Why are all the Macs in Apple Stores so SLOW?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Jigglelicious, Dec 11, 2004.

  1. Jigglelicious macrumors 6502

    Jigglelicious

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    I just stopped by the Apple Store in SOHO to play with the new iMac G5's a bit and see the new 30" display (holy wow is it huge!). When I arrived at the iMac G5's, I was blown away by just how sluggish they performed! Opening apps, scrolling windows, even something as simple as expose and the genie animation were all choppy and slow. The iTunes visualizer was barely pushing 20fps. My eMac at home felt way faster than these things. I might attribute the slow app launches to the measily 256ram that was in them, but that doesn't account for the slow expose and iTunes performance.

    So then I went on to the Powerbooks, some with up to 1gb ram. Same exact thing! Ibooks - same problem. Even a Dual G5 with 2gb of RAM was feeling kinda chunky. So now my question is, what the heck does Apple do to their computers to make them perform so poorly? I checked the Activity Monitor, and there was nothing taking up exuberant amounts of CPU or RAM. I even restarted one of the iMacs to get a clean boot, and it still performed slow. Has anyone else noticed this? I can't imagine a G5 acting slower than my eMac at home.
     
  2. JeDiBoYTJ macrumors 6502a

    JeDiBoYTJ

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
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    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    #2
    They have probably been on all day, and who knows who has used them. someone could of screwed around, opened a bunch of memory-hog apps or something. Or the apple store people just dont maintain them as well as they should. You should of tried a restart on one of them and see if they work any better.
     
  3. daveL macrumors 68020

    daveL

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    Montana
  4. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
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    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #4
    RAM on the iMac at least. 256 Mb runs like a dog on anything larger than TextEdit. Clueless if the store hasn't upgraded them.

    Plus there are people who delight in sabotaging demo machines whenever the staff's backs are turned.
     
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    Oct 11, 2004
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    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #5
    Or -- the supply of G5 chips is so low, that Apple is actually using Celeron motherboards running CherryOS for instore demo units :D
     
  6. daveL macrumors 68020

    daveL

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  7. Jigglelicious thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jigglelicious

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #7
    While I admit that 256 is pretty low for OSX, it should still be able to handle simple expose animations smoothly. And a Dual G5 with 2gb RAM? Even that exhibited the same behavior.

    I forgot to check those to see if they were on maximum performance. But even if they were set to Automatic, would that really make them perform THIS slowly?
     
  8. superninjagoat macrumors 6502

    superninjagoat

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    Location:
    Apex, N.C
    #8
    I've noticed this as well. I attributed it to the RAM. I never thought about it in terms of the expose being offloaded to the GPU. It does make the Mac look bad though.

    One thing I did do was run the cron jobs on one of the computers. It ran better. Perhaps they are turning off the computers at night so they aren't running. I've no proof, though, and only anictodal evidence.

    s.n.goat
     
  9. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #9
    There may be differences in the viewpoint of each manager. At my local Chestnut Hill Apple Store, the majority of the machines have one to two gigabytes. The ones that I have used seem to be very quick to respond.
     
  10. IndyGopher macrumors 6502a

    IndyGopher

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2001
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #10
    If some demo machines have added RAM that is great, shows customers the benefits of adding RAM. But if all the demo machines have added RAM then I think that is really misleading. The machine you buy and take home is not going to perform as well as the demo machine, and that's the sort of crap that makes people (justifiably) angry.

    I realize you said the majority, but are they clearly marked, so any customer can see which ones are not stock, or do you have to already know enough about Macs to check?
     
  11. jimsowden macrumors 68000

    jimsowden

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Location:
    NY
    #11
    I think most of this can be attributed to netboot. On a large network like a flagship store would have, it is hard for their servers to keep up with requests of about 70 demo and store computers. In a small one, one xserve can handle it fine. Plus ram, i think thats about all that would impact the stores from a standard stock machine.
     
  12. honeytoast macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    bay area, CA
    #12
    the macs in apple stores have the hard drives reformatted almost weekly. i used to work at one. a genius would get the new hd image and load it on all of the computers from a fw hd. i would say that is part of the reason.
     
  13. timnosenzo macrumors 6502a

    timnosenzo

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    Location:
    ct, us
    #13
    Hm, I can't say I've had the same experience in the stores I've been in. Or maybe everything seems fast after using my 550Mhz PBook :cool:
     
  14. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

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    The Centennial State
    #14
    How does having the hard drive constantly reformatted slow down the computer?

    P.S. Curious. How long did this process take for each Mac?
     
  15. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #15
    I noticed this when I tried out the 12" 1.2 iBook in the Apple Store.

    It had 256mb of RAM, 5 gb of free space on a 30 gb drive, a bunch of effed up permissions, no daily, weekly of monthly maintenance done....

    Probably a similar deal.

    I also tested the iMac G5 in the store. before I bought one for the office.

    My G4 (single) tower smoked the iMac in XBench (and in general) until I got the iMac into the office an did surgery with a gig of RAM.

    You'd think they would have one person responsible for walking around all daykeeping things working, and beef up the modles with some RAM.

    Oh well.
     
  16. Macmaniac macrumors 68040

    Macmaniac

    #16
    Performance on an iMac with 256mb of RAM is not that bad, I was setting one up for a customer and it had some pep. Customers do weird things to store computers. I bet there are many unneeded apps installed all over the place and no maintenance is being run. At our store we run an iMac G5 as a demo machine and keep it maintained, thats the best way to sell macs.
     
  17. Rocksaurus macrumors 6502a

    Rocksaurus

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #17
    Well this explains why the market share is so low! Gosh, and to think we'd been overthinking it for so long! :)
     
  18. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    somewhere between here and there.
    #18
    i have had a similar situation with the iBook and PowerBook trackpad they felt unresponsive. However when I tested a new one out of the box it was responsive so my reasoning is that these system have been abused a lot with messed up directories one didn't even have the syspref.app


    They all work fine when you get a new one, however I do agree it looks bad for a switcher.
     
  19. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #19
    I have had the same experiance. A 1.8GHz iMac with 512MB seemed so slowed at an Apple Store I went to, compared to a newly opened 1.6 with 256 at a CompUSA. The rest at that Apple Store seemed kinda slow too. Somebody must have messed with them. I've played with a bunch of Macs at other Apple Stores, and most of them seemed ok. My Sisters boyfriend's iBook seemed much faster than the displays, even with the slower GHz G4 vs. the new 1.25 and 1.33, but it was upgraded to 768MBs. Makes all the difference.
     
  20. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

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    Feb 17, 2003
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    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #20
    I noticed this at the new London store where a 12" G4 ibook felt A LOT more snappy than the 1.8 SP G5 machine. Then I checked the free space on the hard drive. The g5 had just over ONE GB free - no wonder it was slow - they'd shovelled software on that G5! No room for virtual memory and fragmented to hell. Also I've noticed that the display machines have additional RAM on them. None of them had under 512MB - which I thought was a bit sneaky.
     
  21. crap freakboy macrumors 6502a

    crap freakboy

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    nar in Gainsborough, me duck
    #21
    Popped into the Regents street store yesterday, very impressed.
    I agree 512+ ram is rather misleading to a macnoobie regarding performance difference compaired to a stock model, but as long as they are made aware that OSX needs as much ram as they can afford then its unfair to call them sneaky.
    One thing I was disappointed about was that there were no games installed on the iMacs, I did ask but was directed to the 'large' games section next to the theatre. I mean its fine searching for benchmarks online but it wouldve been nice to see the fps in action. Apple need to seriously consider selling their macs with at least 512 ram imo, and for gods sake but a decent graphics chip in the iMacs next rev. That aside, great store. Other local stores such as John Lewis and Micro Anvika must be well miffed, hopefully it'll make Micro Anvika drop its prices and train its staff. John Lewis is still the best place to buy due to their 2 years guarantee. Any other Brits might be interested that there are some good deals on G5/iMac refurbs at Apple UK, most 20% off...I'm almost tempted myself but I must resist until the next rev...must....must....
     
  22. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #22
    Maybe sneaky was a bit harsh...It does admit that even Apple realises it sucks having just 256MB in a machine ;)
    I'm currently resisting the dual 1.8 PMs....God help me if a cheap 15" powerbook turns up :eek:
     
  23. cschmidt1956 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #23
    Locally, I went to the CompUSA in Rochester, NY and both of their iMacs where on the pokey side. Both only had 256Mb of Ram, and after watching many customers use them and opening many different applications and such. Their Mac Guy is usually pretty good at keeping up on the equiptment.

    On Sunday I went to the Apple Store in Buffalo, NY and it was almost the same results as the CompUSA experience. The iMac's seemed pokey. But, I did BUY a new iMac G5 20 inch with the Bluetooth option and with that config you recieve the 512Mb ram in one slot. I took it home and set it up and was amazed by how much better it felt to me. My current Work Machine is a DP 500 G4 and I now HATE this machine! :D

    Of course for home, replacing a very aged PM7300, Anything would be better.

    I'll see what goes on after Christmas. I would like to be running this machine with another 512Mb of ram, bu for now I'm happy!
     
  24. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #24
    Congrats...

    I am wanting to replace my not-so-old G4 all the time after buying a 1.8 iMac for my office. :D
     
  25. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #25
    Every store I've been to they have been snappy. And I'd rather see them PUT 1GB of ram in if they DISPLAY 1gb of ram. Otherwise it's bait and switch, which is illegal. Like letting you test drive a car with a V8, boasting about the power, then selling you a 4... WITHOUT telling you. Illegal.
     

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