Mac Pro 2008 Faulty Graphics Card and Replacement

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jake.anq, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    #1
    Recently, our Mac Pro has started showing what appears to be symptoms of a failing graphics card.
    First, one screen of a dual screen setup intermittently stopped displaying a picture. Afterwards, the screen displayed a series of pink lines as in the attatched picture then the computer entirely failed to boot up straight afterwards, displaying only a white screen. It still boots up in safe mode but the pink lines remain.

    System Configuration:
    Mac Pro 2008
    4gb ram
    2x Dual Core Xeon processors
    1 standard graphics card, of the 'default' model for this mac pro, not sure exactly which.
    2x 23 inch Cinema HD screens
    Snow Leopard

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    If this is a graphics card problem, I would like to know what card would be a suitable replacement. (Something fairly low budget that is compatible with Snow Leopard and doesn't require updating to Lion would be preferable.)

    Thanks

    Jake.anq
     

    Attached Files:

  2. macrumors 6502

    OS6-OSX

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #2
    Go to the Apple top left hand corner > About this Mac > More info >
    Graphics/Displays

    Here you will find you graphics card info

    List the make and model

    If it's the 8800gt read about it on this site


    MacPro 2008 3.1 | 14GB Ram | Quadro 4000 | MC6.0 | OS 10.6.8 | MOTU HDX-SDI | ATTO R644| LaCie 324
     
  3. macrumors 601

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #3
    You probably have an ATI 2600XT. If so, almost certainly you have a dead card and need to replace it.

    This problem is so common that Apple recalled those video cards. It looks like you have just missed the deadline for a free replacement though (Dec 7, 2012):
    http://support.apple.com/kb/ts3630

    You could try Apple anyway. The program has been extended before; the original recall deadline was in July 2011.

    If you have an 8800GT, you can bring it back to life by baking it in the oven. Seriously. Google "8800gt bake" to get the recommended times and temps.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    #4
    The computer now totally fails to load the GUI after logging in with safe mode and I have been unable to find a command to find the GPU type from the command line via SSH. Attatched is a photo of the card, which appears to be a 7300GT.

    Thanks again

    Jake.anq
     

    Attached Files:

  5. macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    #5
    Yeah... Are you sure you have a 2008? That definitely looks like a 7300 GT. Those were only installed in 2006-07 Mac Pros. Also, based on your description in your OP, "2x dual-core Xeons" is another giveaway that you have a 2006 model.

    Your best bet there is to try to find a Radeon 5770. That's really the best all-around card that will work in 2006 Mac Pro.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    #6
    Ok, it was bought around that time so being '06 is highly probable. I will investigate the Radeon 5770 and see what I can find.

    Thankyou for the help.

    Jake.anq
     
  7. macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #7
    So, given the progression and transgression of things said and discovered in this thread, I'm going to offer the following advice:

    Given that you have a first rev. Mac Pro, and thusly don't have Apple's blessing to run either Mountain Lion or Windows 7, I'm going to suggest that it isn't worth putting a whole lot of money into this machine. As it stands, any newer video card that you put into it (the special first-gen-Mac-Pro-specific version of the GeForce 8800GTX aside) will be a PCIe 2.0 card that you will not experience the PCIe 2.0-benefits of (the card will still work, just at the slower PCIe 1.0 bandwidth). Given that, and given what cards have been made for the Mac Pro over the years, I'm going to recommend you replace your GeForce 7300 GT with a GeForce GT 120. It's not much to write home about, especially by today's standards, but it's better than what you have/had and is a whole lot more reliable. It also gives your Mac Pro the ability to use either a 24" or 27" Apple LED Display. Plus you can probably find one in decent condition for under $100 on eBay. Spending more than that, and you might as well just get a new machine.
     
  8. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA USA
    #8
    Get a GTS 120 or better yet a cheap ATI 4870 and flash it easily!
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales, UK
    #9
    Not sure what that guy is taking about 'blessing to run Windows 7..'
    I have a 2007 mac pro (1,1 same as yours) I have upgraded the CPU to dual quads and the graphics card to an XFX 6870 which works out of the box from 10.6.8.
    I dual boot between SN and W7 64bit but if I wanted there are easy ways to install 10.8.
    You have a great machine that keeps up pretty well, with 8 cores my machine is just as fast as any macbook (taking into account ssd speeds)
     
  10. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    Here
    #10
    He could spend a few hundred bucks on video card, a few hundred bucks is far less than the $1899 price tag to get a refurb quad. and the graphics card could go with him to the next machine
     
  11. macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #11
    Who said anything about the $1899 refurbished quad? Not that said machine isn't a great deal for what it is and how old it is, but it doesn't make much sense to throw money into a 2006 Mac Pro when an Early 2008 Mac Pro would yield more life. If he wanted to go with a newer model, the $1899 refurb Mid 2010 quad-core isn't a bad way to spend that money, but the OP by no means has to. I'm just saying that keeping that machine limping along is about to start costing more than its worth; akin to the prospect of keeping alive a Power Mac G5 in 2010.
     
  12. macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #12
    Only GT120 that would work in 1,1/2,1 is MacVidCards one, which doesn't have MDP but dual DVI. Apple ones do work only MP 3,1 and higher.

    Cheap alternatives are:
    or PC 5770 that will work unflashed or flashed.

    Flashed 4870 will give bootscreen via DVI, 5770 flashed only via DVI->VGA adapter, unflashed = no bootscreen.
     
  13. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    Here
    #13
    A new graphics card can go into any new machine, the RAM for the '08 isn't any cheaper the for the '06, both draw about the same power the wall. There is no compelling reason for 10.8 yet. In the spending $400 that'll carry over to a new machine is better than the $400 that would need to be spent to buy an '08 especially if you get an '08 graphics card.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    OS6-OSX

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #14
    Dude! Based on the photo of the inside of your MP, the first thing you should do is:
    1. Take it outside
    2. Take out all PCIe cards
    3. Take out all HD's and sleds
    4. Pull your ram trays
    And use 1 entire can of air on the interior and components
    5. Put it back together
    6. Take back inside and fire it up.

    MacPro 2008 3.1 | 14GB Ram | Quadro 4000 | MC6.0 | OS 10.6.8 | MOTU HDX-SDI | ATTO R644| LaCie 324
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #15
    If you only have one OSX and one Windows boot drive, you don't need a boot screen. The free app called BootChamp will deal with that for you very elegantly.
     
  16. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #16
    To the immediate right of the black heatsink on the 7300GT you can see 2 black cylinders with gold writing on them.

    The numbers "1500 6.3V" should be on there.

    If these cylinders have a rounded top or seem to be standing above the level of the board, they have failed.

    The good news is then the card can be fixed for $2.50 in parts if you can solder.
     
  17. macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #17
    I'm told that any Apple card from any newer Mac Pro will work in the 1,1 and 2,1, it just won't work at PCIe 2.0 speeds and will instead be running with the slower bus bandwidth.

    Uh...the compelling reason for 10.8 is that it is newer than 10.6 and it isn't 10.7. For the latest versions of things like Safari (and soon things like Flash Player and iTunes) it will become beneficial to have the newer OS. That's how the Mac platform works. If your Mac Pro 1,1 is having issues, it becomes a silly idea to throw money into fixing it when you can get better performance out of a quad-core Mac mini. As for the $400 vs. $800 argument that would arise; you're paying $400 to use a machine that is slowly in the process of becoming useless, or you can throw in the worth of the Mac Pro itself and just have a better machine by today's standards (as well by benchmarking standards), not to mention one that isn't as huge, isn't as loud, and doesn't make anywhere near as huge of a dent on the electric bill. There's also that Thunderbolt ********* that all the kids are raving about.
     
  18. macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #18
    It's true only for Apple ATI cards. Nvidia ones are EFI specific, i.e. 32bit one won't even boot on 64bit EFI MP and vice versa.
     
  19. macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #19
    Not that I doubt what you are saying here, but do you have any articles to share that mention that? I want to dig deeper and learn more about this.
     
  20. macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #20
    It's known fact. Anyone who is famliar with Apple graphics card knows that.
     
  21. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    Here
    #21

    That's not compelling unless something you you need isn't made for Snow Leopard any more. Because Apple makes a newer OS doesn't mean it requires an immediate purchase or upgrade.


    If the gentleman is still working on an '06 machine then the extra power afforded by the '08 isn't necessary. He simply needs a replacement graphics card that is not an excuse to buy a new machine. Anything that he buys now for that machine will carry over to a new one a real new one not what is essentially a side grade with another classic video card. The only lasting benefit is the 64bit EFI which he'll get when he gets a new machine anyway.

    The original Mac pro is far from the time it'll be useless, it may not be up to date but not useless. Remember the PowerPC section of this board is thriving and these machines are far more antique than the Mac Pro.

    If I were in the OP's shoes I'd ebay a card and pick whatever SSD is cheap and roll with it, it's been fine for 7 years it'll be fine long enough to wait for the actual new Mac Pro if there is one.
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA USA
    #22
    True, no need to get a $450 Apple 5870 or a GTX 670 for a 2006 Mac Pro! Get a cheep used card that is a upgrade and will work for you well. I recommend the ATI 4870, 512mb or 1gb. Check eBay.
     
  23. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #23
    Nvidia cards are either EFI32 for 2006/7 or EFI64 for 2008 and later.

    ATI/AMD cards for the MOST part will work in all, with the 6870 as exception. Netkas wrote that EFI using an EFI64 version from an iMac as start point so it is 2008 and later only.
     
  24. macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #24
    First off, it's nearing the end of January 2013. Mountain Lion came out at the end of July 2012. There's nothing immediate about an upgrade to Mountain Lion today.

    Secondly, as history has repeatedly shown, when an Apple OS is two versions behind the current, software support becomes limited. If the OP is fine using the same software as he/she/it used when Snow Leopard was only one behind current or current itself, then there's no problem. This is why those still using a Power Mac G5 are content to still do so; because they haven't updated anything and don't need to. That being said, Snow Leopard is already excluded from being able to run the latest version of Safari and likely soon, it will be excluded from being able to run the latest version of Adobe Flash Player. iTunes is pretty safe; Apple doesn't discontinue support for that unless one is using a version of OS X that is three versions behind current, but there you go.


    Power isn't the issue I'm talking about. Support for software and newer technologies (like 64-bit EFI and PCIe 2.0, both of which are nothing to shake a stick at) is. Given that most of the replacement video cards that you could toss into that machine are crap (unless you go with a non-Apple card) and/or costly, and given that the machine itself doesn't even support PCIe 2.0, yes, I'm of the belief that unless you get a replacement card for dirt cheap (less than $50) it's not worth the money it costs. You are welcome to disagree with me, but my opinion would be no less valid than yours at that point. The worth of 2006 Mac Pros are already way less than they were before Mountain Lion came out. At that point, do you put money into an ageing Civic riddled with problems or do you conserve money into something a little bit newer or more reliable? I'd go the latter route, but that's just me.

    I never said it was worthless. Those are your words, not mine. I said that it isn't worth tossing substantial amounts of money into. There's a difference. If someone gave me a working 2006 Mac Pro, I'd put that Mac Pro to work. But if someone gave me a 2006 Mac Pro with issues, I wouldn't toss a whole lot of money to keep it alive.

    Eh...the SSD is transferable (unless they make the new Mac Pros user-inaccessible somehow), otherwise I'd completely disagree with you and say that it's way too much money to throw into such an old machine. Again, that's not to say that it isn't competent, but it's not worth it given the machine's age, worth, and limitations.
     
  25. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    Here
    #25
    Other than mountain lion the machine does't have limitations. No graphics card you can power from within the machine is going to have a noticeable difference between PCI v1 and v2 many tests all over the Internet show this I think Anand came up with about an 8% actual difference. Again the problems with an 08 is its still going to have an old card and in two months could have the same issues. The machines fake bitness will have nothing to do with future software as the folks running mountain lion on them will tell you the os will. They dropped support for two gens back when os's were released every few years not every year, remember they just re-offered snow leopard a few months back. We have another 5 to7 years yet before upgraded 1,1's become G5's. In the end it's always cheaper to fix what you got than buy used.
     

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