Please help diagnose video problem

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by DeadSirius, May 6, 2009.

  1. DeadSirius macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    #1
    I don't know if my video card is going bad, or what I should be looking at. I have a mac pro 3.0 ghz (one of the originals) with an ATI Radion 1900 video card. In recent weeks, two applications have been giving me odd stray lines across the window (Fusion and Safari Beta 4). The lines show up in a screen capture. Today, I've been using Motion 2, and twice the machine completely froze up, and then later the video completely disappeared. The machine is hooked up to two monitors, and both of them went dark. In all cases, I have to force-off the machine to turn it back on.

    My Northbride temp is showing 165 F. I don't know what else is relevant. I can't read the temp of the video card.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Boon Docks USA
    #2
    Go into console and view the crash log. My money is on a bad video card.
     
  3. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #3
    it does sound like a GPU problem. maybe take a look at the card and see if you can see any rust/dust on it. maybe dust is trapping the fan from spinning freely and its overheating?
     
  4. rikoshay macrumors member

    rikoshay

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Location:
    No. California (in the Redwoods)
    #4
    This is a common problem with the 1900. It's caused by overheating due to poor cooling design. You can eliminate this bug by replacing the stock cooler unit with an improved cooler/fan assembly. There are a number of suitable coolers available for the 1900. In the meantime blow out all dust in the stock cooler at least once a month. Or, you can replace the video card with a superior unit: the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT. This is one helluva graphics card, and it runs cooler.

    Also, you should be using iStat Pro to monitor all of your temps, and smcFanControl to control your fan speeds.
     
  5. DeadSirius thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    #5
    I don't show any crash report for the times that Motion locked up the machine. I did open the box up and saw that there was a layer of dust, which I cleaned off.

    The stock cooler on the ATI was replaced with an Accelero Arctic Cooler about two years ago. I did it myself, and I've always had doubts about whether I installed it properly. Yet it's been problem-free until this week.

    Does the newest ATI Radion MacPro-friendly video card have a quieter fan?
     
  6. rikoshay macrumors member

    rikoshay

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Location:
    No. California (in the Redwoods)
    #6
    Question: What vintage is your Mac Pro?
     
  7. DeadSirius thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    #7
    It's one of the first ones they put on the market, with the lowly Xeon quadcore.
     
  8. rikoshay macrumors member

    rikoshay

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Location:
    No. California (in the Redwoods)
    #8
    By blowing the dust away you may have cured your problem. If not, consider getting the 8800 GT card. Definately start using iStat Pro & smcFanControl. Become familiar with your Macs "temperature personality" so that you can spot trouble a-coming. Also, blowing out the dust regularly is a must-do.
     

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