Apple has rolled out its 10.5.7 OS update. First, the good news: it may enhance video support. Apple’s tech document claims the update “Improves performance of video playback and cursor movements for recent Macs with NVIDIA graphics.”

The (potentially) bad news is that it could cause issues with video output and external monitor resolution. There’s a growing thread on the topic:

Monitor with wrong resolution after 10.5.7 update!!!! PLEASE HELP!!!

(Thanks to DJ SD for pointing this out on Create Digital Music, where we’re tracking issues with Euphonix control surfaces and Ethernet.)

Those will be forum contributor’s exclamation marks, not mine. I’m staying calm; don’t worry.

Now, oddly, a lot of the discussion seems to be related to HDMI-to-DVI connections, something that may be less common among live visualists (and thus less concern to readers of the site.) But it looks to me like DVI may have issues, too.

I think if you haven’t upgraded yet, you may want to hold off as the update is so new – that is, if you’re gigging or presenting in the next few days, for instance. If you do update, the usual advice holds: back up, so you can roll back if you have to. (I wish Mac updates allowed manual roll-backs, as with Windows updates, though even that is no substitute for a real backup.)

Of course, if you do have the update, I’m curious how it’s going – especially if it enhances performance. Stay tuned.

Also, 10.5.7 or not, there’s a hidden gem in that thread:


It’s a utility for explicitly setting external monitor resolution. I expect some of you are hard-core users already?

  • mr sarcasm

    but ahh the aesthetics, and the fact that my mac "just works"….

  • It sounds like those are limited issues in scope, not everyone is having issues. Arstechnica has a thread and users with similar setups are reporting no problems, so its not systematic.

    Also, 10.5.7 improves ATI graphics quite a bit:

    There is some more info later in the thread 🙂

  • @mr sarcasm: Well, irrespective of OS, my feeling is software is a technology for making things break, which we sometimes harnass in specific configurations that happen to work, rather than the other way around. 😉 Such is the life of the developer.

    @vade: Right, and that isn't actually all that surprising – video output can have so many variables.

    I'm actually more curious if anyone has tried that utility, and how it might work. Interesting both NVIDIA and ATI got fixes, though. I say live on the edge and update. 😉

  • mr sarcasm

    well peter i have to say you are truly one of the most calm and fair mods/authors/blogger/whatever i've ever witnessed.

    i really respect the fact that you don't let juvenile comments like my first one provoke.

    the create-sites are truly an island.
    (no sarcasm).

  • @Peter Kirn: If you're talking about SwitchResX, yes I tried it. But with a total different reason. It's a great app to use for wierd resolutions, so also very handy to have around as a visualist. I used it in one of my shows to create a screen of 640×1440 witch was later spread out of three beamers. Great tool also for cases as this for sure 🙂