Just returned new iMac 5k :(

Discussion in 'iMac' started by familychoice, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. familychoice macrumors newbie

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    Mar 5, 2015
    #1
    I had delivery of a new (base model) retina iMac yesterday. All lovely, and worked really well.....apart from sluggish 1990's PowerMac style handling of certain graphic formats, and during certain tasks (Mission Control also judders badly). Some .pdf's in particular sent the beachball into a fury of spinning if I had the audacity to zoom in and try and move them around. After spending a few hours with Apple support yesterday and today (including remote testing by support), finding the same .pdf files worked perfectly well on my 3 year old MacBook Pro and 4 year old PC I've decided to send it back.

    I did check this forum before purchasing and noted the Mission Control issues reported with the base model graphics card, but thought I'd be able to live with that. What I couldn't accept though was the bad performance of the default .pdf viewer, which I didn't expect. At one stage I thought this might be an OS issue, so tried the same files with Acrobat Viewer, but the same sluggishness and freezing appeared.

    The test .pdf's were around 4.5mb in size - files under 1mb didn't seem to have a problem, but viewing bigger files seemed to max out the iMac. Considering most .pdf files I work with are considerably bigger than that, I had to call it a day.

    A real shame as the screen is an absolute joy, but 1990's performance for viewing .pdf's isn't acceptable to me on a £2000 machine, particularly as a designer I'm creating and viewing them on a daily basis.

    It'd be interesting to hear if anyone else is having the same issue with .pdf's - small files rendered ok, and zooming in via the Finder preview was also fine - though maybe this renders a lower resolution version than the dedicated .pdf viewers. From what I've read on here the graphics card upgrade seems to have less issues, so maybe I'll ensure my next iMac purchase (I still want one!) has a bit more oomph in the graphics department.
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
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    Boston
    #2
    Do you think if you upgraded to AMD Radeon R9 M295X 4GB GDDR5 that would have helped your performance?
     
  3. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    Denmark
    #3
    The PDF scrolling thing is a well known Yosemite problem. Just try to find a PDF app that doesn't use Apples stock PDF rendering API.
     
  4. familychoice thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 5, 2015
    #4
    Looking through some of the threads on here I think it would have helped the Mission Control issues.

    It seemed generally sluggish in opening image previews and a few other standard tasks. I compared it to my 2012 base model Macbook Pro and wasn't impressed with the iMac performance.

    Do you know of one? I've submitted the return confirmation to Apple, but it'd be useful to know for future reference.

    It does seem to be a well known issue, but the fact it's still not fixed after being reported months ago doesn't fill me with confidence it'll be fixed anytime soon. My worry is it's hardware related, which is why it hasn't been fixed, so decided to return it before I lose the option.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #5
    I don't use Mission Control and I use Acrobat for PDFs. I'd love to pick up a 5k iMac but right now, I just don't have the cash.
     
  6. familychoice thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 5, 2015
    #6
    I tried Acrobat - exactly the same issue. Zooming into a 4.5mb .pdf and things almost grind to a standstill, then trying to move around to view other parts of the .pdf brought up the beachball. Tested the same file via Preview and Acrobat on my 2012 Macbook Pro running Mountain Lion, and although slower than my old PC, still perfectly usable.

    Overall I noticed no real speed improvements compared to my MBP which surprised me, considering the difference in processor speeds, and that's not taking into account the Mission Control and .pdf problems.

    I'm going to wait until the next refresh, hopefully they'll iron out the niggles.
     
  7. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #7
    I was just scrolling a 16MB 330 page PDF in Preview and couldn't get it to misbehave on my riMac 4.0/295. I have had issues with some, usually in Preview, not so much in Acrobat Pro. I figured it might be fonts, or something else. Post up a sample PDF; maybe it's particular to something about the PDF.
     
  8. familychoice thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 5, 2015
    #8
    I think that confirms my suspicions that it's related to the base model graphics card - the one I have is the 290.

    The .pdf is fine, and we tested the iMac with .pdf's created in other applications and on other machines - and they all displayed the same problem above a certain file size.

    Good to hear it works ok on yours though, so I'll repurchase when the card is upgraded on the base model.
     
  9. cltd macrumors member

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    May 22, 2014
    #9
    Two weeks ago I was in Apple store to test some iMacs. I had my own pendrive with pdf test files, because I wanted to see how it is to work on such big screen (never had 27" before). Scrolling my 91,6 MB pdf book (320 pp) brought beachball on base retina iMac. Another bad impression - this iMac couldn't eject pendrive. Maybe it was wore down demo-iMac.
     
  10. N2bnfunn macrumors member

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    Jul 24, 2011
    #10
    Geez dude before you buy anything do your homework, and remember when you buy ANY new products there and going to be some downsides to it, such as the new iPhone but when you look at what are getting compared to what you are not the iMac 5k is the best machine I ever owned.
     
  11. Cape Dave macrumors 65816

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    Nov 16, 2012
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    Northeast
    #11
    A true freshly formatted (re) install of the OSX solves many issues.
     
  12. familychoice thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 5, 2015
    #12
    I did do my homework, I checked on here and other forums and saw the reports about the Mission Control stuttering which I can live with, but I didn't know it'd have issues with reading .pdf's.

    It is a superb machine and I don't want to send it back, but if it can't do one of the main tasks I bought it for, and in fact does it worse than any machine I've owned in the last ten years, then it's pretty pointless keeping it. If I didn't work with .pdf's then I probably wouldn't have noticed and would be as happy as you obviously are.
     
  13. N2bnfunn macrumors member

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    Jul 24, 2011
    #13
    One question then.. WHY BUY IT unreal geez
     
  14. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #14
    My machine is like robgendreau's, and I have 24 gb RAM.

    I just did the same with a 561 mb PDF. No matter what I did (being at the top, clicking on the last page (p. 980) thumbnail) I didn't get a beachball. Went right there.

    I too wonder what's going on. I don't doubt anybody's report, but it's strange.
     
  15. cynics, Mar 8, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015

    cynics macrumors G3

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #15
    He said he researched it, saw mission control was slow but could live with that.

    Who would think to see if it worked with an ancient technology and task such as PDF viewing? Thats something a 10 year old computer can do easily.

    If "see if PDF's work" is on your research list then your list is going to be 40 pages long. Frankly researching something like that is nearly as dumb as the fact it doesn't work properly.

    -------

    That said, I really feel that this can be sorted out with software. I feel there is some sort of conflict going on. The iMac w/ m290x isn't the most powerful machine on the planet by any means but it is more powerful then many older machines that can view PDF's properly. I'm not saying its not related to hardware because that seems to be the case but I think its directly related to the m290x and something is causing a conflict when doing certain things. And if thats the case software should be able to sort it out.

    If not then m290x are in A LOT of trouble when it comes to future updates 10.11 etc etc.
     
  16. familychoice, Mar 8, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015

    familychoice thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 5, 2015
    #16
    Did you zoom in and move around?

    It's good to know the 295x doesn't suffer the same issue, be good to hear from any m290x users though to see how they're getting on.

    As @cynics pointed out above, like most of us I would expect a new Mac to be able to handle a straightforward task like this without any issues. I spent a lot of time checking the reviews and forums for issues and didn't pick up on this. There was reports of problems with Mission Control and a few other reports of juddering on other tasks but it wasn't until I started working on mine and discovered the problem that I knew to check forums for this particular issue.

    I spent two days with support, including giving them remote access to my machine and as far as they were concerned we ruled out everything software related that might cause the problem. They concluded it was either a hardware fault - in which case I could return it to be repaired, or an issue with the OS or hardware in which case I could get a refund.

    I think you could be right, the m290 seems to cope really well with other graphically intensive tasks so it should be able to handle a 4.5mb .pdf. It's not going to be fixed by just updating the OS Viewer - as the same issue occurred when I used Acrobat Viewer, but maybe there's a bottleneck between the card and OS slowing down certain redrawing tasks.

    I can't wait though, I need a machine that works now so I've gone back to my old MacBook Pro until they either fix the OS or the hardware. Maybe I just have a dud machine - if lots of m290 users say they can happily zoom in and out of large .pdf files without any issues then I'll buy another iMac give it another go. I've been put off the m295 upgrade though after reading the threads on here saying it makes the Mac heat up.
     
  17. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    #17
    Yes, I did. The large PDF was 100% scanned in from a typescript. I brought up another one (a 230 page book) and zooming was instant and the text looked very nice.
     
  18. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #18
    No insane specs needed to view a ****ing pdf file. Sure sounds like a software glitch to me. I remember that I had scroll stutter on my rmbp 1.5 years ago under mavericks. Yosemite fixed it.
     
  19. mtneer macrumors 68020

    mtneer

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    Sep 15, 2012
    #19
    Completely agree. If a user has to do "research" before buying a $2000+ machine to check if it can open PDF's - that is a problem with the manufacturer not the customer.
     
  20. blufrog macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2014
    #20
    The OP says it is a base model...that implies it has the Fusion drive. Maybe it is going to sleep and scrolling is forcing it to wake up? Waiting for HD spin-up could cause this kind of problem.
     
  21. familychoice thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 5, 2015
    #21
    Are you using the m290x?

    If it's a scanned document then it's not going to be as graphically intensive resource-wise as a .pdf created with scalable text and vector graphics, generated by a DTP or vector graphics app.
     
  22. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #22
    I use skim for PDF's

    As the title says try out skim a lovely little app that's easy on the resources makes preview look monstrous
     
  23. familychoice thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 5, 2015
    #23
    It's all boxed up ready to be picked up, so can't test that one unfortunately - though I did try Acrobat without any improvement. Preview seems to work fine with the .pdf on my MacBook Pro though.
     
  24. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
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    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #24
    When I said I had the same setup as robgendreau, that meant the 295.

    Yes, it's scanned -- but it's also 561 MB, which is a lot of PDF. There's not the slightest hesitation (I wish I could say that about large images in LR and PS.)

    The 230 page book was created by Adobe InDesign, had a variety of fonts, half-tone illustrations, and so on. I designed the book, so I know what's in it.

    I do think there's something else going on here (but I don't know what it is). Even my Macs as far back as my Mac Pro 1,1 (and my PCs before that) never had any difficulty with PDFs.
     
  25. Astelith macrumors regular

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    Oct 10, 2014
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    Spain/Italy
    #25
    There are a lots of people with M290X that don-t suffer from this, but also a lot having the issue , I think it's software related
     

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