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iMovie '09: Speed Clips up to 2,000%

iMovie '09 brings back the capability to speed up or slow down clips, which went missing in iMovie '08. Select a clip and bring up the Clip Inspector by double-clicking the clip, clicking the Inspector button on the toolbar, or pressing the I key. Just as with its last appearance in iMovie HD 6, you can move a slider to make the video play back slower or faster (indicated by a turtle or hare icon).

You can also enter a value into the text field to the right of the slider, and this is where things get interesting. You're not limited to the tick mark values on the slider, so you can set the speed to be 118% of normal if you want. The field below that tells you the clip's changed duration.

But you can also exceed the boundaries of the speed slider. Enter any number between 5% and 2000%, then click Done.

Visit iMovie '09 Visual QuickStart Guide



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Users Reporting Widespread GPU Issues with 2011 MacBook Pros

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TidBITS reader Andrew Roazen has alerted us to a widespread problem with the discrete graphics processors in 2011 models of the 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro that causes graphical glitches and system freezes. Because they lack discrete graphics, the 13-inch MacBook Pro models aren’t affected. Three Apple Support Communities forum threads on the issue have over 850,000 views and more than 4,400 replies.

Symptoms reported by owners of both early and late-model 2011 15-inch and 17-inch models of the MacBook Pro include:

  • Display artifacts
  • Left and right halves of the display being swapped
  • Blue screens
  • System freezes

YouTube user MrWojzilla has made an example video showing severe artifacts on his early 2011 MacBook Pro.

Causes and Solutions -- The issue seems to be isolated to the AMD Radeon HD graphics chipsets (the 6490M, 6750M, and 6770M) in these MacBook Pro models. Interestingly, previous — back to 2007 — and subsequent MacBook Pro models instead used Nvidia chipsets for the discrete graphics processor.

A temporary workaround is to force the computer to switch to the integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics chip using Cody Krieger’s free gfxCardStatus utility, which also shows you which graphics chip is in use at any given time. The integrated graphics are slower, but consume less power (see “Improve MacBook Pro Battery Life with gfxCardStatus,” 21 February 2011).

Many forum posters believe that lead-free solder — which is environmentally friendly but makes for weaker connections — is the source of the problem. Improper use of lead-free solder is blamed for the Xbox 360’s “red ring of death” issue, which caused a substantial number of unit failures.

Unfortunately, since the AMD chip is attached to the logic board, the safest solution is to have the logic board replaced by an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider. Reports from users price out-of-warranty repairs by Apple at $320 for a flat-rate depot repair, which involves shipping your computer away, and around $500 for a faster in-store repair. Either way, be sure to make a complete backup of your data beforehand in case Apple decides to replace the computer entirely.

Another reported solution — if you’re desperate, technically adept, and a little crazy — is to try reflowing the solder connection yourself with a heat gun, as illustrated by Geoff Hill at the Make Stuff/Do Stuff blog. Here’s to the crazy ones.

We hope that Apple acknowledges this widespread problem and issues a recall for affected customers.


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Comments about Users Reporting Widespread GPU Issues with 2011 MacBook Pros

sraz150  2013-12-19 18:51
The only hardware failures I've ever experienced with Macs since 2006, have both been AMD graphics chipset failures: one in an iMac and the other in a MBP. They resulted in logic board replacements.

All six Macs since then (including a work machine) have had nVidia-based graphics with no issues. I'll be avoiding AMD in the future.
Eric E  2013-12-26 18:31
"...the only hardware failures I've ever experienced... have both been AMD..." - it's not just AMD. My late 2008 15" MBP has had two motherboard swaps (thankfully under warranty) due to it's Nvidia GPU that was notorious for issues. Bad manufacturing can hit any maker...
Ken Powell  An apple icon for a TidBITS Supporter 2013-12-27 21:59
In checking other threads associated with this problem, it's solder joints between the GPU and the logic board that fail, not the GPU. This is an assembly defect, not a component failure.

Apple offered repair extensions on 15 & 17 inch MBPs exhibiting video problems manufactured between May 2007 & Sept 2008. Who knows if they will do the same this time...
Ian Stavert  2013-12-20 02:31
My 2010 model MBP 15" had a well-known issue with the Nvidia card, which caused crashing of the system whilst that card was in use - isolating this card out by using the gfxCardStatus utility meant that you could not run a monitor - Apple replaced my logic board for free as I had AppleCare, but the cost was going to run somewhere in the $500 range, so it's not just AMD that has had issues - Nvidia cards will not make you immune to future problems. In my case it was a known issue with Apple (eventually) because they put out a Knowledge Base article about it, so see if they have done the same thing for the AMD issue.
Yes, this is a problem that I have just encountered this last week. I performed a clean install of Windows 7 and after installing boot camp 5, but before the reboot, I disable the ATI chip and also remove the drivers from the device manager.
I have an early model 17" MacBook Pro that had this issue late last summer. I had to take my laptop in to the Apple store 3 times to have it repaired as described in the article. The store people were great and knew all about this concern. The last time I took it in, they said it would be the last repair attempt, and if it failed again we would need to discuss a replacement product. Thankfully, the last repair SEEMS to have corrected the issue. I bought this 17" MBP for a reason, and would be disappointed if I had to replace it. Oh yes, I do have Apple Care!
Apple offered on Mid-2010 models an extended Warranty that when it showed it failed a specific GPU (nVidia) test, they replaced the logicboard. But that coverage is now over.

Prior to that, the 2007-08 (2.4/2.2ghz) models with nVidia "bump" issues and the 4 year extended program that had. Seems Apple isn't giving a longer coverage.

If there really are many issues with the 2011 GPUs, I suspect Apple will add a stress-test to MRI and hope they offer an extension program.
Richard Orlin  2014-01-02 08:35
The Macbook Pro isn't the only Mac that is using the 6770M GPU. I have a mid-2011 27" iMac using the same GPU and I'm beginning to experience strange graphics behavior with the finder.
Scot Mcphee  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2014-01-06 21:54
I've got one of these AMD-equipped 2011 MBP's. I've found that I don't get graphical glitches as much as infuriating slow downs, freeze-ups and painful 1 min+ screen redraws. When this article appeared a few weeks ago, I installed gfxCardStatus and forced it to use the built in graphics and haven't seen my problem appear since. The problem is I often connect it to an external monitor (but not over xmas) which means I have to used the AMD card. ;-(
There is an on-line petition for an Apple recall / replacement for free. Here are the links:

- Short:
- Full:

Share, please.