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Question: I think Apple gave me 2 lemons. Am I SOL?

I work for a video production company and in 2016 we purchased a MacPro to help our editing team with higher resolution and frequent output. It was a late 2013 model: 6 core, 16GB RAM, AMD FirePro D700 graphics.

Our company exclusively works in Adobe Premiere Pro for editing and right away we noticed horizontal glitches or artifacts appearing in our exported files. I did some basic research and saw that this was a common issue and took the computer to Apple. Over the course of a few weeks they did several tests: added more RAM to see if that was the issue, replaced the graphics card, updated the OS, reinstalled Premiere, and none of it helped. They tell me I should contact Apple Support for further troubleshooting.

I bring the computer home, contact apple support. They tell me to run some data captures and the send them some screenshots of my settings in Premiere so they can identify the problem. After a few weeks of this, Apple ultimately came to the conclusion that the machine was defective and agreed to replace it.

A few weeks later our new computer arrived with the same specs. We installed Premiere and began editing. When the time came for our first export, the exact same issue occurred—random horizontal glitches in the video file. At this point we were so behind in our post production schedule we had to set aside the computer and rely on our MacBook Pros and older iMacs to get us through the year.

Earlier this year in 2017, I took the replacement Mac Pro back to the Apple store. I tried my best to explain to them that it was a replacement computer that was having the exact same issues as the first and that I thought I had received another defective machine. They told me that Apple now had a repair program in place for a specific range of serial numbers that were identified as defective in the late 2013 models. They looked up the serial number for our replacement computer—it did not qualify. They agreed to hang onto it a run some tests. A few days later I get a call and they say there's nothing they can do in-store (which I anticipated based on my first go-round), the computer passes all their tests. They encourage me to contact apple support. I bring it home, run a complete reinstallation of OSX on the computer, reinstall Premiere, try an export—glitches keep appearing.

So I call Apple support, do my best to explain this long process of back and forth. Eventually they have me run more data captures, more OS updates, more Premiere updates, and more data captures. My advisor says he's going to hand all the info over to the engineers and that they will get back to me. A few days ago I get a call from my adivsor. This is now nearly 2 years since the computer was purchased. He tells me that the engineers are submitting a bug report and if they figure out a software fix for the issue they will let me know. So the 2nd time around, with the identical problem, Apple doesn't think it's a defective computer, just a software issue that hopefully get's fixed.

So after all this back and forth, not to mention the $5k we put down for this computer, is my 2nd lemon MacPro doomed to be a glorified paper weight? As is, there's no way I can rely on it to output clean video files. If an identical graphics error is occurring in 2 computers, across dozens of softwares updates from both Apple and Adobe, isn't it fair to assume that more late 2013 Mac Pros are defective than what Apple agreed to recall? How do I get a computer that works? Or am I just SOL?

Mac Pro, iOS 11.1, AMD FirePro D700

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Nov 15, 2017 4:46 PM in response to Smokerz In response to Smokerz

Sorry if my explanation is unclear.

If we're running the same version (although this issue has spanned across probably 10 or 12 versions of Premiere Pro) of Adobe Premiere on multiple Apple computers (2 MacBook Pros and 1 iMac) but the glitch that appears in exports is only occurring on the Mac Pros (2 different Mac Pros), what leads you to point to Adobe as the problem?

I did reach out on Adobe Support forums and responses pointed to problematic AMD cards in the Mac Pros. There's a rather endless thread: RENDER PROBLEM - AME and Premiere Pro CC causin... | Adobe Community

Nov 15, 2017 4:46 PM

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Nov 16, 2017 8:45 AM in response to jr_regalado In response to jr_regalado

I think that you have gone through enough trying to get this resolved. In my opinion this is not acceptable for an Apple product. I would write directly to Tim Cooke and summarize all that you have been through since you purchased the first Mac Pro and request his help in resolving the issue.

The problems that you have experienced are not typical of the Late 2013 Mac Pro and do indeed point to your having obtained a defective machine. I purchased my Late 2013 Mac Pro the first day ordering was accepted and received it in mid-January of 2014. It has performed flawlessly for me since the day it arrived. I use both FCP X and Premiere Pro CC for editing, and I have never experienced the problems that you described with glitches in rendered files in Premiere Pro CC. I have the D700 graphics card, a 12 core processor, and 1TB of flash ram.

Please do understand that Apple does not monitor these forums. They are user to user forums, and that is why I am suggesting that you send an e-mail directly to Tim Cooke outlining your problmes and the measures that you have taken as you did above. I hope that you will let us know the outcome. It saddens me to hear of issues like this that are not adequately addressed.


Nov 16, 2017 8:45 AM

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Question: I think Apple gave me 2 lemons. Am I SOL?