Can a bad video card cause a Mac Pro to spontaneously restart?

snipper

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 9, 2004
203
23
Hi all,

I use a Mac Pro 3,1 / early 2008 with a 'PC' card (MSi Twin Frozr III, 2 GB) so I can use it with the large desktop of a 40" Philips BDM4065 '4K' / UHD monitor at 3840x2160.

It began restarting spontaneously a few weeks ago. After that, this happend more and more often, up to half a dozen times a times a day, often in small series.

So I de-attached the SSD and internal backup HD and replaced a set of 3 HD software RAID set I used before the SSD, to test if it was the software. It still restarted by itself.. so it must be the hardware.

I checked the LEDs next to the RAM risers. Only thing abnormal is the 7th LED not lighting up, meaning that the EFI doesn't recognize the graphics card. Since it's a non-flashed PC video card, this is to be expected.

Still, since I put in the 'official Apple Mac' NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT, the machine hasn't restarted by itself. Not once in two days now. Therefore my question is: Can a bad video card be the reason this Mac suffers from spontaneously restarts?
 

snipper

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 9, 2004
203
23
Thanks for chiming in.

If so, should I be able to trace this back in the logs? (I'm not very familiar with the possibilities of the system log files but if this is a possibility then I can investigate this)
 

Yahooligan

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2011
965
113
Illinois
Bad GPU can absolutely cause a crash/reset, even with Apple GPUs. Launch the "console" app and look for kernel panic logs in "System Reports."

Replacing the GPU and no longer seeing any restarts is pretty conclusive evidence.
 

Sharky II

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2004
615
29
United Kingdom
The GPU forcing restarts is one of my 2010 MacBook Pro's favourite things to do

You'll usually find some reference to nVidia or ATI in the kernel panic log.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.