Is this enough to warrant a trip to the Genius Bar?

upsguy27

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Jun 25, 2007
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There are multiple problems with my iMac. For starters, even though it should be much faster than my previous dual core iMac with only 2GB RAM, it's much slower and has been since it was taken out of the box. It takes much longer than it should to do simple video work, which is what I bought the iMac for in the first place. Windows Vista in Boot Camp is the same way, leading me to believe it is a hardware issue.

In addition, like many others, my screen has a yellow tint on the bottom half of the screen. Let me just say this, it's barely noticeable. You have to be really looking for it to see it.

Basically, my iMac

- Is very slow

- Gets too hot/fans on too often

- Has a bad screen

- The mouse/keyboard stutter when external display is plugged in (even when it's a wired mouse/keyboard) - but weirdly, it only does this when the external display is plugged in but on a different source. For example, when it's connected and the second monitor is on DVI, displaying my computer screen, it's fine. But if I switch the source to HDMI and use it with my PS3, it stutters.


But I'm not sure if it's enough to warrant a trip to the Genius Bar. Just because it feels slower to me doesn't mean it is, but the fans seem abnormally loud.

I don't want to reinstall the OS in the fear that it would temporarily fix the problem, so when the Genius Bar looks at it they don't see any problem but a week later it'll come back.

I have an appointment with the Genius Bar tomorrow at one, but I'm a bit nervous to go because I think that either a) they won't see the issues as enough to warrant a replacement or b) it'll decide to work, and look perfect to them.

It's a hard issue to show, because it happens seemingly randomly. I attached some screenshots at the bottom of this post to show how much the fans will run. This happens completely randomly and doesn't seem to be tied to any program. Does this, my very slight yellow screen, and the slowness warrant a replacement?
 

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WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
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Dude. You say yourself you barely notice the yellow. Do a reinstall already. All iMac displays have a touch of yellow. It's normal. Fan nonsense isn't. Fresh install will likely fix it.
 

upsguy27

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Jun 25, 2007
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Dude. You say yourself you barely notice the yellow. Do a reinstall already. All iMac displays have a touch of yellow. It's normal. Fan nonsense isn't. Fresh install will likely fix it.
So, should I just cancel my Genius Bar appointment in an hour?
 

WilliamG

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Mar 29, 2008
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So, should I just cancel my Genius Bar appointment in an hour?
I would. I would reinstall Snow Leopard and if it fixes your issue, keep the system. You have plenty of time to schedule a new appointment and get it sorted if you need to. Why risk having new issues after the fix/replacement?
 

upsguy27

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Jun 25, 2007
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Ugh... reinstalled SL a few days ago, and as I'm typing this all three fans are running at ~1300 RPM. All I have running is Safari and iTunes! Why does it keep doing this? It doesn't affect performance, but the fans are annoying. I just got a 21.5" iMac at work, and it's amazing how quiet it is compared to my 27". The 21.5" doesn't get very hot even after a day's use of Final Cut and After Effects, whereas my 27" is scalding hot after barely any use (Safari/iTunes)! Why is this happening?
 

ArcspacE

macrumors member
Jul 31, 2009
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Your GPU temps could be a little high although your ambient appears to be quite low.
 

upsguy27

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Here's some new screenshots. The screenshot showing Final Cut Pro running and has the 2D dock is my 21.5" iMac at work... at the time of the screenshot it was rendering a huge video with iTunes and Safari running at the same time, and yet the fan speeds/temps are substantially lower than my 27" iMac doing nothing. Both computers have fresh installs of 10.6.2. The screenshot showing the activity monitor shows the fans aren't incredibly high, but it's just running iTunes and Safari. The 21.5" iMac gets the same fan speeds while rendering a large video. If I tried that on my 27" they would easily get up to 2000 RPM.
 

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talmy

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Oct 26, 2009
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I'm surprised no one has pointed out the high CPU usage in your 27", much higher than your 21.5". Something is running, but you don't have iStat showing the processes.

I've got an i7 and when it is doing nothing the CPU is basically at 0% and you can't hear the fans. It takes running handbrake (which utilizes all cores for a long period of time) to get the fans to get somewhat noisy, but even then I wouldn't call it objectionable (It's the quietest of four iMacs in the house).
 

upsguy27

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Jun 25, 2007
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I'm surprised no one has pointed out the high CPU usage in your 27", much higher than your 21.5". Something is running, but you don't have iStat showing the processes.

I've got an i7 and when it is doing nothing the CPU is basically at 0% and you can't hear the fans. It takes running handbrake (which utilizes all cores for a long period of time) to get the fans to get somewhat noisy, but even then I wouldn't call it objectionable (It's the quietest of four iMacs in the house).
That's what I thought... My 24" iMac made absolutely no noise. What should I do about this? I can hear it running like my old Windows PC when it's idle. I have to play loud music over it to not hear it.
 

talmy

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Oct 26, 2009
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That's what I thought... My 24" iMac made absolutely no noise. What should I do about this? I can hear it running like my old Windows PC when it's idle. I have to play loud music over it to not hear it.
As I said, your CPU usage is high. List the processes. Something is really hogging your system.
 

upsguy27

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Jun 25, 2007
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Sorry this took so long to get, I've been compiling stats over a week. Attached are screenshots showing temp, fan speed, and what processes are running. The fans speed up at really random times, when nothing is running. Compare this to my 21.5" iMac running FCP, Safari, iTunes, Adium, VMWare Fusion, and iMovie (Importing videos from camera) with absolutely no noise and you can see there's a problem.
 

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WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
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Yeah your fan speeds are a little high for sure. My fan speeds on my 27" are 1000, 1100, 940 in that order in iStat. Always. Unless I'm doing something super intensive..

Maybe reset the SMC?
 

upsguy27

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Jun 25, 2007
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Yeah your fan speeds are a little high for sure. My fan speeds on my 27" are 1000, 1100, 940 in that order in iStat. Always. Unless I'm doing something super intensive..

Maybe reset the SMC?
Tried that already, someone in another thread recommended I do that. Didn't help.
 

WilliamG

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Mar 29, 2008
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Tried that already, someone in another thread recommended I do that. Didn't help.
OK so you've reset the SMC, tried a re-install of Snow Leopard, have a FRESH install of Snow Leopard and this still happens?

Can you list your installed apps? I mean ALL of them. Any tweak-y weird things. Anything. I'm curious if this did this on a fresh install or only after you started installing random programs. If it does this with no shenanigans in the application department, time for a system swap.
 

upsguy27

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Jun 25, 2007
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OK so you've reset the SMC, tried a re-install of Snow Leopard, have a FRESH install of Snow Leopard and this still happens?

Can you list your installed apps? I mean ALL of them. Any tweak-y weird things. Anything. I'm curious if this did this on a fresh install or only after you started installing random programs. If it does this with no shenanigans in the application department, time for a system swap.
Yep, tried all of that.

Installed apps:

abgx360gui
Adium
Bodega
Boxee
Chicken of the VNC
CoverSutra
Cyberduck
doubleTwist
DroidDraw
DROPCLOCK
Eclipse
Chrome
Gruml
Handbrake
Hulu Desktop
iBurn360
iSerial Reader
Montage
Picturesque
Skype
Speed Download 5
Split & Concat
Toast Titanium
Transmission
Transmit
Twitteriffic
Unison
UnRarX
VisualHub
VLC
VMware Fusion
WBFS for MacOS X
X360_ISO_Hacker
Xmarks for Safari

That's it. Note that all of these apps used to be on my old iMac, and are on my 21.5" iMac without any problems. Also that list obviously doesn't include default apps.
 

lamina

macrumors 68000
Mar 9, 2006
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Definitely reinstall the OS. That's likely what they would do anyway. Your troubles (except the yellow tint) will likely be fixed by reinstalling the system files.
 

Teh Don Ditty

macrumors G4
Jan 15, 2007
11,308
5
Maryland
Is MDS running by any chance? That would be under all processes, not just yours if I'm not mistaken.

MDS is the spotlight indexing service (in case you didn't know, but I'm sure you did).

If that's running, that'll solve your problem.
 

upsguy27

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Jun 25, 2007
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Definitely reinstall the OS. That's likely what they would do anyway. Your troubles (except the yellow tint) will likely be fixed by reinstalling the system files.
I already did that.

Is MDS running by any chance? That would be under all processes, not just yours if I'm not mistaken.

MDS is the spotlight indexing service (in case you didn't know, but I'm sure you did).

If that's running, that'll solve your problem.
Yes, it has been, but I've been monitoring it over the past few days and it never uses more than about 20 MB of memory. I force quit it every day, and it usually isn't running when the fans kick in.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors 604
May 28, 2005
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It could be something as simple as a rogue process eating up clock cycles, but it could be as insane as the heat sink pulling away from the CPU, and should definitely be looked at!

I'd keep the appointment. It's free, why not?
 

upsguy27

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Original poster
Jun 25, 2007
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It could be something as simple as a rogue process eating up clock cycles, but it could be as insane as the heat sink pulling away from the CPU, and should definitely be looked at!

I'd keep the appointment. It's free, why not?
Well, now I'll have to make a new one. The thing I'm worried about is going there and them not finding anything wrong, because the fans don't really kick in until it's been on for an hour or so.
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
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That's a whole heck of a lot of apps. I'd seriously try closing everything down in the Activity Monitor, and seeing what happens...
 

upsguy27

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Jun 25, 2007
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That's a whole heck of a lot of apps. I'd seriously try closing everything down in the Activity Monitor, and seeing what happens...
Well, hardly any of them are ever running. Plus, the problem was there after I fresh installed SL without any apps.
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
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Well, hardly any of them are ever running. Plus, the problem was there after I fresh installed SL without any apps.
If that problem was there after a fresh install without any apps, definitely take the system in. It will be easy for you to prove the issue as you can install iStat on one of Apple's display systems and see the temp/fan speed differences easily. You've done enough to prove it's not your fault, in any case. :)