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MAC Pro keeps crashing and having graphics issues

Posted on 2010-08-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hey all

I have a MAC Pro with Snow Leopard 10.6.4 and I have been having an issue where the compute will randomly kernal panic and have graphics lines running through the screen.

I have run tech tools and scanned the entire computer multiple times and it does not find anything at all.

For 2 weeks of leaving it up, nothing was occuring. Today I installed CS4 and then an hour later graphics lines again and then 20 mins later the fan went crazy and the machine crashed

Anyone have any idea what it could be
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Question by:indsupport
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Expert Comment

by:woolnoir
ID: 33560888
Probably the GFX adaptor - ive had this problem about 3 or 4 times at work, for me its either a grey screen with lighter lines horizonal or its a random coloured dots. Either way a call to applecare and a new GFX card fixed it every time.
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by:indsupport
ID: 33560958
Can you give me a little more details about a GFX adapter?
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woolnoir earned 500 total points
ID: 33560986
The mac pro's have a graphics card in them, just like a PC does. It depends on which generation of mac pro you have, the ones we have at work have the ones in below. They are user removable and replaceable, and there are a few different ones.

http://www.saverstore.com/product/20036268/7725665/Apple-NVIDIA-GeForce-GT120-512MB-PCI-E-Graphics-Card-for-Mac-Pro--2009-Model-

also check these links out

http://www.macupgrades.co.uk/store/machine.php?name=mac-pro-nehalem
http://www.macupgrades.co.uk/store/machine.php?name=mac-pro

scroll down a bit - they detail the replacement process and the popular options you have.
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Author Comment

by:indsupport
ID: 33561931
So you think these MAC pros have a graphics card issue and nothing more?


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Expert Comment

by:woolnoir
ID: 33562133
I think yours has a graphics card issue. Replacing it will fix it it. Do you have applecare ?
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Author Comment

by:indsupport
ID: 33570409
If I had applecare, i would of went through them.

I'll have them work on it, "free diagnostics"
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Expert Comment

by:woolnoir
ID: 33570690
Well another option is to get a cheap'o graphics-card from ebay and go with that - if it doesn't fix you can always sell back with little or no loss.
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Expert Comment

by:pheidius
ID: 33579277
You may want to remove the card and thoroughly clean it. It passes the tests, so the hardware may still be ok .it seems to be crashing after it heats up abd is stressed(heats up)  You can download a little utility temperature monitor which will allow you to easily track the rise in temp as you use it,

http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/mac/19994

 If you see the temp spiking, then open it up while running and verify the fan is spinning up and hasn't died,
There are sometimes better cooling solutions for stock fans as in this example found in this thread.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=319267

Finally, pull the card and make sure that the inlet is not clogged with dust preventing it form cooling properly.. If it is, then clean it out thoroughly with compressed air.
This thread looks like a clean the card happy ending exchange.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=358875

 Check for new drivers and or firmware for the card and check out smc fan control. It likely can control graphic fan speeds.
http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/23049/smcfancontrol

I would try all these steps before  looking at replacing the card as it does work and pass diagnostics when cool.
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Author Closing Comment

by:indsupport
ID: 33782988
Apple stores do a free diagnostic.

They found the video card was giving problems.

They are replacing it for free because this particular ATI model is known to have these issues.

Replacing with a nvidia geforce 8800 GT

Lets hope this fixes it.
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