Teach your Mac New Things – Keep Your Software Up-To-Date.

Not everybody is running the “latest and greatest” versions of software. This is extra true when it’s something like Adobe Creative Suite, which can easily top a grand each time a new version comes out. While the extra features may be worth it to some (I absolutely love Photoshop CS5’s  “Content Aware Fill”), it may not be as useful for others, and $1000+ is nothing to sneeze at.

Sometimes, though, all  you need is an incremental update to give you the features you need. OWC Customer Robert Scott wrote in to us to relay his story of just how true this is.

Robert was running Adobe Photoshop CS4 (11.0.0) under Tiger (OSX 10.4.11) on his 2007 Mac Pro. Unfortunately, Photoshop would disable OpenGL rendering with the stock nVidia GeForce 7300GT video card, which was unsupported. He replaced the GeForce with a refurbished Radeon X1900 XT (purchased from OWC), which allowed Photoshop to enable OpenGL rendering.

This worked great for several years until recently, when the Radeon started running extra hot, causing all sorts of striping on the screen, shutting down the displays at random, and causing hardware freezes.

Apparently, Robert had had enough, and he replaced the X1900 XT with the original GeForce, while preparing to pick up a Radeon HD 5770 to replace it. To his surprise, though, he found that OpenGL was still enabled. Apparently, either the latest version of Photoshop CS4 (11.0.2), the fact he’s now running OS X 10.6.8, or a combination of the two has now added support that was not there initially.

Now, everything is running great for Robert – OpenGL rendering with no striping, freezes or shutdowns – and it didn’t involve any extra expenses.

So what’s the lesson we’ve learned here? Keep up with your software updates for maximum compatibility and functionality; you may save yourself money down the line.


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  • This is a great story, however the reverse can often be true as well. It is not uncommon to have a peripheral or add on card that was working fine under an older operating system, to not have driver support for a newer operating system.