MP 1,1-5,1 Mac Pro 2010 No Graphics on Monitor

Bowlingj

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 29, 2019
2
0
Hi there. I'm going crazy trying to figure this out. I have a novice experience level, so please forgive if I miss details. As much info as you can provide me would be really helpful. Here's the deal:

I've stripped every inch of the computer apart based on another forum & as I added a part I tested the diagnostics light. The issue is that no matter the graphics card I put in (I've tried three that work in other units), I can't get an image or signal on the monitor (which works on other computers). I've tried multiple hard drives (that also work on other computers).

I've taken out the:
Optical drive
Hard drive
Fan with CPU/heat sink
Memory (using only 1 card with each trial)

I can hear the hard drive running fine. I see the light come on by the memory card. The light on the power button stays steady. The mac power up tone sounds fine. The logic board appears working fine. The only thing I don't see is a light down by the audio plug port on the backside of the tower. The forum said I should see a light on if the software loads, but I don't.

So why oh why don't I see an image? An idea I had was is it possible the hard drive needs a graphics driver and I should install it with another computer? From what I've read, some graphic should appear regardless. When I used one of the graphics cards on another machine it worked just said it wasn't optomized for the computer pop-up. This tower isn't showing anything with it.

My mac specs are hard to tell bc I can't pull them up. It's either a 2,1 or 5,1 (based on the tag on the back and a note we had at some point that could be wrong). 10.8.5 osx. 2x2.4 ghz Quad Core Intel Xeon. Model A1289.

Thank you so much for any advise ahead of time!
 

AlexMaximus

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2006
818
231
A400M Base
Here is my fast 0.02 cent..

You have most likely a 5.1 machine. (A great machine, be glad it's not a 2.1) The way you describe it, it sounds to me like a GPU issue or a Display port adapter problem. This model came with a 5770 or 5870 AMD card with Mini Display port and an older DVI port of some sort.
Make sure you check the correct seating, Check your monitor output in the monitor on-screen menu if you use a mini Display to Display Adapter check on the adapter to validate its correct functionality. Reseat the GPU card, put it out and clean the dust out of this awful duct cooling while you are at it. You may replace the bios battery as well when the GPU card is out. Which gpu card(s) do you have?
 

Bowlingj

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 29, 2019
2
0
Here is my fast 0.02 cent..

You have most likely a 5.1 machine. (A great machine, be glad it's not a 2.1) The way you describe it, it sounds to me like a GPU issue or a Display port adapter problem. This model came with a 5770 or 5870 AMD card with Mini Display port and an older DVI port of some sort.
Make sure you check the correct seating, Check your monitor output in the monitor on-screen menu if you use a mini Display to Display Adapter check on the adapter to validate its correct functionality. Reseat the GPU card, put it out and clean the dust out of this awful duct cooling while you are at it. You may replace the bios battery as well when the GPU card is out. Which gpu card(s) do you have?
Thank you for writing in. I'm not sure if it's a 5,1 or 2,1. The tag on the computer says 2,1 but a note we have about specs says 5,1. So yes let's hope it is a 5,1.

I thought to say that the original problem after I got the mac from a friend was that the computer would continuously do the startup tone and never move past, despite trying to boot in recovery mode or from cd. Google gave me no answers as to what this could be. It was then that I started taking it a part & found that with the original graphics card ATI Radeon 5770 removed, it stopped chiming excessively.

I've cleaned and reseated everything. I checked the PRAM battery. My monitor is set to auto & will detect any signal.

Might it be a driver issue? I realized that my other GPU cards might not be compatible bc they're from older macs and by putting this gpu in an older mac, it probably is a conflict, so there's no way to know if it's working or not.

So I guess the question is, how do I know if its the gpu card or a driver issue? If it's a driver, how would you suggest I go about installing it (meaning can I put it on the hard drive when I insert it in the other mac)? Finally, is there anyway its a logic board problem? I don't want to buy a used gpu only to find out it wasn't that. I was planning to upgrade the mac cpus but didn't expect this to dismantle the whole computer to troubleshoot.

Appreciate your help very much!
 

AlexMaximus

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2006
818
231
A400M Base
Thank you for writing in. I'm not sure if it's a 5,1 or 2,1. The tag on the computer says 2,1 but a note we have about specs says 5,1. So yes let's hope it is a 5,1.

I thought to say that the original problem after I got the mac from a friend was that the computer would continuously do the startup tone and never move past, despite trying to boot in recovery mode or from cd. Google gave me no answers as to what this could be. It was then that I started taking it a part & found that with the original graphics card ATI Radeon 5770 removed, it stopped chiming excessively.

I've cleaned and reseated everything. I checked the PRAM battery. My monitor is set to auto & will detect any signal.

Might it be a driver issue? I realized that my other GPU cards might not be compatible bc they're from older macs and by putting this gpu in an older mac, it probably is a conflict, so there's no way to know if it's working or not.

So I guess the question is, how do I know if its the gpu card or a driver issue? If it's a driver, how would you suggest I go about installing it (meaning can I put it on the hard drive when I insert it in the other mac)? Finally, is there anyway its a logic board problem? I don't want to buy a used gpu only to find out it wasn't that. I was planning to upgrade the mac cpus but didn't expect this to dismantle the whole computer to troubleshoot.

Appreciate your help very much!

For me, this sounds like a bad GPU card, which is hard to believe because the AMD 5770 is usually a very reliable card. The fan is really bad, maybe it died of old age together with too much heat. What kind of old GPUs from other Mac Pros do you have?
You can usually use all gpu cards of that period, this means a ATI/AMD 4870, an Nvidia 120GT, Aftermarket ATI Sapphire 3850 (blue shroud), Nvidia EVGA 680 ME and also newer cards such as the 7850 Sapphire ME or those workstation cards Quadro 4000 and maybe even the older Quadro 5600. For the Nvidia 8800 there have been two versions to my knowledge, so if you one of those, I would try swap it in. Since the 5.1 is so old, there might be cheap options available on Craig list or ebay in your local area.
 

axrst

macrumors newbie
Apr 6, 2019
23
3
Greece
Have you tried other PCI-e slots for the GPU? It may be a malfunction of pci or general in the Logic Board.