Graphics Card Question


macrumors 68020
Original poster
Apr 1, 2005
I have just sold a PowerMac G4 on eBay. The machine had a Ati 9800 graphics card installed and the guy who purchased the machine said that after the machine booted the display started to flicker and then went blank after about 45 seconds. He says that a loose cable inside the mac jammed inside the onboard fan of the 9800 and stopped it from spinning, therefore overheating and permanently damaging the card.

How likely is this? I would have thought that a spinning fan would have knocked and snagged connector out of the way.

He has also tried the other card in machine and it works fine. He has tried the faulty card in another G4 and it does not work in that machine so there appears to be a fault with the card.

Is this a plausible reason for the card not working?


Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Aug 7, 2006
Never had a G5 so I can't speak to the cable issue...

But, if a fan is stopped on a card for too long, then absolutley it can damage the card. I've had fan bearings seize on me, and the first things that happen is that after it heats up, there are video errors, lines and flickers on the screen, and eventually it freezes. If a card is supposed to have a fan, and that fan stops spinning, you're in trouble alot of the time.

And you can stop those fans by looking at them almost. They have no torque, if anything got in the way of the blades, they would stop.


macrumors regular
Aug 10, 2006
Ok, this is just my opinion.. but the buyer is a total idiot.... I personally would have popped the case open just to inspect everything in order to AVOID this exact situation.....

But anyway, yes the fan stopping would cause the card to head up and quit..


macrumors regular
May 31, 2007
Keyser, WV, USA
well if you had to ship it to him the boxes get knocked around and the cable could have gotten stuck in the fan. Yes it will burn the card up from overheating.:(