updated 03:25 pm EST, Sat March 5, 2011
MacBook Pro 2011 triggers 24in Cinema Display bug
Owners of the new 2011 MacBook Pro are reporting on Apple's boards that the portables have a unique conflict with the 24-inch Cinema Display. Both the 13- and 15-inch models, and likely the 17-inch model, produce intermittent flickering, brief blackouts and other periodic but noticeable flaws when attached to the out-of-sale screen. The built-in notebook display is unaffected.
Users have already tried some of the more common tricks, such as resetting the SMC, but haven't had any initial success. It also applies whether or not the AMD or Intel graphics are being used. Those with the currently available 27-inch Cinema Display also haven't mentioned the issue, though this is likely owing to Apple having tested on its current screen.
Apple hasn't yet commented on the issue and hasn't said whether or not it's a regular issue. It should most likely be fixed at a certain point by a firmware update for the Cinema Display, the MacBook Pro or both. The cause hasn't been narrowed down but may be related to early teething problems with the Thunderbolt port. Any standard DisplayPort device should behave normally when connected, but the new Intel controller chip and possibly different signalling could lead to issues that weren't present before.