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Crashing with Mac 5,1

Community Beginner ,
Jan 14, 2019 Jan 14, 2019

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Hi all, I have the same problems with system crashes using Premiere and AE for almost two years now. I was waiting for Apple/Adobe to work it out but with it still occurring in Mojave it doesn't look like they are going to. So I want to add a little more data to help try to solve this thing. This is a bit long (sorry) but may have something useful for the many of us having this crippling problem.

SYSTEM SPECS

I use primarily a Mac Pro 2012, (5,1) 12 core 3.46 Xeons, 128 GB of RAM, Titan X GPU driving two 2560x1440 monitors, the OS is on a PCIE NVMe flash drive, Project files on a standard SATA drive and Scratch and render output are on a separate SSD drive. All internal.

THE CRASH PROBLEM

For me what happens is in either program, if I scrub in the timeline the Mac will instantly hard shut off. After that I wait for the single red led flash on the motherboard and then the system will boot back up again. Often in the boot up it will try to reopen premiere or AE which will cause another crash in an endless loop. But if I do a force quit right after login I can shut down AE or Pr before it causes another crash. This also happens when rendering, same story, set up the render, hit the start button and it will make it 2-10 seconds before *CLICK*, system off. I have never had the app freeze like others have reported but these full system crashes seem really hard on the hardware and I always fear file corruption from a crash in the middle of a write function. AE has been a bit more stable, sometimes I can get a full render after a few tries but it is hit or miss and may depend on how many effects I have in there.

WHEN DID IT START

This crash problem never existed for me until I upgraded from Sierra to High Sierra. And as you might recall, that was when the big 2017 Spectre Meltdown thing was happening with a vulnerability discovered in how systems interact with RAM and Microsoft was all freaked out.

https://www.wired.com/2017/02/flaw-millions-chips-strips-away-key-hacking-defense-software-cant-full...

So Apple pushed out High Sierra and claimed it fixed the vulnerability. The new architecture changed the way the system accesses memory and apparently also affects how the GPU processor interacts with its own memory. That is suspect as a root cause for these crashes because that is the variable that changed. The new architecture also caused a lot of problems with software, peripherals and drivers, taking a long time to smooth out. And that’s when the crash problem started for me. I tried all the work arounds everyone were posting and none of them worked.

DOES MOJAVE HELP

I upgraded to Mojave hoping that might resolve it but nope…*CLICK*, system off, same problems.

NVIDIA vs AMD

Mojave only works with a few older NVIDIA cards that Apple approved so I had to put down the Titan X (*sigh*) and pick up an AMD Vega Frontier card (which is actually pretty good and has a bit better performance over the Titan X (Maxwell) I use and requires no special drivers, aka Nvidia web drivers). The word on the street is that Apple won’t let NVIDIA update the web drivers to work with Mojave so it isn’t NVIDIA’s fault, it is the all controlling Apple as usual, dumping on the creative pros who carried them to success (but thats another story, i.e. why has there not been a Mac Pro update in six years). So having to replace the GPU sucked but it created new hope thinking the AMD card using Metal might fix the crash problem. Nope…*CLICK*, same issue.

IS IT THE PSU

I also read others talking about it being a power supply issue so I investigated and noticed a power spike on my APC backup readout at the moment of a crash. Hmm suspicious, it might be a power supply issue with the card drawing too much power and overloading the PSU while rendering and causing the crash. But it was no problem under the old OS so that doesn’t really hold water unless the new OS manages power differently. Since the new Vega card required too much power to run it off the Mac PSU, I added an external PSU and ran the GPU off of that completely independent from the Mac PSU. The crashes continue so that rules out the PSU theory.

IS CC TO BLAME

The crash happens with no other Adobe programs. I leave my system on 24/7 and it is very stable with no issues running either High Sierra/Mojave flawlessly. I have no issues with CC 2018 and 2019 in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Audition, Dreamweaver or any other. But soon as I start working in Premiere or AE…*CLICK*, good bye. I use 2018 on the MacBook Pro and it works fine and also in Windows with no problems so it doesn’t seem to be CC’s fault or at least it is not something Adobe is causing. It may be that Adobe needs to alter its software to match what the OS is doing now but it isn’t a problem Adobe introduced. CC was working fine in Sierra and not fine in High Sierra.

WHAT ABOUT THE SECOND MONITOR

Some suggest turning off second or third monitors so the GPU isn’t stressed while rendering. Tried it and it made no difference.

SSD

I also read that it could be due to how High Sierra/Mojave work with SSD drives so I set up my tests on the desktop where file permissions wouldn’t be an issue and SSD wouldn’t be an issue. I ran tests and got the same results whether rendering to the system drive or the separate SSD drive so it doesn’t appear to be that. I can’t get away from the NVMe drive since my OS is on it but if that were the problem other functions and programs would have issues too so I am not suspecting that.

RENDERING TESTS

To isolate the problem I created a new project file in Pr and saved it to the desktop, changed all the scratch folders to the desktop and also moved several mp4 and mov files to the desktop then imported them into Premiere. Oddly, some video files would crash and others wouldn’t while scrubbing and rendering. I eventually discovered through many tests and crashes that I could scrub freely and render H.264 files with no problems on any size UP TO 1126 x 630 pixel dimensions but anything above that would crash which rules out 1280x720 or 1920x1080. File source type (.mov vs .mp4) didn’t matter, length of video didn’t matter, rendering to SSD didn’t matter, turning off one monitor and standing on one foot didn’t matter. None of those things seemed to affect it. So what is happening at larger pixel sizes? Is that the limit where the GPU runs out of VRAM and reaches out to the system for additional resources? Unknown.

I also discovered that instead of H.264 I could render as Quicktime with Apple ProRes 422 Codec at full HD without crashing. Hmm, so Apple likes its own codec that they can control. That sounds familiar. Maybe Apple doesn't like H.264 and this is how they get us to stop using it lol. So it seems like Apple wants us to use the graphics cards they choose, the codecs they choose and the framework they choose (Metal vs OpenCL or CUDA).

ITS GOT TO BE MacOS

Since everything works fine in older (pre High Sierra) OS versions and in Windows on Bootcamp, and because of these tests, it indicates to me:

  • Its not Adobe CC,
  • Not the GPU brand
  • Not the RAM
  • Not the PSU
  • Not the SSD
  • Not multi monitors

Is it possible Adobe can code its apps to work the way HS and Mojave do? Is that even the problem? Is Apple blocking Adobe from doing so like they are with NVIDIA? Unknown.

WORK AROUNDS

I did discover two work arounds.

1. I have a 2013 Retina MacBook Pro with ElCapitan still on it and it does not experience any of the crashes so I left it alone without any OS updates and use it for rendering. I updated Premiere to CC 2018 (it won’t go to 2019 on that old of version of MacOS) and it has no issues using 2018.

2. I also run Windows 10 simultaneously on a bootcamp partition on my 5,1 Mac Pro and set it up to share the projects drive with MacOS so both OS’ can access the same files. Its super easy to switch back and forth on the fly with Mission Control or set to key command on the mouse but usually I just leave windows up on one monitor and Mojave up on the other. I loaded CC Premiere on Windows to test it out and it renders fine with no crashes so that is an easier work around since I don’t have to switch over to the MacBook and I don’t have to move any files. If you don't mind working in Windows just for rendering its a decent option until Apple and Adobe figure this out. The apps are pretty identical these days on both platforms.

I hope this information helps further us down the line toward a solution and maybe helps some of you guys get back to producing without the death crash until we figure it out.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 16, 2019 Jan 16, 2019

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Hi bhorsley,

Thank you for your valuable input here. I hope it helps our users.

Shivangi

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New Here ,
Jun 13, 2020 Jun 13, 2020

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Thanks for posting this. I have the same issue on my MacPro and I was planning to install an external PSU because of a suspected power spike. I only have the crash happen when I use Metal and OpenCL. Software only doesn't hard shut down my computer. However, I did preview an image the other day in the finder using the spacebar and it did a hard shutdown. It's very frustrating.  I'm going to try installing windows and Bootcamp at some point. Thanks again for the tips, I would love to hear an update if you have one.

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New Here ,
Apr 29, 2021 Apr 29, 2021

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**UPDATE** 04/29/21

In 2019 I replaced the internal power supply as a last 'hail mary'.

IT SOLVED THE ISSUE FOR ME (touchdown with two seconds on the clock). I can't explain why the PS would be fine in all other instances/programs and only be affected in AE or PR. Rendering can be taxing on the system so I could be convinced of that argument but why simple scrubbing would cause it I have no idea. In any case, since replacing the PS I have had no issues for nearly two years now. Amazing! This may not be the fix for everyone but hope it helps.

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New Here ,
Apr 29, 2021 Apr 29, 2021

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This is great to hear and thanks for the update!

 

I still have to try that. Did you swap out the power supply with the same model? Or put in a more powerful one?

 

Do you happen to know what model you used? I'll try to get the same and see if it works!

 

At this point, I had to build a PC. But would love to try one last time to use my MacPro to the max. 

 

Richard Hawke

[ personal info deleted by mod]

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New Here ,
Oct 04, 2021 Oct 04, 2021

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Hawke

I ordered an original PSU (used) from an online seller. I am already using an external PSU to power the graphics card so just needed a functioning standard PSU for the system needs.

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New Here ,
Aug 22, 2021 Aug 22, 2021

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Great insight. I have very similar specs on my Mid 2012 Mac Pro. I have a dual nvme PCIe card with High Sierra on one, and Mojave on the other. Last night (08/21/21). I experienced for the first time an abrupt shutdown while rendering one of my videos- (H.264, mp4, UHD rendering to 1080p. I tried it seveal times on both MacOS versions with the same abrupt shutdown. I still have not found the cause of the problem. I have a dedicated windows PC with dual drives on SSDs (not nvme)- windows 7 & windows 10. I'm going to try and render the same video on both windows versions to see if I have any luck.

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New Here ,
Oct 04, 2021 Oct 04, 2021

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LATEST

I still have not resolved the abrupt shutdowns on my 5,1 Mac Pro, with dualboot drive NVMe's on a PCIe card. High Sierra & Mojave. I have also re-pasted both CPU's and the Northbridge twice in the month of August. I also have a 2016 (Trash Can) Mac Pro 6,1 which I was able to render the same sequence as on the 5,1 with success. But the duration of a 6 minute UHD timeline rendering to 1080p took 15 minutes. I got so frustrated, I decided it was time to build me a new Windows 10 Pro monster 4K video editing machine. The last one I built was in 2012. It was long over due. Specs are: Intel core i9-11900k at 3.5Ghz, eight cores, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080Ti-12GB VRAM, Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Elite Motherboard. Samsung NVMe 980 Pro 1TB for OS on the M.2 slot on Motherboard. With this new hardware in Premiere Pro, I was able to take advantage of the new option I didn't know existed on the 5,1- "HARDWARE ACCELERATION" OPTION AS AN EXPORT OPTION. WOW. The same UHD sequence that took 15mins on the 6,1-Trash Can took 2 mins, 35 secs. And that's without using PROXY FILES, like I had to use on the 5,1. I love my 5,1 but can't tolerate the abrupt shutdowns. It's hurting my video editing business.

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