Mac Pro (late 2006) X1900 dying?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by raymondthimmes, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. raymondthimmes macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Columbus, Ohio
    I have a first gen Mac Pro. (2.66, 4 core, 20" cinema display, 4 years old,
    Leopard, all updates)
    Just upgraded from 2GB to 4GB Memory and added a new 1TB western digital drive (fresh install of Leopard on the drive).
    Now my graphics card seems to be dying on me. (ATI X1900)

    I'm getting blue and yellow shadows randomly on the display while certain areas seem to be "sticking" while I work. Also the entire display has a tendency to freeze and I have to hard restart. I have air-can sprayed the entire machine dust free but am still having the issue.

    Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    I am afraid it is the video card, and it may well be time for an upgrade.
  3. trankdart macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA, USA
    run tests first

    It could be merely a coincidence that you started having problems soon after you messed with the guts of the hardware because a dying 4-year-old video card happened to choose that moment to start exhibiting symptoms. Or the video card could have been damaged while you were working on the machine.

    But you know the old rule that applies to both hardware and software: when a new problem surfaces, always tend to blame the most recent change.

    Before replacing your video card, I would:

    - Make sure all cards and memory sticks are completely and securely seated (i.e. take them out and re-seat them firmly).
    - Run Memtest OS X or some other exhaustive memory pattern-tester, and let it run overnight on your new memory.
    - Get SMART utility or use command-line smartctl in the Terminal app, or whatever program you have that reports SATA hard drive health stats.

    Once you've done all that, try a different video card.

  4. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    It's card. Symptoms are clear. X1900 are dying exactly this way. It's known issue with these cards, especially with stock ATI cooling.
  5. cohen777 macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2009
    Lakeland, FL
    check the air inlet for the 1900

    I have the same card. Check the air inlet on the card to make sure it isn't blocked with dust.
  6. EricTheRed71 macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2006
    You're lucky it lasted so long. Mine died over 2 years ago.
  7. Inutopia macrumors 6502


    Apr 8, 2009
    South of Heaven
    Did you try taking the new memory out?

    Bad memory causes all sorts of funky problems with machines
  8. raymondthimmes thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Columbus, Ohio
    Thanks for all the support and suggestions.

    I tested the machine with the new upgrades removed and the problem persisted. Eventually the display finally shut off completely. Which is a very disturbing sensation to just get a black screen every boot.

    I kicked more around online reading what I could on the issue on my iphone and decided to just buy a new graphics card.

    I went ahead and just headed on over to my local apple store and picked up a graphics upgrade kit (ATI Radeon 4870). I know it's a ridiculous price but at this point it seemed that flashing a PC version wasn't going to work if I couldn't even get my display to turn on and had no access to any other PCI-E Macs (As my old machine is a G5 with AGP.).

    Anyhow, I popped in the newly purchased card and booted up literally twice as fast as it normally does. I popped in the new memory and 1TB HDD and I feel like I have a brand new Mac Pro for about $500. It's zippier than ever and loads CS5 like a beast. Also the tower is considerably more quiet than before.

    I think it ended up just being a dying card. Which sucks, but it was time for an upgrade.

    Thanks again.
  9. atfphoto macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2010

    Mine died years ago as well. I was able to extend life a bit by tracking down one of the custom cooling units that were available for it. Once Snow Leopard came out, it was doomed because of the extra amount of GPU that the system was using.

    Definitely a flawed card.

    Congrats on the 4870!


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