09 27" iMac GPU failure... again?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Redsand187, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. Redsand187 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Location:
    Central Washington State
    #1
    Long story short, right at the end of the apple care period, I brought this machine in for lines appearing on the screen on dark backgrounds (like the FPC timeline)

    After much escalation, the machine ultimately was sent to an Apple facility in California. They supposedly replaced the GPU, Logicboard, HD and LCD. This was about a year ago.

    Today, mid use I get this:
    [​IMG]
    The machine freezes as well

    Force restart it to get this:
    [​IMG]
    Won't go any further/locked up

    Force restart again and get a little further:
    [​IMG]
    Locks up as the desktop loads



    I don't really know what to do. It's been too long to really expect Apple to do something about this, again, since it was a year ago when they "fixed," it last.

    I don't really want to have to replace it as it is mainly used just to print shipping labels, but I don't know if it's worth trying to fix. Might it be something else?
     
  2. jji7skyline macrumors 6502

    jji7skyline

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    #2
    It's obviously the graphics card again. I guess you can try and get Apple to refix it. Otherwise, there isn't really much you can do.

    I guess you would be able to salvage the RAM, HDD and Logic Board. You could use the RAM in your next iMac, take the information out of the hard drive, and sell the logic board on ebay.

    Too bad you're having all this trouble though.
     
  3. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #3
    If I was him...I would seriously think whether the next machine will be Apple...
    Their QC has gone to the dogs seriously...Even my MBP crapped out the same way...What is with Apple and their GPUs ? God! Their mistakes cost us a lot of money....
     
  4. definitive macrumors 68000

    definitive

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    #4
    i've had the same thing happen with my early '09 model a week ago. still haven't received it back from repairs.
     
  5. Redsand187 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Location:
    Central Washington State
    #5
    Unfortunately, I've got a bunch of Apple devices. I'm 29, and my entire life, I grew up with a computer, always an Apple. I have owned one PC in my life, and that was a second machine that I had to have for work.
     
  6. jji7skyline macrumors 6502

    jji7skyline

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    #6
    If you're a tech savvy guy, you could consider building your own PC and installing OSX on it.
     
  7. Redsand187 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Location:
    Central Washington State
    #7
    Is the video card separate from the logic board on these? How spendy is a replacement part if I were able to install it myself?
     
  8. Black.Infinity macrumors 6502

    Black.Infinity

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    Location:
    Apple tree-Toronto
    #8
    The graphics card is soldered on the logic board. You can't change it without changing logic board.
     
  9. lagwagon Suspended

    lagwagon

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2014
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    #9
    This is 100% wrong for a 2009 iMac. I have a late 2009 iMac that came with the ati 4850 512mb and I have manually swapped and upgraded it to an ati 6790 2gb 2 or 3 years after purchase. It was pricey as hell to buy the "apple" replacement gpu, but it is infact not soldered.
     
  10. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #10
    Apple/US does not renew the warranty on exchanged parts when they repair it? (It is mandatory in my country (EU regulation prehaps?))
     
  11. Roller macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    #11
    For the OP: You have nothing to lose by seeing what Apple will do.
     
  12. jaxhunter macrumors regular

    jaxhunter

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #12
    Apple doesn't make the GPUs...
     
  13. Redsand187 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Location:
    Central Washington State
    #13
    Is it just the 4850 that craps out or is it common with all of the radeon cards? I'm seeing some that should work on eBay, just wondering if it makes sense to get a different model for better reliability or if I should just get another 4850 so I don't have to worry about a potential (although it sounds like not likely) compatibility issue.

    I was pretty sure they were separate, but the guy at the Apple Store thought it was the entire logic board. But he wasn't looking at anything but the price of the repair. They never opened the machine, just confirmed it was a hardware issue out of warranty and got a printout for the replacement. He recommended just to get a Mac Mini, which I will do, if they update them this week. But I'd still like to fix this and either keep it around or sell it to recoup some of the cost of a mini.
     
  14. MacDoogal macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2014
    #14
    Hi Redsand,

    I offer this in case you are feeling brave......

    I had exactly the same symptoms as you are experiencing on my 2008 24' iMac. Clearly the GPU gradually was having a worse and worse nervous breakdown.

    Armed with my Torx screwdriver set and the knowledge from looking a lot forum posts & Youtube videos, I took the thing apart. I found the video card (mine is an 8800GS made by nVidia) which can be separated from the main processor board (plugs via an edge connector) and placed it in a pre heated oven at 198 deg C for exactly 8 minutes. The videos will show you how to sit it on tin foil keeping it suspended etc. etc.

    (This is to re-flow the solder and cure the dry joints. The cause of this problem is HEAT - either the machine is choked up with dust and can't ventilate properly or very likely the thermal paste between heat sinks and video chip & CPU has broken down over time allowing excessive heat build up. Maybe a combination of both.)

    The iMac was reassembled and Hey Presto! its all working fine and has been for 12 months. Now Im not saying that this will guarantee success, but the way I saw it the poor old thing either had "a dog's chance or no chance". That is, the iMac was useless and I was not going to be any worse off if it didn't work!

    Two points to bear in mind while you are carrying out open heart surgery in the iMac (1) Meticulously clean any dust out of the machine's fans, heat sink radiators etc. (2) Replace the thermal paste on chips and any RAM with a nice new layer of a non-conductive brand - Arctic MX-4 is very good. But remember any of these pastes are really only working at their best for a couple of years. Not only that, but you would be amazed at how hot a video chip with 512 MB of ram gets when its heat sinking starts to fail - hot enough to degrade the solder!! Just check the difference in heat on the back of a machine when the screen is in sleep mode vs. fully working.

    As mentioned at the start, it may not be something you want to get involved with, but for me it gave the iMac a new lease of life - even if only for 12 months or so - and gave me "breathing space" to plan for the next machine - knowing that sooner or later something else will go!!

    Let me know if you want any more details.
     
  15. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    #15
    Afaik the 2009 iMac can be used as external monitor by connecting a computer via (Mini)DisplayPort, e.g. a new Mayc mini. May be a use case if you can't get it fixed (or if a repair is not worthwhile financially).

    I am just not sure if that functionality could be impaired by the defective GPU.
     
  16. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #16
    Apple is responsible for what they put in and sell to us. If we have aproblem with the screen, we goto Apple and not Samsung/LG. Likewise for the GPUs. Apple can't/should not wash their hands off the GPU debacle ...
     

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