Strange problems with new MacPro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by treehorn, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. treehorn macrumors 6502

    treehorn

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #1
    I've had my new 2.8 Octo Mac Pro with the 8800 graphics card for two weeks now. Overall it's working beautifully. I'm amazed at how quickly it renders and compresses Final Cut Pro projects. However I've also been having some very strange problems arising with a frequency that makes me more than a touch worried.

    For instance, today while entering information in Excell, the computer did a semi-restart. It was as if the Finder spontaneously restarted. The screen went mauve for a few seconds and when the finder re-established itself all the programs had quit (before this happened I was also noticing problems entering data - keystrokes didn't register into Excell).

    Yesterday the screen (an HP LP3065) went...well, it looked like the old Atari game, Tempest (a weird inversion of primary colors). Here are a few pictures taken with my iphone:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Only 'improvements' I've done to the computer (other than installing things like Final Cut Studio, Photoshop CS2 and Microsoft Office 2004) are installing an additional 8GB of memory

    I have in the top memory card:
    Slot 1: 2Gb OWC
    Slot 2: 2Gb OWC
    Slot 3: 2 Gb OWC
    Slot 4: 2 Gb OWC

    Bottom memory card:
    Slot 1: 1 Gb original
    Slot 2: 1 GB original
    Slot 3: Empty
    Slot 4: Empty

    I had tried installing it with 2GB in the bottom card but for some odd reason the computer wouldn't recognize that configuration and only recognized the bottom 4GB.

    Also installed a Tango Express Firewire (400) and USB card in the third slot (PCI Express). Had planned on hooking up my KRK Speakers (through Presonus Firebox) via the PCI card but was having a bad stuttering when I played songs through ITunes. (the stuttering stopped when I hooked the Firebox through the computer's 'native' Firewire in the back).

    Only other upgrade was the addition of two Samsung 750GB hard drives (so yeah, I've done a lot of upgrades, come to think about it!)
     
  2. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #2
    I would suggest that you try running your computer without the Tango card and see if it behaves any better.

    I remember a friend of mine with and old Tango PCI card that caused him all kinds of problems...
     
  3. syvalley macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Ynez Valley, CA
    #3
    My understanding is that your memory configuration should look like this:

    Top memory card (A):
    Slot 1: 2GB OWC
    Slot 2: 2GB OWC
    Slot 3: 1GB Original
    Slot 4: 1GB Original

    Bottom memory card (B):
    Slot 1: 2GB OWC
    Slot 2: 2GB OWC
    Slot 3: Empty
    Slot 4: Empty
     
  4. surflordca macrumors 6502a

    surflordca

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #4
    There is a video some where on OWC that I followed. I have been using my MacPro since Feb.14 with no problems hardware wise. The only problem that I have is with Garage Band. Any how here is I installed my memory from OWC.
    Top Memory Card:
    Slot 1: 1 GB Original
    Slot 2: 1 GB Original
    Slot 3: 2 GB OWC
    Slot 4: 2 GB OWC

    Bottom Memory Card.
    Slot 1: 2 GB OWC
    Slot 2: 2 GB OWC
    Slot 3: Empty
    Slot 4: Empty

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #5
    If you want to mix RAM sizes on a memory card you need to put the larger RAM sticks in the lower card slots. The RAM is buffered, if you have 1GB sticks in slots 1 and 2, the machine will think you also have 1GB sticks (or less) in slots 3 and 4 regardless of its actual size. The setup you use works, obviously but something like this should also work:

    memory card 1:
    Slot 1: 2Gb OWC
    Slot 2: 2Gb OWC
    Slot 3: empty
    Slot 4: empty

    memory card 2:
    Slot 1: 2 Gb OWC
    Slot 2: 2 Gb OWC
    Slot 3: 1 Gb original
    Slot 4: 1 Gb original
     
  6. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #6
    I totally agree, this is also how I would set up the ram.

    This is the way my own 9 Gb is set up

    Riser a (top)
    slot 1 2 Gb
    slot 2 2 Gb
    slot 3 512 Mb
    slot 4 512 Mb

    Riser b
    slot 1 2 Gb
    slot 2 2 Gb
    slot 3 empty
    slot 4 empty
     
  7. treehorn thread starter macrumors 6502

    treehorn

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #7
    My understanding is that as well. But when I tried it out it didn't work. The computer didn't recognize the top memory card in that configuration (which makes no sense). I even pulled it out, re-installed the memory to make sure it was properly/fully seated, and it still didn't work.

    As I say...some very odd things (which may be linked to the firewire card, so if anybody has a better suggestion for a card...I had asked on the forum for suggestions before I bought it and heard only crickets :)
     
  8. darkpaw macrumors 6502

    darkpaw

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Location:
    London, England
    #8
    THe OWC RAM I got came with an installation sheet; it's probably the same as the video mentioned. This is what it says:

    - On the bottom memory card, remove the DIMM from slot 1.
    - Reinstall the DIMM you removed (from the bottom card) on the top memory card in DIMM slot 2.
    - Install the first pair of additional DIMMs on the bottom memory card in DIMM slots 1 and 2 (the slots closest to the gold connectors).
    - If you add a second pair of additional DIMMs, install them on the top memory card in DIMM slots 3 and 4, the last two slots.

    So, in my case, the stock 2GB (2x1GB sticks) were originally like this:
    Top memory card (A):
    Slot 1: 1GB
    Slot 2: Empty
    Slot 3: Empty
    Slot 4: Empty

    Bottom memory card (B):
    Slot 1: 1GB
    Slot 2: Empty
    Slot 3: Empty
    Slot 4: Empty

    And they're now like this:
    Top memory card (A):
    Slot 1: 1GB
    Slot 2: 1GB
    Slot 3: 2GB
    Slot 4: 2GB

    Bottom memory card (B):
    Slot 1: 2GB
    Slot 2: 2GB
    Slot 3: Empty
    Slot 4: Empty

    My Mac Pro 2.8GHz 8-core recognised all 10GB without any issues.
     
  9. treehorn thread starter macrumors 6502

    treehorn

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #9
    Which runs counter to what everybody else is saying (and it seems that there are at least three different ways that one should install these suckers)

    My computer does recognize the 10GB (but maybe isn't running them as optimally).

    I'm going to try swapping a few things out in a few hours - changing the memory configuration again and more importantly changing the PCI slot that the Tango card is installed in.

    Which begs the question...if the problems (which are intermittent and non-reproducible) stop when I change the PCI card slot, does that mean that the Tango Express works best in a non-express slot or that the express slot (#3) is defective in the computer?
     
  10. Kosh66 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    #10

    Ok, from Apple's own site here is there memory DIY manual http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/MacPro_MemoryDIMM_DIY.pdf and according to it your stock config with a 1GB stick in each riser is wrong, which is what I thought. DIMMs have to be paired in slots 1 & 2 and 3 & 4 on each riser card. Now if you have the memory paired in slots 1 & 2 of both cards it gives you another speed boost because you are now in 4 channel mode. http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=304492
     
  11. rockinrocker macrumors 65816

    rockinrocker

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    #11

    i had some somewhat similar screen craziness with my replacement MP and it turned out that the video card wasn't seated quite right. that might be worth checking.

    also, is your firewire card a TI chipset? i think that's what all the presonus stuff is supposed to use...(i used to have a firepod)
     
  12. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #12
    My 08 MacPro did the same thing, I swapped A and B cards and all was well. Something about when you have unbalanced cards, the one with less memory needs to be in the slot that I don't recall off hand.

    All, remember that the 08 MacPro can use faster memory and has different RAM constraints than previous models.
     
  13. treehorn thread starter macrumors 6502

    treehorn

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #13
    That's a good thing to check...hadn't even thought about reseating/checking the graphics card. I'll do that when I re-open the MacPro in an hour or so.

    This is the firewire card I got:

    http://www.sonnettech.com/product/tango_express.html

    Unfortunately it doesn't give any information as to whether or not it's a TI chipset or not...

    If you know how I can tell, would appreciate it!
     
  14. treehorn thread starter macrumors 6502

    treehorn

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #14
    I'll try that...

    Ah the joys of being 'beta testers' :)
     
  15. treehorn thread starter macrumors 6502

    treehorn

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #15
    So...an update. I just reconfigured the memory to the above and it went from recognizing all 10 GB to now only 6GB (the upper riser). Odd thing is that last time I tried this configuration it recognized only the lower riser (4GB)

    Swapping the risers so the 6GB was on the bottom and the 4GB was on the top now works - computer sees all 10GB.

    And further update...got an email from Sonnet that said that the card should be in the 3rd or 4th PCI slot (the 4 lane vs the 16 lane of the 2nd slot)

    So we'll try that and see...
     

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