Just inherited a 2008 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by antisomnic, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. antisomnic macrumors member

    antisomnic

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    #1
    A friend of mine gave me an early 2008 24" iMac. He had a power surge a couple years ago during a lightning storm and it stopped working properly. Apple wouldn't fix it because he told them what happened. His homeowner insurance paid for a new one. He had that one sitting around and gave it to me. It starts up but with blue/magenta/green/black vertical bars. Once the booting process is done it tells me I need to power off and restart. If I boot into Windows it boots fine but there is no video. I am thinking that it's the video card. What I'd like to know is what is the best way to replace it?

    Apple will charge me and I do not know how expensive that would be. I went to a local mac shop and they said it would be $80 an hour for diagnosis and replacement and probably $200 for the video card. I looked online for replacement video cards and they're all like $600. I'm not sure which route to go. I'm not even 100% sure it's the video card.

    I got this as a DYI project but I don't know if I can do it or afford to do it.
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #2
    There are two video cards you can get for that iMac. The ATI 2400HD or the 2600HD. I've seen them for about $150-$225 on eBay before. Have you tried reinstalling Mac OS X?
     
  3. forty2j macrumors 68030

    forty2j

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    #3
    That one can also take the Nvidia 8800 GTS, no? Or was that a different motherboard too?
     
  4. antisomnic thread starter macrumors member

    antisomnic

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    #4
    The one that's in there now is an nvidia. Im not sure how it compares to the ati cards. I didn't think to check eBay. Another problem would be I tried to take the video card out to look at it and couldn't figure out how to get it out. It looks like a challenge. I'll have to look up s guide or something

    ----------

    I also wanna be completely sure that's the problem so I'm not wasting money. Any possibility it's something else? It logically seems to be the video card tho
     
  5. antisomnic thread starter macrumors member

    antisomnic

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    #5
    Just checked eBay and it looks like the ati cards are for the 20in. Will they work in the 24in?
     
  6. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #6
    I'd advise against the NVIDIA card. It will likely fail as most other 8800's have. The two ATI cards will work in the 20" and the 24" iMac.
     
  7. antisomnic thread starter macrumors member

    antisomnic

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    #7
    yeah i'm debating between having my local mac shop replacing it or buying one off ebay risking it being bad and having a lot of trouble putting it in. Still not sure what I'm going to do. Any advice? Trying to spend as little money as possible.
     
  8. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    They are fairly difficult to replace. You have to remove the glass, the LDC screen, the logicboard, the heatsink(s), then the video card. Unless you've ever opened up an aluminum iMac or you don't mind potentially breaking it to the point of no return, you should have the Mac shop replace it for you.

    Here's a link for the 20" video card replacement procedure. It's similar, but not exactly the same: http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing-iMac-Intel-20-Inch-EMC-2133-and-2210-Video-Card/1014/1
     
  9. antisomnic thread starter macrumors member

    antisomnic

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    #9
    I have opened it up but not far enough to take the video card out. That's how I knew it looked like a pain. I just called my local mac shop and he told me it would be $300-400. I don't have a lot of money right now so I asked him if he accepted payments instead of the whole total. He said no, which is what I expected. He did tell me that if I bring it to the Apple Store that they would accept payments and it would probably cost around the same. Can anyone confirm this? The Apple store near me is kind of far and in order to talk to a genuis I have to make an appointment to drive out there so I'd rather know before hand.
     
  10. antisomnic thread starter macrumors member

    antisomnic

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    #10
    Would it be possible to use an nvidia or ati laptop video card?
     
  11. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #11
    No. Only one of the three video cards that I posted above will work. The card must be an Apple one designed for iMacs. Any other one has a high chance of not fitting or not lining up with the heatsink.
     
  12. antisomnic thread starter macrumors member

    antisomnic

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    #12
    Does anyone know if Apple requires any money up front for out-of-warranty service? The guy at the mac shop told me two things that I'm not sure of. 1. They charge $40 to talk to the genuis and 2. You can set up a payment plan. I called and the person said I'd have to come in and discuss it with a genius and it's a long drive so I'd rather find out first.
     
  13. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #13
    I think you can talk to a "Genius" for free, but you may need an appointment.
     
  14. antisomnic thread starter macrumors member

    antisomnic

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    #14
    That's what I thought. I'm thinking he might be wrong about payment plans too.
     
  15. radiohed macrumors regular

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    #15
    The genius appointment is free, but the only payment plan Apple has is if you apply for a Barclaycard Visa card and get approved (in the US thats the card they offer).

    Did you try reinstalling OSX from scratch, with a disk format? It's worth a shot if you have the restore discs. The only thing that sucks about having it repaired is if they replace the video card and that's not the problem, you still are out the cost of the repair. I would still have a shop do the work though.
     
  16. antisomnic thread starter macrumors member

    antisomnic

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    #16
    Well they said they would make sure it's the video card before they ordered it. I am gonna go that way. I'm gonna give another mac shop a call on Monday and see who's cheaper. I will try reinstalling OS X but I highly doubt it will work. Like you said it's worth a try!
     
  17. California macrumors 68040

    California

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    #17
    If you can upgrade the oem video card, do it. Apple will most likely replace it. Friend with a 06 iMac had similar problem, ACTech replaced and upgraded his video card and he's running it like a new computer now.
     
  18. antisomnic thread starter macrumors member

    antisomnic

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    #18
    There's a site selling the 2600XT for $160 used. Don't know if it's trustworthy or not. A couple sites said it's only compatible with the 20in. Are we certain it will work on the 24in? I don't want to buy it and be out the monies.
     
  19. antisomnic thread starter macrumors member

    antisomnic

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    #19
    The ACTech I talked to said they go through Apple for parts, so they would just replace it. But I will talk to one other place on Monday.
     
  20. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #20
    I don't think this is worth it. It's not $400 to make it into a brand new computer. This is the kind of thing where I'd personally go the ebay route on parts if possible and do it myself. If it was beyond my skill level (haven't looked into this repair), then I wouldn't bother. The displays are not immortal. Logic boards can fail. Take it to Apple and see if depot repair is offered assuming there is one in your area. Third party repair centers can be good when it's under warranty and you want some direct communication with the repair guys.


    Apple doesn't charge anything for genius appointments. Support costs and things are built into the product price there. Third party retailers may not have anywhere near the same level of markup.

    I wouldn't say it's worth it investing $400 in an imac of that age, but that is me.
     
  21. antisomnic thread starter macrumors member

    antisomnic

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    #21
    Thank you for your reply! You have helped me finally make up my mind, lol. It's not worth it to put that much money into a 4 year old computer. I got this iMac as a dyi project and a learning experience. I've always had PCs and I wanted to learn about Macs. If I bring it to someone to fix I will be learning nothing. Regardless of if it's a pain to install a new video card I will do it myself. That's why I got this. The only negative is if it's not the video card I'll have wasted $200. I am 99.99% sure it is though.
     
  22. Roller macrumors 68020

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    #22
    If you buy a replacement video card on eBay and it works, you're good to go. If it doesn't, you can resell it and recoup some of what you spent, so you won't be out as much. Good luck, and post back here with your results.
     
  23. antisomnic thread starter macrumors member

    antisomnic

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    #23
    thanks!! i will keep you guys posted
     
  24. antisomnic thread starter macrumors member

    antisomnic

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    #24
    I just talked to a Mac technician who told me it's definately the LCD panel. If it was the LCD panel wouldn't it still boot and everything? He also said there's no such thing as a video card in an iMac that it's built into the logic board and I'd have to buy a whole new logic board if that was the problem. He sounds like an idiot.
     
  25. forty2j macrumors 68030

    forty2j

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    #25
    Go to ifixit.com and look up the particular Mac model. There were iMacs that had GPUs attached directly to the main board but I believe that process ended before 2008.
     

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