PDA

View Full Version : Just purchased a used iMac to test the switching water. Will my iMac be fast enough?


lsutiger
Jul 31, 2003, 09:28 AM
I've been a Windows only user all my life. A couple of weeks ago I bought a new 15gb iPod. Love it, love it, love it.

Since my iPod purchase I've been frequenting some of the iPod message boards. This has exposed me to a lot of Mac post that I otherwise never would have read. I decided to buy an inexpensive used iMac to use with my iPod (can't wait to try iTunes) and to test out a Mac for the first time.

I'm pretty confident that this machine should run fine with the iPod, but the more I read on all the Mac boards the more I want to switch to the Mac for everything. I'm concerned that the iMac I purchased will leave a bad and unfair (Mac) taste in my mouth because it will run too slow. I'm thinking I should have just purchased a brand new 1ghz G4 iMac instead of buying this used 600mhz G3 iMac.

What do you guys (and gals) think? Will this machine be fast enough to give me a good introduction to the Mac? I mainly use my pc for music, pictures, and lots of internet surfing. I bought the airport card so I can hook into my 802.11b network.

My hope is that I will fall in love with the Mac OS X and sell my iMac in a couple of months to upgrade to a G4 iMac. Just don't want my underpowered iMac to ruin the experience. My iMac specs are below. I should receive it next Wednesday. Thanks in advance for any replies!!

Graphite iMac 600 MHz processor
40 Gig HD
512 MB memory
Slot-loading CDRW
OS X 10.2
Apple Keyboard w/2 USB ports
Apple one button optical USB mouse
Two additional USB ports on CPU/Monitor
Two firewire ports
15" Display
56k modem
10/100 Base T ethernet (cable/DSL ready)
Airport ready
Extra rear cover for T.V. conversion
All original system paperwork and install/software disks including OS X, OS 9.2.1 and restore disks

edesignuk
Jul 31, 2003, 09:32 AM
I think you should be ok with it, you have 512MB RAM (which is key, OS X loves memory!), and a decent speed G3. See how you go, see if you like how the OS and apps work, but also have in mind that a 1GHz G4 or above would be significantly faster. So if you like OS X on a 600MHz G3, you will love it on a G4 iMac :)

patrick0brien
Jul 31, 2003, 11:31 AM
-lsutiger

It'll be a little pokey- especially in the GUI, but otherwise fully functional.

I think what you are doing is a very wise thing - easing yourself in. That way, when you do get up to a current machine, a brave new world - that you already know your way around in.

Horrortaxi
Jul 31, 2003, 05:03 PM
As previously stated, get as much memory as you can. Apart from that, this computer should do everything you listed quite well. The thing that might suck coming from Windows is the mouse. The 1 button mouse trips up a lot of people. You can use 2 buttons and a scroll wheel in OS X though--so if you already have a mouse you like a lot you can continue to use it (as long as it's USB). In fact, if your iMac has the round mouse I'd suggest getting another one--they kinda suck.

If you're a proficient Windows user you should be able to figure out OS X in a couple hours. It's not that different. For basic things just think "how would I do this in Windows" and you can probablly do it the same way as long as you don't need the start menu. Later on you'll get yourself in trouble thinking too much about Windows, but in the beginning it'll work.

nagromme
Aug 2, 2003, 06:26 AM
No speed demon, but it will be a way to get used to the benefits of Mac OS X Jaguar, and will be a productive computer for some time to come. Three members of my family have almost that system, and they're still going strong.

You'll be glad when you upgrade to a G4, though! Not to mention Panther.

lsutiger
Aug 11, 2003, 02:39 PM
I've been testing out my new iMac for 5 days now. My first impressions are a little dissapointing, but I'm hanging in there.

I knew it was going to be slow compared to my 1.7GHZ AMD machine, but it's a little slower than I expected. Just opening, closing and websurfing seems pretty sluggish. If I decide to make the switch I'll probably be getting either a dual 1.25G4 or a G5 so I would hope that all speed issues would go away.

What I find more dissapointing than the speed is my machine has crashed several times since I've had it. The whole system doesn't freeze up, but applications like mail just quit responding. I can close the applicatoin, but if I open it again I get the same problem. I end up having to reboot to clear things up. I also had to reboot a couple of times because iTunes wasn't recognizing my iPod.


I'm still enjoying learning something new, and I'm going through the missing manual book Switching to the Mac. I was thinking about getting the Tackyshirt OS X training DVD. Anyone know if it's worth it?

patrick0brien
Aug 11, 2003, 03:13 PM
-lsutiger

Well, I had hoped we'd set your expectations to the performance of the machine, perhaps I should have said very slow. That is a G3. OS X really was designed for the G4 or above.

As for your freezes, hmm. Have you repaired permissions yet?

Consider it a lesson in UNIX/Mac.

Some of the .plist (preferences) files and other system files might have a tripped permission - in fact, I can all but gaurantee something is tripped.

You should only be experiencing speed issues, not app screwyness. I assume you are running the latest OS X (10.2.6) right?

I've found some folks trying to run Safari on 10.0. Now there's some application funkyness, and an element to the Mac world. In Windows, there are applications that can run on older OS's - like Office XP running on Win2k.

With Macs, if the software says "10.2 or greater" they mean it - it's not just a casual marketing recommendation.

The reasoning behind this is that Apple actually adds a lot of functionality and makes significant changes to its OS, even in the "Third Dot Position" updates (10.2.X). OS X is young, and developing very rapidly.

kylos
Aug 11, 2003, 03:29 PM
Since you got it used, it might have some software issues. Another possibility is fragmentation. If it was my mac, I'd partition the drive and reinstall OS X. I'm not sure how eager you are to do all that work so my first advice would be to see if you can get a mac-head friend to check it over for you and see if they can spot any problems and fix them. Alternatively, if you don't have any of these best of friends, don't shy away from seeking advice here. MR loves to help (aside from the few grumps) and the people are very knowledgeable; the only reason I don't recommend it as your first option is that long distance troubleshooting can be a pain. Good luck.:)

Powerbook G5
Aug 11, 2003, 04:47 PM
I'd definitely do a full partition and reinstall, it's something I find to be very beneficial for any system when you get it whether it be old or new. That way you can start fresh from the ground up. Since it's used, it's a good possibility it's a software headache. From there, you can tweak things and do the regular system maintainence to keep it running to its full potential.

lsutiger
Aug 11, 2003, 05:51 PM
I don't mind trying the reformat/partition path. It's not causing me a lot of problems, but I'm used to a Windows machine so my source of reference may be skewed.

I don't have any Mac-Friends at all so I'm kind of on my own. I don't even know how to do a format/partition. I have the system restore disk that came with the machine OS 9, OS 10.1 upgrade and OS 10.2 upgrade.

Where do I start in order to reformat and partition the hard drive? What's the purpose of partitioning it anyway? Is it to put OS 9 on on one partition and OS X on the other?

Thanks for everyones help.

mikeyredk
Aug 11, 2003, 05:58 PM
since your new to mac dump os 9 don't even bother putting it on

Fukui
Aug 11, 2003, 06:15 PM
Originally posted by lsutiger
I don't mind trying the reformat/partition path. It's not causing me a lot of problems, but I'm used to a Windows machine so my source of reference may be skewed.

I don't have any Mac-Friends at all so I'm kind of on my own. I don't even know how to do a format/partition. I have the system restore disk that came with the machine OS 9, OS 10.1 upgrade and OS 10.2 upgrade.

Where do I start in order to reformat and partition the hard drive? What's the purpose of partitioning it anyway? Is it to put OS 9 on on one partition and OS X on the other?

Thanks for everyones help.

Put the CD in and restart holding the 'c' key. Go through the steps and make sure to choose a 'format and install'

Also, you should check if your iMac needs a firmware (Bios) update. Link here (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=86117) you'll need to boot OS 9 from the HD first before doing anything to install the firmware...it can fix ALOT of probs.

kylos
Aug 11, 2003, 08:52 PM
I would suggest a separate partition for applications, the OS, and your home folder. It will keep fragmentation isolated more to your home folder. The install cd contains a copy of the Disk Utility app. It contains a tab to partition your disk. It's pretty straightforward.

lsutiger
Aug 11, 2003, 09:56 PM
Originally posted by patrick0brien
-lsutiger

Well, I had hoped we'd set your expectations to the performance of the machine, perhaps I should have said very slow. That is a G3. OS X really was designed for the G4 or above.

As for your freezes, hmm. Have you repaired permissions yet?

Consider it a lesson in UNIX/Mac.

Some of the .plist (preferences) files and other system files might have a tripped permission - in fact, I can all but gaurantee something is tripped.

You should only be experiencing speed issues, not app screwyness. I assume you are running the latest OS X (10.2.6) right?

I've found some folks trying to run Safari on 10.0. Now there's some application funkyness, and an element to the Mac world. In Windows, there are applications that can run on older OS's - like Office XP running on Win2k.

With Macs, if the software says "10.2 or greater" they mean it - it's not just a casual marketing recommendation.

The reasoning behind this is that Apple actually adds a lot of functionality and makes significant changes to its OS, even in the "Third Dot Position" updates (10.2.X). OS X is young, and developing very rapidly.

I'm formatting and re-installed 10.2 right now. How do I repair permissions?

Thanks.

razorme
Aug 11, 2003, 11:32 PM
Run 'disk utility' inside of the 'utilities' folder which is inside of the 'applications' folder. It's under the 'first aid' tab.

plinkoman
Aug 12, 2003, 09:11 PM
Originally posted by lsutiger
I've been testing out my new iMac for 5 days now. My first impressions are a little dissapointing, but I'm hanging in there.

I knew it was going to be slow compared to my 1.7GHZ AMD machine, but it's a little slower than I expected. Just opening, closing and websurfing seems pretty sluggish. If I decide to make the switch I'll probably be getting either a dual 1.25G4 or a G5 so I would hope that all speed issues would go away.

if you have the $$ for a G5, go for it, but a G4 really does make a difference. i have both a 2.2GHz P4 and a 700 imac G4 and in everyday tasks(music, internet, mail...) i see very little speed difference, and sometimes the imac can even be faster because of windows doing something screwy like it always manages to do

lsutiger
Aug 12, 2003, 10:02 PM
Originally posted by plinkoman
if you have the $$ for a G5, go for it, but a G4 really does make a difference. i have both a 2.2GHz P4 and a 700 imac G4 and in everyday tasks(music, internet, mail...) i see very little speed difference, and sometimes the imac can even be faster because of windows doing something screwy like it always manages to do

That's good to know. My plan is to first go through the entire "Switching to the Mac" book and then decide for sure if I want to switch. Another thing that is hampering my experience is this 15inch CRT. I'm used to my 19 inch LCD. I tried hooking it up to the iMac, but the video card won't do a high enough resolution. Anyway, I'm trying to let speed, and monitor size influence me.

I reformatted, reinstalled OS X, repired permissions, and so far no more appication crashes =)

patrick0brien
Aug 13, 2003, 09:54 AM
Originally posted by lsutiger
That's good to know. My plan is to first go through the entire "Switching to the Mac" book and then decide for sure if I want to switch. Another thing that is hampering my experience is this 15inch CRT. I'm used to my 19 inch LCD. I tried hooking it up to the iMac, but the video card won't do a high enough resolution. Anyway, I'm trying to let speed, and monitor size influence me.

I reformatted, reinstalled OS X, repired permissions, and so far no more appication crashes =)

-lsutiger

Glad to hear it.

Just periodically repair permissions from now until Panther. Panther is supposed to some level of self repair and defrag.

How does it feel? Just a little slow?

lsutiger
Aug 13, 2003, 10:06 AM
Originally posted by patrick0brien
-lsutiger

Glad to hear it.

Just periodically repair permissions from now until Panther. Panther is supposed to some level of self repair and defrag.

How does it feel? Just a little slow?

Well, I jinxed myself. Right after I posted my last message my applications started freezing up. First iTunes, then the others. I could get them to close by using force quit, but then when I'd try to open iTunes again nothing would happen and the little pinwheel would just keep spinning. I couldn't get the machine to restart either without hitting the "hard" reset switch.

I'm learning to deal with the slowness because I know a new G4 or G5 would eliminate it, but the crashes are kind of disapointing. Another thing that keeps happening is when I wake my machine up (after sleep) the keyboard quits working. I have to unplug the keyboard and plug it back in for it to work again.

patrick0brien
Aug 13, 2003, 10:15 AM
Originally posted by lsutiger
the keyboard quits working.

-lsutiger

We might have hit upon something. What's on your USB bus?

lsutiger
Aug 13, 2003, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by patrick0brien
-lsutiger

We might have hit upon something. What's on your USB bus?

The only thing I have hooked up is my Apple keyboard (logitech mouse plugged into the keyboard), and my new 15gb iPod through one of the fire wire ports.

kylos
Aug 13, 2003, 10:23 AM
Originally posted by lsutiger
Well, I jinxed myself. Right after I posted my last message my applications started freezing up. First iTunes, then the others. I could get them to close by using force quit, but then when I'd try to open iTunes again nothing would happen and the little pinwheel would just keep spinning. I couldn't get the machine to restart either without hitting the "hard" reset switch.

I'm learning to deal with the slowness because I know a new G4 or G5 would eliminate it, but the crashes are kind of disapointing. Another thing that keeps happening is when I wake my machine up (after sleep) the keyboard quits working. I have to unplug the keyboard and plug it back in for it to work again.

Sounds like you have some serious hardware issues.:( I've been told that the problems you describe with the keyboard *may* be due to the flimsy usb cables on the keyboard and mouse shorting out and freezing the usb circuits. I can't verify the veracity of that, but when my mom replaced her shorting mouse, her keyboard functioned better. Also, if you have the hardware test cd, run that and see if you have bad ram or something. Someone earlier mentioned checking for newer versions of firmware. Try it. There could be any number of issues here. After all, computers are *rather* complex.
Oh, and I wish you the best of luck trying to fix it

lsutiger
Aug 13, 2003, 10:30 AM
Originally posted by Kyle?
Sounds like you have some serious hardware issues.:( I've been told that the problems you describe with the keyboard *may* be due to the flimsy usb cables on the keyboard and mouse shorting out and freezing the usb circuits. I can't verify the veracity of that, but when my mom replaced her shorting mouse, her keyboard functioned better. Also, if you have the hardware test cd, run that and see if you have bad ram or something. Someone earlier mentioned checking for newer versions of firmware. Try it. There could be any number of issues here. After all, computers are *rather* complex.
Oh, and I wish you the best of luck trying to fix it

I'll try another mouse and keyboard and see what happens. I've already updated the firmware. I do have the hardware test cd so I'll run that too. Thanks.

aethier
Aug 13, 2003, 10:32 AM
Maybe its a hardware problem, that could be why the other guy put that imac up for sale in the first place

aethier

ps, my school has 600 mhz imacs, and has no problems with them

lsutiger
Aug 13, 2003, 11:09 AM
Originally posted by aethier
Maybe its a hardware problem, that could be why the other guy put that imac up for sale in the first place

aethier

ps, my school has 600 mhz imacs, and has no problems with them

Good News/Bad News

I ran the system check and I'm geting Error Code mem_/2/4.

My system has 2 256K Dimms installed. Is there any way to tell by the error code which one has the problem? If not then I'll just remove one at a time and see if it fixes it.

bryanc
Aug 13, 2003, 11:23 AM
I've been involved with almost a dozen upgrades to OS X over the past year, and all but one of them resulted in machines that *never* crashed anymore.

The one exception was an old 350 MHz G4 that crashed all the time under 9, and, much to my surprise and dissapointmet, continued to crash (somewhat less frequently) under X. I ran hardware diagnostics and everything else I could think of to try to isolate the problem, but never found anything wrong with it. Finally, I removed the original RAM that the machine came with (I'd added 512, so I removed the 128 that it came with), and that seems to have solved the problem.

Note that the problems that manifested on this machine were not always complete system crashes, but also lots of spinning beachballs and general applications flakyness as well.

Hopefully the hardware diag. will help you out, but failing that, try using a diferent mouse or keyboard for a few days if you can arrange it.

I'm not surprised your system is slow, but I am surprised it's not stable. Every mac I've used runing OS X has been bulletproof (except for the one with the flaky RAM), so I really think you've got a hardware issue.

Good luck and let us know if you figure out what the problem was.

Cheers

lsutiger
Aug 13, 2003, 11:36 AM
I pulled out one of the Dimms and got lucky. Ran the test again and no errors. It was a simpletech dimm (cheap memory I think).

Now the whole system seems to be running faster!!!!!!!!

Thanks everyone. Now I'll have to find another memory chip to replace this one. Any suggestions?

patrick0brien
Aug 13, 2003, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by lsutiger
I pulled out one of the Dimms and got lucky. Ran the test again and no errors. It was a simpletech dimm (cheap memory I think).

Now the whole system seems to be running faster!!!!!!!!

Thanks everyone. Now I'll have to find another memory chip to replace this one. Any suggestions?

-lsutiger

Well, naturally, hold off on a purchase until you are comfortable that that was the problem.

But when you do wish to take the leap RamJet (http://www.ramjet.com) has always served me well.

lsutiger
Aug 13, 2003, 12:25 PM
Originally posted by patrick0brien
-lsutiger

Well, naturally, hold off on a purchase until you are comfortable that that was the problem.

But when you do wish to take the leap RamJet (http://www.ramjet.com) has always served me well.

Ok. Thanks. One more question. I'll probably replace the 256MB chip with a 512MB one to give my 668MB. The 512 chips aren't that much more than the 256 ones. I assume that would be fine.

kylos
Aug 13, 2003, 12:33 PM
More RAM is always better and highly advised. You may have a harder time finding 512 MB at a lower price though, if you're looking not to repeat this problem.

rueyeet
Aug 13, 2003, 02:08 PM
It's not surprising that the source of the trouble seems to have been a RAM problem. OS X is pretty strict about memory quality--many people have reported that OS X wouldn't deal with memory chips that had worked just fine in System 9. Crucial.com is a good quality source for memory, if not the cheapest--and they make no bones about what isn't compatible with your system.

Other than that, as another switcher who uses Win 2K Pro at work daily, I can say that you're probably going to see a little less of a snappy response in the GUI. But the biggest relief for me was that Apple's system doesn't seem to regard every inch of the desktop as potential ad space for corporate partners, or constantly make wrong assumptions that it knows what I'm trying to do, as Windows (and Microsoft in general) does. And of course, a G4 will make the system more snappy--a G5 should by all rights make it tapdance. :)

Partitioning is a matter of personal preference. Some swear by it, and some will say just as solemnly that it's not necessary under OS X. I -have- noticed that many who advocate partitions are either experienced users of older Mac OS's, or Linux/Unix.

As to web-browsing and crashes: Browsing speed will depend on the browser you use. Internet Explorer is a dog on the Mac. Everything else has compatibility issues--trying to send an email from AOL Webmail will crash Mozilla AND Camino on me every time. That's more AOL's fault than Mozilla's though, I'm willing to bet. :mad: I gotta give Safari a try one of these days...

Other than that, best wishes for a stable system from here on out! I know at least one used Mac source that doesn't bother to do a fresh install from the previous owner's system before sending the Mac to you, just deletes their personal data; so you inherit any software flakiness that owner may have had.

Freg3000
Aug 13, 2003, 03:19 PM
I am happy everything seems to have worked out. :)

Let this be a lesson to everyone about ram. I went through hell will some faulty ram on my new Power mac almost a year ago. A simple thing like memory can screw up a mac badly. If you don't have enough, OS X crawls, if you have bad ram, no matter how much, your machine goes crazy.

Good Luck.

lsutiger
Aug 13, 2003, 04:14 PM
Originally posted by Freg3000
I am happy everything seems to have worked out. :)

Let this be a lesson to everyone about ram. I went through hell will some faulty ram on my new Power mac almost a year ago. A simple thing like memory can screw up a mac badly. If you don't have enough, OS X crawls, if you have bad ram, no matter how much, your machine goes crazy.

Good Luck.

I had the same problem with a windows pc that I built a couple years ago. Since I built it I had no idea what was causing spontaneous reboots and several other problems. I replaced the power supply before I finally isolated the problem to a bad memory chip. At least the Apple software identified the memory error. I had run several memory checks on the PC and they all came back normal.

Everything is running much smoother and faster now (despite having half as much ram).

Thanks.

lewdvig
Sep 8, 2003, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by plinkoman
if you have the $$ for a G5, go for it, but a G4 really does make a difference. i have both a 2.2GHz P4 and a 700 imac G4 and in everyday tasks(music, internet, mail...) i see very little speed difference, and sometimes the imac can even be faster because of windows doing something screwy like it always manages to do

The benefit with a Mac is workflow. Saving a few minutes of our time thinking is a bigger deal than saving a second of CPU time - or even a bunch of them - here or there.

In raw terms my P4 humiliates my Mac. Seriously, no benchmark that I have tried is even close.

BUT

If you try to time yourself using these computers to perform unscripted tasks - BINGO! Suddenly the Mac wins every time.

That is my experience.

The PC is for games - and the really cool Heart Rate Monitor tools I need to keep track of my exercise. Polar don't support Mac.

Dont Hurt Me
Sep 8, 2003, 05:16 PM
i know this of no help but the new machine would have been the choice, here is why , memory,cpu,bus, videochip ,gets improved, making it hard to upgrade componets in older machines and keep up because everything is getting better & faster. still good luck and mac osx loves lots of good clean memory.

SpyHunter
Apr 4, 2007, 09:58 AM
Good News/Bad News

I ran the system check and I'm geting Error Code mem_/2/4.

My system has 2 256K Dimms installed. Is there any way to tell by the error code which one has the problem? If not then I'll just remove one at a time and see if it fixes it.

I have a question. I have a friend that has a Mac, using OS 10.3 or 10.4. She has been having problems with her computer resetting on its own. I had her run the the diag, and it came back with a "Mem_/2/5" error. Is that the same as a /2/4?

Any suggestions as to what i should have her do?

someguy
Apr 4, 2007, 10:18 AM
SpyHunter, this is a really old thread. You'd be better off starting a new one if you need assistance.