Help with G5 crashes

Discussion in 'Games' started by benpatient, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    So I'm stumped...I've tried 4 OpenGL games now on my G5, and nothing survives more than 5 minutes without locking up and requiring a hard system boot!


    UT2004 Demo
    America's Army
    Quake 3 Arena
    Jedi Outcast 2

    Dual 1.8 G5
    2.5GB of top-dollar RAM
    2x160GB Seagate Barracuda 7.2 SATA in RAID 0 array.
    Panther with current software updates
    Standard NVidia 5200 graphics card
    Samsung 213T LCD monitor (1600x1200 native)

    Everything I do on this machine works and works well...except for 3D games...specifically, ones that use openGL.
    What happens is, I go to any of the games, and begin playing...things look fine...then at some random point (sometimes within seconds, other times only after 2-5 minutes) the screen freezes. Usually the sounds continue and i get the feeling that things aren't totally locked up, but no matter what i do, i can't seem to force-quit the app, and i can't get the screen to refresh...i have not been able to play even a single round of UT2004 botmatch on the G5, because well, it crashes too quickly.

    I have to run the game in 1600x1200 to avoid blurriness, which is fine, or should be, considering I'm using a dual processor 64 bit "super" computer, but even before the game crashes, i don't have very good framerates (i have all of these games also on PC, or at least demo versions of them, and they all FLY (painfully fast, even) on a 1.8ghz athlon with a radeon 9600 pro and 1GB of RAM. I want to be able to play games on this screen, but my general/gaming machine and my work machine must be in different rooms for a number of reasons...simply put, i want the LCD on photoshop, which i want on OS X, so at least some of the games need to work on the G5...I expected it would be a painless procedure, right? Well, performance, even for the few seconds that i get before the games crash, isn't's jerky and fairly crappy. I didn't want to have to upgrade the graphics card in the G5...the Mac versions of the radeon cards are way too expensive except for the 9800, which is out of my price range.

    basically, what i'm wondering is, do i have something set wrong on my machine that would cause oGL games to totally die on this nVidia card? Isn't nVidia's strong suit supposedly their drivers?

    extremely frustrated.
  2. javabear90 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 7, 2003
    Houston, TX
    You should run a hardware test. It might be the graphics card overheating. This could be cuased by lots of dust on the fan.
  3. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    my guess is the video card , they have had some bad cards. use your applecare.
  4. LoadRunner macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Manhaton Beach California
    Have you updated to os x 10.3.2?
    Did you upgrade the game to the latest versions?
    Have you checked the ram?
    What dose it say in the console?
    If you just perchused your computer your intitled to 90 days free apple care support. They should be able to walk you through almost any problem.
    Have you tried toggling out of the application?
    Have you tried using a lower resoltion, just to see if it's resoltion related?
  5. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    blurryness ecept at 1600x1200? he's got a card problem and its a new dual 1.8 so it aint os and you have 1 year warranty. start calling(50 bucks more gets you a 9600)fx5200 doesnt support 1600x1200 does it?
  6. MünchMob macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2003
    The FX5200 supports 1600x1200 even higher (i'm using 1920x1080 HD on a Sony 24" Display attached to my Dual 1800) but the card is crap.
    I've got the same problems with Shake 3.01 and images larger than 20MB.
    I don't understand why Apple delivers the G5 with such cheap gamer card :mad:
  7. benpatient thread starter macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    like i said, all software updates are installed.

    the machine is like 2 weeks old. there is no dust in it.

    ran hardware test 2 times, once with the "long" memory test (ugh) and found zero problems.

    blurriness on lower resolutions is the result of the natural limitations of LCD monitors. I was just explaining why i ran it at that resolution.

    to answer the question, yes, it crashes when run on lower resolutions.

    there are no "updates" for UT2004 Demo for the mac yet. And nobody on their forums has any problems like this that i've seen.

    but anyway, the general consensus is that it's the graphics card is probably bad?

    Any other ideas, anyone?

    I'd really rather not sit on the phone with applecare all day on hold and arguing with someone about whether or not i installed the RAM in the right slots or if i have repaired my permissions...

    oh...and to answer the other two questions:

    I can't switch out of the app once it crashes. The screen is locked tight.
    And that covers your other question...can't see the terminal when the screen is frozen...
  8. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    I would first suggest increased VCore...but i doubt you have any access to that information on a Mac...sigh

    This is probably a mobo complication more than anything -- RAM usually causes restarts if it bad, but if it is locking, the RAM timings could be too tight, or not enough VDimm (voltage to the RAM).

    But again, these are not customizable on the Mac. Which again goes back to the mainboard. Send it back
  9. benpatient thread starter macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    "send it back" isn't exactly an option for a machine that is currently employeed in trying to pay for itself. (and keep my fridge stocked)

    I wish i could adjust BIOS settings on this thing! Ha. what an idea. pro-level customization for a pro-level machine...

    Looks like the solution is to just "get over it" and accept that my "supercomputer" has a sustained disc write speed over 100MB/sec and eats SETI units for breakfast, but can't play Quake 3...

    ah, well...
  10. LoadRunner macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Manhaton Beach California
    Well I can't vouch for any of the other games, but I do know q3a 1.32 b came in two flavors. One the real version, and the other is a g5 beta. It's not a complete set of code, and it's more like an experiment then a real app. Some people have found the g5 beta crashes their g5. I guess that's why they call it a beta. You might want to try both apps, and see if one of them doesn't crash your computer.

    You could try a fresh config.

    btw the console application found in the utility folder can, and dose hold information from before the last restart of the computer.
  11. phreaker57x macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2003
    New York
    Many problems can be solved by pulling all RAM that did not come with the G5. I'm sorry if this does not solve your problem, but it's worth a shot. :)
  12. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    mmm good point. I usually assume people don't mix ram, but that is more of a tweaker's common assumption that people don't do this. (Note to self: Most people aren't tweakers). If you do this when you overclock, the slower RAM will absolutely DESTROY any attempts to hit a high FSB (a glass ceiling if you will). Slower/buggy ram can be put in the same category of course :)
  13. floatingspirit macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    What's a "G5 crash"? I've never seen one :D

    hope you get rid of yours soon though ;)
  14. benpatient thread starter macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    Mav and phreaker,

    I suppose you could call me a "tweaker" if you wanted, although I'd hardly say that's the extent of my technical knowledge. My weak point here, personal experience-wise, is OS X, which is relatively new to me.

    I am VERY versed in PC hardware and software, and VERY versed in G3-G5 hardware and OS 9...

    To put it to you this way, i've built five Windows gaming machines from scratch in the last 6 months or so for friends/family/self, and this G5 is the first computer I haven't purchased as parts and put together myself. I'm currently working on rebuilding a beige G3 tower to make it a G4/AGP...I hate the iMac-style cases with a passion. They look like kindergarten toys.

    Anyway, in the G5, my RAM is ALL Corsair XMS PC3200 CAS2 matched pairs, and I've pulled out the (pardon me) crappy apple-standard RAM, which was CAS 3 and had, according to the hardware test disc, pretty shoddy timings, too.

    Maybe the mac dealer i got the machine from switched out the "good" apple ram with some bargain basement stuff, i don't know. All i knew was that it wasn't going to sit in there and slow down my XMS...

    so anyway, that's not the problem.

    question for you OS X people, though....

    i knew about the console, and it's sitting on my Dock as i type...but how do i retrieve the log info from what the machine was doing before it was restarted?

    Then maybe I can get some answers for you guys as to what is wrong with this thing...
  15. jumpman25 macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2004
    You mentioned that your ram was Corsair XMS PC-3200 CAS 2. I'm not sure, but I would bet that there is a good chance that your problem with gaming has to do with the RAM. Most members in this board reccomend that you buy your ram from Crucial becuase that is the RAM that ships with apple computers. OSX is very picky when it comes to ram so I would bet that the ram is what is causing your problems. Also, I read somewhere that the G5's have problems running RAM at CAS 2 timings. Something about the boot ROM version that needs to be fixed. I would try replacing your Corsair with the stock ram just to see if the game runs without locking up. RAM does seem to be the most common problem with OSX.
  16. LoadRunner macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Manhaton Beach California
    Well for me my crash logs show up in: ~/library/logs/crashreporter/quake3.crash.log & quake3 g4.crash.log
    and my general log shows up in /library/logs/console/~/console.log
    There is also a command in q3a you could use to tell it to write it's console log to file. condump (file name), g_log 1, logfile 3, g_logSync 1
  17. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    Now that you've said you got those matched pairs, I'd consider testing them in a variety of setups (provided you have them of course).

    Test the ram, in their dual-channel glory, in for example an Nforce2 board or an 875 board. Test using memtest3.0 (bootable ISO CD). If it works on BOTH these platforms, then it is a Mac MOBO issue. Otherwise, if it has problems on these more "mainstream" platforms as well, then it is Corsair who is it at fault (and which you will apply for an RMA or refund :) )

    I say this b/c nForce2 boards did not like the Corsair Ram series until a far later BIOS revision (1001E to 1003 it crashed horribly; 1004 stable). Ditto with the early 875 again, if they work in both of these, then it is the Apple mobo at fault.
  18. kphinney macrumors newbie


    Mar 14, 2004
    East Coast
    Sure Fix...

    PM me and I will send you my PO address. Carefully box the G5 and send it to me. At which time I will attempt to duplicate your problems. Regardless of being able to fix it, I will refund your shipping charges!
    joking - use apple care.
  19. benpatient thread starter macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    tempting kphinney, tempting...

    i took out the corsair...and by the way, the other RAM in my G5 is NOT Crucial. It's some no-name stuff...

    Anyway, it still crashes with the original memory installed.

    I'm pretty sure it's this stupid nVidia POS card.

    Took one set of the corsair home and put it in my Athlon 2500+ (actually, 3200+ at the moment :) )...

    it worked fine...the mobo is an ASUS A7N8X Deluxe, by the way.

    Oh well. I'm not sending it back...

    our other G5 is "humming" all the time. It's very noticeable and sorta disconcerting...
  20. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    G5 crashes/freezes when gaming. (I have it too!!)

    Wow! Finally, I find someone else that seems to have some of my own G5 issues. I have a dual 2.0Ghz machine with the ATI Radeon 9600 Pro in it, though.

    I guess it was about a month or so ago, I started noticing lots of freezes/crashes. Mostly, it was while playing UT2003, but a few times, it would even happen when I was just opening folders in the Finder. (The crashes in the Finder resulted in nothing responding, but the mouse could still be moved around - and would change to the spinning beach ball whenever pointed on items in the dock. Strangely, the rest of the system was still running because I was able to connect to it across the network from another PC and access shared folders and printers.)

    Anyway, this odd behavior went on, intermittently, and I hoped the 10.3.3 OS X update might address it. In the meantime, I did all the usual troubleshooting (fixed permissions, ran disk repair, swapped RAM out, and even tried resetting the PMU with the reset button on the system board), and nothing had an effect. At one point, I suspected my video card might be overheating, so I added a cooling fan to the heatsink on it -- but couldn't determine if that really helped anything.

    There's been a big discussion over on Apple's forums about these G5 freezes (which I've been contributing to regularly), but the small group of people with these identical problems seem to all be getting the runaround from Applecare and everyone else.

    When 10.3.3 came out last week, I updated to it without issues, and rebooted. Immediately, I tried out Halo (since people mentioned something about updates to the ATI video driver in 10.3.3 - and said it helped Halo get better frrame-rates). In 5 minutes of gameplay, it froze up - with the last few seconds of audio repeating over and over, in an endless loop. I tried pinging the computer from across my LAN, and it didn't respond - so it was completely crashed. Since then, Halo, UT2004 demo, and all the other 3D "shooter" games I've tried were all crashing in the same manner.

    I got frustrated on Saturday and wiped my hard drives clean, and did a fresh re-install of OS X Panther, followed by all the update patches - and loaded nothing but Halo on. Guess what? In 2 minutes, it still crashed! Here's where it gets weird though. I tried the UT2004 demo next - and it ran for 2 hours straight, multi-player, with no issues! So now I'm really uncertain if my problem was a combination of something getting corrupted in my OS X installation + Halo just not working right anymore in 10.3.3 --- or flaky hardware that's still randomly messing with me??

    I've left my system running (with sleep mode disabled) for the last 2 days in a row, to see if it would hang/freeze on its own. So far, it hasn't. When I get home from work today, I'll try some more gaming on it and see what it does. Right now, Halo (updated to 10.4.1, BTW) is definitely not cooperating for me at all.

  21. vladthebad macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2004
    I have the same problem with my 2 week old dual 2 ghz G5 (ATI 9800, and a total of 1 gig of ram). Its crashed 7 times in the two weeks I've had it!! I've been a mac owner for more than 10 years, and I'venever had that much trouble. I reinstalled the operating system to make sure it wasn't that, and two days later its crashed twice! And as always, the mouse is movable but the screen is frozen, and you sometimes get the swirling ball. The first crash happened when I openned the Zinio demo that was installed on it. Since then it has crashed while using safari, UT2004, Windows Media Player, Quicktime among others. I'm gonna take it in to the Apple Store or some other certified place and get the hardware checked out.
  22. benpatient thread starter macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    so there are now 3 of us, at least...

    and one with each gfx. card...

    i guess that rules out the graphics card...

    man, i'm stumped...
  23. vladthebad macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2004

    So I took my G5 to an apple approved computer place and they did a hardware test and could find nothing wrong with any of the hardware. However a few days later I got the same crash. I did notice however that just before the crash (perhaps 10 minutes before it). I had a problem with an icon for a CD. It came up as the iPhoto icon instead of the regular CD icon. I looked in the Get Info dialog and the icon there was all messed up (but a messed up version of the normal CD icon). Does this shed any light on the subject?

    Amother strange thing is when I fix the permissions there is a message about how a specific file has special permissions set for it. it is "./System/Library/Filesystems/cd9660.fs/cd9660.util." Is that normal?
  24. titaniumducky macrumors 6502a


    Nov 22, 2003
  25. applekid macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    Send your crash logs to Apple. I'm starting to think there's a problem with the G5s. All of a sudden I feel better not owning a G5... ;)

    It's odd you are suffering crashes from games (only, right?). The G5 gamers at the Inside Mac Game Forums are problem-free. Perhaps you should make a stop there. (Make a post in troubleshooting).

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