Doctor, I think I have an HDMI: Apple starts investigating M1 Mac Mini graphics issues

Time to do a test for clear media after world+dog starts seeing pink squares


Apple is investigating a weird graphical glitch in the latest M1 Mac Mini, which sees intrusive pink squares spontaneously appear on the display.

The issue primarily affects those connecting to an external display using the Mac Mini's HDMI connection. The M1 Mac Mini is presently the only device in Apple's line-up that includes native HDMI support, with other devices connecting to an external display via USB-C/Thunderbolt.

Apple has reportedly informed service providers it is aware of the issue, according to a memo obtained by MacRumors. It also offered some (slightly obvious) troubleshooting tips. Users are advised to put the Mac Mini to sleep for two minutes, wake it, remove and re-insert the HDMI cable, and rejig the display resolution.

Others, including prolific Apple vlogger Luke Miani, have reported some success with merely unplugging the HDMI cable then putting it back in.

Silver bird logo

Malware monsters target Apple’s M1 silicon with ‘Silver Sparrow’

READ MORE

The issue has seemingly dogged Mac Mini owners since the device's launch in November, as Reddit and official Apple Support Forum posts attest.

One post, from November 21, 2020, states: "I received my M1 Mac mini on Tuesday and didn't experience any problem until today. Turned it on and noticed some small pink squares moving around my monitor. They would change position as I opened a folder or right clicked on something."

It's not clear whether this issue is hardware or software-borne. If the issue is merely software-based, it could disappear with a future update to MacOS 11 Big Sur. If the problem lies with the GPU housed in the M1's SOC, things become more complicated.

Apple has a blemished past when it comes to dodgy graphics kit. In 2013, it was forced to open a replacement programme for mid-2011 iMacs kitted out with fault-prone AMD Radeon HM 6970M graphics cards. Given these are discrete components housed on a dedicated daughterboard, it was a fairly straightforward (albeit, for Apple, expensive) fix that just involved yanking the fault-prone part.

On the laptop front, the 15-inch and 17-inch 2011 MacBook Pro also suffered from widespread graphics card failures, caused by poor thermal management and some spectacularly shonky soldering. Although the Radeon GPU on that year's MacBook Pro was integrated into the logic board, punters who missed the window to return their machines to Apple could solve the problem by falling back to the integrated Intel graphics through a software patch, or by performing some board-level soldering to remove a problematic resistor.

The M1 is a different kettle of fish. There's no Intel or discrete graphics to speak of, just what exists on the SoC, which precludes some of the workarounds used with the 2011 iMac and MacBook Pro. If this is a hardware issue (which is not yet certain), it's hard to see how Apple will be able to resolve it without doing a recall. And while Apple could easily swallow the cost, it would be a humiliation.

Apple is expected to release Big Sur 11.3 in the coming weeks. We'll be keeping an eye out to see if it includes a fix for the Mac Mini's GPU woes. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Monero-mining botnet targets Windows, Linux web servers
    Sysrv-K malware infects unpatched tin, Microsoft warns

    The latest variant of the Sysrv botnet malware is menacing Windows and Linux systems with an expanded list of vulnerabilities to exploit, according to Microsoft.

    The strain, which Microsoft's Security Intelligence team calls Sysrv-K, scans the internet for web servers that have security holes, such as path traversal, remote file disclosure, and arbitrary file download bugs, that can be exploited to infect the machines.

    The vulnerabilities, all of which have patches available, include flaws in WordPress plugins such as the recently uncovered remote code execution hole in the Spring Cloud Gateway software tracked as CVE-2022-22947 that Uncle Sam's CISA warned of this week.

    Continue reading
  • Red Hat Kubernetes security report finds people are the problem
    Puny human brains baffled by K8s complexity, leading to blunder fears

    Kubernetes, despite being widely regarded as an important technology by IT leaders, continues to pose problems for those deploying it. And the problem, apparently, is us.

    The open source container orchestration software, being used or evaluated by 96 per cent of organizations surveyed [PDF] last year by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, has a reputation for complexity.

    Witness the sarcasm: "Kubernetes is so easy to use that a company devoted solely to troubleshooting issues with it has raised $67 million," quipped Corey Quinn, chief cloud economist at IT consultancy The Duckbill Group, in a Twitter post on Monday referencing investment in a startup called Komodor. And the consequences of the software's complication can be seen in the difficulties reported by those using it.

    Continue reading
  • Infosys skips government meeting – and collecting government taxes
    Tax portal wobbles, again

    Services giant Infosys has had a difficult week, with one of its flagship projects wobbling and India's government continuing to pressure it over labor practices.

    The wobbly projext is India's portal for filing Goods and Services Tax returns. According to India's Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the IT services giant reported a "technical glitch" that meant auto-populated forms weren't ready for taxpayers. The company was directed to fix it and CBIC was faced with extending due dates for tax payments.

    Continue reading
  • Google keeps legacy G Suite alive and free for personal use
    Phew!

    Google has quietly dropped its demand that users of its free G Suite legacy edition cough up to continue enjoying custom email domains and cloudy productivity tools.

    This story starts in 2006 with the launch of “Google Apps for Your Domain”, a bundle of services that included email, a calendar, Google Talk, and a website building tool. Beta users were offered the service at no cost, complete with the ability to use a custom domain if users let Google handle their MX record.

    The service evolved over the years and added more services, and in 2020 Google rebranded its online productivity offering as “Workspace”. Beta users got most of the updated offerings at no cost.

    Continue reading
  • GNU Compiler Collection adds support for China's LoongArch CPU family
    MIPS...ish is on the march in the Middle Kingdom

    Version 12.1 of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) was released this month, and among its many changes is support for China's LoongArch processor architecture.

    The announcement of the release is here; the LoongArch port was accepted as recently as March.

    China's Academy of Sciences developed a family of MIPS-compatible microprocessors in the early 2000s. In 2010 the tech was spun out into a company callled Loongson Technology which today markets silicon under the brand "Godson". The company bills itself as working to develop technology that secures China and underpins its ability to innovate, a reflection of Beijing's believe that home-grown CPU architectures are critical to the nation's future.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022