5870 Woes in a 2008 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ryan42, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. ryan42 macrumors 6502

    ryan42

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Location:
    Near Houston, TX
    #1
    Hey everyone. The other day I replaced my 8800GT with a 5870 in my 2008 Mac Pro. Now I'm running a 5870 and a 2600XT.

    I have a 30" Apple Cinema Display connected to the DVI port of the 5870. After a while of being on, and particularly during 3D gaming, it starts to look like this: http://gallery.me.com/ryan42#100110/Cinema&bgcolor=black

    Note the blue flashing pixels, most visible from maybe 12 to 22 seconds in.

    This was also a problem on my old MacBook Pro, but I assumed that it was because it had that flaky nVidia chipset that liked to do things like this:
    [​IMG]

    I'm not sure what to do here. Since I've had this same issue with an NVidia chipset I thought there may be a problem with the monitor itself. I've read somewhere that a high pixel clock can make a blue line problem more apparent on a 30" Cinema Display, but I think they were an issue that I don't have.

    This is a video I found which looks like what I had on my MacBook Pro. They have the same model as I had. I have not experienced the problem this severe on my Mac Pro:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUvO-1l92tE

    I've experienced this on OS X and Windows 7.

    If I connect another display through the DVI port that's not my 30", it doesn't exhibit the problem, but the only way I am able to do that is through a DVI > VGA converter. I don't have the problem connecting the 30" to the 2600XT.

    Any advice is appreciated.

    Also, I have a 15" VGA monitor connected to the MDP port of the 5870 and after a reboot I almost always have to do "Detect displays" to get an image.
     
  2. shroud macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    #2
    You are definitely not alone on this one. See thread here There are plenty more examples on the web.

    I bought a 4870 and experienced the same problem (I have a mac pro 2006, 1,1 with a 30 inch cinema display). For me it was red dancing pixels on a black background.

    I thought the card was bad so returned it. Now, months later I just picked up a 5770 with the same problem. Thought it must be my computer. After lots of checking though it seems to be something going on driver-wise or frequency-wise between the card and the monitor.

    I have only had the 5770 for about a week now and the problem was only on days 2 and 3 so far with this card. It became pretty horrid with such pixel noise that I couldn't read without using the zoom function.

    The only solution that I have found has been to set the screensaver, computer sleep and display sleep to never, then after a reboot I unplugged the monitor and plugged it back in. Has been fine since, even with manual sleep and wakeup.

    Now, before I set the above settings to never, I had unplugged the monitor from the Mac Pro and into my laptop. Laptop was fine and when going back into the Mac Pro it was terrible again. Not sure why the settings above made a difference or if it is just coincidence but it seemed to have worked for others as well.

    If it comes back I'll report back in. Hope something I said helps you.
     
  3. ryan42 thread starter macrumors 6502

    ryan42

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Location:
    Near Houston, TX
    #3
    I don't believe that describes my problem. There is another issue with these displays where the blue pixels are larger, fairly constant, and appear everywhere. Mine only appears on black.

    Anyway, it amazes me to say this, but I think I fixed the problem by resetting the PRAM. It's such an often-suggested troubleshooting step that never seems to actually fix anything since OS X, but I thought I'd try.

    The issue I was trying to solve was the detection of the MDP > VGA display. That issue was solved. The monitor on the MDP is now detected all the time.

    I played World of Warcraft for an hour and fired up the "Computer Name" screensaver. No damn flickering blue lines. I'm still skeptical about the "solution" and I also haven't booted into Windows yet, but for now, it seems solved.
     
  4. shroud macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    #4
    I watched your video, mine is exactly the same as yours but with red on black. Eventually though it will most likely change. I ended up the same as others with skin tones causing it and with grays causing it with the 4870. The degree to which they come vary as well.

    You should read some others' accounts as well as the video you have is exactly the same as many other people....at least at the start. I was thinking of posting the same post as you once I got around to making a video. If I make a video, you will see that when my red pixels start up they are 'identical' to your blue ones in pattern.

    Anyway, I will try to reset the pram and see if that solves it as the problem appeared again this morning from a cold start.

    I, like you, thought it was mostly from heat due to graphics intense programs but it began to manifest itself at random with the 4870 and it became much more severe as time went on. The 5770 is starting down the same path so I'm a bit on edge about it.

    I should note that this problem didn't occur with the 7300gt.
     
  5. ryan42 thread starter macrumors 6502

    ryan42

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Location:
    Near Houston, TX
    #5
    Last nightn I booted into Windows and the problem came back after I messed around in it for about five minutes. The MDP display is also undetected until I unplug it and replug it in Windows. I rest the PRAM and booted back into OS X and have not seen anything yet.

    What a frustrating problem. I love the card and I'm amazed at how many pixels it can push per second, but I can't stand this issue.

    Here's an example of a problem I don't have: http://blog.jonberrydesign.com/2006/08/macnightmare.html

    Is that the noise you are having? I sure hope I'm not in for that.
     
  6. ryan42 thread starter macrumors 6502

    ryan42

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Location:
    Near Houston, TX
    #6
    Ah crap. The problem is back with a vengeance!

    I realized after my last post that SwitchRes X was installed and I'd made changes to the default resolution set involving pixel clock. I took those changes off and I'm back to blue static.

    Does anyone know how to view advanced monitor settings like Pixel Clock in OS X?

    Edit: More relevant information!
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/281908-33-critical-check-5870-card-running-high
     
  7. ryan42, Nov 27, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010

    ryan42 thread starter macrumors 6502

    ryan42

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Location:
    Near Houston, TX
    #7
    (edits in italic)

    Mostly FOUND IT!

    This almost always makes the blue lines go away on Windows. (The enable alternate DVI thing.) It's checked by default. I'm still in Windows now. If only I knew what that box did and if only it appeared in OS X.

    There is still some noise after a while though. The Reduce Timings box takes care of almost all of the rest. After some use, I'm still getting static but it's like one flicker every 30 seconds or so instead of a constant barrage. On the right track though!
     

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  8. ryan42 thread starter macrumors 6502

    ryan42

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Location:
    Near Houston, TX
    #8
    Gahhhhh. I still haven't fixed it and now I'm back to having to unplug/replug the MDP display every time I start the Mac. Does anyone else run a 5870 with a 30"??
     
  9. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #9
    I do not have issues driving my 30" display connected via DVI, but I have a 2009 Mac Pro.
     
  10. ryan42 thread starter macrumors 6502

    ryan42

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Location:
    Near Houston, TX
    #10
    Try making the screen entirely black and look for the artifacts. Mine is not currently doing it and stopped doing it shortly after I made the post yesterday after a sleep/wake. It's an intermittent problem. :(


    It seems to happen the most after a cold boot.
     
  11. ryan42 thread starter macrumors 6502

    ryan42

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Location:
    Near Houston, TX
    #11
    The noise is back today and I didn't even restart. This time it is red, however.
     
  12. ryan42, Dec 19, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2011

    ryan42 thread starter macrumors 6502

    ryan42

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Location:
    Near Houston, TX
    #12
    This is a bit of an old thread, I know, but for the record and anyone who finds it later through a search. I ended up having three distinct issues with the 5870:
    1) Noise, either red or blue lines, that showed up on the 30" Cinema Display connected through the DVI port when the image was mostly black. The problem seemed worse in Windows.

    2) The 15" LCD connected by VGA to the Mini DisplayPort would almost always require being unplugged/replugged after a startup to get an image. The computer would detect the display though, and was trying to show something on it. The pointer would travel over there. If you went to the displays control panel, however, that display's box would show up on the nearest other display. "Detect Displays" would return the video in Mac OS X, but not Windows, where I also had the problem.

    3) The aforementioned 15" LCD synced at 60 Hz by default. The other identical monitors connected to other cards by DVI > VGA sync at 75 Hz by default. While this is no big deal, when I set the MDP > VGA display to 75 Hz the resulting image was faded and "blurry." I attributed this to the MDP > VGA converter, but that was in err.

    I requested an RMA of the 5870 card and received and installed the replacement yesterday. All of the above listed problems are now gone, including the third one. My guess would be that the original card had a flaw in some component related to the control of timing, but that's all speculation on my part. Either way, all is well now with the replacement.

    EDIT: Just kidding. All the problems are back.
     

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