my experience with x1900xt card upgrade/ Arctic Cooling

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mactree, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. mactree macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2006
    Hi - I'm just going to pass along some recent experience I've had with ugrading my video card to the x1900xt and then replacing the cooling system with an X2 fan on my macpro dual 2.66

    'moral of my post, don't forget to put the thermal pads on all 8 of your video card's memory chips when adding the X2 cooler.'

    if you're interested in reading how I came to this conclusion read below:

    So I ordered the upgrade card and replaced my stock video card with no problems, all was well. I work on video and motion graphics and I definitely noticed an improvement in some of my motion applications.

    For fun I've been known to play World of Warcraft now and then.. which is where the biggest graphic improvment seemed to be. This is also where I noticed the fan noise of the x1900... not really a big deal to me, but I've been reading about the X2 cooler and that I could get rid of that occasionally loud noise. I ordered the cooler and it sat on my counter for about 2 months til finally thought, lets go ahead and give this thing a shot. Now I have to say this was a little scary, messing with my $400 video card putting this new cooler on... I followed the directions and all seemed to go ok. My only mistake was I didn't hook up the power to the video card the first time and was scared for a second when I went to turn on my mac and had no video.

    So then it was back to life as normal, working and occasionally playing wow. Everything seemed to be normal, but I was noticing when playing wow, I was getting graphical glitches, not when I first opened the game, but maybe after playing 10 minutes or so. This glitching only happened when I was playing the game.. never in any of my other apps. So I didn't even think anything of the X2 cooler, it just didn't occur to me. But the longer I would play, the more it would glitch. I knew it hadn't gltched like that before and I started to get freaked out that maybe, I had broke something when I installed this fan.. to me it didn't make sense that the fan itself would cause glitching. But if that were the case, why is it only when I play this game. Maybe it was the game? No, this was something different, it started when I installed that fan.

    So I lived with the problem for a few weeks because it wasn't a big deal, it only happened on that game. I did some research online, and saw that glitching can be the cause of overheating... I started researching peoples experience with the X2 and found that there was one step that wasn't clearly explained in the instructions. Included with the x2 fan are 8 thermo pads that have to be placed on each of the memory chips.. the original ati fan did not have anything any sort of covering on those chips, so I had no idea that was necessary. I pulled my card back out, and placed those pads on and the glitching has stopped. I just hope no real damage was done from not having those on there in the first place.

    I wanted to tell you guys about this just in case there were others of you out there that put this fan on your cards and missed this step as I had. Had it not been for playing wow, maybe I never would have even noticed a difference. Also, I'm driving two displays, a 30" and 15".
  2. trogdor! macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2006
    good to know, thanks for your info and experience!
  3. dusanv macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2006
    IIRC, people have reported that those pads are nigh impossible to remove after a while rendering the cooler permanently attached to the card. Also, that cooler is blowing ~130W straight at your motherboard which doesn't sound too bright to me. I'm waiting for this one personally.
  4. mactree thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2006
    I meant to mention this in my post as well... If I were to do it over again, I probably wouldn't risk installing the new fan.

    And you're right, those pads are probably stuck to my card for good now :(
  5. ronni3 macrumors regular

    Dec 26, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    dusanv -- I have sent you a PM. Please check it!
  6. CyberPrey macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2006
    IGH, MN
    dusanv -- i have not sent you a PM, so no need to check for it :D
  7. dzimble macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2006
    Experience exactly the same "glitches" with WOW with original x1900xt card

    So, I've also experienced the same glitches in WoW and have since purchased the X2 fan. i have not modified the video card yet but am really wanting to since the glitches are starting to piss me off. Not to mention that if they are caused by the overheating, well that can't be good for the card anyway. While i realize that this X2 fan does not have an exhaust the exits the rear of the Mac Pro I have read that it only increases the ambient temperature inside the case by a small amount which is manageable. I'm also powering a 30" display but only one.

    I'm hesitant to install the X2 now and would like more advice if available. What is this other "fan" that was mentioned. Has anyone used it yet?


  8. cynerjist macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2006
    dusanv, when you find the thermaltake available please post about it, and I will do the same. i am waiting for that, too.
  9. Tangerine macrumors regular


    Jan 5, 2007
    Hi, I have also install the X2 on my ATI Card. Everything went well, but sometime in game it would stall completely and quit by itself. Doesn't happen very often so I did not bother with it too much. But I have also over clock it, Graphic Processor is 648 and Graphic Memory is 756. Is this due to the over clocking? I don't over clock much, but with the X2 it makes temperature drop a lot so I may as well over clock it. Can anyone recommend me a good over clock speed?

  10. DigitalN. macrumors member

    Jan 3, 2007
    alternatively to the Accelero X2 you could pick up a Zalman VF900 and install that. It is just as quiet, and the termal chips are very easy to uninstall if need be.
  11. dusanv macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2006
    Will do. A couple of sites have it advertised but nobody has it in stock yet...
  12. Tarkovsky macrumors 6502


    Jan 4, 2007
    Try underclocking and see whether you get the same problem...
  13. Neonguy macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2006
    So sad but once the X2 is install on the ATI Card, it's stuck on for good. I try yanking it off to check if the thermal stick on good and spread on evenly, but it impossible to take it off without yanking the memory chips with it. The X2 also blow hot air directly onto the motherboard. If I have to do over, I would not go with the X2. I wish there was a warning when you install the X2 it stick on for good. I think I have ruined my $400 Graphic Card. :(
  14. mactree thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2006
    My glitching has come back unfortunately... not as bad as it was before I had properly installed the X2 fan. I mentioned in my earlier post that putting the thermal pads on my graphics card completely fixed my WoW glitching issue. The problem has seemed to creep back and become an issue again... could it be the hot air blowing around on my motherboard? I don't know. :(
  15. Tangerine macrumors regular


    Jan 5, 2007

    This look so much better and more sense to me. Have anyone try this one out? How is the temp and the noise. I saw it's already available and so tempted to buy one for my ATI X1900XT.

    You can get it here

    BTW I order it and should be expecting it soon. I guess we will see.
  16. De'Mello macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2007
    ATI X1900's Cooler swap.

    I am about to swap the fan on the ATI X1900 as it is too loud for my needs.

    I have not taken the card out yet but I estimate you get 5mm between the card and the case.

    The problem is that the x1900 sits at the bottom of the mac and there is little room underneath the card for bolts or braces that come with the coolers.

    Many cats have used the "artic cooler2" and are happy but some are not.

    To be safe I would like to exuast the heat with the Jetart "VC3600"...

    Q: But will there be room underneath the X1900 to secure the screws and can I plug it into the 3pin on the X1900?

    QPTION 2
    Q: If not, how about using the "ArticCooler2" with the "Jetart VC1000" to improved air circulation so I can sleep at night?

    Q: But can the "VC1000's" 4pin be pluged into the mac pro's board?
    The conections dont look right to me.

    This is the 1st time I have modified any part of the mac pro and so I want to get it right. Please can anybody shed some light?
  17. djray77 macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2007
    I have the same gliching problem in wow also, I just added some more ram as I thought it may be due to not enough ram, it didn't help.
    So it is for sure a cooling issues with the video card and nothing else?
    The funny thing is this mac blows away my PC in specs, I have the identical video card in my PC and I run everything on max detail (1920x1200) without a hiccup.
    I have spent WAY more money on this mac and it is kinda of upsetting its gliching :(
  18. De'Mello macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2007
    Artic Glitching vs Jetart VC3600?

    Sorry to hear that.
    This is what I am trying to avoid by using the jetartvc3600 exaust cooler thats quieter than the stock cooler.
    But I dont know about the size of the braces under the card?
    Will they be too big?

    After searching the web it seems mac users with this GPU issue are only turning to the ArticCooler2 and some are having the problem you have.

    I have read that the cooler will come off but that its a real bitch, so there is that option for you to replace it with the VC3600 if exausting the heat is the cause of your problem.

    As for my self, I will take a risk on the "Jetart VC3600" if there are no posts here to say its a bad idea?
  19. damado macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2006
    I hadn't tried playing wow for a while but I did yesterday and I'm getting a lot of glitching now also after playing for 5 minutes. It's a heat problem on the RAM. I played in windows and the GPU is only at 70-75C which is normal so it has to be the video RAM. I installed the RAM pads properly so I am not sure what is going on. I'm going to try to remove the cooler and reinstall the stock one for now. Hopefully I can manage to remove it.
  20. De'Mello macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2007
    Heres a Global Store that sells the JetartVC3600 if any one else want to try it.
    I havent used this store before so at own risk.

    I still think the bolt on for the bottom of the card will be to big but I will find some smaller matching bolts before I begin installation.

    The sad thing about all this is that the next ATI 1950 XT is reviewed as having a very quiet exaust fan. I think apple is trying hard to keep the macpro's cost down i.e a noisy ati1900 and slow hard drives. Next time I purchase a hi-end mac I'll have less confidence in apple and do more research on threads like this.
  21. djray77 macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2007
    Well I called apple on this problem and they say that its the game and not the system as everything else runs super fast. They told me another guy had called them regarding the same issue and his solution was to run bootcamp and to install windows XP. I found this very funny, here i spend 5k on a system and it cant run a damn game?? OK well it runs but not to the standards I expect coming from this powerhouse of a machine.
  22. damado macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2006
    Ok, I reinstalled the stock fan and still get artifacts after about 5 mins in game. I don't get it. This has started out of nowhere. It's not just WoW because I get the same problem in Eve after several minutes. The GPU was 70-75 with the X2 cooler and around 80-83 with the stock cooler under load.

    I dunno what to do now =/

    BTW the ram thermal pads were installed perfectly on the X2 so I'm not sure what's going on.
  23. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    What I think is funny, is that you spent 5k for a computer to run games. You could have bought a Wii, a Playstation and an Xbox and had money left over for an iMac.

    Since you've already wasted your money, maybe you should try playing in Windows?
  24. djray77 macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2007
    Where did I mention I "ONLY" play games in this machine??? "its the game and not the system as everything else runs super fast." did you read the everything else runs fine part?? Meaning other apps.

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