Video problems with PowerMac

igucl

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 11, 2003
569
17
Hi, everybody.

I recently purchased a used PowerMac G4/400. Everything seems to work nicely except the video output. I hooked it up to a VGA monitor from an old PC, and I didn't think this would cause any problems, but the image has a constant, dynamic grid of thin, pink lines.

My first guess is that maybe there is something wrong with the video card. I was just wondering if there is some issue with hooking a Mac to a plain VGA monitor that I don't know about.

Has anyone encountered a similar problem? Thanks for any info you can give.

:)
 

iGary

Guest
May 26, 2004
19,583
1
Randy's House
igucl said:
Hi, everybody.

I recently purchased a used PowerMac G4/400. Everything seems to work nicely except the video output. I hooked it up to a VGA monitor from an old PC, and I didn't think this would cause any problems, but the image has a constant, dynamic grid of thin, pink lines.

My first guess is that maybe there is something wrong with the video card. I was just wondering if there is some issue with hooking a Mac to a plain VGA monitor that I don't know about.

Has anyone encountered a similar problem? Thanks for any info you can give.

:)
No, no issues with that.

Run hardware test form the install discs and see if it passes the video card - not bulletproof, but worth a shot.
 

spinne1

macrumors 6502a
Try using Mac supported basic resolutions, such as 640 x 480 (at 70-85 Mhz), or 832 x 624, or 1024 x 768, or 1280 x 960, or 1600 x 1200. Try more than one resolution and more than one refresh speed with each one and see if you can get a clean picture. It will probably help to get the detailed specs of the monitor. Perhaps it is a fixed monitor with only a resolution that is not matching with your Mac.
 

igucl

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 11, 2003
569
17
spinne1 said:
Try using Mac supported basic resolutions, such as 640 x 480 (at 70-85 Mhz), or 832 x 624, or 1024 x 768, or 1280 x 960, or 1600 x 1200. Try more than one resolution and more than one refresh speed with each one and see if you can get a clean picture. It will probably help to get the detailed specs of the monitor. Perhaps it is a fixed monitor with only a resolution that is not matching with your Mac.
Thanks for the tip. I tried changing all of those settings, and it didn't have any effect on the problem. I am now doing a clean install of Panther, and then I will use the hardware test to check it out. Thanks again.
 

disconap

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2005
1,800
2
Portland, OR
Pink to me usually means a hardware problem. Is it a stock Sawtooth card? If it is, you can check to see if it is overheating (or possibly even overclocked) by using ATIccelerator and slowly lowering the RAM and GPU speeds until the pink goes away. If it doesn't, you might have a problem.

I have a different card in my Sawtooth, so I can't tell you offhand what the stock speeds should be, but you could find it online, I'm sure. And if it turns out to be the card, upgrade! If you don't want to upgrade, I'll sell you my old Sawtooth Rage card for $20.
 

igucl

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 11, 2003
569
17
I think it's what you'd call a sawtooth. It has the dark greenish, graphite color on the front.

I'm not sure how to tell if it is the stock card. What was stock? I'll see if I can find this ATIccelerator. Otherwise, yeah I would be interested in your card.
 

disconap

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2005
1,800
2
Portland, OR
ATIcelerator

Try this first. Actually, after last night's freak out over the system update (I had to go back to stock), I'm less inclined to sell you my card, though not totally against it if it will help you out. Though you can go to strangedogs and fiind out how to flash a more powerful, cheaper PC card (I have a flashed fx5200 running in my G4, cost me about $40), but if you're not doing video or gaming it's not really that important (unless you want core enabled in Tiger). I could do that for you as well, but I'd rather you do it yourself or buy from one of the people there, since I learned from them and have no desire to take away their business. :)

EDIT: The way to know if it's a Sawtooth (it most likely is, since it's a 400mHz) is to check the graphics card (use system profiler, in OSX you click the apple logo in the upper left corner, choose "About this Mac", and click "More info"--then see if there is an AGP card installed, it will be one of the options under system; if yes, it is a Sawtooth; if no, it is a Yikes! and PCI, in which case I may have a card you can use that I am currently selling on ebay, though it's a bit older).
 

igucl

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 11, 2003
569
17
disconap said:
ATIcelerator

Try this first. Actually, after last night's freak out over the system update (I had to go back to stock), I'm less inclined to sell you my card, though not totally against it if it will help you out. Though you can go to strangedogs and fiind out how to flash a more powerful, cheaper PC card (I have a flashed fx5200 running in my G4, cost me about $40), but if you're not doing video or gaming it's not really that important (unless you want core enabled in Tiger). I could do that for you as well, but I'd rather you do it yourself or buy from one of the people there, since I learned from them and have no desire to take away their business. :)

EDIT: The way to know if it's a Sawtooth (it most likely is, since it's a 400mHz) is to check the graphics card (use system profiler, in OSX you click the apple logo in the upper left corner, choose "About this Mac", and click "More info"--then see if there is an AGP card installed, it will be one of the options under system; if yes, it is a Sawtooth; if no, it is a Yikes! and PCI, in which case I may have a card you can use that I am currently selling on ebay, though it's a bit older).
Thank you for the tip about ATIccelerator. I just tried it, and it has no effect on the problem. Looks like I'll have to get a replacement card. It is an AGP Rage 128 with 16 MB RAM.
 

dpaanlka

macrumors 601
Nov 16, 2004
4,868
6
Illinois
Pink lines could also mean you might have bent or snapped or otherwise damaged one or more of the pins of the monitor's VGA male connector. Check that too.
 

nitropilot

macrumors newbie
May 23, 2006
1
0
Same Problem with ATY Rage card - pink lines

I connected a Sony Trinitron monitor to a PowerPC G4 last week. The G4 had been in storage for a year or so but checked out ok using an identical monitor that was normally connected to a different cpu. A few days later I was setting the computer up for its new user when it suddenly displayed the dreaded vertical lines.

Cross checked everything by connecting it to another computer, then eventually connected the G4 to another cpu - you guessed it - pink lines. Having cornered the problem to a degree I checked other knowledge sources then the forums and it seems the VRAM could be part of the card rather than separate so the whole card will have to be replaced.

In Australia that is no easy option for an older computer because although the card might retail for around US$50 it costs more than double to get the techtypes to open the box, then they start charging... so a $50 problem becomes half the cost of a new computer. Don't you just love the repair mechanisms in IT - they could sure show the automotive guys how to survive when oil runs out.

At present I'm shopping around for a new card/solution. Providing all else is Ok replacing the card yourself could be your/my best solution.
 

spinne1

macrumors 6502a
nitropilot said:
In Australia that is no easy option for an older computer because although the card might retail for around US$50 it costs more than double to get the techtypes to open the box, then they start charging

At present I'm shopping around for a new card/solution. Providing all else is Ok replacing the card yourself could be your/my best solution.
You definately don't want to pay someone to replace your video card. It is as easy as changing a light bulb (well, almost).
 

igucl

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 11, 2003
569
17
Yeah, it looks like it wouldn't be too hard to replace. The thing is, I'm not sure where to look for a cheap card that is compatible. The current one has only 16 MB of VRAM, and I really don't need more than that. Any suggestions?
 

dpaanlka

macrumors 601
Nov 16, 2004
4,868
6
Illinois
igucl said:
Yeah, it looks like it wouldn't be too hard to replace. The thing is, I'm not sure where to look for a cheap card that is compatible. The current one has only 16 MB of VRAM, and I really don't need more than that. Any suggestions?
eBay
 

igucl

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 11, 2003
569
17
An update: I pretty much ignored the computer for the past month or so. I left it running, but never touched it. Then, the other day, I turned the monitor on and it looked crystal clear. No more pink lines! I assumed it would soon return to its messed up state, but so far it has remained clear.

So, I don't know how what happened. For the time being, it appears to have fixed itself.