8 Replies Latest reply: Feb 10, 2011 4:12 AM by Daveonator
Daveonator Level 1 (0 points)

I have a Mac Pro 1,1 A1186 computer, MAC OS X 10.6.6, and I just updated the ole 7300 video card to an ATI Radeon HD 5870 I just purchased from the Apple Store last week.

Problem: Mac OS X 10.6.6 keeps losing the display settings during reboots and fails to detect one of the monitors (the Acer X233H) randomly upon reboots. I tried using two Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapters, but when that produced undesirable results I just plugged one of the monitors into the DVI diplay port and used just one of the Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapters. Then I tried swapping the monitors around.

I know both monitors and cables that directly connect to the monitors work fine as *they worked on the 7300 adapter*. I'm not using an Apple display, so I'm wondering do I have a bad card or is this common?

I tried reseating the card, completely disconnecting it and reinstalling it. I have both power cables plugged into the card, and both monitors will come up eventually if I keep rebooting my system (if they didn't come up the first time).

Please help... this whole experience is ruining my buzz for purchasing such a kick butt OEM card from Apple. Thank you very much in advanced.

I have 14GB of RAM, 2TB Western Digital (for backup/archival purposes), and an SSD Patriot Torqx 128GB Drive. The Diagnostics state they passed, and everything else works fine except for the display detection.

Here is the setup of the monitors I'm using:

Chipset Model: ATI Radeon HD 5870
Type: GPU
Bus: PCIe
Slot: Slot-1
PCIe Lane Width: x16
VRAM (Total): 1024 MB
Vendor: ATI (0x1002)
Device ID: 0x6898
Revision ID: 0x0000
ROM Revision: 113-C0780C-194
EFI Driver Version: 01.00.436
Acer X223W:
Resolution: 1680 x 1050 @ 60 Hz
Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Rotation: Supported
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 @ 60 Hz
Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
Main Display: Yes
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Rotation: Supported
Display Connector:
Status: No Display Connected

A1186, Mac OS X (10.6.6), MacPro1,1
  • Smokerz Level 6 (9,485 points)

    read the last few paragraphs
  • Andi-0815 Level 1 (15 points)
    In fact the problem may remain the same even with only one monitor directly connected via DVI. Just search this sub-forum for similar problem descriptions.

    So far I only found one final solution for the problem: doubleyouseven

    An ugly workaround is to keep MacOS and to set the computer to sleep, using the power on button, and to immediately wake it up again.
  • Daveonator Level 1 (0 points)
    Love the quote, "On some occasions after power up, only one display would light up. But when I would pull out one of the Mini DisplayPort cables, then two would light up. Plug it back in and now three were lit. So there is still some "ooga booga" with multi-display support."

    Ogga Booga is right... seems to effect the 2009 and below from what I read?

    Other users chimed in on the apple store saying it "worked' with my Mac Pro 1,1... I wouldn't say this bugginess is working. Basically working to me means there are no known issues. This seems to be fairly documented, and thus the card IMHO doesn't seem to work properly (from what I read) in the 2009 and below.

    The shame is that it was advertised to work in the 2009. So that makes no sense, I guess I could understand if it didn't work with the 2006 (mine) properly. Any word of a firmware update that would correct this?
  • Daveonator Level 1 (0 points)
    What is doubleyouseven?

    Would the $99 adapter work if I just purchased two of them? God, I would hate to do that... but I guess if it works...
  • Daveonator Level 1 (0 points)
    Nevermind, I think I found out what W7 is.

    http://lifehacker.com/#/___sbsstatic___/migration-images/migration-img-not-avail .png5619064/w7-theme-for-ubuntu-brings-windows-7s-familiar-gui-to-linux

    Oh boy, never It's bad enough I have to work in Windows 7 and support it. LOL... I'm a Mac Man now... for life unless they keep making cards like the ATI 5870 that 1/2 works with displays.

    Cringes Making Mac look like Windows 7 would be like painting a clowns face over the Mona Lisa. No thanks, I'll deal with the display issues if it comes down to that.
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,701 points)
    A related topic, but the same fundamental issues is being discussed nearby:

    Can I use all three ports on the ATI Radeon HD 5770?

    The movie version is that Mini DisplayPort does not convert directly to DVI, and the card cannot run three displays reliably unless you are using ACTIVE or POWERED adapters to convert to HDMI or DVI, which provide active conversion.

    This is not your Mac Pro model, but you ARE using its display card, so these DO apply:

    Mac Pro (Mid 2010), Mac Pro (Early 2009): Issues with three displays and multiple DVI, HDMI connections

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac Pro (Mid 2010): Supported display configurations
  • Daveonator Level 1 (0 points)
    OK, I took your advise and tried the "active powered" adapter last night. No dice. The monitor detection still doesn't work even after purchasing the $100 adapter for only 2 displays. Connecting one of the monitors to the DVI display in the back and connecting the other display to the Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter.

    _This is not the solution as the problem still occurs._

    I also tried reloading Mac OS X Snow Leopard last night wiping out everything on the entire partition to be extreme thinking that the system could be confused. I know I could've just deleted the configuration file, but hey... what the heck.

    After applying the updates I was able to see both displays again, +_however again they got confused_+.

    The end result is from what I believe that the card is inferior in the way it doesn't allow Mac OS X to detect displays properly and or a driver update needs to be issued from Apple to address this issue.

    After trying multiple things it would appear that there is only 1 work around as suggest from above (put the computer to sleep). However, to properly fix things we shouldn't have to utilize work arounds.

    Important facts that lead me to this conclusion are:

    1. Mac OS X 10.6.6 does detect displays properly with the 7300 with no problem.

    2. The monitors and cables work properly with the 7300 card, and other systems. So they are not the issue.

    3. After installing the ATI 5870 card that's when we I experienced the issues that didn't go away no matter what cable I used or where I plugged the monitors.

    a. Thus a $100 cable or a $30 cable worked the same for this issue.

    4. Reinstalling OS X 10.6.6 completely and wiping out everything including the display configuration had no bearing on any of this.

    Therefore, it can only be two things by deduction:

    1. The firmware of the card needs a revision to help support multiple displays.


    2. The driver for the ATI 5870 needs a revision to correct multiple display support within the Operating System.

    However, I can't see paying over $500 for a card and an adapter that doesn't work properly. If there is no hope that Apple or ATI is working on this issue with the ATI 5870 card, I have only one recourse and that is not to support this particular ATI product and take it back. I know I can always just keep putting my computer to sleep, but over $500 for a video card and an adapter that is riddled with bugs is way too much for me.

    *I'm taking the card back and reinstalling the 7300 until a proper card can be produced or an update is issued to specifically correct multiple display support.*

    *Thank you* everyone for your help, I really appreciate it. *+However, the users of the systems can only do so much without proper support from Apple and/or ATI on this issue.+*
  • Daveonator Level 1 (0 points)
    Credit for this goes to Smokerz and Audi-0815 for taking this as far as we can. Thank you.

    My comments have already been posted above in regards to the only real solution for this card is to have ATI and/or Apple issue us a fix to correct these issues.