Mac Pro Slowdown...any ideas?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Chubby Cox, May 4, 2008.

  1. Chubby Cox macrumors member

    May 2, 2004
    I'm running 10.5.2 on a 2x2.66 GHz Mac Pro with 5 GB of RAM. I bought this system last August and have never had even the slightest trouble. However, in the past week or so, the computer drastically slowed down. This is most noticeable in video playback- anything I try to play in VLC (regardless of resolution) ends up dropping frames and gives me a message about my CPU being too slow. Also, I can't even watch a Youtube video without dropping frames. I use Firefox, and if I have several tabs open at once, it responds very slowly and there is a noticeable delay when switching between tabs. Logic and Aperture are both noticeably slower as well, and during playback, the audio in Logic will occasionally drop out.

    I tried repairing permissions and that didn't help. Since it got to the point that I couldn't even us the computer without being frustrated, I did a clean install of 10.5, ran the software updates, and am now having exactly the same problems. I ran the Apple hardware test that came on the system DVD, and it reported no problems. So, I'm at a any of you have any suggestions?

    Also, I hadn't installed any new programs or anything that could have messed things up- it just decided to slow itself down, which makes it all the more perplexing.
  2. Chubby Cox thread starter macrumors member

    May 2, 2004
    Oh, and I should also add that it takes much longer to wake from sleep. Whereas I used to be able to hit a key on the keyboard and the login screen would come up with a second or two, it now takes about 30 seconds.
  3. iToaster macrumors 68000


    May 3, 2007
    In front of my MacBook Pro
    First, open Disk Utility and repair permissions, then verify your disk, if it does not pass verification, boot up from your installation disk and launch Disk Utility from it's utilities menu. Other things you could try are resetting the PMU (there's a button on the logic board above the graphics card, press it while the computer it unplugged) and resetting the PRAM (hold down command + option + P + R before the gray screen appears at boot up, you should hear the startup chime at least twice before letting go of the keys), also, pull out your riser cards and make sure your RAM is properly seated. The worst you'll have to do is an archive and install from the Leopard install DVD.
  4. Chubby Cox thread starter macrumors member

    May 2, 2004
    I just tried all those things other than the new installation of Leopard, and it still doesn't work. I did a clean install yesterday, it worth trying it again after I have reset the PMU and PRAM? Are there any other possibilities?
  5. orpheus1120 macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2008
    Try running Activity Monitor, and see what apps/processes are hogging the CPU.
  6. Chubby Cox thread starter macrumors member

    May 2, 2004
    If I run VLC, it never gets above 25% (which I assume is because it doesn't support multi-threaded video decoding). I just tried viewing a Youtube video in Firefox, and it shot all the way up to 100% and still had choppy video playback. Nothing else out of the ordinary shows up in the activity monitor.

    And to clarify about my previous post- I repaired permissions and it found no erros and I verified the disk and it found no errors.
  7. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    Is your disk full? Have you tried booting while holding shift and see if that fixes it? Also check to make sure all your RAM is recognized.
  8. Chimpy macrumors 6502

    Mar 9, 2007
    Do you have a Radeon x1900 in your Pro by any chance?

    My Pro started having a lot of the symptoms that yours is displaying - then I started getting weird graphical anomalies, and then finally system crashes. My Radeon x1900 was the culprit, it was dying. Replacing the card restored my system to its old functionality.

    I was lucky enough to have the original 7300 card from my Pro to switch out and do testing; perhaps you can do that too if you have another card to do testing with.
  9. Erwin-Br macrumors 6502a


    Feb 6, 2008
    The Netherlands
    It does sound like a hardware problem, because a complete system re-install should've solved software and/or driver related problems. Failing RAM or video card are likely causes. It could also be the HDD. It's odd that the hardware test didn't show anything wrong, though.

  10. ZachPruckowski macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2007
    Yeah, the x1900s have problems (the fans break really easily). Install SMCfancontrol and bump up your fan speeds a bit. You might also try opening the computer up and dusting in there. See if your temperatures are ridiculous.
  11. Chubby Cox thread starter macrumors member

    May 2, 2004
    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm using the 7300 graphics card. Right now, I'm running Memtest to check out my RAM (I'm posting this from my PowerBook). Are there any "thorough" or "advanced" or whatever you want to call it programs for testing the graphics card, beyond the normal Apple hardware test software?

    As far as temperatures go- I don't have the exact numbers in front of me, since Memtest is running right now, but I used iStatPro and all of the temperatures seemed to be within normal operating range. The Northbridge may have been a bit on the warmer side of acceptable, but I didn't see anything that should have been cause for alarm. I also used a can of compressed air and gave it a thorough dusting.
  12. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    Its not worth checking the RAM that way. Just go into system profiler and see if it has ECC errors. Besides normally bad ram won't cause slow down(unless it doesn't recognize) it will cause crashes. One thing a friend of mine had once on a PC is his north bridge fried. His system still worked but 1/2 the speed.
  13. statikcat macrumors 6502


    Mar 20, 2007
    Have you reset the P-RAM? My Mac Pro was going super sluggish - mostly on basic things like navigating the finder and trashing applications/files. After resetting the PRAM is was nice and speedy again. Sounds like your problem might be more hardware specific though but this is worth a shot.
  14. Chubby Cox thread starter macrumors member

    May 2, 2004
    I reset the PRAM and it didn't change anything. Also, Memtest came back with no errors or any sort. I'll probably play around with it for a few more days before just taking it into the Apple store and seeing what they can do- fortunately, I'm still under warranty.
  15. Chubby Cox thread starter macrumors member

    May 2, 2004
    An update- last night, I more or less took the computer completely apart and thoroughly dusted and cleaned every component. For the time being, it seems to work as it should, although I haven't tried any really heavy lifting with it yet. There was no noticeable dust buildup and everything had been seated properly, but it still made a noticeable difference in the performance. So, I'll roll with it for now, but this does give me cause for concern over long-term reliability...

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