Frustrated with new intel iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by richali1327, Feb 5, 2006.

  1. richali1327 macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2006

    Alright, first off this is my first mac. After years of debating I finally decided to take the plundge and give the Steve Jobs' platform a chance. Upon recieving my intel duo core 20" iMac(upgraded to 1gig ram and 256mg video card) I was blown away by its appearance and overall feel. It more than exceeded my expectations in every category. Well, that is until I started having problems after only a few hours of tinkering around with it.

    First, I discovered that everytime I opened Front Row the screen began having intermitent "seziures". Multi-colored lines would flash horizontally across the screen and the images would kind of twitch. I called tech support and after an hour of them talking me through things their conclusion was "we've had reports of this same problem, we'll email a hard drive capture program which will assist us in figuring out what's wrong". Great, thanks alot anti-support dude! I'll just close my eyes everytime I run Front Row and pretend you fixed the problem.

    So here I am with a flawed machine waiting on them to get back to me, and just today(two days after receiving it) multiple programs start "quiting unexpectedly" either directly after starting them up or a few minutes into working with them(ie...Pages, Word, iTunes, photoshop, messenger) I'm also having wierd little bugs in safari where the text will smash together and become unreadable.

    Oh, and whenever I try to change the desktop picture I get the rotating multi-colored wheel(doesn't that description just scream newbie) that spins forever. There are a few other little "bugs" I've come across but I think the five of you who are still reading this probably don't want to read anymore of my complaints.

    I really want to love this machine. Everything about it is wonderful. This is a computer I'd dream about seeing on every desk ten years from now, it's so sleek and classy. I'm just beginning to regret buying the first version of a monumental step in apple's transition to intel chips. Is there anyway I can possibly return this to apple(I bought it online) and replace it with a refurbished Powermac Dual G5 2.3ghz(I'd cover the extra cost of course). How much of a difference in speed do you think I'll see on a Powermac compared to this iMac? I do alot with photoshop and Illustrator, and the year + wait until CS3 comes out is just going to make things that more frustrating.

    One last thing(I promise). The screen on this display is PHENOMINAL, it's so clear and the images are so crisp there are many times when I think I'm looking through a window. Is this screen the same one they use in their other independant displays. I'm looking at the 23" and I'm hoping everything will look this amazing on that display as well.

    Damn, this sure is a long post...sorry! But thanks for the help and direction. I sure am glad mac-ignorant people like me can find help online like this. Thanks.
  2. iEdd macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2005
    Sorry about your machine man. I know it sucks that you've only heard good about apple and bought one to get a faulty one. Sounds like hardware problems, apple should repair or replace it. Good luck.
  3. wpwj40e macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2006
    Hi, I was/am in a similar situation...just switched...lots of problems...I won't rehash them...but would suggest that you contact support again and articulate all the issues, one by one. You should be able to return the machine and either get another one or a different model.

    I also struggled with should I go with the older technology - more stable etc. But came to the conclusion that for the cost I was better off with the future technology.

    I also had the misfortune of having two bad machines - same type issues and am not going to CTO or BTO again. Just gonna take stock and hope my luck changes.

    After having done an abundance of my own testing, on my machines, other folks and the ones at the store - I was able to narrow down the majority of issues - a suprising number are related to 10.4.4 release. Without boring you - this can be verified by running same programs on a different apple architecture using 10.4.4 and similar problems occur. Another group are related to the iLife 06 release - again can also be isolated. Now put that together with a NEW architecture and it seems like there are more issues than are really there. (To the end user - you and me - they are real and they do exist)

    The good news is that the majority of these will be addressed with software updates for the OS and iLife apps. Additional software updates for the UB program issues or Rosetta in the case of Apple apps. This will eliminate the majority and leave a (256 VRAM and Build related - although there are certain issues with both build - should say all 3 at this point), network related - related to the change in chipsets and software that is utilized. This should be adressed by a software update and there are currently workarounds for it...The remaining major issue I have discovered is the USB/Fire Wire ports. Again after much testing I have determined this to also be a software issue with how apple implemented "sleep" etc and once they start working on the problem should be able to resolve.

    WHile these issues are real...the OS is still fantastic and if you can deal with the issues I think the effort will prove out. AT least I'm gonna try one more time:) I have found that I am significantly more productive.

    Soo in closing - this rather long post:) Going to another MAc may or may not resolve all the issues..i.e. software and OS related. It will potentially alleviate the convergence that has happened on the Intel box for a short time. But you might want to try a stock config(buy RAM no matter what!) and see if that mitigates most of what you are seeing.

    Good Luck
  4. wpwj40e macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2006
    "So here I am with a flawed machine waiting on them to get back to me, and just today(two days after receiving it) multiple programs start "quiting unexpectedly" either directly after starting them up or a few minutes into working with them(ie...Pages, Word, iTunes, photoshop, messenger) I'm also having wierd little bugs in safari where the text will smash together and become unreadable."

    I'm gonna make a guess here...I have played enough with these machines that most of the apps that state they will run either in Rosetta or truly UB do - and behave as one would expect - most of the time. However, I can get any Intel machine to "lose its mind" and start doing things like you describe by downloading widgets from apple's site. Actually most widgets - but just for the sake of ease use the Apple site.

    Gonna guess that you have also downloaded a few (probbaly 10 or more) and are attempting to run those. No go on the Intel iMac - sure way to cause all kinds of unexpected behaviors - especially apps quiting, safari weird issues etc. WOn't go into all the reasons I have surmised - but some are the UB(lack there of) and the reality that Rosetta does not seem to do real well with the dashboard widgets. You can also get some similar behaviors - not quite as bad by downloading certain widgets and running them on a G5/Dual G5 or G4 running 10.4.4

    So - just a guess - but deinstalling all those neat new widgets, doing a restart and clean up will work wonders.

    Of course if you didn't download widgets.....:confused:

  5. Kelmon macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2005
    United Kingdom
    Odd. I'd have thought that widgets would have no use for Rosetta since (and I may be wrong here) they're just HTML, CSS and JavaScript based applications. I would not have thought that they needed to be translated to Intel code by Rosetta since I would assume that the WebKit probably does that already unless that hasn't been ported to Intel yet. Still, interesting post...

    I'm not planning to buy an Intel-based Mac until much later in the year, mostly because I want a 17" MacBook Pro but also because I haven't saved the money yet. However, I am hoping that these teething problems have been resolved by then. I'm certainly not brave enough to take the plunge now and wish the best of luck to those of you that have.
  6. jer2eydevil88 macrumors 6502


    Feb 6, 2004
    Little bugs are nothing new...

    Unfortunately for many of us Apple released the last g4 powerbook with horizontal lines throughout the sceens. If you do decide to go back to powerpc hardware (which in the g4 is quite a downgrade) then make sure you research any widespread problems known to that generation of mac.

    If I was you though I'd just call Apple tech support and tell them all those problems and more than likely they'll be happy to have it shipped to them and replaced at no charge. Photoshop work on the other hand will run faster on a dual 2.3ghz G5 for now but come next year the core duo machines will outpace them and be the frontrunner in almost all aspects of performance. Just depends on if you want to wait a year for the real native performance to kick in.

    In my case its a no brainer since the g4 Powerbook is as slow as the old Pentium 4-m notebooks that Intel replaced with the Centrino chips.
  7. bugfaceuk macrumors 6502


    Nov 10, 2005
    So all of these problems point to hardware issues, either graphics card or main memory.

    But actually my feeling is that this post isn't about "Apple hardware sux", but actually that the poor guy has had to wait for some kind of answer about what will be done by Apple. They should have dispatched a new machine to him, and offered to collect the old one when the replacement is delivered.

    The original poster doesn't seem to be suggesting that he is necessarily pissed off with apple that machien has problems, but are apple really this crap at dealing with defective shipments?
  8. gammamonk macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2004
    Madison, WI
    Wow. I sure am glad my parents bought the G5 20"-- Even tho the harddrive died in 2 weeks. Quality these days sucks.

    My powerbook has been running properly for a few months, and I'm terrified to replace it. I know if I buy a new system, I will need to have it repaired 3 or 4 times before I get back here.
  9. bugfaceuk macrumors 6502


    Nov 10, 2005
    I'm sorry but that's just silly. The bath-tub model for failures tells us that things will typically fail in the first 4 weeks, or run for years. One of the things I used to find when I was computer repair guy, was that people who had a lot of defects when they should have been at the base of the tub, usually had unhealthy operating environments for any electronic equipment.

    The problems the original poster has posted (and your dead hard-drive) are classic "fails during first use-period" [4 weeks] when defects are most common.

    What I don't understand is why a replacement wasn't shipped to him immediately.
  10. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Seems like there's a lot of off-the-mark responses in this thread to me. It sounds to me like you've simply got a defective machine. The part about the screen problems especially leads me to believe that. As with any other manufacturer, Apple can and does occasionally have bad machines go out the door. If it was my computer, I'd take it back and tell them you need a new one because this one has obvious problems out of the box.

    Before you do that, you *may* want to try reinstalling the OS to make sure it isn't just a messed up installation.

    I don't yet have an Intel Mac, but I've got three PowerPC Macs varying in age from 6 years to 10 months, and none of them have had similar problems whatsoever. Sure there's the occasionally app, unexpectedly quitting, but it's more like a couple incidents a month, not every day. FWIW, I have a dual G5, and IMO, it's very much a viable machine. If offered to me, I would take a dual core 2.3 GHz G5 over the new Intel iMacs any day (that's not to say I think poorly of the Intel Macs though). There are going to be some difficulties and frustrations for a while during Apple's transition to Intel.
  11. Seasought macrumors 65816


    Nov 3, 2005
    I'll also push for a fresh install of your OS. If you're still having issues I would call support and keep pressing to get it replaced.
  12. truz macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2006
    I would do a format and fresh install of mac os from your dvd's and then give front row a try. I have an intel mac (20", 2gigs ram, 256mb vram) and I have installed a few different things and found them causing issues with my system. I currently have cs2 and studio8 running with no problems at all and photoshop runs better on this intel then my 3200+ amd64 laptop and currently studio8 and cs2 are not universal and they are still running smoothly for myself. There was a few things I installed that after my system would go into sleep mode it would not wake up, I would have to do a hard restart by holding the power button down for a few seconds until it shut itself down and then power it back on.. After removing a few last installed apps it stoped doing that. I would give the reload a try and if it does not fix your issue then contact apple again and demand a replacment. ALSO! the cs2 update (which includes photoshop) for intel macs will be free and coming out within the next 2 months.

    When I purchased this intel mac (first mac to ever own) I knew there would be bugs. My biggest issue about the imacs where web based software such as "flash player" as mine did not ship with a working version of flash as every website I went to it gave me a popup asking me to goto and download flash player, which on they dont have any supported flash players unless you run it in Rosetta which lags quite a bit, I did in fact start a thread about this and someone zipped there plugin folder and gave me there flash version which now runs smoothly. I still see "blue checks" on certin websites but I think they require either realplayer or windows media player.. I'm about to look for a mac media player now as I do not want to install windows media player ;)
  13. bugfaceuk macrumors 6502


    Nov 10, 2005
    WTF it's a new machine! Forget formatting and re-installing milarky, get the thing replaced. This ain't windows.
  14. richali1327 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2006
    I appreciate all your advice and help. I'd just like to clarify the fact that I am extremely impressed with everything regarding the look and feel of apple computers. The intuitive design and ease of use is light years ahead of any microsoft OS. I also understand that this being the first step for apple in making the transition to intel, there are going to be some inherent problems with the software. Which I'm sure they'll iron out over time.

    And to be quite honest I can bypass using Front Row for a while until they pinpoint the problem and update their software. I've actually come across quite a few people on the apple disscusion board who are having this same exact problem. And the concensus is that all intel iMacs with the upgraded video card and who have the build #8G1171 are affected by this problem. Apparently the original build is fine. And the few people who have been able to obtain the original build have reported that the problem no longer existed after reinstalling the OS. So hopefully it's just a software glitch that will be repaired soon. I really don't want to wait another two weeks for apple to ship me a new system if all it takes to fix is a simple patch.

    YEP, upon deleting all the widgets I had installed(probably about ten of them)my programs began to run more stable. I guess this must have something to do with Rosetta, although I hope apple gets it fixed because those darn widgets are so nice to have!

    Thanks again for all your helpful advice!
  15. dr_lha macrumors 68000

    Oct 8, 2003
    I'm afraid not. Adobe have publicly stated that we'll have to wait for CS3 for UB versions of Photoshop, and that might be as much as a year or more wait.

    Same deal with MS and Office, although I guess that's less of an issue as Office doesn't need a great deal of CPU to run well.
  16. wpwj40e macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2006
    The widgets are cool! Sure over time this will be resolved. I can also tell you that the earlier build fixes most of the issues the later build introduced regarding the video.. When you have multiple machines to play with - start ironing this stuff out fast. (Note to self - next time if adopting early - order a sandbox too!)

    Feel free to drop me a PM if you run into other issues - while I am brand new to apple - I am not to IT stuff - and over the last few weeks have dissected a few apps/OS etc(sickening how many:)) in the attempt to figure out what machine would work for me. So do not want to post "here's a problem - here's a fix workaround " and get folks riled up. But if it is not a game - don't do much of that - drop a line might be able to help.

    The iMac really is quite lovely, snappy and a joy to work with when everything flows. I have grown quite spoiled and simply cannot imagine using another Windows machine! Hopefully time and few software updates will be all this needs to be darn near perfect!

  17. cgratti macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2004
    Central Pennsylvania, USA
    Apple has top notch tech support, I would suggest AppleCare. They are sending you diagnostic software, they are not miracle workers and can't know exactly what is causing the problem until they get a report of EXACTLY what it is doing. You also need to remember that the Intel machines are brand new to to Apple, there are going to be bugs and they will need to be worked out. Once they work out the bugs, you will be happy you bought a Mac. Hang in there.
  18. SiliconAddict macrumors 603


    Jun 19, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Yah know. That almost sounds like a video card issue. The way Windows graphics engine works and OS X's are dramatically different. Much more of the engine itself is driven through the video card freeing up the CPU. When you open photobooth it’s doing a number of behind the scenes things with the OS, iSight, and Core Video. My money is on faulty VRAM or even RAM.

    Hey guys does Apple's restore DVD have any diagnostic utilities on them?
  19. tk26 macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2006
    if i were to buy MS office for an intel iMac G5 would it run smoothly and next to flawlessly, does it need to run under rossetta and will it run fine? If i buy it now will they come out with an update or should I just wait for a new version to come out?
  20. maverick808 macrumors 65816


    Jun 30, 2004
    The problem is well documented over on the Apple boards. There are two builds of OS X being distributed with the new iMacs and one build has the graphics problems.

    Luckily, I have the good build. If anyone with the bad build wants me to send them the video drivers from this build then let me know and I will. I assume it's the ATI bundles and kexts in /System/Library/Extensions that would be different.

    EDIT: oops sorry, I see someone already mentioned the bad build.
  21. Whistleway macrumors 6502

    Feb 16, 2005
    I know a lot of people are fine with 10.4.4. But, to me it is crappy and my computer runs a lot slower than it was under .3. I wish i never updated it to .4. :(
  22. vidiot macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2006

    I was at the Apple store about a week ago, and i inquired about purchasing a 20"Intel imac with the 256 meg VRAM, and the sales person informed me there was a freeze on the machines with the 256 VRAM.. He was not clear explaining what it was about, but it definitley appeared that something was awry..

    Mike M.
  23. shrimpdesign macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2005
    I had that problem with my 17" Intel iMac. I had a widget called "Desktops" and it made my system run really really slow. I closed it, and I was surprised at how fast it got!

    If you go to Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor it'll tell you what's running native (Intel) or translated (PowerPC) in the right-most column.

    Widgets are just HTML, CSS and Javascript mostly .. but some widgets are a lot like applications. There's even a bittorrent client widget .. I dont think that would be possible with just HTML and Javascript.
  24. ALaPPleCOREuser macrumors newbie


    Jan 16, 2006
    Birmingham, AL., USA
    Widgets . . . weird!

    I stumbled across this thread by accident or some kind of trick of fate perhaps? Anyway, so I read in another thread in this forum or some other one that widgets are ram hungry. So I deleted those I had running on my G4 prior to receiving my new Intel 20 inch Imac. I can't say that I really noticed a difference on my G4. So when my Intel Imac arrived recently the first thing I did was to delete those running Widgets. I don't need a calendar, a calculator or a weather thingermergiggy :p I don't like it that you can't do anything else while your looking at these widgets anyway. Why is that? Back to topic. Well I haven't had any of these weird anomolies on my Intel Imac, but it may just be a coincidence? Don't jinx me man! :D I had a thought after reading my post. Have any of you noticed your screens dim after a period of inactivity? I just clicked the widget dial to double check that I had no widgets running. First thing I noticed was how the screen dims a bit when your viewing a widget, just like when you leave the computer alone for awhile. I tired everything I could to keep my computer from dimming. It's no big deal but a little annoying. Perhaps this has something to do with this widget problem? I'm not smart enough to reason why? Leave that to you smart guys. Chow!!!
  25. shrimpdesign macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2005
    The screen should dim if you're looking at widgets. If you don't want your iMac's screen dimming after a period of inactivity, then open System Preferences and go to Energy Saver. There are controls for display dimming in Energy Saver.

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