updated 06:55 pm EDT, Mon September 7, 2009
New MacBook Pros exhibit Boot Camp sound problems
Apple's latest MacBook Pro offerings appear to have an ongoing speaker audio-failure issue when running most varieties of Windows in Boot Camp.
Several Owners of Apple's latest MacBook Pro offerings in the 13- and 15-inch screen sizes have reported speaker failures when running Windows via Boot Camp. The problems have affected many gamers who use Mac OS X for daily computing, then switch to Windows to play games. The problem appears to have begun with Boot Camp v2.1, which was launched in June, while the recent v3.0 release, designed for Snow Leopard, has not alleviated the widespread issues.
According to posters on Apple's support forums, the latest 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros exhibit the issue with Windows XP, Server 2008 x64, Vista x32 and x64, and Windows 7 RC x32 and x64. Users have complained of very low sound volumes from the built-in speakers, even at full volume, along with a red light emanating from the speaker jack. Several systems are also unable to recognize microphone input. Although the specific source of the problems remains unknown, user reports suggest the Cirrus Logic CS4206A sound driver could be the culprit.
Forum posters, starting on page 10 of the forum, have posted workarounds that outline a user-hacked replacement for the Cirrus drivers which requires command-line work in Windows to resolve the issue. Frustrations have run high in the forums, due to Apple's lack of response to the issue -- the 270+ posts have not yet received any comments or help from Apple representatives in the three months the issue has been commented on.
Failure to address the issue in Snow Leopard's Boot Camp 3.0 revision has also caused negative sentiment from posters, some of whom describe themselves as first-time Mac buyers who bought the new notebooks expressly because of Boot Camp support for their Windows games. Particularly when gaming, lack of sound support is a large detriment to the experience.