Speeding up boot times.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by BrockJon, May 18, 2014.

  1. BrockJon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2014
    #1
    Hello,

    My rig: I have a 4,1 (2x) 2.26GHz, 32GB RAM. As of Wednesday I'll have a Apricorn Velocity Solo x2 and a Samsung 840 EVO 500GB SSD (which will be used for OSX (10.9.3), software, and some personal files and sample libraries). Shortly after, I should have my new x5670 processors (effectively making my Pro a 5,1 with 1333MHz FSB). I'll put all this in my sig once the upgrade dust has settled.

    I previously had a late 2012 MacMini with quad i7, fusion drive, etc. That thing booted in like :15. I'd like to get my Pro around there. I had an OWC Accelsior 120GB card (testing at ~600MB R/W) and the boot time was :43 from power on to login screen. I returned the OWC because it's performance wasn't worth its cost to me. I suspect this was, in part, due to the fact my user folder is relocated to another (standard) drive. (I am aware the Velocity will be slower - I'm anticipating around 500MB R/W - however, for the same money as the Accelsior, I'm getting 500GB which will allow me to keep (most of) my user folder on the root drive.)

    Presently with my regular HDs, I'm booting in 1:00.

    Part of what weirds me out is upon powering up my monitors don't power up until like :17. What the heck is going on during that :17, and what can I do to either eliminate or minimize it? I've PRAMed a few times.

    I've Binged around and found all the common, obvious stuff. So, other than minimizing the programs that launch at startup (which I presently have everything deselected), is there anything you guys have found that can get my Pro's boot time close to what I was getting with my Mini?
     
  2. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #2
    Try both SMC and PRAM reset. I had that problem with my Tempo SSD, and finally cleared by SMC and PRAM reset.
     
  3. bxs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #3
    I have done the 4,1 to 5,1 upgrade, as you know. I started with the 2x 2.26GHz (8-cores) and now have 2x 2.93GHz (12-cores). I also have the following installed

    1) Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 graphics card driving 27" ACD, 30" ACD and a 60" Sony Bravia TV.
    2) 64GB RAM running at 1333 MHz.
    3) 960 GB OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2 PCI Express SSD card
    4) 2x 240 GB OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSDs in disk tray bays 1 & 4, configured as RAID-0 for 480 GB
    5) 2x 2 TB Seagate 7200rpm drive in disk bays 2 & 3, configure as RAID-0 for 4 TB
    6) 2x 1.5 TB Seagate 7200rpm drives in lower Optical bay
    7) UPS connected to a USB2 port
    8) Dual ethernet bonded (link aggregation) wires running to an 18-port Cisco switch that provides access to three other Macs (MP6,1 12core/1TB SSD/Dual D700s/64GB RAM), MP5,1 and 27" iMac.

    The 10.9.3 OS sits on the 960 GB OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2 PCI Express SSD card. The 2x 240 GB OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSDs in disk tray bays 1 & 4, configured as RAID-0 for 480 GB is used for AE cache. The 2x 2 TB Seagate 7200rpm drive in disk bays 2 & 3, configure as RAID-0 for 4 TB is used for holding current Project data. The 2x 1.5 TB Seagate 7200rpm drives in lower Optical bay are used for Time Machine backups and OS clone via SuperDuper!.

    The boot time from the startup chime to the login screen is 19 seconds. This is very consistent.

    The Geekbench (64-bit) score for the upgraded MP5,1 is 27500.

    The 960 GB OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2 PCI Express SSD card delivers a solid 700 MBytes/sec on reads and writes using AJA System Test application.

    The 2x 240 GB OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSDs in disk tray bays 1 & 4, configured as RAID-0 for 480 GB delivers a good 515 MBytes/sec for reads and writes.

    The 2x 2 TB Seagate 7200rpm drive in disk bays 2 & 3, configure as RAID-0 for 4 TB deliver a solid 245 MBytes/sec for reads and 200 MBytes/sec for writes.
     
  4. BrockJon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2014
    #4
    Will try those suggestions, thank you.

    @h9826790 Are you saying you had that monitor lag and the SMC and PRAM resets took care of it?

    @bxs Do you have any lag between pressing the power button and your monitors powering up?
     
  5. bxs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #5
    I normally only have my 27" display lit up when booting. The TV is powered off unless I have client in the office to show things to, and the 30" is lit up when I get work underway. So, I cannot tell you what you want. However, the 27" lights up immediately.

    Displays do not light up between pressing power button and the startup chime. I believe the traditional Apple hardware tests run prior to the startup chime, and in my case it has 64GB RAM to check/test at least.
     
  6. bxs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #6
    I'm a bit nervous about employing the Apricorn Velocity Solo x2 and a Samsung 840 EVO 500GB SSD combo as the reviews vary from bad to good. Mind you most are fair to good ratings.

    I went with OWC's PCIe SSD as I know they test/check their products thoroughly before selling them to the public. It has excellent reviews across the board. Yes, it's a bit more money but in a 'production' environment any perturbations due to hardware failures is a disaster for productivity. The price of OWC's 960 GB PCIe SSD is $900 and the price of the Apricorn Velocity Solo x2 and 2x Samsung 840 EVO 500GB SSDs is around $860. However, I understand that adding a 2nd SSD to the Apricorn Velocity Solo x2 is problematic, and in addition provides less performance that the OWC PCIe SSD which delivers for me a solid 700 MBytes/sec.

    In addition, the SSD cards in the OWC PCIe card are removable and can be transferred to OWC's other products for use with Thunderbolt devices. This is a useful benefit for my MP6,1 in future maybe. TheOWC PCIe SSD can accommodate the Apple Recovery HD partition which is useful for recovery purposes, although not essential. Even though the OWC's PCIe SSD has two SSD cards in it, it appears to the Mac OS as a single device.
     
  7. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #7
    Not exactly the same problem, sorry about that. My problem was the "white screen" shows up in normal time manner, but have to wait for something like another 20s before the apple logo appear.

    And now after the SMC and PRAM reset, My computer boot 15s after the chime (without any iPhone or iPad connected to it), or 17s (with up to 3 iDevice connected).

    Anyway, for your reference. My SMC and PRAM reset is as follow:

    SMC:
    1) Shut down the Mac
    2) Pull the power cable out
    3) Wait for 15s
    4) Press and hold the power button for 15s
    5) plug in the power cable
    6) wait another 15s

    Then I do the PRAM reset straight away:
    1) Hold down the CMD + option + P + R
    2) Power on
    3) Keep holding until I've heard the 4th chime (the computer boot 4 times)
    4) release the keys and let the computer boot normally.

    TBO, I don't know will that make any difference to the normal SMC and PRAM reset. I've seen some one suggest to hold the power button for SMC reset, so i did it. And the 4th chime suggestion is actually from Apple (I have another issue long time ago, and the Apple care guy told me to do this). I have absolutely no idea what's the difference between this and a normal PRAM reset, but once again, I just did it.

    And if you are still with the 4,1 firmware, may be it's time to upgrade the firmware as well, that may fix the problem. Your X5670 is on the way anyway. Why not do that now?
     
  8. BrockJon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2014
    #8
    Just followed those steps. Same result. From when I press the power button, :14 elapses before my monitors power up (which is also when my CPU fans relax), and then another :46 after the monitors power up until I'm at my desktop (I have the login screen bypassed).

    NOTE:
    I'm counting from when I press the power button, not the chime. (I don't even know when the chime is because it doesn't sound unless I'm PRAMing.)
     
  9. bxs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #9
    IMO... you should ALWAYS get the startup chime. If not then something is amiss... but dunno what at this time... maybe check all the Mute check boxes in Preferences.

    I just checked and if my Mute box is checked I get no startup chime sound.
     

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  10. Lucas Godfrey macrumors 6502

    Lucas Godfrey

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere between Here and There
    #10
    Select your startup volume in system preferences, not having it selected causes the white screen, it will eventually boot but making sure its selected will speed that up considerably.
     
  11. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #11
    Thanks for the info. But that's selected in my case, and changed quite a few times. No effect about that boot time.

    May be it's one of the cause of long white screen, but not for mine.
     
  12. omvs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #12
    Have you tried disconnecting all your USB devices temporarily? I've had some USB devices cause my iMac to take forever to boot -- I think it was a hub, though not sure. Might be worth disconnecting your UPS and whatever else you've got -- nonstandard keyboard/mouse?

    I've also had the no-volume-selected issue slows things down, but it sounds like you ruled that out already.
     
  13. bxs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #13
    12.5 secs with all peripheral & 14 secs without

    I tested the boot up times for my MacBook Pro 8,3 (17-inch, late 2011, 2.5GHz, Anti-glare screen, 480GB 6G SSD, 1TB Seagate Momemtus OWC's data doubler in optical bay and 16GB RAM).

    With no peripherals attached except for power the start up time from the chime to the login screen was 13.98 secs. With all peripherals attached (Thunderbolt to a Belkin Express Thunderbolt dock with a bunch of stuff attached, USB thumb drive and FW800 disk connected directly) the time from startup chime to the login screen was 12.44 secs.

    This seems to indicate that having peripherals attached makes little difference in my case.
     
  14. BrockJon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2014
    #14
    I tested and discovered the reason I usually don't get the startup chime because I have system sounds turned all the way down. (I don't like the computer beeping at me!)

    Unbelievably, I didn't have the startup volume selected. Guess I forgot to reselect it after uninstalling the OWC Accelsior. That shaved :10 off the boot time. Now I'm down to :50.

    I unplugged my USB stuff (except keyboard/mouse) and that didn't have any effect.

    I'm still getting :10 of nothing at first - the CPU fans spinning fast (or at least loudly). And once they relax the monitors power up.
     
  15. bxs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #15
    Typically mds/Spotlight/indexing activities will start immediately after a startup. There are usually a multitude of mds processes as a result of a multitude of connected Volumes for it to check/index, etc. This can cause fan rpms to increase while they run.
     
  16. macuser453787 macrumors 6502

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    May 19, 2012
    Location:
    Galatians 3:13-14
    #16
    This is how I've always understood that the PRAM reset (aka "zapping" the PRAM) is supposed to be done. In addition to the 4 total chimes -- meaning 3 times with the command + option + P + R keys held down -- I also read that one was supposed to disconnect all non-essential devices from the computer before doing this (leaving only the keyboard, monitor and mouse connected). Read about this back in the mid-90s and am not sure if the procedure has changed or not.

    Since then I have heard variations on this procedure, such as not having to disconnect non-essential devices, or only waiting for 1 chime (or 2 chimes) while holding down the keys.

    These days I don't disconnect anything from the back of the Mac, and I wait for the 3rd chime after pressing and holding down the keys (so 4 total chimes as already stated). :)
     
  17. Korican100 macrumors 6502a

    Korican100

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    Oct 9, 2012
    #17
    Hey did you ever figure out what's causing the Whitescreen delay before the apple boot screen? I am having the same issues. Mac pro 4,1 to 5,1 booting from a SSD on a velocity solo x2 pcie card. Really weird.
     
  18. Thessman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Location:
    GR
    #18
    If everything is ok hardware and software wise, then boot times are dependant on motherboard, ram size, pci cards, amount of disks, and finally amount of auto start-up items.
    Disk speed of course plays a big role, but it starts after the "white screen" and I would like to point out that the number of transactions/second is more important than the sequential r/w speed, at least for boot times.

    The first three aforementioned items play a role for boot to "white screen" time.
     
  19. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #19
    No, it's self cleared before I know what's happening. However, someone suggest that re-select the start up disk in system preference may help to solve the problem.
     
  20. BrockJon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2014
    #20
    The guys at the Apple store told me it pertains to the video card powering up and that there's nothing I can do about it (except go with a video card that requires less power).

    I've just gotten over it. My computer, otherwise, is very fast. The Velocity has worked really well for me. I'm getting read/write speeds of 500 consistently.
     
  21. Korican100 macrumors 6502a

    Korican100

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    #21
    Same here. Once booted, my rig flies. It's just the boot that is giving me problems.
    Most of the time its the delayed boot, with 15-20 seconds white screen prior to apple boot, with another 15-20 seconds there. Then finally the desktop.

    And occasionally like 1 out of 7 boots, I get a kernel panic. And/or a total white screen freeze
     
  22. ChazSch macrumors 6502

    ChazSch

    Joined:
    May 7, 2014
    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
    #22
    I am beginning to think that Macbook Pro's are totally different than iMacs or desktops on start up times. My 2009 MBP is painfully slow, with a white screen for a good many second before the logo. My work computer is fa-ast on boot up.

    maybe its just the price we pay for portability?

    I mena...whats it doing? :)
     
  23. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

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    Nov 23, 2012
    #23

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