SOLVED 2010 Mac Pro 5,1 trouble


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Hello! I have a problem with my Mac Pro. I was surfing the web today and all of a sudden my display went blank. Actually there's a vertical striped pattern that looks like some kind of furnace or car air filter (attached photo). When I power the machine off and then back on, it seems to have started back up all right but I'm not sure. There's no chime. All I can see is this striped pattern.
I can't reboot into recovery mode. Probably a bad GPU, right? ATI Radeon 5770. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you! 20200620_230726_compress33.jpg
 
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Cory Cooper

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Hello and welcome.

Yes, that seems to be a bad graphics card. It sounds like you have a Mac Pro (Mid 2010) or Mac Pro (Mid 2012), as that card came in both of those models. Which version of OX S/macOS?

You could try starting up in safe mode to see if it may be a software issue. Also, do you have another display you can try?

C
 
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Thanks, Cory!
It is a mid 2010 2.8 quad core machine. Thing has been solid as a rock. The weird thing is, while surfing the web Friday night, out of the blue, a thought popped into my head to price out new monitors. "I paid a lot of money for my HP isp display back in the day, I wonder if the prices have come down." 12 hours later, my screen goes south. I do have another monitor that appears the same when plugged into my Mac, so I don't think it's that. I don't know if that's good news or bad news, but I do have a new graphic card on the way that'll be here tomorrow. Fingers crossed! Thanks again!
 
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Good news. I'm back in business! Apparently my old ATI Radeon 5770 graphics card had gone bad indeed. I replaced this with a Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 580 and my machine is back up and running. Thank goodness! Install was pretty easy. Basic plug and play. Note: with this card in an old machine, there is no boot up screen (Apple logo/progress bar). Also, with no boot up screen, you can't select your boot up drive at startup (no access to Startup Manager). There might be a way to flash these to get them to show the boot up screen. Not sure. Also, on my machine this card requires a Dual Mini 6 pin to 8 pin PCI Express Video Card power adapter.

One good thing about this episode was discovering the Google Lens app which is on my new phone. I'd heard about this but never got around to exploring it. When I first started searching "striped pattern on display," nothing I was seeing looked like what I had going on. After taking a picture to post on this site, I accidentally hit the Google Lens button in my gallery app and it brought up several images/links to posts about this same issue! Most of these were Windows machines and in several cases people chimed in to confirm the likelihood that this was a bad graphics card.

I forgot to mention, my OS is 10.12.6. Another good thing about this card is it offers support for metal... maybe some day I'll need that. Nice forum. Thanks again, Cory. Take care!
 
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Cory Cooper

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Hello,

Glad you're back in business. PC graphics cards do mostly work in Macs, and the cabling difference is because it's not an Apple-compatible card. Sometimes flashing will restore things like the boot screen issue, but it can also render the card unusable in your Mac.

Be well,

C
 
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