Angry because Apple won't replace broken ATI 4870 under warranty (solved)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by TheSpaz, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #1
    I bought an ATI Radeon HD 4870 from Apple's website about 6 months ago. Well, last month, it stopped working correctly while I was in Windows playing a game. Pixelated artifacts started showing up all through my game and when I booted back into OS X, the pixels were even showing up in quicktime movies (attached is a screenshot).

    Anyways, I called Apple to have them replace my card since the card came with a 1 year warranty. However, as I was talking to the gentleman on the phone, he explained to me that my serial number was showing that I had an unsupported machine. Basically, since my machine is a first gen 2006 Mac Pro, he couldn't get me a new card because Apple's website specifically states that it works with 2008-2009 models only. He actually tried to replace it for me anyways, but the system wouldn't allow it with my serial number.

    It pissed me off that the defective card cannot be replaced or repaired because I'm using it in a Mac Pro that it clearly works with (I used it without issues for 6 months and many people are still using theirs today).

    Edit: I called my local Mac repair/reseller "MacEdge" in Portsmouth NH, and explained my whole story. I told them that I had an unsupported machine and that Apple would not allow me to return the card. Well, they tried anyway and they even used the same serial number I used on the phone before and Apple accepted it and they're sending a replacement for me! It should be here at the beginning of next week. Sweet!

    In case you're curious, I changed the thread title and topic because the rest of the conversation in the thread is basically about this specific issue and not about what I originally posted. The thread quickly turned into a discussion about this, so I figured I'd change the title and first post to reflect that. I also wanted to let everyone know that I got lucky and MacEdge took care of it for me.

    Thanks for all that read my story and I hope some of you too get as lucky (in case your ATI 4870 breaks).

    Anyways, here's the screenshot I promised. Happy New Year!

    PS: About the screenshot, notice the weird pixels in John Cusack's face. The weird thing is, even if I pause the video, the pixels stay right where they are and do not change even if I move the window. They stay right inside the movie file. This happens to all of my videos regardless of encoding and I even get some off colored pixels in my menu bar and some icons.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Winni macrumors 68030

    Winni

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Germany.
    #2
    Yep, I completely agree. I have a Quad Core MacPro1,1 with an nVidia 8800 GT and I feel screwed by Apple's update policy. The box of that Mac had a fat "64 Bit" label and yet, amazingly, Apple is not giving me a true 64-Bit operating system for that hardware.

    64-Bit Windows runs beautifully on that machine and unleashes more of its power than Apple's own operating system.

    But the real embarrassment for Apple comes when I start 64-Bit Ubuntu 9.10 (with nVidia's proprietary drivers) on that box. While 64-Bit Vista already runs circles around Snow Leopard on that machine, Ubuntu completely blows OS X out of the water.

    It's unbelievable how fast that computer feels when you do NOT use Apple's operating systems on it.

    Then there are the problems with the built-in Airport card - which works fine in Vista and Ubuntu, but is almost unusable in Snow Leopard. And yes, Third Party hardware definitely prefers non-Apple operating systems as well.

    Here are the reasons why I am still using Snow Leopard, though:

    My expensive software investments Photoshop CS 3 Extended, Flash Pro CS3, Aperture, Logic Studio and a bunch of other OS X-specific Shareware.

    Unless I am willing to cut my losses and give up on Aperture, which is my absolutely favorite application and by far the best tool FOR ME on the market for its purposes, I am locked into the OS X platform.

    But after more than four years in Apple land, I cannot say that I am still in love with the platform or that I think that anything is better here than it is in Microsoft land. Apple completely sucks as a company and their operating system is not half as good or reliable or robust or fast as they claim in their advertisements.

    When it comes to hardware, I've managed to reduce my portfolio to this one Mac Pro - at the best times, I used to have five Macs on my desk. Now I'm glad that I've gotten rid off them except for this one machine.

    I doubt that I will be purchasing another Apple computer. If I decide to stay with OS X, my next machine will be a high-end Hackintosh -- meaning a PC with hardware specs that you cannot even buy from Apple with all the money in the world, because unlike what everybody wants to believe, Apple does not sell real high-end computers. They sell on high-end price segment, but not high-end hardware. Heck, they neither have high-end graphic cards nor BluRay writers. Not that I care for the latter, but those are just two examples.

    Apple is all about marketing BS, and about selling designer toys that are beautiful to look at, but most of the time crappy to WORK with. This strategy only works because Apple is targeting exclusively the consumer market, and those two or three things that an average consumer wants to do with a computer mostly work with an Apple.

    However, when you leave the YouTube and Photoshop world behind, Apple's platform very quickly reaches the end of its capabilities and you begin to run Windows or one of the open source operating systems on your precious machine.

    Because of my day-time job I had to become very platform agnostic, and I usually don't care much if I have to use Windows, a flavor of Linux or OS X. They all suck in their individual ways, but the only platform of the three that can do EVERYTHING for me without having to use an emulation layer or - even worse - some sort of virtualization software is... Windows.

    And that always leads me the same sad realization: A platform is only as good as its Third Party and software ecosystem. And unlike Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp has always understood this.

    Anyway. You have a Mac Pro which isn't a bad workstation at all. If you are not in the unfortunate situation to be in a software-lock in, by all means, just drop OS X and use Windows or Linux instead. This might hurt your ego a little bit, but it doesn't hurt your machine. Just don't invest any more money in Apple in the future.
     
  3. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #3
    I can't speak to the viability of Linux at all, or to the present performance of Windows 7, but historically, OS X has been more stable than the current Windows OS.

    It's also helpful to point out that 64 bit software is seeing a faster uptake in OS X for a variety of reasons, one of which being that the OS software isn't segregated and it seems like it's been made fairly easy for software developers to deliver a "fat" package, that, like OS X itself, has all users need.

    Most of the video people I've spoken to haven't had a real issue with this and don't really seem to prefer windows. We all eagerly await the next Final Cut upgrade, though, because it should get 2-5 times faster.

    Also, I have a relevant question for you. Is the lack of kernel 64 really holding you back in any real way? Can you quantify that?

    Finally, I have to point out that this is heard mostly from the owners of 2006 Mac Pros. You guys got screwed over, and we'll all agree to that. So did the 2009 Mac Pro owners, in a few ways. We're hoping the 2010 models don't have a similar result.

    But it's a little funny, some of the limitations you're posting about on this forum.  has few graphics cards and no official BD drive, true. But Blu-ray is supported at the OS level and there's plenty of burning software for it; myself and others installed and use BD drives. If  offered a solution now, you'd all just be complaining about how expensive it is. Similarly, there aren't many graphics cards, but there are a few ludicrously long threads on this forum devoted to solving that problem. You can get a competitve graphics card at a price lesser than what 's charging due to the efforts of several members here.

    Don't complain, solve.

    That said, the 32-bit EFI thing is lame and you guys shouldn't have had to deal with that limitation, but here we are. It's been said that the first revision of any product should probably be avoided, and unfortunately, the Macs are no exception.
     
  4. TheSpaz thread starter macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #4
    First of all, I realize there are more options for graphics cards. I could get a 4870 from Apple, a generic 4870 and flash it or a 4890 and flash it. However, I don't feel like hacking together a solution. I'd rather just have Apple allow more graphics choices.

    I probably wouldn't be complaining as much as I am, but recently, my Apple ATI 4870 broke after only 6 months of use and Apple would do NOTHING to replace it. They said that since it was being used in a machine that wasn't qualified, I voided the warranty on the card and they couldn't replace it for me. So now I'm stuck with an Apple 4870 dud and an Nvidia 8800GT. Now I'm pissed because I can't save up and buy a new 24" LED display from Apple that I was wanting to get. With out a card with a Mini displayport, it'd be pretty hard to run one of those Apple LED displays on my Mac Pro.

    I know about a couple of converter boxes I could buy that will run an Apple LED display on my current setup, but I'd rather not have to rely on some converter box to convert the signal and take up an extra USB port to power it. I'd rather not go that route.

    By the way. What did the 2009 Mac Pro users get screwed with? The iTunes music thing?
     
  5. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Northern California
    #5
    Winni,

    Your bias against Apple is so obvious and venomous that what you say must be almost completely ignored.

    S-
     
  6. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #6
    So what you're saying is, its better to game on a pc.

    We know.

    Luckily, I don't care about gaming at all.
     
  7. TheSpaz thread starter macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #7
    No, I'm saying that for a pro machine, it had a pretty quick life. Why can I run full 64bit Windows but not 64bit Snow Leopard? From what I understand, there are also some Macs that HAVE a 64bit EFI and STILL won't boot into 64bit Snow Leopard (with 64bit kernel).

    My computer seems less restricted while it's running Windows. I wish graphic card makers would release drivers for OS X so that we could choose from many more cards than we do now. I think it all comes down to that Apple doesn't want to have to write drivers for a ton of different cards. They only want to release a couple of cards every year and write and maintain a small amount of drivers for them.

    Am I affected by not being able to boot into 64bit kernel mode? No, I'm not (so far). Once Apple starts requiring a 64bit EFI for everything, my machine won't be able to play with all the new computers anymore.

    It's annoying to think that I was purchasing a 64bit computer that wasn't totally 64bit. It also annoys me that they don't even sell a graphics card with a mini displayport for these ancient machines.
     
  8. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #8
    Anyone looking at the history of threads you've created on MacRumors would get a chuckle out of what you just said. ;):D:D
     
  9. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    That plus the lousy Intel controller that limits the SATA bandwidth to 660MB/s.
    Nothing to worry about for 4 magnetic drives, but even adding a single SSD to such a 4 disc setup would require an additional SATA controller.

    And of course Apples pricing on this machines.

    Honestly, if I knew all that just a few month earlier, I would have bought a decent Pro of the previous generation. They are definitely the better machines!
     
  10. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #10
    How is it that you're computer now doesn't work simply because it doesn't run 64 bit? I understand that you're frustrated with the artificial limitation, but I don't get how you can say its had a quick life when, unless something happened, it still runs.
     
  11. TheSpaz thread starter macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #11
    It DOES still run but it pisses me off that Snow Leopard might be the last OS I'll be able to put on it because of the EFI.

    I always thought the Intel Macs would be compatible for longer than the PPCs were. I thought I was doing the right thing by investing in an Intel Mac that was advertised as 64bit. They didn't lie to us, but they didn't tell us the whole story either. So I had no idea that I was buying a machine that had a 32bit EFI and that it was going to limit my options in the future.
     
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #12
    It seems the throttling issue with SSD's exists in previous versions of the ICH models as well (evidence to support this on the ICH9 family). So the earlier systems aren't immune either it seems. :(

    But the '08 is still the best value IMO. EFI64, fewer issues, and less expensive. No slouch in performance either, and depending on the specific system comparison, can beat the pants off of an equivalent '09 in terms of budget (i.e. 3.2GHz '08 Octad <available as a refurb last I looked> vs. 2.26GHz base '09 Octad, and goes for the same $$$). :D
     
  13. hugodrax macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    #13
    I slapped in an Apple 4870 in the beast and upgraded it to 16GB and two 1TB drives.

    This on my old 06 model. It is upgradable.

    You should have known when you buy Apple you are buying a box that will only support a specific set of configurations which has its pros and cons. If you wanted a box you can mess with you should have built your own PC. I have done so for years in the past.

    Not worried about 64bit since its not officially supported. But by the time it does arrive I will probably buy a new box (2014 when Sandy bridge arrives) and I will donate the old one.
     
  14. TheSpaz thread starter macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #14
    Just better hope that 4870 lasts longer than mine did because Apple won't replace it under warranty.
     
  15. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    Didn't know that. Thank's for the information!
    But still, considering the serious issue with audio playback and the price, the '08 machines definitely offer more performance for less money.
    Unfortunately I can't return my '09 Pro as I'm way out of the 2 weeks return timespan. :(
     
  16. ildondeigiocchi macrumors 6502a

    ildondeigiocchi

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal
    #16
    It must be frustrating being an 06' Mac Pro owner in the sense that you're system cannot run SL in 64-bit mode which all it takes is a firmware update on behalf of Apple which would permit this to be done. However, it's clear that it has become a marketing strategy for Apple to persuade 06' and 07' users to purchase 2008-2009 Mac Pros. They even haven't officially supported these systems as being Win7 64-bit compatible with Bootcamp when in reality they are. Anyways I love Apple but just don't see why they would do such a thing to 06' MP users who at the time paid a premium for their systems. :confused:
     
  17. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Northern California
    #17
    Don't you think you are jumping the gun here a bit? You have no idea what the future holds yet are whining like a baby. For all you know, the only real issue 32-bit EFI will cause is how much memory the system will be able to access. Even if there is a 64-bit only Mac in the future, just how long do you expect Apple to provide the latest and greatest for a system released in 2006?

    Have that system be doing what it has supposed to be doing since you bought it. Will it continue to do what is has always done?

    Jeez....

    S-
     
  18. TheSpaz thread starter macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #18
    I know this much: My Mac Pro is faster today than the day I bought it. That's gotta count for something. You see... to me, my computer is not outdated or obsolete, yet Apple is treating it like it's less capable when in reality it's not. It's not like my computer has been slowing down every year and now it's a dog... it's quite the opposite... that's why I'm upset that Apple is treating us like we have ancient machines. Just because it was purchased in 2006, doesn't make it a slow computer. In fact, it's probably still faster than all of Apple's current offerings (except for their current Mac Pro of course).

    I bought it so that I'd have a computer that would last. I bought it because I wanted to be able to upgrade to future graphics cards/displays if I wanted to. I bought it for recording music, editing photos (very large panoramas even) and for gaming. So far it's done all of that without problems.

    I can just see Apple simply cutting off support completely in 2010. There are not going to be any more video cards made for it and the software is going to needlessly require a 64bit EFI to function... just like Snow Leopard requires an Intel Mac, the next OS will end up requiring a true-64bit Intel Mac.
     
  19. Blair230 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Location:
    Near Philly
    #19
    I dont understand your complaining. You complained the whole thread and now you are justifying your computer. You're truly living up to your username.....

    And I really dont see apple requiring a 64Bit Mac to run the next OS...we are probably at least one to two more releases from that happening....
     
  20. TheSpaz thread starter macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #20
    Why do you say that we have 1 or 2 more OSes? This G5 that I'm using at work came with 10.2 and can only go as high as 10.5. That's only 3 OS versions.

    My Mac Pro came with 10.4 and it's on 10.6 now. That means that we probably only have 10.7 to look forward to and after that it's going to be "upgrade your computer".

    I'm just bummed out that I didn't get the machine I thought I was buying. I want an LED display dammit, but Apple made it hard for me to get one. I was ready to give them my hard earned money ($900 worth) but they obviously don't want me to have one.
     
  21. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Northern California
    #21
    Listen to yourself!!

    Does your computer do less now than it when you bought it? No. By your own admission, it runs better now than ever. Did Apple say that you system would work with all new video cards and displays? If they did, you have a case for complaining. That didn't, so............

    S-
     
  22. TheSpaz thread starter macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #22
    I know where you're coming from, but the Mac Pro was advertised as expandable. Well, it hasn't been expandable by much. Basically, it's only as expandable as the day you bought it... that's all they can guarantee really. If I bought a new Mac Pro today and then they release a newer Mac Pro with an even newer type of display, you wouldn't be able to do anything about it because you bought it before those newer displays were made available so Apple would have any obligation to make a graphics card that works for that display.

    That's how I feel. I bought this computer and I want to buy a 24" LED display for it, but Apple doesn't sell a card that will work with those.
     
  23. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #23
    Given the prices and other issues associated with the '09's, the '08's are the best models made so far, and still offer quite a bit more value (assuming you can find one, and at a decent price). :)

    The HD4870 works in the EFI32 based systems (it uses EBC based firmware, not EFI), despite Apple's claim it won't. What they won't do, is support it's warranty, as it's not an officially supported system with that card.

    But it will actually work, and it has a Mini DisplayPort on it, so you can get the 24" LEC ACD. So in this instance, there is a way to do what you want. :D Just a bit on the pricey side, and no warranty for the card. :p
     
  24. jmggs macrumors regular

    jmggs

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #24
    Apple is getting better (in some points) and more mainstream, but don't care about old consumers, some of them from old school PPC macs using macs from early days (like me)

    I really don't understand this upgrade policy. they just want to us keep upgrading faster and faster speed more money when is not needed because this machines can last longer if they want. "A mac can be a better pc them a mac????" don't make any sense.

    Here is the environment
    This don't make any sense artificially limit the products...they don't care about the environment they just want money, more money.
    Apple is starting to look more and more like micro$oft. The early ears of mac community, consumer satisfaction are gone.
    That's the true.
     
  25. 21ce macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    #25

    Thank you!!

    All these people wanna complain about not getting true 64-bit blah blah.. When the vast majority honestly could not even tell the difference, they just get upset thinking about it. When did you buy your system Spaz? So it's not fully supported by apple anymore, it doesn't mean you can't upgrade it still. If you want a new display then buy a new video card for it. expandable means upgradable for quite a few years, NOT THE REST OF YOUR LIFE... sorry, but no one will immediately sympathize with you because we are still getting great mileage out of our 1,1 Mac pros. Though some may gripe about 64-bit, unless you are a true power user, you have yet to even utilize the 32-bit kernel to its max potential.
     

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