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View Full Version : What would cause this? Video Hardware issue.



pwwalter
01-03-2015, 04:44 PM
I believe something is starting to go on my Mac Pro. I first noticed that it was having a hard time playing back multicam sequences especially when I added any sort of basic color correction. When I tried watching the same sequence on my Macbook Pro it would play much smoother. Odd I thought, since my mac pro has a bigger processor. Also the Mac pro is reading the footage off of one of my internal hdd's while the laptop is reading off of a cheap external usb 3 drive. I already had ordered more ram to bump up to 32gb and was considering RAID'ing my hard-drives when something even scarier happened.

A client told me that some lower thirds I rendered looked fuzzier on some projects than others. I had exported half of the videos on my mac pro and half on my laptop to save time. The ones I did on my mac pro were indeed less sharp! I exported the same exact sequence on both computers with the same settings to show you the difference. There is also some slight variation in colors between the two.

Is my video card starting to go? What could cause this?

[Imgur](http://i.imgur.com/4slI0dB.png)

Mac Pro Specs
mid 2012 3.33 GHz 6-core Intel Xeon
Memory: 16gb 1333 DDR3
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB

Macbook Pro Specs
mid 2012 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory: 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GT 650M 1024 MB

harryb2448
01-03-2015, 04:47 PM
Very very hard to say.

Vacant thread!

pwwalter
01-03-2015, 04:51 PM
Very very hard to say.

Vacant thread!

I apologize. I clicked edit and then everything just disappeared! Guess I have to retype everything.

Edit: my post was under moderation, thankfully it was approved!

chscag
01-03-2015, 04:58 PM
Your post was under moderation. It has since been approved and will now appear to the forum.

pwwalter
01-03-2015, 05:02 PM
not sure why the photo won't show up but you can see it here.

imgur: the simple image sharer (http://imgur.com/4slI0dB)

harryb2448
01-03-2015, 05:56 PM
Link goes to John M. Artz Ph.D. However, open her up, disconnect two power leads from gfx card, remove, clean terminals, reseat firmly and attached leads and see if there is any improvement. After that maybe a new card as they do fail.

pwwalter
01-03-2015, 06:03 PM
Link goes to John M. Artz Ph.D. However, open her up, disconnect two power leads from gfx card, remove, clean terminals, reseat firmly and attached leads and see if there is any improvement. After that maybe a new card as they do fail.

That is the correct link. The top picture is exported from the laptop and the bottom from the desktop. You may not be able to tell with just a quick glance, but the text on the graphic is certainly sharper on the top image.

Thank you for the suggestion, I have not tried that. It is most likely the video card that is the culprit though. Probably worth a try before investing another $500 for a new one.

johnodd4
01-04-2015, 12:28 AM
honestly i would check several thing's and these are really easy on that model pull out the graphics card and replace the heatsink compound on the graphics card and clean the fan it's easy to do and might fix the card instead of a replacement.

pwwalter
01-04-2015, 03:13 PM
honestly i would check several thing's and these are really easy on that model pull out the graphics card and replace the heatsink compound on the graphics card and clean the fan it's easy to do and might fix the card instead of a replacement.

I replaced the heatsink and cleaned the fan as well as the rest of my computer. While I do feel there has been some increase in speed of my computer (it had been a while since it got a nice cleaning like that) when I did a test export of the sequence, I did not see any increase in sharpness. It looks just like it did before :(

FritzDaCat
01-05-2015, 02:35 AM
Are you exporting from Final Cut Pro?
If so, are the playback quality and media settings exactly the same?

pwwalter
01-05-2015, 02:46 AM
Are you exporting from Final Cut Pro?
If so, are the playback quality and media settings exactly the same?

I use Adobe Premiere CC 2014 newest update on both systems exporting with Adobe Media Encoder CC 2014. The settings are exactly the same, it's actually a preset supplied by the client.

I've been running a bunch of tests and found another weird thing. So the setting they supplied has a target bitrate of 17 mbps and a maximum of 18 mbps. This is actually pretty high already, yet if I click the box for "Use maximum render quality" It does help sharpen up that text. I already looked and that box is not checked on my laptop. I would give up there and just say good enough, but rendering at a maximum quality like that increases exporting times and is overkill for most projects. I'm still at a loss for why it is doing this.

I read that the CPU does almost all of the work during exporting so I also went ahead and redid the heatsink on the CPU for safe measure after I did the GPU and then downloaded a temperature monitor and nothing really seems to be burning up, yet it didn't help my exporting issue.

pwwalter
01-05-2015, 06:09 AM
WOW, I feel like a j@$%@$$....

Yes, all of the preset setting were the same on both machines, but the actual renderer was set to Mercury Playback Engine Software Only on my Desktop and Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration (Open CL) on my Laptop. I changed the setting and sure enough it rendered out a perfectly sharp image. I always thought the GPU Acceleration was to help carry some of the work load but did not know it could effect quality that much. Apparently it does both as my CPU usage was at around 100% while rendering without it and only around 40% while using it. It still doesn't explain why my computer is choking on some footage that I think it should be able to handle, but that's a problem for another day. I think a RAIDed drive is in order.

Thank you for all of your help. While I could have gone with out the added stress from the last couple days at least my computer got a much needed bath and some fresh thermal paste.

dtravis7
01-05-2015, 06:34 AM
Glad you found that setting and your quality is back to normal! Good going!

harryb2448
01-05-2015, 04:57 PM
Good work and good training for working inside the Mac Pro agree?