors of TechPowerUp's CES 2019 coverage, which includes image editing and video rendering on the move, which requires the serious CPU and GPU power on tap with this particular MacBook Pro variant."

Why would anyone knowingly do this to themselves when it's obvious there are more capable laptops on the market?
if you are good at programming you can utilize the Nvidia's rendering capabilities to accelerate your video processing by 3x@4K, 10x@1080p. You don't need to use anything special, you just need a lot of space to save raw footage from premiere pro as AVI then compress it with ffmpeg to get the perfect result.
for image editing, you can always use opencv & python.
I have never needed anything more than core i5 & gtx1050 as a mobile workstation, my previous machine had i7&960M almost similar performance.
Posted on Reply
#50
TheGuruStud
Fun fact: all of them have multiple, serious, intentional design flaws to make sure it fails. And then they do everything they can to lie to the customer and block repair shops.
Posted on Reply
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