HELP: Illustrator CS6 VERY sluggish with 2009, MacPro (8-Core)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Tysusmed, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. Tysusmed, Jul 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012

    Tysusmed macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm currently working with a 2009, MacPro (4,1), 2.93Gz x 8 cores, 16Gb ram, and an AMD 4870 (512Mb) attached to 30" Apple Cinema Display.

    Whenever I use Illustrator CS6, the redraw times, and moving around vector are dismally slow. On a less than complex file, picking up and moving around a vector is sluggish. I don't think it's Illustrator, as the same issue existed with CS5.

    I've gone so far as to install the exact same fonts, and use the same file, on my 2010 2.2Ghz MacBook Pro with 4Gb ram, and my kids 4.3GHz, 8GB ram PC. On both machines, I was able to move around the vectors smoothly. I then decided to try out some other files, and each case, they were jittery on my MacPro compared to the other two test machines.

    Thinking it might have been a Hard Drive issue, I've reinstalled the OS, 10.6.8 three times. I've tried 2 separate 7800rpm drives and an Intel SSD - none of the of drives made any significant gains in performance.

    I started removing Ram from the banks, one by one, and thought I noticed an improvement when using only 4Gb, but I was so tired by that point, it could have very easily been my imagination. It should be noted, my ram banks are populated with 8 x 2Gb ram sticks. I asked my Apple Tech if he thought 2 x 8Gb sticks would make a difference and didn't think it would.

    I'm at my wits end. I just don't know what to do. There's obviously an issue, when my crappy MacBook Pro with 4Gb of ram is redrawing in Illustrator faster than my Mac Pro. It's possible it's the logic board, or maybe the machine is just getting old.

    Has anyone else had similar issues with this model? Can anyone offer additional advice on how I might make Illustrator more "snappy"? It becomes sooo slow at times, I can barely move vectors across my screen.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. El Awesome macrumors 6502

    El Awesome

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    Location:
    Zurich
    #2
    Do other animations work smoothly?
    Ever tried reinstalling Illustrator CS5? Maybe some preferences file is corrupt which is the same for CS5 and CS6.

    If that doesn't work, try memtest (Go Google it if you don't know it) and make the Apple Hardware Test found on your installation discs. And if that won't give you any results, I'd buy 6 4GB RAM sticks, try them out, if it doesn't get better send them back. Some companies offer return in 14 days or so.
    From what you are describing I would suspect the RAM.

    I wouldn't say that the machine is getting old as my Late 2008 MBP is still doing great in terms of moving vectors.
    A friend of mine has a very similar machine, just with the 2.66Ghz Quad (which is even slower than yours) and his machine has an incredible performance.

    Good Luck!
     
  3. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #3
    You could also try reducing the resolution on the 30" and see if that let's things smooth out. Maybe say 1920x1200 or 1680x1050. It will look like crap but the test will serve its purpose.
     
  4. BigJohno macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #4
    I would point to the video card. It's having issues with that resolution. Try reducing the window size and see. I don't have supper smooth redraw on my 27" and 5770. I can live with it though.

    Ram has nothing to do with redraw in illustrator. It's all CPU or video card.

    Your MacBook pro is half the resolution as that 30 so its easier to drive it.
     
  5. El Awesome, Jul 28, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2012

    El Awesome macrumors 6502

    El Awesome

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    Location:
    Zurich
    #5
    I'm running a 24'' ACD on my MacBook Pro ;)
    Still running smoothly. At least for my standarts, it's possible that i'm used to that the machine is a bit slower....

    Edit: I just tested it. i opened a very complex vector with several hundred vectors, I selected all of them together and started moving them around. No problem, not sluggy at all.
     
  6. Tysusmed thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    #6
    Thanks

    Thanks so much for the quick replies.

    Scaling down the resolution had very little effect, but making the window smaller worked perfectly.

    I work in Application Frame, so turning that off seemed to give a bit of a speed increase. What's more, hiding the dock bumped it up a bit more (even at full res).

    I've been holding onto Snow Leopard for stability, but I've downloaded ML, and have read people getting some success with flashing various brands of AMD and Nvidia cards.

    I tried with flashing my Asus 6870, but it's never worked out. I might pick up an Nvidia 670 and I'll post my results.


    Thanks again!
     
  7. El Awesome macrumors 6502

    El Awesome

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    Location:
    Zurich
    #7
    I'm running ML by the way. They updated the drivers there, I guess that might be a difference.

    Be sure to informe how the Mac went with the 670!
    I just bought a MP 4.1 2.66 Quad and I'll also update the GPU.
     
  8. BigJohno macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #8
    Im looking to get a w3680 and gtx 670 soon. That should help a lot!
     
  9. Tysusmed thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    #9
    Solved

    So the issue wan't entirely the MacPro...

    Apparently other OSX users are having the same issues:
    http://forums.adobe.com/message/4418889

    I managed to get a bit more performance with my video card, by disabling Application Bar (In Illustrator Window>Application Bar), but still opted to do some upgrades on my system.

    Decided on purchasing 2 SSD drives, and an Gigabit NVIDIA GTX 670. I opted for the 670 because it requires less power than 680 and utilizes 2 x 6pin connectors OOB. The card requires upgrading to Mountain Lion along with an easy hack provided by Nektas that enables Open CL.

    I posted a quick step by step for anyone interested in the card:
    http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,2774.msg14015.html#msg14015

    The system is running like new, although I wish it had a 6GB bus for the new SSD's, but the upgrades should be great until new MacPro's launch next year.
     
  10. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #10
    I plan on doing the same thing! I want to upgrade to 670 asap since things are lagging, my 4870(512mb) is running at 50% with no apps open...

    ----------

    Thanks for the install step by step!

    I have the 4870 as well, do the two 6 pin cables plug into the 670 as well? No extra cables required correct?
     
  11. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #11
    yep, plug them in and boot.

    Just be aware that you will see inky blackness until it gets to the desktop. (ie, be patient)
     
  12. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #12
    Thanks MVC! I've been reading your threads like mad. Thank you for the awesome info! I thought about getting your cards, but after shipping to Hong Kong and all, it would be a bit out of my budget.

    Please forgive me for highjacking your thread, but with a faster gpu improve the smoothness of mission control/expose?

    After upgrading to ML, if I have Photoshop, FCP, Aperture, or any other "pro" apps out, expose is no longer smooth. It doesn't lag just yet, just not buttery smooth.
     
  13. flyman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    #13
    Graphics Card

    Hi,

    Glad to hear you got back up and running and thanks for posting the guide on Netkas which will be a big help to lots of people I'm sure.

    Could I ask which model Gigabit 670 card you installed as I'm looking at a Gigabit GTX670 Windforce x3 OC or EVGA GTX670 FTW?
     
  14. Tysusmed thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    #14

    Hi Flyman, sorry for the late response. Just came back from a short holiday.

    I bought the Gigabit Gefore GTX 670 Windforce (2-fan) edition. Model name is: GV-N670WF2-2GD.

    No big issues so far, installed the CUDA drivers and both Premier and After Effects are GPU accelerated with the .txt hack. I had some issues with Diablo3, some slight screen artifacts, but they haven't returned. Otherwise smooth sailing - well worth the investment!


    Cheers
     

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