I have a mac pro 2008, and the graphics card (nvidia 8800GT) has started to lock up - I can still move the mouse but cannot do anything in Windows 7 (I hardly use OSX latelly so dont know if it happens there). The entire screen goes all garbled (various colours, flashing) and I have to reboot the machine.

The latest nvidia drivers for windows 7 have been installed, and until now everything has been rock solid.

Does this sound like the graphics card is failing? Or do I just need to tweak the cooling / fan speed on the card itself?

If I do need to replace the card, can anyone recommend a decent replacement that would handle most current-gen PC games?

  • Maybe try to reboot it to OS X first? It may not be broken at all. Graphic card is quite easy to replace in a Mac Pro. Aug 1, 2011 at 10:56
  • the screen graphics is garbled from the start now :/ even before windows boots
    – Andrew B
    Aug 2, 2011 at 9:14

1 Answer 1


It does sound like the graphics card is failing. The garbled display is a symptom of this.

If you only run Windows, any PC graphics card in your Mac Pro will work fine.

What's more, the PC Radeon 58xx and 68xx cards work in OS X too, out of the box.

I would recommend one of Radeon 5850, 5870, 6850 or 6870 if you want Mac compatibility, or any good graphics card within your budget if you only want to game in Windows.

  • +1 My 2008 Mac Pro exhibited these same symptoms last year right before the 8800 GT failed completely. I recall reading somewhere that a bad run of 8800 cards had been used in the 2008 model---sub-quality soldering or something like that caused them to have a high failure rate.
    – Sharpie
    Aug 23, 2011 at 22:51

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