Long-time power users may recall the problems ATI Radeon X1900 XT video cards would exhibit, usually due to overheating. For the most part, those with AppleCare were able to get the card replaced. Unfortunately for many, the replacement exhibited the same problems: overheating, video artifacts, distortion, et cetera.
This wasn’t just a few isolated issues, either. Mac performance sites, such as Accelerate Your Mac have several articles and discussions on dealing with these problems. Even our very own OWC Larry was plagued by this problem on his Mac Pro at home, even after OWC Jamie installed a newer, more efficient cooling fan/heat sink on the card pictured above.
It may have taken a while *cough*cough*severalYEARS*cough*cough* but Apple has finally come around and released Knowledge Base Article TS3420.
The article starts with Apple’s description of the problem:
Apple has determined that certain ATI X1900 XT cards sold for use in Mac Pro and Mac Pro (8x) computers between approximately August 2006 and January 2008 may experience distorted video. Affected graphics cards have “V6Z” in the last 4 digits of the card’s serial number.
After that, it goes on to explain how to determine your card’s serial number and how to go about getting a replacement. You will need to bring your computer’s serial number and the graphics card itself into an Apple Authorized Service Provider or an Apple Retail Store location for verification and to exchange the affected graphics card for a new one. See the KB article itself for full details.
It has not been made quite clear yet what cards Apple will be using as a replacement. The Tech Article would seem to imply that the replacement will be another X1900 XT, probably from a different batch. However, there have been reports of nVidia 8800GT cards being used as the replacement card.
For more information and tips regarding the Radeon X1900 XT Mac video cards—as well as all sorts of upgrades for your Mac—we highly recommend checking out Accelerate Your Mac. They’re chock-full of great information on how to get the most out of your Mac!