2008 Mac Pro NVidia 8800 Graphic Card Issues - 2nd one

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by stabsteer, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. stabsteer macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2008

    Just wondering if anyone has had any similar issues.

    I have an early 2008 Mac Pro. I had the custom installed NVidia 8800 graphics card fail after 6 months. Apple replaced it free.

    The second one has been giving me issues for years now. My computer crashes alot. Hard drives won't wake up from sleep, which of course causes me to restart alot. And when I do restart I have to do it manually multiple times to get the computer OS to boot. Like 8-10 times. And this happens a couple times a week.

    At first I thought it might be my Sonnet esata cards working my multiple hard drives but after running a test it came back all issues with the 8800 graphics card.

    Anyone have any thoughts? I was thinking of bringing it to the Apple store again, but at this point I know I'm past my Applecare.

    Does anyone know new graphics cards that would work well for this Early 2008 Mac Pro model? I work in video editing and music production.

    Thanks so much for any info or help. I've been frustrated yet dealing with it for a couple years now and need to finally figure it out. I really appreciate it!

  2. shinji macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2007
    I have the 8800 but don't have any of the problems you describe.

    I'm curious, what test did you to do that determined it was the graphics card?

    The ATI I had before this though, I did have a lot of problems with in the way of freezing and graphical glitches. It was one thing after another.

    FWIW, Northbridge is 171 degrees F right now according to iStat Pro...you might want to see how hot yours is. I assume you have already sprayed canned air and gotten all the hot dust out.
  3. luka macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Dude, I've had to take my mac pro in about 4 times now due to that NVIDIA POS 8800. I can honestly say it's the worst video card I've ever used, and the bloke at the apple repair place agrees with me as he's mentioned that if it breaks again (hopefully in the next six months due to applecare) they'll put in a request to get a new model card put in for my troubles. All up, with the 4 times I've taken it in I've lost, on average, about 20 hours work time to my machine being away. That's 80 hours all up, all because of a faulty, poorly designed card being installed.

    I could go on for days about how much I hate the bloody thing. I use it for light gaming and with the new photoshop and lightroom (GPU accelerated editing).
  4. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    All NVidia 8800 GTs are bad. The replacements, the Windows versions, all of them. They never made a fixed card.

    Get a new card.
  5. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    Frank, get a new card, like goMac said. This what I've quoted is indicating that your 8800 is bad. Symptoms are clear. You're not the first and not the last one with this issue, for sure.
    If video editing is your main job - get 5870. If it's music production - get 5770. If they're on par - get 5870.
    My 2¢.
  6. seek3r macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2010
    Agreed, I had 2 8800s die on me in a row, get a new card!
  7. stabsteer, Jan 21, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011

    stabsteer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2008
    Thank you everyone for your time and thoughts!

    So this will work definitely with an early 2008 Mac Pro?
    Also, does anyone know if the 5870 will work with the 30" Apple monitor? Just want to be safe before I buy the thing.

    I also noticed there are like 5 versions. Which one is the one to get or how does it work? It's confusing!
    And can I just buy it from Amazon or there anything specific about the Mac version I need?

    Also, it looks like it takes up two PCIe spaces. That kinda sucks as I have other cards in there. What would be the best alternative (1 space alternative) if I didn't go with the 5870?

    Thanks again for your thoughts. It's much appreciated!
  8. seek3r macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2010
    I think you're looking at PC (BIOS based) cards, which would need to be flashed to run in your machine.

    Apple sells 1 5770 and 1 5870, and yes either of them will work in your machine, and either of them will work with your display.

    If you want a single slot card, if you don't do anything that is hard on the graphics card you can pick up the mac version of the nvidia GT120 (which is a bit less powerful than the 8800) very cheap these days, either from apple for the (way overpriced) 150 they sell it for or on ebay or such (in fact, it's what I did when my 8800s went belly up until the 5770 was buyable). If you need more oomph.... Without flashing a card your choices are very limited. The quadro 4000 is single slot, but hideously expensive, and that's pretty much your only other option except tracking down a 2600XT, which was the card you upgraded *from* when you CTOd to the 8800.

    You should note btw that the bottom slot is double height to make sure you don't kill your other slots with a double height graphics card. The machine is designed to be able to max out the slots, so you shouldn't have to worry about airflow.
  9. stabsteer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2008
    seek3r -thanks so much!

    I just noticed my mac has a double wide slot for the graphics. Sorry I'm an idiot!

    So between the two (and using an Apple 30" monitor) is it worth getting the 5870 over the 5770? I'm sure this has been asked to death so I apologize...

    Again, I do video editing but I'm not a fool and don;t want to just blow $200 if I'm not even gonna notice a difference.

    Also, does anyone know how to run a test to see if my graphics card is what;s giving me hard drive sleep issues and 'kernal panics' where I have to restart 8 times to get the OS to load? I just want to make sure this is actually gonna fix the problem and that it truly is the graphics card.

    Thanks again for all your help guys! I seriously appreciate it!
  10. Stephen23 macrumors member


    Jan 8, 2007
    Austin, TX
    The 5870 won't make much difference for video editing. If you're gaming, or doing 3D work, then it will boost your performance, but Final Cut, Photoshop and most other straight video and photo programs don't really use the graphics card to its full potential anyway.
  11. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    You can run AHT from original Install Disc that came with your MacPro.

    There's also even better test:
    1 set VNC or ssh connection on your MP.
    2. remove 8800 from computer
    3. boot your MP (it will boot without graphics)
    4. access it remotely using other Mac, use screen sharing

    If everything will work well without graphics card - you have the answer.

    It depends on what FC you're using. FCE won't benefit much from powerful card, but FCS will do. Motion, Color and Live Type are "GPU hungry" and there better card will make the difference.

    Little example of Motion performance with different graphic cards - notice that Quadro 4000 (due to poor drivers IMO) is slower than 5870.

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