how much faster really

Discussion in 'iMac' started by richprice, May 23, 2009.

  1. richprice macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    #1
    Hello mac fans, I currently have a 2007 20" imac the specs are 2.0ghz 4 gb ram 240 gb hd. While this machine does run all my programs it does so with a lot of lag. I have a huge itunes library(90 gb) and an even bigger iphoto collection. (Over 70,000 8mp photos).

    The issue is when I launch iphoto it takes awhile to launch(60 seconds plus) the same issue with itunes(30 seconds to load album artwork ect.). Dont get me wrong its not unbearable just not as snappy as I would like.

    The question is will the top end 2009 imac be a worthy upgrade or should I wait 1 more year. I would hate to spend 2400 dollars for something thats not noticeably faster. i tried the new imac in best buy and it felt really zippy however they have like 90 photos and 15 songs in itunes.

    Is it just me or do these apps really slow down when you throw a ton of files at them. Anyways I am starting to ramble, feel free to share your thoughts.:apple:
     
  2. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #2
    There's not that much difference between the new machines and yours. They're both Core 2 Duo. The difference is that the new top spec iMac is a 3.06GHz model so it would "run" 53% faster. Its got DDR3 memory too so that would help things load a bit faster. Would it be noticeably faster? Yes. However, it might not be enough for you to feel as much as you'd like.
     
  3. kasakka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #3
    Things like a huge iTunes library or photo library shouldn't take much processing power at all, just memory and you've got plenty of that. I don't think it'd run any better with an extra GHz and the DDR3 memory won't help at all.

    I recommend you open the programs and check them on Activity monitor, if for some reason they're using lots of processor time.
     
  4. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #4
    How much space is left on your internal hard drive?
     
  5. richprice79 macrumors member

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    Mar 7, 2009
    Location:
    St Augustine
  6. aaquib macrumors 65816

    aaquib

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #6
    Wait till Nehalem mobile chips which should be out in Q4 2009-Q1 2010. Now that should be a noticeable difference.
     
  7. richprice79 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Location:
    St Augustine
    #7
    I think I will attempt to upgrade the 250gb hd to a new western digital black 1 tb drive. Is there any issues with this? I think the faster hd may help me out plus I would love more storage.
     
  8. jmpage2 macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #8
    The problem might not be so much with your hardware, which seems to be pretty good, but with your software.

    Have you considered that iPhoto might not be a good choice for managing such a large photo Library?

    You might want to consider trying Picasa, Lightroom, etc, to see if there are noticable speed improvements over iPhoto.

    iPhoto is a very cool application but I won't use it, as I do not like the way that it prefers to suck all of your photos into the iPhoto database and automatically wants to import all photos into that same data base.

    I prefer keeping my photos in their own folders so that I can browse them easily from other machines in the home, even *gasp*, Windows boxes.
     
  9. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #9
    Download Onyx and run the cleaning scripts.

    Also boot up from your OS X DVD and do a full disk repair from within there.
     
  10. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #10
    Actually, that's a thought. What version of iPhoto are you using? Is it still the version that came with your mac or is it the new iPhoto with the latest iLife? Its meant to be a lot faster - maybe give that a try first?
     
  11. Tom Dahl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    Massachusetts USA
    #11
    Different applications have different bottlenecks

    For a CPU- (compute-) bound application that is likely to be true. However, I doubt that either iPhoto or the iTunes player are CPU-bound in large-library environments. I would not be surprised if they are disk-bound (though I can't say whether seek time or transfer rate might be the dominant issue). Spreading the database across multiple disk spindles (e.g., via RAID) might help.
     
  12. richprice79 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Location:
    St Augustine
    #12
    I did take a look at activity monitor and it only uses 10% of the cpu when these apps are clocking. There is also still 1.5 gigs of memory free. This is a very recent leopard install within the last 2 months. I think it is either a slower hard driver they used or simply just limitations to apples software.

    To answer the other guys comment I am using ilife 09. I also use light room 2 and it is much faster it just happens I really like the apple programs.
     
  13. richprice thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    #13
    update

    I purchased a 1tb WD mybook studio and hooked it up with firewire 800. I moved my itunes library to it and it does run faster.

    I would also like to mention I installed my parallels 4 disk and ended up installing ubuntu linux, windows 7 and dos 6.2 with windows 3.1 and it was a lot of fun reliving my old software as well as try out the latest os's from other companies. The 1tb hd is nice for this :).

    I also finally setup time machine too.:apple:
     
  14. jf8 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    #14
    iTunes (8.1.1) is not slow at all on my mid-2007 iMac (2.4 GHz), with 21332 songs - 8.0 was slow.

    However, it takes a long time to repair/rebuild the database (which occurs whenever iTunes shuts down improperly.)
     
  15. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #15
    Yea, 8.1.1 is much faster and that was its purpose. I have over 30 000 songs in my iTunes and it takes less than 10 seconds to open it and when I open iTunes it automatically opens Last.fm too.
     
  16. akdj macrumors 65816

    akdj

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #16
    I have 2 20" iMacs. 2.4g/2gRAM/1TB hard drives. We use these as our primary music computers for the business. (Mobile DJ'ing). Itunes showing about 775gigs, 143,000 "songs". This includes 20-30,000 music beds, theme songs, sfx, etc.

    Nothing else on either of these computers (other than stock OSX programs), no documents, pictures, videos, etc.

    Itunes takes about 45 seconds to load and my little rainbow ball pops up to think at least every other time I try to scroll through the library...regradless if it's by artist, title, genre, etc. Very slow. I was hoping an upgrade to 4g RAM would help, but I am not utilizing 100% of the RAM as it is.

    (Serato is our program for playback, but iTunes for library simplification).

    Mine is slow too. My main production computer, our MacPro has the main library on two internal drives. I do NOT have this issue on the Pro. In the Pro, the library is over 175,000 "songs"...and never a glitch on searching, scrolling or Load in.

    I think there is a bit more to iTunes than just being a resource hog...IE, CPU power helps as well. I am waiting on the next round of iMacs before upgrading again. These are easily the BEST computers for this task. We tried using MacBook Pros, but too many wires with external hard drives...BUT, the power is still a bit lacking on the lower priced iMacs.

    YMMV

    J
     
  17. PurrBall macrumors 6502a

    PurrBall

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #17
    I think an SSD could help your loading times significantly.
     
  18. donclarkjr macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    #18
    I think its the hard drive, I have read about how slow the hard drives get when they get over 75% full. Seems like the article said performance can slow down 50% when the drive gets over 75% full.

    What I like doing is keeping a external HD to hold all my files and just have the OS and programs on the internal one that way it seems faster.
     
  19. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #19
    It would help but if his iTunes library is 775GB, he would need at least 1TB SSD which costs thousands.
     
  20. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #20
    I have the same iMac and, like you, thought about upgrading to a newer model. My iTunes library is quite large and I do a lot of HD video work along with rendering and burning Blu-Ray discs.

    While it would be great to have more speed, my 20" 2.0ghz iMac with 4GB of RAM seems to be still performing well on all tasks. I think the cost of uprading vs. the performance boost would be a waste of money at this time.

    I have noticed though that occasionally I need to run the disc utility and clean out my browser cache to keep things "speedy". It's very easy to get reminded especially when the darn spinning beach ball shows up more often :) .
     
  21. ayasinsk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #21
    You just have alot of file fragmentation with all your music and pictures. I know that OS X defrags in the background, but not to the full extent. What I would recommend is create a latest backup with time machine and then simply reinstall leopard. However make sure to completly erase your partition and reinstall from scratch. Then simply restore your mac from your latest backup. When you restore to a fresh install of leopard all your data will be written in order and that will elliminate your fragmentation and reduce lag. I have done so this past weekend and my iMac boots twice as fast and is snappie then before. I recommend doing this about every 6 months.

    Ps. I have same iMac as you, but with 3 gb ram.
     
  22. akdj macrumors 65816

    akdj

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #22
    I'm sure defragging and the last 25% of the drive, etc....would have some impact, but not as much as I'm noticing.

    I think there is a pretty fine line with iTunes that once you cross it, it's just going to bog down with a slower computer. Again, I have the same exact library, but even bigger (with more SFX, speeches, etc) on my Mac Pro as I do on the iMacs we use in the field. The Mac Pro has no problem scrolling through, with over 135,000 titles in iTunes....the iMac, however, with right around 100,000 titles is VERY slow to scroll, the beach ball comes up often, and there is a delay most of the time on searching (IE, clicking artist, genre, title, etc.).

    That said, my other programs that we use in the field (on the same iMac, 2.4g/2g RAM/1tb HDD), Rane's Serato and NI's Traktor 3 are both VERY quick and responsive searching the iTunes library (through their own search mechanisms). We use iTunes for cataloging, but rarely for playback (unless it is background fill music between bands, etc).

    I truly believe iTunes benefits from faster processing and more RAM. Obviously SSD too, of course we would have to be able to afford (and find a place to stash) 6 or 7 128gig sleds:) NOT to say everyone needs that much music in the field, but again, it's not just music....music beds, SFX (think Hannah Barbarah boings and zings), speeches, bumpers, etc. They are all a unique element, so they all take up a separate position in iTunes.

    I am thinking about purchasing a used 3.06 or 2.8 just for grins...to see what the performance difference is. The other question, this may sound totally stupid....but could the video card have ANYTHING to do with it? Being able to keep up with all the writing, etc? Or am I way off base here:) Seems like the GPU at least has to draw all the writing in the program, so maybe the lower end iMacs with the 128meg or even 256meg graphic cards are slower in this respect?

    J
     
  23. Corrosive vinyl macrumors 6502

    Corrosive vinyl

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    #23
    I would recommend more RAM and splitting up the information (music and pictures) you have. Having too little space in either slows things down significantly. You can get an external drive and half it, that should speed things up on your hard drive.
     

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