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Strange sluggish graphics issue with Mojave 10.14.4 update (confirmed)

AnimeFunTv

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2009
166
25
San Antonio
So a small noticeable issue I had since updating to 10.14.4.

I've noticed my screensaver flurry used to flow very nicely and smoothly but after the 10.14.4 update I've been seeing it stutter and be a little sluggish, also my dock used to flow smoothly when running across the apps icons, now it just has a slight stutter to it as well.

Anyone else noticed?
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,690
7,143
Hong Kong
Just tested it on my cMP (spec as per my signature). No problem for that Flurry screensaver. I tried few more other screensaver as well, all smooth.
 
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AnimeFunTv

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2009
166
25
San Antonio
Actually, looking into this issue further I can confirm that their IS an issue with the 10.14.4 update, at least on my end, lemme explain.

So with the recent 10.14.4 update I've noticed sluggishness to the graphical side of the OS, such as dropdown menus or scrolling though files. The easiest way to confirm was to load up a video, or just as simple the flurry screen saver, the video or the screen saver would 'jump' or 'stop' as if its dropping frame rates. the screen saver or video should be buttery smooth.

I did a few experiments to confirm this. I went ahead and booted into recovery mode and installed a fresh copy of 10.14.4 on a clean NVMe drive that I have as a scratch drive. No install issues other than the new firmware update that 10.14.4 released. Still the screen saver and some of the drop menus didn't seem fluid and smooth flowing, they had a 'jittery' feel to it.

Next step I wanted to see if I had an hardware issue or if it was software so I loaded up the original 10.14.0 Mojave installer to a usb and did a clean install on the NVMe drive, I erased 10.14.4 that was on that drive before I continued. 10.14.0 Installed just fine and boom, my screen saver and drop down menus were buttery smooth with no jittery or jumps. Next I wanted to update to 10.14.4, but before this I wanted to copy the AMD kexts, I copied the whole AMD list of kexts and bundles to the thumb drive, proceed with the 10.14.4 update and sure enough when it booted back into the OS the screen saver and drop menus were back to being jittery.

I wanted to try and see if I can copy the kexts from the initial release of 10.14.0 into 10.14.4, that didn't go well at all. I disabled SIP and used Kext Utility to install the kexts from the initial release of 10.14.0 to the 10.14.4 OS wouldn't boot, if it did, there wouldn't be any graphics acceleration, unless I missed some other un-related AMD kexts that needed to be moved.

I had to bite the bullet and actually downgrade my main 10.14.4 OS drive back-to 10.14. Thankfully the downgrade worked and my screen saver, menus, and videos both on my drive and web-streaming are smooth once again.

I'm thinking for sure it must be a driver issue or graphics acceleration software issue that may be incompatible (at least for the mean time) with my graphics card. I don't have another metal compatible video card to test this theory out but for now it looks like I'm stuck with 10.14.0 until they release another update that "hopefully" fixes my issue.
 
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AnimeFunTv

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2009
166
25
San Antonio
I have the same type of card. Flurry is smooth.

I plan on upgrading the graphics card to Sapphire Pulse RX580 hopefully soon; I'm not quite sure what changes where made to the kexts with the 10.14.4 update but I'll update it once I upgrade to a rx580 and see if it continues or goes away.
 
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h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,690
7,143
Hong Kong
If just screen saver has issue, that will be very hard to monitor the detailed CPU usage when the screen saver is working.

But if even play a video has problem. Then you may check if there is any process was bottlenecked by the CPU (single thread).

Of course, it can be the GPU driver issue. The 7950 driver has lots of minor issues since it was released. I never really use that in Mojave, but won't be too surprised if this issue only happen on some 7xxx card.
 
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AnimeFunTv

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2009
166
25
San Antonio
Well this got even more strange and frustrating during this week, I bit the bullet and bought a Sapphire Nitro+ RX 580. I also did the pixlas mod before installing the RX580.

Under 10.14.0 nothing noticeable, screens saver, videos, drop down menus, and dock animations play smoothy. Updated to 10.14.4 and once again I'm having issues with slight sluggishness. I REALLY wish I could data log or something to see what is going on between both versions. I have a feeling it could be the framebuffer as fault but I have no way of diagnosing it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Squuiid

macrumors 68000
Oct 31, 2006
1,674
1,039
Well this got even more strange and frustrating during this week, I bit the bullet and bought a Sapphire Nitro+ RX 580. I also did the pixlas mod before installing the RX580.

Under 10.14.0 nothing noticeable, screens saver, videos, drop down menus, and dock animations play smoothy. Updated to 10.14.4 and once again I'm having issues with slight sluggishness. I REALLY wish I could data log or something to see what is going on between both versions. I have a feeling it could be the framebuffer as fault but I have no way of diagnosing it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Why did you go for the Nitro+ if you don't mind me asking? Isn't that blocking a PCIe slot?
 
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AnimeFunTv

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2009
166
25
San Antonio
Why did you go for the Nitro+ if you don't mind me asking? Isn't that blocking a PCIe slot?

Wanted just something above the Pulse spec's. As far as blocking the PCI slot above it Yes and no. lol. I did hear about this but depending on the what your going to install on the blocked PCI slot, it still will work with only one minor modification to the MacPro and that's removing the plastic isolator pad that lays on the bottom; The Nitro+ already has a heatsink and protective plate at the bottom of it. Also like I said, it also depends on what your going to put on the blocked PCI slot, in my case its a Blackmagic Intensity Pro capture card which has no protruding circuits or IC's at the bottom of the capture card, its just flat, therefore the fans of the Nitro+ card don't hit it.
[doublepost=1555609134][/doublepost]Am I installing the Kexts wrong? I disabled SIP and used kext Utility to install the kexts from 10.14 into 10.14.4 and it just bricks when it boots and i have to re-install the whole OS to get it back running. Even if I just do one kext the OS will not boot.
 

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Eneco

macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2018
116
14
Even though I don't have a sluggish UI, I also experienced a graphical glitch introduced with 10.14.4. Every now and then I get a white screen flash for just 1 frame.

I had the exact same issue a few years back with a different GPU and a different macOS version, so I'm pretty sure this is a software problem. Let's hope 10.14.5 will fix this
 
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AnimeFunTv

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2009
166
25
San Antonio
So experimenting little more, starting with 10.14.0, I downloaded 10.14.1 update from Apple's website and installation went well. No issues.

I tried to download 10.14.2 from Apple but it was unavailable but it didn't matter as when I downloaded 10.14.3 combo update it too went well with no issues.

I was hopeful that downloading and installing the 10.14.4 combo update will solve my sluggish UI graphics but unfortunately not.

But at least now it just still confirms that its the 10.14.4 update alone that's giving me issues and nothing hardware. I was using a clean install of 10.14 Mojave on an actual Hard Disk on one of the drive sleds to ensure it wasn't the hardware.

Again, I really wish there was a way to submit a ticket to Apple Beta teams about this issue.
 
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crjackson2134

macrumors 601
Mar 6, 2013
4,746
1,903
Charlotte, NC
Again, I really wish there was a way to submit a ticket to Apple Beta teams about this issue.

There is, become a beta tester or get a paid developer account and submit your report, but since the HD7970 (or any DIY flashed GPU) is not officially supported in the cMP, don't expect any help from Apple. Any help on the matter would likely be the result from someone reporting the same issue on a nMP with D700 GPUs.
 
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cdf

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2012
933
792
Since 10.14.4, I've been experiencing graphics-related issues (video card fan noise and sleep issues discussed in this forum here and here). I didn't really notice any sluggishness compared to 10.14.3. But today I benchmarked my RX 580 in "Rise of the Tomb Raider." Here are the results:

10.14.3: 58.28 FPS
10.14.4: 42.63 FPS

So graphics performance has dropped.

Not everybody seems to be affected. However, it seems that the issues are coming from dual processor flashed 4,1's...
 
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AnimeFunTv

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2009
166
25
San Antonio
There is, become a beta tester or get a paid developer account and submit your report, but since the HD7970 (or any DIY flashed GPU) is not officially supported in the cMP, don't expect any help from Apple. Any help on the matter would likely be the result from someone reporting the same issue on a nMP with D700 GPUs.

I don't have the 7970 installed anymore, I have a RX580, but the issue I have still happens with the RX580.
 
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AnimeFunTv

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2009
166
25
San Antonio
Yup, I posted that link in #15 above. It’s time to give it a go.

I can give it a try.

However, I am using the digital output from my MacPro not the analog out. I haven't seen on that forum if it was solely the analog or digital or both that had stuttering audio.
 
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crjackson2134

macrumors 601
Mar 6, 2013
4,746
1,903
Charlotte, NC
I can give it a try.

However, I am using the digital output from my MacPro not the analog out. I haven't seen on that forum if it was solely the analog or digital or both that had stuttering audio.

It doesn’t matter in this case. The point is to disable one CPU the test to see if it affects your graphics issue.
 
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AnimeFunTv

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2009
166
25
San Antonio
It doesn’t matter in this case. The point is to disable one CPU the test to see if it affects your graphics issue.

Gotha, gonna boot into my second drive with 10.14.4 and disable one cpu, will report here soon.
[doublepost=1555707777][/doublepost]Yup! Sure enough both issues are related!

Loaded up my drive with 10.14.4, made sure the issue was still there with the screen saver. Disabled one CPU, reboot, confirmed running on one CPU, loaded up the screen saver and it’s buttery smooth.

I guess this gives me the chance to upgrade my CPU’s that were on 5,1 MacPro’s, I honestly don’t think Apple won’t patch this since this issue is common on older CPU’s on 4,1 flashed into 5,1’s like mine that are not supported.

At least now I know it’s a problem that others are experiencing too but in other ways.
 
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crjackson2134

macrumors 601
Mar 6, 2013
4,746
1,903
Charlotte, NC
Gotha, gonna boot into my second drive with 10.14.4 and disable one cpu, will report here soon.
[doublepost=1555707777][/doublepost]Yup! Sure enough both issues are related!

Loaded up my drive with 10.14.4, made sure the issue was still there with the screen saver. Disabled one CPU, reboot, confirmed running on one CPU, loaded up the screen saver and it’s buttery smooth.

I guess this gives me the chance to upgrade my CPU’s that were on 5,1 MacPro’s, I honestly don’t think Apple won’t patch this since this issue is common on older CPU’s on 4,1 flashed into 5,1’s like mine that are not supported.

At least now I know it’s a problem that others are experiencing too but in other ways.

Good to know... NOW, file your bug report against the issue.
 
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bsbeamer

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2012
3,865
2,034
While I 100% believe this bug report should be filed, I’m not so sure it will be addressed by Apple. ALL reports so far are for Xeon 5500-series CPUs which were never officially offered in MP5,1. If this impacted 5600-series it absolutely would need to be addressed.
 
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