Too much Beachballing for Mac Pro w/ 16GB ram

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by phdraw, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. phdraw macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #1
    Hey folks,
    Can someone tell me something I don't know (which could be a lot) about a new Mac Pro with 2.93 octo core with 16GB of ram? I've got my OS and apps on a 10,000 RPM Velociraptor (500GB) and my media/assests on two 7,200 RPM drives that are 1TB each and raid 0. For graphics card I've got the ATI Radeon 4870. This computer is not as snappy as I had hoped. You'd thing that having the apps on a quick hard drive would speed up the tasks some. Can I do anything to speed things up? Is it a scratch disk thing or some or config thing? It happens at the most seemingly simplest commands in Photoshop, Illustrator, Bridge or After Effects. Not a lot but enough to be irritating. Not super knowledgeable about configuring macs, just work on them. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. jdl8422 macrumors 6502

    jdl8422

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Location:
    Louisiana
    #3
    Is it just Adobe apps or is it across the board? Photoshop, not sure about other Adobe apps, can only handle up to 3GB of RAM so the 16GB doesnt really matter. If it just the Adobe apps, try reinstalling it.
     
  3. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Location:
    Denmark
    #4
    It's quite simply because the rest of the computer is waiting ages for your mechanical drives to fetch the data.

    Or that could at least be the answer.

    Get either a Solid State Drive based on the Indilinx controller or the Intel based Solid State Drive (generation 2).
     
  4. davidwarren macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
  5. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Doesn't really make a difference as long as it is Raid0.

    At phdraw:

    As you've got plenty of Ram, you should consider a Ramdisk for Photoshop.
    Check this out ->hit me!
     
  6. ManiG macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #7
    My guess is that, like many, you're bottlenecked by software that hasn't caught up to your hardware.

    1) 16 g of ram, but 32bit software that can't take advantage of it.
    2) 8 cores, but software optimized to run on one.
    3) a powerful GPU, but no professional apps that I know of take advantage of its vector processor.

    Apple has made a big step forward to solve all the above with Snow Leopard. #1 is relatively easy to solve. #2 and #3 are far, far more complicated and could take a year or two (optimistically) before an app like Photoshop catches up.

    That said, as others suggested an SSD drive or using a RAM scratch disk will probably make things less painful for the time being. Good luck!
     
  7. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #8
    I would start by doing a fresh install of Mac OSX Snow Leopard and just your Adobe suite. See how that goes before layering on any other software, making any settings changes, etc. It's likely something else that's causing this and the only way to find if that's the case and identify what it is... Back to basics for you! :p

    BTW, you should solve this problem before going to an SSD. There's no way your system should be giving you beach balls.
     
  8. Infrared macrumors 68000

    Infrared

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    #9
    Are any of your drives going to sleep?
     
  9. irrªtiºnal macrumors member

    irrªtiºnal

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #10
    What exactly are your benchmarks? I mean, can you give more or less an idea of what you find unacceptable? Something like, "it takes on average 1/3 of a second to load this app... and then do this or that...".

    Depending on your computer upbringing and expectations you might be overreacting a bit or maybe you are too picky... To some people having a hair in their soup is totally unacceptable. Others would just put it off. Others would eat it or perhaps not even notice... :p
     
  10. AZREOSpecialist macrumors 68000

    AZREOSpecialist

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #11
    I have a 2009 Mac Pro Quad "upgraded" to a 3.32 GHz Core i7 w/ 16 GB RAM. I have a SSD as my boot drive and three 1 TB WD enterprise drives put into a 2 TB RAID 5 array. I do Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver work and have not seen a beach ball once.

    Are your drives spinning down when idle? Your application may be waiting for your drives to spin up, especially if you are using the sleeping drive for your Photoshop scratch disk. Make sure you have disabled drive sleep.
     
  11. siorai macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #12
    Could be the signs of a drive starting to fail. My system drive would make that ever so pleasant *click* once in a very long while when I was booted into Windows. It never did it when I was in OSX though so it got a low priority in my things to do. Then the beachballs starting showing up with certain programs. Then they showed up whenever I would try to do anything new associated with the system drive. So I bit the bullet, bought a new drive, did a fresh install and no more beachballs.
     
  12. Abidubi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal
    #13
    No matter how fast your computer, if it needs to access something on a disk that hasn't been working for a little while, it will have to wait 1 to 5 seconds for it to spin up again if you set the HDs to sleep when possible.

    For that reason I have disabled the "sleep when possible" option in the energy saver and I never get any kind of beach ball. When I have it enabled I sometimes experience a couple seconds delay as the HD wakes up.
     
  13. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Denver Colorado
    #14
    That is what I have found on mine. The only time I would get the beachball is when I was waiting for an HD to spin up. I hate waiting so I have the sleep option turned off as well.
     
  14. phdraw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #15
    Thank you all soooo much for your quick and numerous responses. I apologize for not providing sufficient info. I'm on Snow Leopard and yes, it's across the board, not just on Adobe apps. I think many of you are on to something with the "Drive Sleep" option as I think I can hear it spinning up while the beach ball is doing its thing. I'm going to change that option and I think that'll do it.
    Thanks again to all of you. I'll keep you posted.
     
  15. phdraw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #16
    The "Sleep Drive" option did the trick. Thanks again for the generous outpouring of advice and suggestions. Any other performance optimizing tips i.e. faster renders in AE or faster refreshes in Illustrator (CS4) or memory utilization, please let me know. Thanks again!
     
  16. phdraw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #17
    Hello again good folks... I've got one more perplexing issue. If I try to make any other drive than my OS/apps drive a scratch disk Photoshop will not open the next time I try giving the message "Could not open a scratch file because the disk is not available". I know this probably a newbie thing, but could anyone more knowledgeable shed some light on how to choose another drive for a scratch disk w/o photoshop complaining? Thanks again so much.
     
  17. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #18
    Not to go off-topic, but where'd you get the 500GB VelociRaptors?
     
  18. phdraw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
  19. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #20
    AFAIK, there is no such beast.

    300GB yes.
     
  20. phdraw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #22
    Can someone still answer this one?.....

    If I try to make any other drive than my OS/apps drive a scratch disk Photoshop will not open the next time I try giving the message "Could not open a scratch file because the disk is not available". I know this probably a newbie thing, but could anyone more knowledgeable shed some light on how to choose another drive for a scratch disk w/o photoshop complaining? Thanks again so much.
     
  21. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #23
    Sounds weird. But with the 16GB of RAM that you have PS probably never uses the scratch anyway. So just set the SD to whatever works. How big in pixels are the files that you edit and how many layers at what bit depth?

    PS AFAIK, shouldn't ever need to read anything from the scratch disks when it 1st starts up other than to make sure they are present. So are the disks your setting readable? How about permissions? I dunno what else to say.
     
  22. phdraw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #24
    Thanks for the additional thoughts. Persmissions are set for me to read and write. Like you said, maybe I won't need it with all the ram I have. Thanks
     

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