Reapair? Worth it? (imac 24' 2.4 ghz..geforce is dieing)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by LearningCurve, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. LearningCurve macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2008
    EDIT: for some reason i was mistaken, its a 2.33 not 2.4.

    Obviously, assuming I had a thousand dollars lieing around Id fix the mac. However the problem is im finishing up my last year of college, therefore money is incredibly tight. My Imac was bought in March of 2007, and the warrenty is expired meaning no free repairs.

    Ive never actually brought a computer in to repair at the apple store and Im a bit hesitant to just bring it up there and ask them to repair it, because if it winds up costing more than 400 or so its way out of my current budget. Ive heard horror stories of people bringing in computers for repairs at the store only to get back a 1,200+ dollar bill. At that point Id (sadly) be best off just buying a new computer.

    What I would like to do is just buy a new geforce somewhere and install it myself, but Ive gotten varying information about whether or not this is even possible. I think this would be by far the most economical option, but most imac video cards are (from what i understand) pretty much permanently attached to the mother boards, the exception being (again from what ive gotten from random sites) 24" imac geforce's. Can anyone varify that its possible to replace a video card in a 24" imac? Only mac specific video cards work in macs correct?

    If thats not possible, whats the base cost for repairs are from the apple store? Do they charge say $200 or so fee up front regardless of the issue + time and parts? How does that work? How much should I expect to have to pay?

    Any and all help, even if you can just answer 1 out of the 100 questions i have would be GREATLY appreciated.

    Is it even possible for me to get a free repair since its a faulty video card issue and no fault of my own/misuse?
  2. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    The 2.4 GHz 24" iMac has Radeon, not GeForce video. And its impossible to change it because it is soldered into logic board.
  3. gazfocus macrumors 68000


    Jan 3, 2008
    Liverpool, UK
    When I rang up AppleCare about a fault with my old Cinema Display, they told me that after the AppleCare had run out I could pay a one off fee to get AppleCare to cover a specific fault. It may be worth asking them
  4. GlynJones macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2005
    Untrue. The top of the range 24" iMac had an option for a nvidia 7600 as BTO. This has a socket for switching between the two different graphics boards.

    That is what I have in mine. I'm also having problems. What are your symptoms?

    Mine has the odd line of garbage pixels appearing and i can only get about 10 minutes out of WOW before the graphics get blocky and lock up the machine.

    Luckily I have applecare so I will be doing a few checks over the Christmas break and if that doesn't fix it then it's in for repair.
  5. deorg macrumors 6502


    May 15, 2007
    Miami, Florida
  6. iKwick7 macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2004
    The Wood of Spots, NJ
    Any time I've ever brought something to get fixed to an Apple Store, I was specifically told that I would not at all be charged more than the estimate without them first calling me and asking me if it is ok.

    I had a launch 24" iMac. It's graphics card died. I brought it in, got a quote (around $280 or so I think it was), specifically told them not to make any repairs if it was going to cost more than the estimate, to which the replied they wouldn't, and got it fixed. Good as new 24" iMac.

    Just call them or bring it in, get an estimate, and ask them to not make any repairs without first telling you if it will cost more.
  7. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    I was talking about the 2.4 GHz 24" iMac, not the last gen white (2.16 and 2.33 GHz).
  8. GlynJones macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2005
    Sorry about that. The original poster edited his tread after you had replied.

    He has the same problem as me by the looks of it.
  9. econoline06 macrumors 6502


    Aug 20, 2008
    This is why I avoid nVidia like the plague. I've never had problems with any ATI card or even heard of mass issues with ATI products (I'm sure there probably have been though). Maybe it is just that nVidia has been in the news a lot lately for faulty products, but come on....
  10. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    So just to be clear - this is a 2.33 24" white imac?

    Next, if it is, did you have the 7300 or 7600 nvidia?

    Also - perhaps I missed it, but how did it fail? What's happening (or not happening) with this machine? Any chance of there being a driver or OS related issue? (before you bring it in for repair)
  11. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Oh >< didn't see the edit...
  12. GlynJones macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2005
    Until the original poster replies to his thread then we will never know.
  13. LearningCurve thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2008
    Sorry for late reply, finals and all. Thanks for all the quick advice/answers.

    Yes, white, 2.33 ghz 24" imac with 7600 nvidia.

    Edit: Yep sounds exactly like your problem Glyn

    It started with wow, it was fine until one day I logged in and it locked up. Came back, and worked fine for a few hours, then a few graphical glitches, then crash (grey screen reboot type of crash not app crash). I continued to play despite the crashes and as i continued to play it got worse and worse with more crashes in shorter amounts of time. Eventually I stopped and switched to WC3, same thing, works fine (though for longer) and then eventually locks up and crashes. Rarely happens when just doing stuff on internet/desktop but does occassionally happen, and has happened while working in CD4.

    The crash report mentions "nvidia" several times. Ive done all sorts of diagnostic tests and nothing has come back showing any obvious sign of a problem but by the graphical glitches leading to system lock up it + the nvidia being mentioned as the cause of the crashes makes me think its the graphics card. Often when it crashes i shut off the computer its hot to the touch near the top left which is where i assume the card is.

    As a side note ive found some tricks to make it last longer, but eventually a crash is inevitable. For instance while playing wow it would almost never crash in arenas, but places like shatt or AV were instant death. In WC3 I can play in windowed mode once glitches start appearing and usually finish what im doing before it crashes. These work arounds also point directly to video card issues.

    Apparently this exact card in this exact system has been doing the same for a lot of people and apple has been trying to keep it hush hush.
  14. GlynJones macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2005
    Interesting. Well it looks like I'm in the same boat and a trip to Apple looks inevitable.

    Reduced to playing WOW on my PC at the moment as I need the mac for work. After Christmas I'll take it in for repair.
  15. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    You could always try selling it on eBay with the problems described. It is amazing how much faulty Macs go for.

    I would not be at all surprised if the price difference between selling your faulty Mac and buying a good used one of the same model would be cheaper than getting your iMac repaired.
  16. evanmarx macrumors member


    Oct 23, 2001
    same problem


    i ahve the same imac 24 and the same grfx card... also played wow when the pixel garbage happened...but my machine wouldnt even start back up after that.

    got my imac to apple repair and got a replacement card (no guarantee). it cost 450 swiss france (400$)! but the catch is that the replacement card only comes with a 3 month guarantee!!

    and guess what? after 3 months and 1 week the same symptoms started again... so i turned all graphic heavy effects in wow down and installed an app to control the cooling of the card, to stress the card less

    well...that helped for 5 weeks the card is dead again

    i wonder if apple replaces the cards with refurb cards and therefore only gives 3 months of guarantee... they know why...but this is almost illegal in my any graphics card u buy in the store come with 1 year

    that is black mail from apple's take it or leave it

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