Freezing iMac Issue Due to Hardware?

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Appleinsider suggests that the freezing iMac problem may be related to overheating hardware rather than any particular software issue.

    They cite one user who had their video chipset replaced on their iMac who found that the problems had disappeared.
    While this remains speculative, it could mean that no software solution will be able to repair the issue. A similar but less publicizd issue has affected early owners ot the ATI Radeon X1900 video card for the Mac Pro. Some have noted these issues have become more prominent under Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) due to its increased dependance on the GPU.

    Article Link
  2. macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2004
    Darn. A software fix would have been so much more tidy.
  3. macrumors regular


    Feb 2, 2006
    The lesson is the same as always!

    Never buy a Apple revision A product!!
  4. macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2007
    I've read from owners that freezes occur after a cold boot, so this doesn't make much sense to me that the GPU is overheating, although another type of GPU fault is likely IMO.
  5. macrumors 68020


    Jan 10, 2007
    I called it weeks ago. I knew it.

    Overheating ATI cards FTW. Apple chooses cost over quality. Consumers lose.
  6. macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    My new 2.8 iMac (August) never froze, and I have been planning in upgrading to 10.5 within the next week or so, however, my iMac has started freezing in the last 10 days, about 4 or 5 times so far.
  7. macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    I'm all for Apple's minimalist design philosophy, but this is a good example of possibly sacrificing function for form. Yes, "thinner is better" in Apple's eyes, but at what cost? Do desktops really need to be as thin as possible? Personally, it wouldn't bother me at all if the iMac was half an inch thicker in order to better offset any overheating issues which could have adverse effects such as this.

    A thin machine is great, but only if it works properly. :cool:
  8. macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2006
    I purchased the Rev A Intel iMac in January 2006 and never had a major issue with it. My only thought would be that Apple should have used the MXM format for the video subsystem in the new Intel iMacs as this would have made repairs much easier and cheaper for video related issues e.g. now. Has anyone tried using Temp Monitor to observe heating issue and compare those to the stated limits of those components from the manufacturers? Almost ever component inside the new iMacs have a thermal diode that can be measured.
  9. ksz
    macrumors 68000

    Oct 28, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    If this is just a manufacturing problem like the overzealous application of thermal paste on laptop CPUs, then it's just as easily curable. I am personally quite fond of Apple's design trend and do think it adds to the product's market appeal.
  10. Can
    macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2007
    AppleInsider suggests?

    This info has been on these forums for many days now. Read the iMac forum :)
  11. macrumors 68020


    May 7, 2003
    Saint Augustine, FL
    Early MacBooks also had heat-related issues, though it was more of a shutdown than a freeze.

    Never by Rev A products from any manufacturer. (if you care)
  12. macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2005
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    Actually, the only apple products I never had a single problem with were a rev A iPod and a rev A 12" powerbook. So I thought let's give a rev A a try again. :)

    But generally you are right.
  13. macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2007
    I think it's hardware but I don't think it's a heat issue. Most of my freezes occur after restoring from sleep or a cold boot.
  14. macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2007
    This article isn't accurate.

    I am the lucky owner of the freezing iMac's and originally thought it was heat related until it happened at almost every cold boot.

    My situation was very similar to roland.g, where in my iMac started freezing several weeks after it was at home and became worse and worse as time passed.

    The problem (told to me by the Apple repair rep) is related to bad video memory, and requires an entire logic board (motherboard) replacement. This does explain why, after a good 4 - 10 freezes you eventually get a good working system for several hours as long as you don't utilize anything too graphically intense.

    I am scheduled to pick it up tomorrow or Saturday when they have finished.

    Interestingly enough, they continue to tell you "this is the first time we've seen anything like this.", however at the same time he searches his knowledge base and magically up pops the cure for this *never seen before* problem.

    But, whatcha gonna do. 30+ Macs in the last 2 years and this is the first one with hardware issues. Thats pretty good for me, I just feel sorry for all of the Mac converts who got one of the unlucky machines at first go.
  15. macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    Let's hope that's the case.

    I am too, but as I stated, I do not want Apple to sacrifce function for form. :cool:
  16. macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2007
    Not my issue

    I keep reading about these freezes. Is it only happening in new aluminum iMacs?
  17. macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2007
    Hollywood, California
    i mentioned this theory in the madden '08 thread when many users were reporting system freezes. i immediately suspected an overheating issue. my sister also has a new iMac which she reports genrates massive heat sitting in front of it. lockups due to vid chip overheating makes perfect sense to me. however, the issue may not just be one of ati's cards / chips. if you have a pro tower and are having lockups regardless of what brand vid card you have in there, remove a side panel and see if it helps by getting more airflow in there. it could be a more major issue of the materials used and thickness of the computer (read:new iMac and metal laptops) or both.
  18. macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    Apparently, although certainly not in all of them. Mine hasn't frozen once since I got it several weeks ago.
  19. macrumors demi-god


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    While my iMac 2.4 has been fine, she does get toasty.

    I used to own an hp Pavillion zd7000 laptop and those models were somewhat notorious for cooking their nVidia GoFX5700 GPUs, even running at a 100MHz core and 100MHz memory clocks.

    So Apple isn't alone...
  20. macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2007
    Yes, mostly to the new Aluminum 20" and 24" iMacs. It isn't completely isolated to these iMac's since it is bad video memory and that can most certainly happen to other systems as well, just not in the same proportion or numbers.
  21. macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2007
    If the problem is hardware, what will Apple do? Will they recall all the iMacs with the potentially damaged GPU and replace them with new ones?
  22. macrumors demi-god


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    A software patch could under-clock the GPU and/or memory to reduce the heat. Won't help performance, but it will help longevity.
  23. macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2007
    Hollywood, California
    that depends on the application. for the madden game for instance, it is happening to MBP, alum iMacs and pro towers. 75% are using ati cards, 100% have a "metal" casing.
  24. macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2007
    If you call Apple Care, and / or take the iMac into the local store for repair they act as if this is the first time they have seen the problem.

    I imagine, they won't recall them, just simply fix them through the regular repair channel, which is unfortunate.

    Now I am the proud owner of a Brand New Repaired 24" iMac!
  25. macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2006
    The heat can be fixed with software

    If it is just the heat it can be fixed with software. Apple could just downgrade the GPU clock a bit. One would hardly notice any difference in real life performance since the tolerable heat threshold is probably close anyway.

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