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lukebussey 09-29-2012 03:02 PM

What's Wrong With My Mac?
Hi all,
I'm new here so if I'm posting in the wrong section or something, be nice ;D

Okay... I got given a Mac (which I'm told was obtained brand new in 2006/7) which I don't know the model of, as it supposedly "stopped working".

I'm told by the people who gave it to me (not very tech savvy) that it started making loud fan noises, getting hot - getting "weird screen issues" and having the screen "go blank".

I don't know much about Macs but know my stuff with PCs in general.

I'm guessing the system fan failed (can I replace this cheap?), causing the GPU to overheat.

I'm trying to leave it off so as to not damage any components, but turned it on once to see what happened.

It posted fine, made the usual musical noise (no visual problems up to this point, screen works fine supposedly), and then booted into OSX, where it had TONS of visual artifacts, and I can barely move the mouse.

The CPU, RAM, and HDD are all obviously working, and so hopefully not damaged!

What do you reckon is wrong? How much to fix it?

If you need any pictures or information please reply or PM me!


P.S - screenshot attached, icon labels blurred out in grey for privacy of person who gave me the mac.

lukebussey 09-29-2012 03:07 PM

Extra info
Encase it helps you determine the model, I'm not 100% positive but from general examination and the supposed specs on the base of it, I think the specs are -

1.9Ghz Intel
512MB RAM (it says 512, anyway, so I'm assuming that)
160GB HDD (says 160, assuming...)
It has an iSight camera (well, a camera on the front anyway)
White plastic & glass, NOT metal
screen looks about 17", but the mac itself is a square
2 firewire, 3 USB, 1 kettle lead, 1 ethernet, and one mini display port (I think)


RavingMac 09-29-2012 03:14 PM

Looks to me like the Graphics Processor is going south. Not familiar with 17in iMacs, will do some checking.

EDIT: The only 1.9 GHz CPU I can find in a 17in iMac, was in the G5 version, which wasn't an Intel processor. The G5s were prone to overheating issues, which was one of the main reasons for the switch to Intel.

EDIT2: Unless the problem is uber-simple and cheap, I wouldn't bother trying to fix an iMac of this vintage. If you keep your eyes open you can probably pickup a fairly recent vintage iMac for not much more than the cost to repair (and depending on what you have to replace) possibly much cheaper than the repair.

Stretch 09-29-2012 04:03 PM

I would agree with RazorMac. You can double check though by plugging in a monitor.

Flip over the iMac and read the bottom of the stand, it should have a model number and the specs listed.

lukebussey 09-29-2012 04:16 PM

Thanks for replying :)

I'm not positive it's an intel - so it probably is a G5, which would explain it!

I have monitors to plug in, but none of them use anything other than VGA, DVI, or HDMI - no DP (if that's what the mac uses, it looks it) - any ideas?

If it turns out it is the GPU when I find a monitor to plug in (I'm pretty sure the mac's internal screen is fine, as there's no problems with the POST, Apple logo and rotating thing etc - can I replace the GPU easy/cheap?

all replies really appreciated - and comments acknowledged about not being worth it (but I may have an Apple hyped person who's blindly in love with macs and would pay stupid money for it ;) )

EDIT - Sorry, I neglected to mention the fact that the bottom doesn't seem to state anything other than the serial number and RAM replacement instructions ETC...

EDIT 2 - Is the GPU dedicated do you know, or would I have to replace the WHOLE logic board? If it's dedicated I can probably chuck in some Nvidia 400 series (supposedly perfect comparability)

dtravis7 09-29-2012 04:26 PM

You have a 17" iMac G5 ISight with 1.9Ghz Power PC G5. Video issues on those last iMacs with the isights were not normal at least in my experience. I own the 2.1Ghz 20" version of your machine. Video is fine.

That screen shot sure looks like the GPU is going. The GPU is part of the logic board and cant' be removed.

Since the fan for the Video area of the board died it could have fried the GPU.

Stretch 09-29-2012 04:27 PM

You'll need an adapter to plug in a secondary monitor, can't remember which adapter you'll need though.

To "repair" the GPU, you have to replace the logic board, which won't be a cheap fix. Expect to spend $2-300+ for a replacement, which is more than the iMac is worth.

lukebussey 09-29-2012 04:32 PM

$2 sounds good to me ;) If I could get a logic board for $2 lol :P

yeah the max these go for it $200 apparently :( so you're right, even as low as $200 for board isn't worth it :(

what would you recommend I do? salvage parts? sell as S/R? Sledge Hammer?

and great community here I really do appreciate your answers, they help allot :P

Stretch 09-29-2012 04:36 PM

Your best bet would probably be to sell it as parts. You might get $200 for it that way.

lukebussey 09-30-2012 05:18 AM


Originally Posted by Stretch (Post 1453670)
Your best bet would probably be to sell it as parts. You might get $200 for it that way.

Wow, that sounds good to me! What would you recommend I do? take it apart and sell parts individually or sell the mac as a whole?


EDIT - I forgot to mention - I know it's not the screen definitely now as the GPU problems change each time I boot, and this time there were no artifacts and everything rendered fine, it's just the cursor moved at about 0.2 FPS :P this means the GPU still kind of works... but is dieing :( sure there's nothing I can do like buy an X600 chip or whatever it is they use in these and solder it on? I can solder fine, and have all the equipment and knowledge.

Mac SK 09-30-2012 11:47 AM

I would use a system disc and repair the B-tree and preferences ...see if that straightens out the video issue. Some video issues are caused by the system being messed one did any system repair for many years. Then move on to hardware issues.

lukebussey 09-30-2012 12:58 PM


Originally Posted by Mac SK (Post 1453949)
I would use a system disc and repair the B-tree and preferences ...see if that straightens out the video issue. Some video issues are caused by the system being messed one did any system repair for many years. Then move on to hardware issues.

Good idea I didn't even think of that :Confused:

Do you know what version of OSX I should install (clean install)? does this mac support new versions like mountain lion?

Mac SK 09-30-2012 09:50 PM

If its a PPC Mac you stuck..want run the Intel OS's. Noticed all that stuff on the desktop. Start and through that stuff out...could be the source of corruption.

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