Crowdsourced test: PDF performance on OSX 10.11

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by bravobohan, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. bravobohan, Aug 19, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015

    bravobohan macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2014
    It has been mentioned many times throughout the year of Yosemite that there are PDF performance issue in OSX 10.10. Users have been experienced lag during scrolling and zoom in/out.

    It is speculated that it is caused by the PDF Kit in the OS X frame work. So PDF viewing apps (including itself) using the same framework all experienced the same performance issue in OSX 10.10.

    Here are three of many threads about PDF performance on OSX 10.10:

    I believe that for many OSX users, pdf viewing and annotation is an important part of their day to day work. I have not find any tech reviewers perform PDF viewing test on OSX 10.11 to confirm if the performance issue is still around in the coming OSX 10.11. Therefore, I would like to have the crowd to test out the PDF performance on OSX 10.11.

    Let's keep the test as consistent as possible.

    1. Download the two sample pdf from here:
    It is a 10MB, scanned PDF.
    It is a 50KB, text PDF (Possibly created by LaTEX).

    2. Open them in default Apple

    3. Perform zoom in/out and scroll through the document in a very fast manner.
    Very fast scrolling is for mimicking the usage of navigating to some specific page in a very lengthy document.

    4. Provide your system info (if possible) and the version of OSX you are using. Reply in a scale of 1 to 10. 10 for perfectly smooth. A reference for perfectly smooth can be the PDF reading experience on an iOS device. I have notice that iOS devices in recent 3 years handles PDF very well. <5 means that you experience lag constantly and it hinders your reading experience.

    Here is my result:

    macbook air 2013, core i5, ram 4gb
    OSX 10.9.5 (Sorry that I do not have 10.11 beta installed...)
    Document 1: 9
    Document 2: 10

    comment: (if you have comment, put it under the result for the ease of others scrolls through the results. :) )


    Thank you!
  2. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    I don't "speculate" about PDF files or Preview in a recent post of mine:

    IMO most authors of PDF files don't consider their audience or clients. I always contact my clients to find out what type of system (computer, network, printer) is being used for consumption/production of my documents, including "PDF" files, which are often layered documents with elements (fonts, vector data, image data, form data) embedded in them. Preview is a "free" PDF reader with simple application-specific annotation tools. For PDF files I use Illustrator, Skim, PDFPen Pro, Acrobat DC, and Preview - I simply use the appropriate tool and get on with my day.
  3. Scary Spice macrumors regular

    Scary Spice

    Jul 31, 2015
    British Columbia
    This is a a very qualitative way to measure the performance...

    All I know is preview performance is more than adequate with anything I throw at it in 10.11 dp7 . I will routinely have 20+ documents open and many are 100 pages or more.
  4. bravobohan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2014
    Good to know! Hopefully the reading experience will feel like that in mavericks again.
  5. Fzang macrumors 65816


    Jun 15, 2013
    One thing that has improved drastically seems to be how it handles lots of vector elements. Before, I'd have a scientific paper constantly lock up because it contained a graph with 500 individual scalable dots. Now I no longer have to be afraid to look at the wrong graph.

    Preview is still not "buttery", but it's acceptable.
  6. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    The PDF rendering in Preview is insanely fast compared to previous OS X versions. Just recently I have opened a 20Mb PDF (a book scan) on a network volume — the difference is night and day. With the documents you have provided: there is no lag on my machine (MBP 15" 2015, 10.11 DP Beta 7). With the handwritten text, I can zoom out to max and scroll everything smoothly while zooming in and out at the same time. Its actually quite incredible how smooth it is.
  7. bravobohan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2014
  8. thekayman macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2014
  9. Rev0l2ti0n macrumors newbie


    Aug 21, 2015
    Not using your PDF, but using the DSM-V, which is a 32MB PDF.
    Mac Type:Mid-2012 rMBP w/512GB SSD, GT650M and Intel HD4000, 2.6GHz Core i7, 16GB of RAM

    No troubles scrolling whatsoever, no stutters or lagging at all using both Integrated only and Dedicated Only on Developer Preview 7.
  10. thekayman macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2014
    I've found filesize =\= file complexity and the ability of os x to handle it gracefully.

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