Mac Pro (Late 2013) GPU (Driver) Issues

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by bax2003, Mar 28, 2015.


What do you think is the source of the graphics issues on Mac Pro (Late 2013) ?

  1. Hardware

    30 vote(s)
  2. Software

    5 vote(s)
  3. Hardware & Software

    15 vote(s)
  4. Other

    1 vote(s)
  1. teohyc macrumors regular


    May 24, 2007
    Exact same thing happening to mine.

    I've sent mine to Apple Service Centre numerous time and they can't reproduce the problem. The warranty on mine has run out now.
  2. Idolum macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2016
    I haven't had any crashes so far and have been using processor intensive software for the last week. The only thing different from a stock D300 with 64GB RAM is a newer generation internal SSD from a 2015 MacBook Pro. Since Apple seem to test with an external drive maybe some lookups are related in part to the internal SSD drive.
  3. Justinoes macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2016
    Agreed on the annoyance angle.

    For anyone that was curious, I went to an Apple store and they said they couldn't do anything because the D300 model wasn't covered by the quality program. They said I could make a case on the phone with AppleCare, but that's more effort that I'm willing to put into an item from eBay. I started the process of returning the item. I'm going to see if I can pick up a D500 model with AppleCare at some point.
  4. tuba man macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2017
    Thought I would share my experience. I recently started using a Mac Pro Late 2013 with the D300 GPU. I've had issues with this computer, but thought it was all software related. After wiping the machine and upgrading to sierra 10.12.5 the computer worked great for a few weeks. Then randomly one day it just started logging out. Seeing that this computer is used to run our keyboard players rig this is an issue if it happens during a show. The Log out would crash Ableton Live. I found some wifi and saw that there was an update to 10.12.6. Installed that update and thought things were all good. Then of course the problem returned. I've checked all the settings and it's not the auto log out, screen saver, or anything like that. It logged out during a sound check while it was being used. The next thing I did was go back to El Capitan, so I wiped the computer and installed 10.11.6. I hadn't had the log out issue with El Capitan and thought it was more stable. The computer is now not logging out, but the whole computer will just randomly freeze. It's happened several times while it's just sitting there. The logs in the console are all gpuRestart. I am headed to the apple store to see what they say. I am hoping that they will do something especially since this is a pretty well documented problem on lots of Fourms. Just thought I should share my experience.
  5. Justinoes macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2016
    Actually, one last question since this seems to be a fairly active thread. While I'm working on returning my D300 Mac Pro to the eBay seller, I'm seeing a few options in my price range with D500 GPUs.

    I can either go with a machine with AppleCare coverage remaining or a machine with better specs (ram / ssd upgrades.) Has anyone heard of D500 machines not being covered under Apple's program or acting up after replacement? I'd like this machine to last me for a couple of years and this experience has made me a little cautious ....

    Thanks again for all of your feedback!
  6. dingobiatch macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2009
    Hmmm okay was hoping for some advice... I had my 2013 Mac Pro's D300 switched out after tons of GPU hanging errors (and Apple didn't believe me about it being the GPU at first because I had third party RAM in there... had to find a friend with stock memory to swap in). But now after a year or so, the same thing is happening, but I'm out of warranty at this point. What should I do???
  7. voyager77 macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2012
    I would suggest picketing your local apple store.
    Grab a thermos with coffee, a few croissants and cooler box, add a sleeping bag and go camp inside the apple store until they fix your problem.

    I'm getting near that stage to, after more than two weeks in limbo, and i still have Apple(don't care that much really)care.
  8. Pardo83 macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2015
    Hey Idolum, everything still good with the last Sierra? I'm still on 10.12.4, I usually get one freeze every 4 days, but this morning I had 3 crashes in a row. So I'm considering updating to 10.12.6.
  9. Idolum, Sep 13, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017

    Idolum macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2016
    I only had one auto log-out a few days ago while I was uploading a 15GB video over night. I basically woke up looking at the log-in screen and the video upload did not complete. I have never experienced a crash or log-out during the day when I am actively using the computer.

    I finished the video upload the next night after booting up into Mavericks with an external drive. So if you need 110% reliability with zero crashes you might want to stick with Mavericks. Since I have only experienced one 'over night' crash in 2 month so far I am sticking with Sierra 10.12.6 - it's a lot faster than Mavericks ;-)
  10. Pardo83 macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2015
    Well, one crash in two months is very good! I had probably 7 days freezes-free with 10.12.4 but they always come back. Gonna update to 10.12.6 and I will report here.
  11. circuitt macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2016
    So if I was going to get a refurbished Mac Pro , should I go for a d500 for reliability reasons ? I'd be fine with the d300 but it sounds like they have issues.
  12. Pardo83 macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2015
    I'd go with d500 but, who knows...
  13. Pardo83, Sep 14, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017

    Pardo83 macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2015
    First crash after 24 hours with 10.12.6 :(

    EDIT: 2 crashes in 24 hours
  14. filmak macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2012
    between earth and heaven
    If there is a true hardware problem, no software can fix it or patch it...

    I really wonder what would be the behavior if a clean installation of sierra without any additional user apps, tested for a week...
  15. Lightsaber, Sep 14, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017

    Lightsaber macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2015
    We have (had) three of these in the office, purchased new, each with the D300, all are now out of warranty. AppleCare was never purchased.

    Only one is left.

    The first one would crash after running for just a few minutes, installed up to date Sierra on it, no difference - no longer being used.

    The second would crash every half hour to hour, up to date Sierra, still crashed - no longer being used.

    The third one crashes a couple times per day, up to date Sierra - currently being used but is in the process of being replaced with a Mac Pro laptop.

    Failure on all three were traced down to the graphics subsystem (graphics card failure). These were all "clean" installs of Sierra where SSD was reformatted and Sierra installed as new.

    Not the best investment our company ever made. When they work are beautiful machines, when the graphics cards fail - junk.
  16. Pardo83 macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2015
    I worked with Mavericks more than a year with 0 freezes. It all began after Mavericks
  17. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    This is provably false. Even if there's a serious hardware problem, often it takes a particular sequence of events to trigger the problem, and software changes can eliminate the possibility of that sequence of events occurring.

    You can leave now with TL;DR, but I'll describe a particular case.

    For example, in the mid-80's one of Digital's new MicroVAX systems ran fine when running VMS, but would frequently crash with impossible errors while running UNIX. (Impossible in the sense that "you can't get here from there" things would happen.)

    It was a hardware design error, and was easily fixed in software.

    The issue was the memory controller. Solid state DRAM loses its state over time, and a periodic memory refresh ( is necessary to avoid the loss of the contents of memory.

    The memory controller on those systems had a bug where the periodic refresh wasn't performed on chunks of RAM that had no activity for too long. The VMS systems had very random assignments of virtual pages to physical pages, so it was very unlikely that a "chunk" (which consisted of quite a few pages) would not be touched within that time period. The UNIX systems had less randomization, so idle chunks were more likely.

    Therefore, the UNIX systems would have situations where a big chunk of RAM would revert to zeroes. Clearly, randomly zeroing big chunks of RAM was destabilizing.

    The software fix for this hardware bug was simple. In one of the bookkeeping timer interrupts in the system a simple loop was inserted that would read one byte in each chunk (or probably one longword) at an appropriate frequency. (This was done for both operating systems - even though UNIX was showing the problem it was possible for it to hit VMS as well.)

    Result - it was impossible for any chunk of memory to not be accessed often enough to trigger refresh.

    Hardware problem - software fix.
  18. circuitt macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2016
  19. filmak macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2012
    between earth and heaven
    Thanks, this is a case that a software solution was possible, this is well known, too many similar solutions have happened in the past, you 're right.
    I should have be more precise, software can be a solution in some cases.

    Anyway, do you remember the GeForce 8800 GT (installed in MPs around 2008)?
    There is no way to fix a solder problem with a software solution and there are countless other examples, as you know very well.
    You can't improve the heat dissipation of the nMP with software nor an overheating ssd mounted on the GPU card...
    Or as you 're referring to the past, there was no fix for the Pentium FDIV bug (the FPU one), I think that a recall worth around $450 millions was the solution, not software etc...

    I like the stories from the past, and these kind of tech challenges, so I liked this one too. Not all posts must be just one sentence long, we can learn useful things from experienced persons this way.:) Cheers!
  20. bax2003, Sep 16, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017

    bax2003 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 25, 2011
    nMP, Dual D300, storage product demo machine on IBC2017 (Amsterdam) comment.


    Attached Files:

  21. JeffGeology macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2017
    Hi All

    I have the D700 model with 64 Gb stock Ram. It has performed perfectly for 2 years except for losing half its memory - that was a riser issue and was repaired under Apple Care. I just started getting the characteristic freeze then reboot after installing iTunes 12.7 - it happens when I start tunes - I have around 30 seconds of run time then the cursor locks and reboot happens in another 30 seconds or so. It does it every time. Otherwise all my apps run and it is stable. This has never happened before. I am on latest Sierra as of Sept 17 2017. I don't run anything intensive - just Lightroom and PS. I tried disconnecting my 4K monitor and using an older 27" DP Mac monitor, removing everything that connects etc. Spent a couple hours online wi Apple support. They claimed this had never happened - at least with new itunes then when I said there were numerous reports of this kind of behavior they guy got snotty and said that was unreliable info and had been blown out of proportion. This was a Senior Tech (second tier) - supposedly this is now turned over to advanced diagnostics group. The freeze/crash happened this morning when I tried to access Amazon Streaming via Safari just as the stream started. I know they have mucked around with iTunes using GPU to speed up scrolling while seeing albums so I am sure this part is GPU related. At any rate has anyone run the pre-release of High-Sierra which seems to have totally re-architectured everything and seen any improvement? Is this stupid optimism on my part to hope it all magically goes away with this eminent release??? Thanks in advance - some great knowledge on here.
  22. JeffGeology macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2017
    For additional clarity I did all the standard things like SMC reset, zapped/cleared the NVRAM/PRAM, over installed Sierra, reseated my memory chips, and tried various different thunderbolt ports for the monitor and different monitor combinations as well as remove everything Thunderbolt except the monitor. Nothing changed the behavior. I have not gone all the way back thru the threads but is this the behavior Apple is "repairing" with the D500/700 recall? Hopefully this is an extra datapoint. System Config for my Mac Pro 6,1 is a 3.5 Ghz 6 core Xeon E5 w 12 MB cache (original CPU) D700 model (2 x D700) with 64 Gb stock/original RAM (1866 MHz DDR3). I use a thunderbolt LG 4K monitor. Nothing modded/changed in case or in OS. I run a Caldigit 4x in RAID 5 and a Pegasus II 8x in RAID 5 each attached to a different thunderbolt port than the monitor (but I tried removing them also). Thanks in advance - appreciate all the time, sharing and knowledge on this thread.
  23. voyager77 macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2012
    Small update on my case, well if you can call it an update.

    Recap, i took the mac pro d300 into a service point 6 weeks ago for the very well know problem in this thread.

    So 6 weeks later and no progress.
    Last week they called me to say it now sometimes doesn't start up, something which had never happend before and they're talking with apple techs to see what needs doing.

    I have no idea what a normal repair time under apple care is, but 6 week seems way to much.

    I'm also afraid that once i get it back, it will be totally worn out due to running around the clock heat and stress tests.

    My work is piling up and i'm getting increasingly disappointed in apple care.
  24. JeffGeology macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2017
    voyager777 when I had my memory riser repaired last year it was under AppleCare. I took it to my Apple Store and had it back in 5 days. I could imagine a repair taking 2 weeks at the most. Six weeks, especially for a professional grade machine is excessive.

    I am waiting till Monday for High Sierra to see if the firmware upgrades that come with it and the re-architecture of the whole system fixes my problem. If not it will go in next week for repair. Either way I will post an update. It is also crashing on Final Cut Pro and web based Netflix or Hulu immediately on connect. It will still run Lightroom without crashing and does not crash at all unless I start certain programs.
  25. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    I get the lower priced "next business day" service on my HPE systems. (4 hour service 24x7 is a higher priced option)

    For a simple user-replaceable failure - the new part is overnighted to me.

    For something more complicated, a service technician arrives the next day to diagnose the issue, and the needed parts are overnighted and they're back the next day to install them.

    Apple's service has always been oriented towards "we'll fix your Apple toys sooner or later", and not "we understand that you need these systems to fulfill your obligations and make your income".

    At our company, those who choose Apple laptops are told to do their own backups, and if there's an issue the laptop will be replaced with a freshly imaged similar model and IT will deal with AppleCare.

    Those who chose Lenovo get next business day repairs - even for accidental damage. (I didn't zip the laptop section of my backpack one day, and my T440s touchscreen slipped out and shattered the screen. New screen the next day.)

    Apple simply doesn't understand the real professional market.

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