Resolved Mac Pro 4,1 (5,1 after firmware) GTX 980 problem

Mohamed Selim

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 17, 2016
7
1
Hey guys,

I have a Mac Pro 4,1 updated to 5,1 with firmware. OSX 10.10.5 build 14F1912

I recently purchased the GTX 980 FTW ACX 2.0 from here.
Installed the Nvidia web driver 346.02.03f09 and Cuda driver 7.5.30

Connected the card with this 6 pin cable and this 6 pin to 8 pin cable.

At first it booted and everything was smooth and i ran a couple of benchmarks and all was well. Very soon after the 3rd or 4th boot i started getting a couple of scenarios happening:
- When i boot the card's fans go insanely fast and loud and i dont get to the login screen.
- When i boot the card acts normal but i still dont get to the login screen, stays black.
- When i boot everything goes well.

I had installed 32GB 1333 non ECC ram, Sonnet Tempo PCI card, and a 4 port USB 3.0 card as well.

I took all of those out and reverted back to my 16GB OWC ECC ram to troubleshoot and still same results.

Any idea whats happening here?

The reason i updated the firmware is because im plannng to upgrade to dual x5680 cpus but still didnt.

Cheers
 

orph

macrumors 68000
Dec 12, 2005
1,858
381
UK
have you tried with the gpu that came with your macpro? to see if it will boot with a native card. (maybe an os problem?)

(the cuda driver dose nothing in regards to runing the display it's just for apps that use cuda)
 

Mohamed Selim

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 17, 2016
7
1
have you tried with the gpu that came with your macpro? to see if it will boot with a native card. (maybe an os problem?)
Yes putting back the stock GT120 in PCI slot 2 boots normally but sometimes caused kernel panics and others detected both cards just fine. Taking out the GTX980 and leaving the GT120 puts everything back to normal.
 

Asgorath

macrumors 68000
Mar 30, 2012
1,573
474
OSX 10.10.5 build 14F1912
You are 2 whole OS versions behind the latest. NVIDIA only releases fixes for the very latest OS, which at this point is 10.12. You're asking for a world of trouble if you're running such an old OS and web driver, i.e. you could be hitting issues that have been fixed in newer drivers for months/years at this point.
 

Mohamed Selim

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 17, 2016
7
1
You are 2 whole OS versions behind the latest. NVIDIA only releases fixes for the very latest OS, which at this point is 10.12. You're asking for a world of trouble if you're running such an old OS and web driver, i.e. you could be hitting issues that have been fixed in newer drivers for months/years at this point.
I didn't upgrade cuz I remember reading that these upgrades caused problems on El Capitan.
Anyone here running this setup with no issues?
 

Asgorath

macrumors 68000
Mar 30, 2012
1,573
474
I didn't upgrade cuz I remember reading that these upgrades caused problems on El Capitan.
Anyone here running this setup with no issues?
You will never, ever get driver fixes via the web driver for that OS version. NVIDIA only updates their drivers for the very latest OS. So, you'll need to weigh that against any other problems that might exist with El Capitan or Sierra now.
 

Mohamed Selim

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 17, 2016
7
1
You will never, ever get driver fixes via the web driver for that OS version. NVIDIA only updates their drivers for the very latest OS. So, you'll need to weigh that against any other problems that might exist with El Capitan or Sierra now.
Thanks. I will update to El Capitan and see what happens and post my findings.

Cheers
 

Asgorath

macrumors 68000
Mar 30, 2012
1,573
474
Thanks. I will update to El Capitan and see what happens and post my findings.

Cheers
El Cap is still not the most recent OS version, Sierra is. You're just making life difficult for yourself if you're using the web driver on anything but the absolute latest OS from Apple.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,267
6,253
- When i boot the card's fans go insanely fast and loud and i dont get to the login screen.
- When i boot the card acts normal but i still dont get to the login screen, stays black.
@Asgorath makes a good point, if you're having trouble the usual course of action is to make sure you're on the latest everything. However, if you want to try some other things first:

Never getting to the login screen with a Maxwell card almost always means the Apple drivers are loading instead of the web drivers. The flag that tells the OS to load the web drivers is stored in NVRAM. If you ever did an NVRAM reset, you killed that flag and it is now defaulting to the Apple drivers. Doublecheck to ensure that the web drivers are installed and selected in the Nvidia preference pane. (Asgorath's advice will also fix this, as installing the new drivers will also set them again.)

If you have Kernel Panics, you really need to share what they say. If you don't, it's sort of like saying "I have an error message and I won't tell you what the message is, but I want you to fix it anyway". A lot of people do this. :( If the KPs are happening at boot time and preventing the OS from loading, this is probably the same problem as the previous--the Apple drivers are loading instead of the webdrivers. This will result in a boot loop that prevents you from ever getting the OS to finish loading. Hard to say though without seeing the KP text.

Fans going fast (if it's immediately on startup) I believe is a separate issue completely. I doubt it has anything to do with drivers loading or not loading (or being old), because this occurs long before the drivers load and even before the OS loads. You might have the SMC fan bug which cannot be fixed but can be worked around by moving the card to slot 2, installing MacsFanControl and configuring it according to @h9826790's advice, or working the GPU with a demanding application that uses 3D acceleration.
 

Mohamed Selim

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 17, 2016
7
1
I
El Cap is still not the most recent OS version, Sierra is. You're just making life difficult for yourself if you're using the web driver on anything but the absolute latest OS from Apple.
The problem is my work is mostly dependent on visual effects software. I Cant always upgrade to the latest unless im positive all my softwares are compatible.

@ActionableMango, Web drivers were installed and activated like i stated in my initial post. Thats why i said that sometimes the card just booted fine with no issues. I attached a couple of kernel panics i found in the Console app. Ill search now for the post you mentioned about MacsFanControl config.

Cheers
 

Attachments

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,267
6,253
The web driver is definitely loading, not the Apple driver. It's also crashing on the web driver. I'd go ahead and do what @Asgorath suggested. If you can't do Sierra than at least El Capitan if you can.

Also, this may or may not be related but you have a few weird drivers installed. Soundflower in particular I've seen cause problems before. Still using a Blackberry--because the drivers are there. Littlesnitch. Novamedia.

Do you have a spare disk to install a clean OSX and just Nvidia web drivers without all that other stuff? If you are determined to stay on Yosemite, I'd try that. Even if you move on to ElCap or Sierra I'd probably do a clean install and not an upgrade, and only install what you need. Time to get rid of the cruft.
 
Last edited:

Mohamed Selim

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 17, 2016
7
1
The web driver is definitely loading, not the Apple driver. It's also crashing on the web driver. I'd go ahead and do what @Asgorath suggested. If you can't do Sierra than at least El Capitan if you can.

Also, this may or may not be related but you have a few weird drivers installed. Soundflower in particular I've seen cause problems before. Still using a Blackberry--because the drivers are there. Littlesnitch. Novamedia.

Do you have a spare disk to install a clean OSX and just Nvidia web drivers without all that other stuff? If you are determined to stay on Yosemite, I'd try that. Even if you move on to ElCap or Sierra I'd probably do a clean install and not an upgrade, and only install what you need. Time to get rid of the cruft.
Thanks for the advice! I'll install El Capitan with the new drivers and see what happens.

Cheers
 

Asgorath

macrumors 68000
Mar 30, 2012
1,573
474
I

The problem is my work is mostly dependent on visual effects software. I Cant always upgrade to the latest unless im positive all my softwares are compatible.

@ActionableMango, Web drivers were installed and activated like i stated in my initial post. Thats why i said that sometimes the card just booted fine with no issues. I attached a couple of kernel panics i found in the Console app. Ill search now for the post you mentioned about MacsFanControl config.

Cheers
Don't use beta software on a gaming card for your work.

panic(cpu 10 caller 0xffffff7f81497b24): NVRM[0/5:0:0]: Read Error 0x00000100: CFG 0xffffffff 0xffffffff 0xffffffff, BAR0 0xa4000000 0xffffff83a81a3000 0x124000a1, D0, P3/4

This indicates a hardware issue. It means the driver can no longer communicate with the GPU. Make sure the card is plugged in correctly, is correctly powered, and that you're using the latest software (both from Apple and NVIDIA). If the problem persists, then try doing an RMA and getting a replacement card.

Or, since you're using this for work, buy an official Mac Edition product like the Quadro K5000 so you can get official support from NVIDIA.
 
  • Like
Reactions: orph

Mohamed Selim

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 17, 2016
7
1
Don't use beta software on a gaming card for your work.
They are not in beta, but still only fully support Yosemite.

Or, since you're using this for work, buy an official Mac Edition product like the Quadro K5000 so you can get official support from NVIDIA.
Can't afford that. Bought a used GTX 980 after hearing alot of success stories with the same setup as i have.

All working now. Installed El Capitan on a clean disk with the updated drivers. I also took out all the new hardware except the CPU's and only put back the GTX 980.

Surprisingly it also works when i switch back to Yosemite. Maybe one of the power cables needed better placement.

Thank you so much for all your support and advice, maybe it was just down to a noobish mistake.

Cheers
 
  • Like
Reactions: ActionableMango

Asgorath

macrumors 68000
Mar 30, 2012
1,573
474
They are not in beta, but still only fully support Yosemite.



Can't afford that. Bought a used GTX 980 after hearing alot of success stories with the same setup as i have.

All working now. Installed El Capitan on a clean disk with the updated drivers. I also took out all the new hardware except the CPU's and only put back the GTX 980.

Surprisingly it also works when i switch back to Yosemite. Maybe one of the power cables needed better placement.

Thank you so much for all your support and advice, maybe it was just down to a noobish mistake.

Cheers
The NVIDIA web drivers contain beta support for Maxwell GPUs. If you're using that for your work, then you should be prepared to live with any bugs that come with beta-quality drivers.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,787
5,600
Hong Kong
The NVIDIA web drivers contain beta support for Maxwell GPUs. If you're using that for your work, then you should be prepared to live with any bugs that come with beta-quality drivers.
Just a quick question. I did try to find out the official statement about the Maxwell GPUs are beta supported, however, I couldn't find anything in Nvidia website.

Obviously the GPUs are working, but is that only us consider that's beta supported, or it's officially beta supported (like Nvidia clearly state that Beta support for iMac14,2 etc.)?
 

slughead

macrumors 68040
Apr 28, 2004
3,105
234
NVidia told me they don't support the GTX980 on the Mac side. However I have a 980 (not ftw) and I will say it was acting really funny for a while, I reset the PRAM and it went into a loop, I ended up having to boot into the recovery partition where I did precisely nothing ( I was going to repair the drive but realized the recovery partition was on the drive I was trying to repair.. duh). I just reset and everything was fine.

Sierra is now working great apart from I can't do > 1080P over HDMI but apparently every Sierra user on every Mac is having the same problem so I think I'm in the clear.

Edit: I also broke down and finally got a GT120 for boot screens.