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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

RAM performance with Mac Pro 6-Core


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parasbuy

 
Member Since: Jan 24, 2011
Location: New York City
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Mac Specs: Late 2010 Mac Pro 5,1 with 3.33Ghz 6-core, and 16GB RAM

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Hi All,

I have a 3.33GHz 6-core Xeon Mac Pro with 16GB of RAM, but looking at the CPU Meters, etc., it seems like I'm not getting full use out of the system. My CPU usage gets up to 4% sometimes and the RAM doesn't get much higher than 14%. I am running some pretty intense software... Solidworks CAD Simulation, Photoshop, Lightroom, Video, etc., and the system seems to be a bit slow and taking some time to load/process; but the CPU and RAM meters barely change any higher.

Can adjust my system configurations to better take advantage of these? What else should I be doing to improve the performance? Is there a way to get a much faster boot-up speed, or just much faster processing of Photoshop and Solidworks rendering, for example... me thinks it shouldn't be choppy with all this firepower.

I'm running Mac Pro 10.6.6 and Windows 7 64-bit via Boot Camp. 1TB hard drive 7.2k RPM.

Thanks,
parasbuy
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robduckyworth

 
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does it do the same in OSX? or is it just in Windows?

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techo91

 
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The slowest thing in your system is your hard drive. In my opinion you should consider SSD for the operating system and keep your data on the rotational HDD.
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scscop

 
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Take a look at this guide, should give you a boost for Photoshop.
MPG - Optimizing Photoshop CS5 Performance - The Photoshop CS5 Upgrade (Introduction)

EDIT: There is also a link for Lightroom and CS4 in the first paragraph. Enjoy.
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parasbuy

 
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All great suggestions... thanks, guys...

- Windows 7 is definitely much worse performance-wise than OS X. I posted the same questions on a Windows forum, so hope to hear a response.

- I'm still running CS2 and the recent 10.6.6 upgrade killed my ability to use it any longer. Adobe said they weren't going to fix it and suggested the $200 upgrade, which I don't want to do right now. So I've started using GIMP, which is really pretty good.

- I find the SSD's so expensive... is there a way to have the boot sequence use much more of the 16GB of RAM to boot faster?
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harryb2448

 
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If the SSD is too expensive you have to just be patient. Have a look in your LogIn itmes in Systems Preferences > Accounts > Longin Items and see if anything there is loading. An SSD drive in my Mac Pro boots in 18 seconds.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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parasbuy

 
Member Since: Jan 24, 2011
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Thanks for the info, man.. I did clear the login items as well as the cache files in the library.

What I'd really like to do is just have the RAM be better utilized. I have 16GB in there and any of my applications barely register.. which is good in one sense, but not when I'm still seeing slow performance in rendering and loading.

Thanks for your posts.
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parasbuy

 
Member Since: Jan 24, 2011
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Here is something of interest... I installed MenuMeters and can see the performance of each of the 6-Cores. The first core maxes out occasionally and when it does, the SBBOD comes up; the SBBOD goes away when the core utilization comes down from 100%. all the other cores barely register, at most in the 1% to 4% range.

Does this shed any light for you guys... seems like there may be a configuration issue? Shouldn't the system be processing across all the different cores and be able to reduce the load on one core?

This all happened when I was using Preview to read a PDF off my local drive.

RAM: 2GB of 16GB are being used.
Disk I/O seems fine
Wireless seems fine

Thanks for your inputs.
Paras.
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parasbuy

 
Member Since: Jan 24, 2011
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An update on this...

- added the Windows drive into the privacy pane of Spotlight so that it will not try to index the windows drive any longer. looking to shutdown Spotlight completely in case indexing is an issue at all

- plenty of headroom in the RAM, only 2GB of 16GB are being used

- plenty of bandwidth on the network connections

- disk activity is pretty clear, not hung-up on anything... i'm also not running any virtualization that i know of... no VM Ware, Parallels, etc. Brought my virtual memory down to 50KB, as well.


Still getting the SBBOD, though...

- I've also noticed that when i get the SBBOD, that sometimes it's the first core that maxes our, sometimes the 4th core, or the 3rd core, or the 6th.... the processing is not being distributed across multiple cores, but just on one core while the others are <10%

- in Activity Monitor, the top CPU% process is changing as you would normally expect it to... sometimes it's Firefox, Thunderbird, Lightroom, etc., depending on the app being run; it's usually running at <4% normally, occasionally going up to 10% if all cores are taken together

- by Threads... Firefox is 38 to 42 threads running the Daily Show, Thunderbird is 35, Lightroom 26, Songbird 21, Excel 15 at the moment as I'm unsuccessfully trying to load it up...


So, I'm not sure, but I think the question is... why are the applications processing not being loaded across multiple cores? shouldn't the OS being doing this automatically? is there any re-configs or installation I need to do to have Mac OS X distribute this loading better?

thx... would appreciate your inputs..

Paras
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harryb2448

 
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Really think you would need to be running something much more intensive to be able to see what is happening, such as a photo or graphic design application. Well here is how you may disable spotlight:-


Disable Spotlight in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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parasbuy

 
Member Since: Jan 24, 2011
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Yup.. disabled it completely. Got rid of the icon, too.
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parasbuy

 
Member Since: Jan 24, 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
Really think you would need to be running something much more intensive to be able to see what is happening, such as a photo or graphic design application. Well here is how you may disable spotlight:-


Disable Spotlight in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

Still getting the SBBOD even though not running anything intense...

% CPU as shown in Activity Monitor:
Firefox - 5.8%
Activity Monitor - 3.4%
Thunderbird - 0.6%

I did notice the Page Ins indicator, blue arrow, comes on when the SBBOD is spinning... here's some related info...

VM Size: 101.38 GB
Page Ins: 181.5 MB
Page Outs: 0 bytes
Swap used: 0 bytes

RAM Free: 14.16 GB
RAM Used: 1.83 GB

Thanks for your inputs...
Paras.
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parasbuy

 
Member Since: Jan 24, 2011
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Hi All, thanks for your posts over the last couple of months. I ended up bringing the Mac Pro into Apple. Apparently the problem had to go up a few levels to their Head Genius; took a couple of weeks but she is 'humming' now with all three drives in, regardless if I'm in Windows 7 or Mac OS X.

If interested, here's the story regarding the resolution. The lower level techs tried their best but concluded that the SMART Controllers of all three drives had gone bad and recommended I get new drives replaced under warranty from each of the OEMs. Obviously, I called "bull crappola" and that the likelihood of all three drives going bad at the same time was remote, at best; and if it was true, that the Mac Pro must have done it and Apple should replace all three drives with new ones. After a bit, the Head Genius gave me a call at home and thought the conclusion was bogus, as well. He ended up testing each drive individually on their tester and they each performed stellar. Replaced the drive control board and still know problems. Eventually, he got to the RAM, pulled them all out, and re-sat the four 4GB sticks just for kicks and, voila, the SBBOD went away. He surmised that for whatever reason, a section on one of the sticks probably wasn't getting the right connection and the computer would get hung-up ever time it was engaged. That was it... nothing more complicated, it seems.

Regardless, she's humming and I'm a happy camper.

Thanks... hope this helps.
Paras.
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robduckyworth

 
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thanks for the insight parasbuy, glad you got it fixed in the end.

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