Problem with displays going black

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MythicFrost, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

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    #1
    Hey,

    I've got an 08 Mac Pro with a 30" ACD hooked up to it as well as a 24" Apple LED display (via a MDP to (DVI?) converter) and I'm having some problems.

    Basically, sometimes the screens go black. It can be when the computer turns on, that one (never both) doesn't turn on... or, when waking from sleep, or, one just goes black at some point.

    I ran TechTool Deluxe on the Mac Pro and the GPU passed the test just fine, I'm wondering why this is happening? FYI The converter is USB powered.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

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    #2
    Are you using the Apple Mini Displayport to Duallink DVI converter?
     
  3. davelanger macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 25, 2009
    #3
    Are you using the 5870 graphics card? If so, it seems to be an issue with the card. The work around that seems to work is use one of the hot corners to sleep the screen, and when it goes black, drag the mouse to that corner, wait a few seconds, then move it out, it should refresh the screen and the monitor should come back on.
     
  4. 2contagious macrumors 6502a

    2contagious

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    #4
    Yeah, that's what I am wondering, too. If it's a 5870 or 5770 card, and it happens on a 2008 Mac Pro, too, we can be sure it's not just the 2010 Mac Pro, but specifically those cards that need to be fixed / firmware updated.
     
  5. reel2reel macrumors 6502a

    reel2reel

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    #5
    2contagious, are you having these problems, too? Can't remember if you mentioned it in one of the other threads.
     
  6. sparkie1984 macrumors 68000

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    #6
    I have random blackout on my 2009 pro!

    Running an apple 24 monitor! Not sure what graphics I have, it's the radeon I got with it, 4870 maybe?????
     
  7. ovrlrd macrumors 65816

    ovrlrd

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    Aug 29, 2009
    #7
    Oh no the problem is spreading to other Mac Pros and different video cards!


    More likely this whole issue has nothing to do with a specific batch of video cards, but with the latest OS X builds and graphics card drivers. It might be increased by the latest Radeons or Mac Pros, but I suspect the issue is much more complicated than some of the people in other threads are thinking.
     
  8. sparkie1984 macrumors 68000

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    #8
    Mines done it ever since I got it in January this year!

    It's irritating as I got the pro after 4 faulty iMacs and it still isn't perfect!

    Also loses random Bluetooth connection to.
     
  9. bluesteel macrumors 6502

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    #9
    if your using an Apple MiniDisplay port to Dual-Link DVI Adapter, you should check to see what firmware its running. Anything before firmware version 1.0.3 will make your external monitor flicker and intermittently blackout. you can check the current firmware version while your display is connected via the adapter, by navigating to the System Profiler and then go to Graphics/Displays.

    if your running anything before firmware version 1.0.3, Apple Technical Support will mail you a new adapter for free. the firmware can't be updated via OS X Software Update. Over the past three years, i've had three adapters mailed to me by Apple as the firmware versions were updated to 1.0.1, 1.0.2, and 1.0.3. I was running a 2009 Mac Pro with two 30" Apple Cinema Displays and the one connected via the adapter would constantly flicker and blackout.

    Not sure if this is your issue, but its worth looking into :)
     
  10. MythicFrost thread starter macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

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    #10
    I don't believe so, the 24" just has an adaptor which converts MiniDisplay port to DVI. Unless thats the big box the 30" uses? It might be ya know.
    No, I've got the GTX 285 1GB.
    What converter do you use to get it to fit DVI? Or does your GPU have a dedicated MDP?
    Ahah lol... just fyi this issue was present a few builds ago.
    Mmm, I've had this Mac Pro a long time. It
    Mmm that's interesting, I'll have to check it out. Does the big 30" use that MDP to Dual Link DVI? I know it has a mediumish size white box on the ground (smaller than previous gen Apple TV size, I.E, half) which the 30" plugs into...

    My GPU has two DVI ports, the 30" goes into one, and the 24" via a MDP to DVI converter goes into another.
     
  11. bluesteel macrumors 6502

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    #11
    looks like your not using the adapter that i am using: (http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB571Z/A). if your graphics card has two DVI ports, that means your 30 inch cinema display just connects to one port, and your 24" cinema display connects via this adapter to the other DVI port (http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB570Z/A?fnode=MTY1NDA5OQ&mco=MTA4NTYxMDQ). even though your not using the same adapter i am, you might want to check and see what firmware the adapter you are using is via Apple System Profiler, and then call Apple Tech Support to find out if there is a newer firmware. if there is, they will probably send you a new adapter at no charge. if it doesn't fix the problem, at least you've crossed one thing off the list.

    by the way, don't rule out an issue with the 30" power supply either. my two 30" cinema displays have both had bad power supplies as well, i mean the "power brick", the white box your talking about. since i have the apple care warranty on both of them, apple replaced both power bricks. the thing is that i can't remember if i had blackout issues because of those bad power bricks. also, don't rule out the actual 30" dual link-dvi cable attached to the monitor. when i talked to apple when i was having all these problems with my 30 inchers, they had ruled out my ATI HD4870 graphics card (not that you should rule out your graphics card being the culprit of your problems), and they talked about the three things i mentioned; firmware issue on the adapter, power brick for the monitors, and the actual cabling of the monitors.
     
  12. MythicFrost thread starter macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

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    #12
    Hmm, both those adaptors are wrong. I'm using a third party one. The 24" MDP connects into it via MDP, and then the DVI cable on the converter fits into the DVI port on my GPU. But, that aside, I still get flickering with the 30" which I don't think has that.

    It appears I've been saying it wrong, it's a DVI to MiniDisplay Port converter.
    This is what I bought (for the 24"): http://www.atlona.com/Atlona-DVI-to-Mini-DisplayPort-Converter-p-17859.html
     
  13. bluesteel macrumors 6502

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    #13
    oh sorry, now i see what adapter your using. by the way, your graphics card has two dual-link dvi ports.

    how old is your 30"? do you have any apple care left on it? are both the 24" and 30" flickering and/or blacking out? if so, in my opinion, it would seem that the graphics card is the culprit. i feel your frustration :)

    your graphics card should have a 2 year warranty. hopefully it's not older than that.
     
  14. MythicFrost thread starter macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

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    #14
    Meh it wasn't your fault, I didn't make myself clear enough.

    The 30" is about 18 months and is still under AppleCare. Both of them black out, but never at the same time.
    I hope it isn't the GPU. I have run TechTool Deluxe and it says the GPU is fine -- how else would I tell?

    The GTX 285 is probably 14 months old, if that.
     
  15. bluesteel macrumors 6502

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    #15
    you'll be fine cause all your stuff is still under warranty.

    did you check to see what driver your using for the GTX 285? again, you can check in the System Profiler under Graphics/Displays. i can see from the EVGA website, that Driver Version 19.5.8f03 was released on 1/9/2010 (http://www.evga.com/support/drivers/). not sure if these drivers update through apple's Software Update.

    i would first contact EVGA technical support for the GTX 285 (http://www.evga.com/support). you might have to register your graphics card first, which you can do from that webpage as well under "Product Registration". this creates an EVGA account for you that you can log into and submit a support ticket from. if you did not register your product when you first bought it, you might need the purchase receipt as proof of when you bought it...not sure, though. there may be a build-date on the graphics card that they can track that warranty status by. also not sure if there is a phone number, or if you have to submit a trouble ticket.

    since both displays exhibit the problem, its seems less likely a problem with the displays themselves, right? seems like a logical conclusion in my mind. anyhow, when you speak to the graphics card tech support people, or if you have to email them, sound confident that the graphics card is the problem. this way, they might send you out another graphics card asap via RMA, and you won't have to keep going back and forth between EVGA and Apple, a waste of time if your a busy individual. if your still having the issues even with the new graphics card, then you can move on to the displays themselves and either make an appointment with the genius bar at the apple store, or call apple technical support via phone and work your way from there. either way, its an annoying pain in the rear, but i'd work fast and get it out of the way while you have everything under warranty.

    normally, if i've just had my hardware repaired, and i'm nearing the end of my warranty on my computer hardware, i tend to sell it on eBay or Craig's List as soon as its repaired. i do this so that i have the opportunity to sell my hardware in honest working condition and under warranty while i have the chance. i hear there are a lot of people out there looking for GTX 285's. this might not be your way of doing things, but me, being a computer hardware addict and wanting the newest stuff all the time, i sell my hardware every year or two...lol. the only thing i've held onto so far is my 30" cinema display cause its got two more years of warranty left on it, and i don't think Apple will ever make any display this good that is matte :)

    by the way, i just want to state that i don't claim to be an expert on any of this stuff. i'm just an enthusiast with an opinion. please take my advice for what its worth :)
     
  16. MythicFrost thread starter macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

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    #16
    Thanks for your reply,

    I'll download that GPU update (I was totally unaware they existed for Mac). It does seem possible that it is the GPU, but having experienced it, I'm not so sure, it was only after my 23" was replaced with the 24" that these problems started occurring, even though since then I've tried replacing the 24" with the 23" to see if the issues prevail, in which they do, but only for the 30" IIRC.
    All right, I'll do that. Thanks :D
     
  17. bluesteel macrumors 6502

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  18. sparkie1984 macrumors 68000

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    #18
    Hi guys! My card has a mdp port on it so it's a straight connection to the screen.

    I'm sure the card is a 4870 or something it was the best you could order anyway
     
  19. vbob, Jan 5, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011

    vbob macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    #19
    Mac Pro 2009 + GTX 285 Black Flickering

    Hi all.

    I have a mac pro 2009 with 6 GB Ram, Intel SSD, EVGA GTX285 GPU, etc.
    At the summer my GTX285 went dead and as it was still under warranty it was replaced with a new one.

    Now after some months of the replacement, my new GTX285 seems to have some kind of problem again and I am scared that the card is going to broke again.

    I have "black flickerings". I have an 19" LG (4:3) TFT monitor connected to the mac trough DVI connector - no adapter needed, the GTX285 have two normal DVI ports and no mdp. (I will buy an Apple monitor or Dell monitor 27" in the future).

    The problem seems to happen in three cases:

    a) When the computer boots up (it boots up very fast with the ssd) and I am in the user login screen, then it does the "black flickering" some times.
    b) I have the mac pro on and sometimes I am doing something else. The mac pro when the 15 minutes time passes, is showing the screensaver and later it is getting into power management mode and turns off the monitor (black). This is normal. When I press a key on the keyboard or move the mouse after some time, I got the black flickering for some seconds (about 5-30 seconds) and then it stops flickering and everything is normal.
    c) When I press the shutdown button (I have configured my mac pro to go to "sleep mode" when I press the shutdown button - the mode that only the RAM works) and put my mac pro to sleep. Later when I wake it up, and the monitor and everything wakes up and showing the Login GUI of the Mac OS X, I got the black flickering again for a short time, and then it stops having the problem.

    Is this really bad? Should I be worried? Is my new (replaced through warranty) GTX285 going to be broke again?
    Should I try to download the newest drivers from Nvidia or just trust and use only the normal updates that the global update of Mac OSX Snow Leopard gives to me from time to time?
     

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