Distorted Graphics on 7950/5870

Mac Technical Support
This only happens in wow and i've examined gpu and determiend it's fan is working and no overheating is happening.

vsync makes no difference. no settings make a difference. when this happens the only solution is to reloadui.


this is a very MILD case, it gets pretty bad longer i leave it festering. it seems to happen in and around objects with transparent overlays or transparency around their edges. it eventually spreads and corrupts entire action bar to where you can't even see buttons. i remember this bug from past, it used to happen a lot on ati cards some patch long ago but eventually got resolved..i'm wondering if it's same bug cropping up again on an untested card

Specs (note, it happened on 10.8.3 release as well)

System Software Overview:

System Version: OS X 10.8.4 (12E27)
Kernel Version: Darwin 12.4.0
Time since boot: 19:03


Hardware Overview:

Model Name: Mac Pro
Model Identifier: MacPro3,1
Processor Name: Quad-Core Intel Xeon
Processor Speed: 2.8 GHz
Number of Processors: 2
Total Number of Cores: 8
L2 Cache (per Processor): 12 MB
Memory: 10 GB
Bus Speed: 1.6 GHz
Boot ROM Version: MP31.006C.B05
SMC Version (system): 1.25f4


AMD Radeon HD 7950:

Chipset Model: AMD Radeon HD 7950
Type: GPU
Bus: PCIe
Slot: Slot-1
PCIe Lane Width: x16
VRAM (Total): 3072 MB
Vendor: ATI (0x1002)
Device ID: 0x679a
Revision ID: 0x0000
ROM Revision: 113-E2080C-101
EFI Driver Version: 01.00.624
Display Type: LCD
Resolution: 1680 x 1050
Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
Display Serial Number: 2A70928FUFZ
Main Display: Yes
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Rotation: Supported


Input Source ID: com.apple.keylayout.US
Keyboard Layout: ANSI
Updated with more images

Omegal, I'm not sure if it is even a functional variable as of this patch, but do you think perhaps the SET specular "0" entry in the config.wtf file might help this until there's a fix?

In one of your screenshots, the terrain showing the distortion shouldn't have transparencies in them, but the exact positions with the speckles would be the correct parts of the terrain that would be affected by specular lighting from the screenshot's vantage point.

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Thanks for the reports. We're working with AMD on this.
Has anyone gotten access to a EVGA GeForce GTX 680 for Mac?

No, but I do have a normal PC 680. No issues noticed in WoW or anything else.
At $600, people are going to be waiting to see what places like Barefeats.com says about it, as well as those on the MacRumors and netkas.org forums, since those are the places where people really delve into the workable parts of things like these cards.

It has issues (as in it doesn't work at all) with Adobe After Effects CS6, but then again, what product from Adobe doesn't have issues with some graphics card out there?

It's a good card, but it'll take time to see how it stacks up vs. the Radeon 7950 from Sapphire and whether or not it's a good bang for the buck relative to that card.

Where do you think i got the information about the card in the first place :P

I love Barefeats for all the info they provide.
Hrm. That's already looking like a far better choice than the Radeon 7950. By a massive margin.
i'm actually trying to get rob (bare feats guy) to run some tests on an older mac pro. i do NOT see the results. i've tested the 680, it has lower fps than even the 5870 on a 3rd generation UNIT. there seems to be some kind of issue witht he 680 on MY mac pro that 5, 1s don't have. i'm not sure about 4,1s. I asked him to find a 3, 1 like mine and please re run those tests. its important to emphesise that the tests are skewed by having the card in the right machine and the best option for someone like me or tia may not be a 680.

What i suspect is going on us the 680 is a better gpu, BUT there is an extention or function the nvidia does not do that my two ATIs do. As such, this is being offloaded onto the CPU when i use the 680. because my CPU is not as good as a 2010 mac pro cpu, i take an fps hit from it, a pretty sizable one. whereass the 2010 doesn't mind it and benefits from the stuff the 680 does better. I've run extensive tests with multiple games and every game i ran, fps was worst on 680 on my 2008 dual 2.8 ghz mac pro.

THIS is why i bought a 7950, even though it's not even a high end card. it's a mid range 7000 series card vs a high range 5000, so it's only marginally better sadly. but marginally better i took out of desperation.

back on topic, i have not seen any disorted graphics at all on the 2nd and 3rd 10.8.4 seeds. So maybe the ati drivers from the newer betas resolved issue that 10.8.3 and 10.8.4 seed 1 had. I will report after a few more days if i see any distortion on 10.8.4 (12E33a)
Nope, it does still happen on 10.8.4 (12E33a) so not resolved there.
i noticed i could purge the corrupt textures by toggling texture resolution from high to low, then back up to high. I do believe the problem is individual textures getting corrupt in vram. The real question is whether the problem is in ati driver or the card itself. I just need to actually find other mac users on 7950 for comparison as it's not easy to troubleshoot an issue when you're only person doing it. :\
If I had the money and/or a Mac to put the card in, I'd help you. Unfortunately whiel I can use the card in a 1,1 Mac Pro booting into ML via Chameleon (and probably get HDMI audio on it too that way), I can't boot to older systems and use them for what I need (specifically Diablo 2: Eastern Sun).

I wish Apple would release the new Mac Pros already. My Barclays card has 18 month financing on Apple purchases until July 15th. That'd go perfect with the purchase of a new Mac Pro.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaand Tim Cook hints that there's going to be no new hardware until Fall. So much for my financing options.


I don't see Tim Cook being around a whole hell of a lot longer. No wonder Apple's stock keeps plummeting.

interesting. still doesn't give me any answers.
So, i sent the 7950 back thinking was defective, even convinced them it was defective and they are checking it for problems. i put the 5870 back in

guess what, it's doing SAME THING, exactly.

this pretty much proves it's not the 7950. feel bad wasting their time.

This means it's either an OS X/driver bug, a wow bug, or something else is wrong with my computer? maybe PCI express slot or power going to card?

All i know is issue started in about 5.2 but this time table can coincide with 10.8.3 as well which also broke weather effects on ati cards so it could very well be an ATI driver issue. unfortunately i can't roll back to 5.1 to test that. nor is it really wise to roll back to 10.8.2 either. All i can hope is mac wow team can do some real testing on this. the problem takes such a long time to present though you pretty much have to have wow open for a long time, sometimes several hours before it starts.
I have a 7950 as well Omegal, and I didn't notice this when i was using my 5770 and only noticed this issue post 7950. And I noticed this the first day I had the 7950. Have had zero issues in other OS X games and zero issues under windows with the card so I think this is pretty specific to something WoW is either touching or specific to wow itself.

It's something that happens pretty frequently even if it can take a while to show up. Happens a lot with either the grass or feral forms for me.
Glad to hear it isn't just me Zary. I just got my 7950 back from RMA unchanged. to be honest i now realize it probably wasn't broken. 5870 does do it too but FAR FAR more rare and far less severe. but the 7950 is more frequent and more severe. It's got to be a WoW issue or an ATI driver issue. at this point it needs to be escalated to software and hope they can resolve it somewhere along the line.

Also wish sapphire would do something with the rom on card that misreports native resolution to OS X, causing it to think native resolution is 2560x1600, it's sub optimal the way it has to scale to get it back down to 1680x1050. But that's not a wow issue :\
Not sure if it makes much real difference, but from what I read here, it looks like any issues with the 5870 may be related to the OS. I'm running a 5870 under 10.6.8 and do NOT notice any real texture/graphic issues (other than some nasty lag mostly in Sha of Anger fights... but not so much in LFR).
the 5870 it's super rare. like I see it maybe once or twice in a week with at least 8 hours a day spent online. it's truly a rare occurrence and something i would have even written off it i hadn't seen issue in full blown assault mode on 7950 and realized the 5870 rare one was in fact same issue just not widespread. Also with 5870, it may literally be a single blade of grass in the entire scene, vs screen shots i posted which are mass spread of issue that 7950 gets.

it probably is OS though. I have no doubt 10.8.3 broke ATi drivers on many levels. they broke weather, probably broke this. 10.8.4 doesn't fix either.

Performance on 7950 is also still lower than 5870, in WoW. And that shouldn't be case either considering the 7950 performs a good 10-20% better in external 3d tests than 5870. :\ In general 7950 just works so poorly with wow and I'm hoping it can be addressed somehow by someone. (largely looking at ATI since it's no doubt a lot of driver issues)

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