10 Replies Latest reply: Mar 28, 2008 10:07 PM by PierceCook
traeki Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I just got a new Mac Pro, and as an afterthought I picked up an x1900 upgrade kit. the original system had 2 7300 cards, and they were in slots 1 and 4. I got the upgrade kit and plugged it into slot 2. The 7300s are still in there, but not connected to displays. I connected my 30" monitor and loaded up World of Warcraft.

Now, this is a beefy machine, 2 quad core 3 GHz CPUs, 8G RAM, and less than two weeks old, and I'm seeing really really low performance, graphically. In WoW, based on http://www.barefeats.com/octopro2.html, as well as consultation with a friend who has a similar system (x1900, 2.6GHz CPUs, ?G RAM), I would expect north of 100 FPS in WoW with the settings pegged, but I'm seeing more like 25-30, even at low settings (FSGE off, low resolution, 1x multisampling, for those who know the game). What's sad is that my MacBook Pro laptop, driving the _same monitor_ on an 8600 GT graphics card, can outperform the Mac Pro. So I assume I'm doing something wrong.

Anybody know what might be causing poor performance here? It's a brand new x1900, and I'm not seeing graphical artifacts, just low performance, so I assume it's not a cooling issue. Could it matter that I still have the empty 7300s hooked up, or that the x1900 isn't in slot 1? Any other thoughts about what might be wrong? I'm desperate, so any help appreciated.

Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,275 points)
    Put the Mac Pro into a slot configured for 16x.

    You need to launch the Expansion Slot Utility
    /System/Library/CoreServices
    as it won't auto launch anymore (10.5.x bug?)

    I use the PC Nvidia 8600 GTS and it is "comparable" or slightly better than the 2 yr old X1900.

    Your 7300s do little and there is no type of bridge or SLI support. The one in the lower slot should be 16x and the top one set to 8x. Slot 2 by default is going to be 1x or 4x, I think 1x.
  • traeki Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Very interesting. So, I'm a Mac Neophyte -- can you (or someone else) expand this for me a little? What is going wrong, and what are the steps I need to take to fix it? In particular, it seems you are suggesting that I fire up this Expansion Slot Utility and change some settings that will correct this problem.

    A) Is that in fact what you mean?
    B) Which settings, and to what values?
    C) I wasn't expecting the 7300s to help, I just mentioned them in case their existence or positioning might be hurting. Does your final paragraph mean that I should move my x1900 to slot 1 to take advantage of the 16x (I dont' know what that number means, incidentally, but I assume bigger is better), or simply that I need to change the setting on the x1900's slot to also be 16x?

    Thanks!

    -John
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,275 points)
    When you launch that utility, I think it will be more than obvious.

    And yes, pull the 7300s and move the Radeon. I assume you have the auxiliary power cord connected between the card and the small plug.

    16x = number of PCI Express lanes and bandwidth, and yes, higher numbers are better!

    All you need is the X1900 in there for now. The only use for two 7300s is for 3-4 monitors. Or two 30" (the X1900 can drive two 30" displays or 23 and 30).
  • traeki Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Okay, this looks like it's definitely the problem (1x vs. 16x slot, you were correct). But I cannot for the life of me find anything anywhere that tells me how to (physically speaking) safely extract a PCI card. The most helpful thing I've found is something to the effect of "pull the tab thingy to release the catch". What tab thingy, what catch? Everything relevant is UNDER THE VIDEO CARD! Gah.

    Any advice (esp pointers to diagrams) would be helpful. There's a diagram in the x1900 kit, but it's not really clear what it's talking about, since, again, everything is obscured by the very card I want to remove.
  • traeki Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Figured it out! (broke the tab on slot 2 in the process, but whatever) And it's totally faster now! Thank you so very much, Hatter, you are my hero!
  • cSticks Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Glad you got it working. Hey, at least now you have one less tab in the way for your next upgrade

    If you're still watching this thread, would you mind posting what kind of framerates you're getting now with it in the 16x slot? I am just curious if it goes up linearly with 2x the interface speed, or if it's more modest. Have fun with it.
  • traeki Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm seeing around 70 FPS with x1 sampling, FSGE turned on, and high (not quite max) settings at full 2560x resolution. Multi-sampling with FSGE kills the frame rate, but even then I'm seeing close to 30 FPS.

    I went from a slot with 1 lane to a slot with 16, and I don't think I'm seeing a 16x speedup, so PCI lanes wasn't a complete bottleneck, but it was clearly a huge issue.

    Message was edited by: traeki
  • bwyco Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I just upgraded to the new MBP with the 8600M GT vid card and it doing exactly what everyone else is complaining about. On COD2 at minimum settings I am getting 25 FPS. My IMac gets 150 FPS at high settings and it is running a 256mb card. Is there a fix for the 8600M or am I at the mercy of a crappy design or software issue?
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,275 points)
    This is Mac Pro, not MacBook Pro.
  • PierceCook Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Adding to the excitement - I've been getting framerate peaks around 200fps in Team Fortress 2.

    Bioshock, COD4, and Supreme Commander w/ everything maxed at 1600x1200 and full anti-aliasing is a charm.

    Crysis I have to run at 1280x1024, but with settings maxed and full anti-aliasing as well, runs great.

    Enjoy!