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)
Add your own comment

150 Comments on Apple MacBook Pro 2018 Appears to Have a Serious Design Flaw

#1
krykry
A problem with Apple products? UNBELIEVABLEH.

...Are you really tech news journalist?
Posted on Reply
#2
bug
You're obviously holding it wrong. $4,500+$379 (plus tax?) worth of wrong.
Posted on Reply
#3
nemesis.ie
@btarunner Is "Apple stuff" intentional or did you mean "staff"? ;)

I'd be returning it with such a glaring flaw, especially at the price. Not that I would have bought one in the first place. ;)
Posted on Reply
#4
mad1394
I am guessing this tech journalist is not subscribed to Louis Rossmann on youtube.
Ps:My friend bought a car last month...old audi a4 for 3800 euros :)
Posted on Reply
#5
bug
mad1394, post: 3990491, member: 85645"
I am guessing this tech journalist is not subscribed to Louis Rossmann on youtube.
Ps:My friend bought a car last month...old audi a4 for 3800 euros :)
Go to craigslist and you can find cars for $2,000 or less :D
Posted on Reply
#6
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
Its all a set up.

Apple deliberately engineer these faults and defects into their products so that you can take your faulty macbook to them in 3years time and they charge you $800-1000 for a 'new' one. 'new' meaning a refurbed unit from the same year with the exact same 3 year old hardware specs.

Why do you think Apple are so against 'right to repair' and only have a select few of certified apple repair shops that are run by 3rd parties that can only use parts to repair faulty devices that come directly from them at a slightly cheaper price??

If you smashed up a samsung, sony, a huawei phone or any other brand of phone. any phone repair shop worth its salt could/would repair it for you with parts that theyve sourced themselves - any of these manufacturers have never really cared AFAIK. They wouldn't directly get involved and try to stop you replacing a battery or a screen/digitizer at any 3rd party phone repair shop. The onus is down to you that you find a repair shop that sources decent quality parts to replace your damaged/broken one with.

The only Pro consumer thing about Apple is when the time comes to take your money. Its only there and then where its the quickest possible transaction and no questions are asked about where you got the money from.
Posted on Reply
#7
bonehead123
Apple products are designed and made by humans, just like every other mfgr's stuff is, so it is inevitable that some QA/QC issues will arise from time to time, even though they typically have, in general, been known for having a better track record than most other companies.

But in most cases, once an issue is identified, they also tend to stand behind their stuff somewhat better than some other companies too.

I remember years ago when my daughter's macbook pro of 2.5 years went kafooey... Since we had applecare, we took it to the local Apple store. They checked it out, and promptly handed her a brand new one, no questions asked...and also did the data transfer too.

And yes, I have owned and used Macs in the past neveranottaproblemo, but that was before I started building my own windows rigs :D
Posted on Reply
#8
repman244
This isn't the only flaw, the 6 core CPUs thermal throttle due to crap cooling and in some situations even the quad cores are faster.
I can't believe people pay so much for something that only looks good (even that is subjective) and can't even perform like it should.
Posted on Reply
#9
bug
bonehead123, post: 3990518, member: 139670"
Apple products are designed and made by humans, just like every other mfgr's stuff is, so it is inevitable that some QA/QC issues will arise from time to time, even though they typically have, in general, been known for having a better track record than most other companies.
Yes, every chassis and motherboard are handcrafted. Rolls Royce style :P
bonehead123, post: 3990518, member: 139670"
But in most cases, once an issue is identified, they also tend to stand behind their stuff somewhat better than some other companies too.
Considering their inventory is one order of magnitude smaller than anybody else's, it would be really suspicious if they wouldn't.
Posted on Reply
#10
Assimilator
LOL. You buy s**t, you get s**t. Fools and their money are soon parted.
Posted on Reply
#11
bug
Assimilator, post: 3990543, member: 7058"
LOL. You buy s**t, you get s**t. Fools and their money are soon parted.
Yeah, but in exchange he got a really powerful laptop that will last him for years. Oh wait...

Anyway, there are lemons everywhere, but it sucks when a company like Apple which keeps everything on a short leash sill manages to launch products having design flaws.
Posted on Reply
#13
raptori
Why would anyone buy a laptop for $4500 ?!!! :banghead: and the specs are nothing special.
Posted on Reply
#14
ShurikN
So what actually causes the issue? Both Vega 20 and HD630 work fine (as in, do not have this problem)
Posted on Reply
#15
willace
ShurikN, post: 3990607, member: 140585"
So what actually causes the issue? Both Vega 20 and HD630 work fine (as in, do not have this problem)
LCD (LED) panel issue, Apple design issue (bad display cable, or bad screen controller chip), QA/QC problem, etc......

Mostly should be Apple not doing their job to make sure this kind of problem won't happen.
Posted on Reply
#16
ryun
This reads like a driver or even firmware problem. I'd be surprised if apple couldn't fix it with a software update so I'm not sure why this is labeled as a "serious design flaw".

Not defending apple, they should get a fix ASAP to users. But unless it's been confirmed that it can't be fixed in an update I think the title is hyperbolic.
Posted on Reply
#17
bug
ShurikN, post: 3990607, member: 140585"
So what actually causes the issue? Both Vega 20 and HD630 work fine (as in, do not have this problem)
Some chip they tacked onto the LCD connection cable so you can't replace with "cheap knock-offs" maybe?
They put all sorts of proprietary stuff in there, who could tell what failed this time?
Posted on Reply
#18
Midland Dog
shitty rip off of space invaders 7nm edition
Posted on Reply
#19
king of swag187
Imagine buying a $4900 machine and it does this.
Laughable.
His fault for going Apple in the first place
Posted on Reply
#20
notb
OMG. A thread about an Apple product and so much hatred. Unbelievable. Grow up guys.
Posted on Reply
#21
Vya Domus
I don't think there was ever a Mac without some major flaw. It's really hilarious they sell these crazy expensive laptops which they hardly change over the years and they're still always plagued by some sort of issue.
Posted on Reply
#22
XXL_AI
karma is a bitch.
apple picked a fight with nvidia years ago when nvidia gpus started melting in their terrible case design.
Posted on Reply
#23
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
raptori, post: 3990576, member: 50662"
Why would anyone buy a laptop for $4500 ?!!! :banghead: and the specs are nothing special.
There are other laptops with that profile with those same specs?
Posted on Reply
#24
ZoneDymo
notb, post: 3990735, member: 165619"
OMG. A thread about an Apple product and so much hatred. Unbelievable. Grow up guys.
Growing up has little to do with it, its kinda seemingly in the human soul to hate on whatever is new, different and successful.
That said, Apple might do some things very well, but they are quite a crappy company as well.
But that crappyness might be the reason for their success.
Posted on Reply
#25
XXL_AI
ZoneDymo, post: 3990787, member: 66089"
Growing up has little to do with it, its kinda seemingly in the human soul to hate on whatever is new, different and successful.
That said, Apple might do some things very well, but they are quite a crappy company as well.
But that crappyness might be the reason for their success.
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.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment