Black or scattered screen

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Spk1, May 23, 2018.

  1. Spk1, May 23, 2018
    Last edited: May 23, 2018

    Spk1 macrumors newbie

    Spk1

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    #1
    Just recently purchased a 2010 5,1 upgraded with a Quad core 3.46 X5677 processor. I'm currently running El Capitan. Wanted to upgrade the GPU from the stock HD 5770 so did some shopping. First card I bought was an AMD Radeon R9 270 2GB, but could not get anything on the screen (Apple 27" LED w/mini display connector) despite trying everything I could think of. This was surprising since I've bought from the vendor several times before and never had a bad card or any other defective hardware - but there's always a first time. So, bought a Radeon HD 7970 3GB card from a different vendor. At first, I got the same result at first but after a restart or two with the power button I got it working.

    Keep in mind I'm no Mac hardware expert. At all. By any stretch.

    Every now and again, however, about maybe maybe 4 or 5 time now since I installed the card about 2 months ago, the screen will either go black, or I'll get screen static/stutter. It only happens momentarily and then everything is back to normal. The stutter only lasts for a minute at the most, and a restart gets rid of the black screen when that happens. The two different issues never happen at the same time. This only seems to occur when I'm pushing the card a bit with graphics intensive games like Rise of the Tomb Raider. It's happened both in Mac OS and Windows 7 in Bootcamp, though I've not yet got a black screen in Bootcamp. Is it the card, or considering the issue with the first card, do I have a dying PCI board? Can I try the card in a different PCI slot? Is it something else?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. t8er8 macrumors regular

    t8er8

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2017
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #2
    First, if you haven’t done so already, try different monitors that have different native resoltions if you can. Also try using different ports on the card ex instead of DVI try DisplayPort or HDMI.

    But from what you said about your screen going black when playing games and more intensive things, this brings up that your cards likely nearing the end of its life, of course I can’t guarantee that’s what’s happening it’s just a hypothesis based on your symptoms.

    My upgraded gpu (rx560) was having screen artifacting and screen flashing issues when I was playing games when I first got it, turns out my problem was the resolution I upgraded my monitor from a 1080p one to a 2k monitor and the problems I was having were gone at that resolution, so that’s why I recommended using different resolutions.

    Get back to me and tell me if anything helped.

    Cheers,
     
  3. Spk1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Spk1

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    #3
    I don't have another monitor to try either a different port or resolution, but the Apple display is running 2560 x 1440. One thing that's a little interesting is that the screen has never gone black in Windows. Windows is running on a new Samsung 500GB 860 EVO, while the Mac OS is on a 10 year-old 320GB WD Black. Still, you might be right about the card. I found it odd that I had such difficulty getting it to work - and no luck at all with the other card. I'd hate to have to drop more cash on yet another card. I could put the old card back in, but then I wouldn't be able to run some of the newer games that require more video muscle.

    I have wondered too if the screen might be pooping out on me.
     
  4. t8er8 macrumors regular

    t8er8

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2017
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #4
    I don’t think it’s your monitor in specific that’s broken because you have coincidental problems only when you’re playing games, which wouldn’t have anything to do with the monitor. But if you’re saying it works perfectly on windows and not Mac, it’s probably a driver problem. These problems always happen with unofficial non Apple cards. Another thing I’d reccomend doing isn’t thus case, resetting PRAM, NVRAM, SMC and of none of those things help, reinstall Mac OS.

    Oh and I almost forgot, but it’s teally important to know the version of Mac OS you’re on. Currently Mac OS high Sierra has the most support and least problems with graphics card so if you aren’t already on High Sierra do so now, older operating systems can have problems or lack support GPUS.
     
  5. Spk1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Spk1

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    #5
    Thanks again t8er8 for your response.

    As I mentioned, Windows is better, but still having issues. I was playing Rise of the Tomb Raider yesterday on Windows 7 and ran into the static screen flashes again, but only briefly and only in certain parts of the game; it wasn't throughout the game just at particular spots and nowhere else. It's only gone black in El Capitan when my son was playing on it with about three or four games going on at the same time. So I think we're looking at the failings of the card. It's got 3GB of DDR5 VRAM so I'm really surprised it's choking.
     
  6. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    Hong Kong
  7. Spk1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Spk1

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    #7
    2 cables: 6 pin and 8 pin connected to the PCI board.
    --- Post Merged, May 24, 2018 ---
    I was just checking the system report. It recognizes the 7970, and for Type: Display Controller it says Driver Installed.

    However, for Type: ATY,HamachiParent is says No Driver Installed.

    Is this an issue? If so, how do I remedy it?
     
  8. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #8
    That NO is for the audio part, which Apple insist not to provide the audio driver (in fact, the driver was there in some beta OS, and Apple intentionally took it away). Therefore, it is normal.

    Re-seat the card is the very first thing I will try. And if nil help, try another slot.

    Also, it’s not proper to power a 8pin (rated 150W) via a single mini 6pin (rated 75W).
     
  9. Spk1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Spk1

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    #9
    So here’s a funny thing:

    Last night I took out the card and checked the epi switch. Switched it to the right as I read somewhere that’s where it should be. Nope. Messed up my Windows 7 in the process. So, switched it back, plugged the power cables back in and slid it back into the PCI slot.

    Works perfectly both in Windows and El Capitan. I’ve pushed it in both systems as hard as I could - told my 9 year-old son to do the same and after about 8 hours of almost continuous punishment it still works flawlessly.

    Now when I first installed it, I must have seated it at least three times. Maybe it was the power cables. Who knows. But now it’s working perfectly.

    Now I just need the guy on eBay to cancel my order for another 7970....

    Thanks for your help folks.
     
  10. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #10
    Then, that ROM is badly flashed.
     
  11. Spk1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Spk1

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    #11
    So where does that leave me now? This is the best it’s ever been - still no issues - but will it last?
     
  12. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #12
    I mean the ROM that not working. But may be simply because you use the Mac EFI ROM to boot EFI Windows. That's a known issue for the 7970 (even the ROM itself is good).

    Anyway, if it's working now. Then don't touch it.
     

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