When Good Monitors go Bad: Video Card Issues

9th August 2009
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[Edit: Found some cool “dead pixel” fixes on Apple-support-discussions today 6 December 2009]

Has this ever happened to you?

Or this?

Or this?

A shot of an iTunes glitch in Snow Leopard but this person tells me this glitch is happing in other apps as well, but very intermittently:

A few more examples, this time a yellow tint/glow is present on screen on images and video:

According to this forum post on Techsupportforum.com the yellow tint can be caused by a partially severed connection between computer and screen and/or excess heat on the video card.

Chances are your video card is bad in your mac. Between late 2007 and September 2008 were especially bad years for NVIDIA video cards in macs.

In July 2008, NVIDIA publicly acknowledged a higher than normal failure rate for some of their graphics processors due to a packaging defect. At that same time, NVIDIA assured Apple that Mac computers with these graphics processors were not affected. However, after an Apple-led investigation, Apple has determined that some MacBook Pro computers with the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processor may be affected. If the NVIDIA graphics processor in your MacBook Pro has failed, or fails within three years of the original date of purchase, a repair will be done free of charge, even if your MacBook Pro is out of warranty.

And specific products affected:

* MacBook Pro 15-inch and 17-inch models with NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processors
o MacBook Pro (17-Inch, 2.4GHz)
o MacBook Pro (15-Inch, 2.4/2.2GHz)
o MacBook Pro (Early 2008)
* These computers were manufactured between approximately May 2007 and September 2008

If your computer is under warranty, everything’s good. If not, you’re out a video card. However, it will end up being easier to just replace your computer rather than spend $1000 getting a new video card, possibly more if your motherboard is also damaged.

Sad to say we live in a disposable and non-sustainable world.

If this happens to you make sure you first attempt to get as much of your personal data off the computer as quickly as possible. Search for and read up on “Target Disk Mode” on this blog (search in the top bar above).


Nathaniel Flick

I'm a Front End Web Developer passionate about usability. My primary specialties are HTML5, CSS3, SCSS, LESS, and jQuery and I am very familiar with Foundation and Bootstrap frameworks. I've worked on top of and with WordPress, Shopify, Rails, Python, and ASP.net/Umbraco frameworks.

3 thoughts on “When Good Monitors go Bad: Video Card Issues”

  1. WOW! I have NEVER heard of such things happening on Dells, Packard Bells, HP's, …

  2. it is now happening to me now…

    after 1.75 years of using it… glad to know that apple admits their mistake even if nvidia didn't

    unlike some OS maker who doesn't even if their OS is a total failure…

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