Graphics Problems Surface With 17″ MacBook Pro

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At this point, it seems like having some graphics issues is more of a “coming of age” thing for a new Mac product than something that surprises or worries us, though I’m sure if you have one of the affected MacBook Pros, you think otherwise.

Users are reporting in an Apple Support thread that the recently shipped 17-inch model is acting up, displaying green lines and ugly screen artifacts. The problem is apparently tied pretty clearly to the NVIDIA GeForce 9600M (the dedicated card), since the problem doesn’t arise while running the integrated 9400M, only appearing when you switch to the more powerful card.

No word from Apple yet about the issue, although they will likely try to resolve things with a firmware fix before trying anything more serious. One customer in the support thread said he received word from Apple that he would have to have his laptop replaced, although I doubt they realized at the time that the issues were so widespread.

It’s hard to believe that a machine so expensive, after such a long delay, could have such serious and quickly apparent problems. I suppose you could excuse Apple and just chalk this up as another NVIDIA screw up, but Apple must do some serious testing with these machines before they release them to the buying public. The alternative, of course, is that they were well aware of the problem but opted to stick to internal deadlines and deal with the problem down the road with a firmware update rather than delay the ship date of the 17-inch MacBook Pro any longer. Whatever the issue, Apple seriously needs to stop shipping significantly flawed products, or their reputation for quality isn’t going to last.

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