NVIDIA 8800GS Failure Rate

Discussion in 'iMac' started by flipster, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. flipster, Jan 24, 2011
    Last edited: May 25, 2011

    flipster macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    So, I have a 2008 iMac 3.06 ghz with the infamous nvidia geforce 8800 gs graphics card. I game- ALOT. Now, my iMac has failed. The GFX card I think.


    UPDATE: I'm sad to say that this is happening. As of May 7, 2011, the iMac has been freezing up within 20 minutes of use, the whole computer locks up, the screen flickers once, and it is completely unresponsive except the mouse cursor is movable. Going to the Apple Store today to see what they will do about it.


    Update: May 8 As of today, they are going to replace the logic board for a whopping $696.50. Good thing I have insurance. I really don't think it will solve the problem as it's the graphics card that I Think is failing, but whatever. I will update again when I get it back from the Apple store.


    Update: May 12 So I called Apple to see what was going on, they said it turned out to be the hard drive in the process of failing. To me, this was odd due to the fact that I had just had the hard drive replaced 6 months prior.....weird... Anyway, they said they have a logic board on order as a "what if" back up solution. They will transfer my data, so all in all, it's okay (as long as i dont lose my data :D).


    UPDATE: May 13 So I got my iMac today, and it turns out they replaced the hard drive. However, within 5 minutes of getting it home, it went absolutely crazy. The screen started flickering like crazy, lock ups, everything. They're sending me an external hard drive to back up the data, then theyre going to wipe the computer clean,(to make sure it's not a software problem....(?) replace the gfx card and see if the problem persists. If it does continue, then they will issue me a replacement computer. I'm kinda done with the BS though, I just want a working computer at this point.


    UPDATE: May 22 So I brought the computer into Apple yesterday, and it turns out they replaced the video card. I'm going to pick it up today, they said it's working, and hopefully this is the case. If not, then I will demand a new computer as this has been my 6th trip to the Apple store, and it's not exactly close to my house... Anyway, I'll keep you updated with what's happening..

    Just got it back from the store, they apologized, replaced the graphics card, and so far everything is working good.

    VIDEO AFTER 5 MINUTES OF BRINGING IT HOME FROM THE APPLE STORE: (MAY 13)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5x5bbTb2h5U



    Overall, the Customer Service is FANTASTIC at the North Shore Apple Store in Peabody. Very helpful, honest, and got my iMac repaired within 14 hours... However, the Applecare Senior Advisor(phone calls) "Mike" was a total jerk. He didn't call me back for 3 days...and caused confusion in the whole process.
     
  2. decane macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2007
    #2
    1st 8800gs died after 2.5 years.
    replacement died with 2 weeks
    and after another 2 weeks i m waiting for a replacement computer
     
  3. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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  4. flipster thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Seriously though lol, because everyone who has owned this iMac seems like they have reported some kind of graphics card problems. All I do on the computer is game, which is constantly using the graphics card. Do you really think it'll end up ******** the bed if i keep doing graphic intensive things?
     
  5. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    #5
    Unfortunately that model has high temps on a card with a known propensity to failure. Look up the nvidia lawsuit. I seem to remember the cause being related to heating and cooling cycles causing separation of certain gpu components and ultimately failure.

    Perhaps constant gaming has cooked yours into gaming perfection.

    The truth of the matter is even the MBP 8600 failures are not universal. Some peopl have the issue (multiple times even) and others have no issues going on 3-4 years. I'm sure at some point it will fail. As I said in one of those other threads I sold my 8800gs based iMac because it got too hot running windows games. Didn't find out about these issues until much later. I didn't make the connection before buying the refurb even though I had a SR MBP and it had a bad nvidia gpu. Sold that too as soon as it was repaired. I have no patience for living with a potential time bomb.

    I don't think you can predict the inevitability of failure or the timeline but you can definitely decide if and how long you'll keep it.

    Cheers,
     
  6. MacHamster68, Jan 25, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
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    #6
    as a precaution use SMC fan control and rev up the fan responsible for cooling the GPU ..advisable at any graphics card thats placed in a small space ,especially if its a nvidia card
    they good cheap cards when placed in a MacPro with good cooling , but not in a laptop or AIO desktop from apple with just sufficient cooling , ati cope way better in these small hot environments , but nvidia cards had been cheaper for apple, or to say it more polite nvidia offered a bit better performance for the price

    but to say something nice about nvidia , the nvidia ion cards are great for basic computing and 1080p videos and even work passive cooled
     
  7. BlackMax macrumors 6502a

    BlackMax

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    #7
    My story is similar.

    1st 8800gs died after 2.5 years.
    2nd 8800gs died within 15 minutes of getting it home.
    I haven't received my 3rd 8800gs yet as my iMac is still at Apple.

    We'll see how long the 3rd 8800gs lasts.
     
  8. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    #8
    If that one dies it's time for Apple to just replace the machine.

    Cheers,
     
  9. flipster thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Any update?
     
  10. hamean macrumors member

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    Dec 16, 2010
    #10
    i guess I'm doomed

    I have the same model, a 2008 iMac 24" with the 8800gs. I do NOT have Apple Care and the card just died. Can I replace the 8800 with a standard spec ATI 2600 HD for reliability? I'm not sure what the best course of action is here.

    It sounds like once it goes out, it's going to keep going out.
     
  11. flipster thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Mostly likely, happens to everyone who's had that card. In fact 95% of the people i know who have had that computer, its failed within 3 years.

    I personally have this model computer, ive had it for 1 year and 3 months now and ive had no problems at all. I game everyday, the graphics card never goes over 170F, and it runs my games great. (Counter Strike: Source, Left 4 Dead 2)

    I really need to know though because im curious: What do you do daily on that iMac?
    How long have you had it before it started to fail?
     
  12. flipster thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    I don't think it's due to overheating, the lock ups and freezes happen at 150F
     
  13. flipster thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    They are going to replace the graphics card/


    b
    u
    m
    p
     
  14. zepharus macrumors 6502a

    zepharus

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    Aug 7, 2007
    #14
    Same card .. same result

    They are ALL ****ing bad fyi
     
  15. flipster thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Did you have one of these iMacs?

    I tried telling the "Genius" woman that these cards had high failure rates, but instead she issued a logic board replacement.... TBH, the geniuses aren't very knowledgeable when it comes to technical questions, at least in my experiences.
     
  16. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    #16
    Before I'd pay for an out of warranty repair on an obviously defective GPU I'd call customer relations at apple and point out the nvidia gpu failures across the entire 8x00 product line and all the failures would indicate a product defect that apple should cover.

    Can't hurt to escalate this one. It's not like it's some random issue. Your machine was doomed from the start.

    Cheers,
     
  17. flipster thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I have a warranty on it until December 20 2012. It didn't cost me anything, but I'm almost sure it's the graphics card, and they replaced the logic board. I'll report back in 3-5 days when I get it back.

    If the problem persists, what should I do next? I understand that these cards have extremely high failure rates, so I think that the problem is going to continue..
     
  18. dfine1966 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 9, 2011
    #18
    My wife has a 24 in iMac, 2008 with 3.06 and 8800GS. This is the first I have heard of this problem. Within the first 6 months of having the 24 the hard drive died and they replaced it. There have been no problems with my wife's iMac except she says it seems very slow, especially internet, more often. I thought this was because she only had 2 GB of Ram. I was about to replace the RAM with 4GB to speed things up. There has been no problems with the screen. How would I know if the GPU was failing? Should I not bother upgrading the memory. She bought this iMac in summer of 2008. The one thing different from anyone else is my wife doesn't play any games at all. She does watch a lot of videos on the web, uses email and Facebook, but nothing really else. So she might not have the problems others have had because she hasn't stressed the GPU?
     
  19. flipster thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Like the above poster said, the nvidia 8xxx series is known to be defective. The 8800GS in the iMacs are almost certain to fail, however I don't think that's your wife's problem. The funny thing is, is that 6 months in my hard drive had failed too. Ram probably isn't the problem...2gb should suffice for what she does. I have 6GB in it, and it screams, but the logic board/graphics card has failed on me. (no surprise). Do a quick MROOGLE search, you'll see what I was talking about. Almost everyone who has this model iMac, the graphics card fails.
     
  20. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    #20
    BlackMaxx and some of the others with this problem did get Apple to replace their systems because they had repeated failures. If you play games or do other graphic intensive work the fans get louder and a ton of heat comes out the top rear of the unit. This is especially true running Windows games under bootcamp. Since you play games it's likely you'll see the issue again before AppleCare runs out so perhaps they'll replace yours with a new Thunderbolt capable iMac. ... One can dream ...

    Cheers,
     
  21. dfine1966 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    #21
    I have read a lot of these threads just in this short time, and most people who have had problems are gamers or have Windows installed through bootcamp. It seems the GPU, which is in a tight space and not enough cooling, gets overheated when being stressed for too long. My wife's 24 in iMac 3.06 with the 8800GS will be 3 years old, June 14, 2011. I have one month left on my Apple Care. I guess, until she has problems, I shouldn't worry about it. Again, she uses the internet a lot and watches video, reads blog and does Facebook. Not a lot of stress on the GPU. I will keep an eye on her machine. I am getting my first iMac , ordering this week, but the new 27 inch. Hopefully this was just a bad components that were just put in the 24 inch iMacs and they have corrected those problems by now.
     
  22. flipster thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    The problem was the 8800GS card. None of those problems exist anymore. It isn't overheating, mine locked up at 150F which is normal for a graphics card, especially in a tight space.
     
  23. dfine1966 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 9, 2011
    #23
    So you are saying, sooner or later the video card will go. All she really needs is another year or two with this machine. Only time will tell.

    What are the first signs I should look for when this starts happening?
     
  24. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    #24
    Artifacts on the display, strange colors. Freezing and hanging...

    I hate time bombs. I sold my iMac with 8800GS and my MBP 2.2 SR with the 8600. The MBP had 3 years of Applecare which Apple extended to 4 to specifically cover the failing GPU for an extra year. I let both buyers know there was a potential issue and for the price I offered they took the risk.

    I sold at a slight loss (less than I could have gotten for a Mac sale) to avoid any further disruption (the MBP had already been repaired once) or the uncertainty since at the time I played Windows games on my Macs. The nvidia mess pushed me into buying a Windows gaming laptop so the issue is no more.

    Another thing that affects these cards is the heating and cooling cycle, not overheating per se. Just the act of running it and shutting down caused issues for an entire nvidia product. Supposedly just letting the system gradually cool down and fall asleep was better than doing a full shutdown. In discussing this with coworkers who've dealt with these systems it appears that anecdotal information is inconsistent at best and no one can really say for sure what will ultimately kill the 8x00 series GPU, just that it will eventually die.

    The way I see it, you can ride it out and perhaps it'll last another 5 years (or NOT) or you can sell it and buy her a new 21.5" which will be more powerful and not represent a potential time bomb.

    Cheers,
     
  25. citikas macrumors newbie

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    Mar 22, 2011
    #25
    I have the same problematic 24" iMac model and the graphics card died last October, after 2 years of use. The card got changed 3x by the retailer's support, and after the whole system crashed and died on me in this February, I waited for the refresh and bought a new 21" iMac.

    The retailer also told me that I'm, the only one with this problem, he has the same model and it works fine. They were not willing to change the logic board even after the card died for the third time and then either the HDD or the logic board (or both) broke too leaving me with a heap of scrap metal.

    Changing only the graphics card will not help you, it will just keep on failing. You are lucky that you get the logic board changed, and hopefully they won't move the old graphics card from the old board, but get a new one.

    For the record, I played WoW, but no other games on that iMac. There was no Windows installed either.
     

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