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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > PowerMac G5 - Failure rates.

PowerMac G5 - Failure rates.
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Doc HM
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Nov 6, 2008, 02:51 PM
 
The Powermac G5 dual 2.0Ghz seems to have been a reasonably popular Mac. However recently I have been seeing a seemingly unending stream of them, all with the exact same problem. Massive and continual kernel panics. In each and every case this has proved hugely problematical to track any cause down. The Panics seem to occur on boot or soon after, so may not be specifically related to a build up of heat. These machines will eventually boot after hanging at various stages of booting, before hanging at some random point a few minutes after booting.

The first stop seems to be the generic "bad ram", but time and again swapping ram out, and/or fitting new RAM has no effect on the panics. Other potential faults have been system related, have been formatting drives, installing new OS, and when that fails, installing new drives (in the other SATA bay). Again no effect. Most of these machines exhibit panics on booting from either the internal or an external DVD drive too.

In all cases, AHD and Tech Tool Pro, MemTest, and any other test I can lay my hands on has turned up no problems, but the panics continue.

edit: Just done a trawl of ebay and pretty much every dual 2.0GHz on there seems to be for sale as faulty, while other types are all working Macs.

I can only surmise intermittent logic board faults (though crash logs seem to point to bad ram despite the swaps). I've been learning that heat is a major issue on these machines causing high failure rates, but really the number of these machines I'm seeing is getting ridiculous.

Does anyone have any insights into why this particular Mac seems so troublesome. The 1.8 duals seem do be fine, as do the 2.5's 2.3's and 2.7's which may have better designed in cooling.

hmm...
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Leonard
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Nov 6, 2008, 02:59 PM
 
Maybe the CPUs are starting to die because of heat issues. Even with the heat sinks and fans, those machines were putting alot of heat out the back. My G5 puts out alot more heat than my Mac Pro.
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Thorzdad
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Nov 6, 2008, 03:45 PM
 
Have you noted if there is a correlation between a certain generation of 2x2 G5s and failure? I have a first-gen 2x2 (made in March, 2004) and it's never given me anything like the problems you describe. It's been a pretty reliable machine.
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Big Mac
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Nov 6, 2008, 03:47 PM
 
No problems here.

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Doc HM  (op)
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Nov 6, 2008, 04:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
Have you noted if there is a correlation between a certain generation of 2x2 G5s and failure? I have a first-gen 2x2 (made in March, 2004) and it's never given me anything like the problems you describe. It's been a pretty reliable machine.
I'd say it was more the 4x4's but I've seen plenty of 2x2's as well. Maybe the later machines are more common. While it's interesting to see comments that some members have reliable machines, I'd guess that they are experiencing no problems because they are only experiencing one, reliable machine, theirs.

I think I'm seeing far too many of these machines compared to any other type of Mac.
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Thorzdad
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Nov 6, 2008, 04:33 PM
 
I wonder what the sales numbers were for the 2x2's versus the rest of the G5 models? Could you possibly be seeing more of them in relation to other Macs because they just sold a lot more of that configuration?
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Coldwater
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Nov 6, 2008, 05:43 PM
 
Although the information gathered at this site did not go beyond 2006, it still gives a pretty good idea as to the majority of earlier problems experienced by G5 owners. Some no doubt
can still be added to this data.

http://www.macintouch.com/reliability/pmg5.html
     
bsodmike
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Nov 7, 2008, 03:32 AM
 
I have a dual 2.7 GHz liquid cooled G5. The processor module and logic board have been replaced once already. It is now out of its 3-year warranty and one of the processors has died.

The cost to replace the module is that of a new 20" iMac, so I have ordered a Mac Pro and new Cinema HD display...
     
ebuddy
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Nov 7, 2008, 06:21 AM
 
Dual 2GHz G5 needed new HD in 1.5 years, fought constant wake from sleep issues from 2 years out, and at 5 years one of two processors failed. Sold on Craigslist.
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chris v
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Nov 8, 2008, 12:00 AM
 
Rev A dual 2.0 at home -- had a RAM issue, but it was the RAM. Replaced it -- smooth sailing. Rev A 2.0 at work, with the 9800 pro video card. Power supply died in June. Work IT guy had it replaced, been humming along since.

Neiher of these machines have been particularly prone to kernel panics. I'd say I saw a lot more on my dual 1.0 QS, my daughter's iBook & my other daughter's lampshade iMac G4.

My home machine has never been the most stable mac, but it's more like little things go wrong -- System UI Server quits working, or some minor annoyance that forces a reboot at about 2 weeks, or once in a while a good solid SPOD, (worse since 10.5, but 10.5.5 seems to have finally smoothed out pretty good. Most recent uptime was 36 days) but rarely if ever panics. It'll be 5 years old in August. That's like 150 in computer-years.

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GuyWithACamera
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Nov 8, 2008, 08:55 AM
 
I have a dual 2ghz early 2005. It has a noisy front fan when it first starts up, then quiets down. Not a high rpm sound but like a bearing sound. That's the only problem I've experienced with it (knock on wood). I opened it up thinking there might be dust build up and it was surprisingly clean. Maybe I'll look for a replacement fan.

Figured I'd chime in just in case it might be relevant.
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papworth
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Nov 12, 2008, 07:21 AM
 
I used to work on a late 4x(iThink)2.7 G5 which had some kernel panic issues after a while, within the first year. We thought it was a ram thing and tried memtest and shuffling the ram around, all sorts.

After a few days of constant and totally random panics scary black n' white code would spread across the screens, which pinned down the failure to one of the cpus - which was duly replaced under warranty Would have been insanely expensive otherwise.

It worked nicely after that, until some local fart-knocker-scum came through the roof one night and managed to lumber off with it before the smokecloak™ fired.
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fezzie
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Nov 12, 2008, 10:59 AM
 
I have a rev A 2x2 powermac and a few months ago it started hanging. Replaced everything Ram videocard Hard drives logic board battery. Nothing worked brought it to a repair centre and indeed one processor died. So i'm gonna use it with only one processor since it's becoming a file server. The Tech guy wasn't sure it will work. But i think it will, or better yet hope
     
Doc HM  (op)
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Nov 12, 2008, 03:28 PM
 
I think that my G5 dual is suffering from a failed cpu as well. I'm going to try switching one then the other cpu off. I know you cna do this with CHUD but I don't have the developer tools. Is there any other way to do this?
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Todd Madson
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Nov 23, 2008, 10:10 AM
 
I found recently my 2.5 dual was taking longer and longer and longer to boot.

Finally, it got to a point where it would sit there at the gray apple logo and the spinny thing would
spin for nearly an hour.

Zapping the pram didn't work, I finally had to go into safe boot and do a disk repair and that seemed
to temporarily fix it but my 400 gig boot drive was having issues I believe so replaced it with a 1 TB
drive yesterday.

I hope the thing doesn't go belly up though, replacing it would be mondo expensive. Especially now
that my Applecare is up on it and it's already had both cpus, motherboard, cooling system, etc.
     
Northeastern292
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Nov 29, 2008, 11:19 PM
 
This worries me, as I would like to add a G5 to my lineup, and I'm a bit cash-strapped.
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Demonhood
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Nov 30, 2008, 02:29 AM
 
Dual 2.3 G5 here.
the only problem is a slightly odd power supply (can't put it to sleep or it won't turn back on for several hours). other than that, it's perfect.

of course, i'll be replacing it once they release new (hopefully somewhat lighter) towers.
     
G-mac
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Nov 30, 2008, 09:50 AM
 
I have a Dual 2.0 and have not had any kernel panics. However, I've been wondering about its longevity too, especially as I've also noted subtle increases in heat output and fan noise. I installed new RAM, two new internal HDs, and a new graphics card, but still having issues with the heat/fans. Despite these minor issues, the G5 still performs well with my daily tasks and has enough speed to keep me happy.
     
Todd Madson
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Dec 11, 2008, 12:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Todd Madson View Post
I found recently my 2.5 dual was taking longer and longer and longer to boot.

Finally, it got to a point where it would sit there at the gray apple logo and the spinny thing would
spin for nearly an hour.

Zapping the pram didn't work, I finally had to go into safe boot and do a disk repair and that seemed
to temporarily fix it but my 400 gig boot drive was having issues I believe so replaced it with a 1 TB
drive yesterday.

I hope the thing doesn't go belly up though, replacing it would be mondo expensive. Especially now
that my Applecare is up on it and it's already had both cpus, motherboard, cooling system, etc.
Verified: the 400 gig boot driver was definetely the problem, it's now a data storage only drive. Some
drives just aren't suitable for boot duty apparently.
     
Big Mac
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Dec 11, 2008, 12:33 PM
 
Okay, here's what's happened to my G5 so far:

•9800XT fan failure within AppleCare period
•Two SuperDrive tray refusing to open failures

Other than that, things have been great.

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lse
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Dec 11, 2008, 03:53 PM
 
Hi Everyone,

My first post here.
Sadly I'm using a 1.8 Dual G5 and I have just experienced the exact problem as the OP!

So I tried running apple hardware test, but it always KPs. And I am not able to boot into safe mode or any kind of mode.

After reading the thread, I suspect now it may be one of the CPUs because once it booted up and when I checked system profiler, it said single 1.8 processor

Could you guys tell me how to obtain a log so perhaps one of you experts could help me interpret the problem?
Thanks a lot for the time! I’m willing to try anything as I really cant afford another computer right now
     
Sealobo
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Dec 11, 2008, 09:25 PM
 
no problem here.

wait....

*chirp chirp chirp...*
     
   
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