I have been working with the engineers at Eizo for the past year in trying to get the Eizo CG 243w monitor to work at 10-bits per color plane via mini displayport to displayport connection while using the 4870 graphics card on a Mac Pro.
Eizo re-wrote the firmware for the CG 243w to be compatible with the mini displayport standard released by Apple. As of this past summer, the CG 243w now interconnects with the 4870 graphics card to the monitor, while hosted on a Mac Pro under 10.6.
BUT in using Adobe's on test image, it is obvious that the display is still not working at 10-bits per color plane, as banding is showing.
Would you please clearly state whether Adobe Photoshop CS5 in the current version is capable of driving the 4870 graphics card and displaying 10-bits per color plane images using the MacPro and current OS? We need to know where the bottleneck is coming from---Adobe, Apple, AMD.
It is frustrating that Windows users have successfully been able to use Photoshop CS5 with a handful of different graphics cards and a large number of Eizo 10-bit monitors for a long time and it still appears that Mac users, known for being graphic intensive, cannot. We really need help getting to the bottom of this. Adobe Labs might be cranking out some fun new product, but functionality of a key issue for Photoshop would seem to be higher priority---and 10-bits per color plane seems like it would be one such issue.
For video cards that support 10 bit/channel output, Apple already enabled it in their graphics driver update.
Photoshop CS5 has been capable, and waiting on the OS and drivers to finalize support.
I'm not sure where the disconnect is on your card and system. But Apple is the only one with all the answers here.
I am still not clear. Are you saying that PS CS5 for Mac is already to go with 10-bits per color plane under Open GL---its just sitting there waiting to go---but Apple has not provided the driver update? Or are you saying that a driver update was already issued by Apple and should have already taken care of my own problem and I should be good to go if I can find the write driver update?
The engineers at Eizo in Japan have confirmed the same thing that I have seen on my own system---10bits is not working for them either. Did we miss something on a release from Apple? Every one is using the same config of MacPRO 4.1, 4870 card, OS 10.6, PS CS5.
Sorry, we have been running this problem around in a circle for an entire year, and its still not working. Eizo obviously had a firmware problem and it took six months to get that cleared up. But now we are at the next level it simply is not clear where the bottleneck is to getting 10-bits to go live.
Photoshop is ready to go and Apple has already provided a driver update to enable it.
Unfortunately, they didn't tell us about that, so we were caught by surprise.
There may still be a firmware or driver issue.
We'll have to corral our GL engineer and one of our EIZO displays to do some testing. I think our initial testing was on an NEC.
And until we get a list of supported devices and configs from Apple, we don't know exactly what does and doesn't work, only that it works in some cases.
If you can contact me by private email (just google search "Pete Myers" and use my website contact tab to start with) I will put you and the team in touch with the USA Vice President of Eizo. I am sure he would lend you a monitor and provide full technical support from Japan. They are keen on getting over the bump, and I think it will be helpful for all.
Most grateful. We are so close!
Yes, please do! I am "the go between" in the pipe with Eizo in getting this problem resolved. I just wrote the VP that we are all in strinking distance, but that Adobe may need to borrow a CG 243w and get support from the Eizo engineers as needed.
I think we can do this! Please contact me when your ready.
Ah yes, but do you have one with the new firmware upgrade?
See, I tempt you!
Without the firmware upgrade (not available on their website, but only in calling tech support), the mouse will jitter and it will be unusable in mini displayport to displayport mode.
I have a new NEC monitor which is advertised as 10-bit capable, but I have not been able to get this feature working, either. The components are:
Mac Pro 1,1 (first generation, 2006), with 6GB RAM
Mac OS X 10.6.4, and all current updates
ATI Radeon HD 5770
Photoshop CS5 Extended, all current updates, configured for OpenGL display, advanced mode
For testing, I am using the ramp.psd gradient image from the AMD website.
Photoshop correctly identifies this as a high-bit file (16-bit mode), but it displays with easily visible banding. It appears the same if I use a DVI cable (which only carries 8-bits/channel).
I've spoken to a tier 2 support rep at NEC, and he told me that the above components should be able to provide a 10-bit data path. I'm using the DisplayPort cable that came with the monitor, and a MiniDisplay Port to DisplayPort adapter (dongle) from Monoprice. NEC claims that this combination should work, although they are warning that there are other cables on the market which do not meet DisplayPort spec.
Am I missing something, or is this 10-bit support still a work in progress?
Yes, I saw your comment that Adobe is still waiting for a list of supported devices and configs from Apple. For those of us who are interested in this issue, Is there any formal mechanism (other than posts in forums like this) for reporting to Apple and Adobe which configs are working and which are not? Should we file bug reports? Or must we just wait to see which configs are tested and blessed by the developers?
I've been following several threads in Apple's forum on Displays and the Mac Pro. There seems to be a similar level of uncertainty and confusion there. Many people are installing new high-bit wide-gamut monitors, but most of the problem reports are about basic issues like failure to wake from sleep, computers that won't boot, etc. Some of these problem are probably related to incorrectly manufactured DisplayPort cables, as described in this tech note from NEC.
My interest in 10-bit is partially motivated by my hobby (photography) but also by my projects at work. I develop software for a group of vision scientists. Some of them are using Mac-based systems for stimulus generation, and they would like to present 10-bit stimuli from OpenGL. Currently, their only options are special purpose products that run on PCs.
I guess we will just have to wait and see how this shakes out. In times like this, it helps to remember an adage from the Old West: "You can always spot the pioneers - they're the ones with the arrows in their backs."
Well, it looks like Apple isn't quite ready.
They create a 10 bit/channel framebuffer, but can't seem to enable the output.
We're talking to them about it - and waiting on them to enable the complete pipeline.
Hi Pete & Chris,
Thank you for working on this. I just got my 2 Eizo CG243w back with updated firmware. Mouse jump issue is resolved, now I sit and wait for 10-bit support.
Mac pro 5,1 mid-2010
Mac OS 10.6.4
I can confirm in no uncertain terms that this problem goes beyond Eizo displays and remains unresolved, and it is not an Adobe problem. The NEC PA271W display DOES NOT work at 10-bit pixel depth on Snow Leopard period. It took me a lot of cajoling to get an Apple Senior Tech rep to admit to me that this is the case. NEC is well aware of it, and they told me as much when I first complained about this, along with the more critical problem that the display would not illuminate AT ALL when connected with an adpter casble I purchased from an Apple reseller here in Toronto. Apple have been on the whole obtuse and uncooperative in responding to any request for information about how and when they intend to resolve this problem of mini-DisplayPort to DisplayPort connectivity, caused largely by their failure to properly test whether their high-end computers can work with high-end displays, of which there are few enough on the market to have made testing the bunch of them entirely feasible. After spending so much monery on this equipment, the display of corporate irresponsibility is infuriating. NEC at least have been responsive. They have posted a notice on their website describing the issues and they are now having that Mionoprice adpater tested at their headquarters in Japan. They kindly sent me one of those adapters because they had heard second-hand that they work, but I shall install it only after either Apple or NEC confirms it is safe to do so, because I do not wish to risk causing electrical damage to the video card, the processors or the display without the full backing of the manufacturers. These firms need to take ownership of and responsibility for this issue. NEC is responding reasonably well, whereas I have yet to see any tangible evidence that Apple really cares about it.
Just to add another test case.
mac pro 2008, 3,1
ATI 5870 (mac upgrade)
snow leopard 10.6.5
monoprice 5714 mdp to dp adapter \ NEC dp to dp cable
set cs5 photoshop to open gl \ advanced\ and other defualts
viewed the ramp.psd and had banding in both dp and dvi.
Tried reboot (new os load), tried 64bit and 32bit cs5 , tried os in 64 bit mode.
spoke with 3rd level tech support from Apple and said that mdp is 10 bit. spoke to A&D and confirmed. Now asking you folks is this an future update fix for cs5 or is this a hardware driver issue from apple\a&d
This is a driver issue for Apple.
Apple allows 10 bit framebuffers in OpenGL, but do not support 10 bit output on any video cards yet.
If things work correctly, no changes should be needed in Photoshop, only in the drivers.
So I just have to ask...did Adobe identify this with apple as a defect, and do you know if apple is aware of this ? Hate to see a good 10bit capability put to waste...
Also if they 10bit framebuffer outpout has never been enabled\not available how do you know your stuff integrated properly against the 10 bit functionality in snow leopard. (asking politely, just curious)..
You folks in SJ have always done a great job, as well as the Freemont group.
Message was edited by: ihbond
We have identified it with Apple as a "feature not implemented but highly desired by our customers".
We know that we can compute and read back a 10 bit framebuffer. We don't know if it outputs correctly - but that would be a driver issue.
Yea ,I opened up a trouble ticket impacting my business to Apple. IF others feel the same way, call Apple support and let them know how you feel about this as well.
Glad to hear you folks opened one as well.
Thanks for explaining Adobe's take on this to me. I hope it does get resolved soon.
Well got the official word from product specialist from Apple after i opened a trouble ticket (I would copy and paste the email here, but not sure of the copyright agreement ). Anyhow to sum it up. Apple does not support 10 bit output in their os and their is no word on when or if this will be supported.
Take Care Ian
Yes indeed - I mentioned this back on October 23rd in Post #19. The company that is supposed to be the world leader in providing operating systems especially well-configured for the graphics arts and photography community is AT LEAST a year behind the curve in providing support to the latest 10-bit display technologies being made available by Eizo, NEC, HP, etc., etc. Adding insult to injury is Apple Computer's totally intransigent, opaque attitude to providing ANY information about when they will provide this functionality. If it weren't for iTunes and iPhones and iPads, Apple Computer would not have the financial wherewithall to support this kind of arrogance and expect to return profits to their shareholders in the computer business, but they do and they do, so we will have a choice of putting-up and shutting-up until in their own goodness of time they catch-up technologically and make 10-bit display rendtition possible.
But perhaps more important than that for the time being is the basic operational functionality of Apple's mini-DisplayPort technology. The DisplayPort issue is connected to the 10-bit issue because it is only through a DisplayPort connection that 10-bit image rendition is possible if the OS could support it. So we will need this when the company finally wakes-up and provides it. My own experience, and that of numerous others as reported on various forums is that users of both Eizo and NEC displays have experienced connectivity problems because of cable design problems to convert from Apple's beloved mini-DisplayPort as provided on the graphics cards available for the Mac Pro to standard DisplayPort as provided on the displays. In the NEC PA series displays where 10-bit functioanlity is available, pin #20 needs to be left open, but neither Apple nor NEC provide cables supporting this requirement. As a result, we ran into big problems with using our computers. I have pursued both Apple and NEC vigorously to fix this. While Apple has been totally unresponsive and useless on the matter, NEC has diligently researched the problem and determined that three items (two cables and an adapter) are suitable for this purpose. Unfortunately none of them are available at the moment. NEC informs me that within a month or so we should expect them. There are at least two other adapters which users have claimed to be adequate, however I would only install hardware explicitly recommended by either Apple or - in my case - NEC. As Apple has nothing to recommend for solving the problem they created, I shall await availability of NEC's recommended hardware and continue to use the display on DVI to DVI. I won't get 10-bit functionality anyhow for the time being. One could also use the Apple-branded mini-DisplayPort to DVI converter readily availabhle in any Apple store. I use this for the secondary display, not the good NEC display, because the adapter is buggy. Periodically it needs to be unplugged and re-plugged when it starts producing jitters and vertical stripes on the display.
I'm not intending to divert this discussion into a rant about foibles with Apple's display technology, but it is important for readers to understand that these issues are related in respect of producing 10-bit display rendition, and the genisis of these problems has one address with a locked door. Perhaps the more users who apply pressue on Apple by spreading the message widely about how messed-up this is, the sooner they will get their act together and solve it all.
My apologies if I stray slightly off topic. I feel for you guys and agree with your expectations that the company that is supposed to be the leader for photo/video pros should be ahead, not behind.
Since a couple of you sound like you are pros I thought I would ask if you have any counterparts working in Windows who are using 10 bit color on their displays. I've started a separate thead to ask current 10 bit using about their hardware. Please pass the word along and/or provide your own feedback. Thanks.
Nothing from Apple - to my mind just stunning obtuseness and corporate
NEC has tested three cables/adapters that are suitable, but none available just
yet. They should be soon and NEC said they would inform us.
I own a PNY Quadro 4000 and an Eizo 10-bit capable display CG243W. The card is officially capable to output 10 bit per channel under Mac (unlike new ATI cards which are not: ati 5770 and 5870 aren't capable of 10-bit output, only 4870 and the new ATI Firepro cards are...) and has a normal Display Port (no mini version).
No 10-bit output anyway. I have latest drivers installed.
I have a PC with the same display connected with an ATI Firepro v4800 and guess? 10-bit works great!
Why on mac 10 bit isn't possible?
I wrote to PNY about the problem but they didn't answer me yet.
Why on mac 10 bit isn't possible?
Because Apple has not enabled the driver code necessary to do so. When we try to create a 10 bit/channel framebuffer, the Apple driver code returns an error.
The card and display may be capable, but the driver plumbing is not yet present.
Chris, is there any indication that Apple is moving off of top dead center on this issue and actually going to punch through the OS? I take it that Adobe is in high gear on lobbying through its channels? Many of us our counting the moments until 10-bits is enabled
I would hope that Apple would be highly embarrassed that Windows has had 10-bit up and running for more then a year. Too much iPad---iPhone, not enough work on basic issues.
As they say, "caught between the devil and the deep blue sea."
Trying to communicate with Apple Computer Inc. is like screaming into a void. They don't listen and they don't care. Same for the mini-DisplayPort mess. On this one I'm toying with the idea of hiring a lawyer to sue them for breach of contract. When their tech support doesn't even reply to messages asking them to cooperate on testing for possible defects with the video card they ship with the computer, one is left with little choice. It's a bad scene.
True. And It's bad publicizing a product saying:"30-bit color fidelity (10-bits per color) enables billions rather than millions of color variations for rich, vivid image quality with the broadest dynamic range" [Taken from description of Quadro 4000 for Mac on PNY site].
I spent a lot of money only to have 30-bit output......and now? no 30-bit. Not good at all