MacPro 8core extremely slow after latest snow leopard.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Shademaster, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. Shademaster macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Man this is not good.

    I am a very happy mac owner and recently decided to upgrade our studio workhorse to 10.6.2. The update process went flawless, the machine however felt very sluggish afterwarths. I went on this excellent board to seek some help and found a little cleaning tool that solved a lot of the problems but only left the machine slightly less sluggish.

    So now I completely reinstalled the machine and I am still having the feeling it is sluggish :confused: .

    Let me explain my setup:

    8-core 3.0ghz, 4GB RAM (4 dimms, apple mem, replaced once), 4 x500gb spinpoints in a 3xdisk raid 0 volume and 1 HD for the OS.

    The main purpose of the machine is running Cinema4D 11.5 and After Effects CS3. There is no illegal software on the machine and everything is filed and backupped in a professional way.

    I know it is a bit short on RAM but for now it works nicely.

    Now my problem is that Expose feels sluggish meaning it takes 3 second for it to pop up and as soon as I save something I can wait for another 3-5.

    I closely monitor my RAM through istat and I know everything will grind to a halt if it comes above 71% total memory usage, in my case this always happens. It feels like there is a permanent After Effects render running!

    I don't know what to do because I already reinstalled the OS to a formatted HD.

    I hope this excellent community is able to answer my questions.


    edit: As a comparison I tried our core duo imacs that are running on 10.6.2 too and they feel 5 times faster!
  2. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
    hmmm... i wonder if the new OS doesn't like your RAID
  3. PaulD-UK macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2009
    Just to confirm your setup, you've got 4 1GB dimms, a pair in the first two slots of each riser? (Which is an optimal configuration, anything different is not).
  4. vogelhausdesign macrumors regular


    Jan 7, 2009
    Columbus, Ohio
  5. akadmon Suspended

    Aug 30, 2006
    New England
    Chances are it will startup with <4GB.

    When they first came out, MPs were being sold with 1GB of RAM total :eek: I took mine home with 2GB (paid $300 for that extra 1GB stick, just to make sure that can do something with it when I bring it home).

    Really, there is no excuse to starve you're MP of RAM like this. I'm not saying this is the root of the problem here. I'm just sayin' ;)
  6. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2006
    My Expose is up as soon as I release the key, but I don't have many apps – only 7, so maybe it's not a good comparison.

    Why not run the photoshop benchmark that's on this site. Would give you idea of how you compare to similarly speced Macs.
  7. Cynicalone macrumors 68040


    Jul 9, 2008
    Okie land
    RAID + 10.6.2 = Terrible Performance.

    There are a few threads around here on this. RAID 0 and RAID 1 Arrays falling apart after an update to 10.6.2.
  8. Shademaster thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sorry for my late reply guys, my thread got lost in the approval mess I think.

    I have 4 x 1gbsticks equally divided over 2 risercars. It is official Apple memory.

    Also my RAID array is doing fine at the moment (basicly the only thing that is NOT giving me problems) I could try and deactivate it for a while and see if the problem persists.

    It feels as if with every disk read/write action it needs to wait at least 5 seconds for 'permission' before it starts working. Sometimes I have 5 programs open that are all beachballin. My machine is still responsive despite this and I can even start new programs without any slowdowns. If I am running a memory intensive program it completely grinds to a halt, I use istat and if my ram exceeds 72& usage the swapfile will be used and everything will be slow. Usually this was an easily noticeable speedhit, right now it feels as if it is hitting this speedlimit all the time. I actually tried my 1gb Macmini at home with some memory intensive stuff and it still flies even when it is swapping like mad!

    I am also thinking about upgrading my RAM a little since you guys are right about the RAM. Now is it okay to upgrade my RAM with 2 x4gb sticks? This way I can add 2x4gb later if I feel like it needs some more juicyjuice. Or is this not the correct way to upgrade your ram? I am also thinking about using these 2 sticks:

    Is this okay? It does not have the heatsink but it is ECC and 800mhz.

    Thanks for the help guys!
  9. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
  10. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
    have you verifieed with something like istat, activity monitor, or system profiler that your machine is seeing all you RAM?
  11. Shademaster thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Thanks for the Heatsink tip!

    Yes my machine is seeing all my ram. 4gb 800mhz DDR2. I just switched all my dimm's and tried it with only 1, still the same problem.

    I tried something else, I restarted from my old system backup from before the upgrade and even from a USB2 interface it is fast as it used to be. I tried checking if my current HD got any IO problems but so far none, read/write tests are a-okay. I also tried unplugging all my USB things and that didn't help either.
  12. lbodnar macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2004
    If you want to solve it in a rational way you need to quantify your MacPro "speed." Maybe run a few benchmarks or time how long it takes to open a huge document, etc. Otherwise you will be chased by your doubts and you will miss actual problem.
  13. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Sep 24, 2008
    Boon Docks USA
    Run your system for a little while, open the usual programs. Then look at activity monitor, system memory. Take a look at your page ins/page outs and let us know what it shows. I'll bet you have high page outs and its choking your system due to writing to virtual memory/lack of memory for your apps. Rule of thumb is if your page outs are more than 10% of page ins, time to upgrade ram. Let us know.
  14. Shademaster thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Allright I am going to keep a close eye on the page ins/outs!

    Right now I am doing a low memory intensive render in Cinema4d. Usuaully I could browse and do things fullspeed, right now EVERY mouse click requires 15 seconds of patience, even browsing and scrolling is slow.

    I also just ordered Apple compatible (with the heatsink!) 2x4gbram from OCW. It should be here beginning of next week, lets see if it helps. I also cannot wait to have 12gb ram :D .

    For anyone interested in what I am rendering:
  15. Shademaster thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Reads in: 1010554
    Reads out: 407249 that's no it...

    EDIT: I was looking at the wrong tab lol!

    Page ins: 2.06 GB
    Page Outs: 2.33 GB

    Yes that seems to be the problem!
  16. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
  17. Shademaster thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Hm I just physically removed my RAID disks from the bays, restarted, loaded all my software and started a render at again it clogged like a roadside toilet :confused: . Just as clunky, just as slow, every save action takes at least 15 seconds, Safari is Epicly slow even when the render is off. It is even so slow that as I type this message I see the text I had written popup every 10 seconds or so. Opening a new tab and clicking a website takes about 40 seconds. Ridiculous.

    How awesome is this, update your system to the latest software (it is supposed to run) and you get a slow ass G3 in return.

    I just retried this exact same test on a 4GB dualcore Imac and it flies! Safari is quick as lightning, rendering and doing things at the same time is perfectly possible.

    I now know it is not a hardware issue since the older systembackup runs perfectly, I know it is not a HD problem since that worked fine too before the upgrade, I know it cannot be a botched install since I installed it to a formatted disk, all my software is legal and bought so there can be no warez present. OSX 10.6.2 runs well on every other machine in the studio, even our old macmini is superfast and that was just an upgrade from leopard.

    I really really hope the huge ass amount of ram is going to help or else I have no option left but to downgrade to leopard.

  18. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    I ram my first mac pro with 2gb of ram for some time, it was nowhere near as slow as you describe. I'm now up to 16GB and of course it's gotten faster, but the biggest speed bump was seen going from 2 to 4gb.

    Are you seeing any ECC errors?

    Have you run memtest?

    Something definitely wrong, it sounds like.
  19. Inconsequential macrumors 68000

    Sep 12, 2007
    Remove all your HDs and install a fresh 10.6.2 on a formatted HD and see what happens.

    Somehow I think its down to your setup with HDs if your temps etc are fine.

    Could be a dying HD...

    To test your hardware, new HD with new install of 10.6.2 is the way forward here.
  20. Shademaster thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Yes I am thinking that too. I notice the HD is always active even though the activity monitor suggests it isn't. I backup every hour so I can just switch HD's with my backup unit. Let's see how that goes!

    Thanks for all your help people! It is very comforting to know there is someone trying to help you with your problems.
  21. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
  22. Shademaster thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Alright I just switched drives, brand new WesternECOgreen 2tb instead of the spinpoint 500gb. Dumped my old data on the new one. Machine is a lot snappier and my old 'berlin-wall-memory-limit' is back just like it used to be :) . If a program is using more than 2.6gb of ram it glogs, anywhere below that and it functions fine. I also noticed my OS drive was making a lot more noise than even the 3 RAID 0 drives combined. Maybe it was wearing down?

    The problem seemed to be a failing HD after all. The weird thing this happens on the same day I decide to upgrade. I think I had a lot of bad luck then :) .

    This might be a good occasion to do a total HD upgrade of the RAID volume as well. Anyone has any good HD suggestions? And is it possible to use the empty Diskdrive slot to install an extra HD into? THat way I could create a nice 4 disk RAID0 array and have my OS on an extra HD.

    Thanks everyone for their input! :apple:
  23. wpc33 macrumors 6502


    Jul 2, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
    The Seagate 1.5TB is cheap, and almost as fast as a Velociraptor. The firmware issues from a year ago are long gone, and they're now only as risky as a WD(also good).
    I've had one of the SG1.5's for four months and it's a quiet drive, and way faster than my older 750GB Seagate.
  24. Doc69 macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2005
    I wouldn't use an ECO drive as the system drive. It's much slower (5900rpm I believe) than a regular 7200rpm drive. The 1.5TB seagate's mentioned above are a good choice. I have several of them and have not had any problems. Or you could buy an SSD. I got an Intel X-25M for my Macbook Pro and it feels really snappy now.
  25. Shademaster thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Alright that seems like a good choice. The 2tb ecogreen was just bought for backup purposes and not speed, it is still 3 times as fast as the old HD. Maybe 2 intel SSD's will be a fancy way to spice up performance :D .

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