11 Replies Latest reply: May 22, 2012 4:01 AM by japamac
Anthony ÓDoibhailein Level 1 (15 points)

I just noticed tonight that my monitor is showing yellow bands and patches which change as I work around with things. Is this a sign of impending doom for my G5 Powermac?

The spec for the machine is:

  Model Name:Power Mac G5
  Model Identifier:PowerMac7,3
  Processor Name:PowerPC G5  (3.0)
  Processor Speed:2.5 GHz
  Number Of CPUs:2
  L2 Cache (per CPU):512 KB
  Memory:8 GB
  Bus Speed:1.25 GHz
  Chipset Model:ATY,RV360
  VRAM (Total):128 MB
  Vendor:ATI (0x1002)
  Device ID:0x4152
  Revision ID:0x0000
  ROM Revision:113-A13602-121


Apple Cinema Display:

  Resolution:1680 x 1050
  Depth:32-Bit Color
  Core Image:Hardware Accelerated
  Main Display:Yes
  Quartz Extreme:Supported



Anyone any insight as to why this is happening?

Power Mac G5 (June 2004), Mac OS X (10.5.8), 30Gb iPod Video + 20Gb 1st Generation ipod still working well!
  • japamac Level 7 (24,390 points)

    What you describe certainly could be a failing graphics card.

    The age of the Radeon 9600 XT (your graphics card) is starting to show, with failures becoming more and more frequently reported.


    The heat from use degrades thermal compound, which, in turn, doesn't allow for the best cooling of the GPU.

    This continual overheated condition eventually destroys componenets, resulting in visual anomalies, and finally, a black screen.


    If you still have normal graphics for some time before the machine warms up, one might consider replacing the thermal compound on the card.


    Similar, though a different heatsink, the process of doing so follows:



    You should also try reseating the graphics card and reconnecting the monitor cables.


    If the visual anomaliies occur from startup, start shopping eBay for used, Mac G5 compatible graphics cards.

    I have listed all possible options here:


  • Anthony ÓDoibhailein Level 1 (15 points)

    Hello, and thanks for your response.

    On the basis of what you are saying I'll have a look for another graphics card and see if that resolves the issue. If I had the time I'd attempt the clean out but at the moment I don't.

    Hope another graphics card resolves it.


    All the best for now.

  • japamac Level 7 (24,390 points)

    If you have another monitor, a quick check can confirm the diagnosis.

    Another monitor; same problem; bad graphics card for sure.

  • Anthony ÓDoibhailein Level 1 (15 points)

    Unfortunately I don't have another one to try out. As its an old ADC apple cinema display monitor 20" I'm using then I guess it could be a possible issue maybe?

    I've managed to get a hold of a ATI Radeon X800XT for £89 with ADC & DVI outputs so I'll see how it goes when this arrives.


    Thanks. Appreciate your input.

  • japamac Level 7 (24,390 points)

    Not a bad price for a powerful card (much better than the 9600).

    Likely the card, but would like to hear your results.

  • Anthony ÓDoibhailein Level 1 (15 points)

    No bother. As soon as I have it I'll let you know.


    All the best and have a good day.

    Best wishes from Scotland

  • japamac Level 7 (24,390 points)



  • Anthony ÓDoibhailein Level 1 (15 points)

    Just a wee bit of an update, the yellow has gone and now I see small vertical dashes around the corners of the active window. Different symptoms of the same condition?

    I await the arrival of the other card to see if this makes a difference.

  • japamac Level 7 (24,390 points)

    Different symptoms of the same condition?

    Likely so.

    Any similarities pictured here?


  • Anthony ÓDoibhailein Level 1 (15 points)

    Nothing as extreme as any of those. Its really marginal. I reckon it could be in the areas where the shadows are generated by each window that there is the artifacts appearing.


    I've woken today to find no sign of the artifacts either. Maybe the machine was just feeling like it needed some attention!

    I'll add the other card anyway and see if I notice any great difference in performance as it is a better card than the one I have.

    Again if  I have any further news I'll let you know.

    Thanks again.

  • japamac Level 7 (24,390 points)

    It could be age and heat related VRAM issues that you have detected early.

    The card is likely a candidate for refreshing the thermal compound on the GPU and adding VRAM heatsinks.


    Speaking of which, after you have tested the X800XT to confirm function, you might consider protecting your investment with a refresh of the thermal compound.

    The R420 GPU will appreciate it.


    For the small price of a 4g. tube of Arctic Cooling MX-4 compound, you can increase cooling efficiency and be sure that the over 5 year old ineffective 2-4 year paste is replaced with a product that will last at least 8 years.


    The tutorial that I did for the Radeon 9800 XT is pretty much the same as and should suffice for the X800XT: