Is it suppose to be slow?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by NathanCH, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. NathanCH macrumors 65816

    NathanCH

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #1
    Hey,

    I'm a new Mac user, and I was loving my mac a lot. My last computer was 4 years old with 512MB or ram and 2.8GHZ celeron processor. I bought a new Alu 20" iMac with 2GHZ duo + 2GB of ram. For the first day it was really fast, but after I started using it for about a week it seems like it's slowing down. I only have a few programs installed (Photoshop, After Effects, Parallels). It takes like 5 seconds to open the internet, about the same as my 4 year old PC.

    But that's not the biggest problem I'm having, It randomly slows down and thinks. I open photoshop let's say and start using it, then go to my desktop to load preferences and it stops and thinks for a few seconds then finally opens.

    Plus my mac has frozen twice in the last two days. What's going on? Is it parallels? Does having parallels installed slow it down even though it's not running?

    (Just something small, when I got to iStats it shows about 1.5GB of ram "Inactive" instead of "Free").

    And just another question. I'm thinking of getting the student version of 3Ds Max from my school, and I'm wondering how well that will run on Parallels with Vista. And if it wont, will it run better if it was XP. OR Should I use bootcamp?
     
  2. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #3
    What version of Photsohop do you have?

    If you're running any software designed for Power PC (pre-Intel) Macs, it has to run through an invisible emulation program and can slow the whole system down.
     
  3. RevToTheRedline macrumors 6502a

    RevToTheRedline

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    #4
    Isn't CS3 the only one really truly optimized for all the new Intel goodies?

    CS2 was SOOO much slower than CS3 is.

    The same could be said with Office 2004 Mac, I can't wait for Office 2008.
     
  4. RRK macrumors 6502

    RRK

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    Mar 14, 2007
    Location:
    USA/Ohio/Columbus
    #5
    Yep, and web surfing is commonly thought to be slower on a mac.
     
  5. RevToTheRedline macrumors 6502a

    RevToTheRedline

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    #6
    Was that sarcasm?
     
  6. RRK macrumors 6502

    RRK

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    #7
    Sorry but no it wasn't. I am no expert but from what I remember it has something to do with DNS servers or proxy servers or something like that. I think they are optimized in a way that makes web surfing faster on PCs.
     
  7. RevToTheRedline macrumors 6502a

    RevToTheRedline

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    #8
    I'm in XP right now, I can assure you that Safari 3 is definitely faster than Firefox 2 or 3 beta. At loading pages, not to mention at program loading too :)
     
  8. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    3DSMax

    Trust me, you don't want to run 3DSMax (or any other heavy-duty 3D app, for that matter) under Parallels - it's going to be a pain. Bootcamp all the way - preferably with XP (Vista tends to be slower)
     
  9. RRK macrumors 6502

    RRK

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    Mar 14, 2007
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    #10
    Thats not my experience. I have my wife's old thinkpad next to me and it surfs faster then my new iMac on the same network. I use Camino because Safari doesn't work on some of the pages we use. It isn't so much the time it takes to render the page but it hangs for a moment before it starts to render and and sometimes it does that for each part of the page that is hosted separately. This has been a common issue with Mac's for years and years from what I know.
     
  10. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000

    yetanotherdave

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    Apr 27, 2007
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    #11
    Wow, that's the steamiest pile of FUD I've ever enountered!
    The DNS or Proxy servers differentiate in no way whatsever between osX and windows.
     
  11. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    compost heap
    #12
    Absolutely! Safari is horrendous. After 2 years, I've just stopped using it completely. Apple has not resolved the issues with Safari in all these years, and throwing RAM at it doesn't help. What I love about Safari is the interface. What I hate is performance. RRK is 100% right - it takes forever to render a page - it doesn't render progressively. I used FF and Safari side by side for years and can *prove* how FF is much faster in rendering. I read about how Safari is supposed to be faster, and I just laugh - it has never been the case on any of my macs. And sad to say, my old Dell Inspiron 1100 with only 644MB RAM and a Celeron chipset is faster at browsing than my 1.5GB RAM macs. Btw. I have the stock Safari, no mods or 3rd party plugins.

    And don't get me started on memory usage. Safar is a PIG - let it run for as little as an hour, just sitting there passively, and soon it's hogging 400-500MB RAM. That never happens with FF.

    Until Apple fixes Safari, I'm boycotting it.

    Btw., perform this test: go to demonoid.com with Safari and with FF. Then, click on "Torrents", and in the dropdown menu Category select "Applications" and in Subcategory select "Macintosh". Safari hangs for a few seconds before it brings the page up. FF does it immediately. This is common behavior for Safari compared to FF.

    Yeah, Safari sucks.
     
  12. RRK macrumors 6502

    RRK

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    #13
    You think I am trying to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt?? I once had my post deleted for calling someone a troll, and now I have a "Demi-God" accusing me for what I've thought of as a commonly know problem...anyway.

    I have had these DNS problems for years and I remember reading about many others that had the same problems. I think some even run their own local dns server to get over these problems. I switched to opendns.com which helped a little, but please oh demi-god enlighten me with the truth.
     
  13. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    Nope - not so, but I understand why it might appear that way.

    Back before OS X there were issues with the efficiency of the Mac's TCP stack, but those days are long behind us. I'm working with a mixture of Macs and Windows machines all day, every day (I'm a systems admin) and using Firefox (so that we're comparing like with like) there's no noticeable difference between the two platforms in terms of page rendering, and overall OS X's network performance tends to come out ahead.

    The Gecko (camino/Firefox) vs WebKit (Safari/Omniweb) issue you're talking about is totally separate one, however. Safari generally renders a whole complex page a tad faster than, say, Camino, but it has a delay built into it so that it will start rendering more elements of the page at one. Most Gecko-based browsers will start rendering individual elements that bit sooner, thus 'appearing' to be quicker under certain circumstances. Here's a blog post from Dave Hyatt explaining why it's done that way:

    http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/hyatt/archives/2004_05.html#005496

    Having said all that, the prefetch delay can be altered, however, if it bugs you:

    Close Safari, open terminal and type the following:

    defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitInitialTimedLayoutDelay 0.0001

    To return to the default:

    defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitInitialTimedLayoutDelay 1

    I'll admit, however, that I'm not the greatest Safari fan either - i tend to use either Firefox or Omniweb :)
     
  14. wazgilbert macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Location:
    UK South
    #15
    Opera run on these systems;

    Linux x86,
    FreeBsd x86,
    winNT, 2k, XP on x86
    Mac OSX on intel.

    All ~equal on times. The real delay I notice is when using wireless router/modem. Ethernet is 'instant' wireless is 'delay'

    DNS/Proxy - no effect.
     
  15. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #16
    Random slow downs can be caused by a failing hard drive. The OS will slow down when trying to access bad sectors. It can be hard to find out if you have bad sectors with the default software. I had issue with random slow downs, and a hard drive that verified ok with Disk Utility, but Tech Tools Deluxe (came with AppleCare) found bad sectors.

    But before worrying too much, check your login item, and run Activity Monitor, filtering on "all processes" and see what happens when you have these slowdowns.

    FJ218700 has answered this.

    That's ok. "Inactive RAM" is RAM that's still assigned to applications (and makes the app faster to reload when needed) but is available for use by other apps if needed. Your free RAM is really Inactive + Free RAM.
     
  16. RRK macrumors 6502

    RRK

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2007
    Location:
    USA/Ohio/Columbus
    #17
    The difference in my case is not rendering time it is a difference of seconds, not milliseconds. Sometimes the browser (any of them) just hangs until I press reload and then it loads immediately. I remember the whole thing with Safari waiting until it loads before it renders and I tried that fix a long time ago when it came out but since then I have went through a few other browsers because Safari wont load some pages at all. I used to use FF until it started getting bloated (but the add filtering helped) and I found Camino to be quickest at this point. I also tried turning IPv6 off because that was mentioned as a possible problem. I tried that patch that was for cable modem users or whatever, but the most common response was that it was DNS problems. Just to check am I steaming FUD again?
     
  17. RRK macrumors 6502

    RRK

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    Mar 14, 2007
    Location:
    USA/Ohio/Columbus
    #18
  18. NathanCH thread starter macrumors 65816

    NathanCH

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #19
    I have Photoshop CS3 Extended.

    I didn't mean web surfing, I meant loading FireFox itself. Sorry

    Ah, thanks for the advice! I'll definitely do that

    That explains a lot, thanks for your help plinden!

    It's not as slow as I probably made it sound to be, I was just a bit pissy when I wrote this because my Mac had just froze and I didn't expect it to do that.

    I'm going take your advice, tersono, and install bootcamp with XP. I didn't really find Vista that good anyways.:)
     
  19. RRK macrumors 6502

    RRK

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    Mar 14, 2007
    Location:
    USA/Ohio/Columbus
    #20
    Ok, sorry for a bit of hijacking then I suppose.

    From what I have heard FF is not implemented as well for OS X as it is for Windows and is therefore not as much of a stand out as it is on Windows. Mostly I liked the customization but ended up switching to what I thought was the quickest (Camino). I heard Safari 3 under Leopard was supposed to have some improvements in this regard.
     
  20. Kovacs macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #21
    I found Camino to be much better than FF but in the end I dumped it for...Safari. IMHO Safari is the faster of the three but it's probably a matter of perception. :)
     
  21. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000

    yetanotherdave

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    #22
    Ok, your attitude aside, here we go.
    It may help to first explain what a DNS server is.
    A DNS server, basically is a box that sits at your ISP which translates IP addresses into url's and back again.
    What this means in real terms is, that when you type google.com into a browser and hit enter, your machine sends a request to your ISP, which translates google.com into it's "machine address" which is 72.14.207.99.
    Right there you have the reason for DNS, 72.14.207.99 is not user friendly, no one would be able to remember any internet addresses if they were all like that. URL's (like google.com) are like a shortcut to an ip (like 72.14.207.99), try it, go to 72.14.207.99 in your browser and it will take you to the google homepage. What a DNS server does it cache a list of these shortcuts. When you have a slow DNS server, your http request gets slowed down as it translates into an IP.
    All OS's use a standard protocol for http requests, and as such, DNS servers don't (shouldn't anyway) differentiate between OS's.

    Issues with DNS servers are common. Quite often ISP's have slow DNS servers. However this is NOT specific mac issue, as I hope the above explanation has demonstrated. It is universal to Linux, Unix, Windows, OS X, VMS, BSD, basically any OS that accesses the internet.
    What many peopel do, including myself, is specify custom DNS servers, like opendns, as they get poor performance from their ISP.
    This is why I labelled your post FUD, because you said it was a specific mac issue, which it isn't.

    Oh, and the status "demi god" purely means that I have donated money to macrumors. It isn't an indicator of being a moderator, or better than anyone else in anyway whatsoever.
     
  22. RRK macrumors 6502

    RRK

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    Mar 14, 2007
    Location:
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    #23
    Ok everything makes sense but if you type in "mac slow dns" or something similar on google or this website or the apple forums and probably many others you will find others experiencing hanging during the dns lookup. Many with a pc on the network that does not share the problem. The advice is usually change to opendns or make a local dns server. I think I saw one were someone said the dns servers running on NT 4 or something. The point is, since I have experienced this problem over the years and have read of many others with the same problems, your claims that it was "the steamiest pile of FUD I've ever enountered!" are antagonistic and misinformed.
     
  23. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030

    bluedoggiant

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    Jul 13, 2007
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    #24
    i to say but that low end 20 inch mac you got... was something apple made for people who JUST use the internet, that is even worse than the old imacs, that isnt even being mass produced as much as the other s, you shud have gotten a 24 inch, or the high end 20 inch
     
  24. NathanCH thread starter macrumors 65816

    NathanCH

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #25
    no. Macs are already over prices as it is. and extra .4ghz isn't worth 500.
     

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