MP 3,1 - last legs?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Kingsly, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. Kingsly macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #1
    I think my MP is tired... After five years of solid service and some pretty good incremental upgrades it seems to finally be giving up. Slow performance, beach balls all the time, etc. It's just not snappy™ anymore. :(

    What's starting to worry me is that I just clean installed the SSD. Usually that kills the beach balls for a good while (hence why I keep critical data stored separately, so I can wipe the system drive whenever it seems prudent), but as of today's wipe it's still behaving poorly. Takes nearly three minutes to power up (from ~15sec when the SSD was first installed), apps take forever to load, and of course something as basic as checking the system profiler gives a beach ball.

    So now that I've established it's not a software issue, os there anything else I can test/diagnose on the hardware end that would be contributing to the poor performance? The computer is critical to my business until it gets replaced with a trashcan or, as much as this pains me, an overbuilt PC box.

    Thoughts?

    8x 2.8ghz, 6gb ram (I know, not enough), 4x 2tb HDD's, 1x 128gb SSD, 6870.
    FCP7, PS, ID, DW, DaVinci Resolve, NukeX
     
  2. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #2
    Doesn't sound like it's last legs to me. Sounds like a drive problem. Use a conventional drive for testing. At 128GB SSD, it's probably crowded right off the bat. Toss in a rotational drive for booting just to see what happens. Oh, and remove that SSD from the system while testing.
     
  3. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
  4. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #4
    I'll give it a shot. The SSD, with a clean SL install + the above listed apps still has 110gb of free space... my MBP is also in the middle of it's spring cleaning, but once it's back up I'll target disk it and try booting off that system dive. :)
     
  5. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #5
    It's possible that an SSD that hasn't had proper garbage collection can display the issues you are experiencing.
     
  6. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #6
    How so? I attempted to zero the disk but disk utility wouldn't let me - I assume because it's an SSD? Is there another utility I can use to diagnose/repair an SSD?
     
  7. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #7
    If possible, try keeping the SSD powered but do not access it over night. One way to do this would be to boot up while holding the [Option] button and leaving it.
     
  8. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #8
    Ok, so it's mostly an automated process then? Since I'm on a non-EFI graphics card the option key idea wouldn't work. I could boot into Windows 7 (partition on one of the HDDs) and leave it running all night I suppose, would that work?
     
  9. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #9
    Yes. That would work as well. Just be sure to turn off sleep.
     
  10. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #10
    Will do, thanks!

    Side note, does this still apply to a freshly partitioned and installed disk?
     
  11. pastrychef, Oct 1, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013

    pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #11
    Yes. At least on some SSDs, garbage collection is an automated process, it has nothing to do with zeroing out or fresh installs. If a computer is too often put to sleep or turned off, it doesn't really have a chance to "do its thing". By leaving it idle for a stretch of time, we are trying to give it a chance to do what it may not have been able to do.
     
  12. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #12
    Gotcha. Well I'll leave her overnight in windows then and see if that helps. The computer does regularly endure long stretches where it's on without sleeping, but it's usually because it's rendering or something. If it's idle I usually allow it to sleep.
     
  13. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #13
    This is how I have my energy saver settings and it seems to allow for enough time for my SSD to do its garbage collection.
     

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  14. kevink2 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #14
    I just did an upgrade to my system, and in the process it disabled trim enabler.

    So I reenabled it, and wanted to force all the unused space to be trimmed. I created a large file filling my partition. It went fast until close to the end, when performance cratered. I then deleted the file.

    For the OP, I would suggest enabling TRIM on his existing drive. Then reboot into recovery mode and use the fsck command (I found with google) and tell the OS to trim unused space. Then do his tests.

    The slowness should only be when writing anyway. Booting seems it should be fast since it is mainly a bunch of random reads, a SSD specialty.
     
  15. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
  16. Chicane-UK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    #16
    It's definitely with the SSD, and not a problem with your Mac Pro - hardware doesn't just "get slow" over time, as others have said it's most likely a TRIM / Garbage Collection issue (I.e. it's not happened) with your existing SSD.

    Or the SSD could just be faulty of course! How old is it?
     
  17. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #17
    TRIM is not currently enabled (according to system profiler), prior to the reformat I'd had trim enabler. Never knew if/how it worked, never checked.

    The SSD is a patriot torqx, about 2yrs old. I've always been very careful to minimize it's writes in daily usage.
     
  18. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #18
    You can check to see if TRIM is enabled through System Profiler.

    1. Click the Apple logo in the upper left menu bar
    2. Select About This Mac
    3. Click the More Info... button
    4. Click the System Report button
    5. Select SATA on the left portion of the window
    6. Select your SSD on the right portion, upper portion of the window

    On the bottom, right portion of the window it will tell you if TRIM Support is enabled.
     
  19. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    #19
    My Mac Pro lost it's legs and has to resort to piratey peg legs.
     

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  20. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #20
    Wow. How did that happen? I think there are some screws that hold that side of the aluminum to the base. Make sure that the broken heads of the screws are not floating around in your computer.
     
  21. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    #21
    Bought a used 4.1 Mac Pro with a partially crushed rear leg. It worked perfectly. Added a little support to level it out. Upgraded to 5.1 hex to maximize performance

    Named the computer "Stephen", not, as most usually suspect, as in Jobs, but rather, given the fact the machine functions at a very high level despite its physical limitations, as in Hawking.

    Stephen is rarely seen by others, as he lurks in my machine room, connected to the world by ethernet and long monitor cables. He would empathize with Mr. Pegleg's condition.
     

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