1st Gen Mac Pro + ATI 3870 = still slow? wha?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by JPamplin, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. JPamplin macrumors 6502


    Mar 12, 2009
    Nashville, TN

    I just bought a 2x2.66 1st Gen Mac Pro (4GB RAM, 2x750GB Seagate 7200.11s as a RAID 0 Boot drive) and upgraded the nVidia 7300 to an ATI HD 3870 with an Accelero S1 Rev 2 cooler (see pics of my install of that cooler at the end of the "Is your 3870 always loud?" thread.)

    Then I wiped the RAID 0 boot drive and did a clean reinstall of 10.5.6 and all my apps, with the card in place. The Pro sees it, everything "works", but where is this Core Image wonderkind I heard so much about?

    When I minimize or maximize windows to the dock, it's quite "choppy." I can't believe that this Mac Pro is somehow too slow to push smooth graphics, when the 7300 was much smoother in these animations. Even in Google Earth, with 3D buildings turned on and looking at Manhattan, it's like a slide show (1-2 frames/sec).

    System Profiler tells me that the card has everything enabled (Quartz Extreme, etc.), but when I did the 10.5.6 install, I DID NOT install the ATI driver disk (I thought the drivers in 10.5.6 would be newer).

    Did I make a mistake? Should I install the ATI CD regardless? Some advice would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks, John

    UPDATE: I did go ahead and reinstall the driver disk, and things seem a little smoother. However, there's no updated driver (or any driver) on ATI's website for the Mac 3870 - sup with that?
  2. KevinPlusPlus macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2007
    As far as I know, the drivers on the CD were integrated as of Mac OS X 10.5.4.

    I have a 3870 and everything is quite zippy, so I can't imagine what's going on that would cause anything to lag. :confused:
  3. NickolasSin macrumors member


    Feb 12, 2008
    Well a little trick to get the dock animations to run smooth is to run Activity monitor and force quit the dock. Afterwords it will run insanely smooth until a restart. However, as for overall performance, have you set up the the speed of the pci-e slots on your mac pro? Did you ensure it was running at full x16 speed? Also are you using all the correct power connectors for the pci-e, the one's off the actual motherboard? Those could be a few of your problems. The dock trick works great though if not.
  4. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    Even though 10.5.6 should have the drivers, try installing them from the CD anyway, I bet that will fix it.
  5. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    This would install OLDER drivers than what the rest of the OS is expecting. Not usually a good idea. But you can always run the 10.5.6 updater again as a stand alone and re-update.
  6. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    True... I thought about this but left it out of my post. Myself, I installed the drivers on 10.5.4 (or was it 10.5.5, can't remember) because the card wasn't working properly, and then it worked as expected.
  7. Platonist macrumors member


    Nov 3, 2006
    I just installed this card as well, and I have noticed an improvement in all animations. The minimizing animations are much improved, as are the animations of the dock (like the stacks and such). Aperture is also smoother. I didn't install any drivers myself -- just went with what my updated Leopard gave me.

    Edit: I am running a first gen, 2.66 quad Pro.
  8. emt377 macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2008
    I bet Spotlight (mdimporter) is running, to index your system the first time.

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