Video, memory issues with MacBooks being reported

Owners of the newly redesigned MacBooks and MacBook Pros are reporting issues with video playback and memory chips, although it's not clear if the problems are widespread.

Tom Krazit Former Staff writer, CNET News
Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.
Tom Krazit
2 min read
Early adopters of Apple's latest MacBook Pros and MacBooks (shown here) are reporting glitches with the laptops. CNET

Problems with Apple's newly redesigned MacBooks are being reported on Apple discussion boards and across the Internet.

The new notebooks, which have already run into problems with the trackpad, are said to have problems with video performance, third-party memory chips, and staying in sleep mode. It's always difficult to get a sense of how widespread such problems are from tracking message board posts--and every computer ever made has had problems--but the volume of such complaints regarding the new systems seems to be increasing.

Gizmodo collected some of the more pressing problems in a post Monday. The memory issue involves crashes that appear to be linked to adding third-party memory chips into the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros. Apple charges way more for memory upgrades than other companies such as Crucial or Other World Computing, so savvy Mac users interested in adding memory on their own often choose one of those products.

That post also highlights an issue that involves the MacBook Pro being unable to stay in sleep mode, turning itself on when closed every minute or so, or freezing when woken up by the user. That issue doesn't seem as serious as the memory one, but if you've noticed this problem resetting your MacBook's PRAM seems to have worked for some people.

And on the video front, Apple could still be having problems with graphics chips from Nvidia. The company was one of the notebook makers affected by Nvidia's problems with manufacturing their graphics chips, and after The Inquirer took apart one of the new MacBook Pros it discovered the new discrete graphics chip in those systems are using similar materials to the graphics chips that Nvidia agreed to replace earlier this year.

Posters on Apple's site have been reporting crashes when running games on the 9600 discrete chip--the focus of the Inquirer's investigation--suggesting that the issue doesn't involve the 9400 integrated graphics chip in the MacBook. Nvidia told the Inquirer that the 9600 chip is not using the same materials that were prone to failing under intense heat, but a lab analyzed the composition of the bumps that are used to attach the chip to the motherboard, and concluded otherwise.