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OS X 10.5.3 Graphics/GL/Driver Notes/Bugs:
(Not fixed by 10.5.4, although 10.5.5 feedback promising)
Reports/Info last Updated: 11/26/2008 (Game Updates/patches)


(Note: This page was posted before the OS X 10.5.4 update was released, but 10.5.4 doesn't seem to fix the problems reported. However initial feedback on OS X 10.5.5 is promising - see below.)
This page has replies to this post in the June 2nd, 2008 news page (from recent Apple open-gl developer mail list posts)

  • Corrupt textures (shadows) on X1600 with 10.5.3 ("we only see this on non-mipped, driver-compressed RGBA images") - ATI is aware of the issue and noted working on a fix
  • One developer wrote "the hard lockup our NVIDIA 1.5.24 users were getting is now lessened to a pause/freeze and other erratic blocking behavior for what one of our users is calling "10 seconds" and then resumes. The system.log clearly shows low level graphics exceptions being emitted (NVChannel(GL): Graphics channel timeout and repeating "Graphics channel exception... Fifo: Unknown Method Error" messages)
  • 256-color mode broken (at least for Nvidia & Intel graphics)

I also had a reader last week (the day 10.5.3 was released) say he could not run Diablo II after the 10.5.3 update. (NOTE: a later Diablo II 1.12a update noted rosetta fixes - but some owners are still reporting problems running the game as 256 color mode is broken in OS X 10.5.3/10.5.4. However 10.5.5 may fix this.) I wrote to ask he was running the last update for it and if he tried trashing any prefs/cfg file for the game but never got a reply (to date).

Reader Reports/Notes/Tips, Game Updates: (later reports first)
If you have seen any Graphics/GL/Game issues with OS X Leopard, let me know the details (graphics card/chip used, mac model and game info/version/addons).

OS X 10.5.5 Feedback (fixes Fallout2/Diablo II issues for Nvidia GPUs?)

(added 9/16/2008)
"The OS X 10.5.5 update fixed a graphical corruption problem on my Mac Pro 2.66Ghz w/ Nvidia 8800GT Upgrade for Fallout 2. The game is now playable, whereas before the display was all pushed to the left 1/2 of the screen and white and green. Now it works perfectly. I havent tried, but I am thinking they may have fixed the problems with Diablo II as well....
(he later wrote)
I wrote you a bit earlier saying Fallout 2 works under 10.5.5. Well, I remembered I had a copy of Diablo II on my Time Machine backup. (FYI - Diablo II 1.12a update below) A few clicks later, Diablo II is working under 10.5.5! So great to see that Apple listened to people complaining about lack of 256 color support and obviously implemented a workaround. Nice!
-CP"

FYI - Readers with onboard Intel Graphics Macs wrote Diablo II still doesn't run in 10.5.5 (even with the Diablo II 1.12a update). (UPDATE: In late November there's a Diablo II Intel X3100 Graphics Beta Patch (for onboard Intel X3100 graphics)) I don't own the game to try, but a FYI to Starcraft owners - see below for an update (v1.15.3) that was said to fix the 256 color mode issue mentioned earlier here.
Another Nvidia 8800GT owner wrote:

"10.5.5's nVidia drivers seem to fully support OpenGL 2.1 now, at least that's what OpenGL Extensions Viewer 3.10 (freeware) reports.
10.5.4 obviously didn't. I've got a 1st gen MacPro 2.66 Quad with an 8800 GT.
Best wishes, Sebastian."


(Note: info/posts below were before OS X 10.5.5 was released)

StarCraft 1.15.3 and Brood War 1.15.3 Updates: (from 9/12/2008 news page)

I don't own the game but there's a StarCraft 1.15.3 and StarCraft: Brood War 1.15.3 update - both change notes mention 256 color mode fixes:

"What's New in this Version
- Fixed a communication bug affecting third party leagues.
- Game now works correctly on versions of Mac OS X which do not support 256-color mode.

Update: (from Nov. 26th, 2008 news page) - Starcraft and Brood War v1.16 Update patch. See release notes for Feature Changes and Exploits/Bug Fixes.


Age of Empires II: Gold Edition 1.0.6 update: Eddie sent a link to an Age of Empires II: Gold Edition 1.0.6 update:

"What's New in this Version
- Fixed Out of Sync errors when playing a network multiplayer game with a host or client running Mac OS X 10.5.2 or later on an Intel-based Mac.

- Fixed DrawSprocket errors that prevented the game from starting on some Intel-based Macs.

- "Use 256 Colors on Mac OS X" in the config dialog is no longer enabled by default, this is to help prevent problems with some Intel-based Macs.

- "Use 256 Colors on Mac OS X" has been renamed to "Force 256 colors (Use on older Macs)" to clarify its purpose."


Diablo II Updates: I don't own the game but spotted Diablo II 1.12a and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction 1.12a updates that notes a fix for Intel Mac/Rosetta problems (readers w/Diablo II noted they could not run the game after the 10.5.3 update here - see earlier posts):

"What's New in this Version
- Fixed an incompatibility between Rosetta and OpenGL mode on Intel Mac.
- If all required Diablo 2 '.MPQ' files are installed on the hard drive, the game will no longer require the CD to play.

Note that some (Nvidia graphics based at least) still can't run the game in 10.5.3 (per a post down the page in this Apple's forum thread on 10.5.3 Diablo 2 problems (which has a copy of a reader's earlier post here) - and 256 color mode is still broken in 10.5.3 (see posts from Nvidia and Intel-based graphics users). Here's a mail from a reader in reply to the Diablo II 1.12a update post:

" about the (Diablo 2) patch 1.12a and OS X 10.5.3
the patch cant solve the real trouble with some video cards on 10.5.3
Blizzard has found the real trouble, some drivers break the old video mode 256 colors, same reason for Starcraft (problems), because these games start at launch with only 256 colors. (Update - see above for Starcraft 1.5.3 update (Sept 12th, 2008) that claims a fix for the 256 color mode issue.-Mike)
So in video prefs, when checking color modes, 256 are in grey ( not in black ) for 8x00GT cards
-Stephane C."

Here's a link to a Blizzard forum post titled Mac: StarCraft and Diablo 2 fail to load ("Blizzard will not be able to fix this. The 256 color palate is missing for nvidia and intel graphic chips in 10.5.3, it started with the MBP in 10.5.2 and has branched out to more Apple platforms"). (An earlier post here on WoW problems w/10.5.3 linked to a Blizzard thread on 10.5.3 problems also.)
I wish driver updates were more frequent for OS X (as they are for windows) especially when there's bugs like this found in a OS X update.


VLC Media Player Update: (VLC Media Player 0.8.6h posted in June 6th news page - download at http://www.videolan.org/.)

(added 6/10/2008)
" the new version VLC (media player) 0.86 "h" is working with 10.5.3 at last. (was report bug on launchd before with 10.5.2 or 10.5.3 combo or not) for macpro with 8800GT
-Stephane"


Age of Empires III (v1.0.2) and Warchief Extension (v1.0.0): (Note - I don't own this game but checked Macsoft's page and found a note on a later update Age of Empires III (v1.0.3) and Warchiefs (v1.0.1) at http://www.destineerstudios.com/support/aoe3.html.)

(added 6/5/2008)
"I also have the same problem with Age of Empires III (v1.0.2) and Warchief Extension (v1.0.0).
When playing for about 30min, the temperature is going very high and then the screen is freezing. The only thing I can do is reboot with the power button.
System: MacBook Pro 2.5GHz Core2Duo, 2GB RAM, Nvidia 8600M GT 512MB vram.
(he later wrote)
When I am playing in windowed mode, the problem is not occuring. It is not a strong test, because I also decreased the detail level since I moved to windowed mode.
The problem did not occur in Tiger or Leopard 10.5.1. (So you never installed 10.5.2?)
I will try the (game) updates and let you know
TKS, Yohann"

Regarding temperatures, see earlier post below for notes/links on gaming fan speed boosts (using SMCfancontrol) and (freeware) temperature monitor.


Think Tanks: (older game - product page notes OS X 10.1-10.3)

(added 6/5/2008)
" I can no longer play Think Tanks (uses the Torque game engine) since I upgraded to 10.5.3.
I can only play in windowed mode and not full screen mode. As soon as I enter full screen mode, the game crashes.
I have a Mac Pro dual quad core, with nvidia 8800GT card.
-Reagent X."


Illustrator CS:

(added 6/4/2008)
"I was working on a client brochure this morning and noticed that Illustrator CS is having issues with it's rulers. Start to scroll around and portions of it disappears. Hide and re-show the rulers and they come back normally only to get messed up again. May be time for an upgrade.
12" PB G4 (Yes I do client graphic work on it).
Sondjata O., CEO
InnerVisions productions LLC"

As a FYI the PB G4 12in has Nvidia graphics (GeForce FX Go5200 IIRC).


Cooling Tips (fan speed boost):

(added 6/4/2008)
" I read the issue with respect to graphics issues on Macs running 10.5.3. In particular playing WOW. The game would be full of graphic anomalies and eventually the graphics card would panic requiring a restart.

Solution I found seems to indicate a problem with overheating. I installed SMC Fancontrol and now while playing WOW I bump the fan speed from 800 rpm's standard to around 2500 rpm's. Graphics issues and crashes have now been eliminated. If I forget to adjust the speed of my fan before playing WOW the issues return.

I did try experimenting with removing and replacing RAM and re-intalled my OS which did nothing for the issue. Seems Leopard is not smart enough to cool off an overheating graphics card as this issue did not occur under Tiger.
Cheers, Chris W.
1st Gen Intel iMac 2GHz Core Duo
2 gigs memory, 128mb ATI x1600
Mac OS 10.5.3. "

Fan speed boosting using SMCfancontrol have been used in the past, which can help with overheating and performance (as modern systems (and mobile GPU chips) can adjust clock speeds down at higher temperatures) - although it's not a fix for software bugs. However sometimes driver updates enable/fix GL features which increases the workload on the GPU. However 10.5.3 is reported (even by SW developers) to have some driver bugs/issues. (As most every OS release has.)


Aperture 2.1, Second Life (w/Nvidia 8600M):

(added 6/4/2008)
" ...Here is my comment after upgrading my MacBook Pro 17" 2.4GHz with an NVidia GeForce 8600M GT to Leopard this weekend and updating to 10.5.3. Note that this was a clean install, not an update.

Using Aperture 2.1 initially works fine. After a little while, Aperture starts crawling and every operation like opening the loupe brings the beachball. I have Activity Monitor to display the memory usage on its icon in the Dock and the active memory portion as long as the inactive portion slowly take over all the free memory. Mostly the active memory portion is the worst.

The other graphic intensive application I use is Second Life. I'm using release candidate 8 and, as with Aperture, initially, Second Life is responsive and everything seems to be fine. After about 5-10 minutes, Second Life starts to slow down tremendously. I must be down getting about 1-3 fps to the point it is not fun at all. Everything on the Mac starts getting really slow. Growl notifications seem in slow motion. Clicking on a menu takes a few seconds (any menu). Bringing any other application takes forever (like sometimes 10-15 seconds). (From the comment on Memory usage it may not be a factor (as memory use grows, VM swap file use increases), but is the system temperatures increasing to where the clock speeds are throttling down also? (I sent him a link to Temperature Monitor freeware utility. Some readers have also used SMCfancontrol to boost fan speeds during gaming, although some do not like to install addons like this.)-Mike)

I did use a PowerBook G4 with an ATI Radeon 9700 in it a couple of years ago and was pleased with that Mac. I have now been using this MacBook Pro for a little over a year, and I'm dismayed about the poor performance you get from such a laptop that is billed as the graphic workhorse in Apple's mobile offering. Apple should be ashamed of themselves. It is totally unacceptable that after Leopard has been available, now at a 3rd major upgrade, these drivers from NVidia are so buggy. It's a total disgrace.
-Laurent"

There's been graphics issues reported with the latest (Penryn) MacBook Pros since their release - as another owner mentioned, there were hopes that 10.5.3 would include fixes for that. Maybe if enough owners contact Apple and complain they'll address that. (Many feel like the iPhone has top priority (still), but it can't hurt to report problems...)
Speaking of Second Life, a reader said there's plans for new graphical features for Second Life that won't work with current Mac OS X GL/driver versions.


Diablo II, WoW, VLC:

(added 6/3/2008)
"I have a Mac Pro with Nvidia 8800GT. 10.5.3 broke Diablo II (opengl rendering), via rosetta.
For WoW there is a topic on 10.5.3 at Blizzard's WoW Forums. (Posts there have some notes/tips on game Vsync settings, etc.)
10.5.3 broke on green synch (not very good idea to broke sync).
example with diablo, but same trouble with VLC on opening any video.
(Long attachment w/traces omitted here - Diablo II and VLC showing EXC_BAD_ACCESS (SIGBUS), KERN_PROTECTION_FAILURE)
-Stephance C."

Update - see above for info on Diablo II 1.12a update that is supposed to fix that issue and also a note on a VLC update.


(added 6/3/2008)
" I was having some serious screen redrawing issues happening in my Mac Pro with the X1900 graphics card - which I did not notice until I had launched After Effects 8.0. Everything being drawn on the screen was affected - Safari windows when scrolling, QuickLooking pictures on my desktop, swapping screens in Spaces. However, thanks to a suggestion by a poster in the Apple Discussion forums, it looks like zapping the PRAM completely fixed my issue. I want to stress test the graphics card a little more to be sure, but it looks like that fixed it.
-Craig K."


ATI Cards and 30in Cinema Display:

(added 6/3/2008)
" Mike, I wrote to you earlier about my problems with Leopard and my ATI video cards (the 9650 and the 850XT) driving a 30" cinema display. (Posts in last fall's news page, shortly after Leopard was released - see links below.) Both cards exhibited problems, and Apple recommended reverting to the 9650 my machine originally came with. Indeed, the problems were less severe with that card, but still quite annoying.
10.5.3 seems to have fixed many, but not all, of the issues with this card. In particular, the green flashes and dock crashes are much rarer now, and there is no longer video tearing when using full screen mode. Problems which remain: no translucent menu bar (fine with me), and also the Time machine display at the bottom is whited-out, obscuring the date. This is bad, but it can be avoided by temporarily switching to a lower resolution.

I haven't tried reinstalling the 850XT yet. If you have any information on how it works, I'd be glad to hear.
Best, Arthur "

I don't have an X850 but do have (same GPU, same basic card really) X800 (original production) card in my G5 tower. Just updated it to 10.5.3 last night and not used it much (AL iMac is daily work machine), but will try to do so in the next day or so. But I do not have a 30in Cinema display. (That system has a 24in LCD (non-Apple) DVI Display.) As a FYI - here's some links to posts on the subject from last fall:


WoW:

(added 6/3/2008)
" I'm running the Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT card in a Mac Pro quad 3.0GHz...
After the 10.5.3 update I can only play World of Warcraft for about 10 minutes before it slows to an eventual hang, forcing a hard shutdown/boot...
-Shawn M."

I wonder if it's a memory leak (does the console have any related log messages?) (FYI - see later post above w/link to Blizzard forum thread on 10.5.3/WoW.)


StarCraft/Diablo II: (Update - see above for Starcraft 1.5.3 update (Sept 12th, 2008) that claims a fix for the 256 color mode issue.-Mike)

(added 6/3/2008)
" Both Starcraft and Diablo II haven't worked on Penryn MacBookPros at all, as yet. We were hoping that 10.5.3 would fix it, as Blizzard is saying it's an Apple bug.
-Tom"

I remember complaints about graphics issues with those models earlier this year. (I wonder if 10.5.3 fixed the odd backlighting many saw after wake from sleep... long threads in apple forums last month on that.)


UT2003:

(added 6/3/2008)
" Can't play UT2003 (not UB so running under Rosetta) on a Mac Pro with nvidia 8800GT card.
The game quits after playing for a while.
it plays slower than on the 7300
UT2003 version should be the latest. these are the errors i get:
May 29 21:36:36 Macintosh [0x0-0x54054].com.epicgames.ut2003[509]: *** set a breakpoint in malloc_error_break to debug
May 29 21:36:36 Macintosh [0x0-0x54054].com.epicgames.ut2003[509]: Signal: SIGSEGV [segmentation fault]
May 29 21:36:36 Macintosh [0x0-0x54054].com.epicgames.ut2003[509]: Aborting.
May 29 21:36:36 Macintosh [0x0-0x54054].com.epicgames.ut2003[509]: swap constant CFString 'IOGLBundleName'
(name withheld by request)"

I did a quick run of UT2004 (with last update/UB) on an AL iMac (2600 ATI) w/10.5.3 - it ran ok (in a 15min test) but I did see some (rare) texture (shadows?) issues.


(added 6/3/2008)
"Unsupported iMac G4/800 17" Flat panel (GeForce4 MX w/32MB VRAM IIRC-Mike) could not be put to sleep or let the display sleep. A hard re-boot was required. Or if you had other Macs on your network you could restart using screen sharing.
10.5.3 corrected this issue on my computer. Deep sleep works, screen sleep works with this update.
-Ed"

I asked Ed if he had any USB/FW connected devices - he said no.





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