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  • cl-user Level 1 Level 1
    Thanks Samsara.
    Not having my machine (at last the Apple repair outfit is working on machine, and they say the PS fried the mother board so more waiting), now ideas come to mind ...
    Could it be that if the sound producing app is exceptionally single threaded (perhaps iTunes) then heat up is worse and cool down slowest, but if the app is more "cluttered" eg Firefox playing Youtube (wild guess that this uses more threads, hence cores), then more cores are drawn in and so the heating anomaly is lessened.
    Anyone care to try an experiment: run some stepped CPU loading app and monitor thermal overload effect (up and down).
    I wrote come code to max out cores individually, but didn't try running iTunes in parallel. A standard thermal anomaly test would be useful, one that everyone can repeat. Play such-an-such track (publicly available) in iTunes. Track lasts x minutes, then leave iTunes y minutes. Quit iTunes. After z minutes ... at each step measure core temps.

    (Having been plagued by this annoyance, so tried to avoid and suppress it, now that my machine is fried/out of action, I want to run sound/thermal experiments ... sad!).

    Another thoughts: try booting in safe boot mode (minimize OS threads running while thermal testing, make sure Rosetta never evoked), try 64bit boot.
  • cl-user Level 1 Level 1
    adding to the above ...
    if Turbo-boost is kicked in because a single thread is executing in one core only, while the other cores are idle, hence the one core can be over-clocked and the thermal load spread over the whole die, could it be that the sound code somehow kicks more than the one core (maybe all) into turbo-boost.
    OK wild and blind speculation, call it throwing ideas in the air.
  • Samsara Level 4 Level 4
    Apple repair outfit is working on machine, and they say the PS fried the mother board so more waiting

    Ouch, they should have given you a new machine. With the Audio problems I've tried a different track. Rather than giving myself migraines trying to figure it out I would like to quantify just how many people are experiencing it. Catch it while you can, feel free to post:
  • abains Level 1 Level 1
    I think the bad press regarding this issue will only increase until Apple fixes this!
  • jazzslant Level 1 Level 1
    This is disturbing...and very surprising too. I have a late 2008 MacBook (white) the cheapest Mac you can buy and with its built-in graphics I would have thought that these issues you guys are experiencing would happen for sure with my MB...but iTunes will happily play all day with the CPU never going above 44˚C. I mention this not to gloat but because I am considering getting a Mac Pro in the near future as I use Logic Studio and need something a bit beefier as my projects get more complex (although it must be said my little MB does handle it surprisingly well). So, having shyed away from the new 27" Quad-core iMacs due to the the screen flickering/blacking out problems they are having, I thought, sure, pay a bit more and get the Pro - surely no issues with them...and then I find this! It's just strange to think my £700 MB could handle audio demands/heat better than a £2000 Pro. Maybe I should just hang on to it for now.
  • cl-user Level 1 Level 1
    My power supply failure (no idea whether directly related to the sound bug) has apparently resulted in mother board failure too, so I have been unable to do any work since 21st Nov. So 9 days lost and counting, plus lots of frustration at "economies of truth" from Apple and their repair contractors. During that time I have had plenty of reason to question the investment in a £3000 Mac Pro. For anyone in the UK using a Mac Pro for work, I strongly advise buying a second one as a spare, as when you have a problem that required Apple repair, you will be in serious trouble. Apple don't even keep spare parts ready, but have to send to Holland for them.
    Very little of the parallel processing power of the Mac Pro is used, so most of the time you will use less than 10% of the machine. I suspect negligible amounts of the 64 v 32 bit capability, next to no OpenCL, ...
    All in, unless you have specific applications which harness the potential power gains of the Mac Pro, I think you are better off with a MacBook. I now wish that I had gone that way.
    For a sound specialist, I think the Mac Pro is out of the question.
    The impression given by Apple UK is that your need for support joins the queue of the hoards of iPod users. Support does not come anywhere near the level appropriate for such an expensive machine, and effective performance is far short of the promise. Besides you'll need to budget for some serious storage capability (RAID etc.), so I suspect you are looking at a £5000 machine.
    All a bit OT on this thread, but for your sound requirements jazzslant perhaps relevant, and that is before you consider the sound bug which makes it a potential lemon for you.
  • cl-user Level 1 Level 1
    Samsara, anyone, can you give me any help with this (how to get a new machine, who to contact).
    I get a complete brush-off from AppleCare. They have been dishing half truths and plain misinformation, and now seem to be passing the buck to their repair contractor (whom of course I have no control over). Apple took £195 on the 21st November to give my machine priority repair service. They still have it and I have no sense when I might get it back. All I've heard this morning is that they have no "back plane" (unsure whether that equates to motherboard) available. No sense when they might have one, no sense when I might get the machine back. I am utterly disgusted and frustrated by AppleCare.
    I have no attachment to that machine per se, I just want a functioning machine. So a replacement new identical/equivalent machine would do, if they can get on with delivering it asap (like in days).
    I am in the UK and am sure the AppleCare operation here is nothing like the one in the USA (friends there are appalled at the treatment that I have received so far).
    Can anyone give me information on how to get through to Apple so that I am heard by a competent person and can get some sort of practical response? The last thing I want to do is talk to AppleCare UK any more, the most disappointing, frustrating and useless exercise. The general experience is the complete opposite of "support".

    Heeeelp ...!
  • jazzslant Level 1 Level 1
    Hi cl-user and thanks for your response. I must admit I have heard a few things about the non-usable processing power of the pro, making it something of a white elephant for some users. Your insight has been a very useful contribution to my decision making process as audio processing is the main use for my Mac. I am now erring on the side of a MacBook Pro when it comes to replacing my MB white...unless the new Mac Pros (whenever they appear) prove to be the long-awaited revolution in efficiency and reliability that some of us felt they always should have been...especially for the price tag!
  • Samsara Level 4 Level 4
    Hi Cl,

    First I want to say how sorry I am that you're going through this. It brings to mind my G5 days which were H*ll. Here is the number of a kind of customer relations group here that people with G5s are still calling today to get their G5s fixed for free or sometimes given new machines. It's broader than G5s though so maybe you might want to give it a try. Just be extremely nice and patient. Maybe they will refer you to their UK counterpart, but they are not the regular people you would call at Apple. The number here is 1-800-767-2775.

    I don't know the back and forth's of the conversations you've been having with Apple so I can't judge whether to be appalled or not. I will say I've never heard of paying for "priority service", but it well may exist. That sum is outrageous though and it doesn't sound like something you would get back.

    So as I understand it your machine is now in the hands of one of Apples Authorized Repair Service Providers. No surprise there, it's done here all the time. In fact sometimes they are more able than the people who work at the Apple Stores. By the way, was a walk-in Apple Store too far way from you?

    What I hear is that all they need to get the Mac back to you is a "back plane" (not sure what that is either), but in the interim they have done a lot of work on your machine, that is, replace mother board and power supply. This, to me anyway, doesn't sound like horrible service, yet. Another week would be to me intolerable though. Yes, I know you didn't want to hear that. I can't live a day without my Mac. But if they've promised that this back plane is all they are waiting for and it doesn't arrive soon, very soon, if I were you I would contact Apple again asking for a new Mac. And if that fails, I would contact a consumer protection agency there, and let Apple know. Sometimes you have to push the pedal to the metal, as a last resort.

    Back to the topic, and a little more... I'm sure you and Jazzslant have looked at the link above,
    You, Cl, made a much better stab of understanding Dr. Bresink then I did. And also you know now that the audio issue may have had nothing to do with your Macs problems whatsoever. In fact one person I talked to told me, and I don't want to believe it, that in assembling Macs, quality control there is a bit suspect. That doesn't sound right though.
    But for both you and Jazzslant, as much as I too am upset about this audio heat thing, +it may not be an issue.+ In fact, according to Dr. Bresink, these Macs were designed to run hot, no matter how counter-intuitive that may be. I tried to thresh this out with him the other night but he's so far beyond me in understanding Macs that I was left with nothing to say. He insists, as the article says, this is "an INTENDED hardware feature of the processor". He pins everything down to Turbo Boost.
    I am still wary however, and will continue to be. But the bottom line is this, unless MPs start to fail in numbers we'll never know if this is an issue or not. CL, we don't know what to make of your situation yet. Zouglas's post was the first one here that really seemed to follow what would be the suspected result of this. If posts like his keep rolling in, then we'll know. But let it be known, his was the first, and the Nehalem's have been out for awhile now. Will this turn out to be like the G5s that started going downhill after 3 years, a quarter of them? God only knows.

    Ok, the little more... Jazzslant, you can buy an MP with confidence in it's future. If the audio thing turns out to be a problem it will be affecting many Macs, and Apple will have to fess up this time. Logic is a very popular program with professionals and amateurs alike. Apple is not going to want to risk their reputation there. It would be like Photoshop killing their Macs, too much at stake.
    Also you may well go for the iMac. The problems you speak of Apple would be legally compelled to fix as well if they happened to you. Just open the box right away when you get it and check for a broken screen. That would be Apple's shipping boxes fault and rough handling in transit.
    Cl, serious storage capacity comes built into the MP. One has 4 standard HD bays, with one in the optical bay, and another there too if one removes their DVD player and mounts it externally like I do. I have six HDs internal in my Mac, and if they weren't SSDs they may well be 2 terabyte HDs. Thats mucho storage capacity, with internal RAID capability, the whole ball of wax.

    Jazzslant, "non-usable processing power of the pro". I consider this a blessing. It amounts to this in my mind. The 09 MPs are phenomenal as they are, a true leap in technology. But they are built for what comes next. What that means to me is that, even if new models come out and are faster, better, the MP I have now will only perform better, faster. For once we have the industry looking to take advantage of what we already have instead of the other way around, and they are pushing strongly to get there.
    To me that's a rare deal in the computer world.

    I'm under no illusions, Apple is a company of angels and demons. Unfortunately we will always have to watch it carefully. But let's give credit where credit is due and meet it halfway if we can.
  • smacman Level 1 Level 1

    Can your Dr. friend explain why this normal behavior does NOT occur when running in Windows(XP, Vista, and 7)? Can he explain why it also does not occur in Linux?

    Threads like this probably dissuade several people per day from buying Mac Pros. Apple should fix this "software" bug or at least acknowledge that they are working on a fix.
  • Samsara Level 4 Level 4
    Ease up a bit... This is what he said.

    Me: You can explain why this temp rise is not seen when operating in Windows?

    Marcel Bresink: I did not perform any tests with Windows, so I am not really qualified to answer such questions. The logical conclusion would be that Windows doesn't enable Turbo Boost mode by default. Depending on configuration, it might be necessary to additionally install the "Intel Turbo Boost Technology Driver for Windows". On many generic PCs, it will also be necessary to enable an ACPI option in the BIOS setup before Turbo Boost can be used. As you might know, Macs don't use a BIOS, but firmware compliant with the EFI standard, so necessary parts expected by Windows may be missing in the firmware.

    Message was edited by: Samsara
  • smacman Level 1 Level 1
    Intel Turbo Boost according to Intel's documentation is hardware level, therefore requiring no drivers. Furthermore, Windows 7 has to be more than ready for i7 / Xeon CPUs since there are so many systems being sold with these chips.

    There is something wrong here. The i7 iMacs are running nice and cool while playing audio and they have turbo boost functionality.
  • Samsara Level 4 Level 4
    Why no drivers for hardware? And have you personally tested the iMacs? That would be strange, but a good sign this is not normal.
    Regardless, I've said I'm not ok with this but I'm not going to debate it. I merely sought out an extremely knowledgeable professional who has been a great resource to the Mac community for years, and he himself said it was something he had not tested.
    Anyone is free to seek out any info and advice they can. I just decided to get off my can and try. Only that. A page has been listed here that users can share their experiences.
  • Justin Surpless Level 4 Level 4
    Have you looked at Power Usage sensors?

    My 2006 Mac Pro is experiencing something similar to this when running 10.5.3 or higher; even though the CPUs are relatively idle, CPU Power Draw goes from ~9W under 10.5.2 to ~30W under > 10.5.3...

    My suspicion is that it's related to the 'SpeedStep' functionality being disabled in some fashion... mine is always seemingly disabled, whereas perhaps the 2009 is only disabled under MP3 playback or something?
  • cl-user Level 1 Level 1
    Thanks for your calm and constructive words Samsara. The thing that kicked me into getting a Mac Pro this summer was in part my G5 Quad overheating.

    Unfortunately 800 numbers in the USA do not work from the UK (which is awkward as so often support operations only give out such numbers). As calling the USA from England will be expensive (especially so if there are long waiting times), is there any way that I could write to anyone? Of course just listing the facts and leave any passion out.

    Yes the machine seems to be in the hands of Apple UK's repair service. I am left unsure whom I'm meant to be dealing with, I assumed AppleCare. Unfortunately there has been no back and forth with AppleCare, it is all communication attempts from my side and no follow up from AppleCare.

    There is an Apple Store about 30 miles away, I was ready to take the machine up there, but the AppleCare guy told me that if I paid £195 I would get on-site repair, otherwise immediate pickup and faster turn around. He seems to have had no idea Apple UK service facilities carry no spares and don't do on-site repairs. Pick-up for Saturday (a week ago) did not happen and was delayed until the end of Tuesday. I was left taking days holiday (even missed significant things, but that's not Apple's fault, it just gives some sense of how serious getting repair going was to me) for pick-ups that never happened.

    Well having re-calibrated my expectations from 1 day to 1 week, now as I look at the next week and worry about Christmas calling a halt to any repairs, I do feel that a new machine is not unreasonable. This will let Apple get on with doing whatever they want with that dead machine. I can't see why if that machine died so ruinously as it did, any others aren't headed that way too, not to say it will happen but that Apple might be interested to do an autopsy on that machine.

    The way you phrase things I'm left thinking that I should be grateful that Apple has maybe done a lot of work on the machine. From my perspective, that machine was kept very clean and babied here (apart from suffering the audio/heating issues), was almost new, so any manufacturing failure or design flaw that lead to complications doesn't accrue blame on me. Besides 99% of the time taken and cost to me has been for Apple doing nothing, not collecting, not working on it, not stocking spares, not communicating, ...

    On the subject of Apple doing work for me, they have my telephone number and could easily phone anytime, or post information/progress reports on their Being left in the dark, effectively unemployed ... is what is somewhat peeving. To lose one's work machine and be cut off like this, is like going to the office to find the front door slammed shut with no explanation why. OK again not Apple's fault that this slow and awkward repair is crushing for me, but one could say that Apple should be flattered that I placed so much trust in them. This too is being radically re-calibrated.

    If the way Apple works is that a new system could go pop anytime, and from there on one should expect to hear nothing and to do without the system for weeks, that really does change my attitude towards Apple. I don't know if any other Computer systems can offer a better support operation than this, and I thought that I had bought exactly this by paying an enormous amount of money for a loaded top of the range Mac Pro, but I will be on the look out for a new platform on which to work. For the first time I see why the Hackintosh people do what they do. If I could nip out to a local store, get another machine that is sensibly priced, install my material (including the OS if needs be) and get back to work in hours, I would do just that. I see PC laptops in the grocery store for not much more money than I paid just for priority AppleCare which has so far proved worthless.

    To my mind the Mac Pro promises a huge amount. OK in OS performance there's a long way to go before the hardware is put to work efficiently and deeply, and there are some bugs to work out. But as a whole package including the realities of ownership, the Mac Pro seems to fall far short of both good value or performance.

    Like buying a home where it is as well to consider what it will be like to live in and finally sell, to buy a Mac demands that we consider the nature of the support offered as part of the bundle. Not something that comes to mind when oggling a super sounding new machine, but the reality of user experience has utterly obliterated any joy of acquisition.

    On my Mac Pro's failure, I've no idea what caused it and only partially look at the sound/heat issue. But I am surprised if the whole machine should be fried by a PS failure. In days of old maybe, but I'd expected far more resilience these days.

    But back to what now seems joyous fun in comparison, the audio/heating issue.
    As to the Nehalem being designed to run hot (hot being approaching the temp of boiling water), I do wish that Apple would be explicit and clear about operating tolerances. FWIW AppleCare seem to have no knowledge of operational temperature norms or limits, all I could glean from AppleCare/Support was if the CPU exceeds 70C the machine should be shut down immediately - which would make Mac Pros rather unusable. I put that insight down to Apple support staff just making things up.

    After the G5 PowerMac heating issues, we seem to be in completely new territory heat-wise. This seems odd as I thought the move to Intel was in part because the PPC architecture was failing on heat and here we are with more cores and in general less GHz. But that's a red herring re. the audio/heat issue.

    As to a crescendo of 09 Mac Pro failures, I too wouldn't think that likely. Maybe more will push their power and cooling system limits and so fail where manufacturing weaknesses exist, but I wouldn't expect that to grow over time. But I do wonder if life expectancy will be reduced. It is not just the extreme temperatures, but the rate of change of temperatures. In general I think steady state running helps reliability, heat transients in particular do the opposite. That said, why should my PS and more have failed as they did, other than "sound" I was not taxing the system. Statistics and time will tell what trends are in all this. But that is of no help in the here and now.

    On storage, I was meaning speed. As processing speeds climb, so the bottleneck between our working dataset and the running environment becomes more critical. So budgeting from an entry level MacBook to a sensibly specced Mac Pro, the cost of storage will quickly surpass the cost of a MacBook (the more so if using SSDs). I was just about to embark on exploring the SSD depreciation curve (the more so with Chrome pressure) with a view to boosting paging performance.

    On credit where credit due, fair point. Credit for what seems a good design, not so for support operations (from my perspective). In my own work (s/w), I've seen areas where I get more than 10x the performance on Nehalem than I did on PPC (and that before using OpenCL or GCD), a quantum leap in fixnum limits, and so on. Credit due there, and hopefully more promise to come.

    But as to Apple responding to user/customer pressure, I have my doubts re. the Mac Pros. Apple is moving focus to iPhone and other areas of business away from desktop machines. Proportionately the Mac Pro is a small part of their business, so I think we should expect longer reaction times and more deafness. Besides systems get more complicated, and if things as radical as the audio and Rosetta bugs can get through the net, that rather suggests there isn't that much resource focused on the Mac Pro. But we can't tell in advance how much energy Apple will put into the 09 MPs, we'll know that looking back.

    Another trouble with AppleCare-UK, is that we're left with weeks of frustration time so can rant hopelessly on the net. I'm punch drunk and running out of optimism. But if there's an audio/thermal fix soon, I must remember to credit Apple. If I ever get my PM or a substitute back, it'll be relief rather than joy.
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