10.8.5 startup chime and other questions


Macpro quad core , I was told the chime at start up signals the end of the ram check and things are dandy. I heard very soft chimes initially and then none for some time now.

I use macs for audio recording so I am aware of how audio is routed and at what leve,l at any given time on my mac. I have to change it frequently.

The ram part worried me so after several silent starts I took a look at the system report and the ram is fine according to that info.

So there must be more to the chime that I don't know about. My mac seems to be working fine. Except that it seems to require windoze amounts to time to start and shut down. The speed of booting and especially shut down was one of the many many things I loved about my G5 motorola.

What could cause no chime? Please don't answer if you haven't read the forth sentence.

Why if these are supposed to be so fast do they need so much time to wake up and shut down?

I was told by the person who I bought this mac from that this quad core/Nehalem processor with DDR3 1966ECC ram is faster than the slightly older 8 core I had been considering. Because of how the ram was used IIRC....

`About this mac' just says Xeon processors. I don't get out much, is that X supposed to be pronunced as an Z ? S? silent ? What?

Thanks for your time.

The boot process begins when you press the power button on the front of your Mac Pro.
There's a short test of the boot ROM, and then a short test of your RAM.
If there's any problems the boot will usually stop at that point. If the RAM test encounters problems, it may or may not stop at that time.
The boot chime sounds at the completion of the boot ROM and RAM tests.
If a problem is found with the RAM, but did not interfere with booting, you can check in the System Information report about that.
"Diagnostics" should tell you that the test passed.
"Memory" will tell you how much memory is recognized, and how it is installed. This is important, because you will quickly find out that one 4 GB stick is only showing as 2 GB. (Passes, but the memory is not reported properly)
That's just an example, but you need to look at that Memory tab, and make sure that all chips are recognized properly.
Also, on the Mac Pro, you can always manually run your Memory Slot Utility.
You can find that in the /System/Library/CoreServices folder.
It might report that you need to change your RAM configuration, for better performance. Or - tell you that your RAM set up does not need any changes, (and all is probably OK with your RAM)

If you are only concerned about the boot chime volume, then you can reset PRAM, which will reset the system volume - and you can hear exactly what your boot chime is SUPPOSED to sound like.
Here's what I would do: make sure that no headphones, or external sound cards/interfaces are plugged in.
Restart, and immediately hold Option-Command-P and R keys on your keyboard.
After a few seconds, your Mac Pro will reset. Keep holding the same 4 keys.
Another few seconds, you should get another reset. You SHOULD hear a normal boot chime sound as part of that reset.
Keep holding the same 4 keys until you hear the boot chime again. In older Macs, Apple used to recommend allowing 5 resets before calling the reset complete, and you can release the keys. There's no HARM at all in holding the keys. Your Mac Pro will simply continue to reset and reset until you release those keys.

Do you now get a decent boot chime?
A long boot CAN have very simply causes. If you have a number of storage drives, or other external devices, then checking in your Startup Disk pref pane that your boot drive is actually selected CAN make a big difference in boot times. You should also boot to another drive, and run Disk Utility on your boot drive, to Repair Disk (different from Repair Disk Permissions, which won't likely be of any value with boot times.)
And, you can also try OnyX - or some other good cache cleaning utility - to clear out your user and system caches. That might help a lot...

There's a bunch of links for "how to pronounce Xeon". Here's just one: http://forums.macnn.com/89/macnn-lounge/188938/how-to-pronounce-xeon/