2008 Mac Pro Graphics Card probs

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by quatermass, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. quatermass macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2009
    Last year I got a 2.8 Ghz 8-core Mac Pro, with an Nvidia GeForce 8800GT graphics card. All's been well up until a few days ago - I left it for a while and came back to a black screen and the Mac completely locked up. I restarted it and got a solid orange screen, another restart and all was back to normal. Yesterday the screen started flickering, especially when watching anything Quicktime or using menus. Eventually the thing would lock up and need a restart. I've done a system reinstall (10.5.8), run the startup diagnostic (all fine) so I think the graphics card must be up the chute. The crash log shows kernel panics and mentions nvidia. I read a few articles citing problems with the 8800GT, so would I be right in thinking this is the cause?
    If so, what to do... I'm not exactly rolling in cash at the moment so getting a new 8800GT is not an option. What about other cheap cards just so I can carry on working? I don't play games of any description so WoW frame rates are irrelevant! Just basic DTP, web design, Photoshop, some 3D. Thanks in advance!
  2. ildondeigiocchi macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2007
    Well, firstly sorry for the inconvenience. I had similar issues with my Mac Pro which seemed to be the graphics card but ended up being a logic board failure but don't worry cuz what happened to me was different, I didn't get the same errors as you. You definitely have a faulty/defective video card. If you have Applecare give them a call and they'll replace it free of charge. If you don't, just buy an Apple NVIDIA Geforce 120 on Apple's website or you can buy another 8800GT somewhere else, flash it and it'll work great on your Mac Pro.
  3. rikoshay macrumors member


    Mar 28, 2006
    No. California (in the Redwoods)
    Before you make a call to anybody or order another video card: Blow out all the dust from inside your Mac, paying particular attention to the video card cooler. You should be doing this regularly, anyway. An over-heated video card will give you similar symptoms to yours.
  4. Gomff macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2009
    My machine had almost exactly the same symptoms and it was the 8800GT. It seems there have been reliability issues with these cards...I got my 8800GT replaced by Apple with another but I don't trust it.

    It's glitched on me a couple of times and Apple have offered to send an engineer round but the fault is intermittent at the moment so I probably have to wait for it to break before they give me yet another.

    I'm now in the PC graphics card flashing realm with mixed results. Good luck whatever you decide...I'd recommend getting another GPU, even if it's a basic one just for backup. I lost 5 days whilst in the middle of a project.
  5. quatermass thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2009
    Thanks for the comments. I've taken the card out and blown out about a cupful of dog and cart hair and assorted detritus, and it seems to be quite stable now. I've not tried it with anything too fierce as there's a couple of jobs I need to get out pronto. I think I'll get a GeForce GT 120 as a backup, just in case I need to. Not madly expensive and will get the job done adequately.

    I was about to install Snow Leopard, but as it passes of tasks to the graphics card GPU's, will this raise the temperature significantly? I don't want to install it and wish I hadn't!

  6. Tower-Union macrumors 6502


    May 6, 2009
    It has the ABILITY to pass tasks to the GPU, as of right now nothing except a couple of benchmark programs actually make use of that. I think your in the clear ;)

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