First time Mac user - immediate performance issues with Brand New Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lukasmac, May 30, 2015.

  1. lukasmac macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2015
    Hello there,
    I am brand new here so am I brand new to Mac.
    Really for years I was thinking and maybe also dreaming of Mac as it has been very popular in photography for processing of the images.
    After years of being PC user and different struggles with windows, poor performance etc. I have decided to purchase my first Mac, namely Macbook Pro 15", mid-2014, i7 2.2GHz, 256GB SSD, 16GB RAM, Intel Iris Pro Graphics.

    I bought it 6 days ago and my first test of the performance was to process an image exactly same way I used to do on my PC where particular steps took very long time hence why I decided to buy a Mac.

    1. Basically I open up my RAW picture in Lightroom 5
    2. After applying lens corrections I go straight to --> Open in Photoshop CS6
    3. In Photoshop I apply curves layer
    4. And open up Nik's Color Efex Pro 4 where I apply 3 filters (Brilliance/Warmth; Tonal Contrast; Pro Contrast)

    My first day everything went supersonic fast, while right second day a huge degradation of the performance started to appear in my workflow.
    Basically when I am on step 4 of my workflow and I try to tweak one of those 3 filters in Nik to my liking suddenly it takes 5+ seconds to my Mac to see the effect of changed slider - really horrible, pretty much exactly the same as on my 7 years old PC (and only due to this slowness on PC I have decided to purchase Mac).

    When checking Activity Monitor when this slowness is present, I can see that Photoshop (from which I have my Nik opened) utilises 588.1% of CPU!


    Can anyone suggest what can be wrong with my Mac? I have already disabled transparency, tried to lower resolution, I have no other applications opened, I am on latest software - Yosemite 10.10.3 etc.
    This is really killing me :( as I could have imagined much nicer world being on Mac :(.

    Your help is much appreciated!
    Thank you
  2. Wahlstrm macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2013
    Your Macbook Pro has a maximum of 800% CPU-utilization, 100%/cpu thread.
    Nik seems to be a well written plugin since it can take advantage of more threads. Lightroom is still crap in this respect and usually stays below 200-400% = at least half of your computer is sitting idle instead of working on the task at hand..

    First hit on Google for your problem might help
  3. lukasmac thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2015
    Thank you very much mate, at least for the hope.
    I have tried the steps suggested in the post right now, however no change :(.
    CPU jumped to 717% and still severe delay :(.
    Will have to wait for other advice I assume. Hope it will arrive soon.
    Thank you
  4. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    According to the Nik website, it needs a discrete GPU to use GPU acceleration, otherwise it reverts to using the CPU. Your MBP only has the Intel graphics. Maybe that's the issue?
  5. Wahlstrm macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2013
    Your Mac is not broken, it´s just the wrong version for Nik..
    Nik seems to need a dGPU to work ok, so there might not be a solution for your problem other than returning the Mac and getting the one with the dGPU instead.
  6. lukasmac thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2015
    Do you think if this was the case that it would have worked properly the very first day I bought my Mac?
    I would think it wouldn't have worked ever since beginning.
    Please let me know.
  7. soupcan macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2014
    I'm getting the impression you don't understand the word "dGPU". It stands for Dedicated GPU. Your Mac has the Intel Iris Pro GPU. That means that the processor has both the processing unit and the graphics unit on one chip. The MacBook Pro with a dedicated GPU has, alongside the Intel Iris Pro GPU, a dedicated chip specifically designed to to graphics calculations, in this case an AMD R9-M370X. The plugin requires the AMD card to offload its work to so the processor doesn't have to do that work and can stay idle. Your machine doesn't have that AMD card so the plugin reverts back to the processor to do the work for you which is why it gets to 500% or 700%.

    And yes, during this period your computer will feel laggy, as all the system tasks are now being done by one core on your processor while the other 7 are doing calculations (note: I'm counting Hyperthreaded cores here too, not just physical cores). That's no different than on any other computer. Hell, you could have a 12 core beast, but as soon as you load up 11 of the 12 cores it would grind to a halt until the calculations are done and the cores become idle again.

    I strongly suggest you take a look at the newly released MacBook Pro with the AMD GPU (so the Mac with the dGPU). It would benefit you a LOT seeing the work you seem to be doing could benefit a LOT from a dedicated GPU.
  8. Wahlstrm, May 30, 2015
    Last edited: May 30, 2015

    Wahlstrm macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2013
    No, it should be consistent but I don't think your hardware is broken.
    The software seems to be a very demanding according to 100´s of posts around the internet all asking why Nik4 is so slow..

    Most solutions are a version of these:
    *Get a dGPU and it will work fine.
    *Try changing settings for graphics acceleration in photoshop.
    *Try uninstall and install again.

    Explanations why Nik 4 is so much worse than Nik 3 is that it´s now 64-bit and since it now can use all your computers resources (hence the 500+%) it´s now a lot more precise when drawing the previews and that takes a bit longer. (Unless you have a dGPU that can do it in real time)
    The work around in the link you got should disable this and force 32-bit, but since you said it´s now 700% that might not be working for you..

    Is it really running in 32-bit now?

    Edit: Or just read Soupcans explanation :)
  9. lukasmac thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2015
    Thanks Mate,
    indeed I understand what dedicated GPU is and before purchasing my Mac I was specifically googling whether Iris Pro will be sufficient.
    What I don't really understand is, that Color Efex Pro 4 worked without any delay on day 1 (namely last Sunday) when I purchased my Mac while suddenly on my day 2 (Monday afternoon) I started to see huge performance degradation.
    I would believe if the theory of not having dedicated GPU causing my issues would be the case, then I would have never experienced perfect performance on a day 1 right?
  10. soupcan macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2014
    Were you doing the same task though with exactly the same number of apps open? Probably not.
  11. cookies! macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2011
    Update to Lightroom 6 to gain GPU acceleration support, and see if that helps. At least install the trial.
  12. lukasmac thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2015
    Hi mate,
    can you elaborate on "to gain GPU acceleration support"?
    Is there anything new in this regard in Lr6?

  13. Mitbox, Jun 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015

    Mitbox macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2012
  14. lukasmac thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2015
    Thank you all for your willingness to help.
    I think I surrender here. My frustration reached its top level and I am not sure if there is yet any chance to get my problem resolved.
    Basically I have tried pretty much everything suggested here:
    1. tried to turn off transparency and increase the contrast
    2. tried to reinstal Lr5 and PS CS6 along with Nik
    3. tried a trial of PS and Lr Cc version
    4. tried to reset PRAM
    5. tried fresh install of Yosemite
    and very likely many other things which I have already forgotten of while when reading some articles about issues with Retina Macs and 5K iPads I am afraid I can't do more.

    The performance is slow comparing to what I expected from my first Mac purchase and as I mentioned it is almost the same as my 7 years old Desktop PC (windows).

    Unfortunately here in Slovakia you cannot simply go back to the store and return your Mac as it is in the USA. So in the end I spent twice as much as I would spent on new desktop PC while the performance is absolutely horrible and I am back to where I was on my old PC - an absolute aversion to post-processing the tons of pictures which are sitting on my hard drives as the slowness of the computer brings all but joy.

  15. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Apple should have the same 14 day return policy in slovakia.
  16. newellj, Jun 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015

    newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
  17. lukasmac thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2015
    thanks mate,
    this is not applicable for me as it was purchased couple weeks ago just delivered to me 2 weeks ago so I am even past those 14 days - even though I am afraid it is different here
  18. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    The purchase date is irrelevant, it's the date of delivery that counts.
    Apple offers a 14 return everywhere on planet earth.
  19. lukasmac thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2015
    sorry mate for not being explicit enough - it was delivered to a friend of mine last April week, just handed over to me 2 weeks ago, hence why I was stating it will be irrelevant for me. But thanks for the hope :)
  20. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2014
    I use Color Efex v4 on my 13" 3.0 i7 and it flies. I used Color Efex v4 on my '09 2.8 c2d iMac with 6gb of ram and my wife's 1.7 i7 MBA, it was fine. None have a dedicated GPU and you don't need one. Lightroom ran fine in both. PS is a pig, haven't tried it in the rMBP. On my wife's 1.7 i7 MBA is borderline unusable unless you're a masochist.

    I'd try a clean install. My rMBP needed one upon delivery.
  21. lukasmac thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2015
    Thanks Ray,
    I have already tried a clean install which hasn't helped.
    It really depends on whether you have a Retina model (do you?) and how you apply filters in Color Efex Pro 4. When I apply just one it is OK. Try applying 3 filters (1. Brillance/Warmth, 2. Tonal Contrast, 3. Contrast Pro) and once you have all these 3 in an order as listed, go to first one - Brillance/Warmth and try moving saturation slider all the way up or down. Can you see the change instantly?
    Also when you open Dfine2, Raw PreSharpener, Viveza2 - do they open up in full or low resolution? For me all 3 in low resolution as again this is down to retina. Tweaking the imagine in low resolution makes absolutely no sense as you have no idea what you are doing as the quality of image looks like you were processing your standard image in 300% magnification so you cannot really judge when is enough sharpening.

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