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2008 Mac Pro Owner Feedback
Reports last Updated: 9/15/2008



This page is a catch-all for reader feedback on the "early 2008" Mac Pro systems. (Bottom of page also has links to 2008 Mac Pro related Apple support docs.)

2008 Mac Pro owner reports: (later items first)
If you've bought a new Mac Pro, let me know what you think of it (performance, features, etc.) and if you see any problems or compatibility issues. Please note if you've applied OS X 10.5.2 + Leopard Graphics Update for 10.5.2 and/or the OS X 10.5.3 update (which has some Graphics/GL/Driver Notes/Bugs) and info on any 3rd party addons/connected devices, etc.. (Note: If you're using an UPS, include info/details on it and for troubleshooting problems, also test without the UPS. I recently bought a 1250VA/750W APC LCD model (sam's club - just under $140) which has some nice features including Load in Watts or %, runtime estimate, logs power 'events', etc.)


(9/15/2008) FYI on related news posts:


(added 8/21/2008)
"Cheap PCIe USB 2.0 card for MacPro's. Just a heads up on the BYTECC PCIe USB 2.0 4+1 PORTS Card Model BT- PEU2410 ($22.99).
This is a generic and apparently the cheapest PCIe usb 2.0 card I could find. I was running low on USB ports and I hate USB hubs. This card looks exactly like the sonnet tech cards so I gave it a shot.

Card works and performs flawlessly. I sleep my mac every day, and never fails to wake. Performance is on par with built-in USB.

The ONLY issue is wake from sleep when your keyboard and/or mouse are plugged into the card, In which case they will NOT wake the machine. If you use onboard ports for the keyboard and mouse your golden.
System config: 2008 MacPro 8-core 2.8ghz, 12GB Ram, 8800GT, Radeon 2600HD, Apple OEM 500gb drive bay1, 40gb Seagate drive bay2(bootcamp), Dual DVD-RW, Bluetooth/Airport

Devices I use on the sonnet (you mean BYTECC right?) card:

  • Drobo 1 (USB Only) 2.0TB
  • iPod Touch/iPhone sync
  • APC Backups 1500
  • Canon 570IS Camera

Card under bootcamp is subject to Windows new device found. But it works flawlessly with the drivers it finds.
-Stacy P."


Mac Pro Overclocking Utility (Free): See the June 27th archives page post on Initial Feedback on Mac Pro (and Xserve) Overclocking Utility for info/download links and initial feedback from a 2008 Mac Pro and 1st Gen Mac Pro owner on using it.


Review of the ATI Radeon HD 3870 Mac & PC Edition" Here's a Review of the ATI Radeon HD 3870 Mac & PC Edition ($215 list price) compatible with 2008 PCIe 2.0 Mac Pros as well as the PCIe 1.0 Mac Pro. Includes tests in both 2008 and 2006 Mac Pros.


(added 5/16/2008, from 5/13 mail)
"Hi Mike, 8 Core 2.8GHz Mac Pro with the ATI HD 2600 and 2GB of RAM. It was a Refurb. When it arrived it the ATI Radeon HD 2600XT firmware update had already been applied. (there's a page here with Feedback on Mac ATI 2600XT Firmware Update)
I applied the (2008) Mac Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.3 Boot ROM update. (also a page here of Feedback on 2008 Mac Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.3)

I partitioned the 320 GB Drive into 4 partitions. The first two are boot partitions. The first I use for everything but video. The second has Final Cut Studio installed. I installed the latest versions of Leopard, all the Apple Software and all of the Final Cut Software. I also installed a Seritek eSata Card in Slot 4 and an AJA Kona LSe card in slot 2: http://www.aja.com/html/products_macintosh_kona_LSe.html. (There's also an earlier post here on Kona LSe and SATA PCIe Card slot config/setup.-Mike)

The first issue (maybe I didn't do something correctly) is that I used Migration Assistant to Import my Network Settings (I connect via ssh to three or four networks via modem). The settings came across fine but I could not get them to work with the USB Modem. The settings would only work with an Internal Modem which the Mac Pro doesn't have!

At first I had no freezes or sleep issues of any kind. I even tried to cause sleep problems by powering on or off USB, FW or SATA devices when the Mac was sleeping but it has been rock solid except for:

Twice with Time Machine running the Mac was almost completely frozen after waking from sleep. Apple's OS X Leopard 300 features page says:

"Automatic Stop and Resume: Never skip a beat. If your Time Machine backup is interrupted - because you took your portable on the road or put your Mac to sleep - Time Machine will simply stop backing up. When you reconnect to your backup drive again, Time Machine automatically picks up where it left off..."

At least one of those times I was able to verify that TM was in the middle of a backup when it was put to sleep. The only things I can do are to get into the TM preferences and stop the backup but it this has no effect. I can also (Option-CMD-Esc) bring up the force quit dialog. From there if I Force Quit any Application (including TM) the status changes to unresponsive (the applications don't quit).

It took me two days to figure out why the AJA Kona Control Panel always crashed, even when I removed the Kona Card! It turns out to be an issue with the Control Panel and AppleScript, triggered by Default Folder. I am including part of an email from St. Clair Software that explains it in more detail.

From: "St. Clair Software" (support@stclairsoft.com)
Subject: Re: Default Folder X 4.0.5 Crashes the AJA Kona LS/LSe Control Panel

    At 5:16 PM -0700 5/6/08, Mitch wrote:
    I just spent two days figuring out why the AJA Kona Control Panel (for the KONA LSe / LS) was crashing with a fresh install of Leopard on a new Mac Pro. I installed Default Folder before testing the control panel and it never occurred to me that this would cause a problem. I was running DF 4.0.5. I don't think I tried this with the previous version (new Mac, new card, new version of FC Studio) so I don't have any reason to think its an issue only with 4.0.5.

    It would be really great to get a fix. If that doesn't happen it would be nice to notify users so that nobody else goes through what I did.

This appears to be a plain old bug in the AJA ControlPanel's handling of AppleScript. One of the things Default Folder X does in order to load its own scripting addition is to send an AppleEvent to each application after it launches. This is the same event that's sent by Script Editor, so there's nothing special about it, but AppleScript support isn't something that's well-tested in many applications. To see that it's not really an issue with Default Folder X, do the following:

1. Turn off Default Folder X (you can even uninstall it if you want, but that's not necessary - turning it off is enough to disable all its effects).

2. Run the AJA ControlPanel

3. Run Script Editor (it's in /Applications/AppleScript/).

4. In Script Editor, paste this script into the window and click the "Run" button:

    tell application "AJA ControlPanel"
       beep
    end tell

AJA Control Panel will promptly crash, just as it did when Default Folder X was running. The reason for this is that Script Editor does the same thing Default Folder X does - it tells AJA ControlPanel to load its scripting additions. This triggers a bug in it that causes it to crash.

Best Wishes, Mitch"


  • More 2008 Mac Pro owner feedback (April 28th news page notes on issues seen)


    Notes on Kona LSe and SATA PCIe Card slot config/setup with 2008 Mac Pros vs Earlier Models (from 4/18/2008 news page)

    Mac Pro - different versions, different card configuration - expansion slot utility
    Hi Mike, I am about to start switching from my DP 1.8GHz G5 to a new 2.8GHz 8 core Mac Pro. I plan to go slowly so if there are any major problems I can continue working on the G5 until they are (I hope) resolved.
    I sent the following to AJA tech support:

    I just purchased a Seritek PCI-e eSATA card. I asked which slot should I install the Kona LSe card and in which slot should I install the SeriTek/2SE2-E PCI Express (PCIe) card. This was their reply (which I'm sure is based on extensive testing):

      "Go to: about this mac -> more info --> hardware --> model identifier.
      For v3.1 ("early 2008") Mac Pro : install Kona in slot 2 and Seritek in slot-4.
      For V1.1 or 2.1 Mac Pro: install the Kona in slot-3 and Seritek in slot-4.

      Then go to: /system/library/core services; launch the expansion slot utility.
      Configure the PCIe slots for 16:1:4:4 (option 2).

    I'm not sure if the V1.1 and V2.1 are the early models or not, (they're the pre-2008 models, original model used dual-core Xeons, then Quad-Core (Clovertown) CPUs. The 2008 is Quad-core Harpertown CPU based with faster memory, PCIe 2.0, etc.) but regardless some of your readers might be interested in the fact that different versions of the Mac Pro behave better with the same cards in different slots.
    I'll let you know how this all works out.
    Thanks!
    -Mitch"

    FYI: For more info on PCI-e slots/config utility for Mac Pros see this Apple doc: Mac Pro: About the PCI-E slots which has a note at the bottom The number of lanes for each of these slots is permanently set for the Mac Pro (Early 2008). The Expansion Slot Utility doesn't apply. (Apple also has a developer doc with PCI Product-Specific Details with design specifics on Mac Pros, Xserve, PowerMacs, etc..)
    And while on the PCIe card subject - Early 2008 Mac Pro owners had previously reported problems (card not recognized) with SATA PCIe cards in slot 2 after the EFI Firmware Update 1.3 last month. (Most moved the card to slot 4 which restored operation per posts on the page of Feedback on 2008 Mac Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.3).


    Price Cut on Nvidia 8800GT Card Kit and BTO Price: (4/15/2008)
    Apple cut the price of the 8800GT Card kit for 2008 Mac Pros to $279 (was $349 originally) and reduced the BTO option price of the 8800GT to $150 (was $200). They also added a Nvidia 8800GT card kit for 1st Gen Mac Pros for $279 at the Apple Store.


    2008 Mac Pro EFI Firmware Update (and firmware restore CD update) (3/27/2008)

    " Hey, Mike. Apple released a new boot ROM for the 2008 Mac Pros. It showed up in Software Update (3/27/2008). Here's what it says:

      "This update fixes several issues to improve the stability of Mac Pro (Early 2008) computers.
      After the firmware is successfully applied to your computer, your Boot ROM Version will be: MP31.006C.B05

      You can confirm the version of the Boot ROM installed on your computer using System Profiler."

    My current boot ROM version is MP31.006C.B02. I haven't restarted yet to see how well the update works.
    -Aaron"

    Checking Apple's support page shows download pages for the update also and a Firmware Restoration CD v1.5.

    For those 2008 Mac Pro owners that have seen problems in the past if this update helps (or not) let me know.
    FYI - initial replies from several readers said this fixed their reboot on wake from sleep - but one later wrote he saw that problem again - see the page of Feedback on 2008 Mac Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.3


    FYI - I've posted a page with reader Feedback on Mac ATI 2600XT Firmware Update.

    Apple posts ATI 2600XT Firmware Update (3/10/2008) The firmware update for ATI 2600XT cards a reader mentioned testing on March 1st has been released:

    "About ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT Firmware Update
    This update is for Mac Pro computers with one or more ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics cards installed, running Mac OS X 10.5.2 or later with the Leopard Graphics Update.

    It updates the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics card firmware on all of the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics cards in the Mac Pro to improve system stability.
    Requirements: OS X 10.5.2 or later, Leopard Graphics Update"

    (BTW - the first reports on this update so far have not been good - ranging from minor to major issues and Michael B from AMUG reported higher wattage use/fan speeds after the update, despite the notes in the readme on improved energystar rating after the update.) If this update helps with graphics/freezing issue you had previously let me know.
    (FYI - I had a pre-2008 Mac Pro owner running a 2600XT card that wrote the firmware updater would not apply on that system (saying it wasn't needed). He had not seen any graphics/freezing issues with the card in that system either.)


    Nvidia 8800GT owner notes on some game problems: (FYI - I had replies to this post in the news page from a NWN2 owner running it fine on his single cpu/8800GT system (installed in apps folder) said it ran OK and even supported his Firewave. Also a COD2 owner said he's running v1.3 OK (w/no-DVD patch) with his 8800GT.)
    FYI: For 8800GT owners with game problems (quits on start, etc.) - try trashing the game prefs/config file perhaps (especially if you recently had swapped in the 8800GT card and used an ATI 2600 previously - maybe something in the game prefs/config and trashing it will cause a new one to be created on the next run.)

    "... I saw your post about NWN2 not working on mac pro's with 8800gt's. Just wanted to add that Star Wars: Empire at War (another aspyr port) also seems to have issues with the 8800gt. The game will work out of the box, but the latest patch (1.05a) from aspyr's site breaks it. You get garbage textures in the menus, so you can't select or start a game. I reverted to the version on the DVD, and everything seems to be working correctly- I've played through about half of the rebel campaign with no problems at all.
    -Nick K."

    (added 3/10/2008)
    "Neverwinter Nights 2 is not compatible with Mac Pro's (Early 2008) upgraded to the 8800 GT video card. The game immediately crashes on startup 100% of the time. I filed a bug report with Aspyr and got this response:
      "Unfortunately the NVIDIA Geforce 8800 video card in the new Mac Pro is not supported for NeverWinter Nights 2 . This video card was not around during the development of the game and so we could not test it.

      This issue has been brought to our attention previously and we are in contact with Apple to try and find a solution."

    Amazing that the developer would write "directly to the metal" so-to-speak. I thought that's why we had OpenGL and drivers so developers wouldn't have to rely on coding for specific graphics cards. Needless to say, after pre-ordering NWN2 through Amazon, getting priority shipping only to have a game that is worthless and won't work on my machine is very disappointing.
    -Bryan P."

    I asked he send a note if he spots an update to address this in the future. (I later had a 8800GT/NWN2 owner say he's running the game ok on his system with preinstalled 8800GT. I wrote Bryan to ask if he'd tried trashing the prefs/cfg.)
    Another 8800GT owner wrote he's seen the same problem with Call of Duty 2:

    " Hi Mike, I've just read the news about Neverwinter Nights 2 and I've the same issue with an other game from Aspyr. Call of Duty 2 is not compatible with Mac Pro's (Early 2008) upgraded to the 8800 GT video card, all updates done (10.5.2 and graphics). The game immediately crashes on startup 100% of the time. I send a bug report to Apple, I've tried to get a ticket from Aspyr on support page but I couldn't get an email answer.
    Regards, Etienne "

    And of course I later had a 8800GT/COD2 owner say he's running v1.3 OK on his sytem.
    The COD2 mails reminded me of a mail last month from a MacBook Pro owner (Nvidia 8600M graphics) on performance (severe stutter) problems he'd seen with Call of Duty 2 (10.5.2/Leopard graphics update didn't help he said)


    (added 3/10/2008)
    "I was one of the first to report the Radeon 2600HD XT issues, and showed that it even had issues under Boot Camp in Windows, both with the original Boot Camp drivers, and with the upgraded ATI drivers as well. It's been about a week and a half now since my GeForce 8800GT arrived, and I haven't had any issue whatsoever with it. No strange lockups, no graphical corruptions of any kind, she's been running great ever since. Naturally, even Boot Camp runs great with the card. I'd definitely recommend spending the extra cash to move to it, even if you don't plan on buying games.

    I'd also like to mention that I've since upgraded to 8GB of RAM for my Mac Pro from OWC. (the site specials page has 4GB (2x2GB) kit for $161.75 although prices change frequently.) I live in Australia, so naturally finding DDR2 800MHz FBDIMMs at a reasonable price, or even finding them at all, is quite difficult here. However, even with the most expensive shipping option, OWC still undercuts everyone I could find here almost by half, and again with the most expensive international shipping option, I got the RAM delivered in roughly a week. You can't ask for better service than that.
    Regards, Jay"


    (added 3/10/2008)
    "I received a new Mac Pro a couple of weeks ago. It's essentially a standard 2.8 GHz 8-core with the addition of a wireless keyboard and mouse, and the 8800GT video card. I've applied 10.5.2 and the 10.5.2 graphics updates. I don't have a UPS.
    I'm using a new Samsung 2693HM monitor. I really like this display. It was reasonably priced. It's bright, extremely sharp and has good color to my eye. I haven't experienced the wake from sleep problem. However, I've had about a dozen freezes, most with the spinning cursor. One occurred while the screen saver was active. It continued to function perfectly.

    I'm a software developer. Most of my work is in the embedded area but I also maintain on a volunteer basis one of the backend ports in the GCC compiler. So, one of the first things I did with the machine was to test building GCC on it. A complete build and check takes less than an hour, and it stresses disk and cpu. I haven't tried yet to push the machine to the limit as I've seen CPU temperatures reaching about 50 C with make -j4.
    Most of the freezes that I mentioned above have occurred building GCC. I usually do the builds in the background, directing the output to a log. I've a habit of watching the log with the less program and the "F" command in a terminal window. This causes less to display the log file in realtime. It dawned on me a couple of days ago that this might be the cause of the freezes. Usually, when a freeze occurred, the log file would end with a number of "^@" characters. I'd also seen this occur briefly in the less display when the machine didn't freeze. So, I stopped watching the log with less. I also stopped spotlight from searching my GCC build directory. Since I did this, I haven't had a freeze.

    There isn't much in the system log to help diagnose the problem. I have seen some log entries related mdworker. The kernel is also generating some SIGFPE exceptions:

      Mar 6 19:43:07 *-*-*-mac-pro kernel[0]: unknown SIGFPE code 1, subcode 0

    That doesn't look good to me but it doesn't seem to be the cause of the freeze. I'm just guessing but would say the freezes are a kernel bug related to disk I/O.
    Overall, I like the speed, performance and price point of the new Mac Pro. However, it's stability currently falls short of current linux distributions.

    (he later wrote)
    Have to back off the theory that less is involved. Had a freeze last night in a GCC build where there was no activity other than the build and the standard background processes. This is the end of the build log:
    libtool: compile: /Users/dave/gnu/gcc/objdir/./gcc/xgcc -shared-libgcc -B/Users/dave/gnu/gcc/objdir/./gcc -nostdinc++ -L/Users/dave/gnu/gcc/objdir/i686-apple-d arwin9/x86_64/libstdc++-v3/src -L/Users/dave/gnu/gcc/objdir/i686-apple-darwin9/x 86_64/libstdc++-v3/src/.libs -B/opt/gnu/gcc/gcc-4.4.0/i686-apple-darwin9/bin/ -B /opt/gnu/gcc/gcc-4.4.0/i686-apple-darwin9/lib/ -isystem /opt/gnu/gcc/gcc-4.4.0/i 686-apple-darwin9/include -isystem /opt/gnu/gcc/gcc-4.4.0/i686-apple-darwin9/sys -include -m64 -I/Users/dave/gnu/gcc/objdir/i686-apple-darwin9/x86_64/libstdc++-v 3/include/i686-apple-darwin9 -I/Users/dave/gnu/gcc/objdir/i686-apple-darwin9/x86 _64/libstdc++-v3/include -I/Users/dave/gnu/gcc/gcc/libstdc++-v3/libsupc++ -fno-i mplicit-templates -Wall -Wextra -Wwrite-strings -Wcast-qual -fdiagnostics-show-l ocation=once -fvisibility-inlines-hidden -ffunction-sections -fdata-sections -g -O2 -m64 -c ../../../../../gcc/libstdc++-v3/src/wlocale-inst.cc -fno-common -DP IC -o .libs/wlocale-inst.o
    ^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^.... (repeating)
    -Dave"


    (added 3/7/2008)
    "As a followup to my experience and to mirror Steve's comments (Mar. 6th report below on Firewire device related Problems). I have have had no issues with the MacPro when all FW and USB devices are disconnected. I have had USB stalls traced to a bad aluminum USB keyboard, which eventually failed completely, and to a HP 3100 printer (or its cable). I have had FW bus resets affecting a multitude of components traced to a LaCie Big Drive, and a OWC Neptune drive which eventually failed completely. I have had long boot and shutdown times traced to both. None of these components seemed to affect the G4 Gigbit tower the 08 MacPro replaced. When I connect only one device at a time they work fine. There seems to be many similar reports, but also with other models. (Are you running 10.5.2 w/all updates? (just for the record - I ask in the email link to note that just as a FYI) I recently had a reader say his FW800 drive performance took a nosedive after the 10.5.2 update (not a 2008 Mac Pro) - I'm running 10.5.2 w/AL iMac using FW800 connected ministack (w/1TB drive - one TM partition, one CCC partition and one partition for data backup/EyeTV recordings) - seems fine w/10.5.2 although I have not benchmarked it (and being more than 1/2 full now the rates would be lower)-Mike)
    I have 10.5.2 with all updates, came with 10.5.1 and used software update to go to 10.5.2. Xbench reported overall better scores for the external FW LaCie (which has two drives and a raid controller internally) than for any of the internal Seagate SATA drives. (RAID0 stripes boost performance, although how full the drives are also affects that. (Outer tracks are fastest and performance drops as drives fill.) Fragmentation also affects performance.) I don't recall the numbers but I didn't notice any performance issues in 10.5.1 or 10.5.2, just bus resets in the log when other devices were also attached, and connection issues for the other devices.

    On a side note, over the weekend I replaced my FIOS router with a 1TB time capsule without a hitch and its been working flawlessly. I set time machine to back up the MacPro (initially via hardwire and a 14-16 hour task for 400GBs of data, performance monitor indicating less than 10MB per-second disc reads at the max). I set the Time Capsule to N mode, 5GHz only (I'm using my old base station to support the legacy b/g network). I am getting a little better than the 15MB download and 2MB uploads as I was getting when hard wired (Speedtest.net). I was experiencing periodic dropouts and stalls using the FIOS supplied router, and have not seen the same thing in days, knock on wood.
    -Sam"

    The fastest mode is 5GHz (N only), which I run at times with my Apple N base and the AL iMac/Apple TV - although I have to switch to 2.4GHz mixed mode when I need to share the network with older macs with 802.11G/B cards (or 3rd party 802.11N adapters that don't support 5GHz mode) Even in 5GHz mode in the last month I've seen a few times safari fail to load pages with the "you are not connected to the internet" error message (Airport menu bar strength shows full bars)... I've had been playing around with the Apple N base's multicast rate settings also around the time that started happening...


    (added 3/7/2008)
    Don't know if you know about this:
    "Response to Mac Pro fault isn't reassuring" (Baltimore Sun Mar. 6, 2008 story regarding reboot on wake from sleep issue - mentioned swapping drives and zapping pram - the latter is a tip many have said here helped, although not a permanent fix for everyone, it has helped many per their comments here since the 2008 Mac Pros first shipped. Other tips for various other problems mentioned previously here were disabling ES sleep, SMC resets, etc. - and one recent report mentioned FW device problems.-Mike)
    Best Wishes, Mitch"

    He also did a pram zap also after the drive swap, but it will be interesting to see if the problem resurfaces again over time. (It did for some although again many have said here that a pram zap at least initially solved the problem.) The real question is what is the root cause.


    (added 3/7/2008)
    I got the standard 2.8GHz octo-core / 2600XT with extre 6x1GB OWC Ram and 3 Samsung HD 501 LJ SATA drives in the remaining bays.
    I did not have the cold reboot after sleep issue, nor do I experience any graphics abnomalies. (Just for the record did you apply the 10.5.2/Leopard graphics update? (I asked in the mail link above to note that.)-Mike)

    What I do experience are some flaws concerning Firewire 400 port. My CamCorder (always reliable on the iMac) sometimes refuses to import video in iMovie08. The camcorder rewinds, but doesn't play the tape for import. Rebooting helps. This happened twice already but I did also have it wake up after sleep and work just fine with the camcorder.

    What bothers me most is that the computer stinks. When first booted, we had to close the door to our office. The strong sweet artificial smell was very intense. I let it "burn in" by having all 8 cores up 100% load for 24 hrs and the stink does get less. But still I can smell in the house if the MacPro was running or not... This does bug me a lot. Especially after the 2006 MacPro suffered the same problem and Apple's QS does seem to be blind on that spot.
    -Tim"

    I think I recall someone mentioning this about the original Mac pro, but not had anyone else so far comment on this with the new models (maybe they're not as sensitive to it).


    (added 3/7/2008)
    MP Specs: Dual 3.2GHz Quad; nVidia 8800GT; 2GB Stock Apple RAM; 500GB Stock WD HD + 3x 500GB WD HD
    I've been adding upgrades gradually, to see what issues appear/disappear with each component. I haven't experienced the reboot-on-wake problem exactly, but have some observations in that regard.
    (Just for the record did you apply the 10.5.2 and leopard graphics update?-Mike)
    No software updates of any kind. I want to get up to speed one step at a time, to help with troubleshooting.

    My Mac Pro (and 30" LCD) is plugged into a sturdy old APC 800RT UPS with fresh batteries. I -temporarily- have the old G4 (and 24" LCD) plugged into the same UPS. (I would not want to run both machines on that one UPS. I'd but a 2nd one for the Mac Pro - or not have the G4 connected to it. APC >1000VA UPS are fairly cheap (just over $100) at club stores here for years.-Mike) If both machines are sleeping and I wake the G4 immediately followed by the Mac Pro, the UPS will beep as the MP wakes, and the *G4* shuts off! The new Mac Pro clearly draws a lot of current for a split second when waking up (as the fans come on full speed briefly), and that may be enough to knock out an under-powered (or over-loaded) UPS and cause the common restart problem. Perhaps someone with a newer unit that has a digital display can confirm.

    On another note, I have seen the occasional oddity that appears USB-related. After putting the MP to sleep for the night, upon returning will sometimes find it seemingly awake (power light on), but no video and mouse/keyboard unresponsive. All devices are plugged into a powered Xircom 4-port USB hub. Unplugging and replugging the hub seems to revive the keyboard, allowing a proper "wake" and video to return. I will have to try running without the hub to see if it recurs. Will report back if the software updates change anything as well.
    -Vic"

    If you're seeing that problem I'd just have the keyboard plugged directly into the Mac. (Disconnecting/reconnecting USB devices that are not recognized is an old tip after OS X updates also - and when leopard was first released there were several reports of USB devices not being recognized after wake from sleep (even with some macs onboard USB ports, although many were from USB 2.0 card users)


    First report on flashing a PC Nvidia 8800GT with Mac ROM: See report/details in March 6th news page.


    (added 3/6/2008)
    "A small update to my earlier post of 27th February:
    I've installed an extra 6x 1GB RAM (from OWC), to fill all the slots equally, and installed a WD Raptor 150GB HD as my boot disk. As a result, I obviously reinstalled all my software...

    The whole feel of the Mac Pro has been completely transformed. In its current form it now boots from cold in under 20 seconds - that Raptor drive is quite something! No freezes or problems of any kind so far.

    It is now the machine I expected it to be when I first bought it, and I'm really looking forward to exploring its limits. Guess I'll have to get a 8800 video card now...!!
    regards, Pete"


    Firewire related Problems:

    (added 3/6/2008)
    "Here's a follow up to an earlier e-mail I sent you regarding my Mac Pro (2008). My configuration is the 2.8GHz 8-core with the 8800GT, 8GB RAM, three SATA drives, and Airport Extreme. I have the 8800GT card, so I haven't experienced any of the display issues traced to the ATI 2600XT systems; however I have seen the occasional restart after wake and random kernel panics, which until recently didn't seem to have any recognizable pattern.
    Over the past couple of days, I have noticed a common denominator to my Mac's problems. The culprit seems to involve the firewire bus in some way. I don't want to bore you with too many details, but in my situation I have multiple firewire devices: several external hard drives (both FW400 & FW800), an Eridol audio interface, an external CDRW, and a Sony camcorder I use for iChat video. I have never had any problems with these devices running with my prior Dual G5 system (including waking from sleep), and they remained turned on and available most of the time. With the Mac pro, I noticed that whenever I experienced a freeze or other failure, the event seemed to be preceeded by some kind of anomaly with one or more of my firewire devices. For example, my Eridol will "disappear" as a choice in the Sound Preferences panel shortly before I experience a freeze or panic. At other times, one or more of my firewire hard drives will disappear or will behave erratically (or access will slow down) before a kernel panic. Even my camcorder gets into the act sometimes and won't be recognized by iChat shortly before a crash.

    Most interesting, I've had occasions when the Mac hangs with the spinning beach ball (usually when I'm trying to log out), and in those situations I can sometimes recover by turning off one or more of my firewire devices. On other occasions, this fix lead to a kernel panic, so it's not a real solution, but this experience adds additional evidence to the theory that the Mac Pro is unhappy with the firewire bus.

    Consequently, I believe that something is amiss with the Mac Pro's firewire interface, and this is causing the machine to freeze, hang and restart unexplainably. This might also explain the restart after waking from sleep, since one of the steps the OS takes when waking is to send a signal to devices on the firewire chain to wake them as well. Perhaps this event triggers an unexpected state in the firewire bus and forces a panic/restart.
    I don't have any way to conclusively prove that firewire is the cause for my Mac Pro's woes, because even if I run without any peripherals attached, the internal firewire circuitry is still active (but if FW devices are a factor, with none connected that should help), but I am going to try this approach to see if the problems continue. Perhaps your other readers might notice a similar pattern to help confirm this theory.
    (he later wrote)
    One other detail: In response to the Mac Pros continuing issues, I've reset the PRAM more times than I can remember (that was a common tip for wake from sleep restarts - many said it helped, but one reader said the problem reappeared a week later-Mike), and I also reformatted the original drive and reinstalled everything by hand (e.g., the OS, iLife, personal apps) to avoid reintroducing any Rosetta-dependent code. This machine is about as clean as they come at this point. Still, the freeze/panic/restart problems continue to resurface every so often in normal use.
    Thanks, Steve"

    The first rule of troubleshooting is to minimize the equation (remove 3rd party addons, connected devices, etc.) - if anyone else finds their problems are related to FW/connected devices let me know. (Run for several days or more as a test.)


    More 8800GT Upgrade Kit Feedback:

    (added 3/5/2008)
    "Got my nVidia 8800GT update card for the Mac Pro Monday; installation was a snap once I located the power cord they sent with the card. On first reboot, however, I had an odd anomaly: sometimes the system ignored key input, or there was a significant delay in the response. I ran Onyx set to flush all caches as well as repair permissions etc., rebooted, and all has been well since.

    I wanted to run the card with just one monitor (30" HD CD) for a while but the past two+ weeks of running dual screens as a workaround for the ATI 2600 freeze issue has spoiled me, and I plugged in the second screen (24" Acer) after about 12 hours uptime: no issues or problems.

    There are noticeable improvements over the ATI 2600: World of Warcraft. my most intense graphics application, runs MUCH faster on the 8800GT; instead of frame rates in the mid-40s on the ATI card I'm usually up around 120-130+ FPS even tho I've boosted the texture filtering and some other settings to the max. Also in WoW the "hitching" or "venetian blinding" of screen redraws is gone, and the game finally plays as I always thought it should on such a powerful computer: like butter.

    It's early days yet but mark me "very happy" with the upgrade so far.
    Best, Tim"


    (added 3/4/2008, from 3/3 mail)
    "8800GT upgrade kit feedback
    I received my 8800GT upgrade kit for my early '08 Mac Pro, installed it, and here are some early impressions after a couple hours of use on 10.5.2 with 10GB of RAM:

    * The card's fan is nearly as silent as the 2600 it replaced, though it is a bit louder.

    * Things that were choppy before, such as spaces and stacks of lots of icons like my applications, are now smooth as butter.

    * Apple Motion - real time rendering of HD 1080P projects is worlds faster. I can get 20 fps on my logo render in real time whereas with the 600 I was getting 8-10. It's easily a 2X improvement, and makes my workflow usable again. HOWEVER, when I do a RAM preview (the old "Motion Mark" benchmark-Mike), the speed is no faster than the 2600 was (and the 1900XT, for that matter) in most tests. The CPUs barely get touched during said preview, and the CPU is what is being used.
    I wonder if there is just a bug in Motion's RAM preview and/or the way Core Image hooks in for those types of renders. (I didn't see a lot of difference in Motion Mark tests either when I first tried it a couple years ago when their website was online (RIP now)-Mike)

    * I have no reboot on sleep issue.

    Now onto Vista testing using BootCamp... -P"


    (added 3/4/2008)
    "Thank you and the contributors for this great site! Really useful. My new Mac pro arrived 3 days ago - stock 8-core 2.8 GHz; 320 HDD (WD 3200 AAJS - 41VWAO); 2GB RAM and the 8800GT. Will add RAM (16 GB total- OWC) and disks (two Samsung SpinPoint 320's in RAID 0 for the System & Apps; 1 SpinPoint 1TB for data & another SpinPoint 1TB for backup and system images).

    I applied 10.5.2 and Leopard Graphics Update for 10.5.2 right away. After 3 days of use no display problems whatsoever (using 1st DVI port).
    No sleep issues - not using a UPS.

    So far very pleased with stability and speed, but have not really stressed the system yet.

    Two issues, that may seem minor, but nevertheless bug me a lot:

    1. Audio Optical Out port (Toslink) is always on.
    (FYI- this is normal apparently - another reader said "every Mac I have ever had with an optical port (Powerbook G4, MacBook Pro, Mac Pro 3 versions, PowerMac G5) that I can rememeber always had the red light in the jack on whether I was using it or not."-Mike)
    Even with the little latch closed you can clearly see the light behind it. I've called Apple support about this, but the support guy didn't really know if the thing is supposed to be on continuously. Couldn't find anything about it in the Apple documentation.
    Had me zap the Pram and check the audio settings - to no avail.
    Then asked me to hold the line, to come back and tell me that his colleague, who, I was told, owns a Mac pro, also has an Optical Out port that's always on. Still seems weird to me - anybody out there care to check their optical ports?

    2. Overall the Mac Pro is pretty quiet, but mine regularly produces a weird rattling/vibrating sound. (Do you hear that when a hard drive is seeking perhaps? (although the 2008 Mac Pros had some drive bay isolation to help dampen that as shown in some earlier photos here).-Mike)
    The sound is not very loud, a bit above the noise floor of the Mac pro when it starts, but it is well audible, and enough to annoy me when it happens.
    It starts out soft, to grow louder in burst of +/- 5 secs, and usually comes in series. Very irregular, can be absent for more than an hour, only to reemerge like 20 times in the next half hour.
    Have removed the empty drive sleds - no difference. Nothing seems to be loose inside. Sounds like a ventilator problem - will have it checked at my dealer's.
    Other than that - real bliss!
    (>Do you hear the rattling/vibration noise when a hard drive is seeking (although the 2008 Mac Pros had some drive bay isolation to help dampen that as shown here in some earlier photos below)-Mike)
    No, it seems to have nothing to do with the hard drive seeking. I can clearly hear it when the stock WD is seeking (now the only drive in there) -the soft rattle I hear is something entirely different.
    I've tried several things: opened up the side panel so I could hold my fingers against the hard drive/drive sled/graphical card/whatever to see if it made any difference. But none of those parts seem to be responsible for the noise.
    cheers, Wout"


    (added 3/4/2008)
    "I wanted to let you know about my experiences so far. After exchanging my late '07 Mac Pro for an '08 model (it's a long story), I'm now seeing excellent results. Here's my config:

    2.8GHz 8 core, 2GB Apple RAM (soon to be 10GB with the addition of 4 x 2GB RAM from OWC)
    4 x 500GB Seagate drives (as a RAID-5 array with the Apple RAID card)
    NVIDIA 8800 GT video card, connected to an Apple 30" Cinema Display (soon to be joined by a second 30" Cinema Display)
    new wireless keyboard and mouse

    Also: have the OS up to date (including the Leopard Graphics Update), and I'm running both the CPU and the monitor off of a 1500VA APC UPS.

    The machine runs just beautifully, and the disc array performance is spectacular (it's peaked at over 200MB/sec reads). However:

    1) I can't put the machine to sleep (due to the RAID card - it's a known issue at Apple), so I haven't experienced any rebooting problems on wake. This isn't a huge problem for me, but it would be nice to properly sleep the machine and save electricity. Maybe one day the RAID drivers will be updated to allow this.

    2) There are display artifacts under certain circumstances. Sometimes, when I reboot the machine or wake the display from sleep, I will see cyan artifacts around the mid-tone pixels. Makes the display unusable. But there is a trivial work-around: I've set a corner of the display to "Sleep Display", and if I sleep/wake the display again, it functions correctly (I literally just put the display to sleep and wake it immediately - takes about 1 second). To the best of my knowledge, this only started happening *after* the Graphics Update was applied. That said, considering the amount of downtime I've had getting this machine repaired/replaced, it is a minor inconvenience, and the work-around only takes a second or so. If I were to guess what is going on, I'd bet that the 8800 driver isn't correctly initializing the card on wake, and sometimes it takes a second initialization (with the sleep/wake cycle) to reset it properly. (Just for the record are you running OS X 10.5.2 w/Leopard Graphics Update 1.0?-Mike)
    That's right. I wish I had run it longer prior to installing the update to OS X 10.5.2/LGU 1.0 to isolate whether or not the updates caused the problem, but I do have one small clue that points away from the LGU: after I had applied the 10.5.2 update, but before applying the LGU, the reboot after the 10.5.2 update showed the artifacts. I remember hoping that the Graphics update would cure that (but it didn't).

    I'm hoping that when the second 30" is attached (and the additional RAM is installed), all will still be functioning correctly. Aside from the two minor points about, the '08 Mac Pro is a wonderful machine - I couldn't be more pleased with the performance.

    Oh, and FWIW, I do actually like the new "minimal" wireless keyboard. I'm not missing the numeric keypad as much as I thought I would. I'll have to use the keyboard some more to see if I really do need the keypad, but I'm thinking I might be able to get away without it. I'd like that, since the tiny footprint of the keyboard frees up a surprising amount of space on my desk. That, and it looks quite amusing beside the 30" display...
    -Peter"


    (added 3/4/2008)
    "I picked up a base-configuration Mac Pro 8-core 2.8, added another 10GB of RAM from OWC for a total of 12GB, and added a new 500GB WD SATA drive. I also put in a WD 250GB SATA drive I already had. No graphics problems, no wake-from-sleep problems, no freezing problems...it's pretty much all working how I hoped. (knock on wood!). (Are you running OS X 10.5.2 w/Leopard Graphics Update 1.0?-Mike) Yes indeed.

    The only problem I've seen is it gets stuck on the gray screen when booting with a firewire drive attached...I think this might be a more general problem, though, as a friend has the same problem with his Macbook Pro when he has an iPod attached. Strange, but I don't boot it often...
    -Greg R."

    FYI - Last month I linked to an Apple kbase doc titled Finder may not load with external drive connected in Mac OS X 10.5.2 that has some suggestions and settings to check if you're seeing that problem. Let me know if any of those suggestions help.


    (added 3/4/2008)
    "Thanks for your site, i have a mac pro 8 core with 4gb ram and 8800gt with 30" cinema display and 3x 500gb disks
    i'm extremely happy with this system, except that i have the problem that my mac reboots after getting it out of sleep mode.. i disabled sleep mode for the moment but i hate it. They put the ST3500630AS Seagate Barracuda 500GB, 7200 RPM 16MB cache in the machine, while there are 32 mb versions available (ST3500320AS).
    I hope they fix that mac reboot thing fast after sleep mode!!
    Thanks, Y. Soete"

    It may not be a permanent fix, but most that have had the restart on wake problem here said a pram zap helped, although at least one reader said a week later it reappeared.


    ATI 2600XT Update coming?: (Update - on 3/10/2008 apple posted ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT Firmware Update.)

    (added 3/4/2008 - from 3/1 mail)
    "just want to let you know that apple is working on the graphics problem with the ATI Radeon HD 2600 Cards.
    I got an invitation to an AppleSeed to test a Mac Pro update. After the login it says its an bios update for the ati cards. It's not ready yet but the download should be possible in the next days...
    So, there's coming something to solve the problems...
    (I asked if it was an actual flash update to the card or an updated driver/or ROM Xtender file (which is sort of like a software loaded firmware/patch file)-Mike)
    it's a new rom version for the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT:
    ROM-Version: 113-B1480A-252
    I'm not sure what it was before, something like 113-B1480A-234 (Perhaps -236, which a reader said his 2600XT card has, although versions they ship can change over time.-Mike) - the last three numbers went up.
    Officially it's not public yet - just want to let you know that Apple is working on the problem.
    No more freezes with the new ROM :)"


    (added 3/4/2008)
    "I just wanted to give you another data point on the new Mac Pro's.
    I got an 8 core, 2.8 GHz Mac Pro with the 8800GT graphic card option last week. So far it's been rock solid for me, with just some minor glitches mentioned below. I haven't had any graphics glitches. I've slept it manually several times and it has woken up fine. I have to admit it doesn't sleep by itself normally, at least the one time I tried it. But I don't normally have it go to sleep anyway so it's not a big issue for me.

    It did freeze up three times in the course of running the updates to bring Adobe CS3 Design Premium up to date, but whatever the problem was, it seemed to be related to that update process because it hasn't recurred since.

    I'm delighted with how fast it seems compared to my original G5 Tower (2x2.0 GHz). Aperture in particular is very snappy and I can move between pictures in non-Quick Preview mode almost as quickly as in Quick Preview mode.

    Thanks so much for assembling these reports that gave me the confidence to go ahead and order this machine. So far I'm very happy with it.
    -Bill H."


    (added 3/4/2008 - from 3/1 mail)
    "My first Mac --- I received my MacPro about 14 days ago (3GHz, 2GB ram + 8GB from OWC, 500 WD from Apple store, 8800GT), with 30" Cine Display. UPS is APC XP1500. I applied the 10.5.2 and graphics update. Like the machine, but it's freezing about once per day. Sometimes I can't move the mouse or actuate the caps lock light; sometimes it's a window/process that I can't kill; but never does the machine give me an error message. My freezes require hard power cycling. Per Apple Support, I did an erase and install, but no change. Apple Support is sending me a new Mac Pro, but I am not confident that will solve the problem. By the way, I do not think I've been having the reboot on wake up problem. Also, I've seen no pixel garbage on the screen, nor any kernel panics. Very disappointed to be dealing with this from a new machine. I would love to know the cause of this.
    (Day 1 reports from 2008 Mac Pro owners here on freezes had an initial tip to disable all energy saver sleep options (pram zaps/SMC resets were other things some tried) - but I assume apple would have suggested that.-Mike)
    I did not try the energy saver options, but so far the freeze hasn't happenned for 5 days (just in time for the replacement machine to arrive from Apple).
    I did the 10.5.2 update, followed by the graphics update. Second time was after an erase and install.

    No addon cards, or logon items, but I did download iStat, Onyx, Deeper.
    Apple suggested that I try removing my RAM from OWC and see if the freezes continue. But, since I haven't had more freezes, I haven't taken out the added RAM (yet). I will keep you informed. (Maybe my freezes were "new machine jitters?")
    -Paul"


    (added 3/4/2008 - from Feb 29th mail)
    "Hi Mike, I was the guy with the first delivery report on the Mac Pro with nVidia 8800. Just wanted to update you that I have seen exactly one (1) instance of reboot instead of wake from sleep - this was the first time after the 10.5.2 update + Leopard Graphics update. I rebooted (again) and zapped the PRAM, and it has not reoccurred since. Still rock solid in all other respects.

    FWIW, I purchased Quake 4, and it runs 1920x1080, with ultra high quality textures, 8x AA, and all other settings maxed out, at about 55-60 fps (capped at 60 fps) during regular play.

    Anyway, I've reinstalled the LITE-ON 52x CD-RW (Model LTR-52327S (rev QS57)) in the Mac Pro. Rather than trim the drive tray, I thought that I might modify the optical drive carrier by filing the rear screw holes more open a little toward the bottom, by 1mm or so. This allows the rear of the drive to sit lower than the front, causing the drive tray to extend at a slight upward angle. This works like a charm - the drive tray clears the slot with enough clearance. Of course, filing too low would be a bad thing.

    Works like a charm, and I get a little better performance on CD-ROMs/CD-Rs (52x instead of the Superdrive's 32x). For some reason this install seems quieter than I remember the original try.

    Of course, I may be screwed down the road if I need to replace that bottom slot, and the new drive extends slightly too high - I guess I would need to make sure the rear was supported so it sat level again.
    -Ed"


    (added 3/4/2008 - from Feb 29th mail)
    "I can't tell you guys how happy I was to finally find this site... I have a 2008 Eight Core 2.8 Mac Pro with the GeForce 8800 GT graphics card, 320gig HD with added 500gig Western Digital HD 16mb cache (bought from newegg 104.99) (same drive is $105 on site specials page here. But I think I'd spring for an extra $45 and get the 334GB per platter(!) 750GB Samsung F1 drive.-Mike) 6gigs of apple ram and an airport wireless card.

    I finally took my baby in for repair at the apple store yesterday after the straw that broke the camels back, a shutdown while I was in the middle of work. My problems started off when the Mac Pro would not wake up, but restart, from sleep. When I would try to wake up the computer from sleep the fans would rev up full steam and then the computer would restart. (tried the pram zip tip?) At first I thought it was the 5 external HDs I had daisy chained through the firewire 400 port. But even after I turned off the external drives the problem still existed. I had a friend suggest I reset the SMU but they only had the DIY for the G5 online. Also had a friend suggest I check the console logs and search for shutdown, and if the causes were in between 1-5 it was normal, but any negative numbers or higher numbers were out of the ordinary. All of my shutdown logs were 5s or 3s until my shutdown in the middle of a project that gave me a -2. Thats when I made my appointment ASAP and took her in!

    By the way, I used to work for Apple so I know that the Genius that day took my situation seriously. But since my computer was a CTO they couldn't do a swap out, but they are going to order a new power supply, should take 3-5 business days. They also checked if Apple has made them aware of this possible issue, but nothing.

    I stared out with a G3 Lombard my favorite laptop was 1Ghz G4 TiBook I got my Mac Pro to work with Motion and Final Cut Pro. I used to laugh at people after they left the Apple Store who used to curse us out and say "I spent $5,000 here and this machine is a piece of junk" and they would walk out mad. But I had never had an Apple computer act this quirky and my G5 NEVER gave me any problems. I spent all of this money to get the latest and greatest and now I feel like a lab rat for a product launched maybe too prematurely. I haven't told my dad of this issue yet because he is a hard-core programmer who's motto is "NEVER BUY A REV A"- One day I'm gonna learn the old man is always right! Thanks again for letting me vent! - 'AppleGuy'"


    (added 3/4/2008 - from Feb 29th mail)
    "Mike, I just received my 2.8 GHz quad mac pro (single socket) this week. The machine is blazingly fast and much quieter than the dual 2.3 GHz G5 tower it replaced. I ordered it with the stock Radeon HD 2600 XT and it's still plenty fast for my Aperture 2 use. I installed 3 additional SATA drives I had on hand... the cableless drive system is a real pleasure to use. The machine has a total of 6GB, I added 2x2GB purchased from OWC. I installed according to the manual, moving one of the original memory modules to the other daughtercard.

    My only complaint is that it suffers from the reboot on wake issue. I've tried zapping PRAM, resetting SMC and nothing has helped at all. (Many (most I think) with the restart on wake said a pram zap helped. Make sure you keep keys down until you hear the restart bong tone at least 3 times.) My UPC is on the small side, 725VA, but it worked perfectly with my (more power hungry) G5 tower. Nonetheless I unplugged the Mac Pro from the battery backup and moved it to just the surge protection outlets. This didn't help, I still see the problem. I'm running 10.5.2 with the Leopard Graphics update. Looking at the apple support forums I see no common features in the machines that have the problem. I really hope apple sorts this out as otherwise the machine is incredible!
    -John M.


    FYI on 3rd Party PCIe Cards/Drivers causing 2nd Display/Port Problems (No Quartz Extreme support):
    (To save space here I removed all the many previous mails/questions/replies, forum posts etc. earlier here on this issue) Finally got a note from Graham on what PCIe cards/drivers he had installed - one of which was the source of his 8800GTs 2nd DVI Port performance/artifacts/no Quartz Extreme support problem. (FYI - the main news page also had a FYI on Kona 3 card Drivers and disabled 2nd Display Quartz Extreme support with a note that the original 5.1 drivers for the Kona 3 card also caused similar problems.)

    "No Kona card, but I do have a BlackMagic Decklink HD Extreme card.
    What I've added to the system:
    BlackMagic Decklink HD Extreme
    Highpoint RocketRaid 2522
    16 gigs OWC 800 RAM
    2x750 gigs Western Digital HDs
    (Have you tried booting w/o those card/drivers installed as a check?? (got a 2nd HD with a standard 10.5.2 install to test boot with??)-Mike)
    Ah ha! Yes, I removed the BlackMagic HD Extreme card, and now the 8800 GT runs the way it should! Bad news...it doesn't look like there are updated drivers for the BlackMagic card. (For the record in case there's an update later to the drivers - what version are you using. Worth reporting this to them also.-Mike)
    Thank you for all of your help
    -Graham"

    He later wrote that BlackMagic replied this is a known issue with a link to their Dec. 2007 dated Support page titled: Quartz Extreme capable video card error which notes:

    "Quartz Extreme capable video card error
    When launching Final Cut Pro and you have a DeckLink card or Multibridge installed, you might encounter the following error message:

    "This system does not meet the following minimum system requirements: Final Cut Pro requires that your system have a Quartz Extreme capable video card".

    Testing has found that this problem only occurs if the computer monitor is connected to DVI port number 2 as shown in the following diagram...

    To avoid the error message, shut down the Mac, disconnect the computer monitor and then reconnect it to DVI port number 1. Now start up the Mac and you should be able to launch Final Cut Pro without problems.

    An alternative solution is to disable the desktop feature in the DeckLink settings in the System Preferences. A restart will be required after disabling the desktop feature.
    This error has been reported to Apple."

    I asked Graham if he had tried the "Alternative Solution" (disable the desktop feature in the DeckLink settings in the System Preferences)


    (added 2/27/2008)
    "2x 3.0Ghz 8 core Monster! 8800GT, 2GB Ram then added 8GB from OWC for 10GB Total
    320GB Boot disk then added 750GB WD Enterprise drive plus another 320GB Drive. All updates applied 10.5.2 including the Leopard graphics update. Transferred 220GB of data from the G5 dual 2.7 via FW400. Installed Vista Home premium via bootcamp on WD drive. So I could install and enjoy Halo 2. (vista only sees 2GB Ram ...what a joke! And, only one processor!!)
    HP 22" w2207 Display using the VGA instead of the DVI for now. (will switch later)
    Halo 2 played with all graphic settings maxed out. (cool!)
    APC UPS 1500, External Lacie 320 GB HD (waiting for another update first to use time machine though)
    Had the machine for 3 weeks now and there have been no problems at all.
    It's quiet and fast! No display issues. I'm very happy with the Super Macintosh.
    -Hal"


    (added 2/27/2008)
    "First thanks so much for your site; big help when getting my new system together. Here's my $.02. (Dual 2.8GHz CPUs, 4GB RAM, Boot ROM Version: MP31.006C.B02, SMC Version: 1.25f4
    I added 2 Gigs of RAM from RamJet; no problems so far. I have seen none of the wake-from-sleep or any other weirdness at all. Very pleased with the overall speed and stability.
    Three issues:

    1. My Epson Perfection 2450 doesn't work with Photoshop CS3 unless I run PS in Rosetta mode, a trick I learned from your site. (Tip mentioned on the Scanners w/OS X Leopard page - Epson scan 2.77 not universal binary) I switch over to scan, then switch back as Rosetta slows things down quite a bit - no surprise there.

    2. I bought 2 of the Seagate 7200.10 500G drives with the nitwit AAK firmware that slows things down, as documented here: (FYI - there's also notes/links here about some 7200.11 firmware versions incorrectly reporting drive model and cache size.)
    http://www.fluffles.net/articles/seagate-AAK-firmware
    http://forums.seagate.com/stx/board/message?board.id=ata_drives&message.id=795
    http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/28/2031234
    I managed to locate a source of the new firmware and had a friend flash the drives on his PC to AAM (updater doesn't run on a Mac, natch). Result: average throughput went from 54.5MB/sec to 65.8 MB/sec, according to HD Tune on his PC. I installed them in my tower and was able to format and use them, where they are humming right along (very low noise; can't hear them at all from where I'm sitting.) These I use for files and photos, using the stock 350G Seagate that came with the tower for System and apps.

    3. 3rd monitor problem. I am a web developer and depend on 3 monitors to give me the real estate I need for complex stuff. I decided I wanted the nVidia 8800 to increase drawing of big photos to my screen (I'm also a commercial photographer), and, to avoid mixing and matching video card manufacturers and their drivers, I decided to order an nVidia 7300 from the Apple store to drive my 3rd monitor.

    Big problem: the (Nvidia) 7300 is not supported on the "Early 2008" Mac Pros. I found this out after going through 2 cards in an attempt to make this work. (I think a reader mentioned that earlier here-Mike) I checked with Apple before I ordered and was assured the card would work; this was in error. I learned this the old fashioned way, on the Web. There is a long discussion about the 7300 problem here:
    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=6579010�
    and an official note buried here:
    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=305346 (Apple doc linked here last month titled "Power Mac G5, Mac Pro, Mac Pro (Early 2008): Video cards not compatible between models" - although Oliver used his ATI X1900 from his 2006 Mac Pro in his 2008 Mac Pro, and IIRC someone claimed the 2600XT worked in a 2006 Mac Pro w/OS X leopard.-Mike)
    After bringing this to the attention of the escalated helper at the Applecare help line, he fessed up that this was new to him, that there should be a disclaimer on the Apple store and that they would get me going with a different set up. Bottom line: the nVidia 7300 card doesn't work with the Early 2008 Mac Pros. Hope this helps someone.
    -Mike G."


    (added 2/27/2008)
    "I've had a new Mac Pro 8-core for a month. It has had 4 kernel panics in 20 startups (kernel panics occurred anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour after startup). Apple Genius Bar guys said it was because of Symantec Anti-Virus for Mac. Pulled Symantec off today and we'll see. The blank blue screen at startup lasts for 3-4 minutes.
    -Derek V."


    (added 2/27/2008)
    "Hi guys! A big thank you for this site, it's a veritable gold-mine of information. I don't know what the geoographic spread of your viewers/contributors is, but I'm UK based and visit your site regularly. I've had my MacPro dual 2.8, 2 GB RAM, ATI 2600XL, 500GB WD drive a month now, fortunately with none of the graphic problems commonly aired. It's delightful to use, my third Mac, PowerMac G4 and G5s preceding it. It's easily the quietest, much more relaxing to use in the quiet country market town I live in.

    Nevertheless, it hasn't been without its quirks, such as the 'eject' key on the keyboard initially refused to function, until I hesitatingly applied the 10.5.2 update, whereupon it functioned without problem! (holding it down for a second required) It is also amazingly slow to boot up, taking 4-5 times longer than my G5 PowerMac running Tiger, which has probably 3-4 times the number of applications installed on it. Very strange.

    It takes 5-6 minutes from start-up before the MIDI interface is recognised, almost as if it was wandering around looking in odd corners, and suddenly 'found' it by accident. I bought this Mac with Logic Express ready installed, as I use my Macs extensively for music creation and processing, so that is a little irritating.

    Unfortunately my UPS died recently, so until I get a replacement, I can't give you any information on that for the moment. I'm awaiting the arrival of 6GB of additional RAM, from OWC, so I can fill all 8 slots and utilise the memory throughput most efficiently. I'll post some more as it becomes apparent, hopefully with some comparisons for the additional memory.

    By the way, for those who like to see what is going on in the innards of their machine, I've installed the iStat Pro widget. (free download at islayer.com website-Mike) This tells you all your temperatures for the cores, Northbridge, ambient, Expansion Slots, and HDD bays; all your fan speeds, CPU usage, Bluetooth, Memory usage, and Disks. Very handy little widget!
    Regards, Pete"


    (added 2/27/2008)
    "My new machine is a 2008 MacPro 2.8GHz 8-core 2GB/750GB with 8800GT, shipped from Apple on 2/20/08 with OSX 10.5.1. I added 4GB RAM plus two more 750GB HDs (Seagate ST3750330AS) all from OWC. SoftRAID 3.6.6 is setup to use two HDs for both a striped logical volume and for a mirrored volume. The third HD is my maintenance boot drive and also is the Time Machine backup drive. The 10.5.2 combo and also the graphics update are applied.

    So far this has been pure Mac which is to say it just works flawlessly. No wake from sleep problems.

    The one glitch is a Seagate HD situation. I got one of the 750GB drives that reports "ST3_INVALID_PFM" for its media name instead of the correct "ST3750330AS" id. A number of folks have run into this. (See earlier reports on this below, including notes on firmware update/fix from Seagate (but no mac installer) - cache size was also misreported and one early thread thought performance was affected. Based on a report last week, I thought OWC had updated the firmware of all their 7200.10 stock.-Mike) So far its unclear to me whether this is a substantive problem or just a superficial glitch. As far as I can tell this HD is working just fine. SoftRAID hasn't complained. I created a tech support ticket with OWC to get their take on this.
    Because of this HD question I haven't yet run the migration utility to transfer my old system to this new machine. More to follow if there is anything to report. Thanks for your www site.
    -ct"

    If I were buying a new SATA drive for a tower, I think I'd pick the ultra-dense (334GB/platter) Samsung F1 (based on Oliver's tests of 1TB HD drives).


    (added 2/25/2008)
    "Firstly thanks for running the site - I find it a really useful reference. To help pay this back I got the ram for my new system via your link to OWC...
    To the meat of the email:
    I have an early 2008 MacPro 2.8GHz 2gb/320GB with 8800GT I have it hooked up to a Compaq 2700VA UPS. Dell 2407WFPb (the "high colour" lcd - but I still see banding from an XP box w/ATI X850 or the Mac with 8800GT)

    Factory install 10.5.1 upgraded via Software Update to 10.5.2
    After a few days I added 4GB of OWC RAM & 3x 500GB Seagate Drives (ST3500320AS) - RAIDED.
    I also purchased Hardware Monitor (www.bresink.com) - I like seeing the temps throughout the machine & fan rpms etc.

    So far machine has performed flawlessly, no graphic artifacts, KP's of failure to rise from sleep.

    This is the quietest machine I have owned since my Mac Plus - I can't get over how quiet it is - my 2002 Quicksilver roars like a monster in comparison.

    I have yet to stress it to any degree, but it maintains ~55fps in WoW in Zangermarsh and ~115fps in Iron Forge outside the bank with every graphic option maxxed out.
    Geekbench score 7727.

    It runs VMWare a treat. I will be retiring my Dell quad xeon server with 5* 15K/rpm scsi-3 drives and running my virtual machines in the background (and enjoying the silence - the Dell is over 80Db according to my radio shack sound meter - which does not read low enough to measure the MacPro)

    I feel VMWare runs so well for my needs that I might not need a bootcamp setup - if it would stop quitting - hope it becomes more stable very soon. Feature parity with the PC version would be nice too.

    iPhoto is fast and smooth, the raid array sustains 155MB/sec - I have no buyers remorse.
    Cheers, Phil"


    (added 2/25/2008)
    "I've had a stock configuration 2008 Mac Pro for almost exactly one month so far. Currently I've installed the newest 10.5.2 update as well as the graphics update. All was great for the first week and I only experiences some expected issues which I attributed to Leopard still being in it's infancy. Although, as time progressed I experienced about half a dozen total system freezes which required hard restarts. Half a dozen crashes is more than I had in 3 YEARS of Powerbook G4 ownership and I'm a bit upset about it. Issues ranged from random entering sleep while playing back a DVD, so display corruption while using spaces, and other freezes where I could still move the mouse but not select anything or force quit any applications or anything (which I've read might be due to the Radeon 2600 card).

    I called Apple Support about my issues and they immediately told me to bring in my unit to be replaced with a new one, which I did the very next day. It's been three days with the new unit and I've already had 3 crashes where I can't force quit any applications but I can still move the mouse.

    All in all, I love the Mac Pro, it's enough power to more than adequately handle all of my tasks, but I'm disappointed with the performance far and hope that these issues are resolved soon.
    -Chris S."


    (added 2/25/2008)
    "I ordered a stock 2.8 8-core with a 8800GT on a Sunday and received a shipped e-mail on Tuesday. The hard drive is a Seagate, the DVD drive is a Pioneer and reuse a Seagate from my old G5. I also got 4GB (2X2) RAM and a Sonnet USB card from OWC.

    I had it for almost a week. The only problem I have encountered was a freeze when I tried to rotate the screen 90 degrees. But, after the 10.5.2 and the Graphics update. The screen now just turns blank for a few seconds then reverts back to the original setting instead of freezing. I seldom use the portrait mode on my monitor anyway. :(

    After reading many posts of the rebooting from sleep issue. I was a little concerned, but so far it has not happened. I don't have a UPS.

    The Mac Pro is nice upgrade from a Dual 1.8 G5. The CPU temperature is half of the G5, uses less power than G5 and quieter. I would not be surprised if they put a quad-core in the next iMac. I'm also glade the fan on the 8800GT is silent. I dreaded having to replace the noisy fan like I did with the retail ATI 9800 pro in my G5. Hope you don't hear from me again.
    -CL"


    (added 2/25/2008)
    "I have a 2008 Mac Pro, regular stock configuration (w/ATI 2600 card), and have not had any problems with it. I have used it both with and without the 10.5.2 update, and Graphics Update. No problems. Although, I don't notice any differences in the graphics after the Graphics Update.
    My church secretary is impressed with the performance, and has not reported any problems with it.
    (name withheld by request)"


    (added 2/25/2008)
    "Here is an update to my report of 2/8/08:
    I installed the 10.5.2 update and the graphics update 12 days ago and my system has not had a single problem since then. Prior to this the PRAM reset seemed to have resolved my repeated wake from sleep problems.
    I have not seen a graphics freeze issue since the updates and the glitch in time machine which caused all my incremental backups to be roughly the size of a full backup was also cured.

    The only other change I made was that I screwed the monitor into the other port on the graphics card the last time I did an SMC reset over two weeks ago--I suppose there is a very remote possibility that this rather than the updates is the reason I have not had any more of the graphics freeze problems.
    -Steven"


    (added 2/25/2008)
    "Hey Mike, Mac Pro Octo 2.8Ghz / 10 GB RAM / 10.5.2 (early 2008)
    No more problems from restart on wake from sleep after PRAM zap. Thankfully there is xlr8yourmac because Apple's support site doesn't seem to have any documentation on this quite easy to solve issue.
    By the way, my Mac is dead silent, seems like it's turned off. :)
    Many Thanks to all of you!
    -Emilio"


    (added 2/25/2008)
    " Hi Mike, I've had my 2008 Mac pro for a couple of weeks now. No problems whatsoever with the stock 2.8. I too, have been running dual montiors... 22" LaCie Blues since day one, and before ever firing it up, added two WD 500 drives and replaced the stock ram with a pair of OWC 2 gig sticks. Only wierdness has been trying to use migration assistant from my G5 2.0 dual. Three times the migration assistant quit mid way and gave an error, so have been doing it the hard way.
    The Mac Pro has had all the 10.5.2 updates. I have it, the monitors and the G5 on the same 1500VA UPC.
    Cheers, Pete"


    (added 2/25/2008)
    "I have a 2008 Mac Pro 3.0GHz with 14GB RAM and ATI 2600 running two 24" Dell monitors. The power is connected to an APC1500 UPS. So far no repetitive problems as others have described. It has crashed a couple times, but nothing consistent. At one point I had some digital funk on the monitors but only after I hooked up new DVI cables. After replacing the cables the problem went away.
    I recently installed 10.5.2 and everything seems good, but now I'm leery of installing the the Graphics Update after reading the reports on your site. (10.5.2/Leopard graphics 1.0 feedback page had some reports from MacBook Pro and PB G4 owners on issues they saw with it - saying for them updates w/o it helped.) I want to be the guy that subscribes to "ain't broke, don't fix", but instead I've got an unnatural desire to install updates. Even though Apple has really reeked havoc in the pro video world with the last few QuickTime updates, I still follow the "newer is better" methodology. (At least I try not to blindly follow.)

    It might also be worth mentioning that this a video/color correction workstation loaded with a Kona 3 card and a Highpoint SATA RAID card. The application Color (from Final Cut Studio) uses the GPU extensively, so the ATI 2600 gets a workout. That said, it is a relatively new computer and has seen a ton of work time, so I'll update you if anything changes. For now I think I'll hold off on the Graphics Update (but I really want to install it ;) ).
    -Parke"


    (added 2/25/2008)
    "Subject: Early 2008 Mac Pro Problems / 2 monitor workaround really works!
    I bought my Mac Pro 2.8ghz dual quad (with Ati 2600 HD video card) a week ago today, took it out of the box and experienced the graphics corruption/freeze problem immediately, the first thing i did was install all the leopard/graphics updates on the initial boot. The freeze was occurring every few hours or so. I wanted to write in because I think there is real validity to the two monitor workaround.
    I was using the machine a lot last saturday and sunday with one monitor attached and it crashed about ten times in over about 15 hrs of use (the graphics corruption freeze with working mouse pointer). I read about the two monitor workaround, promptly hooked up a second, albeit cheesy, old lcd monitor and haven't had a single problem since and its been almost a week now of all uptime.

    I have been posting a lot in apple discussions and it appears that everyone who hooked up a second monitor has not had the graphics corruption/lockup issue again. This makes the issue very interesting because we all may possibly have the same hardware but anyone who intended to use two monitors straight out the box may never realize that there is a problem. Also several people on the list didn't have a second monitor so they tried simply hooking up a second cable to the other dvi port, this does not appear to work. I urge anyone experiencing this problem to try the two monitor workaround and report back.
    -Dave
    Mac Pro (early 2008) 2x2.8 quad core, Ati 2600 gfx, 6gb ram"


    (added 2/25/2008)
    "Mike, A note about the 2600 freezes on the new mac pros. I purchased my stock 2.8 model the day after it was announced and have reported in the past I never had any problems or freezes. I should note I am running two monitors (an ACD 23" and a AD 20") and always have.
    -Paul A."


    (added 2/25/2008)
    "Hi Mike, Wrote about a week ago about a macpro 3.0 ghz w/8800 GT video card. Had got the macpro on 2/12/08. At the time of writing had the machine for a couple of days running under 10.5.1. As stated before, machine was having some wake from sleep restarts. (common tip here since day 1 for this was a pram zap - some did a SMC reset also but PRAM zap alone fixes this per many readers comments, but I always wondered if that was a permanent fix (and wonder what's really affecting the nvram settings to cause this).-Mike)
    Machine always hooked up to APC xs 1500 ups. At the time had just done smc, pram reset. Machine woke from sleep w/out issue about half the time after reset, no apparent pattern.
    Have never had any screen freezes or computer lockups. Have left machine on continuous since. I finally replaced the apple seagate 320 gb drive w/a maxtor 500 gb drive. Upon plugging everything back in & starting up did the chime but nothing else just blue screen, did that a couple times w/no success. Finally unplugged all usb & firewire cables, machine restarted fine. Have not seen that problem in quite a while over 3 past machines. So did another pram reset 3 times repeatedly as back in the old days of doing it. (OF reset is more complete but as always (since the early days of the mac) - hold the keys down on a pram zap until you hear the startup bong 3 times) Everything fine again. Still a few restart waking from sleep events.
    Had been reading the threads on the apple forums on this, they are quite extensive, read people were having problem even hooked up directly to wall sockets. Also read a couple posts stating attempts to wake from sleep with power button on tower instead of mouse or keyboard, seemed to stop problem. Have tried that for the last 3 days & have had no restart after wake from sleep events since. Hope that's the end of it- fingers crossed.

    Also installed 10.5.2 & leopard graphic update today. Really see no difference in anything so far other than time machine menu item. If anything changes w/that I'll wright again.
    -Paul."


    (added 2/25/2008)
    "My first Mac Pro (2 x 2.8GHz Quad, 320G, ATI 2600) was DOA. Power, light and fans, but no startup tone, no open firmware, no OS. Reseated everything, no luck. The vendor made an exception for me and took it back. Upon finding this site's Mac Pro report (Thanks!) I had them replace (at my additional cost) with the next model up (2 x 2.8GHz Quad, 320G, Nvidia 8800).

    I replaced (added to) the Western Digital 320GB with a pair of Seagate 500G 7200.11 (rev.SD15 from OWC) running a striped RAID and added 2 pairs of 2GB chips. Installed from the DVD's to the RAID, so I never really tested it straight out of the box. It's plugged-in to an APC Smart-UPS 750.

    Result: couldn't be happier. Yes, the first box buzzkill disappointed me, and that Apple wouldn't just swap with me (pointed me back to my reseller) was also a bummer, but now that's water over the bridge, this Mac Pro is really fast, and runs Parallels nicely. No wake from sleep issues (tested nightly now for a week). No video artifacts (10.5.2 + Graphics update installed). Quiet. Easy to upgrade.

    One gripe, I guess, is that the internal speaker is wimpy. This thing performs like a Matt Damon character, but sounds like Nicole Ritchie. Great work on this site BTW.
    - Tom"


    (added 2/25/2008)
    "This may be of some interest to you. I ran into an interesting if not annoying FW video compatibility problem. I tried to catalog a DVT via iDive for the first time after the upgrade and found it could control my camera deck but not see any video. iMovie and QT pro was able to grab video, but neither iDive nor FCP. These apps have their latest updates and 10.5.2 with the graphics thing. After a few hours google searching I tried disconnected the external FW800 Big Lacie drive and things are working better. I had the camera connected to the front FW 400 port, capturing to an internal drive, but a drive connected on the rear FW 800 port is interfering? Strange... but I'm sure this is not the end of it.
    -Sam"


    (added 2/22/2008)
    "Over the last day or so I've been chasing down kernel panics, this is on a new Mac Pro (2008), 2.8GHz, 6GB RAM. 10.5.2 with all the updates, video card the ATI Radeon HD2600XT stocker. I hadn't noticed a problem until I ran an iPhoto full screen slide show on my 24" Samsung monitor. Crash, and I could repeat it with Entourage, Safari, PS CS3 and iPhoto open. I yanked the added OWC 4GB RAM out, still broke, so OWC still RULES!, but then I did a Google on one of the backtrace contention terms. Bingo, found a thread at Apple where a couple days ago someone else hit the same issue. Identical log data.. He had reloaded from 10.5.1, omitting the Graphics Update 1.0, and it cured his.
    Worth a shot, so I tried it. All better now. something in that Graphics Update is breaking the system. I just ran a 900 image slide show, full screen for 45 minutes, no problem.. Learned a lot about kernel panics along the way, but the real key... Google.. Saved a lot of phone time.
    -geOrge"

    Report back in a week or two if you're still not seeing any problems. Some (more than a few) have had the problem since day one (before Leopard Graphics update/10.5.2) but if anyone else finds 10.5.2 w/o Graphics update helps let me know. (So far all the feedback on 10.5.2 from those that had the problem said it didn't help.) The 10.5.2 page had some notes about the Leopard Graphics update being blamed for clamshell mode issues w/MacBook Pros and DVD Player problems with some PB G4s also.


    (added 2/22/2008)
    "Another update on trying to investigate the ATI 2600 freeze issue. So far I get the freeze every 1-2 days, not several times a day or hour like others. So I'm still tolerating it hoping for a breakthrough. My 14-day exchange expired before the problems manifested. I've got AppleCare so not without some recourse when I throw in the towel.

    It occurred to me there is a remote possibility that some ATI cards might have a physical defect. (the last batch of X800s had a higher than normal number of vram/display problems.) I thought it would be worth investigating to see if the physical act of having two connectors attached to the card might produce a beneficial stress that caused the electrical/signal behavior to become normal. If that were happening it wouldn't be obvious to the people who are driving dual monitors or driving a single monitor with dual inputs...

    I don't have two monitors to drive, just a 20" ACD with its single DVI cable. So I attached a DVI-to-VGA adapter to the secondary port and let it dangle... That experiment failed in less than 24 hours. And, wow, I didn't realize there are so many variations on corrupt graphics output.

    First it was just the top window in Safari, then after awhile the whole screen became corrupt -- pixels were dancing like Mardi Gras everywhere. Mouse could control cursor but clicks and keyboard input ignored. Eventually had to hard shutdown.

    System.log caught the GPU dump, and this time there was also a loop of callback_client errors and user dropped events that corresponded in time to the accumulating corruption after the initial event -- perhaps this is a new clue? Or just an artifact of the GPU causing system chaos?...
    I've added new images and the syslog to (this page on Freeze Saga).
    I'm happy for the people who have new cards or machines and so far so good -- but my machine ran swell for the first 3 weeks then the trouble began. I'd love to hear from anyone who has had their replacement for at least 3 weeks and hasn't looked back.
    -Ron"


    (added 2/22/2008)
    "I am running two Apple 30in Cinemas on mine. Maybe that's why I never experienced any lockups. I've run 2 monitors since the day I bought the computer.
    -Gene "


    (added 2/22/2008 - updated 2/23/2008)
    "I ordered my 3.2 ghz Mac Pro with 320 Gb HD, NVidia 8800, and 2GB Ram on Jan 29 and received it on Feb 10. Much faster than the 3-4 week promised delivery date so my planned upgrades have not yet arrived. I have two 4GB memory boards coming in during the next few day along with two Seagate TB drives. My new machine named Pisces is insanely fast bit definately could use more memory. I plan to add another 8 GB next month and sell the orginal 2 GB on eBay.

    I installed two updates (assuming 10.5.2/Leopard Graphics Update 1.0) and the machine began to lock up on me which meant pulling the plug. Using the disk tool to investigate Apple recommended a full wipe and reinstall of the OS, however it has not given me any trouble since running this utility. This is not a huge problem for me as I planned to reinstall the OS on one of the new Seagate drives.

    The only other problem I had was importing pictures into iPhoto. I must have used two different user accounts so the database was corrupted. My fix was to use the console window and open up the permissions using the chmod command. I am new to Mac but have a Solaris background. I am thrilled to have shell access like my Sun machine.

    It has taken a little time to get used to having pull down menus at the top of the screen an not being able to resize window as easily as XP or Solaris. I hate those aspects. I am not impressed with the wireless mouse, no right click, but I expect this might just need a little configuring or an after market mouse to make me happy. (Most of us use std USB 2 button mice.-Mike) I am thrilled with the wireless keyboard. It is small, with a great touch and impressive design.

    I love my Mac. I waited for the new Harpertown chips and paid the premium for the fast CPU's, and I'm happy with the decision. I feel this machine will last ten years or more.
    (he later wrote)
    I do have the wake from sleep problem. (restart on wake from sleep - suggested he try a PRAM zap that many have said helped.) I know that my hard drive has errors, I'm nearly done reinstalling the OS on a new drive. I'll let you know how that plays out. Two TB drives set as a mirror. I have a single Dell 24" monitor.
    I've had a few residual attracts on the screen that moving another window over and gets rid of. My windows machine goes through a bit of resizing and junk when switching to it by changing the cable over. I have three machines and not enough ways to connect. If I wasn't changing back and forth it would be a non issue. I'll try the Pram zap too.
    -Conrad"


    Follow-up from an owner that had seen the graphics corruption/freezes and mentioned an apple thread on running dual-monitor mode earlier:

    (added 2/21/2008 - from 2/20 mail)
    "It's still too early to be sure, but it looks like the two-monitor solution is a viable fix for the 2008 Mac Pro ATI 2600 freezing issue. Nobody who has tried it has reported any freezes since and today I gave my system the "acid test" by running Carbon Copy Cloner and leaving the progress screen active on my desktop: every other time I've tried that with a single monitor the system has locked up within 3 minutes, today it ran perfectly without issue right to the end.

    I would try going back to a single monitor and trying it again but I'm sure it would freeze and then I'd have the potential of file corruption to deal with if I shut down and a waste of quite a bit of time if I don't. So "if it ain't broke don't fix it" and with 2 monitors the system seems to be "not broken." More later if anything new develops. Take care of that back!
    (he later wrote)
    It's now seven days since I added the second monitor to my 2008 Mac Pro setup and I have not had a freeze since plugging in the second screen. Others are posting the same result on Apple Discussions. My particular system used to go 48 to 72 hours between freezes, then I'd often get one two or even three lockups in short order (within an hour) and then back to stable running for another few days. At no time between getting the machine and adding the 2nd screen did it go longer than 96 hours without a lockup, however, so my current 168 and counting is significant, I think. Add the Carbon Copy Cloner "acid test" I already wrote about and while not definitive I'd say adding a second monitor is well worth trying for those experiencing the issue.
    Best, Tim"

    If anyone else finds this helps (after say a week or two of use) let me know.


    (added 2/21/2008 from 2/20 mail)
    "Just to report that I'm also experiencing the sleep/reboot problem with my 5 days old Mac Pro. (I asked if he'd tried the original tips many said helped - i.e. zapping the PRAM-Mike) The configuration is 2 x 3Ghz, 8800 GT, 10GB RAM, WD 320GB + Seagate 500GB 7200.11.
    For the moment, this is the only problem I have with it.
    I don't know if I have to change it right now, or to wait for a software update. I think I'm not ready for asking a refund for this sleeping beauty.
    Thanks, Jeremie"


    (added 2/21/2008 - updated 2/23/2008)
    "I have a Mac Pro 2.8 GHz 8 core with with an 8800GT. It crashes on wake from sleep - sometimes with the graphics corruption issue, and sometimes with a reboot.
    The graphics crashes give me a graphics channel error:

    kernel[0]: NVChannel(GL): Graphics channel exception! status = 0xffff info32 = 0xd = GR: SW Notify Error
    Feb 16 17:20:09 MyHostName kernel[0]: 0000000c
    Feb 16 17:20:09 MyHostName kernel[0]: 00200000 00005097 0000047c 00000000
    Feb 16 17:20:09 MyHostName kernel[0]: 00000486 00001b0c 1000f010 0000007e
    Feb 16 17:20:09 MyHostName kernel[0]: 00000000 00000000 00000000
    Feb 16 17:20:09 MyHostName kernel[0]: 0000000c
    Feb 16 17:20:09 MyHostName kernel[0]: 00200000 00005097 0000047c 00000000
    Feb 16 17:20:09 MyHostName kernel[0]: 00000486 00001b0c 1000f010 00000003
    Feb 16 17:20:09 MyHostName kernel[0]: 00000000 00000000 00000000
    Feb 16 17:20:21 MyHostName kernel[0]: NVChannel(GL): Graphics channel timeout!
    Feb 16 17:20:21 MyHostName kernel[0]: NVChannel(GL): Graphics channel
    exception! status = 0xffff info32 = 0x3 = Fifo: Unknown Method Error
    Feb 16 17:20:21 MyHostName kernel[0]: 0000000b

    My crashes with reboot on wake from sleep do not leave any information in the system log about why the crash occured, only that one did so.
    (he later wrote)
    An update - following the replacement of my display, an SMC reset and a PRAM zap, I have not had any more crashes on wake from sleep or graphics corruption.
    I have, however experienced a new problem where my machine, which sleeps perfectly if I tell it to manually, does not sleep after my specified period of inactivity (although the display does go blank, but does not start pulsing its sleep light.)
    -Michael"

    Many readers over time here have said a PRAM zap fixed the reboot on wake issue (some also did an SMC reset but PRAM zap alone helped many) - even some that said it reappeared after 10.5.2/leopard graphics update install later said a pram zap helped again.
    But for graphics corruption/freeze issue, nothing seems a real fix, although one reader said running dual monitors on this 2600 card seems to have helped (but still early to tell IMHO)


    (added 2/21/2008 from 2/20 mail)
    "Hey Mike, Just got my Mac Pro (shipping was delayed because of the 8800 GT, but it ended up shipping 10 days earlier than expected):
    Dual 2.8 GHZ (8-core), 8800 GT, 6GB of RAM (4 GB from Ramjet, more on the way), 500 GB SATA Drive (Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 from Apple), 750 GB SATA Drive (Hitachi 7K1000)
    I immediately applied 10.5.2 and the Graphics Update. So far everything is rock solid, and very fluid. If it wasn't for the hard drives it would be almost silent. Startup times are extremely short and starting applications is one or two bounce max. I haven't been sleeping, so I don't know if I have the restart problem.

    I also received the same setup, except with the HD 2600 and less RAM, at work today. I'll send you more details and let you know if I notice any significant difference between the two as I use them over the next week.
    -Evan"


    (added 2/21/2008 - from 2/20 mail)
    "I have the ATI 2600 freezing problem with 10.5.2. (So far nobody that had these problems said the updates helped - ref: reports on the 10.5.2 feedback page/2008 Mac Pro section.-Mike) And all updates!
    I have an Mac Pro with TWO ATI 2600 and only the one in the second slot (with more air to cool) makes the crashes. (How do you know it's that card? - only that display's image shows corruption? Even those with single cards have had the problem also.-Mike) So I think no heat or SW problems...I changed the memory es well and no help.... So I think it is a ATI 2600 Firmware problem....which only some cards have!
    I hope Apple reacts fast...
    -Andreas R."

    After reports on this problem literally from day one, I'd hoped that the 10.5.2/Leopard graphics update would have helped but again so far nobody with the problems has said it did.


    (added 2/19/2008)
    "An update to my Feb-6-08 report, I'm still experiencing random GPU problems on a Mac Pro 2008 with ATI Radeon HD 2600. I have tried many things
    Remove all peripherals except keyboard, mouse and monitor
    Eliminate any 3rd party software
    Zap PRAM, Reset SMC (several times while swapping h/w)
    Reseat ATI card
    Remove all add-on RAM and disks -- restore to original OEM config
    Run AHT, Rember, fsck -- all good
    Clean install from OEM discs (not retail)
    Quicktime 7.4.1
    Combo update 10.5.2
    WebObjects Update 5.4.1 for Mac OS X 10.5
    Leopard Graphics Update 1.0
    iLife Support 8.2
    Repair permissions, force pre-binding
    Swap monitor cable from bottom connector to top connector of ATI card

    For a few days had episodes of screen corruption, but not lock-ups or GPU hex dumps. Then tonight I had a tiny bit of screen corruption that dumped the GPU and required hard shutdown.
    I have begun posting my photos at
    http://web.mac.com/sailhome/SailhomeMacZ/MacPro.html
    in case others find it helpful.

    I'm reluctant to go for a card swap or machine swap at this point -- I'm reading reports from people who get their swaps and still have the problems. And it seems their replacement options become restrictive after their first swaps. Hoping a reliable fix is found so I can act on it with efficiency, but bumping against these dumps isn't exactly efficient... Maybe those folks with two monitors are zeroing in on something. By the way, I've stopped worrying about RAM temps :-) Thanks again for your site
    -Ron"


    (added 2/18/2008)
    " Hi Mike, Just received my 2008 MacPro 3.ghz. w/8800 gt video on 2/12/08 (ordered in on 1/16/08). Came with stock 2 gigs ram & 320 gb seagate drive, sys 10.5.1, airport card installed, with apple wireless keyboard & usb modem.
    Right out of the box before starting up I added 3 additional maxtor maxline pro 500 gb enterprise drives & 8GB 800 mhz. ram from OWC, installed the four 2GB modules in slot 1 & 2 on both memory risers and the 2 apple memory modules in position 3&4 on upper card riser A. Maxtor in bay 2 partitioned into 3 partitions including 1 startup. Apple seagate in bay 1 partitioned into 4 partitions incl. 1 startup. Striped 2 maxtors in bay 3 & 4 with a startup sytem on it as well. Ram total is 10 gb.
    Attempted to migrate my stuff during setup via firewire disk mode, from one of my partitions on my MDD, but the migration assistant would not show me the partition I wanted to migrate off of. As it is there are 17 partitions on 4 drives on the MDD, I maintain a very flexible setup on the MDD - it basically has almost every version of apple OS since system 9 and application known to man. (I still think that the MDD-OS 9 bootable, was one of the all time greatest and most versatile apple computers they ever made IMHO.) Ended up migrating from my aluminum Powerbook 17" 1.67GHz, non high rez. instead, via firewire target mode w/out any problems.

    Startup was uneventfull went without issues. Machine is very quiet in my opinion. It sits next to a dual 1.25 ghz. MDD. which is noticeably louder. In fact with the MDD off & OWC Raid dual drive external firewire 800 case on, as well as the macpro on - you can only hear the fan in the OWC case. Have 2 Gateway fhd2400 24" monitors (can't believe I bought a Gateway anything, but those monitors are gorgeous and very versatile, love them) hooked up to the macpro via dvi & MDD hooked up to same monitors with vga. Everything seems fine.

    MacPro & monitors and other stuff like printer, scanner, powerbook, dual drive raid case etc are on an APC XS 1500 UPS. The MDD as well as a USB hub and some other stuff are on a APC XS 1000. Have not done any updates at all yet. Machine is very snappy. Apps launch very fast, Final Cut Studio loads with 15 separate video clips in a project, very fast. Have not done any rendering w/compressor yet- dying to see performance. Although reading on Barefeats.com yesterday-they had some comparisons in the apple pro apps on the new MacPros w/8800 gt compared to the ati 2600 & ati x1800 , with the 8800gt coming in suprisingly slower according to the numbers. Hoping they optimize drivers for the 8800.

    From the get go tried putting machine to sleep & waking while on the APC 1500 ups, machine would not wake normally w/out restarting. Drives set not to sleep, and computer NOT set to restart after power failure. Did not try w/out UPS connected. Did the pram reset as well as the sms reset and it seems like it cleared it up - it has not happened since, but have only tried for a day, will see what happens after a few days & multiple wakes.

    Only odd thing is the bonjour airport express printer via Epson R1800 guttenberg print driver, prints are very faded out as if ink was almost out. Same printer via usb or firewire prints fine. Delete the guttenberg airport bonjour printer and reselect the epson spr 1800 (v. 6.12- 12/18/07 driver/latest) via Airport Express for bonjour and print job starts to feed paper but hangs, have to reset the printer itself to clear. MacPro has installed airport card also. No difference if ethernet or airport card used via airport express connected r1800. I will have to sort that out eventually.

    Other than that I love the machine, disk access is fast, everything so far works like a charm. I'll write back if 10.5.2 and graphic update change anything. Mike, as always great site, thanks for keeping it up.
    -Paul"


    (added 2/18/2008)
    "Mike, Here's an update to my report from Feb 4th. re:freeze with the HD2600 XT in the MacPro 2.8GHz As mentioned in that report, I left the computer at my local Apple Store on Feb 4 for six days for them to 'stress test' it and see if they could cause the freeze with pixilation of the display. They had no luck replicating the problem, so I picked it up. I told them if it happened again, I'd take a picture of the frozen/corrupted screen and bring it back.

    So, I brought it home. The 10.5.2 Update came out the next day, so I re-formatted & installed a completely clean install of 10.5.1 followed by the Combo Updater to 10.5.2, along with the Graphics update. Brought the system fully current with all updates. Over the last ten days have been doing my usual video and sound editing, everything's been solid. No problems waking from sleep. I even spent a day installing 64bit Windows XP Pro on it to see if it would work (it does, as long as it's on a separate drive, not a partition of an otherwise Mac formatted drive). So, I figure maybe just one of those things, I'm a pretty happy camper.

    Then today, after eight flawless days, it froze again! Unfortunately, without any artifacts so I couldn't document with a photo. The mouse still worked BTW. It froze shortly after awaking it from sleep, when I tried to add the new folder to the Dock, with a few lines flashing across the display that disappeared just as it froze.

    Rebooted, cleared the SMC and PRAM, and about a hour and a half later it did it again. Opened up the log in console and it showed the "GPU Debug" entries right at the time of the two freezes. Took it back to the Apple Store today, showed the logs to a very helpful rep at the Genius Bar -- he swapped out my ATI card for one from a floor unit to tide me over and ordered me a replacement that should be in at the end of the week. He admitted at least one other customer had the same problem. Given the time he spent checking things at his station and going to the back, I'm guessing that word is getting around to the tech help that this really is an issue.
    -Manny"


    (added 2/18/2008)
    "One of the numerous threads on the 2008 Mac Pro freezing issue has recently gotten very active and seems to have hit "critical mass" as the core thread to follow on this issue, which I've been doing. You'll find it here: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1365277
    (There's several other Apple forum threads on 2008 Mac Pro graphics issues/freezing in the threads linked in another readers's petition to apple to fix these problems.-Mike)

    Somebody there suggested a possible workaround is to connect a second monitor: as improbable as that may seem it does appear to work. It's too early to be 100% positive, but most of the "hitching" of the video in World of Warcraft is gone since I added a 24" Acer LCD to the 30" CD, (a 2nd display splits use of the vram - don't know why that would help, although some games may turn off the 2nd display when running-Mike) and that was also an early indication that the Al iMac firmware update had finally managed to address the problem on that model. Obviously I've had no freezes since, about 48 hours ago now & counting.(he later wrote a 2nd monitor didn't solve this, I didn't think it would - see below)

    Also since the 10.5.2 & graphics update I was getting severe "flashing" in WoW scenes which rendered a lot of oranges, browns, or dark reds: it was so bad it made the game hard to play but it has gotten much much (99% - but not perfect) better since adding the second monitor.

    (he later wrote)
    Turns out I was a little optimistic in my earlier e-mail; while running two monitors has still prevented the freeze (so far) since the 10.5.2 and graphics update I continue to have issues with large pieces of the terrain flashing or fluorescing at random intervals in World of Warcraft; it happens most with brightly lit areas that have a lot of green/yellow/brown in them, and got markedly worse after the updates. Running two monitors does seem to help, but on further play maybe only about 50% better, not 99% as I said before.
    -Tim L."


    (added 2/18/2008)
    "Got my new Mac Pro on Thursday evening. It's a 1-chip quad-core 2.8GHz model, with 8800GT. Got it with 2GB memory from Apple, added another 2GB from OWC.
    Nearly everything has gone as smoothly as I had hoped. Migration from my old machine went quite quickly over FW800, all but one of my apps worked fine on arrival. The only problem is that VersionTracker Pro keeps forgetting its registration information. Wiping the preferences file and rebuilding didn't help. Later on I'll try a fresh install, and see if that works better.

    Graphics are fast (as one would expect). Aperture 1.5 runs waaaaaay faster than it did on my Dual 1.42GHz FW800 G4 MDD (with Radeon 9800Pro). It's really sweet!

    I have one really mysterious problem, however. I have a WD Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS SATA disk (750GB) that I've been using in an external case. It's been working fine in that mode with both old and new computers. When I tried installing it in the Mac Pro I'm told that I inserted an unreadable disk. Disk Utility can't format it. It shows up in the list of mechanisms in DU, but any attempt to format it just hangs forever.

    I've tried a bunch of troubleshooting of this problem: It fails in all four bays. The original drive works fine in all four bays. After reading about possible issues with spread spectrum clocking, I tried jumpered with SSC off (that's how it was originally) and with SSC on (just in case I misread the jumper info on the drive) -- no difference in either mode. (SSC enabled drives were not onboard Mac SATA compatible in the past (originally mentioned as a problem here a couple years ago when some early 7200.9 Seagate's shipped w/SSC enabled) - not sure on the new Mac Pros but I'd definitely confirm SSC disabled on the drive.-Mike) It just doesn't want to talk to the Mac Pro (or maybe vice versa). If any of your readers have any advice, I'd love to hear it.
    -Dean S."

    I'd go to WD's site and verify the SSC (disabled) setting (some drives in the past didn't have jumpers for that - requiring a (PC/windows) utility to disable it.) BTW - although some macs ship with WD OEM SATA drives, as mentioned last winter here unless they updated it, the WD interface/compat. page at their site listed no SATA drives as compatible with Macs. (clearly wrong - but maybe it's an old doc not updated, as there were some issues with their first WD4000 series and 2nd series of Raptor drives in some G5s (although a few used them OK, many noted freezes/problems during large file copies for instance as mentioned in a page here and FAQ item from 2006.) But many readers have used WD SATA drives since then w/o any problems noted that I recall. (Drive db reports and even my refurb AL iMac shipped with a WD SATA 320GB drive.)


    (added 2/18/2008)
    "I picked up my BTO MacPro Saturday, one business day ahead of apple's original delivery estimate when I ordered it in mid Jan.
    Two 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon, 2GB (2x1GB) RAM
    NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB
    500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA
    One 16x SuperDrive, AirPort Extreme Card (Wi-Fi)

    I added 4 GB of RAM, a new 750GB drive and reused two 200GB drives from the old GB G4 configured as a raid set, took about maybe 5 minutes. This tower is a breeze to get into compared to the GB ethernet G4. I'm running off of a Cyberpower 1500 VA UPS, which shows about a 40% of capacity load. The USB control/status port is connected and energy save recognizes the UPS and reports its status. No problems with sleep yet. The display is apple's 23 inch cinema model. I have external FW 800 and 400 drives connected.

    I moved the Apple RAM stick to one riser and installed the two 2GB sticks on the other riser but failed to put the apple RAM riser in slot B. On first boot, the memory check failed for the riser with Apple RAM. After I swapped risers, all 6 GB of RAM checked out.

    The OS recognized the old raid set without issue. It has the APM partition map which I'll deal with that later if necessary as its not the boot disk. I use it for scratch.

    I tried to reuse my DVR/DVD-RAM drive in the bottom bay but, of course, the tray interferes with the MacPro door. Oh well.

    The FCP Studio install process failed about mid way through as if the disk was damaged. After pulling the DVD RAM disk out of the second drive, FCP installed without issue, took a couple hours. Initially DVD SP wanted to burn to the bottom drive and got confused when I put the blank in the top drive. After I disconnected the bottom drive entirely, there was no issue. Both drives were set to cable select.

    The wireless mouse cursor disappeared while encoding a FCP project. Would not come back , so I plugged in a USB mouse. When I turned the mouse off, I did get the bluetooth mouse disconnect notice. After a restart, the wireless mouse worked again.

    I upgraded a small FCP project, converted into HD and burned about 45 minutes of HD video without any other incident. The disk plays just fine. This baby is noticeably faster than the dual 1.2Ghz upgraded so-called gigabit G4 it replaces (still running OS10.3.9 for app compatibilty). Encoding and compressing video now takes about 20% of the dual G4 time in my unscientific test.

    I'm most impressed with the dead silence, except for the occasional disk access. All the internal drives are Seagates, the Apple supplied 500 GB is a 7200.10 model, the 750 GB is a 7200.11 model that reports an invalid part number (Ref: issue with some firmware versions (misreported drive model and cache size issue - fixed in AD14 firmware or later.-Mike) but otherwise operates ok, the two older drives are 200GB 7200.7s
    For about an hour last night, airport was doing a lot of scanning and not providing much data rate. (What sort of Wireless network do you have?)
    -Sam"


    Another follow-up from a reader that had graphics/freezing problems previously reported:

    (added 2/18/2008)
    "A further update: Mac authorized a replacement, stating that it was a hardware issue. They said that I should either get a replacement at one of the service center / stores, or get a shipped replacement directly from Apple. But, no replacement is available at the store from which I bought the unit. Calling back Apple, they did not want to FedEx overnight a replacement unit, but instead want me to wait until the store gets another unit (~10 business days).
    The irritating point is that the Product Specialist, who claimed to be the highest level in Apple Care:
    a) did not know about the freezing display issue,
    b) did not want to let me speak with a supervisor claiming there is none.
    He provided his contact information: Stephen Jaikaran, sjaikaran@apple.com, 800-275-2273, x89, 85807.
    -Lukas C."


    (added 2/18/2008)
    "I just got my new MacPro 8 core 3.0 yesterday. I migrated from a 6.5 year old ppc Mac without any problems. In fact I was shocked at how well migration assistant worked. 10.5.1 is on the system and will upgrade to 10.5.2 probably tomorrow. I ordered with the 8800GT card and 4GB of ram with one 500G HD.
    I will be ordering 4GB more ram and 1 or 2 more drives. I can't believe how quiet this machine is. It run great and have had no problems or any sort.
    -goodman studio "


    (added 2/18/2008)
    "I've had my stock 2008 Mac Pro 2.8 with ATI 2600 graphics card for 2 weeks. Recently installed 16GB (8x 2GB) OWC RAM and 2 extra Hitachi 1TB HD's.
    My 1st terminal crash happened today, but I've experienced since day one, occasional glitches where graphic artifacts appear. Mostly while using Lightroom, never in Photoshop CS3 - which I'm currently using 80% of the time. Although once it did occur with no applications open, just navigating in Finder.
    Much the same as other owners have described. The system locked and the screen displayed dancing artifacts. After two minutes the blue death screen appeared for a while then reverted to a static screen where only the mouse pointer could be moved (see photo).
    ss
    I have not updated to 10.5.2 due to my monthly bandwidth restrictions (viva $outh Africa!) but it seems there's no rush anyway, with no fix apparent. Keeping my calm, for now.
    -CJM"


    (added 2/15/2008)
    "Hey XLR8yourMac, here's another 2008 Mac Pro with 8800GT report for you.
    I got mine yesterday. It's a stock 2.8 8 core with the 500GB HD and the 8800GT, display is a dell 2407WFP HC, and both the display and the Mac are running off of a APC Back-UPS XS1500. I installed a second DVD burner, 3 more HD's and 8 GB of OWC ram for 10 GB total.
    Then I installed vista 64bit and played Crysis at 1920x1200 for awhile... :) Very smooth, with all options set to high, except for shadows, physics, and shaders set to medium. No AA. I probably could have bumped the shaders to high, but it got just a bit chunky.

    My final test for the first day was to sleep it from OS X (10.5.2 with the graphics update installed) overnight. It woke up successfully this morning.

    I've had no problems or glitches at all, but I have run into a software support issue - Vmware Fusion will not properly boot your boot camp partition if you've installed a 64bit version of windows or vista. Fusion will boot, but will complain that you're running a 64bit OS in a 32bit VM. Then, when I booted Vista natively again, my nvidia drivers were hosed and had to be uninstalled/reinstalled.
    I checked with Vmware, and their response was that apple doesn't support Vista 64bit on boot camp. I pointed them to the installation pdf that specifically says Vista 64bit is supported on Mac Pro's. No response from Vmware on that yet.
    -Nick K."


    (added 2/15/2008)
    "Not too much to say yet, but I have the 2.8GHz machine with an 8800GT and it has woken repeatedly off different drives and installs with no issues so far. Machine is fast, and aside from the RAM layout (putting 1 pair on each card seemed odd to me, though the machine didn't fail to boot-just ignored the RAM). So far so good-and dang quick.
    -Mike"

    Glad to hear it (most only write about problems). He later wrote he had not updated yet to 10.5.2/Leopard Graphics Update. (as noted below in first 8800GT report, it shipped with a later build of 10.5.1 than earlier shipments did.)


    (added 2/15/2008, from 2/14 mail)
    "I got my new Mac Pro last night with the 8800 graphics Card. I am running two Samsung 24-inch displays 1200X1920. I have a PC next to the mac, and initially ran one monitor DVI from Mac and one monitor in VGA. The PC supplies the monitors the opposite signal. I do this so I can switch between them while both are running.

    I upgraded to 10.5.2 and then updated the Graphics update. Right after the graphics update the VGA monitor had all sorts of noise and lines. I switched the Mac to running both on DVI, and have seen no more issues (The PC is now on VGA to both not quite as crisp either lol)

    I also right out of the box, put in two Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache drives as a Stripped RAID and loaded Leopard on them as the main drive. I also put in 4Gig more ram from OWC before I even turned the Mac Pro on. I am loading Pro Apps this weekend and will let you know how it all compares to my Digital Audio G4 (upgraded to as good as I can get it) I am running MOTU 2408 with a PCI-X card that was put in prior to initial turn on too. No issues so far audio wise.
    -Jules R."

    Also added this to the 10.5.2 reports page. (Other 10.5.2/Leopard graphics update feedback from previous 2008 Mac Pro owners are listed in the 2008 Mac Pro section of the 10.5.2 feedback page.)


    (added 2/14/2008 - updated 2/26)
    "Hi Mike, here are my observations regarding the MacPro sleep/restart issue:
    I received my 8x2.8GHz MacPro two days ago. Only change to the default configuration was an additional Samsung HD - I still have to wait for the extra RAM and the Nvidia 8800GT to arrive. I started with a clean slate and installed 10.5.2 (9c31), the graphics update, dev tools and some apps (but no 3rd party drivers, kexts or other stuff). Almost every wake from sleep lead to a restart so I decided to reset the SMC and zap the PRAM. Since then wake from sleep has been working fine (and I hope it'll continue to do so).

    CPU Performance is like expected (CB scores > 18000). I had the impression that Xcode doesn't benefit from the eight cores as much as I would have expected, but this seem to be an Xcode issue because it isn't even close to maxing out all cores. To me the 2008 MacPro appears to be at least as quiet as the four core MP I used before. I'm skeptical though regarding the 2600XT's fan and think it'll get noisy after some time.
    (on Feb 26 he wrote)
    FYI: About a week after the SMC/PRAM reset the restart after sleep problem reappeared (HW config & OS unchanged). I guess I'll have to wait for a MacPro firmware update to fix this.
    -Sven"


    (added 2/14/2008)
    "hi Mike, My new MacPro (Quadcore 2.8GHz, ATI 2600, 2GB RAM, 320GB) arrived this morning.
    I just used the Maxtor 6L200 from my old G5 (10.5.2 + graphics, APM formatted!), started the MacPro and it already works for 4 hours without any problem (no update needed).
    The MacPro is a lot quieter (and ofcourse faster) than my G5.
    cheers, Jako "

    I sent Jako a note that the APM formatted drive (per Apple kbase doc and some past reader confirmations) will be a problem if you ever try to apply a firmware update (and one reader said he could not install Bootcamp on an APM drive). Eventually I suspect apple will release firmware updates for the 2008 Mac pros - as they did for previous models over time. Some have used a 2nd drive (internal or external) correctly formatted to apply updates but just a FYI.


    (added 2/13/2008)
    "Mac Pro w/ nvidia 8800GT
    Mine arrived today. already got it up and running with a seagate 7200.11 1TB as a primary boot drive formated in two partitions 500/500 with Mac OS X 10.5.2 and Vista 64 ultimate. And the apple oem WD 320GB formated as a separate Fat32 documents drive (it works in OS X and vista as read and write, which was the point, although vista complains a little bit about the partition of drive being un-standard (probably the fact it's a 320 gig FAT32 partition which really anything over 32GB is unstandard, but can thank OS X's poor NTFS driver for that hack). Unstandard as it may be, my wacky config works pretty well.
    The 1TB seagate I got from OWC already had appropriate firmware on it and did not need to be flashed for the 32meg cache issue thankfully, although since i had a windows boot already setup I was prepared to do so if needed. No hangs or major issues so far but I have observed some graphical distortions from time to time. like this one below (iChat Border)

    ichat border

    As you can see the metal appearance around the window did not redraw properly and caused many black lines to appear through it. Note that the bluring is not a distortion, merely a protection of privacy as this happened on an ichat window. (I made the inner window solid yellow, but the smeared chat with name remains)

    I have also observed during playing of world of warcraft that when moving fast, such as on a mount, i can observe a single line starting at bottom of screen then moving up to the top of screen, then repeating over and over again, only happens when terrain is moving quickly. it's clear and only distorts about a 5 pixel height at most, but goes across the screen and goes from bottom to top over and over again. it's enough to ignore it as another minor graphical quirk.

    Another thing to note that I don't think anyones mentioned. The 2008 Mac Pro ships with Boot Camp 2.0.2, the Setup Assistant is still labeled at 2.0 and only visible difference is included drivers for windows hardware. The version displayed in Boot Camp Control Panel in Windows is 2.0.2. All drivers minus video card installed on Vista 64 bit. For video card it's using Microsoft generics, but I plan to test out actual nvidia driver set when I play with vista some more. I only installed it to check seagate firmware for time being.

    Here is a system profiler readout. For some odd reason, system profiler is ignoring my NTFS Vista partition, Finder shows it and Startup Disk pref pane shows it, and Disk Utility shows it but does not honor volume name, instead displays the disk ID. I plan to look into this further to see if Vista did anything funky with it.
    -Adam W.
    Apple system profiler (info trimmed to save space)
    Hardware Overview:
    Boot ROM Version: MP31.006C.B02 SMC Version: 1.25f4 Serial Number: G88060XXXXX (suffix letters X'd)

    NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT:
    Chipset Model: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
    Bus: PCIe
    Slot: Slot-1
    PCIe Lane Width: x16
    VRAM (Total): 512 MB
    Vendor: NVIDIA (0x10de)
    Device ID: 0x0611
    Revision ID: 0x00a2
    ROM Revision: 3233
    Displays:
    Cinema:
    Display Type: LCD
    Resolution: 1680 x 1050
    Depth: 32-bit Color
    Core Image: Hardware Accelerated
    Main Display: Yes
    Quartz Extreme: Supported
    Rotation: Supported

    Intel ESB2 AHCI:
    Product: ESB2 AHCI
    Speed: 3.0 Gigabit
    Description: AHCI Version 1.10 Supported
    ST31000340AS:
    Capacity: 931.51 GB
    Model: ST31000340AS
    Revision: AD14
    Native Command Queuing: Yes
    Queue Depth: 32
    Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)
    S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified"


    More 2008 Mac Pro feedback w/10.5.2/Leopard Graphics Update: FYI - more feedback added to the 10.5.2 reports page/2008 Mac Pro section this morning. (Feb 13th.)


    OS X 10.5.2 and Leopard Graphics Update released: (Feb 11th afternoon) Apple released 10.5.2 (shows build 9C31) and Leopard Graphics Update 1.0 for OS X 10.5.2. (I use the download updaters including the (large) Mac OS X 10.5.2 Combo Updater.) If anyone finds these updates helps (or not) with any problems you've seen let me know. Thanks.
    FYI: I've posted a page of initial Feedback on 10.5.2/Graphics Update that has 2008 Mac Pro owner reports in a separate section. (Unfortunately initial feedback from those with graphics/freeze problems, restart on wake, etc. said these updates did not help, although those w/o problems noted some benefits. (Page includes general reports, notes on an issue with Linotype FontExplorer X 1.2.2, benefits seen by a WoW user and a Lightwave 3D v9.3 user.)


    NOTE: reports below were Before OS X 10.5.2 and Leopard Graphics Update for 10.5.2 were released. (Although based on feedback so far, the 10.5.2/Leopard graphics 1.0 update didn't help those that had graphics corruption/freezes, etc. previously.)


    (added 2/11/2008)
    " Hi Mike, Another quick update.
    Basic System: New 2008) Mac Pro 8Core 2.8mhz with Default configuration.(320GB HD, 2GBRam...) Still waiting for 4 new 500GB Samsung SpinRite HDs and a copy of windows Vista to be installed via bootcamp.

    Hardware:
    Epson Perfection 4490 PHOTO:
    After installing the Epson drivers I was not able to run their utility (it says it can't find the scanner). Photoshop does not allow me to scan from it. But the strange thing is that it seems to work just fine with the native Image capture Software. (Some others have noted that (and even using Preview for scanning) at the separate page here on Scanners w/OS X 10.5.x - Feedback, Tips/Tricks)

    Epson stylus Photo R1800:
    After installing the Epson Drivers it was quickly recognized by the system and seems to work fine as well with the Epson Printer utility.

    Brother HL5250DN (network printer)
    Easy through the network, noissues on this one.

    Router D-Link 655:
    Instant access... Great connection without any problems so far.

    I was also able to connect the new macpro to my home windows network without any problems. After connectingto my windows machine via SMB, shared folders in vista were recognized by leopard without a problem. I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that I was also able to not only read but write into them.

    Software:
    As an interesting note for Photoshop Lightroom users, I was able to access the windows catalogs that I had in vista from the leopard version of lightroom without any glitches. This allowed me to keep my photography database & collection in the same windows drive and and manage the whole thing through Leopard! I just wish there was a way to access my pictures via iphoto (so I can use the book printing feature) without having to import them into the new system (basically an import without moving like lightroom does)
    The CS3 suit works great so far.

    For Font Manager I highly recommend the freeware Lynotype FontExplorer X

    Cisco VPN (Crashed the system, I might need a new alternative compatible with Leopard)

    Once I clone the base drive into one of the new 500GB HDs that are on the way and install Vista I'll let you know if I encounter any other issues. -Angel"


    (added 2/11/2008)
    "Horrible experience... Mac Pro, Dual CPU (8-core) 3.0GHz, 500GB drive, 2GB RAM, ATI HD2600XT
    Freezing and screen artifacting right out of the box within 5 minutes. Nothing extra plugged in -- not even a application opened. Figured it was a one-time anomaly but it continued twice randomly over a few days. Figured it was time to call Apple. Attached is a pic of it happening again AFTER I installed apps. (screenshot clip showing display artifacts/vertical dashed lines...)

    Have dealt with AppleCare for a few weeks and I seemed to have gotten a tech fresh out of school. Bad customer service. Had to bump it up to the next level which she did not want to do. Once I got serious with her about her repeated mistakes on the phone (and not getting back to me) and wanting to talk to her supervisor, she started working for me. There is so much more but I don't want to get into it nor do you need to hear the drama.

    They are going to replace my machine -- at least we are in the process of it happening. It got so bad that it would not even boot up. I wanted to upgrade to a better board (graphics card?) but they were telling me it has to be an even swap. We were still negotiating this point and they came through with the upgrade at my cost which is fine.

    I've never had these many issues dealing with Apple and am so disappointed. I had to re-set up my old system which is barely cutting it for me. At least I can still do some work.-MMcK."


    (added 2/10/2008)
    "I recently got an Early 2008 Mac Pro (8 core 3GHz model), and have experienced no problems, even with the original system install on the 500GB stock WD Caviar startup disk. (I asked if his Mac Pro shipped with the (original) build 9B2117, or a later build. Build 9B2127 was shipped with a new 8800GT equipped Mac Pro.-Mike)
    Yes, I also have the earlier build of OS X (9B2117), but I took delivery of this machine on January 25th.

    The machine shipped with 4GB RAM, but I've just ordered 4GB more for a total of 8GB. I use Final Cut Studio and Adobe Creative Suite a lot, and I get a lot more disk thrashing with 4GB RAM on this machine than with the same amount of RAM on my old dual 2.3 GHz G5.

    I'm happy to report that my PCIe SIIG FireWire card works as well in the Mac Pro as it did in the G5. I had a lot of problems initially with the SIIG card in the G5, until SIIG finally agreed to swap cards. But the replacement has been working for a couple of years in the G5, and now works well in the Intel Mac, where I use it to input and output audio and video.
    Here's my best Cinebench. -Steve"
    CINEBENCH R10
    ****************************************************
    Processor: 2 x Xeon 5400
    MHz: 3000 (3 GHz)
    Number of CPUs: 8
    Operating System : OS X 32 BIT 10.5.1 (9B2117)
    Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO OpenGL Engine
    Resolution: 1920 x 1200, 32 Bit (Millions)
    ****************************************************
    Rendering (Single CPU): 3402 CB-CPU
    Rendering (Multiple CPU): 19550 CB-CPU
    Multiprocessor Speedup: 5.75

    Shading (OpenGL Standard) : 6391 CB-GFX
    ****************************************************


    (added 2/10/2008)
    "I switched from a PC to a 2.88GHz MacPro 320GB and 500GB HD, ATI HD2600XT, 2GB RAM, the rest stock.
    Recieved it on Feb 6th 3pm
    5pm - Fan sounds like a vacuum
    6pm - I phone tech tells me the fan runs faster than I'm use to with a PC.
    Feb 7 6pm - I phone again..the tech can hear the fan through the phone. I'm sent through the reset of the SMC to correct fan issue. Did not work I'm not then told there is a problem with some of the early 2008 MacPro's, a loud fan is only one of these isses. A firmware fix will correct the problem.

    while ordering the computer, I was also told that I could run WindowsXP through Boot Camp, put was not told that the WinXP must already have Service Pack 2, it can not be updated to Service Pack 2 later. (Windows XP SP2 was noted as a requirement (for XP installs) from day one (even Boot Camp beta - long before 2008 Mac pro or Boot Camp v2 included with Leopard) - I have an older page here on Boot Camp (beta) feedback, tips, etc. and it had that info also (from apple requirements info/boot camp requirements list) - plus a way to create an SP2 install disc. (most Win XP new install discs are SP2 for some time now, although if you have an older disc it may not be)-Mike)

    Plus my Wacom Tablet that has a com port connection should be able to run on the Mac Pro with the use of an adaptor, so I was told. The adaptor's drivers are not able to run on a Mac Pro, something about Leopard not running in a classic enviroment.

    Feb 8, 5pm - I put the computer to sleep mode, go have dinner
    6pm - Computer will not wake up. will not start up
    6:30pm - I phone Apple to have this piece of metal sent back. I'm getting a full refund 7:30pm
    Buyer Beware, Mike G."


    Systems w/Nvidia 8800GT Arriving (w/later 10.5.1 Build:
    Several readers said their systems w/8800GT had shipped yesterday but this reader got his today:

    (added 2/8/2008 - updated Cinebench results 2/9)
    "Hi Mike, I received the 8 core Mac Pro with the 8800GT installed. So far...no issues at all. Even put it to sleep several times and it wakes without a reboot problem (although the fan goes nuts for a few seconds when waking up). (I think that's normal - until fan/thermal control software is running again fans default to fail-safe mode. BTW: I asked about OS X build version on his system and he said it's 9B2127 - later than the original shipping 9B2117 build.-Mike) I have the machine plugged into a APC Line-R 1200 power conditioner (we have very reliable power here.)
    Here's the specs of the machine:
    Two 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon, 2GB (2x1GB) RAM
    NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB
    320GB 7200rpm SATA (WD), One 16x SuperDrive.
    I will be adding hardware to the computer soon: Additional RAM (from OWC), 52x LiteOn CD burner. As this is replacing a Dual 1GHz PowerMac G4 MDD, I expect that I'll be pleased. Anyway, I'll keep you updated if I experience any issues.-Ed

    (He later wrote)
    I did a rerun of the Cinebench test, fresh reboot, nothing else running. Here's the (slightly better on OpenGL) results.

    As far as everything else, the system is rock solid. I have 6GB of RAM installed (4GB from OWC), no errors reported. No problems handling sleep at all. And now I can hear how bad my tinnitus is. ;-)
    Take care, Ed"

    CINEBENCH R10 (download here)
    ****************************************************
    Processor : Intel Xeon E5462 Quad Core
    MHz : 2.8 GHz
    Number of CPUs : 8
    Operating System : OS X 32 BIT 10.5.1 (9B2127)
    Graphics Card : NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT OpenGL Engine
    Resolution : 1920 x 1200, (32 bit/millions colors)
    ****************************************************
    Rendering (Single CPU): 3195 CB-CPU
    Rendering (Multiple CPU): 18667 CB-CPU
    Multiprocessor Speedup: 5.84

    Shading (OpenGL Standard) : 6197 CB-GFX
    ****************************************************

    Cinebench doesn't heavily tax the graphics card. (I asked if he had any 3d games (Quake4, Doom III, UT2004, etc.) but he said not any OS X versions currently.) Apple's 2008 Graphics card page listed Doom III v1.3.1 (1024x768/HQ setting) FPS results with pre-production 2008 Mac Pro (using earlier OS X build) and noted 141FPS for the 8800GT vs 88FPS for the ATI 2600 XT. (Also shown on the page of 2008 Mac Pro performance test/comparisons, although many Pro apps comparisons are vs Quad G5 system)


    (added 2/8/2008)
    "Mike, I hesitate to write this report for fear of jinxing my good luck. I call it luck because it flies in the face of logic that I've had none of the previous string of freezes I wrote you about last week. My system was a standard 2008 8-core Mac Pro 3.0 gHz (320 gb hard drive (WDC WD3200AAJS-41VWA0), 2 gb RAM, 2600XT video card). When I first received it, I did a "Migration" from my previous Mac Pro (also running 10.5.1) to the new system's stock drive. I also have a APC Back-UPS XS 1500.

    The freezes occurred at least once daily, untraceable to any particular program. I performed all the standard troubleshooting exercises: Reset PRAM & SMC. Reseat memory. Reseat video card (I previously sent you the System log containing the GPU errors). I did an "Archive and install" which cured a continuous Mail program crash I'd been experiencing, but the freezes continued.

    Nothing helped. After two weeks, I finally decided to get on with my life and slowly began to upgrade the system. I added an additional 4GB RAM and installed the three drives from the old Mac Pro (daily freezes continued).

    Next, I wanted to clone the stock drive to the pair of Raptors (RAID 0), but the system kept freezing while doing this (using Carbon Copy Cloner). I finally got fed-up with it and booted from an external backup I'd created from the old Mac Pro. The clone proceeded with no freezes. When finished, I booted from the new RAID volume, and I've had no freezes since. That's the part that doesn't make any sense. It's the exact same system software, just a different drive. And now there hasn't been any misbehavior for four whole days (cross my fingers). Keep up the good work,
    -Pat W."


    (added 2/8/2008)
    "Computer: Mac Pro Dual 3.2 GHz, 2GB RAM and 500 GB (WDC WD5000AAKS) from Apple
    Added: 8GB RAM (4x2 GB) from OWC plus 3 - 750 GB 7200 rpm WDC WD7500AYYS drives - 2 of these drives are RAID 1 using SoftRAID.
    This computer replaced an original dual 2.5 liquid cooled G5 (does anyone know where to get this serviced before the cooling system dies?) and it's wicked fast.

    I ran the computer for a couple of days in it's stock configuration (but didn't use it heavily), just to make sure nothing obvious was wrong. I then repartitioned the drives performed a clean install using the disks that came with it and then installed the additional memory & HDDs. My Energy Saver settings are: Computer Never sleep, Screen sleeps at 5 minutes, hard drives to sleep not checked.

    Here's a summary of my experiences after a week in production:
    Twice the computer screen has gone blank (just preceded by heavy disk activity). After a few seconds, it comes back on, all my user apps are closed - unsaved files are lost, but processes manually started in terminal including MySQL (5.0.45) and Folding@Home are still running (the terminal app is closed though). Uptime from the terminal does not show a recent restart.

    One kernel panic - don't know the cause

    The CISCO VPN client (4.9.01.0100) is quirky. It works most of the time. After the initial install, I received an Error 51 - something about not being able to detect an active network on my computer. This seems to be a known issue and there is a terminal command that corrected this issue for me. The correction survives restarts.

    The keyboard stops responding when using MS Excel v.X under Rosetta; the mouse is fine. Closing and restarting Excel will fix this issue. This has happened a number of times, but not all the time.

    This has been a little frustrating, and I'm looking forward to 10.5.2 to help clear up some of these issues.
    -Stephen M."


    (added 2/8/2008)
    "I received my 2.8 GHz Mac Pro January 16th, and have had just about zero problems - knock on wood. It was a custom build but nothing really fancy:
    1 TB boot volume (Hitachi)
    Airport and Bluetooth
    2 DVD/Superdrives

    Otherwise it was a stock 2 x quad-core beast with 2 GB of memory.
    I have made some upgrades, however. On arrival day I added a 2nd 1 TB drive (Seagate) in bay two before even turning it on, booted from the Leopard install DVD, ran Disk Utility and wiped the original drive and made a RAID 1 set (mirror) using the two 1 TB disks. I then did a clean install from the Leopard DVD. The resulting system took about 16 GB of disk, the same as what arrived from the factory.

    Since then, I have added another 4 GB of Other World Computing memory, and 2 x 500 GB Western Digital disks in bays 3 & 4, which I "concated" together with Disk Utility for a second 1 TB internal volume that I use for Time Machine.

    Yesterday I also installed the eSATA extender kit from OWC that provides access to the 2 internal SATA ports on the main board, and attached an OWC Mercury Elite Pro-AL Dual SATA Drive Enclosure with another 500 GB Western Digital disk. This disk is for Super Duper!, where I clone the boot volume and then take the entire enclosure offsite. The net result is that I have my data in triplicate on the Mac Pro (two 1 TB mirror volumes and a 1 TB Time machine volume, with a fourth copy offsite).

    I have a Belkin 1500 watt UPS connected via USB which appears in Leopard's System Preferences pane just like it did in Tiger - I assume it will work.

    My only problems have been twice it would not awaken from Screensaver mode. The machine never sleeps and is never powered off, it runs 24x7. When I'm away from it I activate a locking screen saver.

    (Since he mentioned a Seagate drive, I asked if it was a 7200.11, if so to check Apple system profiler to see if it had the misreported model number/firmware issue mentioned here previously - but he has the later firmware per reply.-Mike)
    (ASP info)
    Model: ST31000340AS
    Revision: AD14

    (he later wrote)
    ... I guess I didn't knock on wood loud enough - barely 24 hours after I sent you my report, I got my first kernel panic:
    bash-3.2# cd PanicReporter
    /bash-3.2# ls -alt
    total 8
    drwxr-x--- 3 root admin 102 Feb 7 19:01 .
    drwxrwxr-x 12 root admin 408 Feb 7 19:01 ..
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root admin 1449 Feb 7 19:01 2008-02-07-190138.panic
    bash-3.2# more 2008-02-07-190138.panic
    Thu Feb 7 19:01:38 2008
    panic(cpu 0 caller 0x001A7C7F): Kernel trap at 0x817587b7, type 14=page fault, registers:
    CR0: 0x8001003b, CR2: 0x00000004, CR3: 0x00d6c000, CR4: 0x00000660
    EAX: 0x00000000, EBX: 0x09a48900, ECX: 0x09732a04, EDX: 0x097f2728
    CR2: 0x00000004, EBP: 0x81017f58, ESI: 0x09a48958, EDI: 0x81758980
    EFL: 0x00010293, EIP: 0x817587b7, CS: 0x00000008, DS: 0x09480010
    Error code: 0x00000002

    Backtrace, Format - Frame : Return Address (4 potential args on stack)
    0x81017d68 : 0x12b0e1 (0x456c94 0x81017d9c 0x13321a 0x0)
    0x81017db8 : 0x1a7c7f (0x460174 0x817587b7 0xe 0x45f924)
    0x81017e98 : 0x19e807 (0x81017eb0 0x0 0x81017f58 0x817587b7)
    0x81017ea8 : 0x817587b7 (0xe 0x48 0x81010010 0x410010)
    0x81017f58 : 0x817589b9 (0x999c420 0x299e72b6 0x81017f78 0x1a136f)
    0x81017f78 : 0x13ea34 (0x9a48900 0x0 0x0 0x0)
    0x81017fc8 : 0x19e5dc (0x0 0x0 0x1a10b5 0x9e4b2e8)
    Backtrace terminated-invalid frame pointer 0
    Kernel loadable modules in backtrace (with dependencies):
    com.apple.iokit.IOAHCIBlockStorage(1.0.8)@0x81756000->0x81765fff
    dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOStorageFamily(1.5.2)@0x813de000
    dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOAHCIFamily(1.0.4)@0x8128d000
    BSD process name corresponding to current thread: kernel_task
    Mac OS version: 9B2117
    Kernel version: Darwin Kernel Version 9.1.1: Fri Dec 14 19:00:14 PST 2007; root:xnu-1228.1.30~1/RELEASE_I386 System model name: MacPro3,1 (Mac-F42C88C8)

    Gee, I see AHCI code involved in the loadable modules traceback, that's the Intel SATA hardware, no?
    -Steve L."


    (added 2/8/2008)
    "For what it is worth, here is a 2008 Mac Pro report for the past two weeks of my new system: I ordered the stock configuration 8-core 2.8GHz Mac Pro, which came with the WD3200AAJS hard drive (sigh--only 8MB cache although the 16MB cache model only runs about $5 more). On the first start the fans ramped to a level that sounded like a tornado and didn't slow until I abandoned hope and rebooted; the system restarted whisper quiet and this fan issue hasn't recurred. I migrated from a MDD dual G4 system (the model after the "windtunnel" model) running 10.4.11, using firewire target disk mode without incident. I then installed 4x2GB OWC memory, a 320 GB Seagate 7200.10 hard drive for time machine, and a 500 GB Seagate 7200.11 HD for scratch space. (I asked if his 7200.11 had the misreported drive model firmware-Mike) (Xbench memory fills with 2 GB memory were about 8300 MB/sec and about 11200 MB/sec with either 8 GB or 10 GB memory, so I chose to keep the initial 2 FB-DIMMs installed for 10 GB total.)

    Within the first few days I experienced:
    1) About a half dozen screen freezes with associated screen artifacts; itunes continued to play and the mouse was active yet nothing except a reboot seems possible after these incidents.

    2) Ultra slow USB speeds (SMC reset seems to have helped)

    3) Occasional reboots on wake from sleep (Try a pram reset? - yes, see below)

    4) Time machine doing multiple full backups (I have about 100 GB of files and am not using any applications that creates large files yet but after 3 backups my TM drive floods and deletes older backups; no obvious causes are evident from the syslog). This issue is a bit of a surprise as I have seen almost no other credible reports of such problems. (There was a note here last fall about large incremental TM backups that could be caused by corrupted files and to check for errors (can't recall the specific error now) in the backup log entries). At times I've also seen 1+GB incremental backups for no logical reason on the AL iMac here. And any app that uses a large single database can result in large backups (Entourage is one common example mentioned before on the main site front page) Apple also mentions Aperture (kbase doc notes to exclude Aperture lib/db from backups as if TM runs while aperture is running, could corrupt things.) Other concerns are VM apps that run Windows (i.e. windows swap file). I keep TM turned off and only do TM backups manually using the "Backup Now" option (right clock on TM icon in dock).-Mike)

    5) A VERY noisy DVD drive with certain DVDs (e.g., the install DVD) yet relatively quiet when playing other DVDs. My drive is an OPTIARC DVD RW AD-7170A with firmware 1.NC

    I deleted some Intel and/or leopard incompatible stuff (shapeshifter and associated utilities, etc.) from my system and did an SMC reset. USB speeds returned to normal levels and that problem hasn't recurred. Reboots on wakes abated but returned after a day or two. Additional SMC resets seem only to be a temporary fix and after the first wake related reboot one can quite consistently cause others by putitng the system to sleep again immediately after reboot (I did six in a row as a test). I eventually did a PRAM reset and turned time machine off. My system now has an uptime of about 3.5 days without appreciable problems although I am not confident the PRAM reset will prove a permanent fix. When the system is working it is a pleasure to work on; I'm hoping the next OS update with fix the remaining issues.

    Incidentally, I use a cyberpower 800AVR UPS. Also, anyone who is ultra sensitive to seek noise on hard drives might be interested to note that the seagate 320 GB 7200.10 hard drive seeks are noticeably louder (although still reasonably quiet) than those of my other two hard drives. If I had it to do over again I would purchase a second 500 GB 7200.11 drive instead of that one.
    -Steven"


    (added 2/8/2008 - Updated 2/18/2008)
    "I am having the same freeze issues as other people are reporting (here).
    In my case, it is a standard system fresh out of the box 6 days ago. We are running VM Ware Fusion with Win XP. So far, it's crashed about 10 times. Nothing special going on before that.
    Here is an excerpt from my system.log. Perhaps it is related to the power saver, though everytime it freezes, it's while someone is working on it.
    And SSH does work, but sudo shutdown -r now, etc, doesn't work (whereas this approach has worked on other computers)

    Feb 7 14:10:06 oe kernel[0]: ** GPU Debug Info End **
    Feb 7 14:19:32 oe kernel[0]: vmnet: Failed to clone mbuf: 12.
    Feb 7 14:19:32 oe kernel[0]: vmnet: bridge-en0: SendToVNet mbuf_dup failed: 12.
    Feb 7 14:20:30 oe kernel[0]: ATY_Lamna::powerStateWillChangeTo(0x439e400, ATY_Lamna, 2 -> 1) timed out after 10102 ms
    Feb 7 14:53:28 oe sshd[1455]: USER_PROCESS: 1459 ttys000
    Feb 7 14:54:15 oe sudo[1479]: lukasc : TTY=ttys000 ; PWD=/Users/lukasc ; USER=root ; COMMAND=/usr/bin/killall vmware

    Do you know of any fixes for this? I will be calling apple as well.
    (he later wrote)
    After the re-install of Mac OSX, the computer froze again. No solution found yet.
    regards, Lukas "

    Are you running the latest update to Fusion? (may not help but just curious) - also if running VM apps and you leave TM on, I'd exclude it (i.e. windows swap file excluded - just as apple recommends for Aperture and I suspect or any program that uses a large, frequently changing file or database.) One very early tip from day 1 for some with crashes was to disable drive and system sleep in Energy saver. (Pram zaps, smc resets, etc. were often tried also - at least in relation to reboots on wake issues.)


    (added 2/8/2008)
    "I bought a new Mac Pro octo-core 2.8GHz and i think the front fan is noisy. It's okay, but it's not dead silent, like I read about the Mac Pro in the past. It's a pity cause it's a fast and reliable machine and utterly useful in studio environments, if it weren't that loud.
    (he later wrote)
    I've used it since a week now. I've had no problem at all with the ATI HD2600XT, aside from my monitor (Fujitsu-Siemens L24W) that sometimes decreases the brilliance when I'm closing in on a model in Sketchup (a 3D app). Very weird. I might think it's the monitor that's faulty (which it probably isn't, but it has a dead pixel and that drives me nuts enough already) and i'm taking it back tomorrow.

    I find it not so smart of Apple putting in a base graphics card with a fan. Better would be to use a passively cooled card, but maybe i find a solution to control the fan speed soon. Maybe smcFanControl.

    Apart from these minor inconveniences it's one hell of a beast, performing strong in both OS X and Bootcamp XP Pro. I'm really happy with it. And I will be a lot happier even when i will order zounds of memory from Transintl in due time.

    Thanks for your effort on collecting user experiences. It's through your work people like me know what they're buying. Hence i want to give my opinion, too.

    Bottom line : I think it's too loud, but i hope I can control the fans with software soon, when i check smcFanControl. If that works it's also a killer machine for music studios. If not, I'd have to consider buying a silently and well ventilated enclosure.
    Cheers, Willem
    Brussels, Belgium "

    Normally most Mac Pro owners do note they're quiet compared to previous systems (like G5 towers) although I had one reaader here say he had a hum noise that bothered him IIRC.


    (added 2/8/2008)
    "Thanks for all the great articles, have been reading up the past couple weeks before I made my Mac Pro purchase. I purchased a Mac Pro on monday evening. And happy with the overall performance so far, but have not really pushed the system yet. Standard configuration, 2 2.8GHz Quadcore, everything stock, other then having Apple install the Wireless N card.

    I do not have the system on a UPS nor have I seen any lockup or video issues coming out of sleep mode. (restart on wake from sleep was reported by many - pram reset helped many said. Graphics corruption/freezes were a separate issue-Mike)

    Where I do seem to have a strange issue with with my printer. At home I have a apple extreme N router with and HP Color laserjet 2600n plugged into the USB port on the router. This printer works fine on a late 2007 24" iMac, and two MacBook Pro laptops that I have in the house. All systems are running 10.5.1 with all the latest software updates.
    When I try to add this printer to my new Mac Pro, it find it on the network. Searches for the driver (and appears to find the correct one) and once I click add I just get a spinning beach ball and the system never adds the printer. That session is locked up until I reboot or log off. The rest of the system keeps running as if this is not going on.

    I also notice that whenever I attempt this installation, a printer error log is created in my log file, stating that Apple Talk is disabled in System Preferences.
    After trying to install this for a couple days, and being totally stumped (all settings are the same as my 3 other working macs in the house) I broke down and called Apple support last night. They had me create another admin user, try the install, same results. No printer.

    Then after being bounced around to the next level of support, I was told to reload OS X, being that is a new machine and I keep all my files on an external drive.
    Reloaded OX X last night, and this morning.... Same results, locked up add printer session. Did not read that anyone else had this issue... So figured I would throw it out here.
    Thanks, Tim. "

    I don't have a Mac Pro but am using an HP AIO C7180 via Ethernet (also worked via wireless but had noise in scans) with my AL iMac/10.5.1 - using HP 9.7 beta software and patch for 10.5.1 from HP for those drivers as mentioned last month.


    (added 2/8/2008)
    "I purchased a Mac Pro 8x2.8 Ghz - stock configuration - and had the crash while reset problem. Between zapping PRAM and resetting the SMC - I didn't track it accurately - that problem is gone.

    I wiped the 320 GB disk and made it my video capture drive after installing 2 500GB disks, making them a RAID-1 (SoftRAID 3.6.6), installing MacOS 10.5 on the RAID-1 and grabbing all the available updates. The machine lives on a 1500VA APC UPS with the USB connection - no problems talking to the UPS.

    I added 2x1GB FB-DIMMs from a reliable source. One of the FB-DIMMS failed within 16 hours. I got a replacement pair - at no cost - and have been fine since. The original pair is now on it's way back to the vendor for analysis.

    Firewire has always worked for me, both fresh out of the box and now. I backup to a USB2 external drive via SuperDuper! (now 2.5) regularly.

    I'm seeing what appear to be software issues:
    - Safari is somewhat unstable (is that anything new?) and crashes from time to time. (any addons for Safari installed?)

    - When the Finder is mounting a DMG - the size doesn't appear to matter - it sometimes hangs for a long time before finally responding (I've timed over a minute). The mouse continues to move but nothing happens until the hang is over then all of the events appear to be delivered. I only see the hang when the Finder DMG mount is running and then only 10-20% of the time. (Is Energy Saver set to not allow drive sleep?-Mike) The first few times it happened I thought the machine died/crashed and reset. I was distracted once when it had happened and didn't hit the reset. I noticed that it recovered and, so far, it always recover albeit after a long time.

    - The keyboard volume keys seem to not work from time to time. Hit them a few times and things are OK.

    I'm eagerly awaiting 10.5.2 and the hopes of some nice fixes (and no regressions)!
    -Mark"


    Another follow-up from a reader that had previously said a Pram zap solved his restart on wake problem:

    (added 2/7/2008, from 2/6 email)
    "I'm surprised to see so many people with sleep issues still (and graphic corruption, lockups).
    I have seen none of these issues, except for reboot on wake initially, which never came back after the PRAM reset (even after sleeping overnight).
    I have a stock 2.8 dual-quad model with 10GB of 800MHz RAM (2 stock, 8 OWC) and 4 hard drives (none stock, a mix of Maxtor 500s, a WD 500, and a Hitachi 1TB). I wonder if there's a buggy set of video cards out there. (many blame/hope the cause is the 2600XT/drivers (again based on past history with the AL iMac/2600) and that a future update will address that.-Mike)
    Good news is 10.5.2 is supposed to ship with new graphics drivers. I suspect the MP Early 2008 model needs an updated firmware though.
    Again, no issues here.
    (Did you do a reinstall of the OS instead of a clone of the original HD? (Although often the last thing users want to do especially if they've installed a lot of apps, etc. - but sometimes it's worth it.)-Mike
    I did in fact do a reinstall using the new discs in the box. Up until I did that the system was very unstable.
    -P"

    I wonder if the original drive image/install is to blame for some of the problems some owners have seen. I had one reader say that fixed what appeared to be dead FW ports on a brand new Mac Pro out of the box... (see below)


    FW port problems (OS reinstall solved it)

    (added 2/7/2008, from 2/6 email)
    " I ordered the New Mac Pro Dual CPU 2.8GHz. None of the firewire ports worked so they declared it DOA and I sent it back. I just got the replacement, same issues. Will not detect firewire. They want me to DOA and send this one back in which is causing me a substantial loss of productivity. I have a mac repair guy coming out to take a look.

    (Just for the record what FW devices did you try/connect?
    Does Apple system profiler show FW ports present?
    Does Apple hardware test report any errors? (not that it fully exercises all interfaces)
    What did apple support have you try as far as troubleshooting?
    )

    As far as what would not connect initially to the original or to the replacement ... firewire drives, cameras, etc. We tried it all. No, it did not show them present. Troubleshooting ... they just casually suggested a system replacement! No regard for the fact that is a major hassle and substantial loss of productivity.

    This is the ultimate story. Conclusion happened tonight. After going through all the difficulty of having Apple tell me the original system was DOA after very little effort from the over the phone tech, I had a local mac guy come out and he had it up and running in no time. Firewire ports are going fine. Not sure what the problem was but we did do a clean erase and install.

    This is the unbelievable part, the replacement computer... you won't believe this ... has DOA firewire ports. He was there three hours and we had 30 minute wait and about two hours phone time getting apple to reverse the old one as DOA and assigning DOA to the one they sent to replace it. The local guy will charge me $300 for his time and do you think apple will reimburse me even though they suggested that I have a local authorized tech come out? Fat chance! ... 10 years of apple for me and never been this disappointed.
    -Chad S.
    President
    (company name withheld)


    (added 2/7/2008, from 2/6 email)
    " (Follow-up from one of the readers w/Graphics corruption/freezes posted earlier here, although he noted a single CPU system, most readers bought the 8-core/Dual CPU model)
    ... Well since then, I had random shutdowns and the graphics freeze issue got worse. So I called Apple and they were very helpful. I spoke with two product specialists (one let it slip that it was a widespread issue) and they overnighted me an 8 core replacement (I did pay the difference for the upgrade.) Well, I received it within 40 hours which was last thursday the 31st and for six days now it's been running as smooth as butter. I've captured/edited three 45 minute videos, uploaded podcasts, and now working in Soundtrack Pro. I've used all of the Final Cut Studio 2 apps and so far the replacement machine is working very well. Geekbench scores are off the chart, this things spanks my previous version Mac Pro 2.66 and single cpu 2.8 that I sent back.
    (He later wrote)
    On a side note, I did try wiping the drive and reinstalling Leopard and even did it again on a different drive and came up with the same problems. That was when the random/sudden shutdowns began and the phone call to Apple for a replacement.
    -Dave"

    Glad to hear the replacement is doing better. (I asked if he'd check the OS X build number on the replacement to see if it's a later build than the first shipments which were 9B2117, later shipments (per 8800GT owner) has 9B2127 - he replied it still had the original build 9B2117.) Hope it stays that way (two earlier readers said their replacement systems eventually showed the graphics corruption/freeze issue). If that happened to me I'd be tempted to do a clean OS reinstall which seems to have helped at least some owners.


    (added 2/6/2008)
    "I have the 2.8GHz 8-core, standard config except wi-fi connected to a 23" cinema. As a rule I always wipe the drive and reinstall the OS. So far, so good. I've got FCP, Logic Studio, Adobe CS 3, etc etc and I've only had Safari crash one time. I'm also running Time Machine to a 300G Seagate. Again, so far so good.
    -Todd N."


    (added 2/6/2008)
    "Hi Mike, I really appreciate your site and your effort. Thanks. I bought one of the new 8-core 2.8 GHz Mac Pro systems on Jan-16-08 from a local Apple Store. Stock config. On Jan-29-08 I received and installed a 4 x 2 GB RAM kit from OWC and also a 320 GB Seagate drive. The system is protected (I hope!) by an APC Back-UPS RS1000. The battery back-up sockets support the Mac Pro, 20in ACD, cable modem, and D-Link powered USB hub. The line-only sockets support a printer/scanner/fax and a label printer. The UPS->USB->MP cable is connected. The UPS is 1000VA (not watts). I'm flirting with an upgrade to 1500VA.
    Right from the start I have had sleep set to 'never', display set to sleep at 30 mins, and screensaver to start at 15 mins idle. Allowing disks to sleep is disabled. I never put the system into sleep mode. Ran this way on the previous Mac for 6 years and never had a problem.

    The system has been performing well for almost 3 weeks -- until an hour ago when it experienced its first panic. It happened to be performing light duty -- just Safari letting Pandora stream audio through the digital optical audio out port and TextEdit with a few files open. I was using "Command + ~" to switch between two windows in TextEdit when all of a sudden the screen went blank and then a few seconds later the system rebooted. Apparently a CPU stopped responding.
    PanicReporter let me send the following back to Apple:
    Tue Feb 5 21:53:08 2008 panic(cpu 1 caller 0x001929EF): "pmap_flush_tlbs() timeout: " "cpu 7 failing to respond to interrupts, pmap=0x533500 cpus_to_signal=80"@/SourceCache/xnu/xnu-1228.1.30/osfmk/i386/pmap.c:4570
    Backtrace, Format - Frame : Return Address (4 potential args on stack)
    0x9710f9c8 : 0x12b0e1 (0x456c94 0x9710f9fc 0x13321a 0x0)
    0x9710fa18 : 0x1929ef (0x45cdb8 0x7 0x533500 0x80)
    (snipped for space here)
    Backtrace continues...

    BSD process name corresponding to current thread: update
    Mac OS version: 9B2117
    Kernel version: Darwin Kernel Version 9.1.1: Fri Dec 14 19:00:14 PST 2007; root:xnu-1228.1.30~1/RELEASE_I386 System model name: MacPro3,1 (Mac-F42C88C8)

    MacPro3,1, BootROM MP31.006C.B02, 8 processors, Quad-Core Intel Xeon, 2.8 GHz, 10 GB
    Graphics: kHW_ATIrv630Item, ATI Radeon HD 2600, spdisplays_pcie_device, 256 MB
    Memory Module: DIMM Riser B/DIMM 1, 2 GB, DDR2 FB-DIMM, 800 MHz
    Memory Module: DIMM Riser B/DIMM 2, 2 GB, DDR2 FB-DIMM, 800 MHz
    Memory Module: DIMM Riser A/DIMM 1, 2 GB, DDR2 FB-DIMM, 800 MHz
    Memory Module: DIMM Riser A/DIMM 2, 2 GB, DDR2 FB-DIMM, 800 MHz
    Memory Module: DIMM Riser A/DIMM 3, 1 GB, DDR2 FB-DIMM, 800 MHz
    Memory Module: DIMM Riser A/DIMM 4, 1 GB, DDR2 FB-DIMM, 800 MHz
    Bluetooth: Version 2.1.0f8, 2 service, 1 devices, 1 incoming serial ports
    Network Service: Ethernet 2, Ethernet, en1
    PCI Card: ATI Radeon HD 2600, display, Slot-1
    Serial ATA Device: ST3320820AS_P, 298.09 GB
    Serial ATA Device: ST3320620AS, 298.09 GB
    Parallel ATA Device: PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-112D
    USB Device: hub_device, high_speed, 500 mA
    USB Device: Keyboard Hub, Apple, Inc., high_speed, 500 mA
    USB Device: Contour MiniPro 800, Contour Design, low_speed, 100 mA
    USB Device: Apple Keyboard, Apple, Inc, low_speed, 100 mA
    USB Device: Apple Cinema Display, Apple Computer, Inc., full_speed, 500 mA
    USB Device: hub_device, high_speed, 500 mA
    USB Device: MP530, Canon, high_speed, 500 mA
    USB Device: QL-500, Brother, full_speed, 500 mA
    USB Device: Bluetooth USB Host Controller, Apple, Inc., full_speed, 500 mA
    USB Device: Back-UPS RS 1000 FW:7.g8 .D USB FW:g8, American Power Conversion, low_speed, 500 mA
    FireWire Device: built-in_hub, unknown_value, unknown_speed
    FireWire Device: iSight, Apple Computer, Inc., 200mbit_speed
    FireWire Device: unknown_device, unknown_value, unknown_speed

    Thinking hard, I have seen a few occasions where short sections of a window may not have redrawn correctly, but the events were fleeting and always corrected by simply scrolling or moving the affected window -- seemed more like a software problem than a hardware one but now I wonder.

    I checked logs for clues and nothing seems out of place, except I am getting these messages in system.log approximately every minute -- sometimes 4x during a minute, sometimes a few minutes between

    Feb 5 22:09:23 Mac-Pro mDNSResponder[19]: ERROR: socket closed prematurely 0

    I'm guessing that's Bonjour simply looking for another computer and giving up normally, but I'm mentioning it since it seems to be the only message that stands out.

    The only other factor that comes to mind is smcfancontrol. After installing the extra RAM, I noticed in iStat Pro that mem modules A1 and A2 were running almost 70 C° while ambient temp was 25 C° using the default fan speeds. (FYI: As mentioned on the page here on previous model/667MHz Mac Pro FBDIMMs - some users have commonly seen 84°C (temp varies by location) - some stress tests have reported 90+°C w/o any ECC errors/problems as the Advanced Memory Buffer ('AMB' that does serial/parallel conversion) runs at 4GHz even on the 667MHz FBDimms.-Mike) After reading various forum posts I concluded that those modules are running a bit hotter for everybody, and that bumping up the minimum CPU and Exhaust fan speeds by 100 RPM brought those module temps down nicely without any increase in fan noise. Two nights ago I installed smcfancontrol and made the changes. Within 10 minutes the ambient temp was 24 C° and the two RAM modules had cooled to 56-57 C°. For reference the other modules are running 45-49 C° and the memory banks are running 31-36 C°.

    So maybe there is some correlation between smcfancontrol and other SMC behavior? If I experience additional episodes I will try resetting PRAM and SMC. Meanwhile I'll run hardware test and memtest to see if anything foul is reported (I recognize they don't catch everything there is to catch).
    I hope it was just a blip. Thought I was one of the lucky ones with no problems to report -- still hoping! I'm happy to answer any questions.
    Cheers, Ron"

    Personally, anytime I see odd behavior/problems I'd look at removing any 3rd party addons. (Can't say that's always a factor but the first rule of troubleshooting is to simplify the equation, remove any 3rd party addons/mods, remove connected addons, etc.)


    (added 2/6/2008)
    "I just got a mac pro and it won't even start ...no chime nothing. ...ordered from j and r computer world like a fool to avoid tax. Probably ups guy dropped kicked it
    Any suggestions ...i've been waiting years to be able to afford and this is the first computer I've ever bought serious one and I'm 35 a web guy and have been working on them for over 15 years now. I've never seen a mac that doesn't even light up the screen or anything??
    (I asked him to open it up and check for things like loose/unseated graphics card, RAM, etc. that could happen during shipping.-Mike)
    thank you for reply. First ....i kept a mac from 1997 going into a g4 thanks to your site! I have never owned a new power mac ....so you can probably imagine how sad I was to open the box and get nothing but a fan sound and little white light for power. No chime no disk sound nothing

    I tried reseating everything I can see memory video cards hard drive...nothing still. I almost had a heart attack when I read on j and r computer policy ..they don't accept returned computers! I have yet to get them on the phone which is what their response was to my paniced email that is so ...maybe they will let me send it back
    You wouldn't believe how they shipped this ... a plain, not even heavy duty cardboard box No fragile on outside the power mac box, fit exactly inside it no padding around the mac box and outside world. The UPS guys probably tossed this thing a million times!!. (I've typically not seen Fragile tags on any computer shipment (even the 24in AL iMac I bought last Dec. - and it has a huge glass panel in front). The original box it's in from Apple is supposed to be designed for shipping/adequate protection (in most cases it is - but I've seen some real horror stories on some shipper's handling...) Once back in the late 90's I had a PC arrive with the box looking perfect, although it had seen some huge shock - a very lightweight plastic front drive bay cover had disloged from the case and was *jammed* into the inside rear corner (as well as the CPU heatsink snapped off) - I can't imagine the force it took to have that happen - yet the box looked perfect.)
    The refurb AL iMac (w/24in LCD display) shipped the same way - double cardboard boxed (sleeved) with just moulded fit styrofoam - no peanuts. And it arrived undamaged. But I had a -steel- Roll Cage for a Mustang arrive damaged from Shipping once - and the delivery guy dragged it up my paved driveway - tubes grinding on the pavement. Oblivious...-Mike
    ).
    ... So I'm hoping the last resort if j and r won't pay to ship this back and replace it ...is a trip to apple store which is a n jour from here (south haven, michigan) and I'm scared of the warranty run around on this but I have always LOVED apple as a company I hope they don't let me down. Thanks for your help
    -JJB "

    Likely you just got unlucky and had one of the (typically 3% of electronics IIRC) "infant failures". Either J&R or Apple should replace it. (J&R may punt to apple on this though.) Is there an Apple retail store nearby?


    (added 2/6/2008)
    "Out of the box 8 core from apple store. I'm having the graphics corruption everyone is talking about. Really frustrating. This is my first Mac, and I thought I was making a change for the better.
    -Douglas A. "


    (added 2/6/2008)
    "Hi Mike, Here's an update on my Mac Pro situation...
    Shortly after the last email I sent you earlier, I decided to take advantage of how little time had elapsed since actually buying the Mac. I boxed it up and took it back to the store to exchange it for a new one. I brought my camera with me that had pictures of the video glitches, which was enough to convince them of a problem (Mac Geniuses said it definitely looked like a graphics card problem.

    Anyway, I've had the replacement Mac Pro now for a few weeks, and it's been running non-stop without a single crash or freeze. It sounds like there might be a manufacturing problem with a bunch of the 2600xt cards, and anyone with these problems should take their machine back to swap it out.
    Ben
    P.S. I've attached the picture I took of the monitor during one of the freezes. Ironically, it occurred immediately after scheduling a Mac Genius appointment. "

    Glad to hear it - let me know if it stays trouble-free over time. A couple readers in the past said their replacement system also had the problems - and in the last 24hrs I've had a few mails from new 2008 Mac Pro owners saying the system seemed DOA out of the box.


    A follow-up from a reader that had graphics corruption/freezes and was going to try a Nvidia 7300GT card from a previous Mac Pro (some readers had used the previous Mac Pro X1900 XT card)

    (added 2/6/2008)
    "Hi Mike, Unfortunately the 7300GT was a no-goer. It looks like the EFI 32/64-bit thing goes both ways, as the Apple 7300GT card doesn't work at all in the new Mac Pro's. It'll work with Windows in Boot Camp, but not under OS X. I noticed that the Mac Pro has a different version GeForce.kext file than the standard 10.5.1 build of Leopard, but my non-upgrade 10.5.1 installer DVD won't work with it, either - so it's definitely an EFI thing. I guess I'll have to wait until the 8800GT arrives before finding out if the video card truly is at fault.

    Forgot to mention, in regards to the reports of Samsung F1 1TB drives - I recently installed two of these into the Mac Pro, for local storage of some old data. They're both filled at the 700-900GB levels, and I've had no problems whatsoever in transferring a *lot* of data to and from those drives.
    Regards, Jay."

    Oliver yesterday also wrote he had no problems with an F1 (1TB) in his new Mac Pro. (In reply to a report here yesterday from someone that said he had KP's when copying files from it but not to it - I asked if he checked the target drives also). Not a common issue though - and per Oliver's benchmarks, the F1's performance is impressive (only 3 platters for 1TB drive - very dense).


    (added 2/6/2008)
    "I got the Mac Pro 8 Core machine and while I was looking for online resources I found your site. So far I did not have much time to fully test the system, but after installing the CS3 suite and doing a couple Photoshop/illustrator projects on it, (even with just 2GB RAM) it felt much faster than the four core G5 with 6.5GB ram that I use at work.

    After installing all the latest updates and some of the design applications that I use the mac I decided to install the Cisco VPN client so I could connect with the servers at work and access my work files from there. This was the only time I encounter an unexpected quit, the screen went shaded dark and said that the machine had to be restarted.

    My intention is (after installing all the applications and using boot-camp to install vista) to clone the default 320GB drive into one of the new 500GB so I can keep that one as an emergency system Backup, then use the others to store my data and backups. Any recommendations on how to best accomplish this are appreciated (I read something about superduper but I'm not familiar with the program) in windows I used to use Acronis or Ghost. (For years I've used donationware Carbon Copy Cloner, although many readers in the past (before leopard at least) were high on SuperDuper! (not free) - which as noted in yesterday's news they released v2.5 that they say is Leopard compatible finally. First feedback from a leopard user on SD 2.5 will be in today's news page.-Mike)
    ...I'll keep you updated on the results once I install the new hardware to see how it goes. Thanks for keeping this resource, and keep up the good job.
    -Angel"


    Another reply to the (one) earlier report on damaged FW ports after attempting FW Target disk mode w/MDD tower (another 2008 Mac Pro owner earlier said he had no problems doing that with his 2008 Mac Pro/MDD Tower)

    (added 2/6/2008)
    "I successfully connected my G4 500 DP with FW target mode to my new 2.8 8 core macpro just yesterday. No problem. There was also a lacie FW DVD burner connected to the G4 and on at the same time.
    -Neil P. "


    (added 2/5/2008 - updated again at 10:30AM)
    "Hi Mike, For your reader Doug (Doug had asked some questions of David based on his earlier report - later updated here on Pro apps.-Mike)
    Yes, I am exporting cleanly from FCP1 (5.1.4) via compressor 2.3.1, under 10.5.1 on the Jan 2008 8-core 2.8, 8GB RAM. I think I have bandaged my previously reported Send...to Soundtrack Pro Multitrack Project problem by UNchecking the box "Open Soundtrack Pro" beforehand, then opening the exported files with STP's File...Open command; no double-clicking on the file icon.

    Compressor is not dramatically fast on the 8-core: a one-minute HDV sample movie, (few edits, no transitions, 2 video and 4 audio tracks), to single-pass (Fastest Encode) 90-minute MPEG-2 16:9 format takes about 2.75 minutes on the 8-core, 4.75 minutes on my black MacBook 2x2GHz Core (1) Duo, and "only" (by comparision) 14 minutes on my 6-year-old stock (but with 2GB RAM) G4 Dual 1GHz MDD. Could anyone else report on relative encoding speeds from HDV? I was hoping for much more of a speed bump, even though I know HDV GOPs are a can of worms for encoding.

    Activity Monitor and iStat show that with the single computer (no virtual cluster), the 8-core is using all 8 processors at about 60-65%, and the G4 runs both processors at almost 100%. In the QMaster prefs panel on the Mac Pro (10.5.1), I can't find a way to enable more than one instance for Compressor when setting up a virtual cluster (it's grayed out), although multiple instances for Shake rendering are a selectable (and so far, workable option, when set to 4 instances, as some posters have suggested). I look forward to Doug's speed numbers in real working environments.

    (David's comments from another mail regarding previous issues seen)
    I promised I'd wait a week to report, but am going on the road tomorrow. Every day I have just the same old sleep-to-reboot. I have a clean install, the whole litany of resets, a vastly reduced app set, no Airport, no Ethernet, no ITunes, an APC 1500 UPS, ACD 23, zero peripherals except keys and mouse, and the same, same behavior. Sleeps ok for an hour or two, but after four hours, nearly always reboots instead of waking. The reboot is less common if you have quit all apps, but what's the use of that? All the resets only seem to work for a day or two. Original config, or substitute my 2x4GB RAM only, whatever combo I set up gives the same result.

    Yes, I've called AppleCare. I read the nice tech person my list of what had done so that he did not have to read me his, and we agreed that there was nothing more to try. So tomorrow I'll try another call, and my suggestion will be that they take the thing back. I will even offer the 10% restocking charge and put my extra drives and RAM on the shelf. This thing is *not* ready for prime time, or even to be a development tool.

    Right now I'm waiting only 34 hours per week (gratefully overnight) for my G4 to render, and reading and hassling 36 hours per week trying to make the fancy 8-core work, even to handle the most basic non-critical test version of my current FCP workflow. Since the problem seems to occur with many different configs, and even comes back with machines "replaced" for other users . I hope it's OS related. If 10.5.2 doesn't promptly fix my machine, it's going out on the curb.

    My suggestion for those who insist on ordering a new one in this unstable environment is to order stock config *only*-you may not return CTO machines, even if it's only a 2nd HD, like mine was configured.
    Has anyone really resolved this problem, or just suppressed it for a few days?
    -David W."


    (added 2/5/2008)
    "Hi Mike, Love your site. You asked for feedback from others who used Firewire target disk mode to connect new mac pro to MDD. (ref: yesterday post below) I bought standard mac pro dual 2.8 last week and set it up this weekend (FYI, from Powermax via mac user group store, I paid $2649 although I see it has now gone up to $2699). My previous computer was also MDD, although mine was dual 1.0GHz. I used firewire target disk mode as apple guided me through it and had no issues.
    FYI, I also have APC UPS, I believe the APC BX900R. I didn't bother to load software or connect USB to it. As far as I know, I have no issues with it....
    My first impressions of the Mac Pro
    - super quiet compared to MDD
    - loved how easy it was to install internal hard drive (samsung 500GB). No cables!
    - photoshop is much faster, compared to my MDD. I haven't run any specific speed tests, though.
    - so far no crash on wake from sleep, etc. Obviously I have 2600XT. (and no freezes/graphics corruption I assume?-Mike)
    - I've got an old apple 17" display, clear plastic and white. Mildly disappointed that it won't plug in to the mac pro without a converter. My (newer) dell 24 inch plugged in just fine and is temporarily my only monitor.
    - I was really annoyed that my external speakers wouldn't work when plugged in to the back - I thought my mac pro was broken. Then I found a note online that I needed to specificly set that up in the audio control. Now all is well.
    -Dan"


    Another follow-up from Gene:

    (added 2/5/2008)
    "It's been several days since I wrote. No crashes, freezes, lock-ups, or screen corruption of any sort. No wake-on-sleep restarts either. Again, not running QT 7.4.
    -Gene"


    (added 2/5/2008)
    "Chalk me up as another MacPro early 2008 owner with the graphics freeze issue.
    Shipped from Apple Online Store as the base 2.8 GHz 8 core, 2GB ram, ATI 2600XT and 500 GB boot drive.
    It's occurred about 5 times over almost two weeks. Sometimes when plugged into a 650 VA APC UPS unit, and once directly into the wall. (I'd want more than a 650VA UPS) Usually connected to a Viewsonic LCD panel (at 1280 x1024) on DVI port 1, and once using a Sony analog CRT on the DVI-VGA adapter on DVI port 1.

    It seems to be centered around a recent wake from sleep, or when coming out of the screensaver (flurry at stock settings). So, about once every 2 or three days. But the one time it happened twice within 30 minutes, no wake from sleep or screen saver was involved.

    I did three new 750 GB Seagates (Barracuda 7200.10's) internally. Nothing but the Apple RAM.

    Did the usual reset SMC, zapped PRAM. Everything clear on the extended Hardware Test, even ran Rember for 18 hours w/ no errors. Verified/repaired the hard drive, permissions (no errors reported) etc. Finally did a total reformat of the boot drive and clean Leopard 10.5.1 install with all current Apple updates EXCEPT the latest Quicktime and iTunes, and reinstalled the apps I needed (Final Cut Studio) instead of the original transfer via Migration Assistant.

    Things appeared much better -- As of this morning I had completed 4 days of solid operation with a ton of Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro work. Then about a hour after I finished, it froze w/ the corrupted display just scrolling a window in Finder.

    Called AppleCare this a.m., they got me a today appointment at the local Genius Bar, we played with it for about an hour and of course, couldn't get it to freeze (of course I took out the three extra drives before going there). I thankfully don't need the machine for the next few days, so I'm letting them keep it until the weekend for stress testing to see if they can get it to freeze. We'll see...

    My guess -- just a bad/borberline 2600XT card, possibly mediated by power issues if all the drives are spinning up after a sleep (I've read on the web the Seagates can be power hogs at spin-up). Or, a power supply issue. This is my 11th Mac over twenty years -- first issue ever!
    -Manny "


    (added 2/5/2008)
    "Hi I just got a new macpro 8 core 2.8GHz. I put my Radeon 1900xt from my old Mac Pro and 2x2GB of memory (667mghz) and I have a huge problem. (Personally I would not want to run 667MHz ram in the new Mac Pro (Oliver also mentioned he'd tried that temporarily I think) - Apple has a doc for the new Xserves that says to only use 800MHz FBdimms and although the 667's may be ok (running at the lower memory speed), I'd personally want to avoid it. (and don't forget to disconnect AC power when changing cards and RAM)-Mike)
    I put a Samsung F1 1TB inside and moved a lot of data on it and altough I can access them without problem, everytime I try to move them (move/copy files I assume) to another hard drive it just stall at random quantity of data they kernel panic. I've run all hard drive tests I could (on all drives?-Mike) and none report any problem including surface scan with techtool
    here is the copy of the log:

    com.apple.iokit.IOAHCIBlockStorage(1.0.8)@0xca4000->0xcb3fff dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOAHCIFamily(1.0.4)@0xba2000 dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOStorageFamily(1.5.2)@0x822000

    Do you have any idea of what I should do?
    regards, Thomas G."

    I asked if Energy Saver was set to never allow drive sleep. (Although regardless the drives should wake as needed.) Personally I'd also remove the 667MHz FBDimms. Oliver tested the Samsung F1 (blank) in a 2006 Mac Pro and I wrote to ask him if he'd tested it (with file copies to and from other drives) in his 2008 Mac Pro. Oliver replied he's not seen any issues with the F1 in his Mac Pro:

    "Hi Mike, Yes, I have been using the Samsung F1 in the new Mac Pro since day 1 (2.5 weeks now IIRC). No problems so far. Did use 667 MHz FB-DIMMs for a while (in addition to stock config), but no longer - awaiting delivery of more 800 MHz FB-DIMMs.
    BTW, I assume your reader checked the destination drive of said copy-processes as well, and not only the F1 (being the source)? (I assume so from the comments but asked.-Mike
    (Just for the record I asked what his F1 drive's firmware revision was (from Apple system profiler))
    Model: SAMSUNG HD103UJ
    Revision: 1AA01104
    Cheers, Oliver"

    I had another Samsung F1 owner also say he's seen no problems with this F1's (with lots of data copied to and from it).


    (added 2/5/2008)
    "Not similar, but I tried to use target mode on a sawtooth so I could bring over all the info the New 08 Mac Semi-Pro(only one quad-core) I now have, and the Sawtooth would boot then shut off. This happened a couple of times, before moving the drive into the new mac. The Sawtooth motherboard has the latest firmware.
    -John T."


    (added 2/5/2008)
    "Update on the freeze issue, I still get one to three freezes in small bursts (within 5 minutes) with usually about 72 hours of trouble-free computing in between. This is as odd and random an issue as I've ever seen; I've found no clear trigger, no way yet to force it to happen, and it does NOT seem to be related to heavy graphics work, heat, or any of the other usual suspects. As the machine works flawlessly most of the time and I have a new nVidea 8800 card for it on order I've decided to just live with the problem until the new vid card gets here.

    (I did have one unique freeze: the Mail window locked up and went all hash with short choppy colored lines but this time the rest of the machine was not affected and I just exited & restarted Mail with no apparent collateral damage to the system.)

    As for the reboot from sleep issue resetting the PRAM seems to have fixed that one 100% for me, but it's early days yet of course. It used to reboot rather than wake from sleep 4 out of 5 times, but hasn't done so once since my PRAM reset a week or more ago.
    All the best, Tim L."


    FYI - Another 2008 Mac Pro owner wrote that he used FW Target disk mode with a MDD tower without any problems - so the reader below had some other problem (shorted cable, damaged connector, who knows)

    (added 2/4/2008)
    "I have had some major issues with the new Mac Pro 8 core 2.8GHz.
    I followed apples procedure for data migration from a MDD dual 867 to the new machine. I followed to proceed involving the connecting firewire to the two units. Upon booting the MDD the MDD mac froze up and after a few seconds shut down. I immediately smelled something burning coming from the rear of the MDD. After a minute or two, the MDD allowed me to reboot it and it is working with the exception of a blown firewire 400 port. The 8 core MacPro experienced a similar issue, blown firewire 400 port in the rear. I took both computers to the Apple store in my town, Providence, RI and after testing, they determined a blown logic board on the MacPro. They replaced with MacPro on the spot with a brand new one. I a out of luck with the MDD dual 867. Although it still works fine with the exception of the one firewire 400 port.
    (He later wrote with replies to my questions/comments-Mike)
    Mike, Thanks for responding. Cable short: cable works fine on the other FW400 connectors. (I asked if it could have a problem that may not be apparent unless flexed, etc. or if there was any damage to the connector (forced in wrong orientation, other contact damage, etc.-Mike)
    Damaged/forced connector: possible, but highly doubtful. Firewire cable carefully inserted in both machines in a brightly lit environment. Looked at both connectors on the computers themselves with a magnifying glass. No evidence of pinched connectors or damage otherwise.
    I believe the Mac Pro firewire 400 connector is internally faulty. (I don't think that is typical - at least I've not had any other reports of this problem, including replies to this post from other 2008 Mac Pro owners that used FW target disk mode to a MDD tower and others - although a sawtooth tower owner said his system just shut down (no damage).-Mike)
    This is something that Apple will look into for sure. In the mean time, they have issued me a brand new replacement Mac Pro.
    -James V."

    (My comments to the original mail follow) So only one port on the MDD was damaged? The others still work? (If so check for physical damage in the connector.) You could add a PCI FW card to the MDD if the FW controller is really damaged. Did Apple cite any reason for the problem? (shorted cable/damaged connector?) A longshot but could the cable have a short if flexed? Or the FW port damaged? According to the Mac pro specs/dev docs (see below) - it has overcurrent/short circuit protection on the ports. I've seen some damage to FW (or FW/USB combo) Hubs due to too high a FW bus voltage in some macs. (It's 25V on the MDD G4 towers and PowerMac G5 - higher on the sawtooth IIRC (28V), the max per the FW spec.) The PowerMac G5 FW/USB page here has notes that some FW hubs/combo FW/USB hubs were not rated for the (24V and up) FW bus voltage present in some Macs and were "smoked" when used with them. I looked up the Mac Pro Developer Doc (revised for early 2008 models), which has a note about overcurrent protection/recovery:

    "Independent Port Over-Current Protection
    The Mac Pro provides independent port over-current protection, such that an over-current or short-circuit condition on one port will not affect any of the other ports, as long as the total power available to the ports is not exceeded. When in sleep, the Mac Pro has 25 W of power available to the USB and FireWire ports, and memory. If the combined USB and FireWire port power load exceeds the available power, power to those ports will be cut to preserve memory."

    The FW section also refers to the FireWire Developer Note, which in the Mac Pro section lists 12V bus power and includes notes on port being disabled/how to recover if power limits exceeded:

    "Mac Pro Computers (January 2008)
    The Mac Pro computers with Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5400 Series microprocessors were introduced in January 2008. The Mac Pro provides two FireWire 800 IEEE 1394b ports and two FireWire 400 IEEE 1394a ports. The four FireWire ports are on the same FireWire bus and share a single 12V DC-regulated power supply that can provide 18 W per port, for up to 28 W total. If a device is added that exceeds the power limit, the port will be disabled but the other ports will continue to function. Unplug the device, and the disabled port will recover in a short amount of time. FireWire port power is provided when the computer is on, in sleep, or off."

    If anyone else with a Mac Pro has seen a similar FW problem (or not) with FW Target disk mode with a G4 tower, let me know the details.


    (added 2/4/2008)
    "I just bought, and am setting up a new OctoCore 2.8 Mac Pro, 2 Gb... I'm still awaiting delivery of the additional 4 gb memory, from OWC, delivery scheduled for tomorrow, Monday.. Samsung 24" Dvi monitor ($399@ COSTCO), 320+500 Gb drives so far.. Using the 500 for Time Machine.

    Only issue so far has been the "wake from sleep" reboot problem. Restetting the PRAM fixed that, not a problem since. Looking forward to 10.5.2, but with no major issues, maybe a non-event.
    -geOrge"


    (added 2/4/2008 - updated 2/7/2008)
    "I just bought a Mac Pro last week. Config: 2.8Ghz 8-core 6GB of RAM, Seagate HD
    When it goes to sleep (auto or when I tell it to sleep) it will crash when I try to wake it up. (I asked if he tried the previous tips - Pram/SMC reset. Several days later he wrote:)
    2 days ago, I reset the PRAM and SMC. The crashing on wake seems to have stopped.
    -Chad N."


    (added 2/4/2008)
    "I've had my new Mac Pro for two days now. Stock dual CPU 2.8GHz, hooked to an HP LP3065 monitor and using a APS Back-UPS 750. (I'd prefer a higher rated UPS personally - even if nothing else was on the UPS.-Mike) I've really used it very little and experienced between 5 and 10 complete lockups. Usually but not always accompanied by corruption of the screen. The first one occurred while installing the first application, Adobe Lightroom. Up to that point, all I had done was piddle around learning the OS (28 years on PCs).

    I've turned off all energy-saver options and reset the PRAM and SMC. Nothing seems to help, after resetting the PRAM it survived about 10 minutes before I got what I presume is referred to as the "spinning beachball". Usually, I get sprinkled screen corruption and only the mouse will move.

    The biggest reason I moved over to the Mac was to get a more stable system. Right now, this is the flakiest machine I've ever worked on. If it's doing anything other than idling, it seldom gets beyond an hour before crashing again.
    -Cliff"


    (added 2/4/2008)
    "I bought a new (Jan '08) Mac Pro 8 Core 2.8GHz. I work on Music with Protools which is not yet compatible with the new computers. Leopard refuses to install 10.4.x Intel on a second hard drive. There's any way to install or transfer TIGER to a second hard drive and have a dual boot possibility?
    -Juan M."

    See notes below from the past on installing OS X Tiger (Oliver used 10.4.x from his 2006 mac pro w/X1900 card - but later noted problems (as others did) if using the 2600 XT card (no acceleration/no QE or Core image support.)


    (added 2/4/2008)
    "My Mac Pro base model with seagate 320g + airport arrived today. Can confirm that there are no sleep issues for me - at least yet - 5 or 6 sleeps so far.
    do have a problem with the motherboard ODD ports. Have installed the esata kit - not from newer tech - from a supplier here in the uk - exact same hardware.
    my 2 x Western Digital My Book 2 Home Edition esata external drives are not recognised by the MP on esata, altho they're fine on firewire.
    (reader FYI: previous article here on Using the Mac Pro's 2 extra onboard SATA Ports w/External SATA Case Kit. Not hot swappable but are bootable.-Mike)
    Also removed one of the hdds from the external case and tried it in one of the drive bays - again fine.
    WD external case uses an oxford chipset if thats relevant.

    One of the fans seems noisy when it speeds up but not tracked it down yet - of course could be the fan assembly i removed to put in the esata kit.

    Superdrive seems to spin at full speed when playing a movie and had an odd issue with dvd player - the movie seems to have what i'd describe is an overscan problem on the lhs - ie you can see a green fuzzy line at that edge. Same movie on my macbook - again in dvd player doesn't show this at all.
    Macbook is running 10.5.1 with all updates. Mac Pro has run software update - didn't pay attention to what was installed. hope that helps - happy to answer any q's.

    (He later wrote:)
    Feeling a little silly re the esata ODD ports. Turns out that you need to have the external esata hdd attached and powered before you boot the mac otherwise it won't be seen. Unlike FW and USB of course. So having tried that scenario again (was convinced i'd already tried it) the external drive mounted no problem.
    One thing i did notice was that FW 800 was pretty close in performance in some fairly non scientific transfer tests. Might be because the external HDD are WD with the 'green' lower speed drives in there.
    -Ricky"


    Late posting this one - missed it in the inbox:

    (added 2/4/2008 - from Jan 18th email)
    "I'd like to add my input to the new Mac Pro's. I just got mine via Fed Ex yesterday and hooked it up last night. I haven't had any of the freezes that some have mentioned (mine is the 2.8GHz version). I am having problems with my Belkin 2 port switch though (my wife and I share a printer between her PC and my Mac). The printer works just fine if I have it plugged into the Mac Pro directly. However, when I have it plugged into the switch and the switch into my mac, the keyboard and mouse become unresponsive and the only way to get everything back to normal is to turn the printer off and then unplug/replug the keyboard from the mac. Has anyone else had this issue with a switch or do I need to buy a newer switch? I tried searching online for anything related but had no luck at all. Most switches that I found don't even list their compatibility, or if it does, it simply says Mac OS X, no version! Not a devistating problem to have, just a hassle to have to "switch" manually!

    Everything else seems to be running smooth though. I haven't transfered files from my old computer, but I'm about to tackle that issue right now. BTW, my "old" computer is one of the first Beige G3's that were available and in September it will be 10 years old! Ya, it was time for an upgrade! :-) Thanks!
    -Mark A."


    (added 2/1/2008)
    "Hi Mike, Here's an update on the wake-from sleep issue here.
    Jan 2008 8-core 2.8GHz. Ordered first hour (didn't watch the keynote) on Jan 9th; arrived Jan 11th. Couldn't wait, doing HD video on MDD G4, stable but slow. Removed 2GB RAM, replaced with 4 x 2 OEM Samsung RAM, 2 here, 2 there.

    Clean install from original DVDs. (Save yourself lots of install time and turn off all the other languages and printer drivers before installation.) Check permissions and check for OS updates. Did NOT update QT to v7.4.

    Clean install of ONLY these apps from Final Cut Studio 1: FCP 5.1, Compressor 2, SoundTrack Pro (no loop file library) and LiveType (no readymades library), no extra fonts, DVD Studio Pro (no templates). Multiple Software Updates for these apps. Check permissions. FSCK. reset PRAM. Reset SMC. (I also like to do a Force prebinding from the terminal after any OS X update.-Mike)

    Single Apple Cinema Display 23in connected to the stock ATI 2600XT GPU. No peripherals of any kind, except for Apple keyboard and wired mouse out of monitor's USB port.

    Sleep on never. Airport off, except to check for updates. No ethernet connection.

    I always sleep manually from the Finder, not from within the app. (I assume you mean sleep via energy saver settings - which I have also never done, going back long before OS X was ever released. I prefer to manually sleep if need be, even on my PB's.-Mike) An old, reliable habit which gave me no trouble on numerous and various other Macs running 9.2.2, 10.3.9, 10.4.6, 10.4.9. Still some wake-from-sleep issues. More often problematic when FCP is running, better when Soundrack Pro is running. I heard my old UPS relays click once (no power outage, but perhaps a surge or drop), then tried to wake 8-core Mac, then it rebooted.

    Now, I've plunked down for an ADC 1500 UPS. Seems a bit better. Wakes ok up to two hours or so, still a crapshoot overnight, but incrementally better now perhaps with cleaner power.

    BTW, don't sit right next to the APC 1500. Its transformer generates a huge EM field, I'm magnetically sensitive and get a persistent tinnitus-buzz-whine in my ears from it, so I measured the field with my tri-axial Gaussmeter. 4 feet away will get you down to 1.0 milligauss, which is bearable for long-term exposure. Much sobering research is out there on power-line frequency exposure to EMF. A properly-wired residential room (no bonded neutrals or other issues) should be about 0.2mg. Clocks, fluorescent lamps and transformers will have large local fields within a foot or two, but this UPS is really beefy. Also, your modems, routers, and Airport bases will likely be much more reliable when not too near the UPS transformers.

    I'll run a week with this setup and then send an update. I hope we'll see 10.5.2 by then, but beware the large reported file size. I think Apple might have to slow down iTunes for a week or two and shift server loads to Software Update while everyone since October gets their 400mb fix.
    I'm frustrated, but not alone, thanks to you guys. Keep tweaking and reporting...
    -David W."


    (added 2/1/2008)
    "I've got the new downgraded 2.8Ghz (4 core/1 CPU) with Airport card. Everything else is standard. I've haven't run into any of the "restaring on wake" problems, but have had it hang once while sleeping.
    Other than that no issues. I'm using my Samsung 19" LCD TV as my monitor with the DVI - VGA adaptor at 1440 x 900. Is everyone experiencing problems using DVI monitors, or are there people using the VGA adaptor with the same issue? I read that one person checked the logs after the restart on wake and it was displaying video code problems or something. Perhaps this could be the issue.
    -Jamie E."

    I think most are using DVI displays (not analog). What's interesting is one reader said he had seen some web posts from single-CPU Mac Pro owners having the freeze/problems also (and thought they were more prone to problems) but I replied most all reports here are from dual cpu owners. One early owner with freezes said he didn't see any useful info in the System log (another reader recently sent a zipped crash log but I've not had time to look at it) - but I'd always check the logs for timestamped entries related to problems. A prime suspect many feel is the ATI 2600 XT card/drivers. (Due to the past history of freezes/problems with the AL iMac's 2600 graphics (knock on wood seems ok here on my refurb 24in iMac w/graphics firmware update and 10.5.1.) Regardless of the cause, anyone with any 2008 Mac Pro problems should report them to Apple support, as hopefully a future update will address them. (And the more calls/mails they get on the problem may help make it a higher priority for them.)


    (added 2/1/2008)
    "Just a quick note this morning (here). I'm surprised by the latest reports as I see that others are having many more and more serious problems than the simple wake from sleep I'm experiencing here. I've now added four 2GB sticks from OWC and am running a raid 0 volume with two WD Raptors 150 GB as a startup volume, everything is OK except the wake from sleep with restart, no black screens, graphics corruption, crashes...

    When I installed the additional memory though I noticed that one of the cylindrical resistor (?) things on the lower riser was soldered on at a really weird angle where its brothers were nicely vertical. Not sure I need to worry about it?
    Regards, Konrad"

    It's probably OK but not sure what component that is - can you send a pix of it? (large axial lead Capacitors, diodes, etc. often are not perfectly oriented, but as long as the connections are good that's not an issue - unless bumped/solder joint cracked, etc. - although if it's a swelled can on a capacitor that's cause for concern, but that problem should be present anymore. It was an issue in the past with some motherboards and even some older iMacs that had faulty capacitors.)


    (added 2/1/2008)
    "My stock seagate is extremely quiet! Have no idea what that fellow is talking about, and I've added two more Seagates (500 GB, and 750 GB, the .11 models) to the machine (early 2008 3.0 gHz, 10 GB of RAM).

    Also, for the time being, doing the PRAM and SCM routine has made wake up from sleep work correctly. I did not have options checked in the Energy pane that shouldn't have been, like "wake from sleep" "put hard drives to sleep", etc.. I have a 2 UPS the machine is spread out over -- 800 ADC (800VA?) and a Trip Lite model (probably due for an upgrade, but the Mac Pro has been sucking all those funds)
    -Tim"


    (added 2/1/2008)
    "just received Mac Pro with Leopard 10.5 and this machine freezes constantly (cannot work for more than one hour without the problem). Screen freezes, mouse still moves on screen but does not operate, and only way to deal with the problem is to restart computer.
    -Jose"

    I wrote to ask him if he'd tried the usual tips (PRAM/SMC reset, disable Energy saver sleep, etc.) and to send more details on the system (base config? any updates applied? any 3rd party software installed? Any useful info in the logs?)


    Update on Seagate 7200.11 Misreported Drive Model/Cache (Firmware Issue):
    Follow-up to earlier report in the Jan 30th news page (and here below) from a new Mac Pro owner w/750GB Seagate 7200.11 firmware SD04 - apparently other firmware versions also affected per this mail today from another new Mac Pro owner:
    (Note: OWC has updated the firmware of their stock of these drives now - confirmed by reader's that got them.)

    (added 2/1/2008 - updated 2PM)
    "Hi Mike, today i recieved 2 Seagate ST3750330AS (750 GB) AEBS03 Drives.
    Both report "ST3_INVALID_PFM" as model number.
    (His mail included a link to a Seagate user forums post (earlier report here on this issue did too), but when I checked it this morning it was shown as 'deleted'.-Mike)
    You are absolutely right. These guys deleted the messages!
    But I bookmarked the support pages for info and firmware download.
    Barracuda 7200.11 SATA models with firmware SD04 or SD14
    Barracuda 7200.11 Reporting Wrong Cache Size
    I know a service guy with a PC for flashing the drive with the new firmware. Lets see if he could fix this. I send you a mail if it works.
    (he later wrote
    Today I met the service guy (with a PC). Updating the firmware to AD14 was an easy task and done within minutes if you know what to do. Now both disks show the correct drive model number in system profiler.
    Regards Niko"

    This is why I avoided Seagate SATA drives for my Macs (I chose the Hitachi 1TB last Nov) - due to the past history of seagate drive/firmware issues, although I'd hoped that wouldn't be the case with the newer 7200.11 drives. I've been very happy with the 1TB 7K1000 I bought in Late Oct. 07 (ordered w/10.5 Tiger DVD) for my G5 tower - although Oliver's benchmarks (sent over the weekend) show the fastest 1TB is the new Samsung F1 (3 platter - very dense) and the "Green" WD 1TB 16MB cache drive (4 platter) did very well (besting my Hitachi in several Quickbench benchmarks) despite spinning at 5400rpm. (The 'green' WD 1TB was available when I ordered my 7K1000 in Late Oct. last year, but for internal Tower use I didn't like the idea of the power savings/varible speed, etc. - although it's the lowest power/coolest running 1TB drive to date I think - and a plus for external drives, especially those with an AC adapter not rated high enough for some other drives and in enclosures with limited cooling. The WD's power savings feature may not be an issue at all but I preferred to have an internal drive without that sort of automatic energy saving/variable speed feature. However despite the claims - Oliver said testing showed the WD seems to run at a fixed 5400rpm speed.)
    Update: (Feb 4, 2008) I've posted a page with Oliver's 1TB drives Comparison of new Samsung F1, WD Caviar GP and Hitachi 7K1000


    (added 2/1/2008)
    "Hi Mike, I wrote earlier about having the graphics corruption freeze, before. I don't have the detailed specs handy, but I'm fairly certain the drive in my Mac Pro is a Western Digital. (One reader earlier suspected Seagate drives may be a factor, but apparently not as even some WD drive owners reported problems. Graphics/display problems are still thought to be related to the 2600/drivers based on past history but that's also just a guess.-Mike) I can get the necessary specs tonight, when I get home.

    I plan on replacing it with a 500GB Samsung with a 16MB cache this weekend, and I've got a second hand GeForce 7300GT on its way to try troubleshoot the issue - hopefully I'll have it by next week, and should be able to report whether it really is the graphics card causing my woes.

    One thing I'd like to note, however... is it's very fast at starting up. I've since thrown Photoshop, Office 2008, and essentially all the other apps I had on my 2.4GHz Core 2 Al iMac with 2GB of RAM, yet the Mac Pro smokes it at startup times and overall response times. Still the same amount of RAM in the Mac Pro, as well - the base 2GB.
    Regards, Jay. "

    Let me know how it goes (esp. if the 7300GT helps).


    Reminder on Install Order of FB-Dimms: (Updated w/note - see below) Just a FYI/Reminder as I had another Mac Pro owner (2008 this time) write after adding some RAM some modules were not recognized. (Even after talking with Apple support to troubleshoot the problem). I asked if he was sure he had them installed/paired correctly and sent him a link to an Apple DIY Guide from the FAQ here: http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/MacPro_MemoryDIMM_DIY.pdf. (Posted here when the first Mac Pro models were released, but I assumed still applies to the new models). He later replied that info helped - he had paired the dimms incorrectly.
    Update - Oliver has a new 2008 Mac Pro and wrote:

    "Regarding pre-installed DIMMs in 2008 Mac Pro: there's a small difference to the older model, which is as follows:
      "When only two DIMMs are installed, for best performance install the DIMMs in Slot 1 of Riser A and Riser B."

    Result: when adding more memory, one needs to relocate one of the pre-installed DIMMs. (IIRC, the old Mac Pro had both pre-installed DIMMs in slots of the top Riser A). Refer to page 45 and following in the new Manual:
    http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/Mac_Pro_Early_2008.pdf
    Also for reference the developer note where I got the quote from. This might be one reason the new Mac Pros no longer have the memory upgrade instructions illustrated on the side door, as it became (one step) more complicated. ;)
    Cheers, Oliver"

    Another new Mac Pro owner wrote:

    " Maybe this can save somebody else a step:
    I just got an additional 4GB of RAM ( 2 x 2GB) from OWC for my 2008 Mac Pro to double the existing memory (2 x 1GB Apple, 2 x 1GB OWC). After reading the installation instructions carefully I placed all four one gig sticks in the upper memory card and the two new two GB sticks in slots 1 & 2 on the lower memory board; on startup the machine only recognized the new RAM, reporting that slots 1 thru 4 on the upper card were empty. I reset the PRAM and restarted, but same thing. I thought this what as the instructions directed, but in any event I pulled the cards again, put the 2GB sticks in slots 1 & 2 of the upper memory card, and placed the original Apple 1GB sticks in slots 1 & 2 of the lower card and bingo, System Profiler now reports that my Mac is sporting 8GBs of RAM and everything seems to be working just fine.
    -Tim L."


    Question if Seagate HDs are a factor in Problems: (apparently not - see reply below from WD owner w/freezes)

    (added 1/31/2008)
    "Not sure if you will deem this important, but one thing that I have changed in the computer was rip out the crappy stock 320 GB Seagate, which was really slow and really, really noisy. (I asked Gene if he remembered the Seagate drive model number, etc. - ref: the post yesterday here on misreported 7200.11 HDs with firmware SD04) I replaced it with a WD SE16 drive (much faster and virtually silent).
    Since that change I have not had one issue with the computer: not one restart on wake from sleep. This is probably a red herring, since I have also resent the PRAM and SMC, but I thought I would still mention it.
    (On Feb. 1st he wrote)
    One more thing that I did not do with my configuration was install the cursed QT 7.4. I am running 7.3.1
    s-Gene"

    I had hoped it was something simple (or that a clean OS reinstal/restore might help - but it didn't for some that tried that.) Since many freeze reports didn't mention the OEM drive model, if you've got a Mac Pro that isn't using a Seagate HD and have the freezing/display corruption issue (which many blamed on the ATI 2600 due to past history with the AL iMac), let me know.
    Update: here's the first reply from a WD user that also has freezes, so it's not directly related to drive brand/model apparently:

    (1/31/2008)
    "Mike, You wanted to hear from Mac Pro owners with the freezing problem who DO NOT have a Seagate drive (I also have three other drives in the computer)
    Here's my (stock) boot drive:
    Capacity: 298.09 GB
    Model: WDC WD3200AAJS-41VWA0
    Revision: 58.01D01
    Native Command Queuing: Yes
    Queue Depth: 32
    Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)
    S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified
    Volumes:
    Macintosh HD:
    Capacity: 297.77 GB
    Available: 220.39 GB
    Writable: Yes
    File System: Journaled HFS+

    Since my computer runs Folding@Home 24/7, my computer is set to never sleep (but the display does). The computer freezes at random times regardless of the program running, or whether the display is sleeping or not. I have reset the SMC & PRAM and pulled & re-seated the video card.

    After the freeze this morning, I searched the console logs and discovered about a couple thousand lines pertaining to "GPU Debug Info" (see entries starting at line 280). I don't know if the video card has anything to do with the freezes, but it seems like a good place to start. I've attached the zipped log, but there's probably not much useful info if you're not a programmer (see entries starting at line 280).

    Reloading the OS is going to be my next step. I've been holding off calling Apple about the problem until 10.5.2 comes out. If it freezes after that, they'll definitely hear from me.
    -Pat W."


    (added 1/31/2008)
    "I have my MacPro 2.8GHz for 3 days and I am very happy with it. Especially as it replaces an extremely noisy MDD PowerMac. To keep it quiet, I decided to install 2 Samsung SpinPoint T166 500GB drives as RAID0. And they are also very very quiet - I did not notice any "noise" increase after installing them. Here are the Xbench values:

    Default 320 GB drive:
    Results 178.50
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.5.1 (9B2117)
    Physical RAM 2048 MB
    Model MacPro3,1
    Drive Type WDC WD3200AAJS-41VWA0
    Disk Test 77.67
    Sequential 117.17
    Uncached Write 111.29, 68.33 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 122.62, 69.38 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 99.85, 29.22 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 143.23, 71.99 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 58.09
    Uncached Write 22.42, 2.37 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 142.39, 45.59 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 94.21, 0.67 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 150.97, 28.01 MB/sec [256K blocks]

    RAID 0 w/2 SAMSUNG SpinPoint T166 500GB:
    Results 200.51
    Disk Test 104.80
    Sequential 154.95
    Uncached Write 351.12, 215.58 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 350.14, 198.11 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 61.32, 17.95 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 262.99, 132.18 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 79.17
    Uncached Write 30.38, 3.22 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 373.69, 119.63 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 111.51, 0.79 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 167.67, 31.11 MB/sec [256K blocks]

    Regards, Herbert"


    (added 1/31/2008)
    "I've been experiencing overall system instability.. and these are most recently expressed as:

    1. When restarting or shutting down, the system hangs at the 80% opacity, spinning gear-like object in the center of the screen. I've left the machine on for over 8 hours to make sure. The internal HD's sound like they're intermittently writing / reading.

    2. When sleeping from Apple menu, upon wake, the machine shuts off, ramps the fans (similar to a firmware update) and restarts.

    3. Upon restart of either symptom, OS 10.5.1 reindexes all connected/mounted volumes.

    I am using a 500GB Seagate 7200.11 32MB Cache for 10.5.1, so I did a 'clean' install. (I wrote to ask him what Apple System Profiler shows for the drive model/drive revision (firmware) - after the report yesterday on 7200.11 misreported drive ID w/firmware SD04.-Mike)

    2.8GHz x8(core), 10GB RAM, 500GB Seagate 7200.11 32MB Cache
    (Boot ROM Version: MP31.006C.B02, SMC Version: 1.25f4)
    OS X 10.5.1 Installed latest updates as of 01.30.2008
    23" Apple Cinema Display, 20" Samsung SyncMaster 205
    Ext. Drives: 3 FireWire 400, 1 FireWire 800, 600GB RAID 0
    However fast, the system due to these significant issues has been disappointedly unreliable :( Great website!

    (he later replied to my question on drive/model firmware) Here is the system profiler information for the Seagate 7200.11 32MB drive. Also, I have 70GB partitioned with Vista (64-bit), if that matters. By the way, I've seen a few mentions of this drive on your site.. something with model #'s and incorrect cache ? (see post below from yesterday (here and in news page post). Seagate 7200.11 w/firmware SD04 issue with 'invalid' model ID reporting, etc. That was from a 750GB model, so the model number is different than a 500GB model - and you note below a different (later) firmware version.-Mike)
    (some redundant ASP info omitted to save space)
    Intel ESB2 AHCI:
    Vendor: Intel
    Product: ESB2 AHCI
    Speed: 3.0 Gigabit
    Description: AHCI Version 1.10 Supported

    ST3500320AS:
    Capacity: 465.76 GB
    Model: ST3500320AS
    Revision: SD15 (not SD04)
    Native Command Queuing: Yes
    Queue Depth: 32
    Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table) S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified

    I also have a RAID 0 with two drives : the stock 1. WD 320GB 8MB Cache and a 2. Seagate 320GB 16MB Cache. Here is the system profile information for these.
    With a 1.16GB finder duplication (.MPEG4) from my startup volume TO the RAID 0, and from the RAID 0 TO the startup drive, peak performance as indicated by Activity Monitor is 112.38 MB/sec...

    1. WESTERN DIGITAL:
    WDC WD3200AAJS-41VWA0:
    Capacity: 298.09 GB
    Model: WDC WD3200AAJS-41VWA0
    Revision: 58.01D01
    Native Command Queuing: Yes
    Queue Depth: 32
    Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)
    S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified
    Volumes:
    Boot OSX:
    Capacity: 128 MB (?)
    Writable: Yes
    File System: HFS+
    BSD Name: disk2s3

    2. SEAGATE :
    ST3320620AS:
    Capacity: 298.09 GB
    Model: ST3320620AS
    Revision: 3.AAK
    Serial Number: 6QF3JMN2
    Native Command Queuing: Yes
    Queue Depth: 32
    Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)
    S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified
    Volumes:
    Boot OSX:
    Capacity: 128 MB
    Writable: Yes
    File System: HFS+
    BSD Name: disk1s3

    -Graham C."

    Although nothing so far seems to be a universal fix for freezes/graphic corruption, just for the record I asked if he'd set Energy Saver to never allow sleep and tried a PRAM/SMC reset (which some said helped with restart on wake).


    An update from a reader that had gotten a replacement system after having frequent freezes. (As another reader reported, the replacement is showing the same behavior)

    (added 1/31/2008)
    "I just got a replacement and within 4 hours it crashed with the graphics corruption problem. My music kept playing but it stopped after the current song. I could also ssh in but when I tried to shutdown -r now it hung then. Here's hoping for it to be fixed in 10.5.2...
    -Frederick"


    (added 1/30/2008)
    "I have had my Mac Pro for 2 weeks. I had the reboot from sleep issue. It was pretty consistent. I reset the Parameter RAM and the SMC and it has been working ok for the last few days.

    Today I had the second instance of the screen going black. I was dragging a song to my ipod shuffle in Itunes when the screen when black. The transfer did not appear to take place. The light on the Apple 23 inch display was alternating between blinking three times and being off. I had to use the power button to shut the computer down. It then worked fine as it had the last time. Apple said they had no record of the problem and said to just see if it happened again... so I am. In general I am very happy with the machine.
    -Allan"


    Seagate 7200.11/ST3750330AS Misreported drive model/firmware issue: (UPDATE: see above for a Feb 1st, 2008 reader report from a 750GB ST375033AS owner w/Firmware AEBS03 that said he's seeing the same "invalid" model number reported in ASP. So it's not just SD04 firmware apparently)
    Not sure if this affects all 7200.11s w/firmware before AD14, or just SD04 firmware, but posting as a FYI. I can't recall if any G5 onboard SATA users have seen this to date (based on drive db searches on previous reports there).

    (added 1/30/2008)
    "I'm not set to reboot (Dual 2.8 GHz 2 GB RAM) after a power failure (Energy Saver Option), but have the problem. For now, I've solved it by configuring the Energy Saver System Preferences panel so that my displays and hard drives "sleep", but not the computer itself. I don't know what power consumption is under these circumstances, but the machine stays very quiet and very cool and doesn't reboot when I return.

    Might I ask a question? I just added 4 Gbytes of RAM and a Seagate 750 Gbyte 7200.11 (ST3750330AS) from OWC to my box this morning. Too soon to tell how much faster the additional RAM makes it "feel", but I noted in Disk Utility and "About this Mac that the new internal SATA drive is described under "Model" as "ST3_INVALID_PFM"
    What does that mean? (I googled this and came up with the following (Seagate user forum):
    ST3_INVALID_PFM as model number on ST3750330AS drive
    (Posts there from PC users mention the "invalid" model reporting and has 2 comments that updating the drive firmware (to "AD14") corrected the model number reporting, but said the drive then showed 0KB of buffer in HDtune (PC benchmark). As in the past, I suspect Seagate's firmware updates are still for PCs only unfortunately (and still require a floppy drive - but Jim later wrote the updater includes an ISO file for creating a bootable CD, but as I suspected it would not work under his VM windows (fusion, parallels, etc.)).
    I asked Jim to send the firmware version of his 7200.11 drive (ASP 'revision' info). Based on posts in that thread I suspect it's firmware SD04. He later said it was SD04.-Mike
    )
    Guess I'll try Seagate's website as well. The drive formatted just fine and Disk Utility doesn't find any problems with it afterwards, but the errant model number persists.

    (he later wrote)
    The firmware flasher also includes an ISO file to create a bootable CD if one is running from the command line. However, the problem is that my SATA internal drive in question is not visible to the virtual machine (the "hard drive" for the virtual machine is a file that is treated as the C drive, and no other physical drives are seen by the machine.

    That might not be the case had I installed Windows XP using Boot Camp for Leopard, but I didn't think of that in time, and the Win XP Pro I purchased is an OEM version, so I don't want to annoy Microsoft's software snoops that would detect running under Boot Camp as running the OS on a different "machine."
    So, I'll call Seagate tech support tomorrow and see if they have any other ideas.
    -Jim R."

    I've also added this as a drive database report. As noted here in the past (news page posts, drive database reports, etc.) over the years - there's been cases in the past where some seagate drives (i.e. 7200.9 and .10 models previously) had some issues with some drive firmware versions. Seagate tech support may offer to exchange the drive since you do not have a PC to update it. This is why I prefer the Hitachi drives. (I chose the Hitachi 7K1000 series over the Seagate, although they were both 7200rpm/32MB cache.) The Hitachi 1TB was also a bit less than the Seagate 1TB at the time and still is I think.
    If you find anything on this at Seagate's site or get any reply from their tech support, let me know. (Years ago when the first 7200.9's shipped they had SSC enabled by default, not compatible with Macs onboard SATA. (Later .9s had SSC disabled by default.) OWC back then got the patcher and patched drives they had in stock but not sure they are aware of this issue but I'm sending Larry a FYI on this and Jamie of OWC replied he's contacting Seagate support now. The Site specials page has the Seagate 750GB 7200.10 model, not the .11 but their main SATA HD listings include the .11 model.)


    (added 1/30/2008)
    "The "restart after a power failure" setting has no effect on the crash during sleep problem on my box (8x2.8 Ghz, 2 GB RAM, 320 GB disk, ATI 2600). (I didn't post them all here but about a dozen new mac pro owners seeing this problem said it also had no effect (and many had never enabled that option). Several here have said a SMC/Pram reset has helped, although I don't know if that's a permanent fix.-Mike)
    -Mark
    P.S. I added two 1 GB FB-DIMMS (800 Mhz), purchased from a reliable source, and the machine crashed within 18 hours leaving me with a LED failure indicator on my B memory board (where the new memory went). I switched the A and B memory boards and problem moved with the memory board. I switched the FB-DIMMs (swapping slot 1 and 2) and the problem moved with the FB-DIMM. One of the FB-DIMMs definitely died. I notified the vendor and I'm awaiting an RMA and a replacement pair of FB-DIMMs. "


    (added 1/30/2008)
    "Although the Mac Pro I have bought last week is not my first Mac (since 2006 I own a MacBook Pro), I'm still a newly converted.

    As far as I can see now, speed etc (6 gig RAM) works fine. I have some trouble with using Open Office, but I think I have to read the instructions before installing ;-)

    A more serious problem is the installation of Bootcamp (I told you, I'm a newly converted). Partitioning the hard drive did only work after three efforts...just the same efforts. Then I started installing Windows Vista Home Premium (an OEM version) and after the notification that it was downloading Windows File, the screen turned black. At least for one night...so I interrupted it.
    I read in all sorts of self help groups that it is a known problem....but is there a solution?
    Thanks in advance.
    -Carlo "

    The Boot Camp Beta page here had some past posts on no video/black screens at Windows install/boot with ATI X1900 cards (not sure that was ever fixed) - the tip I posted back then that worked was to use an Analog (VGA) Monitor for the install (i.e. using DVI to VGA adapter). Can you try that?


    (added 1/30/2008)
    "I have not had the reboot issue once I reset the PRAM. I did not ever reset the SMC, by the way, just the PRAM. I have a UPS - an APC 1500 model. On my energy saver settings, I have sleep set to "never" (always have).
    -P "

    Disabling Energy Saver sleep was also a tip for freezes (from Jamie at OWC) when the first new Mac Pros arrived, although it hasn't been a fix for everyone. SMC reset helped some with the reboot on wake, some did a pram reset also though. At this point not sure if either is a permanent fix.


    (added 1/30/2008)
    "I purchased one of the new 2.8Ghz dual quad-core machines last week. I've swapped out the stock 320GB drive with a 750GB WD, and added 3 new WD 500GB "Enterprise class" drives along with it, plus put in 8GB of memory ordered from www.memorytogo.com (4 2GB sticks). I also pulled out the Radeon HD2600XT card and substituted my X1900XT 512MB card from my older 2.6Ghz Mac Pro. (I plan on putting the HD2600XT in the older Mac Pro, along with the pulled 320GB drive and the original pair of 1GB memory sticks from the new Mac Pro.)

    Anyway, I haven't experienced any real issues yet with the new machine. I think I did encounter the "reboot on wake from sleep" issue once, because I left it sitting after it was finishing installing from the system restore DVDs (had to fresh install from those since I put the new 750GB drive in and it was blank). I came back downstairs to find a blank monitor screen (power saver kicked on), but when I tapped space-bar to get my screen back, I heard the Mac restart and chime instead... After that, I just disabled sleep mode, since this machine will be running a small ftp server for me anyway.

    I installed SMC Fan Control and configured it so it runs the fan cooling the card slots at a couple-hundred more RPMs than normal as the "slowest speed". (It seems like that's a good idea if you have the X1900XT video card, since it's known for having so many overheating problems.) (that was a tip from some in the past also. Keep an eye out for dust clogging the heatsink fins too. Several X1900 owners noticed that (article here from last year on that - although for most a cooler swap seemed the most popular fix)-Mike.) It looks like at least during idle or light use (running Mail or Safari or what-not), the reported temperatures are roughly 6-10 degrees F cooler than what I saw in my older Mac Pro.

    I really need to do some video transcoding or encoding, or play with a "Pro" app like Motion to get a better sense of how much of an "upgrade" this feels like from my Mac Pro 2.6Ghz tower. So far, just using apps like iTunes or MS Office, the speed feels nearly identical.
    -Tom W."

    Apple's 2008 Mac Pro performance test/comparison pages used a 3.2GHz (top end) model vs. a Quad G5 for comparison on many Pro Apps tests (FCP, PShop, etc.). A few others used the previous base 2.66GHz Mac Pro.


    (added 1/30/2008)
    "Bought one right after the keynote. Stock 2.8GHz 8 core with the stock 2GB RAM. Installed a second 500GB hard drive this week for Time Machine and a partition for Boot camp as well, but I have yet to actually install Windows. As far as I know the machine is going to sleep and waking up fine. I don't specifically ever put it to sleep, but it's set to go to sleep after 30 minutes of inactivity. It's my first Mac, so maybe it's beginners luck, but after reading your site I'm a little concerned.

    Performance wise I love it. Great machine, totally happy. I'm looking forward to see how it will play with Windows, as I run Solidworks, but my guess is that it will fly, given it's performance thus far.
    No UPS at the moment. Restart after power off is not checked.
    (In reply to the post above asking if anyone with freezes has other than a Seagate drive)
    I took a look at system profiler and sure enough the stock drive is not a Seagate. WDC WD3200AAJS-41VWA0. Could lead some credence to the affected systems being those with Seagate 320's (FYI - See above - Reader w/Seagate 500GB also mentioned freezes, but curious if the OEM Seagate 7200.11's are a factor.-Mike), as mine has thus far not had these issues. (knocks feverishly on desk)
    -Eric S."


    (added 1/30/2008)
    "As a follow up to a previous post regarding the Mac Pro 2.8 8 core, I have had the unit almost 3 weeks and I have not had a single crash. I did try sleeping the harddrives and sleeping the unit. No strange restarts. I have a theory about the restart bug. I wonder if folks have their preferences to restart after a power failure checked on or off. (Energy Saver Option) If the Mac Pro were to think the power were off during sleep then it may trigger the restart. (I posted a request on that (below) and those that had the problem replied the setting made no difference. And many said they had never enabled that option in Energy Saver to begin with.-Mike) The other thought I had was whether their motherboard battery was inserted properly, and functioning properly.
    I remember a few years ago with a 800 DP G4 having a bug where the unit would die. It could not be turned on at all. I took the motherboard battery out for about 10 minutes and then reinserted the battery. It fixed the issue. (Yes, I've posted in the news page before that a reset/nvram clear like that solved G4 tower powerup problems in the past. (I've seen that many times over the years - and again at a client's business last year.)-Mike)
    I have had no problems with this Mac Pro yet. Hopefully I will not have problems.
    Sincerely, Bill"


    To those with Reboot on Wake issues: If you've having this problem (repeatable) - before you try a SMC reset, etc. - see if your Energy Saver options are set to restart after a power failure - if so uncheck that option. I'm curious if the system would then restart or just shut down on wake from sleep. (As a test to see if power is dropping out/below usable levels or if it's just causing a system restart.) Let me know the results. Thanks. (As always if you're using an UPS, include info/ratings on it also.)
    FYI: Replies so far from those with this problem say the system still restarts, regardless of the "restart of power failure" setting. (Some said they never had the option checked.)


    Guide to HD install in Optical Drive Bay: Oliver had put a WD Raptor hard drive in the Optical drive bay (w/isolation) for reduced noise in his previous Mac Pro and this weekend sent info/pix for an article on Mac Pro 2008: Guide to optical bay hard drive installation.


    Pix of 2008 Drive Screws/Drive Rail Changes: (Updated 1/29/2008) I had a couple readers ask about the new rubber ringed drive screws and drive rail changes (for lower drive noise/vibration) mentioned by some owners early on. I wrote Oliver and asked if he could send some photos:

    (added 1/28/2008)
    "Check out the 3 pictures below, and feel free to use them. The drive trays between the old and new Mac Pros are interchangeable. Due to the rubber rings this means that the screws have a flatter head, with the unfortunate side effect that the screws are easier to wear out. Also, the drive trays have a shallower recess where the screws go.
    Cheers, Oliver

    The new "kind of springs" that Michael B. mentioned. Except for these the drive bays/rails look much the same. (Actually I don't think the "springs" help all that much, they're very "soft", meaning they don't put much pressure on the sled at all (it's very easy to push in with a finger).)

    drive rail springs

    Comparison of old vs new drive trays, screws and new rubber rings."

    drive screw comparison

    2006 vs 2008 screws

    (Update - after a reader said the rings were not rubber but hard plastic/only used to hold the screws captive - not of any use for isolation, I wrote Oliver to verify they were rubber (although I was sure they were as he'd *twice* said rubber plus note the "nubs" on them, which to me clearly indicate they are designed for isolation-Mike)
    Well, the ones in my Mac Pro are definitely rubber. And it's actually a single piece (per screw), see attached picture. Hard plastic would have been impossible to get out of the hole, in case that's not evident. :)

    yes, rubber!


    "Proto1" motherboard revision ID:

    (added 1/28/2008)
    "I have not experienced any screen freezes yet. Nor have I experienced any more restarts from sleep (reset SMC and zapped the PRAM). However, I am reading all these posts on line about the motherboard revision in current Mac Pros (3,1) as being Proto1. Checked my own with Hardware Monitor, and sure enough, the motherboard reports itself as "Proto1". Could it be that the motherboard is a late prototype, or do you think it's just a malapropistic descriptor that needs to be changed by a firmware fix?
    I am starting to really worry that Apple might have rushed these machines...
    (I suspect it's just a leftover ID from the development effort... What actual "prototype" motherboard would be made in hundreds of thousands (Qty of a production run). (I suspect they have made at least a hundred thousand boards on the first production run.) Years ago the protoype motherboards were a different color (red, or blue IIRC).
    I agree it's a poor choice of naming even of the rev 1 prototype passed qual tests and didn't need a hardware revision (I assume). But nothing surprises me anymore... and I wonder why Apple didn't see the problems many owners have in qual testing (freezes, reboot on wake, etc.) - although some have said resets, etc. helped that and hopefully future updates will improve things. (Hardware revision ID's however are not normally changed by a firmware update.)-Mike
    )
    Thanks for the late night reply. I should say that I've been putting the computer to sleep for 3 days now overnight and during the day. I have not had one restart once since the PRAM/SMC reset. I have also not gotten one video lockup yet either. I did get one case of screen corruption (a string of square-ish blotches over one side of the main screen), but I was able to get rid of the artifacts simply by dragging an open window over them. Another thing that occurred to me: when the restart from sleep did happen the first time I had a Firewire2 drive connected to the computer via the Firewire 800 port in the back. The drive was on. Maybe the power in-rush after wake-from-sleep combined by the power draw from the Firewire drive caused the circuit to overload? I am probably reaching here...
    -Eugene"

    Normally that shouldn't be a problem, but I don't know what else is on that AC circuit. But reboots on wake from sleep has been fairly commonly reported here, although some said a reset help (not always permanently). BTW - I asked several owners if their Energy Saver options were set to restart after a power failure; curious if the system would then restart or just shut down on wake from sleep if that was unchecked. (As a test to see if power is dropping out/below usable levels or if it's just causing a system restart.) Everyone that replied with the restart on wake issue said that ES setting had no effect on the behavior (it restarted regardless of the setting). Zapping the Pram (and some reset SMC) solved the problem for some (although not sure it's a permanent fix).


    I moved earlier reports on 2008 Mac Pros to this page.


    2008 Mac Pro related Apple Support/Troubleshooting Docs:



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