iMac 24 2008 Replacing 8800GS GPU with Alternative?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by andydckent, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    #1
    Hi there,

    I have an iMac 24 3.06 2008 model with a faulty 8800GS graphics card (black screen issues).

    I have heard a lot of bad stories about this card failing multiple times.

    Does anyone know if it is possible to replace this card with one of the cards from the 2009 revisions i.e. the GT130 or ATI 4850?

    Has anyone else tried this?

    Thanks!

    Andy
     
  2. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    It should be possible but I haven't heard anyone trying it. You would be the guinea pig
     
  3. macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #3
    Haven't tried it but here's one of each for sale

    http://cgi.ebay.com/24-iMac-Early-2...eo_TV_Cards&hash=item27b74d09c4#ht_1213wt_907

    http://cgi.ebay.com/24-iMac-Early-2...eo_TV_Cards&hash=item255fab9b80#ht_1320wt_907

    Cheers,
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    This is really making me start to wonder. Every person that I know who has had this model iMac has said the graphics card has failed. EVERYONE. I have the exact same model and i've had it for a year and two months now and have had no problems at all.

    The thing is, is that I game 5 hours a day. My GPU has never gone over 170 degrees farenheight, I've only seen it once get to 190F but then the fans kicked in.

    Do you think mine is going to fail soon? Im kind of scared that it will. I have apple care until december 8 2012
     
  5. macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #5
    I think you can be certain it will fail at some point.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1076509
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=934814
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=970649
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1071318
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1085213

    Cheers,
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    D: Your scaring me lol. I have no problems though, thats the thing and im always running my gpu. it never reaches over 170F either, so hopefully it would be fine.
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    aliensporebomb

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth
    #7
    Well

    Your goal then is to replace the computer before it goes out of Applecare.

    That way you have a new machine without this issue.
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    #8
    Nvidia 8800 failed

    Time for me to weigh in! I've had the 2008 iMac (Nvidia 8800 GS) for 2 years & 5 months now. I game about 15 hours/week. Graphics card just went bye-bye yesterday. I'll be starting the process that all the others have gone through as I'm under warranty until August 2011. I'm hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.

    Any advice, suggestions, or help to make the process easier/quicker would be appreciated. My 1st though is to simply approach the store manager and cite the fact that this issue has happened to many others, reference that the conclusion is usually the GPU, and that replacements repeatedly fail. Naturally, the manager will insist they have a look themselves, they'll come to the conclusion it is in fact the GPU, and will replace it, only to have it fail and me coming right back, as predicted.

    Or should I approach this as the "ignorant" consumer and let them just go through their process (which they'll go through anyway no matter what)?
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    gdeputy

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #9
    If it was me I would print documentation supporting your claim of repeated failure, say something like "I believe this is more of a faulty problem with the computer and I'm fairly certain it WILL fail again with the same hardware, however I realize you must follow regulation so whatever you can do to help my situation is the route I'll be taking" be very polite, and you'll receive better support.

    I had an iPhone replaced because of a broken ringer switch even though they found water damage. Guy was real cool.
     
  10. MacHamster68, Feb 8, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011

    macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #10
    in my opinion the right thing for apple to do would have been after the first couple thousand worldwide failed and need a new GPU to offer the owners who did spend quiet a lot money when they bought the 2008 iMac at least to fit a other GPU inside which is not known to fail even if it might be less powerful i mean better having a bit less powerful gpu inside then one that fails ,ok a more powerful one would be more of a compensation or a replacement 2009/2010 iMac , depending when the card failed
    instead apple is offering the owners to run every year to the apple store to get a new nvidia 8800 which will with luck only fail in 12 month time again and some even more often to get GPU's replaced , some who did not have apple care even had to pay for that service multiple times by now

    and before someone get the idea of telling me , in forums you will only find people with problems and there are people out there who a happy with their nvidia 8800gs inside their iMac ....sure there are ,and i even hope that for the people who spend all that money for their iMac
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2007
    #11
    I asked on my second repair, they won't fix it with any other graphics card. On the 3rd repair, I got a new machine (although it took a total of 28days)
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    zepharus

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #12
    Add mine to the list.. Mine failed last night. I bought this model on Launch with the 2.8 C2D and the 8800 GS. Im not happy.

    The wife plays WoW on it and quite honestly I thing the top end iMac with the i5 and a 5750 1GB is going to be a downgrade in performance with WoW... Not happy at all.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Location:
    Boston
    #13
    I would think it'd be better. Quad core, 3.6 ghz turbo boost, new and better drivers, more ram, and 1gb vs 512mb. I kind of my want my iMac to fail so i can get that one lol
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    BlackMax

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #14

    Just be a regular customer, document everything and let Apple go through their process. I went through this process and let Apple troubleshoot and attempt to fix my 2008 24" iMac. I was patient, never got upset and just let them do their job. I would have been happy to have my 2008 24" iMac fixed, but in my case it didn't work out that way. I ended up calling AppleCare twice and bringing my iMac into the Apple store three times for repair (replaced GPU then a replaced MLB and GPU). On the third trip they replaced my iMac.

    Don't worry. If Apple cannot fix your iMac they will replace it.
     
  15. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    #15
    Thanks BlackMax, I've read all your posts about the issue; thank you for sharing!

    I took my iMac to the nearest Apple Authorized Servicer for repairs yesterday. However, what I've seen from other posts (and was told by the Apple Servicer yesterday) is that they (the Authorized Servicer) can only repair my system indefinitely and cannot ever authorize a replacement. So I suppose if the repaired iMac breaks again I'll just phone Apple Support direct.
     
  16. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #16
    Couple thousand failed units are still within normal failure rates. For example, if 100 000 iMacs with 8800 GS were manufactured, 2000 failed ones would only represent 2%, which is very normal failure rate for consumer electronics. I think <5% is considered as pretty normal.

    I would say it usually takes at least 10% before manufacturers start to offer special repair or replacement policies.
     
  17. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    #17
    The thing that gets me is the repeated failures after replacement. I can understand that 2%, maybe even 5% of cards might fail... but it just seems fishy when the people with failing cards are getting them replaced and the replacements are failing within a couple days. If the replacement lasted another two years (or even just one year) I could make sense of it... but having multiple replacements fail almost immediately?

    I'm beginning to wonder if there's a possibility of some type of incompatibility between Nvidia, Apple's logic board, and OpenCL that's caused the Nvidia cards (and their replacements) to fail.

    I've looked at dozens of threads on 8800 gs Nvidia cards. Although there are lots of reports of Nvidia cards making it past 2.5 years, I haven't found a thread where a failed Nvidia card getting replaced with another Nvidia 8800 cards keeps the system from failing again within 3 months.
     
  18. macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #18
    my guess is its not apple , because a lot of pc's with a nvidia 8800 did fail to , and as far as i could find out just by reading some little posts around google, its the nvida drivers which let the card overheat because the parts are just not heat resistant or something across that line the result is always the same ..card gone to dump and even 8800 cards with newer "improved"drivers from nvidia did fail again
    nvidia just makes fast cards on a budget , they are lots cheaper for the manufacturers of computers then equivalent cards from other manufacturers
     
  19. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    #19
    That's a good point; I've also read a lot about how the Nvidia is failing in PCs, too. A poorly manufactured card might help explain why the card fails after only 2 years, but it doesn't really help explain the subsequent rapid and repeated failures in the same machines after the card is replaced. If Nvidia's 8x series was just shoddy and failed after a year, then I'd expect that the replacement Nvidia card would keep the computers kickin' for another year. But to have the initial Nvidia card run 2.5 years followed by a replacement that fails after several days, or even hours? Something else seems to be implicated.

    True, the root cause may be Nvidia's card, but I think that the card crapping out is secondary to some other issue that's causing any replaced card to also crap out within days of replacement.
     
  20. MacHamster68, Feb 9, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011

    macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #20
    yes i agree , but if apple would really care they would know by now that the nvidia 8800 in their 2008 iMac's fail repeatedly , so would it not make sense for apple to get customers to trust in apple products again to fit from a certain point onwards (after the second fail)another card ? i mean if i spend a couple thousand and the card fails , and i get it replaced and it fails again and i get it replaced and it fails again , i would ask myself if there is a serious problem with apple products



    and the nvidia was only a optional upgrade from the normally installed ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB of GDDR3 which is not known to fail repeatedly , so if i had a iMac with 8800 i would insist at the apple store to get the ati fitted, better less vram as a card that fails all the time ..makes sense or? ok not really satisfying for people who had spend the extra money to get the 8800 in first place
     
  21. macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #21
    I want to see someone try to put one of those ati4850 cards in these 8800gs equipped iMacs.

    It would be an interesting experiment and a possible longer term solution.

    Cheers,
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Location:
    Boston
    #22
    I would do that, but I don't want to put something newer into an older system, or just in general something that doesn't belong in there. It could work, but the 8800 gs is suppose to be in there. I'd rather just get peace of mind in a new computer
     
  23. MacHamster68, Feb 9, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011

    macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #23

    it was a optional GPU and i doubt very much that apple did make a different logicboard only to fit a optional GPU

    but it would be really interesting to know if it could be reversed taking the optional out and put in the base GPU from ati , because if it works it could give some people who have a failing nvidia 8800 a trouble free iMac again.. not for all of them its a option buy a new iMac , because for a iMac with failed GPU (so not working) you dont get much if you sell it like that and
    after all the ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO was not a bad GPU in terms of performance
     
  24. MacHamster68, Feb 9, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011

    macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #24
    just what i found on WIKI ..very interesting
    On May 10, 2007, NVIDIA announced the availability of their GeForce 8 notebook GPUs through select OEMs. So far the lineup consists of the 8200M, 8400M, 8600M, 8700M and 8800M series chips.[30] It has been announced by nVidia that some of their graphics chips have a higher than expected rate of failure due to overheating when used in particular notebook configurations. Some major laptop manufacturers are making adjustments to fan setting and firmware updates to help delay the occurrence of any potential GPU failure. In late July 2008, Dell released a set of BIOS updates that made the laptop fans spin more frequently


    The reason for the high failure rate was because of improper selection of the underfill material for the chip. Underfill materials are a sort of glue that keeps the silicon die firmly attached to the packaging material, which is where the connection to the actual pins takes place. On this chips, the working temperature of the underfill material was too low for the task and allowed the chip to move sightly if temperature was raised above a certain level, weakening the solder joints by which the die is attached. This eventually leads to a catastrophic failure, although the way the chip fails is quite random.

    NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang and CFO Marvin Burkett were involved in a lawsuit filed on September 9, 2008 alleging that their knowledge of the flaw, and their intent to hide it, resulted in NVIDIA losing 31% on the stock markets

    and before anyone says its only talk about the 8800m and not about the GS

    On April 28, 2008, Apple announced an updated iMac line featuring an 8800 GS. However, the GPU is actually a rebranded NVIDIA GeForce 8800M GTS.
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Location:
    Boston
    #25
    To be honest, i really do think that nvidia covered it up, and apple covered it up too. why else would they be so generous to give away brand new 27" imacs? good customer service? probably not. they probably no something is up, and they felt its right to replace it. ive also noticed though, when i took my imac for a hard drive replacement, and it might sound crazy, my graphics card used to be at a a temperature of 194F when gaming. after the hard drive replacement the fans are now faster and it doesn't go over 173F. It really is weird, I don't know. If what's said about these graphics cards is true though, mine will fail because like I said, im always gaming.
     

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