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Apple’s new expensive line of Mac Pro computers seem to be causing a headache for a tiny fraction of the Mac userbase. According to several professional video editors who have contacted us or posted information to various online forums, the recent OS X 10.9.3 update is breaking compatibility between some Mac Pro graphics cards and video editing applications such as Adobe Premiere Pro and Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve…

Reported issues range from videos stalling during the export process, pink and green lines appearing in exported video, and overall application crashing and freezing. Obviously the presence of these bugs in large video production environments, especially on expensive machines running expensive software, is a real problem. Most users are reporting these issues on 2013 Mac Pros with the AMD D700 graphics engine, but some users are also reporting similar issues with D500 cards.

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It is unclear what exactly is causing the incompatibility problems (whether it be Apple’s hardware, 10.9.3, the applications, or the graphics cards), but one affected forum poster speculates that the issue revolves around the OpenGL and OpenCL drivers for the AMD chipsets. Other possibilities include that the incompatibly stems from Apple’s changes to how both Video RAM and external displays are handled.

Right now, there does not seem to be a perfect solution to this problem. One forum user says that using software-based rendering in Premiere Pro rather than GPU rendering is a fix, but this slows down export speed and makes having an expensive and powerful Mac Pro less useful. Another temporary solution is downgrading the system back to OS X 10.9.2, but some users may not have backups of their work, which would make downgrading a hassle.

The good news is that three of the four technology companies involved in this issue have made it clear that they are aware of the problem and are investigating it. One forum user says he spent an hour on the phone with Apple engineers looking into the problem:

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An Adobe Support Manager commented that he is investigating the issue:

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A representative from Blackmagic confirmed the issue and recommended that users turn back to OS X 10.9.2:

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It is unclear how this issue will eventually be resolved, but Apple is already testing OS X 10.9.4, so perhaps this future operating system update will include a remedy. We’ve reached out to Apple, Adobe, AMD, and Blackmagic for comment on this issue. Thanks, Joe Hoe for bringing this to our attention!

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27 Responses to “OS X 10.9.3 breaking Mac Pro graphics card compatibility with critical video editing apps”

  1. An example of why I no longer jump on new OS releases until they the general public has had a few weeks to absorb it and I can reasonably gauge its stability.

    I’m actually learning to use Premiere Pro right now so this personal policy has actually saved me from potentially running into this headache.


  2. Interesting though that this issue hasn’t arisen for Final Cut Pro X end users which raises the question whether it is a a bug in these applications that was only exposed because of a change in something that these applications shouldn’t have linked against.


    • Well, Premiere Pro has fairly abysmal OpenCL support so maybe that has something to do with it? It’s kind of a tacked on feature in PP.

      Also I’m not too sure why these people upgraded so fast on production machines. You should wait it out a short while before changing things on such mission critical systems for exactly this reason.


      • True, especially when one considered the reputation Adobe has for not following ‘best practices’ when writing a Mac application. Adobe seems like one of those companies where no one really likes using their software but we use it none the less because there really aren’t viable alternatives given how ingrained it is into the industry.


      • crisrod63 says:

        10.9.3 was particularly geared towards the new MacPro as the solution to a lot of issues pertaining to the GPU. It has actually fixed OpenGL on older Macs (modo for me on my 2008 Mac Pro for example). I think this is Adobe’s deal personally. Adobe long ago jumped in bed with nVidea and CUDA, so AMD and OpenCL are an afterthought. One that Adobe will eventually have to address, particularly if OpenCL gains more traction.


  3. If this breaks FCPX as well then sure blame AMD and the 10.9.3 update as the reason.

    If it doesn’t It could probably be easily fixed with a software update to the apps in question and the developers of said apps probably should do better testing, after all thats what the beta builds are for.


    • Ward Curry says:

      You are right. Nobody should expect any 3rd party non-sandboxed Mac software to have full operability with Apple’s latest OS releases. That is what the whole App Store/Sandboxing was for…to guarantee the software distributed would be free from problems, exploits, and malware, as well as bugs like this. Only Final Cut Pro is in the clear, the solution right now is to use FCP for all your video editing on the Mac Pro…not 3rd party software!!


  4. ericdano says:

    It also broke GPU’s in previous models of MacPros. My 2008 MacPro lost it’s dual monitor ability when I updated to 10.9.3


  5. “But some users may not have backups of their work.” No sympathy.


  6. I had problems with the SAPPHIRE Vid-2X Display Expander (PSE-DP4196) now seem to have disappeared after updating Safari 7.0.4!!


  7. drtyrell969 says:

    One day, Apple will hire some testers.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Web Master says:

    I have had issues with Final Cut Pro on my Std 6 core MacPro and 10.9.3. Some features would not work – specifically the turning on and off of the Skimmer and Snapping not able to be turned off. More significantly was that when Final Cut Pro was Quit and reopened it always reopened with libraries loaded from 2 x days earlier – not those that were open when the Application was Quit.

    I trashed Prefs, reinstalled Final Cut Pro from App store – to no avail. Finally I restored from a back up prior to 10.9.3 and all is well.


  9. I have a D300 graphics card, and this is happening to me. Thanks so much for writing this article. I’ve been trashing my video files because I thought they were corrupted, and this problem has cost me (and many others) several days of work. Very frustrating.


  10. Anyone saying this is an “adobe” issue doesn’t know what they’re talking about. There are a slew of reported issues with 10.9.3. Just read the Apple Support Discussions. It’s not JUST adobe or davinci.


  11. Hi,
    On the Adobe forums, a user reports that he fixed the issue by having Apple install new GPUs to the new Mac Pro. The issue is “bad VRAM.” The same user reports that this has fixed the problem for several of his colleagues, as well.

    Here is a link to that discussion:

    Kevin Monahan
    Support Product Manager, DVA


  12. I was having this issue with a mac pro 2014 running 10.9.3 and D500 cards. I downloaded and installed this Quicktime update:

    Issue seems to be resolved at the moment! I can use OpenCL rendering now


  13. Actually, still having issues with AME – although export directly from Premiere Pro seems to be working, and seems to be hardware accelerated.


  14. petereprice says:

    Does this issue only show up on Mac Pros or on other systems like iMacs, and MacBook Pros?


  15. Kevin Rogers says:

    I installed and Updated the Cuda Drivers and it solved my problem.


  16. Gus Faviere says:

    I’ve had nothing but issues on my Macbook PRO since I updated to 10.9.3. and the reports generated/sent to Apple look to be graphics related. I don’t run any of the mentioned apps but it still shuts down inadvertently a couple of times as day, always the same error/report. Hope they figure this out, I’ve been surprised to not see some form of update yet… :(


  17. Mac Pro osx 10.9.4, Adobe Premire Pro CC2014, .r3d and Black Magic 2.7k raw files

    I was able to fix the problem this morning! I called adobe and gave them the rundown of the process.

    _close program

    _unmount hardrive

    -reopen Premiere

    -new project

    -drop a video file in just to make sure this sequence works (viewer and source monitor should have picture) also render bars as if you have never had this error.

    -Close untitled project and open your Project

    -When project loads turn your hard drive with the media back on

    -locate all files

    -When it opens the project should have picture in viewer and source and should work fine


    -if there is still no picture repeat the steps but instead of locating the files, make them all offline.

    -the picture should show up in source and viewer as offline, turn hard drive on while in the project and the clips will automatically online themselves and your back and running.


  18. Now that 10.9.4 has been released has anyone been able to see if this has fixed the issue?