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Is my NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS graphics card bad?

11044 Views 29 Replies Latest reply: Dec 8, 2012 1:51 PM by Flash6 RSS
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Becjr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Apr 13, 2012 3:29 PM

My 24" iMac has been exibiting strange behavior lately...  It appears to be if a graphical nature where the screen will randomly flicker or go blank in a variety of colors (black or white or yellow or red or blue).  Sometimes a preceeding indicator that this is going to occur is that the system becomes on responsive or extremely delayed, text and other graphics appear garbled/corrupted/scrambled.

 

I've used Mac Hardware Test, Disk Utility, TechTool Pro 6, anti virus software - even took it to a local authorized Mac repair shop (not Apple Store) and the results are the same - Everything LOOKS fine with no problems reported.  I've reinstalled the OS and even gone as far as completely wiping the drive and starting from scratch, just incase it is/was some kind of odd software conflict.  Yet, the problem persists and the Console always captures something like this just before another epic fail:

 

"

4/13/12 5:55:50.000 PM kernel: NVDA(OpenGL): Channel exception! exception type = 0x8 = Fifo: Watchdog Timeout Error

4/13/12 5:55:51.000 PM kernel: IOVendorGLContext::ReportGPURestart

4/13/12 5:55:51.000 PM kernel: 0000006e

4/13/12 5:55:51.000 PM kernel: 00000010 0000502d 00000472 00000000

4/13/12 5:55:51.000 PM kernel: 0000047a 0000022c 00000001 0000000f

4/13/12 5:55:51.000 PM kernel: 00000000 00000000 01fffe03

4/13/12 5:55:51.000 PM kernel: 00000000 00000000

4/13/12 5:55:51.830 PM sandboxd: ([1021]) DumpGPURestart(1021) deny file-write-create /Library/Application Support/SubmitDiagInfo

4/13/12 5:55:51.851 PM sandboxd: ([1021]) DumpGPURestart(1021) deny ipc-posix-shm apple.shm.notification_center

4/13/12 5:55:51.853 PM sandboxd: ([1021]) DumpGPURestart(1021) deny ipc-posix-shm apple.shm.notification_center

4/13/12 5:55:51.854 PM sandboxd: ([1021]) DumpGPURestart(1021) deny ipc-posix-shm apple.shm.notification_center

4/13/12 5:55:51.855 PM sandboxd: ([1021]) DumpGPURestart(1021) deny ipc-posix-shm apple.shm.notification_center

4/13/12 5:55:51.856 PM sandboxd: ([1021]) DumpGPURestart(1021) deny ipc-posix-shm apple.shm.notification_center

4/13/12 5:55:57.000 PM kernel: NVDA(OpenGL): Channel timeout!

"

 

At this point, all I can do is force a system reboot.  To me, it looks like the NVIDIA card is having problems...  If so, then why does it check out as "ok" when tested (by myself & local Mac Tech)?

 

It'd be great if there was a program like this one here [NVIDIA 8600M GT] to help me with my current delima with the NVIDIA 8800 GS in my 24", early 2008 iMac.

 

With my machine being as old as it is, I'm questioning wheter it'd be better to have it repaired (if it needs it) or invest in a newer model.

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,820 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 13, 2012 6:07 PM (in response to Becjr)

    How did you re-install your OS, from the App Store? If so you might want to try downloading and installing the OS X Lion Update 10.7.3 (Client Combo)

     

    There have been instances were reinstalling from the combo update has resolved problems that a plain App Store re-install didn't.

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,820 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 14, 2012 7:15 PM (in response to Becjr)

    If you're system stays up long enough I would still give the combo update a shot. At this point you have nothing to loose.

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,820 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 15, 2012 7:40 AM (in response to Becjr)

    Do you still have you're Snow Leopard disks? Something else to try would be to install SL and see if the issue changes. After that I'm reallly out of ideas.

     

    Back in my hardware fixing days we use to joke that if only the diagnostics could run the users software nothing would ever crash.

     

    I'll see if i can get someone with a more knowledge of the graphic end of thigs to have a look at this thread.

     

    reagrds

  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (13,825 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 16, 2012 2:25 AM (in response to Becjr)

    I also have a 2008 iMac with the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS graphics system but I haven't had any problems with mine.

     

    I think the suggestion to try installing Snow Leopard is a good one, especially if you don't add any other software while you are testing with it. If the video issues don't go away, it almost certainly is a hardware problem, even if AHT can't find it.

     

    It's possible (but unlikely) the problem isn't in the 8800 itself. One thing I would check is the RAM modules, especially if you have upgraded them. If you did & still have the old modules, you could try using them to see if there is any difference.

     

    If not, it is probably time to consider a repair or a replacement.

  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (13,825 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 16, 2012 10:53 AM (in response to Becjr)

    I can tell you for sure that the DDR2 RAM can't be used with the newer models -- that's one of the things I keep track of.

     

    I don't know how to interpret the console logs all that well, just enough to know from prior experience that it isn't very reliable if there is a hardware issue involved. Unfortunately, the same is true for software based hardware tests -- because the software is running on the hardware it is testing, only some errors can be detected. It's kind of like a crazy person trying to figure out if they are crazy without any outside help, if that makes any sense.

     

    The one (kinda) bright spot in all this is what you said about TTP6 detecting a temperature related failure. That might mean the issue isn't with the graphics system itself & maybe could be fixed at a lower cost.

  • Jonathan_Horne Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 2, 2012 8:34 PM (in response to Becjr)

    was there any resolution to this issue?  my 2008 Mac Pro is doing the same thing, and i have to force a reboot almost every day lately. 

  • josefrombrande Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 4, 2012 1:41 PM (in response to Becjr)

    I'm having a similar issue except I can only boot into safe mode.

    I never expected my iMac G4 to outlive a 4 yr old intel Mac but thats life.

    I've read quite a few forums describing issues with this nvidia 8800gs ( I've already replaced mine once), I hope apple and Nvidia do the right thing on this and replace these faulty cards, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

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