Extreme UI Lag, Maxed-Out 5,1

Derived

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 1, 2015
286
195
Midwest
My 5,1 is close to as good as it gets (12 x 3.46, 128gb, 1tb PCIE SSD, GTX1080) and is running the latest Nvidia drivers and the latest build of Sierra...and yet I have UI lag like you can't believe. Expose is sometimes useless, swiping between fullscreen windows can sometimes be painfully slow. Safari is almost unusable at times. Just added the GTX1080 today and it made a very small improvement, but not much better than the GTX680 before it. It didn't used to be like this, but my usage case hasn't changed much on this machine and the UI performance has continued to get worse. Anyone else experiencing this? Very strange and exceedingly frustrating for it to feel so slow when I know it's not...
 

SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

macrumors 601
Jul 4, 2015
4,487
2,501
Paris
Depends what you mean by lag. Some apps use interfaces that draw faster than others. Sometimes it's a matter of individual perception. Sometimes it's because people compare to Windows or a bran new optimised Mac.

Would need video to understand.
 

Derived

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 1, 2015
286
195
Midwest
Well, I am comparing it to what you see in a newer Mac but also comparing it to my 2012 cMBP with base specs...really makes no sense. And, as I said, it hasn't always been like this...I suppose I just wanted to see if this was a general issue with Sierra that anyone else had noticed, I've been living with it for a while but after the 1080 only made a small improvement, I figured I'd ask.

I have noticed that it gets particularly bad when Think or Swim (desktop trading client written in Java) is running, but it's fairly poor all the time. Essentially seems like the window server is struggling hard even though the system is barely ticking over.
 

SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

macrumors 601
Jul 4, 2015
4,487
2,501
Paris
Also depends what resolution your screen is. So to answer your questions we would need

- video demo
- which app is lagging
- your screen res
 

Derived

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 1, 2015
286
195
Midwest
Also depends what resolution your screen is. So to answer your questions we would need

- video demo
- which app is lagging
- your screen res
As I said, it's a general slowness in the UI, it's not one app in particular. Switching windows, resizing windows, switching between open apps, moving from full-screen to windowed view, moving around desktops, expose, minimizing windows into the dock, pulling them back out, wallpaper changes are choppy and sometimes don't transition at all, even the screensaver can be extremely low frame rate, etc. All of that is extremely slow often times. Currently running in 3840 x 2160 via DP, single display. For the Mac OS UI that should be absolutely no problem for this machine. I will see if I can get a video of what I mean, not tonight however. Will try tomorrow. Nothing else on the machine seems impacted, I use XLD, Handbrake, Plex, none are slow, all lightning fast in fact. Apps open quickly. Machine boots and shuts down extremely fast. Files are accessed extremely quickly. I had assumed it was the GTX680 struggling to draw the screen in 4k but that seems to have not been the case.
 

SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

macrumors 601
Jul 4, 2015
4,487
2,501
Paris
As I said, it's a general slowness in the UI, it's not one app in particular. Switching windows, resizing windows, switching between open apps, moving from full-screen to windowed view, moving around desktops, expose, minimizing windows into the dock, pulling them back out, wallpaper changes are choppy and sometimes don't transition at all, even the screensaver can be extremely low frame rate, etc. All of that is extremely slow often times. Currently running in 3840 x 2160 via DP, single display. For the Mac OS UI that should be absolutely no problem for this machine. I will see if I can get a video of what I mean, not tonight however. Will try tomorrow. Nothing else on the machine seems impacted, I use XLD, Handbrake, Plex, none are slow, all lightning fast in fact. Apps open quickly. Machine boots and shuts down extremely fast. Files are accessed extremely quickly. I had assumed it was the GTX680 struggling to draw the screen in 4k but that seems to have not been the case.
Quartz is generally not super smooth at Retina and 4K res. As long as you don't compare to lower res or Windows you'll be fine.

One thing you should stop doing is just randomly playing with resizing windows and just concentrate on alt tabbing.

High Sierra promises to be snappier but you're using Nvidia web drivers which are officially only optimised for Kepler GPUs.
 

Synchro3

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2014
1,946
810
Did you try a wired mouse? I read somewhere that wireless mouses can cause UI lags.

However, I have no UI lags with my Mac Pro with a 4K display (GTX Titan X Maxwell).
[doublepost=1498550076][/doublepost]
As I said, it's a general slowness in the UI, it's not one app in particular. Switching windows, resizing windows, switching between open apps, moving from full-screen to windowed view, moving around desktops, expose, minimizing windows into the dock, pulling them back out, wallpaper changes are choppy and sometimes don't transition at all, even the screensaver can be extremely low frame rate, etc. All of that is extremely slow often times. Currently running in 3840 x 2160 via DP, single display. For the Mac OS UI that should be absolutely no problem for this machine. I will see if I can get a video of what I mean, not tonight however. Will try tomorrow. Nothing else on the machine seems impacted, I use XLD, Handbrake, Plex, none are slow, all lightning fast in fact. Apps open quickly. Machine boots and shuts down extremely fast. Files are accessed extremely quickly. I had assumed it was the GTX680 struggling to draw the screen in 4k but that seems to have not been the case.
 

Derived

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 1, 2015
286
195
Midwest
I have not in fact, although I've thought of it due to my extreme hate for the way for bluetooth interacts with the Sonnet USB3 card I've installed. However the cable run would be a massive pain. I'll see if I can get a hold of one to test it out.

After a few reboots, things seem better...I have no real explanation for that, I'm knowledgeable enough about hardware and software, magic sudden self-repair is almost as annoying as the problem. Still a bit choppy but so far no massive hanging like there has been.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Reclzz

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,534
2,303
Delaware
If you have your Activity Monitor open, and get a lot of lag, does the Activity Monitor show if software is using a lot of CPU time, or lots of memory, despite the huge amount of RAM that you have?
Maybe you have some software issues that result in the noticeable UI lags that you are experiencing.
You might even discover some existing issues if you download and run EtreCheck.
You can post the resulting log here, if you wish.
 

Derived

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 1, 2015
286
195
Midwest
I'm the type of person that compulsively tracks everything that's running on the machine, it's nothing as simple as that. Even with only Messages, Twitter, Mail, Safari and iTunes running, it will exhibit (or has exhibited) this behavior.

Seeing as it seems to have improved for now, I will keep track of it and see if it starts acting up again.

Now, this is an off-the-shelf GTX1080 FE, not flashed. But as soon as the OS takes over from the EFI that's on a flashed card, this shouldn't matter right? EFI is only useful for the boot screen, it has nothing to do with how the card runs *in OS X* after the OS is loaded and the driver comes online. So that shouldn't be the problem.
 

SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

macrumors 601
Jul 4, 2015
4,487
2,501
Paris
Now, this is an off-the-shelf GTX1080 FE, not flashed. But as soon as the OS takes over from the EFI that's on a flashed card, this shouldn't matter right? EFI is only useful for the boot screen, it has nothing to do with how the card runs *in OS X* after the OS is loaded and the driver comes online. So that shouldn't be the problem.
EFI would make no real world difference to GUI speed. If you're not running a 3D or video application the GPU is running at about 300Mhz. Quartz is tough to render with some application dev kits. We have been living with it that way since 17 years.
 

Derived

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 1, 2015
286
195
Midwest
Activity Monitor can be your friend, if you let it :D
It's pretty much a startup item on any machine I use, would be lost without it.
[doublepost=1498608546][/doublepost]
EFI would make no real world difference to GUI speed. If you're not running a 3D or video application the GPU is running at about 300Mhz. Quartz is tough to render with some application dev kits. We have been living with it that way since 17 years.
Is Quartz heavily CPU-bound? Would make sense given the fact that I'm using 7 year old CPUs on a 7 year old MoBo. Only so far you can push these. UI has continued to stay snappier throughout the day, although still maybe a few ticks behind even the entry level base MacBook, leading me to believe that at this point...I'm running into the limits of 2010 hardware. Always knew this day would come...
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,784
5,595
Hong Kong
It's pretty much a startup item on any machine I use, would be lost without it.
[doublepost=1498608546][/doublepost]

Is Quartz heavily CPU-bound? Would make sense given the fact that I'm using 7 year old CPUs on a 7 year old MoBo. Only so far you can push these. UI has continued to stay snappier throughout the day, although still maybe a few ticks behind even the entry level base MacBook, leading me to believe that at this point...I'm running into the limits of 2010 hardware. Always knew this day would come...
If Apple use CPU to handle the UI and cause the laggy, it's definitely a software issue. Because they programme the OS to use the wrong hardware to handle that. I am sure even the very low end GPU can handle the UI without any trouble. It not that demanding.

Just like using CPU to soft render 3D stuff. It's slow, not because the hardware is old, but because using the wrong method to do the job.
 

kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,027
322
Anything interesting in the system logs? because this almost sounds like a hardware issue. "Safari almost unusable at times" do you get the spinning pizza of death, or just lagginess, or what?

Do you by any chance have Windows or Linux also installed on that machine, and if so, do they show similar symptoms?
 

SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

macrumors 601
Jul 4, 2015
4,487
2,501
Paris
Is Quartz heavily CPU-bound? Would make sense given the fact that I'm using 7 year old CPUs on a 7 year old MoBo.
Depends on configuration. The crazy thing is that Quartz runs faster without a graphics driver. Try a Hackintosh without your graphics acceleration enabled and you'll be shocked. You won't have OpenGL etc but the interface becomes super fast.
 

SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

macrumors 601
Jul 4, 2015
4,487
2,501
Paris
Thanks for the info, interesting.

That means the UI is very low demand. Software rendering is more than enough, and all lag is coming from poor graphic driver.
I don't that's the reason. I think the hardware acceleration of Quartz means in the name of live resizing and smooth motion too many frames are rendered. More than the human eye needs to see in 2D animation. The reason Windows and unaccelerated Quartz are much faster is because there is less waste of resources.
 
Last edited:

Reclzz

macrumors member
Apr 8, 2014
39
3
I'm seeing no sluggishness or slowness on my MP 5.1:
2x X5660, 2.8GHz Hex
32 GB RAM
PCI-E mounted Samsung 850 Pro 512 GB
ASUS RX 480 8 GB (hacked kext)

Runs both my 1440p and 1080p flawlessly at the same time. Even when using C4D and FCPX.
 

bjar

macrumors regular
Feb 20, 2013
219
82
Sugar land, tx
I repeat, try a wired mouse.
^this. Or, if you are using the older Magic Mouse, buy the new one. I had all kinds of lag with the older one. Not sure what the difference is, maybe Bluetooth inside mouse has better shielding or something. Or apple just wants you to buy more stuff.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Synchro3

threemonkeyzoo

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2017
13
0
Same issue on my 5,1, 3.33, 256gb ssd, 3tb hd, mac gtx 680. Sierra was awful, exactly as you said. Got somewhat better after indexing, but still bad. I tried everything on just about all websites looking for help. Had to go back to El Capitan, much better but now my internet speed is glacial, I wonder if the update fried my ethernet card. Going to try a new one tonight.
 

Ph.D.

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2014
510
417
I have no answer; I'm just writing to commiserate. The frustrating and at times infuriating UI lag is what has been slowly killing my otherwise-healthy 3,1. Death by a thousand lags. :(
 
  • Like
Reactions: thornslack