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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Early 2008 Mac Pro fried GPU


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Macosaurus

 
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First post. I have an early 2008 Mac Pro with a fried Nvidia GeForce 8800GT currently running 10.5.8 (because it WAS working well). What GPU will work in this machine for under $300? Secondly, how do I upgrade the OS so that the card will work when nothing shows up on my screen?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Steve
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harryb2448

 
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G'day and welcome to the forums.

Any of the nVidia 8800GT's for Macs will work, and ATI Radeon 4870 HD, and later such as the 5770, for Macs also. My preference in Mac Pro days was a flashed 4870 with 1GB of memory. Under $300.00? Shop around.

You upgrade by purchasing later software. Apple Online sells OS X.6 Snow Leopard for $20 including postage. From there go to OS X.6.8, and if your Mac Pro is model 3.1, or later. you can download the latest Mavericks for no charge. Your problem is later gfx cards like the 4870 will not work on any operating system earlier than OS X.6 Snow Leopard, or later. Shame you had not updated earlier as Apple have stopped security updates for Snow Leopard, let alone Leopard! You may have to purchase Snow Leopard, then the gfx card, install that, and erase the hard drive using the SL disc.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Apple-Ma...-/280756764191

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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Macosaurus

 
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Thanks for your advice, Harry. I'll hunt for some of the cards you suggested if I have to.
I do have a new hard drive that I have partitioned but that is blank otherwise; I had been planning to upgrade to the latest OS possible on that drive and use Bootcamp to run Windows Vista on the 2nd partition... just my luck that my card failed before I could do so! I also have a PC GeForce GTX 650 Ti... Might this card work if I were to install it and then boot to a later OS using a USB stick and then download the required driver?

Thanks again,

Steve
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harryb2448

 
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Well you will need the Snow Leopard DVD from pple Online. After updating it to OS X.6.8, if you have an Appe ID account, go to the App Store and download Mavericks OS X.9. Regarding the GTX650 doubt it but give it a try. From all accounts it may work. I wonder if Leopard is modern enough to recognize the card?


https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4904649


Then this for the drivers only after updating the operating system. You may as well go Mavericks as it is a free download. Note drivers for Lion onwards only. That is one problem when your operating systems gets more than a couple of releases behind:-

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...t=gtx+650+ti:-

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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Macosaurus

 
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Thanks again for your time, Harry. I too, was thinking the next step is to order the Snow Leopard DVD.
Will the computer boot from the Snow Leopard DVD if I hold C at startup? My display still won't work, so if holding C is supposed to bring up a boot option, I won't be able to see it.
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Also, does booting from a Snow Leopard DVD require a fully functioning computer running Leopard 10.5.8, or will it boot directly to Snow Leopard 10.6 assuming the GTX 650ti is compatible. If this is the case, I suspect my best bet would be to locate a used GeForce 8800GT to bring my computer, with its current OS, back to life, and then immediately upgrade to Snow Leopard, then Lion, then Mountain Lion, then Mavericks, and then find a GPU that is more reliable. In my case, its as though the nature of the problem precludes a solution... I guess the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" way of thinking came back to bite me. From now on its upgrade, upgrade, and upgrade some more!

Thanks again for your help, Harry. Much appreciated!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macosaurus View Post
Will the computer boot from the Snow Leopard DVD if I hold C at startup?
Yes.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macosaurus View Post
Also, does booting from a Snow Leopard DVD require a fully functioning computer running Leopard 10.5.8, or will it boot directly to Snow Leopard 10.6 assuming the GTX 650ti is compatible.
The computer will boot from the Snow Leopard DVD.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Macosaurus

 
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Thanks for your reply, Nick.

I'm operating on a new premise now. After running extensive diagnostics, I am being told that there is a HDD error: "4HDD / 11 / 4000000: SATA ( 0,0 )". I've since removed the original HDD from the first slot and replaced it with a new blank 1 TB drive that had previously been partitioned into 2 equal halves, but which is blank otherwise. I then attempted to boot from the original OS X discs that shipped with the computer, but booting stops after the wheel spins for a few seconds and the computer seems to freeze. The fact that I have been able to run diagnostics and see the results makes me question my original assumption that the GPU failed. If you have any suggestions based on this new information, I'd love to hear them. Thanks again!

Best,

Steve
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macosaurus View Post
I'm operating on a new premise now. After running extensive diagnostics, I am being told that there is a HDD error: "4HDD / 11 / 4000000: SATA ( 0,0 )".
How did you determine this? Usually the best way to "do a diagnostic"...is to boot the computer from another source (such as an OS install DVD, original gray disks, another hard drive, etc.).

In your original post you said that the computers video card was fried. If the gpu/video card is fried...how are you able to see anything on the computer display?

Lastly...I need to know exactly what computer you have. You said you have a "Mac Pro". Is this a desktop computer or a laptop?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macosaurus View Post
I then attempted to boot from the original OS X discs that shipped with the computer, but booting stops after the wheel spins for a few seconds and the computer seems to freeze.
Are you 100% sure that these original disks (they should be gray colored) came with THIS VERY computer? If they didn't...and they came with another computer...very likely they won't work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macosaurus View Post
The fact that I have been able to run diagnostics and see the results makes me question my original assumption that the GPU failed.
Again...like I mentioned above...if you truly had a "fried" gpu...you probably wouldn't be able to see anything or very much. So I also question the "fried gpu" theory.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Macosaurus

 
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Thanks for your reply, Nick. It is an early 2008 Mac Pro desktop (3,1). I do have the grey disks it came with. I ran diagnostics by holding "d" while booting with disk 1 of 2 in the DVD drive. I hadn't seen anything on the screen (apart from the Apple logo) until I ran the diagnostics, at which point I questioned whether it actually was the GPU, which I had been told by the people at the Apple store and by an authorized repair shop that they referred me to. Between getting no support from Apple (or vaguely misleading information from their store), this has become a frustrating problem. If the graphics card is still good, and if I have a blank HD in the main slot, shouldn't I be able to boot up by holding "c" with disk 1 in the DVD drive (CLEAN INSTALL). Or, do I need to somehow load the OS onto the blank drive before installing it into the computer? I appreciate you taking the time to offer your advice.

Best,
Steve
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Re-iterate Nicks question about being sure these discs came with the computer? The original system discs for the 2.8GHz Mac Pro 3.1 were OS X.5.1 for early 2008 models and X.5.2 later models in 2008. Discs from another Mac Pro, let alone a different model, may well not work as they are extremely model specific.

Popping in disc one, rebooting and holding down 'C' should boot from the DVD to the Installer. Even with a failed or blank hard drive this should happen. If it is not booting either a failed optical drive or back to the video card Steve.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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Macosaurus

 
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I do have other Macs around but these discs have always been amongst my Mac Pro gear... I'll call the Apple store to verify the serial numbers etc. as the discs simply say "Mac OS X Install Disc 1 & 2". They are marked "2008" but I did have a PowerBook G4 around that time??? My optical drive is a bit noisy with some DVD's but it hadn't given me any problems prior to this. Would the diagnostics have run at all with the wrong disc? Actually, the G4 would have been discontinued by 2008.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macosaurus View Post
I ran diagnostics by holding "d" while booting with disk 1 of 2 in the DVD drive. I hadn't seen anything on the screen (apart from the Apple logo) until I ran the diagnostics, at which point I questioned whether it actually was the GPU…
I am still confused. You can't say "I hadn't seen anything on the screen (apart form the Apple logo)"…and then come to the conclusion that the gpu is fried.

What you're not understanding is…when a gpu or video card is "fried"…in many cases you cannot see ANYTHING…all you get is a black display. Nothing…not light…not brightness…nothing. And if you do get something…it can be a bunch of garbled mixed up video images…lots of pixelation…but basically a display of images that can make using the computer impossible.

So…if you saw an Apple Logo…and you were able to run diagnostics…then you had good enough video to work from. And without any further info from you…this in no way shape or form sounds like a bad video card. There is just no connection…or info given so far to indicate a bad video card.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macosaurus View Post
If the graphics card is still good, and if I have a blank HD in the main slot, shouldn't I be able to boot up by holding "c" with disk 1 in the DVD drive (CLEAN INSTALL).
If the video card is still good…then how did you come up with the conclusion that the video card is fried?? I really don't think that you understand what a fried video card is…or looks like. If the video card is fried…then in most/many cases…NOTHING can be seen on the computer display. Or if something can be seen…it is just a lot of "video garbage" which makes using the computer impossible.

If you were able to run diagnostics (and see what you were doing)…then the video card is probably not fried. And if you were able to boot the computer from the DVD with the hardware diagnostics test on it…then there should be no reason you shouldn't be able to boot the computer from the same disks to install the OS.

I'm going to suggest (just like Harry suggested)…purchase the $19 Snow Leopard OS install DVD to install OS 10.6.

And unless you can give us better info (or images)…to prove that the gpu/video card is "fried"…I think that all of the info in this thread related to the video card being fried...has only resulted in creating a lot of confusion!

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Macosaurus

 
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I apologize for any confusion. I had an orange screen originally; my first thought was: "bad graphics card"; my internet searches told me: "bad graphics card"; then an Apple Care representative told me: "bad graphics card"; then an Apple Genius told me: "bad graphics card"; then 2 separate authorized repair technicians to whom Apple Care referred me told me: you guessed it, "bad graphics card". After all this, I figured it was a bad graphics card. I'll order that DVD and give that a shot, though. I don't know why I can't boot from my disk if it allows me to run diagnostics. Thanks again for your help.
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