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10.4: Permanently enable Quartz 2D Extreme System 10.4
Tiger only hintTiger includes a major new graphics technology called Quartz 2D Extreme. Note that this is not the same as Quartz Extreme! Unfortunately, Apple has chosen not to enable this feature by default. It is possible to enable it temporarily via a menu option using the Quartz Debug application included with the Developer Tools. In order to enable it permanently, we have to do a little more work.

One way is to force quit the Quartz Debug application after you have enabled Quartz 2D Extreme from the menu -- quitting normally will disable it again. It is also possible to edit the plist file that controls this feature directly. This file is located in /Library/Preferences, and it's named com.apple.windowserver.plist. Change the Quartz2DExtremeEnabled value to YES. Both of these methods keep Quartz 2D Extreme enabled across reboots.

For more info on Quartz 2D Extreme, see these articles: [robg adds: The ArsTechnica review goes into great detail on Quartz 2D Extreme (and nearly every other element of OS X 10.4; it's a great review), and explains what it should do, what apps must do to take advantage of it, and more. I'm assuming that if it shipped disabled by default on all machines, there was some sort of reason for that, so I've chosen to leave it off. I did experiment with it, but didn't notice any really dramatic differences in performance. Note that, at least according to the MacNN forums thread linked above, you'll need 512MB of system RAM, as well as a newer video card for this to work.]
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10.4: Permanently enable Quartz 2D Extreme | 21 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Permanently enable Quartz 2D Extreme
Authored by: LEgregius on May 09, '05 11:54:51AM

I checked the preferences file mentioned, and it is enabled by default in my 1.25 GHz powerbook G4



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I did it! Jezus it's faster! And Buggy!
Authored by: kidventus on May 09, '05 12:09:17PM
I am a sucker for this (hell I came from the Linux world) so I had to enable it and reboot. Mine was off by default as I assume most are. Dear lord my G4 1.25 Ghz Powerbook is so fast now! You can tell the difference. HOWEVER, it is not ready yet and Apple was wise to turn it off. On the login screen, clicking on different users causes a video card "garbage" effect that fills the screen like a buggy graphics card. Some other images are garbled when moving too.. kinda like it's a framebuffer issue. I think this is because it's too fast, but you'd have to enable it to see what I mean... it's not smooth. Some eye candy effects don't happen, windows just "appear". I'm probably gonna turn it back after I play some more.

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I did it! Jezus it's faster! And Buggy!
Authored by: LEgregius on May 09, '05 12:31:55PM

Odd. I haven't noticed any performance change from panther, even if I turn it on in the Quartz debugger and run applications. I haven't noticed any bugs either. I have 1GB of ram and a radeon 9600 with 64 MB and it was turned on by default for me, as I said above.



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I did it! Jezus it's faster! And Buggy!
Authored by: chabig on May 09, '05 12:35:26PM

Are you sure you're talking about Quartz 2D Extreme and not plain Quartz Extreme? Tiger has Quartz 2D Extreme off by default, but Quartz Extreme is on.

Chris



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I did it! Jezus it's faster! And Buggy!
Authored by: LEgregius on May 09, '05 12:48:13PM

The key in com.apple.windowserver.plist says

Quartz2DExtremeEnabled - Yes

Whether or not it's actually using it, I have no way of knowing, but the settings say it is and quartz debug says it's on too.



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I did it! Jezus it's faster! And Buggy!
Authored by: LEgregius on May 09, '05 12:56:49PM

apparently if you force quit quartz debug, it will stay that way. it's possible I did that, which is why it is still on for me.



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I did it! Jezus it's faster! And Buggy!
Authored by: tim1724 on May 09, '05 03:16:34PM

yes, it does have bugs. It had bugs in the developer seeds, too, and I think it's a pretty safe assumption that Apple left it turned off because of the bugs. I'm sure they're working on it, and a future update to 10.4 will probably enable it.

I've seen the garbage in the login window (it happens during the animation after you click on a username) as well as occasional problems in other windows. I once had the screen fill with odd vertical stripes when the system crashed completely .. since then I haven't enabled Quartz 2D Extreme. I'll wait until Apple decides it's ready.


---
Tim Buchheim



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I don't agree
Authored by: zedwards on May 09, '05 10:22:48PM

I'm on a 12" PB 1.33 and if anything, according to Xbench, made my system slower by half.



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I did it! Jezus it's faster! And Buggy!
Authored by: auricgoldfinger on May 13, '05 09:11:17AM

I noticed on my powerbook G4, 1.5GHz, 128VRAM, 512RAM, Tiger no change in speed. I noticed the buggy login-window-movement AND the smooth scrolling in Adium (as included in the milk-mokie and protoscrollmod themes) is SO MUCH SLOWER then before!
Any suggestions? I noticed too that the plist isn't binary anymore (after I changed the setting to "true")



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I did it! Jezus it's faster! And Buggy!
Authored by: auricgoldfinger on May 13, '05 09:22:24AM

And I forgot: it's using all my processor power ... :-(
No, I'm changing it back. I so wanted it to work ...



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10.4: Permanently enable Quartz 2D Extreme
Authored by: stephendv on May 09, '05 01:30:05PM

Note that the preferences file /Library/Preferences/com.apple.windowserver.plist doesn't exist until you run the Quartz Debug application.



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10.4: Permanently enable Quartz 2D Extreme
Authored by: sokar on May 09, '05 02:48:39PM

Hi,

I'm new to Macs, so this is probably a bit advanced for me, but as far as I can see, I can't find Quart running on my Mac Mini.

I've run spotlight, and no luck.

I tried the file that was suggested, and still no luck.

Any advise?



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10.4: Permanently enable Quartz 2D Extreme
Authored by: sokar on May 09, '05 03:22:09PM

I've found where the settings are now.



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10.4: Permanently enable Quartz 2D Extreme
Authored by: ibroughton on May 09, '05 03:28:13PM

The pref file was there on my Mac and I hadn't run Quartz Debug

---
The server is up but the site is down and I don't know which direction you are trying to go



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10.4: Permanently enable Quartz 2D Extreme
Authored by: stephendv on May 10, '05 06:45:50AM

Strange, it wasn't there on my freshly installed powerbook. Had to run Quartz Debug first. These "computer" things have stopped being deterministic for quite some time now ;-)



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Now Just Overclock your PowerBook
Authored by: petersconsult on May 15, '05 05:49:01AM

I posted this elsewhere, but I really wanted to spread the news:

My 2 cents:

The FW800 Al PowerBook is actually Quartz2D Extreme capable, but that option is disabled by default.
Also unrelated, the 9600Mobility chipset on that PowerBook is seriously underclocked.

I have just set Quartz2D Extreme to be on (in the /Library/Preferences/com.apple.windowserver.plist file only), and overclocked both the processor and memory using the ATIccelerator SystemPreference, and I must say that it really rocks!

As noted in xlr8yourmac, overclocking the 9600Mobility does not improve bechmarks in XBench, *except* with Q2d Extreme enabled: the 'text' portion of the 'Quartz Graphics Test' jumped from the usual ~220 to a whopping ~416!!

I have been using my PowerBook's 9600Mobility overclocked for a week now, and it is perfectly stable, even when playing X-Plane for hours on end.

I hope this helps...
Peter

PS: for more info on ATIccelerator check xlr8yourmac.com there is a whole section on it...



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Now Just Overclock your PowerBook
Authored by: somynonami on May 31, '05 07:35:49AM

http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/Graphics/aticelleratorII_reports.html

http://thomas.perrier.name/software/ATIcceleratorII.html



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10.4: Permanently enable Quartz 2D Extreme
Authored by: smivvy on Jun 20, '05 02:14:57PM

On my dual 1.4 G4, ATI 9800 pro it does absolutely nothing of note - whatsoever.

Bummer.



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10.4: Permanently enable Quartz 2D Extreme
Authored by: asaturn on Oct 27, '06 06:24:09PM
&tI can't get this to work on my macbook. I installed dev tools and when I go to edit the plist file, its jibberish;
    bplist00?^@^A^@^B^@^C^@^D^@^E^@^F^@^G^@^H^@ ^@ ^@^K^A%^@&^A'_^P^VQuart$ ^A ^B ^C ^F i j k p ? ? ?^K8^K9^K:^K=^K?^K?^K?^K?^L ^L^K^L^L^Lo^Lp^Lq^Lt^L?^L?^L?^L?^MA^MB^MC^M?^M?^M?^M?^N^P^N^Q^N^R^Nu^Nv^Nw^N|^N$
    ;/ul>

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10.4: Permanently enable Quartz 2D Extreme
Authored by: asaturn on Oct 27, '06 06:30:04PM

update: I deleted the old plist file, ran the debug application, and exited -- it created a readable plist file and I was able to edit it with pico. though editing it with Property List Editor is a lot easier.

things like dashboard are a little smoother now!

macbook (black) 2ghz 2gb ram.



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WARNING! Do NOT enable it!
Authored by: gulliver on Mar 04, '07 02:53:36PM

I enabled it and got a kernel panic within 2 minutes after reboot. Not even time enough to check if it shows any improvement.

System: MacOS X 10.4.8, G5/Dual 2.5GHz, ATI Radeon X800XT



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