Mac Pro EFI Issues

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by HumidSting, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. HumidSting macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2018
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #1
    So I'm running into some issues with my Mac Pro 5,1 (2010).

    Backstory:
    Bought this thing used about a month ago. It ran fine, with the exception being the PSU would sometimes refuse to turn on the first time. Something known to happen on these machines after time. I threw in an SSD and a GT 1030, and used the machine just fine for about 3 weeks.

    Two days ago:
    I sold my main PC (timing right?) and got some money and a RX 570. I've been wanting to put a higher end AMD GPU for Final Cut in this machine. The 570 uses an 8-pin, I only have 2 6-pins, with a mini 6-pin to 8-pin coming the next day. I boot it up and wait. No chime, no video, nothing. The whole rig was getting power however. Fans spinning, LEDs flashing. I thought, hmm, maybe it's just not getting enough power. Pull it out, and put in a RX 280X I got earlier that morning, which uses a 8+6 pin for it's power. Same thing. So I pull that out, and put in the original GPU. Still same thing. This is when I start panicking. I try to reboot. Nothing. I tried putting it into EFI update mode by pressing and holding the power button while it's off. The power LED flashes, and the DVD drive ejects. Not knowing what it's for, I close it, and turn off the system. After doing some research, I came across the Firmware Restoration CD. I burn my first CD in years, and go through the process. the lights blink, but the DVD drive does not eject automatically. I pull it out and press the button manually. It opens. I pop it in, but nothing. I looked in the Service Manual. It tells me to pull out everything I can from the machine (processor tray, GPU, HDDs/SDDs, USB drives). Step by step, I put stuff back, pressing the DIAG button to display the diagnostic LED. 5V seems fine. Power seems ok. But when I put it back to a state where it could boot up, an "EFI DONE" LED should've come up a couple seconds after boot. It does, but then turns off. And then turns on again. And off.

    I'm really panicking right now because I just dropped a (relatively for a college student) large amount of money, and I have no computer for school. My old co-worker works at a Mac repair place, and he said something about the EFI chip being corrupted, and that this can reset it, which is something he has at work. While I don't doubt him, it's an 18 minute/$24 Uber ride there with a 50 lbs machine, and if it's something I can fix at home I would rather do that. Does anyone have any experience with these, and know what's going on?
     
  2. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #2
    If the cMP occasionally refuse to boot from the very beginning. Then something should be wrong, but not the ROM chip.

    In fact, it's super rare to have corrupted ROM issue on the cMP.

    In your case. It could be logic board, could be CPU tray, could be PSU. IMO, your assumption "the Mac was GOOD at the beginning" is wrong.

    Also, you CANNOT power the RX570's 8pin via a single mini 6pin cable. You should use a DUAL mini 6pin -> single 8pin cable.
     
  3. HumidSting thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 8, 2018
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #3
    Thanks for responding, you’re the only person to have helped me with this so far.

    The only reason I believe it’s the ROM chip is because when the DVD drive popped out and I closed it and turned it off, it was asking for the Firmware Restoration CD. I’m thinking by me shutting it off, it messed something up. That’s why the EFI DONE LED turns on but then turns off after a split second of being on.

    The only other thing I can see is the PSU from the 570 trying to draw too much power. I did see something interesting last night. I was cable managing, even though the machine is dead right now, and I plugged in all my peripherals. Before, I thought my USB ports were dead. But, the LED on my SD card reader turned on. My keyboard still didn’t, but at least the ports were getting power. So I’m wondering if it’s not supplying enough power for my keyboard but it is for my SD card reader.

    I did get a RX 280X with hopes to flash it, and 2 mini 6 to 8 pin connectors. Am I good to use one mini 6 to 8 pin and one to 6 pin?
     
  4. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #4
    The quick answer is "probaly YES", but only up to certain extend.

    The 8pin on a 280X (by the way, that's R9 280X, not RX 280X) can draw up to 150W (without user OC). And the mini 6pin only rated up to 75W. Even you don't mind to over stress it, the practical limit is just about 120W, still 30W short (if the card really pulling hard).

    A very safe way is to power the card by

    1) DUAL mini 6pin -> single 8pin
    2) DUAL SATA -> single 6pin

    But this will make you lost two SATA ports.

    You may also use Pixlas mod, extra PSU, etc to power the card "properly".

    My own method is to use

    a) DUAL mini 6pin -> single 8pin
    b) single 8pin (FEMALE) -> DUAL 6+2pin.

    So, no matter the card draw power from the 6pin or 8pin, the loading is always shared by both mini 6pin.

    Since we know each mini 6pin can deliver up to around 120W. Therefore, 2x mini 6pin can actually deliver up to around 240W practically.

    And a 6pin (75W) + 8pin (150W) card should never draw more than 225W. Therefore, this cables combination should also work.

    I use this method to power my 1080Ti, it's OK even 15min Furmark stress. And never have any issue for real world usage (video editing, encoding, gaming, 3D rendering, etc).
    --- Post Merged, Apr 9, 2018 ---
    Anyway, Perform a SMC reset first.

    If nil help, replace the battery on logic board.

    If still nil help, than 99% either logic board, CPU tray, PSU is faulty.
     
  5. bsbeamer macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #5
    It cannot be overstated enough: all of your GPU power pins need to be connected.

    Dual 6-pin GPUs (2 x 6-pin) are easily powered with dual mini 6-pin to dual 6-pin cables (usually two separate cables).
    Single 8-pin GPUs (1 x 8-pin) are easily powered with dual mini 6-pin to 8-pin cable (one cable).

    All other configurations are not as simple/straightforward unless you consider adding power.

    For the majority of people:
    If the GPU you are looking at does not have single 6-pin, dual 6-pin, or single 8-pin - look for another GPU that is more easily powered. There are lots of options available if you can live without boot screens.
     
  6. HumidSting thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 8, 2018
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #6
    Doesn't the PCI-e slot provide 70W as well?

    I brought it to my friends shop, and after some testing, he said the 12V rail isn't giving any power. Which is most likely the PSU, but the backplane isn't out of the question either. I've ordered a PSU off eBay, hopefully that fixes the issue. Will keep this thread updated; as these machines get older I'm sure more PSUs will fail.

    I remember reading on this forum somewhere that 6-pin, 8-pin, dual 6 pins, and 8+6 are all fine. It's just the dual 8 pins that are the issue.
     
  7. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #7
    It's nothing to do with the total pin number, but how much the card actually draw. A manufacture can put 3x8pin on a 150W graphic card if they want to (of course they won't, because the extra cost). In fact, dual 8pin sometimes work better than 6+8 pin, because the power draw is more eventually distributed, but that's another topic.

    In fact, a quick search shows up this perfect example.

    https://videocardz.net/colorful-geforce-gtx-1070-8gb-igame-x-top-snake/

    A GTX 1070 with 2x8pin input. The standard GTX 1070 is just a 150W GPU. This particular card has a 10% higher clock speed. From the reviews, we can expect this card only draw about 10% extra for that up to extra 10% clock speed.

    Therefore, 150W x 1.1 = 165W.

    A single 8pin is already way more enough (because as you said, there are 75W available from slot, so with an extra 150W from 8pin, total rated up to 225W).

    Even want more buffer, then 6+8 pin config is way way more than enough (75+75+150 = 300).

    However, this manufacture want to make the card "looks" powerful. Therefore, put 2x8pin on it. And the truth is, this card will only draw up to around 165W.

    Even though it's a 2x 8pin card. I have 100% confidence that we can run this card on the cMP with just the mini 6pin and won't have any power related issue.

    On the other hand, if another 1080Ti come with 6+8pin, but really can draw up to 300W, this GPU can easily shutdown the cMP if only powered by the mini 6pin (when under stress).

    Therefore, the pin number is just a reference. At the end, a user need to know the card's power draw characteristic in order to know if it can be power by pure mini 6pins of not.
     
  8. bsbeamer macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #8
    People have success with 8+6 and it can be done, but SOME need external or a 2nd power supply to properly run.

    For the majority of people looking for a new GPU, finding a variant that is 6-pin, dual 6-pin, or 8-pin that does not require power modifications would be cheaper, easier to install, and nearly just as effective for most work. The limitations of the 4,1/5,1's speeds are really the bottleneck in these machines for most tasks, not a few minor differences between already very powerful GPUs.
     
  9. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #9
    6-pin: :D
    8-pin: :D
    6-pin+6-pin: :D
    6-pin+8-pin: :eek:
    8-pin+8-pin: :(
     
  10. HumidSting thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 8, 2018
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #10
    I'm guessing the dual CPU model also plays a big factor into this?
     
  11. bsbeamer macrumors 68000

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    Sep 19, 2012
    #11
    dual CPU or dual GPU?
     
  12. HumidSting thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 8, 2018
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    Minneapolis, MN
    #12
    Dual CPU. I'm not insane enough to run two GPUs. :D
    --- Post Merged, Apr 11, 2018 ---
    Wow really, I would've expected it to make a big difference.
     
  13. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #13
    No difference.
     
  14. bsbeamer macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #14
    As stated above, single or dual CPU makes no difference on GPU power requirements. The PSU (rated at 980 watts) can handle power for the dual mini 6-pin GPU and dual CPU.

    Dual GPU with modern GPUs would generally require external power.
     
  15. HumidSting thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2018
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #15
    Update: just got my new PSU. Looks 100% clean, turns on the first time. Same issue. System boots up, power LED is solid, no chime, EFI DONE and GPU LED turn on and off. EFI recovery will not eject the disk drive. I’ll continue to investigate further, but I feel like I’ll need a new backplane.
     
  16. HumidSting thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2018
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #16
    Here is a video of it off, the LED once it’s turned on, and the diagnostic LEDs once it’s on. The EFI DONE/GPU LEDs that are blinking do that endlessly. I have removed, cleaned and reapplied thermal paste, and reinserted the CPUs. I have removed all but twin DIMMs, one on each CPU. The GPU is also not plugged in.
     
  17. HumidSting thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2018
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #17
    UPDATE: Got in a new backplane, and installed it (simpler than I thought, just look at the service manual). It works! Seems like the EFI was corrupted, will try to fix it in future so I have a spare part as this thing ages. Now time to flash my Twin Frozr R9 280X for that sweet sweet EFI screen.
     
  18. joot macrumors member

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