Author Topic: Diagnosing Nvidia GeForce4 Ti 4600  (Read 563 times)

Offline InspectorG

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Diagnosing Nvidia GeForce4 Ti 4600
« on: March 21, 2017, 02:59:50 PM »
Hello all,

I recently purchased an official Apple GeForce4 Ti 4600 from an eBay seller who claimed the card worked, but when I received the card it wouldn't work in my machine. The seller graciously refunded the money for my purchase without requiring me to return the card, so now I am looking to diagnose it in the off-chance it can be fixed.

I have a 2003 PowerMac G4 MDD with 2x 1.25 GHz CPU, 2 GB RAM, ATI Radeon 9000 Pro (which works perfectly in OS 9.2.2 and OS 10.4.11). There are no cards in any of the PCI slots. Swapping the GF4 Ti 4600 in place of the Radeon 9000 Pro results in a black display throughout the entire boot process. I can hear the boot chime, but the display remains black; I have no idea if the machine is fully booting and reaching the desktop, or stopping at some point in the boot process.

It appears the card is attempting to send a signal to the display, because it's not simply blank but rather black. The power light on my display is amber when no signal is being received, and white when one is being received. When the G4 is part way through booting, the power light switches from amber to white. It's an HDMI display, and I'm using a DVI-to-HDMI adapter to connect to the display. At one point, the display stayed mostly black but showed a somewhat-flickery small green bar through middle.

I have removed and re-seated the card several times with the same result. Upon swapping the Radeon 9000 Pro back in, everything resumes working perfectly.

Anyone have any idea if this card can be saved, and/or how I should go about diagnosing it further?

Offline GaryN

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Re: Diagnosing Nvidia GeForce4 Ti 4600
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2017, 06:06:28 PM »
From the sound of it, you've got an issue on the card. Problem is, it could be a really simple bad solder (very common) that you may (stress MAY) be able to fix with an oven relow or it may be something like a part actually broken off or just a bad part period.

There's no good easy reliable way to tell which. Try a reflow - Google "video card reflow" or similar. There's lots of info out there. Also, just take a good close look at the component side of the card. You might get luck and find something obviously broken loose and at least you'll have a clue. Stuff gets broken all the time in shipping (or IS broken and then the seller claims YOU must have done it)…

Sadly, there seem to be a lot of bad 4600's. I suspect it's because they run hot and the fans are undersized.  I've got one that works for 3 minutes or so until it warms up and then the pic goes loopy - that's a typical symptom of bad solder.

Realistically (and there are some folks around here that will jump on me for this) unless you're running games or doing heavy video work, the ATI 9000 (the other OEM card) works every bit as well, is far more common and is definitely more reliable.

Offline IIO

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Re: Diagnosing Nvidia GeForce4 Ti 4600
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2017, 06:29:06 PM »
did you install the drivers? ;)
"It is true that the "pre-emptive multitasking" advantage present in OS X can be illustrated by downloading CD-ROM ISOs and rendering chaos theory formulas while simultaneously instant messaging and posting on FaceBook what you ate... but in reality, what did you create?"
- DieHard, random forum troll at macos9lives.com

Offline GaryN

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Re: Diagnosing Nvidia GeForce4 Ti 4600
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2017, 11:12:03 PM »
I think that even without the nVidia extensions you still at least get some kind of pic, but that does sound like a prudent step to take.

Offline devils_advisor

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Re: Diagnosing Nvidia GeForce4 Ti 4600
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2017, 01:21:38 AM »
When you swap cards test it without any adapter get a dvi cable and option command p r  is the next step to take. See if that changes anything.

Offline InspectorG

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Re: Diagnosing Nvidia GeForce4 Ti 4600
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2017, 11:10:47 AM »
Thanks for the input everyone.

I already have the Nvidia extensions installed (alongside the ATI extensions; I never disabled the Nvidia ones), so AFAIK it should work fine? Nonetheless, I'm not getting any picture during the boot process at all, not even a happy Mac.

Sadly I don't have a DVI display, just HDMI, so the adapter is my only choice. Again AFAIK, a DVI signal can basically be piped to HDMI directly, and it works fine with my Radeon 9000 Pro anyway.

I forgot to mention that I already cleared the PRAM a couple times, but thanks for that suggestion.

I will look into an oven reflow, but as a last resort I think. One of the components actually looks a bit misaligned with its traces on the board, almost like it was not manufactured correctly in the first place. See the attached pics. This makes me wonder how well (or even if) the card worked in the first place.

Offline GaryN

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Re: Diagnosing Nvidia GeForce4 Ti 4600
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2017, 11:28:11 PM »
Nah…it's not that part.  Mine is exactly the same. All you can do is (very gently!) wiggle the big caps and stuff sticking up to see if one of them is loose because they're the parts that get broken loose by idiots who part out old computers on fleabay and such.

The point of a reflow is that it is the last resort. It's the crazy thing you try last because the only other option is to trash it.

Good luck!