iMac Video problem

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by slackersonly, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. slackersonly macrumors 6502a


    Apr 13, 2006
    20" iMac, Intel Core Duo, 1x1GB RAM + 1x512MB RAM, 128MB video card, 250MB HD (about half full).

    I will do my best to describe a problem that just popped up yesterday. I apologize in advance if I seem to jump around.

    Yesterday, while playing WoW, I started to get some Video artifacts (diagonal lines of fuzzy colored squares). It would come and go. Later, this problem would fill the screen and would freeze the game (although audio remained). Only option that I seemed to work was a hard power down (hold down power button in the back).

    Before you say I have a WoW problem, there is more. After waiting 15-30 seconds I hit the power button and start up the iMac. Most of the time I will have similar video problems that will show up as early as the apple loading screen and as late as a minute after the os has fully loaded. Same artifacts and freezing of the computer.

    After a couple of 'reboots' the problem seems to go away and I am fine doing anything I want. Except play WoW again which starts the problem again.

    Now I know that WoW can tax my video card and RAM so I have 2 thoughts:

    1. I have an overheating video card or a bad RAM module. How can I best test/diagnose this?
    2. I need another video card and RAM hog program to test to see if the problem is video related or WoW related (I have done a total uninstall and reinstall of WoW and the problem persists so I dont think it is a bad WoW file). What is another similar hog of a program (that most people have)

    I would appreciate answers to my questions above, other ideas, and just general help. Thanks in advance.
  2. emac82 macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2007
    NB, Canada
    You should just bring it to your neareast Apple Service center to have them check it out.
  3. lamina macrumors 68000


    Mar 9, 2006
    From Canada, living in Seoul
    The artifacts are a telltale sign of a problem with your graphics processor.

    You are absolutely correct about the heat. The early xbox360's that couldn't properly cool themselves showed the same artifacts and symptoms as you describe.

    Bring that puppy in to a (preferably local) Apple service center and get it repaired. If you're nice enough, they might let you keep it while they wait for the part.
  4. slackersonly thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 13, 2006
    This is my first mac and my first problem
    I purchased this mac on May 09, 2006 so I am still under the 1 year warranty.
    I do have a couple of Apple stores about 15 miles away.
    Should I take it to a store (do I need an appointment) or should I call Apple's 800# for warranty work?

    What should I expect in regards to timeframe, any costs, etc? I know that is hard to say exactly but ballpark ideas are appreciated.
  5. kixsand macrumors regular


    Jan 25, 2007
    I have had a marginally similar experience with my computer and WoW. On a couple of occasions I was playing normally when the screen would go all crazy -- kinda like a scrambled image -- and it would lock up. I wouldn't get any audio though...the whole system was locked up.

    I would do a hard restart and it would be fine. It would also be fine to go in and play WoW again...although it did happen one other time. I have 2 gb of Ram and a 256mb video card so I really don't think it was system related. I've always assumed it was a glitch with WoW.

  6. slackersonly thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 13, 2006
    here are some screenshots of the issue (note they are NOT in WoW but on my main desktop view). well a little of the issue. imagine the artifacts covering the whole screen and the system locking up (at which point i cant take a screenshot)

    shot 1 show the a few artifacts in a horizontal line at about the bottom of africa. also in this shot is iStat showing temp of GPU and 1.5MB of RAM total.

    shot 2 shows more artifacts.

    thanks for continued help.

    **screenshots are too big of a file.
  7. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    If you take it to a store you will need to make an appointment. You can do that from home. Go here and find your nearest store. You can call Apple, but since you are near a store they will probably ask you to take it in. Phone support is best for problems that might be software related.

    Expect to pay nothing since you are under warranty. If haven't bought AppleCare you might want to. Time depends on what's wrong, how long it takes them to figure it out and whether them have the parts or want to send it out. As lamina suggested, it won't hurt to ask if can keep the machine if they need to order parts. Good luck.
  8. TheAppFinder macrumors newbie


    Oct 1, 2009
    My 24" iMac Early 2008 also did this as well. Even when i didnt launch WoW, and was in the finder or dashboard. I got the mac from someone, and the person left WoW on it, so I launched it from the dock, and does what you described that your iMac does. I tried a software update from 10.6.1 to 10.6.3 but it only made matters even worse when it rebooted. The mac froze (I only made the mouse move) ,and the colours on the screen were all bad. So i rebooted it, and it showed verticle lines on the screen, and after about a minute gave me a kernel panic. I tried again. same thing. Even when i booted from my snow leopard retail dvd. I took it to west world, and after the diognostics they confirmed it was my video card. nVidia GeForce 8800 GS. But now the back ground is dark pink and the apple logo is green, and still shows the verticle lines! But it still does the kernel panic.

    I don't have apple care for my iMac ( the original owner didnt buy it), and so should I take this to my local Apple Store, and see if they could fix it for free (if not, cheaper then what west world charges), or should i get it fixed by west world? BTW, west world charges over $400 just for the replacement video card, and another $100 for labor.

    Here's is a link to my youtube video that I posted, showing what my iMac does for now.

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