Previous 1 2 Next 19 Replies Latest reply: Dec 2, 2012 8:55 AM by Radeonus
Magovec Level 1 (0 points)



having a MacBook Pro Retina. It ran fine till yeasterday when I fired up a game which was laggy and it was running fine before. It took me several hours to find where the problem is and it seems to me that the nVidia dicrete card is not working. But strangely not working. I installed gfxCardStatus to see whether the card is being switched to run the game and it actually is. But the performance is the same as running it on an internal Intel. I took another test and downloaded CINEBENCH to see the differences and sadly the results are the same if I switch to nVidia or to Intel and run the benchmark.


Obviously something is not right here. It happened over night. Before it worked corectly. I do not remember installing something that day/night that could have broken it (in case it is a SW problem). Only one thing comes to my mind - Apple Java update. But I tried to uninstall it and got the same result. I did try to restart several times. But otherwise there is no visible flaw, e.g. flickering or black screen when swithech do nVidia - nothing. gfxCardStatus shows that the system switches the card and I notice no change. Only in heavy load it is obvious that it is slow (slower than it was).


Is there a way to see if the nVidia card is working? I suspect that even if the system is trying to switch to a discreet card it still runs on the Intel in reality. Any way how to distinguish this rather than to rely on gfxCardStatus? Any log that would make this clear? Any test I can run (Apple HW test shows "no problem detected")?


Many thanks for hints.

MacBook Pro with Retina display, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • dmdimon Level 3 (840 points)

    GPU can die, but can not degrade in speed. Especially if it repoets to system that it is working.

    check may be resolution settings...

  • Magovec Level 1 (0 points)

    I was more thinking like... would I be able to spot if one GPU dies? Isn't it that way that if the one dies the other take over? Isn't possible that the system tries to switch, sends the right command but the HW does not answer so it swithes back to the previous one?


    This is why I am searching the way how to really confirm if the HW is ok or not. E.g. to see the PCI table if the device is there or "ping" it somehow etc.

  • dmdimon Level 3 (840 points)

    Isn't it that way that if the one dies the other take over? Isn't possible that the system tries to switch, sends the right command but the HW does not answer so it swithes back to the previous one?

    then gfxCardStatus would show fallback one, as reported by one parts of system to other.

    As you have gfxCardStatus installed, force one card, than other and compare in report screens below

    Screen Shot 2012-10-24 at 4.34.57 PM.png

  • Magovec Level 1 (0 points)

    This seems to work as expected. If I switch to Intel it shows Intel. If to nVidia it shows nVidia.


    I also crossed my mind if it is not a problem in the X Server? Somehow the config changed and the video is no longer accelerated? (Honestly do not know if this is possible on Mac, but in case of Linux this used to happen during some curcumstances and with "nv" drivers).

  • dmdimon Level 3 (840 points)

    practically impossible. Game would not work at all in this case.


    check resolution - it may be too high and it can be invisible on Retina.

  • Magovec Level 1 (0 points)

    On a desktop there is no change for me - no laggs or slow response - I cannot say there is a difference. The only difference is in 3D tasks (games, benchmarks). If I switch cards using gfxCardStatus and then check About this Mac > Show more info > Displays is how the same resolution for both cards and it is 2880x1800, which to me it seems OK for Retina.

  • dmdimon Level 3 (840 points)

    there at nVidia site are mac drivers. Try to install them.

  • Magovec Level 1 (0 points)

    This is what I tried right at the begining, but I could not find any Mac OS X drivers at nVidia site. Not even as beta. Is there some trick what to look for I do not know?



  • Magovec Level 1 (0 points)

    The only drivers I have found so far are for CUDA.




    But I thought that it contains also the normal GPU drivers as well. (as shown on the screenshot whre it shows the version number). These I have installed for 2 weeks already and I did not change them at all during the last 2 weeks.

  • Magovec Level 1 (0 points)

    To show what I am talkin about I did another test. I downloaded and ran LuxMark. There it is possible to test CPU and GPU separately on a same benchmark scene. FIrst I let the system switch to nvidia and did the test:




    Then I manually switched to Intel/CPU in gfxCardStatus and also selected CPU in the LuxMark and did the same test. The result is:


    Snímek obrazovky 2012-10-24 v 23.45.45.png


    You see? How it is possible that in OpenCL computation CPU with internal graphic card is even faster then the descreet one? This is what I am experiencing now and cannot figure out where the problem lies.


    Would the Apple HW test discover a dead nvidia card? Because nothing shows that the card is dead but as you can see it is not performing as it should.

  • dmdimon Level 3 (840 points)

    was all ok before CUDA install?

  • Magovec Level 1 (0 points)

    I installed CUDA drivers about 2 weeks back. Since then I am using them ok. So it worked with these drivers for almost 2 weeks without problems. It suddenly stopped over night and I am not aware that I installed anything (not even any appliacation) during that time between the last time I know for sure it worked (Monday evening) and the time I discover it does not work (Tuesday evening).


    Today I reinstalled these CUDA drivers again and again updated them to the latest version with still the same result. But I think it did not update GPU drivers and I am unable to find pure GPU drivers on nVidia site just to test it.


    This is what I do not understand. Normally I would say the nVidia card just died, but nothing is showing this. System can switch to it, gfxCardStatus works fine (no errors shown), the Apple HW test (even the extended one) shows "no problems found", LuxMark allows to select nVidia card for testing, etc. How this would be possible if a significant HW dies? Simply do not understand and out of ideas how to prove it.

  • dmdimon Level 3 (840 points)

    you got it at this link?

    They contain GPU drivers, not only CUDA


    Basically on Macs it is better to rely on system-bundled ones - they are just double-checked by nVidia and Apple testers.


    IF troubles begin after CUDA install -

    I'd recommend you get old drivers (everything with NVDA from system-Library-Extensions) from TM backup (before CUDA) and overwrite new ones, after that repair permissions. Otherwise - you can reinstall them using Pacifist from 10.8 image or (if there are ones) from 10.8.2 combo update. Otherwise - reinstall. Or just wait until Apple or nVidia will roll out update.


    Also just to be sure - did you try to repair permissions? And after that - just may be - removing  /System/Library/Caches/ - will lead to kernel cache recreation and may be will heal system.

  • Magovec Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, from the site But for a test I downloaded this driver again, installed it again and did not upgrade (this is CUDA 5.0.36 but the latest is 5.0.37). GPU driver is still the same v295.


    The troubles did not start after CUDA install. It strated suddenly.


    I also tied as per your recommendation to repair permisions. Some of them were repaired including such as System/Library/Frameworks/CoreGraphic.framework. First I said "wow" that must be it! But the tests after shows no progress :-( Still the same.

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