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Old Jul 12, 2012, 12:28 PM   #1
rdfiorentino
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Mac Pro 3,1 and ATI Radeon HD 5870 kills CPU power

Maybe I should start off by saying the reason for my switch to the Radeon HD 5870. This Mac Pro is in a recording and mixing studio, I do not need any super powerful Video card, but I have a really big problem with the stock video card, ATI Radeon HD 2600. About 4 months ago the fan in it switched in to full power and is blaring. It stays on, and very loud from the second I touch the power button, it is really loud and very aggravating.

I had a brand new ATI Radeon HD 5870 that I was going to use in a PC, but never did. I decided to try it out. I installed it and removed the old 2600. Perfectly nice and quiet. My problem now was that when I opened up a session to work on, I could hardly play through or record a simple session without an error that my CPU couldn't keep up. My CPU would trip up while my session was in idle. Yes, I am using a lot of processing power for my sessions, but these are sessions that I had 0 problems with prior to installing the 5870. I left all the settings of one of my sessions the same, with the 5870 I could hardly get through 3 seconds without it stopping. I then installed the 2600 and ran the same session with 0 issues.

I started searching and searching online for fixes and other people who have had similar problems, but nothing came up.

This is my assumption: the video card is pulling too much power from the PSU which can no longer provide enough power to the CPU. Is this a crazy thing to think or relatively normal?

My Mac Pro is a 3,1 and it has 8 cores at 2.8ghz. I believe the power supply is 980 watts. I have 14gb of RAM, 3 HDD and 1 SSD, and a Pro Tools HD Native card in it. What seems to be the problem. Is it me or the Video Card?


This whole thing has had me spend days trying to find something wrong with the 2600 and looking for any info on the 5870 that could fix my problem. I have had no luck, so I am posting here. Also, If you think you have a fix for the 2600, I would be more than willing to listen. Thanks
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 12:31 PM   #2
MacVidCards
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do you have 2 power cables connected to the 5870? (i.e., how are you powering it?)

Did you ever flash it or does system see it as "Radeon 5000 series"?

You can probably buy a replacement fan for 2600, if it is an Apple OEM one the fan is a standard 4 pin.

If it is a flashed one, it will have 2 pins/wires.
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 12:48 PM   #3
rdfiorentino
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVidCards View Post
do you have 2 power cables connected to the 5870? (i.e., how are you powering it?)

Did you ever flash it or does system see it as "Radeon 5000 series"?

You can probably buy a replacement fan for 2600, if it is an Apple OEM one the fan is a standard 4 pin.

If it is a flashed one, it will have 2 pins/wires.
I do have 2 power cables connected.

The system shows it as a 5000 series.

I will look in to replacing the fan on the 2600 if I need to, it is the 4 pin.


Thank you.
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 01:01 PM   #4
TableSyrup
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What slot do you have the Native Card in???

I set up a system I had to throw the native card in slot 4
EDIT: Older MP, I think 1,1 - 2,1 - 3,1 SLOT 2 .... 4,1 up SLOT 4
Potentially a slot order issue that wasnt a problem with the 2600 but is with the new GPU ????

Also - check your PCIe config and make sure it isn't changed and choking out your native card or GPU

Expansion Slot Utility, located in /System/Library/Core Services

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2838

Last edited by TableSyrup; Jul 12, 2012 at 01:28 PM.
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 01:06 PM   #5
rdfiorentino
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TableSyrup View Post
What slot do you have the Native Card in???

I set up a system I had to throw the native card in slot 4

Also - check your PCIe config and make sure it isn't changed and choking out your native card or GPU

Expansion Slot Utility, located in /System/Library/Core Services

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2838

Yes, I am aware that the native card has to be in slot 4 and it is indeed.



From the link:

Mac Pro (Early 2008)

The Mac Pro (Early 2008) computers implement PCI Express revision 2.0 which support twice the data rate per lane as the PCI Express revision 1. Slots 1 and 2 are both x16 revision 2.0 slots. Slots 3 and 4 are both x4 revision 1 slots. Placing a revision 1 card in a revision 2.0 slot, or visa-versa, is supported and results in a revision 1 link.

The number of lanes for each of these slots is permanently set for the Mac Pro (Early 2008). The Expansion Slot Utility doesn't apply.



It does not let me open it.
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 02:27 PM   #6
MacVidCards
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so you have the correct power cables that connect to main board?

You should probably flash the card with a proper rom, as currently it is just being id'd as a family, not specific card

not sure if that is current issue but it can only help
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 03:31 PM   #7
rdfiorentino
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVidCards View Post
so you have the correct power cables that connect to main board?

You should probably flash the card with a proper rom, as currently it is just being id'd as a family, not specific card

not sure if that is current issue but it can only help
Yes, the proper power cables are connected.

Could you direct me on how to flash it with the proper rom?

Thanks
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 03:37 PM   #8
Baytriple
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strange. I have a mac pro 2,1 with a 5870 card running just fine.

Sorry to hear about your troubles
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 03:41 PM   #9
rdfiorentino
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baytriple View Post
strange. I have a mac pro 2,1 with a 5870 card running just fine.

Sorry to hear about your troubles
Well, everything works perfectly fine until I start pushing my cpu.
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 05:03 PM   #10
ratfink
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I've never heard of a "CPU can't keep up" error. What the heck is that?

Also, the 2600 fan might be spinning up because of dust. Try cleaning it with compressed air.
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 11:08 PM   #11
rdfiorentino
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratfink View Post
I've never heard of a "CPU can't keep up" error. What the heck is that?

Also, the 2600 fan might be spinning up because of dust. Try cleaning it with compressed air.

It is properly known as a H/W buffer size error. The CPU processes the audio a certain amount of samples ahead but if it does not go fast enough it trips and misses a sample, this is when the error comes up.


I did clean the fan and entire video card.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 10:52 AM   #12
mkokimoto
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what happens if you place the card in a slot with a reduced data rate, with the intentions of choking the card?
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 12:10 PM   #13
TableSyrup
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The HD Native Core is 4x - so I wouldn't worry too much about choking it I guess.... and the vid card shouldn't be either.
I didn't realize that the slots couldn't be configured on that.... so it rules this out.

As far as slot order, I still can't get a guaranteed answer on slot order for the HDN card.
This is something which hasn't been officially addressed by Avid.
Avid says to use the slot closest to the vid card.... slot 2.
But, I know this is an issue on SOME models.... Known issue in the community.
But, again, I thought the slot 4 scenario started on 4,1's
Have you tried the HDN in Slot 2?
http://akmedia.digidesign.com/suppor..._v90_69708.pdf
Pages 13 & 14 describe slot order as Slot 2

I have seen people discuss their card in slot 4 not taking Firmware updates, and moving it to slot 2 corrected the issue.
And I've seen performance issues in slot 2 that are corrected by moving to slot 4.
I wish I had a solid answer as to the reason for this.


Also, have you flashed the HDN Firmware since you got it?
Which version of PT are you running? And which did it ship with?
Versions shipped with 9 had firmware issues with 10 and should be flashed with the update.

As far as Pro Tools goes, did you recently trash prefs and lose your settings?

What do you have CPU Usage set to ????

Avid/Digidesign recommends setting the number of CPU's used to 1 less than the total number of cores.
This makes a HUGE difference

Also, setting it to around 85-90% seems to be my sweet spot.

7 Cores, 85-90% and I'm screamin.

Of course, this whole performance issue seems to be wrapped around this PC version 5870....
so I wouldn't instill too much confidence in the card.
Who knows, maybe PT isn't playing well with the card in a Mac
Avid supports ANY APPLE CARD, but, you don't exactly have an APPLE card in there.

As Mac Vid Cards pointed out, it isn't being seen properly either.

So, the more I think about it, the more I point at your Video Card.

Have any other cards you can test????
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 12:25 PM   #14
rdfiorentino
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Okay, I switched the 5870 to slot 3 and the HD Native card is in slot 1. Everything is working much, much faster. I can see by my CPU activity that it still is not as stable as it was with the 2600, but definitely much faster, I can run the session at a buffer size of 64 samples with very few problems.

Unfortunately, I do not have any other card to test with. This seems to have almost completely fixed the issue though. I guess by putting it in a 4x slot, the video card is being choked.

I am going to install the card in slot 2 and see if it becomes even more stable.

Thank you mkokimoto and TableSyrup for the suggestions.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 12:36 PM   #15
rdfiorentino
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Everything is working great.

My only issue is that I don't like my Video Card being right up on my HDDs and the HD Native card right up on the bottom of the video card. Should I worry?
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 12:50 PM   #16
TableSyrup
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Umm... Well... You may be inhibiting some airflow with the Vid Card....

Are your sleds full of drives? If you have one open, you could stick that one at the intake in order to provide a little more flow....

This whole thing just doesnt seem right tho. I'm betting just cause its a PC card

I would maybe look for a cheap vid card, and if you don't need Open CL or anything, or if you don't need tons of GPU power for video or graphics, something fan-less like a 7300 may be a good option for you

(Off topic, but what are you doing with the 2600? I could maybe repair it and use it as a helper if you wanna unload it)
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 04:17 PM   #17
rdfiorentino
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I am going to switch the HDD and SSD placement so the fan on the video card can breath better. I would be happy repairing my 2600 I just could not find a fan for this one. If I can't, I'll let you have a go.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 04:25 PM   #18
TableSyrup
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/ATI-Radoen-H...item27ba07a5b0
$9.50 + shipping - FAN

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Mac-Pr...#ht_500wt_1413
$5.00 + shipping - PARTS UNIT
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Old Jul 22, 2012, 03:07 AM   #19
BenClement1978
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Maybe a stupid thing to say, but you have a non Apple 5870? are they 100% the same as a apple branded?
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 08:56 AM   #20
tomhenry
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Hi Rdfiorentino,
I have almost an identical system (and HD Native) except with a ATI 5770 video card and i am experiencing the same CPU problems...! I have tried everything except changing the video card... I was suspecting it was this all along because problems get worse with more demanding graphics (e.g.when i open meter bridge on Izotope Ozone 5 plugin).

I am happy to find your post cause i think if i change the card or it's position i might see big improvements.

Can u tell me if you have found out any thing further... Do you know what card i can replace it with.. (i'd still like reasonable graphics but i'd definitely prefer a better running system!).

Weird that not many others (no one!) is experencing this??

Thanks
Tom.

ps. my CPU chokes are less with 4 processes running... if i run more processors (6 or 12 for example..) CPU spikes are worse...!!!
i can not understand this? Same for you?
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 11:19 AM   #21
macz1
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Maybe the 3D-acceleration is not working correctly?
If the card is not recognized correctly (not flashed) maybe some OpenGL/CL calculations are offloaded to the CPU. Is Quartz extreme supported and enabled in the system profiler? Does dragging around windows result in high CPU usage?
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 12:11 PM   #22
gpzjock
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I flashed my Sapphire Vapor-X HD5870 back in 2010 before attempting to boot OS X with it installed, I've never had any CPU restriction problems even with Handbrake running full speed and other processes in the background or foreground. The card runs fine in either slot 1 or 2 on my MP 3,1.
My original HD2600 died years ago but I do have a 8800GT for comparison purposes.

I would try flashing it to see if it helps.
Which brand of card is it? I'll try to find a suitable ROM over on Netkas.org.

Last edited by gpzjock; Dec 19, 2012 at 12:17 PM.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 09:05 PM   #23
tomhenry
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Thanks for your replies... after re-reading everything, i realised that although it is the same problem, I'm on a mac pro 5,1 (not a 3,1). Although i'm sure this changes things i'm convinced my problem is still very similar.

I tried opening ProTools and moving /opening more windows... when i do this CPU performance does get worse! More spiking... So i am excited that you might of found the problem...!

Unfortunately i'm not that much of a tech but can change card slots, install firm ware etc..

Should i try changing the video card or HD card to a different slot?

How do i flash the card?
I couldn't find reference to quartz extreme in my system profiler??

Any help would be greatly appreciated...this problem has taken up waaaay too much of my time already... and even my most computer literate friends can not understand. We have tried clean installs, all sorts of upgrades and updates and no fix yet!

Below is some more info on my system. Hope it helps.

Thanks Tom.



Processor 2 x 2.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon

Memory 12 GB 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC

Graphics ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB

Serial Number YM10805VEUH

Software Mac OS X Lion 10.7.4 (11E53)

ProTools 10.3.2

Audio Card: HD Native (slot 2)
Interface: Avid Omni (via Digilink cable)



SATA(audio) Drive:Hitachi HDS723030ALA640:
3TB


ATI Radeon HD 5770:

Chipset Model: ATI Radeon HD 5770
Type: GPU
Bus: PCIe
Slot: Slot-1
PCIe Lane Width: x16
VRAM (Total): 1024 MB
Vendor: ATI (0x1002)
Device ID: 0x68b8
Revision ID: 0x0000
ROM Revision: 113-C0160C-155
EFI Driver Version: 01.00.436
Displays:
E2341:
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 @ 60 Hz
Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
Display Serial Number: 102INGQ8Y471
Main Display: Yes
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Rotation: Supported



ATI Radeon HD 5770:

Name: ATY,Hoolock
Type: Display Controller
Driver Installed: Yes
MSI: Yes
Bus: PCI
Slot: Slot-1
Vendor ID: 0x1002
Device ID: 0x68b8
Subsystem Vendor ID: 0x106b
Subsystem ID: 0x00cf
Revision ID: 0x0000
Link Width: x16
Link Speed: 5.0 GT/s
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Old Aug 9, 2013, 01:28 AM   #24
hamx0r
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The Dell version also works in a Mac

Hi All,

I just wanted to share that the Dell PC version of the HD5870 also works in the Mac Pro (I have it in an Early 2009 model, 10.7.5, 2.66GHz quad core). The benefit is that i don't have to buy cable adapters to use non-Mac monitors. Also, you can find them a lot cheaper than the $450 pricetag of the Mac version of the card.
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Old Aug 9, 2013, 04:57 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamx0r View Post
Hi All,

I just wanted to share that the Dell PC version of the HD5870 also works in the Mac Pro (I have it in an Early 2009 model, 10.7.5, 2.66GHz quad core). The benefit is that i don't have to buy cable adapters to use non-Mac monitors. Also, you can find them a lot cheaper than the $450 pricetag of the Mac version of the card.
Thanks for sharing. Does the card support the 2 DVi ports? I mean do the 2 DVi ports work in your Mac Pro?
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