Anyone with a Mac Pro Quad-core 3.2 GHz, 8800GT and 30-inch display?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by reden, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. reden macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    #1
    I bought a new 3.2Ghz Quad-core mac pro a couple weeks ago with an Nvidia 8800GT video card. I received this Mac on Tuesday finally. I needed to upgrade from my Dual G5, and thought this would be the answer to all my prayers.

    Well, after a nightmare with Apple and FedEx with my box being shipped without an address, it finally came home. Sadly, I've run into one very annoying problem.

    When I switch resolutions, the system graphics get very choppy and ridiculously slow. Windows are hard to move, everything graphic-side is just a mess. Videos are slow to watch, it's all hell until I restart and it goes back to normal. So what steps have I taken?

    I called Apple upon noticing this odd problem. They had me reset the PRAM, repair a non-broken Hard Disk, restart multiple times, and a couple other things that simply didn't solve the issue. The tech-support person put me on hold for 15-20 minutes just to tell me that he doesn't have a solution.

    He thinks it's a hardware issue, I think it's a Mac OS X Leopard issue. Why? Because I have Windows Vista installed on a separate Hard Drive, and I switch resolutions like I do on OS X, and it doesn't replicate the problem. Now, that's odd. So, I have another OS X Leopard install, I switch to that, same issue.

    I tell the tech support guy all of this, and he doesn't know what to do with me. At this point he's just trying to get rid of me. So, I tell him that maybe I discovered a new issue with the new Mac Pros 8800GTs and OS X Leopard. I ask him if it would just be easier for me to take it to an Apple Store and get it checked out, and he says that I should. Tonight, I have an appointment to take my Mac Pro, and see what the verdict is. Hopefully it's not a hardware issue, and I can get my Mac back as soon as possible, and Apple can release a patch for this as soon as possible too.

    I head over to the Apple Store with a scheduled appointment. I give the Mac Genius a full run-down on what the issue is. I can replicate the problem with one of their 20-inch screens, but it returns to normal a few seconds later. He is able to see the lag with the graphics, and believes me. I tell him to test it on a 30-inch Cinema (which is what I have), and he says they can't. I wanted to simply show him the problem, so he can fully understand what was going on.

    He tells me all he can do is keep it for a day or two, and run diagnostics on it. Technically that should give them all the answers if anything is wrong with the computer itself. I tell him if the problem doesn't happen in Vista, but it happens in OS X, then it shouldn't be a hardware issue, right? He agrees with me.

    Finally, I guess our "15 minutes were up," and he asks me what I want to do. I tell him that I need my machine, and I am going to take it back home, reinstall Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.1 thinking the Leopard Graphics update was the culprit or 10.5.2. I erase my Hard Drive and do a fresh install, and it fixes nothing.

    At this point I have three options:

    1. Get a video camera and record the issue, and show it to someone who can help me.
    2. Find someone that bought a new Mac Pro with a 30-inch Cinema and a 8800GT.
    3. He suggested I get a new one, but I told him I don't want it to be broken, and that getting another one would mean to wait another two weeks, and I need it for my work. What if it's Leopard causing the problems? I would have returned it for no reason.

    I will do step one and two first, hopefully this will reiterate to me that it's not a hardware issue, and simply an OS X Leopard issue, which I'm 95% sure it is. We will see. Otherwise, if I have a effective Mac Pro, I will have no choice but to return it for another one.
     
  2. sturob macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #2
    Troubling. I'll have a 3.2 MP with the 8800GT on Monday, but I have a 24" Dell monitor. You said you could reproduce some of the choppiness on the 20" monitor at the store, right?

    And let me make sure I understand exactly what behavior you saw on the smaller monitor. If you change resolutions, on the smaller monitor, things are choppy for a bit and then get better, but on your own ACD 30, things chop and don't improve.

    Does that mean there's a certain resolution (I assume native) at which the ACD is smooth in Leopard, but that the other resolutions are screwy? And the whole thing works fine in BootCamp.

    Hmmmmmmmm. I guess it'd be hard to argue a hardware problem, wouldn't it, if it all works fine in the Vista realm. I also assume you've done Graphics Update 1.0?

    Not to imply that you, the Apple tech, and the "Genius" didn't think of that.


    Stuart
     
  3. Nugget macrumors 65816

    Nugget

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    Houston Texas USA
    #3
    Can you clarify what you mean by "switch resolutions"? I'd like to try to reproduce this on my machine.

    I experienced choppiness similar to what you're describing earlier today but I wasn't doing anything resolution-related at the time. I was just browsing some quicktime movies in finder using coverflow when it all went to crap.

    Activity monitor showed one of the eight cores pegged at 100% by the Finder process. As with your situation, a reboot cleared it right up and it's been fine ever since.
     
  4. reden thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    #4
    Hi sturob,

    It's smooth at any resolution, as long as I started up into it. If I switch it from lets say, 1920x1200 to 2560x1600 it chops up, games run at 10fps. If I restart, games will run at 70fps. It's so weird.
     
  5. reden thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    #5
    Hi nugget,

    Just switch resolutions under the Display pane in the preferences, switch between 4 or 5 resolutions then go back to your Max resolution.
     
  6. Mr.PS macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #6
    Just tried it. Changed into every resolution in the list and then back to 2560x1600 and it's still as fast as it was before... I'm running 10.5.2. Then again I'm on octo 2.8's.
     
  7. skyline r34 macrumors 6502

    skyline r34

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego
    #7
    i want to buy a 30lnch but waiting for apple to update them before i get one 2560 x 1600 is amazing, my 3.2GHz is arriving this tuesday the 19th
     
  8. Mr.PS macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #8
    ??
     
  9. reden thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    #9
    Check out these tests I did before and after the problem. It's a screenshot of 4 windows, the two on the top show the tests during normal behavior. The two on the bottom show the test after I have switched resolutions and back to 2560x1600. In particular, look at the numbers shown for Quartz Graphics Test, OpenGL Graphics Test and User Interface Test.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. ildondeigiocchi macrumors 6502a

    ildondeigiocchi

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal
    #10
    I will be receiving my Mac Pro with the 8800GT on Monday. I also have a 30" ACD. Does this mean that when I will lower the resolution in games like Crysis to 1280 by 800 (1/2 the resolution of the 30") the framerate will drop instead of rise? I pray that's not the case.... Has this happened to anyone?:eek:
     
  11. reden thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    #11
    If you experience the same issue as me, it won't affect crysis. This is only affecting me under Mac OS X. When I switch to Windows Vista, this problem doesn't happen at all.
     
  12. barefeats macrumors 65816

    barefeats

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2000
    #12
    I have a 3.2 with 30" Cinema but my 8800 GT doesn't arrive until March 4th.

    Sounds frustrating. Did you install 10.5.2 and the Leopard Graphics Update via Software Update? If so, you might try downloading them from Apple.com/Support/Downloads. Then install them.
     
  13. reden thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    #13
    hi barefeats,

    I tried this with and without the 10.5.2 update and the Leopard graphics update. My Mac Pro originally came without these two updates, only 10.5.1. So I have gone ahead and done a clean install and reverted to the original version, no luck. Right now I'm running the Hardware test from my Mac OS X Install CD, it's taking a while, hoping nothing negative comes out. Does anyone know if RAM will affect graphics? I did upgrade with 4GB of OWC memory?
     
  14. reden thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    #14
    Guys, I figured out the issue, it's quite sad. It seems my nvidia card is broken. I switched the display to the other port, and it doesn't cause the problems. I'm so angry right now. Took me two days to figure this out. So bummed.
     
  15. Mr.PS macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #15
    Sorry to hear reden! Unfortunately I had some issues earlier on with the Mac Pro, after I re-ordered with the 8800GT it's been flawless.
     
  16. reden thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    #16
    Wait, out of my anger I forgot about something I mentioned on my first post... Why doesn't this happen in Vista?
     
  17. Nugget macrumors 65816

    Nugget

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    Houston Texas USA
    #17
    Just to recap -- I was just able to reproduce this bug on my system exactly as Reden described. With my 30" ACD plugged into the second DVI port on the 8800 card I can induce the choppy behavior and poor graphics performance by going in to system preferences and changing the resolution a few times.

    I only have the one display, so I don't know how the presence of a second monitor might affect the issue.
     

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