December 6, 2012


Everything we do at Pixelmator Team is aimed at making your favorite app the best in the world. With every minor update, we strive to live up to a high-quality standard. We even put aside new features, such as layer styles, for the sake of quality improvements. So far, we are happy with what we’ve achieved. However, there is one issue we wanted to talk about a little bit more.

A month or so ago, after the most recent OS X update (10.8.2), we’ve bumped into a problem that causes certain Macs to restart when intensively using Pixelmator. Sometimes, the app would stop responding without restarting a computer, or just cause some graphical glitches.

We did everything to find the root cause of the problem. We’ve researched a vast amount of information about OS X internals. We’ve torn down our Macs. We even reached out to Apple. Finally, the picture was clear: It’s an issue with NVIDIA GeForce graphics card drivers.*

Although the issue isn’t with Pixelmator, we didn’t give up. We’ve searched for various workarounds, and then, we checked with you to see if any of them helped (thanks so much for being so patient and for taking the time to test those workarounds). But in the end, nothing worked.

Good thing, though—the guys at Apple are very helpful, and as soon as we hear about a solution, we’ll let you know about it that very moment.

To prove our commitment to you and to brighten up the holiday spirit, we are soon to release a Pixelmator 2.1.4 update that comes with tons of quality improvements.

* The following Macs with NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards are currently affected: GT 120, GT 320M, GT 330M, 9400M, and GT 9600.


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  • rezonate

    Cheers, Pixelmator!

    I have that issue and understand it’s not been an easy fix. Thanks for the blog post explaining things, it’s much appreciated.

    Here’s hoping a solution comes through. Great app and love using it.

    Many thanks!

    11 years ago
  • Nir Sagiv

    As one who works in a startup I really apriciate your openness about he issue.
    I’m having those issue and was starting to think hat my Mac is to blame.

    Ope u’ll fix this soon (or the driver will be replaced)

    Grea work u do guys

    11 years ago
  • serickson

    It looks like we have been hitting the same or similar issue in a product we are working on with 10.8.2 and the same set of hardware.

    11 years ago
  • Cameron Reilly

    Yeah Pixelmator crashed my Mac yesterday. Good work on the transparency.

    11 years ago
  • Robert Wagner

    Had a few crashes in the past couple of days and look at that, you guys have already addressed that you’re aware of it and are doing your best to fix it. If only all devs were as open about these things. Thank you. I love Pixelmator just a little bit more after reading this.

    11 years ago
  • Castle

    First. Do not worry guys, it’s not your fault. Thanks for the letter.

    However, I cannot buy this: “We even put aside new features, such as layer styles, for the sake of quality improvements.” And please stop saying “your favorite app the best in the world” .. with the current features limitations.. you are far to be the best in the world.

    Anyway.. keep improvement.

    11 years ago
  • Joe

    Thanks for the info…seen all the negatives about this on the App Store site and was wondering when it would be safe to upgrade. Thanks for your openness folks. Love the product!!!

    11 years ago
  • Mike Russell

    I’m having the same problem with my OpenGL app, panics with IOGMD not wired cause with NVIDIA 9400m. NVIDIA / Apple really need to sort it out. Lets hope a fix goes into 10.8.3 .

    11 years ago
  • Philippe

    Friends at Pixelmator team,

    Would you care to provide a list of the affected Mac models, those with the graphic card you are referring to?

    Not all of us know the inner components of our machines, or enjoy a trip down the Apple System Profiler to investigate.

    Concretely, what mac models are affected?

    Thanks for talking to the rest of us, non-techy, regular folks and mac users!

    11 years ago
  • Cubert

    Great job guys!!!

    11 years ago
  • Gabrielle

    To Phillipe, even non-techy folks can find the graphic card info. In Lion click on the Apple in top menu, select About this Mac, then click on the More info button. You will see info for the processor, memory and third down is the graphics card.

    I have a Mac Pro 4,1 and it has the NVIDIA GeForce 120. I haven’t upgraded to Mountain Lion yet, glad now that I held off, I use Pixelmator every day.

    Hope Apple and NVIDIA can find a fix, sounds like the issue is effecting more programs than just Pixelmator, until then I will continue to hold off upgrading. Thank you Pixelmator team for the heads up!

    11 years ago
  • D Morris

    Also add GT130 in 2009 imacs

    11 years ago
  • Ingus

    The NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT 128MB (Macbook Pro Late 2007) is also affected by the same glitch!

    I’m already used to saving my work every 2 minutes because of this – like back in ‘sweet’ old windows times 😉

    11 years ago
  • Sergio

    Hello, thank you for coming out on this problem that affects not only Pixelmator. I had the same problem with my Mac Pro Early 2008 with Geforce 8800. I have gave up hoping for Apple to solve the problem, and I purchased an ATI Radeon 5770. With the NVidia, when the problem arose, the /var/log/system.log would log many entries like:
    “NVDA(OpenGL): Channel exception! exception type = 0xd = GR: SW Notify Error”.

    11 years ago
  • Cavallo

    My users are being hit by this as well. I’ve been working for weeks with one in particular who has a new iMac, 10.8.2, and an Nvidia GeForce GT 640M. Since my app was released, I hadn’t received a single crash report. Suddenly, it’s crashing the entire OS – except in safe mode, in which case it works fine. The same exact OpenGL code has run flawlessly for me till this point on all manner of machines and OS versions. Thanks for pushing this matter. It’s a service to the entire community.

    (…and you may want to check out the 640M as well. Just sayin’.)

    11 years ago
  • Martin

    I think i have a related problem, my Mac Pro 2009 (with two GT 120 and two monitors) started crashing after the 10.8.2 update. Currently I only have one Monitor connected, and that seemed to help.

    It is exactly the problem described here:

    It seems you are on to something, keep up the good work.

    11 years ago
  • Duffman

    Thanks to remind me that my photoshop is working flawlessly on any mac.

    11 years ago
  • Coen

    Thanks for being so open on this matter. I’m lucky not to have this issue, but it’s good to know it’s the number 1 priority.

    11 years ago
  • Austin

    Does this issue affect those who are still running 10.7.5?

    11 years ago
  • Ikir

    I love you guys

    11 years ago
  • Danny

    The GMA X3100 (MacBook late 2007) may be added also.

    Can’t use it now. But when I could…love it.

    11 years ago
  • Gabrielle

    To Austin, I am still running 10.7.5, I have had no crashing at all using Pixelmator. I am holding off upgrading to 10.8, nothing in ML is important to me, my graphics programs are!

    11 years ago
  • pixdia

    Thank you for the explanation. I am having many kernel panics with 10.8.2. If I could chip in my 2c, your software is good because it is well priced and has many features for that price. However you guys need to put more resources into bug fixes. Slow down on the marketing superlatives and speed up on the bug fixes. And improved typography would do your cause no harm either. Thanks for listening.

    11 years ago
  • Chris

    Facepalming hard at the commenters suggesting that more effort should be put in by the fantastic Pixelmator team in bug fixes or that this in any way is their fault or that they’re even able to fix it. Read the post please, it’s a bug with the drivers, up to Apple/Nvidia to fix, nothing an app developer can do apart from notifying us of this and urging ? to fix it.

    11 years ago
  • Laszlo

    Why Photoshop does not have such issues?

    11 years ago
  • W_

    I love Pixelmator, it replaced Photoshop for me 99% of the time. Hopefully Pixelmator will eliminate Photoshop for me entirely soon, but things like mapping an image to a 3D surface inside another. Or selecting object in images.

    11 years ago
  • Francesco

    Thanks for the update. I understand it must not have been something easy to track down and fix. I love the program and really hope for a clean fix. Keep up the good work!

    11 years ago
  • tomgraphics

    When I move a photo or a shape, the fine lines of the old position are preserved. This is terribly annoying. Good to know that it is not due to Pixelmator. Greetings…

    11 years ago
  • nockely

    I don’t even have Pixelmator but I am having the exact same problem since 10.8.2 with different graphics functions regularly crashing my early 2008 MacBook Pro with NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT 512 MB. So frustrating, and you never know when it’s going to happen.

    It’s been said above but good on you guys at Pixelmator for pushing the issue.

    11 years ago
  • Ivor Tiltin

    a graphic designer should have designed Pixelmator for easy and logical flow and use. It’s a struggle using this software. it’s so complex and confusing, with confusion at every turn. A simple vector based pen is missing.

    11 years ago
  • Stoner

    I read this blog post a day after I bought Pixelmator. Not very pleasing surprise. Now that this issue is known for a while there should be information in App Store that people know what situation is. It’s great you have done everything you can to solve problem and have been transparent about it on your blog. Problem is that everyone who buy your product is not reading your blog.

    You do more harm in a long run to you and Pixelmator users when people buy your product without warning them in App Store. Yes, it scares people and there might be slower time about downloads but if you really want to be transparent and honest and think about paying customers you just need to do that.

    Actually, situation is that many of us bought a product which we can’t use. – Mid 2009 MacBook Pro with 9400M & OS X 10.8.2

    11 years ago
  • UKJ

    13-inch, Early 2009 MacBook5,2
    Graphics NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 MB
    Software Mac OS X Lion 10.7.5 (11G63)

    11 years ago
  • Chris

    Hi, I would like to buy this app but could you confirm if my graphics card is affected. I am running Mountain Lion on a mid 2009 Mac Book Pro, with twin graphics cards.I use the Nvidia Ge Force 9600m GT, 512mb most of the time.

    11 years ago
  • Boston Boy

    Thanks for the apology, but it’s getting annoying now. Pixelmator crashes with distinct regularity and the reboots take forever. Please please please fix this soon

    11 years ago
  • Gabrielle

    I need to report that I have had kernel panics and restart, but I am still using Lion 10.7.5! I have had it happen on both my MacBook Pro 3,1 and my MacPro 4,1 I have NVDIA GeForce cards in both. When it first happened on my MacBook Pro I thought well, maybe it is an old computer, but it just happened on my MacPro that has 16gbs of memory. So it looks like the problem is not just limited to the most recent version of Mountain Lion

    11 years ago
  • Scottography

    When will Apple sort their NVIDIA video cards?? I had the plagued MacBook Pro with NVIDIA GT 8600M that took out the logic board. A year-ish later they actually recalled those computers… but I missed it after I’d given up the idea of a costly repair (way too costly) and as I never checked with Apple again I totally missed the recall (which only ended in the last year). An email from Apple to let me know would have been nice!!

    And now I’ve discovered (via this unfortunate crash) there might be another problem with an NVIDIA card.

    Fingers and everything crossed there is a solution to be found!! Thanks for keeping us posted Pixelmator. Much appreciated 🙂

    11 years ago
  • teveedungtv

    I cannot lauch pixemator 3.0 on my macbook pro, it hang instantly and itself deleted app. somebody help me? may macbook pro 15-inch, Mid 2009, Memory 8 GB 1067 MHz DDR3, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 MB, Software OS X 10.9 (13A603) Tks.

    10 years ago
  • Gomesufuran

    I use a program called gfxCardStatus (free) that can force to use only the graphics card you chose. Before i launch pixelmator, i force to use only the integrated graphics, so the bug is not relevant, it works like a charm, pixelmator never hangs the computer. I tested it well, when i chose de nvidia 330m, i only need to back from mission control to pixelmator, and the computer hangs, but with de integrated graphics i can use it for hours. I hope this well help someone, its a great software.

    10 years ago
  • Ausra

    Hey Gamesufuran, thanks for the info!

    10 years ago
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    8 years ago