Users are reporting problems with the 2011 MacBook Pro. The good news is that it's a rather short list. Unfortunately, the two problems sound pretty widespread and sound like pretty big problems rather than minor annoyances. While we're sure Apple will offer a firmware update to fix this, it's worth knowing that there have been problems with the new laptop.
Let's take a look
Freeze Issue With Heavy Crunching (Update: Fixed)
The Apple Discussions thread has a 58-page thread (at the time of this writing) with users detailing issues with the MacBook Pro 15- and 17-inch models. Ars reports that one user on the forums claims that they were even able to reproduce the problem on all the floor models at an Apple Store, which helps to prove that the problem is larger than just a few users.
It's said that Apple is already working on a fix. It's unknown exactly what the issue is, but Apple says it may be some drivers, though Ars feels it may be "related to running GPU-intensive tasks that lead to overheating."
It seems that the biggest issues come when encoding video, whether it be in iMovie or Handbrake. Others have also had the problem while playing games.
While we wrote this piece, Apple updated the software with 10.6.7:
The Mac OS X 10.6.7 Update for MacBook Pro is recommended for all early 2011 MacBook Pro models. It includes general operating system fixes for Mac OS X Snow Leopard that enhance the stability, compatibility, performance, and security of your Mac, including fixes that:
‚Äö√Ñ¬¢ Improve the reliability of Back to My Mac
‚Äö√Ñ¬¢ Resolve an issue when transferring files to certain SMB servers
‚Äö√Ñ¬¢ Address various minor Mac App Store bugs
‚Äö√Ñ¬¢ Address minor FaceTime performance issues
‚Äö√Ñ¬¢ Improve graphics stability and external display compatibility
Anyone out there who has experienced this bug may want to check out the update.
2) Thunderbolt Port Screen Flicker
The other major bug is that some displays flicker while plugged into the Thunderbolt port. This can no doubt be fixed with a firmware update as well. As the video above shows, a connected screen will often flicker when connected to the MacBook Pro's new Thunderbolt port.
The Problem With Any New Technology
It's hard to know before a product launch exactly what issues will arise once a piece of hardware or software is in the hands of many. It happens with tech all the time. Early adopters tend to get it the worst as the bugs don't get worked out until they get their hands on it and it's widely used under different configurations.
Strange, though, that they didn't catch this before as higher end graphics and video are a major part of why consumers tend to choose MacBook Pros.