Very poor Mac Pro performance

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by escapist13, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. escapist13 macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2008
    I just received my 2.8 Octo with 4 GB RAM, HD2600 and am starting to notice some VERY poor performance.

    First off, video playback is choppy at best, otherwise it doesn't play at all. I've tried Quicktime with Flip4Mac and Perian, and also VLC. All formats, WMV, AVI, MOV, MKV, etc. HD, SD, resolution or bitrate doesn't matter. It just stutters, if it plays at all.

    The VLC error that comes up says, "more than 5 seconds of late video -> dropping frame (computer too slow ?)"

    I don't understand, a brand-new 8-core Mac Pro "too slow?" The whole time the processors aren't above 2% load and I have 3 GBs of free RAM.

    Transfer speeds over Firewire 400 and abysmal as well. I'm getting read and write speeds ~2-20 MB/sec, never over 20. That's not normal, right?

    Also, I unRar'd a 900MB archive and it took about 15 minutes.

    It doesn't even seem like these problems could be related. I'm upgrading from a Pentium M 1.8GHZ Windows laptop, and it was faster at every one of these tasks!

    Can anyone shed some light on what's going on here?
  2. Cromas macrumors member


    Feb 21, 2008
    mmm rare, the others reviews say that its a beast, maybe yours have a problem... check with tests
  3. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Everything you're describing makes me think hard disk problem...
  4. escapist13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2008
    Could it still be a hard disk problem if it occurs with a FW400 drive, USB 2.0 drive, or the internal 320GB drive?
  5. Jonny427 macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2007
    Orange County, CA
    Run the diagnostic, it does sound like a faulty hard drive.
  6. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Depends, when you're testing your speeds over Firewire and USB the data you're copying has to be going to or from somewhere. Is it the internal disk per chance?
  7. escapist13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2008
    If by "the diagnostic" you mean the Apple Hardware test on the setup DVD, I ran it and it said no problems.

    I also verified the disk and permissions in disk utility.

    I've just switched to OSX, is there another utility I should be running?

    edesignuk: Even when transferring from external to external I'm getting 2 MB/sec, although a restart seems to fix this for a while. Bizarre behavior, right?
  8. krye macrumors 68000


    Aug 21, 2007
    Sounds like some sort of write error on the hdd. The Mac Pro is a beast and shouldn't even so much as stutter at the tasks you're talking about.
  9. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Whatever the problem, there clearly is a problem. It's new, call Apple and take it back.
  10. Infrared macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    You might try running this and come back to us with the results:
  11. kgarner macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2004
    Don't bother with more tests. It's not working right and you should just contact Apple about it and have it replaced. A Mac Pro should not choke when playing video.
  12. GotPro macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2007
    Seriously... take the thing back.

    To see just how out of whack your system is... (if it was at all)..
    I created a 960 Meg RAR file comprising 12,260 items (mosty tiny system folder stuff)... and the un-rar only took 4 Minutes and 34 Seconds...

    And I've just got a QUAD 2.8...

    The kicker here?

    I was un-raring it on a drive that HandBrake was already using to encode a 7 Gig Movie File on... so all the CPU resources were pegged... and the 4 minutes 34 seconds was while the hard drive was being continuously read / written to by another app :eek:

    There is definitely something WRONG with your OCTOBOX.

    BTW... with no other processes running... the same 12,260 item un-rar took 1 Minute 44 Seconds.

  13. escapist13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2008
    Hey thanks for the link, that's a nice benchmarker.

    Funny because my results seem normal.

    My Mac Pro (disktest on internal 320GB):

    Results 165.97
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.5.2 (9C31)
    Physical RAM 4096 MB
    Model MacPro3,1
    Drive Type ST3320820AS_P
    CPU Test 185.89
    GCD Loop 318.72 16.80 Mops/sec
    Floating Point Basic 153.89 3.66 Gflop/sec
    vecLib FFT 130.98 4.32 Gflop/sec
    Floating Point Library 235.38 40.99 Mops/sec
    Thread Test 596.42
    Computation 568.60 11.52 Mops/sec, 4 threads
    Lock Contention 627.09 26.98 Mlocks/sec, 4 threads
    Memory Test 200.37
    System 281.40
    Allocate 321.10 1.18 Malloc/sec
    Fill 234.40 11397.30 MB/sec
    Copy 304.82 6296.00 MB/sec
    Stream 155.57
    Copy 157.02 3243.15 MB/sec
    Scale 157.12 3246.13 MB/sec
    Add 153.82 3276.69 MB/sec
    Triad 154.38 3302.60 MB/sec
    Quartz Graphics Test 229.33
    Line 187.67 12.49 Klines/sec [50% alpha]
    Rectangle 233.02 69.57 Krects/sec [50% alpha]
    Circle 187.68 15.30 Kcircles/sec [50% alpha]
    Bezier 198.73 5.01 Kbeziers/sec [50% alpha]
    Text 548.68 34.32 Kchars/sec
    OpenGL Graphics Test 218.19
    Spinning Squares 218.19 276.78 frames/sec
    User Interface Test 373.10
    Elements 373.10 1.71 Krefresh/sec
    Disk Test 54.04
    Sequential 118.34
    Uncached Write 126.74 77.82 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 125.95 71.26 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 89.75 26.27 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 146.45 73.61 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 35.01
    Uncached Write 12.13 1.28 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 75.65 24.22 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 89.62 0.64 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 134.10 24.88 MB/sec [256K blocks]

    I then ran the disk test on the USB 2.0 external and you can see they are really low.

    Disk Test 2.65
    Sequential 1.75
    Uncached Write 1.64 1.01 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 1.61 0.91 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 1.90 0.56 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 1.89 0.95 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 5.48
    Uncached Write 5.91 0.63 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 2.94 0.94 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 43.06 0.31 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 5.04 0.94 MB/sec [256K blocks]

    Maybe this is all related to the external drive? I'll investigate...

    Thanks for the help so far.
  14. Infrared macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    Could be. Xbench is not the be all and end all of tests, but
    original 165.97 score is in the right sort of area for the MP
    with default Seagate HD and, as you say, the external USB
    figures are low. Let us know how you get on with your
  15. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    do you have other USB devices connected to the same physical USB port of the mac pro?

    is the USB drive directly connected to the mac pro, or is it connected to a hub or monitor or something else like that?

    i ask because if there is a since USB 1.1 device on a hub, it can force the entire USB chain involved to revert to usb 1.1 speeds.

    if you haven't already, connect the external drive directly to one of the mac pro's USB ports.

    but you said it was bad with FireWire as that may not have anything to do with it...

    open activity monitor and look at the drive input/output while you are copying a large file from one place to another (to or from the external drive, for example), and see where the average speed ends up...

    something is definitely wrong, but it might not be your hard drives.
  16. Thessman macrumors regular

    Dec 8, 2005
    I'd say that it looks like your external is working at 12Mbits (USB 1.1), and if you're playing back from it then at that speed it should stutter.
  17. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    Do some kind of CPU only benchmark and see if your CPU score is in line with others of the same clock speed.
  18. GotPro macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2007

    HOWEVER, it still shouldn't take 15 minutes to un-rar a 900mb archive...

    Unless there are 935,000 files OR he's doing it, as well, from the external drive...

    Strange Happenings...

    Best of luck...

    Let us know how it goes.
  19. DaSal macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2008
    The Netherlands
    Out of interested, is this right? The Xbench results, are they percentage or just a random value? I don't have a MP myself, but I'm saving up money to get one. My Macbook gets a 107 score though, if it's percentages the Mac Pro is only like 50% faster? Cause I thought with the whole 8 cores and it being a desktop and all it would be more than half a time as fast? Just curious, maybe someone can clear this up.

    I really should stop reading this forum though, It's kind of paranoia-ing me out....:p
  20. Infrared macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    No, you can't say it's only 50% faster. The situation is... err..
    complicated. And you can get a different score by having
    a variety of different stuff in the MP.

    The machine here scores 184 despite only having the stock
    configuration. That's merely because it came with the
    Western Digital rather than the Seagate stock hard drive.
  21. wesk702 macrumors 68000


    Jul 7, 2007
    The hood

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