Should I wait to repair my MP?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Michael73, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. Michael73 macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    I bought my MP in September '06 and bought the Apple Care Protection along with it and I might finally need it.

    Over the last month or two I've been having video card issues especially when playing video. I seem to sporadically get these horizontal blue lines about 1px wide all over the screen which are very annoying. Sometimes, merely switching the HDMI cable from one of HDMI inputs to another on the 7300GT solves the problem for a period of time, but then it returns.

    Anyway, I've been thinking about bringing the MP in for repair but with new MPs on the horizon with new video card options here's what I'm wondering...

    1. Should I wait or get the issue fixed now?
    2. If I wait do you think they'll try and fix the card or just swap it out for a new one?
    3. If they swap out the cards and the 7300GT is no longer an option in new MPs, will they replace it with the most current low end card?

    I guess I'm hoping for #3 and that the low-end card will be better than the current 7300GT.

    What do you think?
  2. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    they will swap it out for the same card as you have now, if there is no other way to fix it. so get it done now.
  3. Michael73 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    Realistically, how long will Apple continue to stock 7300GTs?

    For example, say someone bought a MP for Christmas this year (with a 7300GT) and got a 2-year AppleCare agreement. Then, next month they release new MPs at MacWorld with all new graphics card options. If that person's graphics card fails in December 2009 towards the end of their 2-year AC agreement, are you telling me, Apple is still going to have a stock of 7300GTs to replace in that person's systems?
  4. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
    I think trying to wait out a replacement that might or might not be an improvement is a losing strategy. So go get it fixed!
  5. Crawn2003 macrumors 6502

    Jul 8, 2005
    Santa Rosa, California
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/3B48b Safari/419.3)

    Yes they did this with me with my old Quicksilver. I had an old nVidia Twinview card. Trust me, Apple doesn't make money giving away free hardware. The only reason I got a new Mac Pro for my old G5 is because of the faulty liquid cooling inside. They know of the problem and they're getting afraid of lawsuits over faulty cooling.

  6. Michael73 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    I have a couple of thoughts on this...

    1. I may be overly confident, but I have a strong feeling that MPs will be updated in the next 6-8 weeks.

    2. I CANNOT believe that if MPs have a new graphics card option that the low-end card would NOT be an improvment over the 7300GT. Isn't the current low-end card AT LEAST 18-24 month-old technology?!?

    3. The graphics problem I have is intermittent and isn't so bothersome that I couldn't wait a month or two.

    I'm sure this horse has been beaten to death in other graphics card threads, but anyone have any idea what the entry-level card might be on the next MP?
  7. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
    With respect to your thoughts:

    1. I tend to agree, but that's only based on the lack of (true) updates since their introduction and on MWSF being so close, along with what I have read of the availability of the Intel hardware that seems destined for the Mac Pro.

    2. I have no idea if the low end card would be an improvement over the 7300GT. I would like to think so, but that is just speculation until we see it.

    3. Even with it being intermittent, I'd still get it fixed now.

    Here's why:

    Even if Mac Pros are updated in the next two months or so, I find it highly unlikely that Apple would run out of 7300GT replacements in that short a time. If this were a year after the introduction of a new generation Mac Pro, your idea might work, though I rather doubt it. So the thought that Apple might replace your 7300GT with the new base card strikes me as highly unlikely. Finally, and I am leery of suggesting this since I don't know the technical part, it's possible that any new video cards might not work in your Mac Pro if the architecture/motherboard of the new Mac Pro is different (which seems to be a given).

    Also, if I read Crawn's post correctly, Apple was able to replace an old nVidia card on his G4 Quicksilver.

    So I would hie thee to the nearest Apple store and have it repaired. You won't have the irritating intermittent problem, and if anything else should go wrong with it you potentially have a stronger case to have your whole computer replaced.

  8. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Realistically, yes the 7300 will continue to be supplied as the PCIe card ...

    The next card will likely be a PCIe 2 card, and the base card will still probably be a low watt card -- unless Apple bumps the power on all the slots.
  9. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Apple will replace with the same part. Yes they keep enough parts on hand because they know how many products are covered by Apple Care.
  10. Michael73 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    Ugh! Looks like I'll just take it in for repair.

    The truth is, the more I'm doing with video the more unhappy I am with the performance of this card (aside from the problem I'm currently experiencing).

    I'd like to get the Radeon X1900XT but I feel like at $399 from the Apple store it's way over-priced. Also, it seems like people have had a lot of mixed expriences with this card.

    So what would you guys do...stick with the 7300GT, replace it and just live with it (after all, it's free with AppleCare) or look for a deal on the Radeon?

    Quite frankly I'm torn.
  11. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    Replace it, then deal with possible upgrade after the new updates are announced.

    Under no circumstance spend the money on an upgrade now, the x1900xt is old technology and not worth the money unless you really need it for productivity. I have on in my mac pro and it does work better for aperture, but it's totally overpriced and I"m sure whatever the new card willb e around the same price but MUCH faster and hopefully cooler.
  12. Michael73 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    I'm going to be seriously ticked if Apple goes to a new architecture that doesn't open up more graphics options for me. Effectively, this means I'll be forever stuck with the 7300GT, X1900 XT of Quadro.
  13. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    I don't think that they will be going to an architecture that will make video cards not work in the older Mac Pros, but you will have to buy one at the full price.
  14. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Would be nice to see them offer a more robust entry level card at 50-75W with a declocked 35W LE version for multi-slot operation available off the rack.

    This low end card being low power sort of sucks ...
  15. Michael73 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    Hmmm, so would a 50-75W card work with the current architecture?

    (I'm a bit out of my depth on this point.)

    What is the power consumption of the 7300GT / X 1900GT / Quadro?

    I'm not gaming but I do want something that when I'm doing video work isn't choppy which the 7300GT occassionally is.
  16. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    You can likely use a 100-140W card.

    Slots 1&2 are 75W slots with the 2 aux power connectors adding in another 75W each.

    It was slots 3&4 that were 40W max.

    The 7300 (32W) / 1900 (132W) / Quadro(110W)
  17. deathshrub macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2007
    Christmas Island
    Stop being cheap and go get your machine fixed. [/thread]
  18. Michael73 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    Man, where to begin...

    Called Apple support, they were very helpful and gave me 2 options, send me the part or go to the store. I opted for go to store based on the CSRs explanation that it would take less than an hour to swap the card. I should have known better. I had the guy make me a reservation at the genius bar. When I arrived the store was a mad was the day after Xmas. I bellied up to the bar, MP in hand, waited about 5 minutes and boom it was my turn. I patiently explained the problem and the genius apologized and said the tech support didn't know what he was talking about - that it was going to take A LOT longer than an hour. First, he explained they would put it on a bench for around 4 hours before deciding what to do. HOWEVER, due to the fact that every college kid was at home on break they had 50 laptops in back and their normal 5-7 day turn around was now running at 8-10 days. He suggested that I call apple back and go the self serve route. I wasn't happy, but since I built my last peecee I wasn't afraid of replacing something like a little video card. I spent the next half hour in an impossibly loud apple store on the phone with apple support and a guy whose English wasn't that great. Finally after 30 minutes the guy informs me my video card will be sent out and I should receive it in 5-7 days - UGH! That was 3pm. I can't tell you how impressed I was when DHL showed up the next day at 10:30am on my doorstep with a new video card. By that afternoon the new card was installed, the old card boxed up and DHL called for a pick up the next day (Dec 28th).

    Now let me add that during my conversation with apple tech support the guy said they've had this happen a couple of times and noted it was an issue with the video card over-heating. When I told the genius this he mentioned that my video card problem could actually be the result of a logic board error or power supply problem with the video card merely being a symptom not the actual problem. Either way, I was covered under apple care. The genius' recommendation was to go the self-service route, wait for the holiday back-up to work itself out and then bring the machine in anyway for thorough testing when the normal turn-around time is back to 5-7 days.

    All this brings me to tonight, 1am EST and same pixelated lines reappeared on my screen so I did what I did before, swap the DVI connection from 1 port on the card to the next and for now it disappeared...for how long I don't know.

    Based on the genius' comments it will be a couple more weeks before their backlog works its way out.

    So, what does everyone think I should do?

    Live with it for the next couple of weeks and then take the machine in when the backlog is gone?
    Try calling Apple Tech support back?
    Take the machine in now and be without it for 1 1/2 - 2 weeks?
    Could 2 video cards really be bad?
  19. surflordca macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I think the problem goes deeper than a video card. If you can live without your computer for a couple of weeks, take it in now and get it fixed. :apple:
  20. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2006

    Hmm.2 faulty cards sound very,very unpropable...

    If I were you,I would try to wait untill the next apple announcement,was in 16 of january? There could be the new macpros released.

    My angle is that if the computer really has logic/motherboard problems,apple might not want to scrounge for old parts and replace the board.
    Instead they might replace your MP with the new ones.
    Old G5s are nowadays regulary replaced with macpros.

    I know that this might sound a bit long-shottish, but if you get by working with the port switching,why not have a go at that option?

  21. ildondeigiocchi macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2007
    Does anyone know what kind of watt consumption the Radeon X1900XT has?I read on other sites that this graphics card required a 450 watt power supply but Apple's website says the Mac Pro has a 300W Power Supply. For people that have this card, How do you find it runs? Is the Power Supply the Mac Pro has enough to handle gaming? I am in the process of buying a Mac Pro and hope that the line will get refreshed by MacWorld. I am hoping that Apple will offer good video cards like the 8800 GTS or HD3870 because I am planning on installing Windows XP via Bootcamp in order to play games like Flight Simulator X and Crysis. If the Mac Pro doesn't get updated by March I plan on getting a Radeon X1900XT with it. Do you think I will be fine with this graphics card? Please help:)
  22. Michael73 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    Well, I can probably wait until MW to see if the new MPs come out, but if the problem becomes more persistent, I'm going to have no choice but to bring it in.

    Here's the strange thing. Last night I downloaded TechTool Deluxe from Apple's website and had it examine my boot disk and everything came up just fine. I probably should have done this already, but I think in the off chance it's the DVI cable I'm going to run out and get a new one today or tomorrow and see if that helps.

    Last night after running TTD and rebooting my machine after everything checked out, guess what?! - The lines appeared again across the wallpaper. I was able to get a couple of photos and then I ran a QT movie and took a couple of pics of that as the problem persists through whatever program windows are running at the time. Once the video clip I'd selected had finished, I ran it again and all the pixelated problems disappeared in both QT and in the background - weird!

    Anyway, I dumped the digital shots to iPhoto so the next time I take the MP to the store I can show them the problem.


    I know they regularly replace G5s with MPs these days, but G5s have been gone for almost 16 months. Now, my Apple Care goes through Sept. '09. If I'm still having problems then, it might be more likely but a week or two after the announcement, I'm sure they'll still have plenty of stock of current gen MP parts laying around.

    Don't get me wrong, getting the latest MP would be great but that's some pretty long odds.

    I will however wait a couple of weeks till the backlog works itself out and keep swapping DVI ports. A couple of weeks just happens to coincide with MacWorld.
  23. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    They keep parts around, the reason they replace the G5s is they don't want to deal with a recall, or lawsuits over the faulty liquid cooling.
  24. Michael73 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    Anyone here think it's the monitor rather than the MP?
  25. G4DP macrumors 65816

    Mar 28, 2007
    You will not get a new mac pro

    No matter how much you hope, Apple will not replace your MacPro for a new one. They will have more than enough parts to replace anything wrong in your machine.

    Get realistic.

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