Is the used R9 280x GPU I just bought bad?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by isisism, Aug 31, 2016.

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  1. isisism, Aug 31, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016

    isisism macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 13, 2016
    #1
    Bought a used R9 280x on eBay and I would like to know how I can tell if there's a problem with the card.


    PROBLEM 1 -

    Mac 3,1 - was running 10.6.8 and just upgraded to 10.8.5. Installed the graphics card and all seemed good initially. Got picture on all ports.

    Then I went into a FCP7 project where I had experienced some video tearing with my original card, GT8800 (?) 512mb and the tearing is much worse now! This was really the reason I upgraded, to handle video in my editing software better. The picture is also tearing in Avid, (DNxHD36 media), which it never did with my old card.

    The FCP clips are Pro-Res. This is happening using the miniDP ports to an HDMI input on one monitor and DVI on the other, single cables for both, no additional adapters. My monitors are 8 years old, nothing special, Acer P241W.

    I've searched to see if I need drivers but from what I've found I shouldn't need any unless I'm on an older version of OS X. Is there anything I need to do when installing this card to ensure that it runs fine? What is the best way to test this card to see if there is a problem with it?

    And I don't know if this is normal or not, but the card is listed twice under the PCI Cards category with different info regarding drivers, see pics below:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I never played the video after updating to 10.8.5 and before putting in the new video card so I will try putting the old one back in and see how it acts, but I'm hoping to find out I just need to install a driver before I go through the hassle of doing that.


    PROBLEM 2 -

    Another thing that is happening is that I've changed the resolution and the desktop pics and it doesn't stick after I change the ports I'm using on the video card. Last night I checked the DVI and HDMI ports, changed the desktop pics and resolution. Today I hooked up the monitors to the miniDP ports and one of the desktop pics changed to what I think is a generic ML pic used. Then I shut down, swapped the cables on the ports on the GPU and rebooted and the desktop pics were back to what I had put them as when I was on Snow Leopard and back to 1920x1200 resolution. Is this normal???


    Any help would be greatly appreciated as I need to deal with the seller if the card has issues. Thanks!

    p.s. Side question... on the outward edge of the card, opposite the side that is inserted into the slot, there are two little 'things' that were covered with a rubbery/plasticky cap. I assume this is for SLI? Should I leave that cap on or take it off?
     
  2. isisism thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 13, 2016
    #2
    Reading through tonymacx86 list of compatibility and the device ID of this card should be 0x6798 but mine reads as 0xaaa0... what is that about?
     
  3. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #3
    Your R9 280X is a flashed one. However, if it's not properly flashed, any problem can happen. There should be a very little switch right next to the crossfire port (that's crossfire, not SLI in AMD). You may flip the switch and try again. Hopefully the original PC ROM still there, so that you can test if it's the firmware issue.

    If that's the original firmware, you won't get the boot screen (the Apple logo), screen will stay black until boot to desktop. And your card will ident itself as HD7xxx in system info.

    The 2nd line in the PCI cards section is the audio part of your graphic card. There is no native driver for that part, so, the report in system info is completely normal. If you want to use HDMI audio, you have to install the corresponding kext by yourself. Otherwise, just leave it there, no need to do anything.

    If you want test your card, run Luxmark and Unigine Heaven is a good way to test both OpenCL and OpenGL. Also, it's a good test for you, because you may hit a bug that's specific for 3,1 + 280x combination. There is a bug in the power management system (software level), therefore the card may only able to perform at about 50% max.

    No, there is no need to remove the Crossfire connector cover.

    Device ID 6798 is there, it's ONLY for the video part of your card, not audio.

    FCP 7 is not GPU intensive, the tearing issue may be coming from something else, not the GPU (e.g. poor cable, connector, adaptor, etc).

    The resolution / wallpaper issue may be the OSX problem.
     
  4. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    #4
    Well from what I'm seeing, it says the driver is not installed. You'll need to add it to the kext file (kernel extension) to load the driver for the new video card. See here for what I found in about 5 seconds of searching "R9 280x not installed Mac" on DuckDuckGo.

    http://forum.netkas.org/index.php?topic=8333.0

    Since the driver ID is showing a standard error code (probably means your version of OS X or the hardware does not support dual graphics cards), you might try updating or googling around a bit to see if dual graphics cards are supported on your Mac hardware and Mac OS version.

    Some people were having issues with dual graphics on Mavericks and updating it fixed it, others the hardware was too old to support dual graphics cards.
     
  5. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

    Joined:
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    #5
    No No No, that's not dual graphic card setup, but the Video / audio part of the graphic card are listed separately in the system info - PCI cards section.
     
  6. isisism thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 13, 2016
    #6
    Thank you so much for the reply.

    Okay, I flipped the switch and it booted up as you said and says HD 7xxx and if I go to "PCI Cards" it says "There was an error while gathering PCI card information." So, that's good news? Is there a step now to test the firmware?

    Btw... here's more info on that:

    [​IMG]

    I have the same performance as before. Also, I didn't mention this but in addition to the tearing, the video looks really bad while playing, not smooth, you see rough edges on everything. It looks beautiful on a still frame though.

    Ah, I see. I have read about the HDMI audio issue. I don't need it now, but it is something I will look into getting later on.

    I read about Unigine Valley so that's finished downloading, will grab Heaven as well.

    I put the cover back. :)

    I see now the device ID is different on the video section, thanks.

    I'm now going to put my original card back in and see how FCP performs with that one.

    Oh, after I flipped the switch I put the cables back as they had been and one of my desktop pics changed and the monitors swapped positions. I think it's weird that those things change just from disconnecting and reconnecting cables but maybe there's a logical reason for it.

    Thanks again. If there is something I should do to test the firmware I would love to do that. I'll report back on if the old card has better performance so that upgrading to 10.8.5 can be ruled out since I didn't check video performance between the update and the GPU upgrade.
     
  7. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #7
    This is an known issue with the PC firmware. No need to worry about it.

    Not much you can do to test the firmware, apart from running some benchmark (stress test), and perform your normal workflow.
     
  8. isisism thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 13, 2016
    #8
    I figured as much on that message. I ran Unigine Valley Benchmark on the R9 280x and here's what it said for OpenGL, 1920x1080 8xAA fullscreen, Extreme HD:

    FPS: 33.2
    Score: 1391
    Min FPS: 13.2
    Max FPS: 57.4

    My cMP is 3,1 8-core, 3.00GHz, 26gb RAM

    I don't know if that's good or not for that card. I really haven't had to worry about it before!

    Then, I put in my old card and saw the same issues. So then I booted from my 10.6.8 clone and see the same issues! I have never seen them before I went to 10.8.5 and tried out the 'new' GPU though. But if it were because of going up to 10.8.5 then wouldn't booting off the 10.6.8 clone fix it? At least it seems I can rule out that there's a problem with the GPU I bought off eBay though...

    omg... lol. *cry*
     
  9. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #9
    If the same issue happen with other GPU and OSX version. Then 99% sure it's nothing to do with the 280X.

    May be at least go through the basic SMC / PRAM reset.

    And check all cables / connection.

    Or even the monitor itself can case issue.
     
  10. isisism thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 13, 2016
    #10
    Okay, it's past bed time so I'll poke around tomorrow. I also have a new SSD to install so maybe I'll go ahead and do that with a fresh install of 10.8.5 and all my software and see if that clears it up.

    Thanks so much for your help! I appreciate it.
     
  11. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #11
    +1 on everything @h9826790 wrote on device IDs, audio part and stuff. :)

    I've also seen quite heavy tearing on a cMP with 10.8.5 lately on, no matter which GPU was installed. I thought it was somehow related to the old 30" Cinema Display attached to it, but maybe it's a general 10.8 issue on some setups?

    It didn't occur on other OS though. However if you consider upgrading your OS, note that the cMP 3,1 in combination with HD 7xxx / R9 GPUs suffers from a power management bug, which will cripple your graphics performance down to just ~30% of original speed. This bug was introduced in Mavericks and was never solved by Apple.
     
  12. isisism, Sep 1, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016

    isisism thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 13, 2016
    #12
    Well that's pretty disheartening. I've never upgraded my Mac before other than adding RAM and I read for 2-3 weeks all over the internet before deciding on this GPU and in this thread is the first I'm hearing about this issue of poor performance. Sadly, the card won't work on 10.6.8 from what I've read and neither will my new SSD or usb 3.0 card. I was so happy to upgrade, now I haz a sad. :'(

    The tearing also happened when I booted from my 10.6.8 clone and my old GPU now. Is there something that would have been flashed somewhere other than on the install drive when going to 10.8.5? And it's not even just tearing, as soon as I hit play the image degrades a lot. Still frame looks great.

    Did my benchmark scores reflect poor performance? (I don't know what I should be getting with my configuration but that fps seems low).
     
  13. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    Hong Kong
    #13
    Your score looks good to me. If you want to test the system and install newer OSX, you may follow the simple guide here to workaround the power management bug.

    http://netkas.org/?p=1325
     
  14. isisism thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 13, 2016
    #14
    Okay, good to know.

    Thanks for that link! I will try it if I upgrade my OS. I don't need that on Mountain Lion right?

    I'll first try a fresh install of ML on my new SSD and see what happens since I'm going to do that anyway.
     
  15. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #15
    No, that seems only happen in 10.9 or later.
     
  16. owbp macrumors 6502a

    owbp

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    #16
    Yes, only 10.9-10.11.
     

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