new SR MBP performance issues???

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by birdman.ilikefl, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. birdman.ilikefl macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2007
    i all, i'm new as you can see...

    I recently bought a Macbook Pro Santa Rosa 15'' with 256MB of VRAM upgraded to 4GB of RAM (the 2.4GHz edition). there are a couple of questions i have... i hope someone can answer them, at least partly.

    1. I was wondering why my xbench results were so low. My average score is about 70, and everything is generally slower, although in particular the quartz graphics test and openGL tests fared very poorly, in the 60s. i have tried a number of benchmarking tests and they all come up much lower than comparison scores for the same type of laptop. in fact, macbook pros with less ram and the lower processor clock speed seem to score higher, in general than mine does. e.g. geekbench. i am wondering why this is the case - is there something about macs that i have to do to optimise my machine?

    2. I also tried downloading the Call of Duty 2 demo off the apple website and tried running it to see how it runs. It runs acceptably but with a fairly low framerate (definitely not smooth at all), when I put most settings up to max. However, I regularly get some kind of fs_ error... such as fs_none free or something along those lines. additionally, the game at the highest settings (i think it is something to do with the resolution, which was maxed out) gave a glitch so that when i died the graphics stuttered and looked strange before going back to normal. sometimes the game would also lock up when i died and i would have to restart. the reason i mention this is because i think it's strange that such a supposedly powerful new laptop would have low fps/graphical issues with a reasonable recent but not new game. is it a driver thing?

    3. about macs and drivers -being a windows user, i don't know anything about macs. do you need a driver to install for the graphics card? i thought for a laptop, everything should be done anyway?

    4. i notice someone else in this forum posted a topic about kernel panics related to airport extreme. i also had a few of those. they started 1 day after i got the laptop and happened three times in three days. i called up the store i got the computer from and they suggested i erase and install osx again. i did that and it hasn't kernel panicked since, at least. is it likely that it was a software issue, that has been fixed? it is very strange, since others have had the same problem and were not able to resolve it with either an erase and reinstall or a replacement!

    5. some other problems with certain programs sometimes crashing eg pages and safari. i was unable to reproduce these things, and the problems have not reappeared after the erase and install.

    6. finally, there is a strange thing happening with my dock. i don't really understnad why it would happen... i usually have the magnification setting turned on, so that when i run my mouse over the top of the icons in the dock, they magnify. sometimes when i run a few programs, or do some things, the magnification effect stops working, and the names, which usually appear above the icons when my mouse goes over them, stop appearing. i was baffled by this initially, thinking it was my inexperience with osx. however i have discovered that restarting fixed this problem. what could be causing this problem? is it perhaps a symptom of another problem with my computer?

    i'm sorry if this sounds like a complaint - it's not a complaint so much as a lengthily worded question to anyone who can give me a clue as to what i could be doing wrong, or what could be wrong, with my brand new macbook pro! (you can tell i was very disappointed when these things started going wrong... -_-)

    i did contact apple about my worries, and they told me there was nothing wrong with my computer, but i am sure otherwise! it is really driving me crazy... i would be very grateful if someone here could give me some help with my questions!


  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    1. XBench is a suite of synthetic benchmarks that I barely trust as an accurate gauge of performance.

    2. Did you try lowering the settings?

    3. Your Mac already has the proper drivers.

    4. Looks like you solved your kernel panic

    5. Looks like you solved your Safari and Pages issues (Note: Safari just crashes on very badly coded pages.)

    6. I've never encountered this.

    And just like Apple said, your computer is just fine...
  3. Sopranino macrumors 6502

    Sep 27, 2006
    Alberta, Canada
    Welcome to the Mac family Birdman.

    Those bench mark tests are all done with the computers energy control set to high performance. It is possible that your computer was set at a lower level. Click on the battery icon, (upper right on the menu bar) this will give you a drop down menu of options, click on 'Better Performance'. Now retry those bench marks and post back with your results. If this doesn't improve the results I'll try to help out with some other suggestions.

  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    I was making the reply...
  5. emex macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2006
    As the owner of the same exact computer you have, I can say that there may be something fishy going on with your machine. I've owned it for more than a week now and I've gotten no kernal panics, 2 Safari random quits, but no other problems. I haven't played any MacOSX games but the ones I've played in Windows don't just run good, they run incredibly. Full quality, everything enabled on HL2, Doom3, Dark Messiah, and it can run some of the latest NVIDIA tech demos...

    ...So if more problems creep up or performance stays at a mediocre perhaps you should consider taking your machine in. Remember too that NVIDIA's Windows drivers right now are a little shakey, so it's fully possible that the Mac OS drivers are as well and that we will just have to wait for proper optimizations.
  6. birdman.ilikefl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2007
    Xbench results

    thanks for the suggesting sopranino but last time i did the xbench i had it on better performance also. this time it was off a fresh reboot and full power (i'm running the computer only on AC power - no battery.

    emex i haven't tried bootcamp yet, as i'm afraid it will distract me too much as i have a lot of revision to get through... haha... but i was wondering whether it would make a difference, specifically in terms of game performance, since i like to play or try the occasional 3d game. i hope it's a macos issue... because apart from this performance thing, this computer currently running fine.

    well here are my xbench 1.3 results, i wonder if they look strange or give some clue as where my comp is going wrong?

    Results 72.72
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.4.9 (8Q1058)
    Physical RAM 4096 MB
    Model MacBookPro3,1
    Drive Type FUJITSU MHW2160BHPL
    CPU Test 61.15
    GCD Loop 140.09 7.38 Mops/sec
    Floating Point Basic 68.02 1.62 Gflop/sec
    vecLib FFT 47.51 1.57 Gflop/sec
    Floating Point Library 44.41 7.73 Mops/sec
    Thread Test 117.36
    Computation 108.26 2.19 Mops/sec, 4 threads
    Lock Contention 128.12 5.51 Mlocks/sec, 4 threads
    Memory Test 108.24
    System 88.45
    Allocate 66.60 244.59 Kalloc/sec
    Fill 97.70 4750.58 MB/sec
    Copy 115.35 2382.50 MB/sec
    Stream 139.43
    Copy 128.35 2650.95 MB/sec
    Scale 132.57 2738.80 MB/sec
    Add 152.65 3251.82 MB/sec
    Triad 146.99 3144.45 MB/sec
    Quartz Graphics Test 72.88
    Line 75.58 5.03 Klines/sec [50% alpha]
    Rectangle 86.11 25.71 Krects/sec [50% alpha]
    Circle 82.25 6.70 Kcircles/sec [50% alpha]
    Bezier 80.99 2.04 Kbeziers/sec [50% alpha]
    Text 51.93 3.25 Kchars/sec
    OpenGL Graphics Test 70.22
    Spinning Squares 70.22 89.08 frames/sec
    User Interface Test 149.52
    Elements 149.52 686.24 refresh/sec
    Disk Test 36.37
    Sequential 64.02
    Uncached Write 81.45 50.01 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 76.53 43.30 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 38.87 11.37 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 87.64 44.05 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 25.40
    Uncached Write 9.09 0.96 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 54.58 17.47 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 56.41 0.40 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 87.48 16.23 MB/sec [256K blocks]
  7. birdman.ilikefl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2007
    forgot something!

    something else i tried just now - just found out how to enable the frame counter thing for call of duty 2 demo. it appears that increasing or decreasing the settings from max (or near to max, as the maximum settings cause the computer to crash) to minimum makes negligible difference to the actual fps. on min the game runs at an average of 22-25fps, while on max it runs at around 17-20fps... this is quite strange, i'd say, even though i don't know too much about this kind of thing.

    i don't suppose anyone else is having a problem like this?
  8. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    New York City
    The drivers for the 8 series haven't matured at all for Mac's yet. Whomever said that the drivers were included couldn't be farther off - yes, drivers that allow it display an image are included, but this is a new technology and it takes a few updates before it gets to running smooth.

    And yes, while Xbench is "synthetic" it is a fine gauge of performance. Try Geekbench too.
  9. birdman.ilikefl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2007
    i fixed my geekbench and xbench scores!
    i'm used to taking my laptop battery out whenever i use a laptop (although i have never had a laptop before... i just thought that it was better for a laptop battery to take the battery out if possible)... so i found out from the apple website that the macbook pro and their other laptops will decrease the speed of the processor and everything if the laptop is running only on AC power. now... i thought that was counterintuitive... wouldn't aC power generally provide more than enough juice?

    anyway... it has certainly fixed that issue with scores. my score is now 112 on xbench, which is normal i suppose. and getting in the 3100s for geekbench, which seems average.

    with the driver issue, thanks taylor - i think it might be accounting for my call of duty 2 issues. the level of graphics i set it at doesn't affect it at all. i will try out some other game demos when i get more download quota for this month. it's concerting that nvidia is having general driver issues, even if this is not a good thing for everyone. :)

    one last question though - does extra RAM in a computer do anything for benchmarks? or is it really only useful when running a lot of different processes or for not having to restart every now and then?
  10. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    Since OSX 10.4.10 is coming out soon does that mean we will have to buy Leopard to get mature drivers for the 8600 GTs in our macs?

    We are blackmailed!

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