MP'08 Snow Leopard Gui seems slow

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by multimania, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. multimania macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #1
    Hi all,

    I have a MP'08 2.8 8 Core 4gb ram with a 8800gt. Ever since I upgraded to SL I've felt that the machine didn't "feel" right. Don't get me wrong when it gets to do encoding or Logic Pro it is far superior to the new iMac 27" 3.06, 4gb I have at work. However since I've had the iMac it just seems "snappier" in general file management, window opening. In particular the one test I have been able to see a difference is when I click on the sync icon for MobileMe on the top right of the screen, it sometimes takes the MP a while to respond with a menu, on the iMac it's instantaneous. I would really be grateful if someone with a MP 2008 could try this and see how it is for them.

    I've had a few theories to this. One is the Nvidia 8800gt isn't as well optimised with drivers as the ATI 4670 in the iMac, I have sometimes noticed slight lag when minimising a window with the "genie" effect on the MP, not so on the iMac.

    The other, less likely is that I once removed an internal HD whilst my system was sleeping.... I did ask here at the time and I was told it was ok as the power gets shut off on the SATA bus when asleep, is this correct?

    This is all really concerning me as I really like my machine and I don't want to upgrade it etc.

    Many thanks for any help.

    Mike
     
  2. multimania thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 2, 2007
  3. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

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    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Boon Docks USA
    #3
    The bugs haven't been totally fixed in SL. I do suggest adding a little more ram though. There is a difference though. iMac has faster bus, no northbridge and DDR3 memory. 2008's architecture is a bit different.
     
  4. multimania thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 2, 2007
    #4
    Thanks alot for your reply, yes the system does has some differences. I don't know, is it me here, as everytime I ask a question I get little to no response. I always try and be polite, but I just feel it's a waste of time asking sometimes.:(
     
  5. iBug2 macrumors 68040

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    Jun 12, 2005
    #5
    This is not a bug. Snow Leopard Nvidia drivers use powermizer technology from Nvidia. Which does exactly what? It underclocks your Nvidia card to not draw any power, unless needed. So when you use the minimize effect, the card is underclocked, so the framerate on the effect is lower than it was on Leopard.

    The only way to keep the card running at the regular clock is to keep open an Open GL application/game. For example you can keep the iTunes visualizer running on background, then your card will not be underclocked.

    It's quite nice technology mainly made to save power on laptops by Nvidia, but it also saves power on desktops of course. The only downside is, on really small stuff like minimize/expose etc, the framerate will seem slow. Now, the implementation can be optimized further probably for the system to react faster to tasks and clock up the card faster so nothing ever seems slow.

    But I don't know if this is going to happen or not.

    ATI does not have such technology on Macs yet so with ATI cards those operations will never seem slow.
     
  6. multimania thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 2, 2007
    #6
    iBug, thanks! That would explain this - sometimes it seems fast and other times it isn't - right I guess i'll wait and get myself a new ATI 5 series if they release them alongside new macs.
     
  7. CCK macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Location:
    KY
    #7
    Don't have any personal experience in the matter, but my uncle that runs a graphic company nearby, over the last few years when they've upgraded, they've upgraded to imacs. He said that they seemed faster for most of the stuff they do. They still keep a few MP for certain aps.

    I've been wondering about SL too since I read this from tennisandmusic.

    [I"]Poor performance...my guess on this one is how buggy and slow OSX has gotten with Snow Leopard, especially when that was supposed to be a clean up and improve job. SL is by far my least favorite release (I jumped in at Tiger FYI). In fact, I'm starting to hate how limiting OSX feels. It's a necessary evil for me at this point, though it is very pretty. But for actual work it's kinda ...meh."[/I]
     
  8. multimania thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 2, 2007
    #8
    Hi CCK, Yeah I'm with the SL being buggy. It hasn't felt as solid as other releases that's for sure (maybe they are too busy with iPads!). The point about iMac's being as fast is pretty true. Saying that my MP can hold it's own and when it comes to Logic and multiple instruments it nails the iMac easily. Different uses I suppose.

    The more I think about it however, the more I'm convinced it's to do with this powermizer nVidia thing. Leopard used to be rapid in everything for me. I hope they get their heads out and fix it on 10.6.3. It should be disabled on a desktop system anyway - I want maximum performance (that's why I dropped the money on it in the first place!)


    Cheers
     
  9. AZREOSpecialist macrumors 68000

    AZREOSpecialist

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    Mar 15, 2009
    #9
    I don't think this is true anymore. I don't experience any of this with my Mac Pro 2009 Quad w/ GTX 285. Everything is fast and smooth.
     
  10. iBug2 macrumors 68040

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    Jun 12, 2005
    #10
    No. Powermizer is still active with my GTX285. My framerate on expose and dashboard are much better if there's an open gl app running on background. So it's working.
     
  11. OddThomas macrumors regular

    OddThomas

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    Location:
    Grapevine, TX
    #11
    for what it's worth... i have the ATI4870 on my MP08 2.8 8-core with 12meg ram and everything is rather snappy in SL. Finder is much, much more responsive than with Leopard. I don't think the ATI has the power saving "feature" that was mentioned, but don't know for sure.
     
  12. iBug2 macrumors 68040

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    Jun 12, 2005
    #12
    Yes, ATI does not have the powersaving feature.

    But in any case, whether you use ATI or Nvidia, Leopard Finder is faster than SL Finder at least in certain tasks.

    For example you can select 50 folders and hit "open". The time SL opens 50 folders is much much longer than Leopard. Probably due to total rewrite on Finder and certain things can be optimized further.

    But SL Finder is faster on certain things as well.
     
  13. AZREOSpecialist macrumors 68000

    AZREOSpecialist

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #13
    Again, on my system with 10.6.2 my expose and dashboard are smooth as butter and exactly the same while running QT visualizer. I even rebooted and ran expose/dashboard and again after turning on QT visualizer, in that order. Looks identical. I must be blind or something.
     
  14. OddThomas macrumors regular

    OddThomas

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    Apr 21, 2008
    Location:
    Grapevine, TX
    #14
    IBug, i just opened 53 folders. here is the video, http://gallery.me.com/dandietschy/100423. Is Leopard really faster than that? i remember it being really sluggish.
     
  15. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #15
    You don't need more than 4 Gb only to run Snow Leopard!
    He's speaking about Finder and GUI, not heavy loaded applications.
     
  16. multimania thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 2, 2007
    #16
    Thanks for everyone's input so far.

    On the ram front, yes I could do with more I know. 4gb is fine for most things I do though.

    I know XBench isn't that great at benchmarking, but the iMac at work reports slightly faster cpu (220 vs 200?!)

    The most interesting score I got back was the OpenGl test MP = 98, iMac = 170!!

    It does seem that the ATI card (drivers?) are working much better than the GT8800.
     
  17. multimania thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 2, 2007
    #17
    That's great - I did a similar test, it seems well within your ballpark for opening windows. I just had a look through the xbench comparisons. Alot of people with the same machine as me are getting much higher Open GL and Quartz performance, but they're on 10.5.x.. This really proves the point to me as it's totally a gui lag thing to me. If this doesn't get fixed in the next SL update, I'm going to have to get an ati card. In the meantime tonight I'm going to install Leopard onto a spare drive and run the test again to confirm.

    Many thanks
     
  18. iBug2 macrumors 68040

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    Jun 12, 2005
    #18
    Yes Leopard is way faster than that. If you still have it installed you should compare it again. But even though Leopard is faster on opening multiple folders, I prefer SL Finder, it's much more stable than Leopard Finder.
     
  19. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    Italy
    #19
    Are you really going to buy a new graphic card just for a better frame rate in the Finder ?!?
     
  20. multimania thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 2, 2007
    #20
    Yep...it's not just the framerate, it's the speed at which I can work between windows. It makes a big difference to my workflow.
     
  21. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    Dec 8, 2009
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    Italy
    #21
    your money, your call ... but I can't see how a difference from 20 to 40 fps (if any) in an opening window can change your workflow.
    I honestly think it's just a "fixation" ;)
     
  22. OddThomas macrumors regular

    OddThomas

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    Apr 21, 2008
    Location:
    Grapevine, TX
    #22
    2 things.
    1. yes ATI is better at opengl and from your test, that seems to be a big differnce between the MP and the iMac and 2. according to macrumors 10.6.3 has done a lot of work on OpenGl and may make a difference. I would wait a week or 2 for that update before doing anything.
     
  23. iBug2 macrumors 68040

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    Jun 12, 2005
    #23
    Not really. GTX285 is a faster card than 4870. So if you are purely interested in OpenGL performance you should go with Nvidia. But, again, no powermizer on ATI, so with ATI finder will seem more responsive.
     
  24. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #24
    Wrong, actually. Historically ATI's drivers for OS X have been better optimized. For example, my 8800 GT was slower at OpenGL tasks under OS X than my HD2600 XT, even though the 8800 GT is faster.
     
  25. multimania thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 2, 2007
    #25
    For what it's worth I recall hearing that historically ATI drivers/cards always "feel" faster with general tasks. I bought the 8800 specifically for gaming. Sounds mad, but I use my machine for Photoshop, Logic Pro and X-Plane. It's a business and pleasure machine and I don't see what's wrong with that really:)
     

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