Tried an imac today... highly disappointed!

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by goatsniper, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    #1
    I'm not a Mac owner and normally do not have access to a store to try out products. I'm seriously considering the new emac 1.25ghz for home use... mainly the iphoto, itunes, and garageband apps. But after trying an imac recently in a store, I now have serious concerns about performance.

    I was at a retail store yesterday and was able to try out an imac for the first time. It was a 15" 800mhz model with 256MB and Panther 10.3.2 OS. I was very impressed with the responsiveness of the UI and found it very easy to navigate.

    So I proceeded to plug up my flash card reader with four high resolution (4 megapixel) photos on it to test iPhoto. iPhoto 2 came up. The import went flawlessly. Scrolling around and previewing the pictures worked great. When I tried out Edit mode, however, things really bogged down. Moving from one image to the next took 2-3 seconds. Adjusting the contrast and brightness was similarly sluggish. iPhoto was the only application running on the machine.

    My question is, if I do go for the emac, is it going to be substantially faster doing these iPhoto edit operations? Will 512MB RAM also improve the performance? I understand that iPhoto 4 improved performance for large albums, but I was only dealing with 4 pictures here. I was really unimpressed with the 800mhz G4. So what it boils down to is... will a 1.25ghz G4 be substantially faster, or should I go for a low end G5?

    Thanks for everyone's input.
     
  2. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #2
    If the machine had iPhoto 2, what version of Mac OS X did it have on it? I'd guess 10.2.x probably.

    10.3 (Panther) and iTunes 4 improves performance in a lot of areas. I'd suggest you find a store that has a 1.25GHz iMac or eMac and try your test there.

    Another difference between what you used and the 1.25GHz (both iMac and eMac) is the speed of the system bus. The 800MHz system had a 100MHz bus and the 1.25GHz have a 167MHz bus and uses DDR ram. The L2 cache on the eMac is twice the size, so that will help as well.
     
  3. macrumors G4

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #3
    How much RAM did that 800 MHz iMac have? If it had only 128 MB, I could understand it being slow. Mac OS X likes RAM - I'd bet that if you made no other change to that iMac other than putting 512 MB of RAM in it, the performance would increase quite a bit. The same goes for the eMac you're thinking of getting - 512 MB of RAM will help any Mac go faster. The processor speed will make a difference, but the difference with adding RAM may actually equal or be greater than the boost you would get from processor speed alone.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
    #4
    right now the emac rocks the imac by just a bit

    the emac is using the new g4 processors while the imacs are still using the ones in the powermacs

    if you want an imac wait until they get updated with a g5 :D or a better g4 :(
     
  5. macrumors G4

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #5
    Bear - Did you read the original post thoroughly? It says the iMac had 10.3.2 on it. I agree with you about the system bus and L2 cache - both of those factors will increase the performance difference as well.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    #6
    The main attraction of the emac is price. $999 including an 8x SuperDrive is awesome. I do not want to spend $1800 or so on an imac.

    I repeat... I do not have access to a store to try these products out.

    Can anyone here confirm that a 1.25Ghz imac (should be similar to in performance to the new emacs) can do these iPhoto edit operations on 4 megapixel pictures in a responsive manner?
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Lucky736

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Location:
    TX or MI
    #7
    You were trying to scroll b/t 4 megapixel photos on 256MB RAM? It should take a few seconds as each photo is probably what, 2megs or so give or take? Those arnt small photos its not like you had 640x480 webshots.

    Mike
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Rincewind42

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #8
    I can't, but I can confirm that you can smoothly edit 5MP photos on a TiBook 1Ghz with iPhoto 4. The TiBook has a slower system bus, slower CPU, but has 1GB of RAM. You can probably extrapolate from there.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    #9
    Great! Exactly what I needed to know. I had a hunch that the 256MB on my test machine was the bottleneck.

    I was thinking of ordering an emac 1.25ghz with 512MB. Do you think that is enough to eliminate the problem?
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    Squire

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    goatsniper,

    I love my 1 GHz iMac with 768 MB RAM and running Panther. I'm sure anyone using this computer would be happy- it's a great machine. However, I have to be completely honest with you here: iPhoto runs brutally on my machine.

    Last week, I tried compiling photos of my kids in one of the Kodak photo albums (a neat option) but I just got fed up. iPhoto is a great app for organizing your photos (I have 3300) and finding the one you need quickly BUT whenever I try editing something in iPhoto, it simply takes too long. My preferences are now set up to automatically open PhotoStudio X when I hit the "edit" button.

    Macs are great and iPhoto is a handy tool but I don't think it's meant to do major editing.

    Squire

    edit: I timed certain actions.

    loading (3347 pictures) 5.12 seconds
    scrolling top to bottom (@12 pics/page) 2 seconds
    edit/PhotoStudio opening (2.6 MB pic) 5.78 seconds
    edit to B&W (2.6 MB pic)* 5.90 seconds
    edit to Sepia (2.6 MB pic)* 4.97 seconds
    enhance (2.6 MB pic)* 5.27 seconds

    (* Asterisks indicate editing actions performed by iPhoto.)

    Actually, I'm sort of impressed. These times seemed like nothing compared to the Kodak Photo Album fiasco the other day. I hope this helps. Cheers.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Location:
    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    #11
    It's the RAM. With 128 or 256 megs (what the systems in most stores have) OS X is slower than an Emma Thompson movie. 512 should be considered a minimum.

    Also, if I bought that machine and took it home, after I put in the RAM, I'd probably reinstall the OS. You never know what they did to that poor eMac, so you'd want to start fresh to make sure you're getting the most out of it.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    #12
    Now I'm confused.

    I have one person who claims to smoothly edit 5MP photos on a TiBook 1Ghz with 1GB and another who claims that editing in iPhoto is "brutal" on a 1Ghz imac with 768MB.

    Which is it? :confused:
     
  13. macrumors 68000

    Squire

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #13
    Please see my edited post above.

    Squire
     
  14. macrumors G4

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #14
    Maybe one has iPhoto 4 and the other iPhoto 2? That would make a difference if that was the case, given the numerous performance improvements made to iPhoto 4 over iPhoto 2.
     
  15. macrumors 68000

    Squire

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #15
    I'm running iLife '04.
    Panther
    1 GHz iMac
    768 MB RAM


    Squire
     
  16. macrumors G4

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #16
    Now I'm confused too. :confused: Why such a big performance difference? Does Rincewind42 have a photo album of significantly different size from Squire's 3347?
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    Squire

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #17
    Sorry for the double post here.

    goatsniper,

    I have iPhoto open right now. Are there any other operations you'd like me to try out for you? I'd be more than happy to do so. (By the way, I have a Canon PowerShot G2.) Nothing too tricky, though, as I'm no expert at computing or photography. ;)

    Squire

    Edit: I'm going to backtrack a little here. You claimed that moving from one hi-resolution pic to another took 2-3 seconds. I just tried it and it was almost instantaneous. Tell me what you think of the numbers I posted. They seemed okay to me. My biggest beef was with the Kodak Photo book exercise. It was truly brutal. I'm patient, but it was almost too much for me. Now, here, with my stopwatch in hand, the rest of iPhoto's functions seem okay.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    #18
    Yikes! Now I'm really re-thinking the emac decision. I also have about 3000 pictures in my collection. Those edit operations are not what I would call responsive.

    Another question, do you have to open/close PhotoStudio to edit each picture or can you do a batch of them at once?
     
  19. macrumors 68000

    Squire

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #19
    I can't answer that. Perhaps there's a way to "batch" edit. Keep in mind, though, that my system preferences are set to open PhotoStudio when I click the "edit" button. This feature can be disabled so that all editing is done right within iPhoto.

    Squire
     
  20. 7on
    macrumors 601

    7on

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Location:
    Dress Rosa
    #20
    The person with that 1Ghz iMac never stated that he had iPhoto4, which would come with any new Mac. iPhoto 4 is at least 30-50% faster than earlier versions.

    http://www2.truman.edu/~jps137/web/iphoto.avi (requires DivX and sorry, I couldn't find a way to change the video size in QT Pro compressing it to divx, recorded with an iSight)
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    encro

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    bendigo.victoria.au
    #21
    Same for you wrldwzrd89!!! :rolleyes: It mentions in the original post that the iMac has 256Meg yet you ask how much memory it had ( and assumed it only had 128Meg ). The original TFT iMac was released with 256Meg of Ram by default anyway :p :D
     
  22. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    #22
    Well, I already have a copy of PhotoShop Elements for Mac. That was the reason for asking. It seems kinda tedious to open/close an app 20 or 30 times to edit a batch of pictures.
     
  23. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Location:
    canada
    #23
    is it really worth the extra 2 to 3 000$ just to change loading times for image ops by 2 seconds?

    it's not like we are talking 1 minute versus 10 seconds -- it's 5 versus 2.5 seconds.

    the emac breaks the triangle -- it's fast, cheap, and good. just make sure you have >=512M ram in it.
     
  24. macrumors G4

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #24
    Oops, silly me :eek: I guess I need to read the post more carefully, too. I should have checked http://www.apple-history.com/ to see how much RAM that particular iMac came with (I have it bookmarked).
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Location:
    An awesome place
    #25
    iPhoto 2

    An Apple Store that has iPhoto 2 still in their machines does not sound right at all.
    You have to realize that the computers in the store will be slower due to people opening up many apps, their hard drives are nearly full with demos for many applications, and if the staff is not updating their software, then that makes it even worse.

    I've seen iMacs that have nearly every app in the dock open including an iSight windows showing video. Needless to say it was sloooooooow to the point I had to quit every application. It should have crashed right there. I thought it was going to freeze. But it did not. Once I closed every app, everything was good.

    Do not think that the iMac is that slow, it probably isn't. I know Garage Band is slow also on the in store demos on the iMacs, but when I installed it at home (2x867) it was nice and responsive.

    My ¢2



    :)
     

Share This Page