Radeon X1900 XT issues in Mac Pro
I was having issues with my X1900XT on my Mac Pro in Leopard and in Vista using Bootcamp. While playing 3D games (Unreal Tournament 2004 on the Mac, and Unreal Tournament 3 on the PC) my computer would crash after 5 or 10 minutes of graphics intensive play.
After reading posts on the Apple support board I came to the conclusion that it was most likely a hardware issue. I did the "normal" things such as removing the card, cleaning the fan and heatsink, resetting the SMC, zapping the PRAM, making sure the firmware was up to date, etc. I arranged for
Apple to send me a replacement card.
Just for fun I decided to install ATI tray tools on the PC side (http://www.guru3d.com/article/atitraytools/189/) and manually raise my fan speed to about 60% of maximum at all times. Doing this allowed me to play Unreal Tournament 3 (Demo) for several hours with no freezes.
The replacement card arrived today from Apple and I installed it into the machine (and removed ATI tray tools) and it also seems to have solved the problem. I have played Unreal Tournament 3 (release) for several hours today and have experienced no problems.
I'd suggest that anyone who is not covered by the Apple warranty try ATI Tray tools and/or install a replacement fan. I believe all the issues I was having was caused by overheating.
(I asked if he noticed any difference in fan speeds (or noise) in case they had changed the fan/temp curve, or any other changes to the fan/card, etc.).)
I haven't noticed difference yet, except that the card is not overheating when playing games. The cards look identical to the naked eye too. Info on new card from ASP shows Revision ID: 0x0000 (not changed), ROM Revision: 113-A52027-202. EFI Driver Version: 01.00.202 (same as the Oct. 2007 Mac XT1900 firmware update)
(Since he was running Leopard with a 30in Cinema display and ATI card, I asked if he had seen any of the issues some X850/800 owners w/30in displays mentioned earlier this week (although I had a reply from an X800/30in cinema owner to that post saying he hadn't seen those problems))
I did have the issues the day Leopard came out. Mine manifested as black or gray lines that would stay inside of windows, even if you moved the windows around. I believe these went away when the first Leopard update. I do not have any glitch issue as of today.
Hopefully it stays ok. Maybe this one has a better build quality (cooler contact, etc.) or maybe they've tweaked the fan curve (temperature to fan duty cycle) but it will be interesting to see over time if the problem doesn't crop up again. (Downclocking is another option/question.) Not everyone with an X1900 had problems like this, but then you're always 10x more likely to hear from those with a problem than from those without any.
Apologies to Oliver (you sent several long mails w/attachments, etc. awhile back - still not had time to get to them) but here's some links to previous articles and notes from Mac Pro/X1900 XT owners: