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2013 Mac Pro: Photoshop CC Filter Crashes Appear to be Due to Apple Graphics Drivers

While MPG was testing Photoshop performance for the 2013 Mac Pro real-world performance, several filters were crashing the tests and had to be removed from the test suite; others made it through without crashing, but destabilized Photoshop, leading to a later crash. Ultimately some had to be run “solo” in order to get a timing figure.

MPG reported the crash issues to Adobe, but it quickly became apparent that the crashes were peculiar to the 2013 Mac Pro only, easily seen by disabling GPU support (uncheck Use Graphics Processor) and/or running the same test suite on other Macs (MacBook Pro and/or 2010 Mac Pro) and/or hearing the same thing from other trusted parties.

Some of these crashes remain extant. Adobe is currently working with Apple and AMD to get this issue resolved as soon as possible

For the improvements, Adobe has chosen to undo GPU support for fast sharpening, something MPG picked up on while retesting Photoshop CC speed on the 2013 Mac Pro a few days ago, observing 3X to 4X losses in sharpening speed. MPG agrees that this is the right thing for Adobe to do at this this time. But it is also MPG’s position that Adobe should make a formal statement on where things stand now, since the improvements were announced with 14.2. Unannounce them, along with the reason. (Perhaps MPG has missed such an announcement?).

It is also the MPG position that Apple, having broken sleep and display support with some displays is also (to MPG’s knowledge) not coming clean on the state of the graphics drivers with the 2013 Mac Pro, which MPG testing shows make Photoshop CC too unstable to use on the 2013 Mac Pro with certain other Photoshop filters. The 2013 Mac Pro is a high-end machine that professionals rely upon and invest huge sums in, and hence Apple must step up to the plate first by fixing the broken testing processes at Apple (hardware and software with some extremely dangerous failures), 2nd by having the integrity to acknowledge bugs, and 3rd by providing a timeline for fixes.

The 2013 Mac Pro offers much ballyhooed dual* AMD graphics. Apple just barely shipped it at the end of 2013 to meet the promised deadline, but was it shipped prematurely to meet that deadline with inadequate testing of the dual-GPU graphics system? Readers can ponder that for themselves, perhaps in the context of Apple Core Rot.

* To date, “dual” is a theoretical benefit, as very few programs can use more than one of the two GPUs.

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