Mac Pro Early 2008 video card issue

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by designer22, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. designer22 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Minneapolis MN
    #1
    I've got an nVidia GeForce 8800 GT card in the tower; this is the first replacement card when the original died 2 years ago. I'm been running a pair of NEC MultiSyncP241W screens since before the card was replaced. Just yesterday, one monitor has been intermittently turning off and the status light going to a blinking orange. If I fiddle with the DVI cable or the power cable, I can get it working again for a while. Then it goes off again. I've tried switching cables and power cords to no avail. My troubleshooting would seem to indicate the video card and not the monitor. I'd think if the monitor was going bad, it would either work or not work. When it does work it looks perfect. But then again it's just one monitor this is happening to.

    The video card was replaced by Apple. I was told the card was new. So I'm wondering why it would only last 2 years when the original lasted many years longer, if it indeed the card is at fault.

    Any advice, troubleshooting tips or experiences would be welcomed. Thank you.
     
  2. pastrychef, Sep 24, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015

    pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #2
    The 8800 GT cards were known to fail prematurely. As far as I know, it was due to a combination of the type of solder used and heat. (What's ironic is that my 8800 GT was a replacement provided to my by Apple to replace an ATI X1900 that also failed.)

    If you search the internet, you can find directions on how to "bake" it. This procedure could bring your video card back to health. I did it to my old 8800 GT and it worked amazingly well and lasted until I upgraded to a new video card.

    * Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for anything that may happen to your video card. Attempt this at your own risk.
     
  3. orph, Sep 24, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015

    orph macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    you might be better of getting a GTX6xx card or higher.
    if your used to a 8800 GT then almost any card now will be faster, quieter, cooler & smaller.

    I use a GTX660 which works fine, but you might be better of with a GTX650/750 (or lower?) if you dont need GPU piower for work (if your still using a 8800 GT then i asume you dont)

    had a quick look and the GTX730 silent models look nice, super cheep and no fan nose or need of a power plug, while googling it i found a thread that looks the same :p
    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/possible-gpu-problems-gt-730-compatability.1873912/
    (top google hit for GTX730 macpro )

    ps
    my 660 is fairly quiet, it's one with twin fans only notice it when it's at full peg.
    id get a 7XX+ if i was to upgrade today (so cheep on ebay)

    check the big nvidia thread, you need osx10.8+ for newer cards
     
  4. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #4
    Obviously, getting a new video card is an alternative. I have an Nvidia 640 GT that outperformed my old 8800 GT.

    However, in my opinion, it's still worth the effort to try and repair the old 8800 GT if for nothing else then just to have a video card around that can supply boot screens in case that's ever needed. Baking the video card is not difficult. It just involves a few steps.

    1. Remove the GPU cooler/heatsink.
    2. Clean off the thermal compound.
    3. Put in oven for a few minutes.
    4. Let it cool for a few minutes.
    5. Reapply fresh thermal compound.
    6. Reinstall GPU cooler/heatsink.
     
  5. orph macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #5
  6. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #6
    +1 on the baking

    The way I looked at it was you have nothing to lose once the card isn't useable.

    When 8800s were current I kept a bin full of bad ones. When it had more then 10 in it I would get out the cookie sheets and foil balls.

    Cards which would boot then quit with artifacts had best results.
     
  7. towdow3 macrumors newbie

    towdow3

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    #7
    I also have a question. I have a 2008 Mac pro 08 core. I just put in a gtx670ftw and I get the black screen, but its been hanging for almost 5 minutes. I plug in my cinema display to the base card and I can see the screen. I plug it into the 670 and NOTHING. I go into system preferences and I SEE the card recognized but it says its only got 128mb of vRam. it doesn't even recognize it as an Nvidia card. what am i missing? i downloaded the beta drivers for el capitan as well.
     
  8. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #8
    Which version of OS X are you running? I believe built-in drivers for these cards began with OS X 10.7 Lion.
     
  9. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
  10. towdow3 macrumors newbie

    towdow3

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    #10
    I'm running el capitan, but i don't have power cables plugged in. That COULD be the issue, right? even though the fan spins and the computer at least SEEs the card. I'm pissed because I just realized i maybe should've gotten the drivers before hand IDK. LOL derpie derp
     
  11. towdow3 macrumors newbie

    towdow3

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    #11
    okay idk if thats for me, but i don't have any power plugs yet. smh
     
  12. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
  13. towdow3 macrumors newbie

    towdow3

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    #13

    lol
     

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