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Graphics card busted?

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Matt DoeGraphics card busted?
by on Jul 21, 2009 at 6:34:33 pm

I have been running into issues lately with what I think is my graphics card (ATI X1900XT). I've been noticing pixelated lines which randomly appear across the screen when I am working in either FCP or After Effects CS4 (w/ Open GL off) and sometimes when playing videos in Quicktime; which shortly after leads to a complete freeze/crash of the machine. The machine will freeze, or a few times the displays just go black and the only recourse is to hold the power button the machine to restart.

I've read that it could be a build up of dust on the graphics card, seeing as I bought the machine back in 2006 and had never cleaned out the case, I went ahead and did that, still I am getting hit with the same issue.

Is it just time to replace the card? Or could it be a deeper problem somewhere within the machine?

I'm running 10.5.7 on a 3.0ghz quad core w/ 16gb ram

Any suggestions??


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David HallRe: Graphics card busted?
by on Jul 23, 2009 at 9:57:03 pm

It could be the graphics card, or possibly a short with the PCI slot.

I had a recent system with a Radeon HD2600 that would just go black randomly. Turned out to be a short on the card.

A few questions:

How long has this issue been going on?
Are you working with one or two monitors?
Are they Apple monitors?

1. If you're working with one monitor, you can try plugging it into the second DVI port on the graphics card. If its happening on 2 simultaneously, skip to step 2.

2. Next I would move the graphics card to another PCI slot. See if the issue continues.

3. Finally if you have a second graphics card, try swapping out the X1900 and see if anything changes.

Also you may want to check the power supply on the monitor. Chances are it isn't the cause, but you never know.

Let me know how it goes.

David Hall
Service Manager
Zero One Media Center
Apple Certified Hardware Technician


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Erik MickelsonRe: Graphics card busted?
by on Aug 27, 2009 at 4:57:24 pm

Yes, it is the graphics card. Unfortunately, Apple only replaces the x1900xt with the same card only version 2. The x1900xt that was replaced in my computer still runs hot and I feel it is only a matter of time before it fails and I will have to purchase a new card. Apple should replace the card fpr free even if out of warranty because they have acknowledged a bad design from ATI.

Also, my Leopard install is NOT good at all on my quad 3Ghz MacPro. It will not wake from sleep and seems to always need a hard reboot because it does not start up correctly any more. My problems started after installing Leopard.

Anyone have a solution to the No Waking after Sleep problem? How about my unbelievably slow internet speeds? Anyone?

MacPro Dual Core2Duo 3.0Ghz, 6GB ram, 4TB SATA Raid, Tiger 10.4.11, FCPStudio 2, QT 7.5.5


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Matt DoeRe: Graphics card busted?
by on Aug 27, 2009 at 5:21:02 pm

That is what I've been reading around the internets. I downloaded the SMC Fan Control preference and while I can't control the fan on the card directly, I have found I get a bit more stability by doubling the speed of all the other fans in the case. I have been able to work uninterrupted in Color with the fan speeds doubled.

If it starts to freeze/crash again, I will up the fan speeds again, there is still quite a bit of headroom in the SMC controller for the fans. I am trying to eek out as much life on this card as possible.



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Erik MickelsonRe: Graphics card busted?
by on Aug 27, 2009 at 9:08:15 pm

Just have Apple replace the first edition card for free. Then you need to get the after market fan for it($20?). Supposedly this fixes the issue for a more permanent timeframe.

MacPro Dual Core2Duo 3.0Ghz, 6GB ram, 4TB SATA Raid, Tiger 10.4.11, FCPStudio 2, QT 7.5.5


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Matt DoeRe: Graphics card busted?
by on Aug 27, 2009 at 10:31:16 pm

Alas I am long since out of warranty on the box, purchased way back in 2006.

Any recommendations of PCI fans or other after market cooling? Also, any tips on installing, mainly, where would the power come from?



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Erik MickelsonRe: Graphics card busted?
by on Aug 27, 2009 at 10:45:01 pm

And? So what's your point? Call em' up and tell them that the card is frying up. If the first Apple operator says no, politely hang up and call again until someone says yes.

Mine is a quad 3.0 waaaay out of warranty and Apple just put in a new one for free.

Do it.

MacPro Dual Core2Duo 3.0Ghz, 6GB ram, 4TB SATA Raid, Tiger 10.4.11, FCPStudio 2, QT 7.5.5


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