i7 iMac not as fast as I had hoped...

jphealy

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 10, 2008
45
0
Dublin, Ireland
I recently purchased a 27" iMac with the Core i7 and 8GB of RAM. I'm running Aperture 3 on it and expected it to be pretty blazing fast. It's quick enough doing most things, but I've noticed it recently slowing down a lot using some of the brushes tools.

Has anybody else experienced this? Are there any particularly good ways I can test the performance of my machine to check whether it's running as fast as it should be?
 

wessew

macrumors member
Feb 4, 2010
94
0
Try Primate Labs' Geekbench, either 32 or 64 bit, as appropriate. The testing is comprehensive and you can compare the results.
 

TMRaven

macrumors 68020
Nov 5, 2009
2,099
1
Forget about synthetic benchmarks.

Download istat menus so you can have a constant feed on what's going on with your computer. You'll have nonestop access to temperature, hdd activity, cpu usage and ram usage on your menu bar.

From there you can tell when and what your computer is having a bottleneck on, I'm assuming it's either the ram or hdd.
 

wessew

macrumors member
Feb 4, 2010
94
0
Too simplistic. I would do both. You still would want to know if your computer is operating up to spec. relative to other machines.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
+90% when you face beachballing, is because CPU has to wait for HD

Try GeekBench and keep your eye on Activity Monitor

I'm not sure is Aperture 64-bit and how many cores can it utilize?
 

henrikrox

macrumors 65816
Feb 3, 2010
1,218
2
if u are experiences issues, its the hard drive. 7200rpm doesnt cut it anymore, going from 7200rpm to ssd is like going from pentium II to i7.

I think its rather weird to use 2000 dollars on a computer, and then not use a ssd, since a regular hd is slowing down the system.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
I think its rather weird to use 2000 dollars on a computer, and then not use a ssd, since a regular hd is slowing down the system.
If Apple offered SSD as BTO, it would need some redesigning of innards. SSDs are mostly 2.5" while iMac uses 3.5" drives and SSDs are still relatively small which would mean that SSD + HD would be needed, 128GB in $2k desktop would be ridiculous, it needs a nice and big HD too.

So far only wise option would be to use both, SSD and HD but maybe Apple will give it to us :cool:
 

mystikjoe

macrumors regular
Jan 29, 2010
217
1
If Apple offered SSD as BTO, it would need some redesigning of innards. SSDs are mostly 2.5" while iMac uses 3.5" drives and SSDs are still relatively small which would mean that SSD + HD would be needed, 128GB in $2k desktop would be ridiculous, it needs a nice and big HD too.

So far only wise option would be to use both, SSD and HD but maybe Apple will give it to us :cool:
ssd is out of this world. i have the 160gb in my imac. i use 80gb for osx and 80gb for windows 7. i love it so much that i bought an 80gb for my htpc. boot times, load times everything is incredible. photoshop cs4 opens up in 3 seconds on my imac now. best investment you can make in a mac or pc.
 

MacHamster68

macrumors 68040
Sep 17, 2009
3,251
3
thats a true point , on older processors a 7200rpm harddrive is still fast enough , like for example in my eMac , and its even more then fast enough in my iMac g3 ,

it might still cut it with a core duo ,
but ever since computer nowadays have far over 2 ghz and more then 2 cores a 7200 rpm harddrive creates a bottleneck if virtual memory is needed ,

had that problem with my old dell precision 690 with dual xeons, 1gb graphic ram, but only 6gb ram i had the same problems under linux ,but after maxing out to 32gb, fitted a 15000rpm harddrive(sas sorry no option for the iMac) .... fantastic , but no need for that any more as i retired from serious computing ...now only just for fun :D

so max out the ram , as that would give the 7200rpm harddrive time to catch up , as there is then enough ram for everything really without the need of ever so often virtual memory (which is your harddrive and your bottleneck ) ,

but fitting a ssd is your easiest option to speed things up and considering the price for another 8gb ram for the iMac the cheapest too
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
ssd is out of this world. i have the 160gb in my imac. i use 80gb for osx and 80gb for windows 7. i love it so much that i bought an 80gb for my htpc. boot times, load times everything is incredible. photoshop cs4 opens up in 3 seconds on my imac now. best investment you can make in a mac or pc.
IMO, no. SSD that is big enough for my needs costs as much as my iMac did. Sure I could buy 64GB for OS and apps but externals are way too slow for my needs and removing SuperDrive is out of question as I have bought AppleCare.

When 1TB SSD hits 200€, I'm buying. Before that, I'm fine with HDs
 

iMerlin

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2008
643
0
I dont know how valid this is to your issue but whenever my machines start to run slow I run something like Snow Leopard Cache Cleaner or Onyx and all is well again. Just a thought.

I personally agree with not worrying about what you see in the benchmarks. If you really care about the numbers then run Geekbench first, run one of the apps I mentioned, then run Geekbench again?
 

henrikrox

macrumors 65816
Feb 3, 2010
1,218
2
IMO, no. SSD that is big enough for my needs costs as much as my iMac did. Sure I could buy 64GB for OS and apps but externals are way too slow for my needs and removing SuperDrive is out of question as I have bought AppleCare.

When 1TB SSD hits 200€, I'm buying. Before that, I'm fine with HDs
I dont get it, u know the ssd is just for programs and os right? u probably dont have 120+ gb of programs and os files. Also, u can just use a my studio external hdd, sitting on top of the "backpack". Firewire 800 performs very well compared to standard hds.

http://twelvesouth.com/products/backpack/

ur missing out, but oh well, if standard disks are good enough for you, then good for you
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
I dont get it, u know the ssd is just for programs and os right? u probably dont have 120+ gb of programs and os files. Also, u can just use a my studio external hdd, sitting on top of the "backpack". Firewire 800 performs very well compared to standard hds.

http://twelvesouth.com/products/backpack/

ur missing out, but oh well, if standard disks are good enough for you, then good for you
I'm not missing out anything. I don't want to pay 300€ for SSD and void my warranty to make my iMac boot faster. I shut it down like once in a month and have all my apps I need are already open, I can wait few secs longer when launching them for the first time.

I don't want externals to slow down when working with big photos and for photos I'd need +500GB anyway. FireWire is still limited to ~80MB/s and I only have one port which is already in use.

I understand what you mean but SSDs are nowhere near their full potential. Their lifetime is still unknown and the fact that OS X doesn't support some very important things like TRIM doesn't make me confident about getting one.
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
9,094
2,552
Seattle
I'm not missing out anything. I don't want to pay 300€ for SSD and void my warranty to make my iMac boot faster. I shut it down like once in a month and have all my apps I need are already open, I can wait few secs longer when launching them for the first time.

I don't want externals to slow down when working with big photos and for photos I'd need +500GB anyway. FireWire is still limited to ~80MB/s and I only have one port which is already in use.

I understand what you mean but SSDs are nowhere near their full potential. Their lifetime is still unknown and the fact that OS X doesn't support some very important things like TRIM doesn't make me confident about getting one.
Crazy talk. I LOVE my SSD. The HD in the i7 iMac is simply crippling. There's no other word for it. I will never own a computer, laptop or otherwise, without an SSD. 120GB Vertex in my iMac right now. Cost me $315 a year ago after eBay cashback for a 120GB, and I have the 1TB 7200rpm as an external for my photos. I have ZERO issues with this setup. Everything is just blazing fast!
 

Jaap

macrumors member
Jul 3, 2008
35
7
An SSD really helps

To quote anandtech.com:
For the past several months I’ve been calling SSDs the single most noticeable upgrade you can do to your computer.
and he is right.

Ask an apple store to install it if you are concerned about your warranty.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
Crazy talk. I LOVE my SSD. The HD in the i7 iMac is simply crippling. There's no other word for it. I will never own a computer, laptop or otherwise, without an SSD. 120GB Vertex in my iMac right now. Cost me $315 a year ago after eBay cashback for a 120GB, and I have the 1TB 7200rpm as an external for my photos. I have ZERO issues with this setup. Everything is just blazing fast!
That's again your opinion. I don't get the whole SSD thing as it only makes app launching faster which in my case is useless as all apps I need are already open. I want things to be fast when actually working on them, not when opening them.

As I said, I'm not willing to buy one now and void my warranty as the 179€ I paid for AppleCare would be waste of money. Tech is developing 24/7 anyway, your SSD is slow and small compared to the SSDs we'll see in couple years.

Ask an apple store to install it if you are concerned about your warranty.
They won't as it's not regular part, if it was 3.5" then they would but 2.5" needs an adapter so they can't do it. It's not that I couldn't do it, I build computers for living so it'd be easy but as I said, it'd cost me 179€ + SSD.
 
Aug 26, 2008
1,339
1
That's again your opinion. I don't get the whole SSD thing as it only makes app launching faster which in my case is useless as all apps I need are already open. I want things to be fast when actually working on them, not when opening them.

As I said, I'm not willing to buy one now and void my warranty as the 179€ I paid for AppleCare would be waste of money. Tech is developing 24/7 anyway, your SSD is slow and small compared to the SSDs we'll see in couple years.



They won't as it's not regular part, if it was 3.5" then they would but 2.5" needs an adapter so they can't do it. It's not that I couldn't do it, I build computers for living so it'd be easy but as I said, it'd cost me 179€ + SSD.
And yet, the people with SSD's will still enjoy blazing performance for those "couple years" while others suffer through slow hard drive use.

I totally understand your viewpoint, but I do have to say with an SSD (I have one as well) your entire system is just...much faster. It's not just launching apps either. It's just working on the system in general. It's extremely fast, all the time.

Agreed on the TRIM thing though. That's lame.
 

jerry333

macrumors regular
Nov 4, 2005
119
19
I think the point is being missed. There's more to it than just drive speed and CPU speed. If you can't get the data into the CPU fast enough it doesn't matter how fast the CPU is. The iMac just doesn't have the same interconnect bandwidth that the Mac Pro does.

I wasn't able to find the actual numbers for the interconnect speed because it doesn't appear that Apple publishes them. However, the URL below from Barefeats shows a part of the picture. If I'm reading it correctly the iMac is about half as fast as the Mac Pro. This doesn't mean that the iMac is bad, just that for the really intensive applications the Mac Pro is going to be faster--probably a lot faster.

http://www.barefeats.com/imi7m.html
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
9,094
2,552
Seattle
That's again your opinion. I don't get the whole SSD thing as it only makes app launching faster which in my case is useless as all apps I need are already open. I want things to be fast when actually working on them, not when opening them.

As I said, I'm not willing to buy one now and void my warranty as the 179€ I paid for AppleCare would be waste of money. Tech is developing 24/7 anyway, your SSD is slow and small compared to the SSDs we'll see in couple years.



They won't as it's not regular part, if it was 3.5" then they would but 2.5" needs an adapter so they can't do it. It's not that I couldn't do it, I build computers for living so it'd be easy but as I said, it'd cost me 179€ + SSD.
Dude your logic is all over the place. All tech is slow and small compared to the tech in a few years!

And SSD is not just about opening/closing etc. Your drive is ALWAYS running, and ALWAYS crunching bytes of data. With an SSD, the latency is 0, so these things happen without the occasional pausing a regular HD-ed computer has. SSD changed my life.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
Dude your logic is all over the place. All tech is slow and small compared to the tech in a few years!

And SSD is not just about opening/closing etc. Your drive is ALWAYS running, and ALWAYS crunching bytes of data. With an SSD, the latency is 0, so these things happen without the occasional pausing a regular HD-ed computer has. SSD changed my life.
SSD is so new, it'll develop more in few years than other tech will. I hope I don't have to repeat myself all the time. Congrats if you like it but space is far more important to me than speed. If I had a MacBook, I'd probs get one and remove SuperDrive but with iMac it's harder.

I've built dozens of computers with SSDs and I know how fast they are but the price and capacity is holding my horses. I already have 4 externals and soon need another one, I simply have no use for SSD as it would make me crazy due it's smallness ;)
 

akm3

macrumors 68020
Nov 15, 2007
2,252
279
Other than a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter, what is required to install an SSD in an iMac? I recall reading something about a temperature wire that needs to be shorted or the iMac fans will come on full blast all the time, etc. What is involved?
 

ViViDboarder

macrumors 68040
Jun 25, 2008
3,446
0
USA
Someone mentioned that the real speed benefits for SSD are OS and Applications while HDD is plenty enough for file storage.

For this reason I feel a rather common configuration is to run a system with two disks. A smaller SSD for the OS and Applications and a HDD for all else.

In Linux you would be able to mount the HDD to the /users folder but I found a post on how to do something similar in OSX.

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=10937189&#10937189

Basically, this lets you boot to the SSD and all your applications in /Applications/ would reside on the SSD as well. Your Home directory, and with it your Pictures, Movies, Music, Documents, etc... would be on the HDD.

Best of both worlds.

Unfortunately I don't think there is room for both disks internally. That would mean the HDD would need to be external and be required for boot...
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
9,094
2,552
Seattle
SSD is so new, it'll develop more in few years than other tech will. I hope I don't have to repeat myself all the time. Congrats if you like it but space is far more important to me than speed. If I had a MacBook, I'd probs get one and remove SuperDrive but with iMac it's harder.

I've built dozens of computers with SSDs and I know how fast they are but the price and capacity is holding my horses. I already have 4 externals and soon need another one, I simply have no use for SSD as it would make me crazy due it's smallness ;)
That's ridiculous, and definitely your opinion. Everything is still developing. The new iMac with the i7 is a HUGE performance increase over previous iMacs. All technology gets faster and faster. The FACT is that SSD NOW is infinitely faster than a spinning disk. Anyone without an SSD is simply missing out, and take that from someone who's owned a LOT of ridiculously fast computers over the years.
 
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