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Old Mar 1, 2012, 02:43 AM   #1
prvt.donut
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Mac Pro 1,1 with maybe dying X1900

We have this old Mac Pro, and are holding out for the new models before retiring it.

But recently it has started blank screening, combined with the GPU fan revving up like it wants to take off!

I just saw it happen now, pulled off the side and confirmed the GPU is roasting.

Anyone experienced this?

Are there any firmware updates for this GPU I can install? or is it just on the way out?
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Old Mar 1, 2012, 03:13 AM   #2
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They were prone to failing, and Apple swapped some of them for a 8800GT about a year ago. I don't know if they are still doing it. Ask.

If they don't, at this point, you might want to either buy a cheap 7300 or even try the latest drivers from NVidia, and install a GTX 5xx to give it a new youth (some tweaking required)
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Old Mar 1, 2012, 03:33 AM   #3
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Yes it sounds like your X1900 is on the way out. Mine failed after 13 months of use. So if this is the original card that came with your Mac, you have done very well. As juanm said these graphic cards have a high failure rate.
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Old Mar 1, 2012, 03:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prvt.donut View Post
We have this old Mac Pro, and are holding out for the new models before retiring it.

But recently it has started blank screening, combined with the GPU fan revving up like it wants to take off!

I just saw it happen now, pulled off the side and confirmed the GPU is roasting.

Anyone experienced this?

Are there any firmware updates for this GPU I can install? or is it just on the way out?
Have you ever cleaned it?

There is an intake of copper fins (real copper, BTW) that gets clogged over time. Blowing compressed air in the out side will help, or brushing with a paintbrush. For the super-anal, there are 3 small screws that can take fan cage off, you have to pinch the clear part to unhook. This allows better cleaning.

Another thing to check is if you have latest firmware, ends in 202 IIRC.

If it still acts up after this, time for a new card. They can't be fixed and don't get better on their own.
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Old Mar 2, 2012, 10:36 AM   #5
prvt.donut
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Yes, I cleaned the gpu, we always have a few cans of compressed air on hand!

It Had a thick layer of dust in the intake, it nearly looked like a dust filter there was so much!

I checked firmware and it was upto date.

Will give it a week and see how it goes.

Looked on the apple site and it's only about $200 for a card on the apple site.

It's a company Mac pro so as long as its not too much, they don't mind paying to replace parts.

The biggest issue is how long until the updates? But no one really knows, and we don't know if the card will crap out before then! Also, we have to avoid the computer being out of commission for a few days, thereby wasting more many than buying a replacement card on designer's salary for a few days who can't work waiting for parts.
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Old Mar 2, 2012, 12:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prvt.donut View Post
We have this old Mac Pro, and are holding out for the new models before retiring it.

But recently it has started blank screening, combined with the GPU fan revving up like it wants to take off!

I just saw it happen now, pulled off the side and confirmed the GPU is roasting.

Anyone experienced this?

Are there any firmware updates for this GPU I can install? or is it just on the way out?

I'd say keep blowing it out with an airline TWICE a year minimum. You'll find it'll be clogged full of dust at the grill end and just can't breathe.

Another trick during the hot summer months is to take the side of the MacPro and run a little desk fan during the day at full speed. That'll keep it cool.
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Old Mar 2, 2012, 12:52 PM   #7
Maury
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prvt.donut View Post
We have this old Mac Pro, and are holding out for the new models before retiring it.

But recently it has started blank screening, combined with the GPU fan revving up like it wants to take off!

I just saw it happen now, pulled off the side and confirmed the GPU is roasting.

Anyone experienced this?
Yup, that is precisely how my X1900 went. Over a period of a couple of weeks the fan was clearly in more heavy use. Then I started seeing back pixels, then dead.

The fact it's still running it implies you're either not doing a lot of heavy 3D on it, or *extremely* lucky!
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Old Mar 2, 2012, 06:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Maury View Post
Yup, that is precisely how my X1900 went. Over a period of a couple of weeks the fan was clearly in more heavy use. Then I started seeing back pixels, then dead.

The fact it's still running it implies you're either not doing a lot of heavy 3D on it, or *extremely* lucky!
The implication is correct, they are fashion designers, so they only do 2D work!

And watching a lot of flash video
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Old Mar 2, 2012, 06:53 PM   #9
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Used to have one of those - they would totally cake with dust so thick it would form a solid block of the heat fins. If you overheated them too much at that point you'd bake the card and it would be flakey forever after.

Apple at one time had a warranty replacement / recall on them. If you've got a bad one, I'd call the genius bar and ask - even if it's out of warranty you might get a new one if they know about the problem, I got mine replaced for free at one time.

To anyone else who has one - make sure you flush out that heat sink at least a couple times a year with compressed air!
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Old Mar 2, 2012, 07:03 PM   #10
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Boy, you're in an awkward spot.

You could spend $200 and buy a newer, modern graphics card from Apple (or a reseller).
Install the card, and stop worrying. Especially if the company will buy the replacement card BEFORE the original completely dies. Then your only downtime is the 5 minutes it takes to install the new card.

Then when the new Mac Pro does come out and you upgrade you have a choice:
1) move the card to the new mac to run more monitors and retire the 1,1
2) keep the card in the 1,1 and have an extra Mac Pro

That would be my plan.
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Old Mar 2, 2012, 07:17 PM   #11
prvt.donut
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Originally Posted by minifridge1138 View Post
Boy, you're in an awkward spot.

You could spend $200 and buy a newer, modern graphics card from Apple (or a reseller).
Install the card, and stop worrying. Especially if the company will buy the replacement card BEFORE the original completely dies. Then your only downtime is the 5 minutes it takes to install the new card.

Then when the new Mac Pro does come out and you upgrade you have a choice:
1) move the card to the new mac to run more monitors and retire the 1,1
2) keep the card in the 1,1 and have an extra Mac Pro

That would be my plan.
Keeping it as a backup would be good, but as soon as the new Pros come out, we will be replacing all 4 Pros in the office. So in theory, we will have 4 backup Pro's.



I'm thinking after the cleaning I gave it, we'll see how it goes for the next week and decide then. I did clean them out last summer, but computers are pretty good office air filtration systems!
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 05:59 PM   #12
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+1 for cleaning the fan and your MacPro internals
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 08:28 PM   #13
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http://support.apple.com/kb/ts3420

Problem solved.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 10:58 PM   #14
prvt.donut
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i don't get it... The video is not distorted. It stops signal and the GPU fans ramp up to 100% as the GPU fries!



Symptoms
The ATI X1900 XT video card repair extension program has ended.

Resolution
The ATI X1900 video card repair extension program for distorted video ended January 31, 2011.

If you experience distorted video issues, contact Apple or take your affected product to an Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple Retail Store to determine which service and support options are available. If you plan to visit an Apple Retail store, make a reservation at the Genius Bar using http://www.apple.com/retail/geniusbar/ (available in some countries only).
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