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First reports on Apple's Mac Radeon 2600 XT Exchange Program:
First feedback on getting replacement cards via the ATI 2600 program mentioned in Monday's news. (See March 1st news for a report on a refund for a previously purchased replacement card.)

"I had one of the ATI Radeon 2600 XT cards in my Mac Pro (Early 2008) that I had already replaced with an Nvidia 8800 GT (Flashed PC card). I took the card in to the Costa Mesa, CA Apple Store on 02/21/11 along with the serial number for my Mac Pro. They reluctantly exchanged the card for another new ($129.99 retail) card. They told me that they would normally require that the computer with the defective card be brought in so that they can verify that the card was, indeed, defective or nonfunctional.
(FYI: The Apple doc I posted Monday says only the Mac Pro S/N is required, not the entire system. Here's a Quote (w/bolded text emphasis mine) from the Apple doc on the program):
    If your Mac Pro experiences distorted video or no video issues and has an ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT card in it, you will need to bring your computer's serial number and the graphics card into an Apple Authorized Service Provider or an Apple Retail Store location for verification and to exchange the affected graphics card for a replacement.

The strange thing is that the new card is among those with the last four digits in the group that have been affected. The old card was YPV(*). The new card is 1M5(*). I mentioned this to the Genius that was helping me and I was told that just because the card was in the group being recalled(?) it was not necessarily going to be defective too.
Keep up the great site Mike. I have gotten so much useful information here over the years and I check the site almost on a daily basis.

Maybe get a 2nd (Apple support/tech) opinion on that. (Getting another card in the affected S/N range - but he's not alone in that.)

"At what must have been the same instant as you posted news of this refund program, the 2600 XT video card on our early 2008 Mac Pro failed with distorted video and then no video.
I lugged the whole machine into the 5th Ave Apple Store last night and a genius quickly authorized it for replacement. They didn't carry the Version 2 replacement card in stock, so I am now waiting for it to arrive and be fitted.

Considering we had 45 days left of AppleCare, we felt lucky. Now I see we would have been OK until July 31st, but even that does not seem fair: if our card only just failed, there will be plenty of others that don't fail until after August 1st.
-Michael W."

Update: On March 17th Michael W. sent a follow-up, noting that a replacement card had failed within a few days:

"Just a follow up on this. The first replacement card, installed by the Apple Store 5th Ave, failed after two days.
(I asked about this infant failure - i.e. total failure (no video) or distorted video?-Mike)
It was a total failure: after the second day of use, I put the machine to sleep using the Apple Menu-->Sleep command. The next day I could wake the machine (and successfully run a screenshare session into it), but the display never woke again (black display).
I then pleaded with Apple to send a technician to me, who replaced the card.
This second new card is still working, but as you can imagine I don't feel completely confident now about it.
Both these replacement cards had serial numbers within the affected range. I wrote to Apple about my concern but got no reply. Or, no reply at least until I read the (apple) document on the 2600 (program), which says "Apple will continue to evaluate the repair data and will provide further repair extensions if needed."
I am glad to hear it!
-Michael W."

I asked Michael to send a note if he saw any other failures of a replacement card. (Ditto for any other reader that has gotten a replacement 2600.) Hopefully just a random/infant failure but getting replacement cards in the affected S/N (suffix) listing in the apple doc understandably isn't confidence inspiring.

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