X1900 XT dying!, + Info about 8800 gt (Convo with Mac Genius)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Kuraudo, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. Kuraudo macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2007
    My video card is HIGHLY unstable. I can barely type this message.
    Lines are across my computer right now.

    FYi: I have owned this x1900 XT since March 07.

    Today while simply viewing a few 5 min HD videos in a row, + 30 minutes of Call of Duty 4 the screen became scrambled with Tiles of R G B.
    I know this error VERY WELL. This is my second ATi Card that has this problem and I do NOT want another one. When I owned a Sapphire Radeon 9700pro on my old PC only a year later it started to cough out on me. Turns out it over heated, yet I did not tamper its settings. My other friend is also getting Direct3D errors in the video card, x1600XT. I reinstalled the OS for him, updated the drivers and motherboards and windows update, but still games are causing problems.

    This brings me to my conversation with the Mac Genius today:

    Me: My x1900 xt video card is going out. I understand these type of failures, I've dealt with the same ones before. I'd like to get this video card repaired so I can make use of it by selling it and also would like to buy an 8800 GT in the meantime.

    Young Girl:

    I'm sorry we don't have any 8800 GT's in stock
    but let me go check with the Mac Techs. ...(pause)
    Yes the cards will not be available til after the new Mac Pro 2008's arrive, and thats some time after the Mac Pro 2008s have sold

    (Is it just me or does it sound like they just want us to buy a new machine, and leave our upgrade options dead?)

    Me: Thats too bad, can I go pick up or order the Cable Quadro fx part no.

    Young girl: I'm sorry we don't have that, but let me check again:
    Tech intervenes: Sir, sorry i can guarantee you that we don't carry misc. cables for video cards here.
    Young Girl: Ok, you can bring your video card in since its still under warranty. Also the 8800 GTs will not work for 2007 or 2006 Mac Pros, as of RIGHT NOW . Its possible Apple may or may not fix this error.

    ME: When can i get it fixed? I can't go too many days without the computer here.
    Young Girl: You can bring it in next on Saturday afternoon to be looked at.
    Me: Grumbles to my self.. thats a 2 days from now to look at it and how long to fix it?
    Young girl: I have no idea.
    Crap. As you can see, I can barely use my computer. It won't be long til I have to shut the thing down because of video card errors.

    What do I do now?

    I'm ordering that cable and hope it arrives soon. I live in the same state as the place for ordering. i will try to buy an off shelf 8800 GT by Evga and try to to get it working in Windows. If Apple does not comply to fix the EFi Problem I'm unsure about sticking to Apple for my main machine. [

    Will I be able to login to windows with my user name and password or will the screen not show?
    Is the cable I listed Above the RIGHT CABLE for 8800 GT PC to work in MAC ?
    As far as I know, scrambled images and lines, and tiling is all part of Graphics card sending itself to an early retirement. What are you thoughts on fixing this card on your own? Can I fix it myself?

    FYI, the fans work fine.
  2. Washuu macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2008
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    It's a warranty repair, 2 days to take it in (especially as they will almost certainly do an over the counter swap for a new ATI card) is not long.

    Do not try to fix the card yourself. There is nothing on the card that is user repairable, other than blowing the dust out of it. Why would you go and buy a card that you know doesn't work in OSX when
    1) Apple will replace your ATI card, which will then
    2) work long enough for you to wait for the 8800 card to deliver? Makes no sense.
  4. Washuu macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2008
    The heatsink can be removed, disabled, cleaned, and replaced with a fresh coat of quality thermal paste. Of course, I would not recommend some one to do this if they have never done it before. It would be better to just get Apple to replace it.

    I am on my second or third video card and now a replacement motherboard. I am going to try to invoke the words "lemon policy" on the Apple Store today.
  5. Kuraudo thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2007
    Thanks for the replies,

    Ok here is the sitch.

    I'm in the boat that has some belief that an off shelf PC 8800 GT will work on OSX for my computer so I went ahead and ordered it.
    I won't need OSX to be used for at least a couple of months so I can live without osx for now.. But what I do need NOW is stability and I need to create more 3d pieces in 3dsmax and Maya on the window side of things. I've graduated already but now I need more content to get a job asap.

    The good thing was I paid 80 dollars less for it, but its a super clocked version thats faster than G92 GTS and 1% slower than GTX.
    270.00 for a 1.9ghz memory, 1625mhz shader clock.

    I can sell the x1900 XT , to pay off this new card I got. Not an issue.
    My experience wiht Tech guys is they can take all week or more to repair something . Last time I waited 2 weeks to get a motherboard repaired for my friend. So thats why I jumped the gun and ordered a new card on rush delivery.

    Before I came to mac I built my own computers. I just never repaired video cards. I know how to dismount fans, put on thermal paste , including GPU's and CPU's. Thats ok by me. Done that before.

    There is no word yet on 8800 GT's to work on the older Mac pros from official Mac Engineers, just sales people who don't know the half of it.

    But when and If the Apple dudes figure out to send out those eFI's I'll then be able to use that EFI to boot up osx again.
    If NEVER then I will sell everything and decide to get a new Mac Pro or a new PC.

    Its a very dark time right now for graphics professionals using Mac pros.
    I feel all of your pain.
  6. Washuu macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2008
    I am an old time computer builder and case modder. My Radeon just aborted at 55C degrees and my case fans spun themselves up into jet mode.
  7. Kuraudo thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2007
    Was able to get replacement the day after! (sunday)

    On the phone with the young girl
    "Why do you want a faster video card?"
    Me: "Hello, its cheaper, and faster than the one you provided, why not? you
    guys sell it, dont you
    want the sales?
    So she schedules me in for my warranty Repair.
    I come in saturday at my scheduled time at 420, wait in front of the Genius Bar,
    but no one is helping me.
    10 minutes later, I'm still trying to get someones attention at the super busy
    store. One man becomes free, and asks my Name.
    I tell the man my name and he said
    "Genius": Oh sorry... You're late. You're halfway through your
    appointment already.
    Me: " Excuse me? I'm late , Who's late? Look at the time!
    Genius: When did you get here? hold on let me look up your information. Your appointment
    was cancelled due to being late. You'd have to make another appointment.
    Me: "I've been standing here, but you were too busy to help me." Is
    this a job interview or what? So you're telling me that I drove here, waited
    and you've cancelled my appointment and now telling me to reschedule and go
    Genius: (looks flustered) Umm.. hold on (does a 360 around the room, paces for no
    apparent reason, wtf)
    Ok sir, how may I help you.
    Me: -_- ... Anyways, my video card is having major problems, its scrambled and distorted.
    from here on takes 40 minutes to look up my name again and type in my information,
    asking me to repeat myself several times.
    I'll save you the details.
    Genius: oh you didn't bring in your whole computer? How can we replicate the
    Me: You're telling me, you don't have another Mac Pro in this APPLE STORE?
    "shakes head" Whats that over there? and there? ..
    I know what the problem is. Trust me, I build computers (and know much more than
    you, sir)
    Genius: Oh yeah... umm
    Asks more stupid questions on how many monitors I have.
    Genius: Sign here, the est. time is 1/24/07
    me: That long huh? Well ok, have a nice day, thanks for finally working with me.

    Reading the Terms: I'm glad i didn't bring in my whole computer. It says
    clearly, if they have to spend more time diagnosing the entire computer they will
    charge $100
    under warranty even.

    Next day a real tech calls and tells me straight up, Ok Danny your video card was
    toast so we're giving you a new one, your warranty is extended from this day.
    Me: Oh thank you very much!
    So I picked it up last night , and dealing with people on Sunday were much more
    friendly and more knowing of what was going on.
    It seems to me, Apple doesn't really care who they take in for a job, as long as they are willing to work for free*cough* I mean cheap.
    So this means a teenage, geeky dude or chick would be a better bet to talk to than someone outsourced to some 3rd world country, or some old dumb guy that I dealt with.

    Btw, I used this card for ONE day and put in the 8800GT on monday. It is the :) PC version
    Superclocked, wow what a difference! The diagnostic in Crysis put everything automatically to VERY HIGH settings/ 1280x800 !
    Runs smooth at this level!

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