MP 1,1-5,1 GeForce GTX 970 Very Poor Performance on 2012 Mac Pro

WShawn

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 5, 2019
5
2
Portland, OR
The ATI Radeon HD 5870 in my 2012 MacPro (5,1 running High Sierra 10.13.6) died earlier today. A moment of silence, please. It was driving my primary monitor which went black (while the menu monitor, driven by an ancient ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256 MB, stayed on). After 20 seconds or so the computer restarted, and my main monitor displayed a screen of vertical green lines and would not reboot. A hard restart resulted in multiple startup "bongs", never booting. Removing the card allowed the computer to boot with the Radeon 2600. Whew. I was worried something had gone wrong in the MacPro itself.

In an effort to keep doing client work I swapped in a GeForce GTX 970 card I had sitting around. Via Screen Sharing from another MacPro on our network I was able to update the Nvidia Web Driver and CUDA and restart. Once I did that my desktop appeared after booting, but the poor performance of the card makes it essentially unusable.


Any guess as to what could be causing this? I've read other threads on these forums that indicate the GTX 9XX series of cards work acceptably on High Sierra.

Removing all of the other cards from the PCI slots doesn't help. I removed 3-4 startup items I wasn't using. I switched from the DVI port to the Display Port. I tried the card in a different slot. Nothing helps.

This GTX card worked much more smoothly a few years ago when I was running either Yosemite or El Capitan (I don't remember which). I bought it in the hopes that a CUDA-enabled card would speed up my work in After Effects or make my viewport more responsive in Cinema 4D, but it really didn't. The only big performance improvement came when using its CUDA power to calculate fluid simulations in the Turbulence FD plugin in C4D, where it was much much faster than using the CPUs to make those calculations.

This issue is sort of moot since I have an HP workstation I can (reluctantly) use. I've also ordered a
SAPPHIRE Radeon PULSE RX 580 8GB that should be here on Monday. It sounds like that's been working pretty well and is Metal-compatible. No CUDA, but I was doing okay without that. I'm anxious to see how much I'd have to spend to get a new MacPro that's better than my current system. I really don't want to move to Windows.

Here are some screen grabs of my setup:







Thanks!

Shawn Marshall
Marshall Arts Motion Graphics
 

tsialex

macrumors 603
Jun 13, 2016
5,381
6,100
Brazil
Did you tried to clear NVRAM 3 times in sequence?

Maxwell and newer NVIDIA cards are very finicky with some NVRAM configurations and the first thing you do to debug these cards are the 3 step cleaning of the NVRAM. You will need to activate again the NVIDIA web drivers.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,800
5,622
Hong Kong
Please try

1) Disable SIP

2) run the following command in terminal to downgrade the web driver back to V378.
Code:
bash <(curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Benjamin-Dobell/nvidia-update/master/nvidia-update.sh) 378.10.10.10.25.106
 

WShawn

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 5, 2019
5
2
Portland, OR
Thanks for the reply; I appreciate it. I've seen mentions of clearing the NVRAM but don't know the specifics; I'll have to research how you do that.

BTW, the reason I stopped using this GTX card two years ago is it was causing kernel panics. Sometimes it would be fine for weeks, other times it would panic several times over the course of a few days. Perhaps the NVRAM was an issue then.

Cheers.

Shawn
[doublepost=1562400899][/doublepost]Thanks for the reply from Hong Kong!

Apologies for not being that much of a tech guy (thus my preference for Macs), but what is SIP?

Best.

Shawn
 

WShawn

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 5, 2019
5
2
Portland, OR
Okay, CMD-Option-P-R on restart. I usually associate that with clearing the PRAM. I take it that clears the NVRAM, too?

That would then set the drivers back to the built-in default which is why I'll have to manually reactivate the Nvidia web drivers.

I'll try this in the morning. If that doesn't work I'll look into this disable SIP thing once I figure out what that is.

Thanks again for the help!

Shawn
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,800
5,622
Hong Kong
Okay, CMD-Option-P-R on restart. I usually associate that with clearing the PRAM. I take it that clears the NVRAM, too?

That would then set the drivers back to the built-in default which is why I'll have to manually reactivate the Nvidia web drivers.

I'll try this in the morning. If that doesn't work I'll look into this disable SIP thing once I figure out what that is.

Thanks again for the help!

Shawn
This is how to disable SIP with just the 970 installed. (Everything will be in blind, but do-able)

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/cmp-getting-dell-5k-working-in-sierra.2026628/#post-25075208
 

tsialex

macrumors 603
Jun 13, 2016
5,381
6,100
Brazil
Okay, CMD-Option-P-R on restart. I usually associate that with clearing the PRAM. I take it that clears the NVRAM, too?
It's the same process, last Mac that had some type of PRAM was MP3,1, since we are talking about MP5,1, it's NVRAM.
 

WShawn

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 5, 2019
5
2
Portland, OR
It's the same process, last Mac that had some type of PRAM was MP3,1, since we are talking about MP5,1, it's NVRAM.
Thanks for clarifying that it's no longer PRAM. I'm old.

Unfortunately, zapping the NVRAM four times didn't fix the issue. It's still smeary.

Cheers.

Shawn