El Capitan Performance on Mid 2007 iMac

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by Stuey3D, Jun 17, 2015.

  1. Stuey3D macrumors regular

    Stuey3D

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    #1
    Just got my 8 year old iMac back off my In-Laws as they've just upgraded to a MacBook Air as they are moving from a house into a flat so no room for a 20" iMac.

    First thing I did upon getting it home was to install a fresh install of OSX 10.11 El Capitan DP1 to see how it runs compared to me mid 2012 Non Retina MacBook Pro.

    I did a clean install off a USB stick and then used migration assistant to move all my stuff from my MacBook Pro onto the iMac so its basically a clone of my MacBook.

    All I can say is WOW!

    For an 8 year old machine it runs surprisingly well, very little lagging, animations are smooth, and generally it runs very well.

    I am rocking a base model 20" iMac Mid 2007 with upgraded Ram to 3GB, 320GB HDD, 2.4GHZ Core 2 Duo, ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro with 256MB of memory. So this is basically the lowest spec machine (bar the extra gig over minimum of RAM) that will run El Capitan.

    A few things I have noticed are occasionally when interacting with menu bar over videos playing in Safari the videos drop a few frames and appear to stutter (Netflix)

    Also surprisingly as this machine doesn't support AirPlay mirroring due to its age, the AirPlay icon appears in Safari as if it could send the video to the AppleTV although not tested yet as wife is using the TV lol.

    Overall though very very pleased with the performance given the age of the machine and being above minimum but below the recommended RAM.

    Anything anyone wants me to try and test (as long as it doesn't require paid for apps) let me know.
     
  2. Stuey3D thread starter macrumors regular

    Stuey3D

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    #2
    another thing I've noticed is that it does seem to run a little bit warmer than the MacBook Pro but that is expected, and the machine doesn't seem to be displaying any signs of straining under the pressure.
     
  3. Stuey3D thread starter macrumors regular

    Stuey3D

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    #3
    CPU Usage with Safari open and iTunes playing in the background.
     

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  4. Stuey3D thread starter macrumors regular

    Stuey3D

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    #4
    Memory Usage at the same time.
     

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  5. Stuey3D, Jun 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2015

    Stuey3D thread starter macrumors regular

    Stuey3D

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    #5
    Whats seriously impressive is the fact that i can scroll through my entire Photos App library of 5500 photos and 198 Videos with virtually no lag at all. 32GB library that is as well.
     
  6. MikhailT macrumors 601

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    #6
    Thanks for sharing your results with us, that is awesome. It feels like Apple is finally listening to us.

    What's even more impressive is that it is only beta 1 and something that's a few weeks older than what we've seen at WWDC.

    This is something we expect after 2-3 .x.x updates, not beta 1 of a brand new version. Not even Snow Leopard was this good originally as it took a few updates. Now imagine what it will be like after 2-3 more months of optimizations before the release in the fall.
     
  7. Stuey3D thread starter macrumors regular

    Stuey3D

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    #7
    Well the performance on my iMac and on my mid 2012 MacBook Pro is awesome and if its only going to get better as time goes on then alls good, but to be honest if the performance stays like this then thats no bad thing either :D

    I can also confirm Safari AirPlay works on the old iMac as well which is AWESOME!!
     
  8. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #8
    It runs better than Yosemite on my SSD-upgraded base model late 2008 MacBook Air as well. The OS is generally quicker – animations, boot time, app opening time.

    Definitely much more an improvement on the 2008 MBA than it was on my rMBP, so it's good to see that older/slower hardware is still being considered with 10.11.
     
  9. Stuey3D thread starter macrumors regular

    Stuey3D

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    #9
    Yeah I'm impressed as my iMac is about the lowest spec that will run it and it runs amazingly for 8 year old hardware and a brand new OS.

    Just wish I could say the same for iOS 9 as I have that on my iPad Mini 2 and it runs pretty slow and drains the battery like crazy even when in standby lol, oh well can't win them all and iOS 9 will get better as 1st Beta's usually suck on iOS lol.
     
  10. Stuey3D thread starter macrumors regular

    Stuey3D

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    #10
    Another surprise I've discovered this morning. The iMac wakes from deep sleep far quicker than my MacBook Pro.

    The iMac comes up soon as I click the mouse its ready to go. The MacBook however is a right grumpy so and so when you wake it up, firstly the screen comes up but then the mouse pointer won't move for about 30 seconds or so, then the clock in the corner is still saying the time it actually went to sleep rather than current time, then when you can actually type your password in it then takes an eternity for stuff to actually load and work, it stays like this for a few minutes then everything is back as normal.

    The only thing I can think of is the sleep mode is somehow more aggressive on the MacBook due to the fact its a laptop rather than a desktop. Its always been like that though on Yosemite and just something I've gotten used to lol.
     
  11. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

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    #11
    What is probably happening on your MacBook Pro is when it comes out of sleep OS X loads the sleep image file which is essentially a copy of what was running in RAM. The more RAM you have the larger the sleep image file.
     
  12. Stuey3D thread starter macrumors regular

    Stuey3D

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    #12
    Yeah that makes sense, the MacBook Pro has 4GB of RAM the iMac only has 3GB. Plus if I'm not mistaken isn't the iMac a 7200RPM hard drive vs a 5400RPM in the MacBook so that probably helps too.
     
  13. aajeevlin macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Good to hear about your positive experience, I'm excited to run this on my Mini 2009. Although, I'll either wait for the public beta or when it is released in the fall.
     
  14. Stuey3D thread starter macrumors regular

    Stuey3D

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    #14
    Yeah it would be a safe bet to say the Public Beta should be very good, this early developer preview is very stable and fast *touches wood*
     
  15. Stuey3D thread starter macrumors regular

    Stuey3D

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    #15
    On the iMac it appears the source of the heat I am feeling is the GPU. I ran TGPro and it shows that the GPU was at around 72ºC and the CPU was only around 50ºc so it appears the GPU is getting worked rather than the CPU which is probably why the machine feels so snappy.

    The heat doesn't appear to be an issue though as none of the fans are ramping up in speed though and the iMac is running nice and quiet and nice and stable.
     
  16. Gwendolini macrumors 6502

    Gwendolini

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    #16
    The iMac does not have a sleep image file, the MBP has, but that feature can be disabled via some Terminal command or SmartSleep (and probably other tools).
     
  17. Stuey3D thread starter macrumors regular

    Stuey3D

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    #17
    Well whilst my MacBook was a little sluggish on wake up this morning, its nowhere near as bad as it used to be on Yosemite which is nice :)
     
  18. Stuey3D thread starter macrumors regular

    Stuey3D

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    #18
    For such an old machine with 1GB less RAM than the MacBook Pro the iMac surprisingly keeps up with it. Apps take around the same time to launch, safari pages take around the same time to render, photo library opening and scrolling seems quicker on the iMac but i guess thats due to faster hard drive.

    The only major area I've noticed where the MacBook Pro beats the iMac is video playing (especially Netflix) as the iMac sometimes stutters on high motion scenes, and also iTunes visualisers you can only use iTunes classic as the others seem to run slower and jerky. Then again anything graphically is expected as the iMac has an ancient graphics card with only 256MB of RAM whereas the MacBook Pro has a much newer card with 1536MB of RAM.

    All in all very very impressed with it so far.
     
  19. nightlong macrumors 6502a

    nightlong

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    #19
    Thanks for this info ... I have a late 2007 iMac with 4 GB RAM. Yosemite has slowed it down a lot and so I haven't been using it much.
     
  20. Stuey3D thread starter macrumors regular

    Stuey3D

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    #20
    Get El Capitan on it pronto! Do a clean install though I tried an update over a slow Yosemite partition and it was awful, clean install was miles better.
     
  21. nightlong macrumors 6502a

    nightlong

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    #21
    Ok ... thanks. I'm not a developer, so I'll wait for the release version.
     
  22. gmanist1000 macrumors 68030

    gmanist1000

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    #22
    Good news, we have 60 or so 2008 iMac's where I work, glad to hear it runs well.
     
  23. BrettApple macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

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    #23
    Great to hear! My mother has the base model 20" 2007 iMac (2.0GHz and the one with the 128MB 2400XT) but upgraded to 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD in 2012 when Mountain Lion was sucking big time on the stock 2GB/250GB HDD.

    It ran Mavericks perfectly but Yosemite started to stress out the old ATI card with all the transparency effects. It's not slow by any means and apps launch almost instantly thanks to the SSD, but the frame drops are annoying to me. Though my mother probably wouldn't ever know the difference and would happily be sitting on Tiger if I didn't update it for her every year, haha. Still have the 10.4 restore disks too.

    They're in the process of moving and it won't fit where it's going so it'll either be reassigned to the basement or I may ask if I can have it just because. Either way this thing has had a very long life for a computer that is has been used on a daily basis since August of 2007 when we got it. My brother has a 2008 iMac with the 2600 pro so it's great to hear that it runs well at least. Just put a new 500GB SSD in it a few months back since the stock HDD was on it's way out. It runs Yosemite noticeably better than our '07. Likely because of the extra VRAM on the 2600 vs the 2400 and the newer SSD is quicker even on a SATA II system.
     
  24. Stuey3D thread starter macrumors regular

    Stuey3D

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    #24
    Well graphics will be the main bottleneck with these older systems.

    Mine has the 2600Pro with 256MB RAM and system animations run lovely and smooth will all the transparency turned on, however when Netflix goes HD it does stutter slightly if you are interacting with it but does go back to normal if you leave it, YouTube does 1080P perfectly though.
    Another graphical slow down I've noticed is on the iTunes visualisers, all apart from iTunes classic do have noticeable frame rate issues which they never used to have back in the day, but to be honest if thats all I've noticed so far then things are looking good :D
     
  25. Stuey3D thread starter macrumors regular

    Stuey3D

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    #25
    Updated to Developer Beta 2 and whilst it still runs great the iMac now struggles to wake up, and sometimes wifi doesn't connect. Otherwise generally still happy with it though.
     

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