Love the boot speed but...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by TerenceW, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. TerenceW macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    #1
    I'm running Yosemite on a 27" iMac with 3 TB Fusion drive and 32 gb RAM. Should fly - and it does, on boot from cold. 15 seconds up and running. But when launching some programmes (MS Word, Pixelmator, Camtasia and many others) I get the dreaded beachball for what feels like an age before everything will run. Funnily enough, Pages (which I hardly ever use) launches pretty much instantly.

    Anybody out there got an answer for how to manually prioritise Apps?
     
  2. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #2
    Fusion sucks, that's why. Those apps probably aren't on the SSD portion anymore, and you can't adjust what goes there. That's why I use my 3TB Fusion for photos etc, and have a Thunderbolt 1TB SSD as my boot drive etc. Just... say no to Fusion.
     
  3. liquorice macrumors regular

    liquorice

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Location:
    Surrey
    #3
    mine is running off SSD drive 12GB ram and still get beach ball, expecially with Safari .
     
  4. TerenceW thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    #4
    I just noticed... Even when MS Word is already up, if I do something else and go back to it, I get the damn beachball for a time as soon as I try to start writing anything. :(
     
  5. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #5
    The only way to prioritize files/apps is to split the Fusion drive into two separate drives and reinstall the OS.

    There's a reason I stayed away from Fusion on my iMac. I'd much rather have the SSD boot drive inside and HDD storage outside in a Thunderbolt enclosure.
     
  6. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #6
    Sorry but that is incorrect and misleading. I have a similar system to the OP, do professional video editing, use Word and Camtasia (just like him) and rarely see a spinning wait cursor.

    The spinning wait cursor means the app has quit responding to system or user events. It does not indicate things are simply slow. When seen persistently and frequently it often indicates a deeper problem such as pending hardware failure, memory leak, etc: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinning_pinwheel

    You should never really see a persistent spinning wait cursor on a properly written app. It should have a separate thread to handle those events and then post a progress bar or other UI indication of a long-running task. When you see recurring spinning wait cursors, that means something is abnormally disrupting smooth operation and the apps are malfunctioning, unable to service incoming events -- it doesn't mean things are just slow. It is definitely not caused by Fusion Drive.

    I suggest the OP contact Apple support, report his symptoms and have them investigate. It could be a failing component or some disruptive app that runs on startup.
     
  7. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #7
    I have a 5K iMac, 4.0Ghz i7, M295X, 32GB RAM, and a 3TB Fusion disk. The Fusion disk IS the weakest link. I got absolutely sick of the beachballs because of it. It's not like it took a MINUTE to open an app, but those extra 2-5 seconds each time you load something not on the SSD gets old. I'm not saying that a beach ball ALWAYS means this - I'm saying if USUALLY means this. After all, most of us experience slow computers more often than we experience defective ones.

    After switching from the Fusion disk to a dedicated SSD, the issue has completely disappeared. It's extremely unlikely to be a hardware failure.

    ----------

    Now THAT is peculiar, though MS Word 2011 is a REALLY badly-optimized piece of software for OS X . Which version of it are you running?

    ----------

    Agreed with the first part. The second part is personal preference. The 3TB Fusion upgrade for my 5K iMac was about $150. The 1TB external Samsung 850 EVO SSD was $400. So I get the best of both worlds, and external hard drives are much, much noisier than having it inside the iMac. I experimented with that idea and gave up on it pretty sharpish. Plus Fusion is nice down the road, since you get the 3.5" adapter w/ hard drive to replace with an SSD down the road. It's quite expensive to buy that adapter/cabling if you just get an SSD-only model.
     
  8. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    I have a fusion drive and use Office 2011 often enough that Word and Excel and my current document set should be on the SSD part of the fusion drive, I also have 16gb RAM and no swapping or memory pressure. I get beacbballs when I've not used either of those apps for a while and they try to access the file system (e.g. open recent). It's worse when there's a CD in my external drive. I think there's some inefficiencies in the way that MSOffice uses the disks in the system. I've never had the time to track it down any further than that.
     
  9. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #9
    As I write this, my 2013 iMac 27 with 3TB FD is simultaneously running Word, Excel, FCP X, Motion, Compressor, PluralEyes, Izotope RX4, Photoshop CC, Lightroom, Camtasia, and the high stress disk utility DiskTestr. I rarely see a spinning wait cursor, and if so only briefly.

    By contrast the OP said just launching various programs (not just Word) caused a spinning wait cursor "for an age". He said after launching Word, just switching back to Word caused the wait cursor.

    The wait cursor (beach ball) does *not* mean the app is taking a while to perform an action. Rather it means OS X determined the app has stopped responding to events. This happens if the app is poorly written, the system is under extreme or unusual stress, or if errant software or a configuration problem is preventing smooth multitasking.

    His symptoms don't indicate an inherent behavior from Fusion Drive. If it did the forums would be clogged with people complaining. Since a regular HDD is slower than FD, all the Mac users with HDDs would be even worse off. Does it really make logical sense than any Mac without SSD is borderline unusable due to spinning beach balls?

    His system likely has a deeper problem with hardware or software configuration. Blaming Fusion Drive misdirects him and will impede him getting resolution. His best bet is pursue it with Apple support. It could be something simple like an anti-virus app or startup utility interfering with smooth operation.
     
  10. siddhartha macrumors regular

    siddhartha

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Northern Virgina
    #10
    Fusion drives don't suck.

    They are not as fast as a true SSD, but those are (for the time being) much more expensive per MB than the Fusion is.

    I find a night/day difference between a standard HD and a Fusion drive.

    I'd much rather have a pure SSD, but I also wanted the 3TB storage that you get on the Fusion drive, so it was a tradeoff.

    Some day, I may get a 1TB SSD as a boot/main drive, and keep the Fusion for pure storage, but for now it works well, gives me loads of storage, and reasonable speed.
     
  11. alksion macrumors 68000

    alksion

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles County
    #11
    I often help assist a company that's all Mac based. All that I can say is the office employees with regular HDD's far outweigh the complaints with those with SSD only. The only office people who complain about the spinning pin wheel with SSDs are the ones using AutoCAD, but that's just poorly written software, even after multiple updates and service packs.
     
  12. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #12
    OP:

    Since you have 32mb of RAM, here are some things you might try.
    Granted, the suggestions below are a departure from what the overwhelming majority of users would do, but I suggest you try them anyway:

    1. Turn Spotlight OFF.
    2. Disable compressed memory using the terminal
    3. Disable disk swap (page outs), again using terminal

    Try running like this for a day or two.
    Any difference?

    Addendum:
    To those who will reply that "your system will crash and burn!", I've been running Yosemite this way for several weeks, 10gb of installed RAM on a 2012 Mac Mini, and I boot and run Yosemite off an -ancient- 4200rpm drive sitting in a firewire400 enclosure!
    And -- no crashes, not once, nothing -- runs pretty good, as a matter of fact!
     
  13. George Dawes macrumors 6502a

    George Dawes

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Location:
    =VH=
    #13
    Agree 100% about the fusion drive , a brilliant idea but when you want to do something demanding like transfer BIG files simultaneously it's useless.

    Impressive start up , yeah , but when you're actually doing stuff , not so impressive.
     
  14. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #14
    To be fair, the going back to Word issue came up after I replied the first time.

    In any case, it's not unusual to see beach balls when a hard drive is spinning up or being slow to load something. That's all I'm saying. Fusion is a bandaid and is simply not good enough for the impatient (like me). Could easily hear my hard drive grinding away even after just loading the OS on a cold boot.
     
  15. TerenceW thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    #15
    Thanks all - it IS mostly the office 2011 apps that cause the problem Word (version 14.4.7) took 15 seconds from click to ready. But the worst thing of all is 'open with...' - sometimes, there's no sound of any activity and I don't even get any options after around 30 seconds. Close and start again usually gets it gong in about 10 seconds.

    I think I'll contact Apple...
     
  16. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #16
    I wouldn't bother contacting Apple just yet. If you have everything backed up I'd try a fresh install of your OS.
     
  17. TerenceW thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    #17
    Yes, all backed up... Twice :) via Carbon Copy Cloner so the whole system is easily restorable. Perhaps I'll give that try when I have a couple of hours to spare (which is not that often.)

    Thanks, everybody!
     
  18. Dopeyman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles!
    #18
    I have a mid 2011 27" 3.4/i7/12GB of RAM with 2 internal drives. A 256GB SSD as my boot and apps with a 2TB as my storage (music/photos/etc.). It's very rare that I get any lag or any spinning wheels with the MS Office apps.

    Just my 2cents :)
     
  19. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #19
    Just for comparison sake after a fresh install of OSX a few weeks ago using many of those same apps I rarely ever see a beach ball using a 7200rpm HDD.

    I would venture a guess there is another issue. Worst case scenario you should have performance similar to me and generally much better.
     
  20. TerenceW thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    #20
    Interesting. I had to 'Force Quit' Word today - tried loading it after a lot more work on different progs and it loaded instantly. Did some writing, changed a couple of files, edited some stuff and closed it. Experimented with opening again and once again the beachball. Loaded, Force Quit, and currently back to instant opening again. Odd or what?
     
  21. Dopeyman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles!
    #21
    I would go with the suggestions of backing up your system and doing a fresh install of OSX and manually re-install your apps.
     
  22. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    #22
    That's because Word engages the hard drive endlessly while Pages (following apples guidelines) only calls to the hard drive when it needs to.

    If you're interested it was covered in one of the seminar talks at WWDC.

    I work for a university and its atrocious that just using Word with this poorly designed functionality kills an hour of battery life because of it's constant Hard Drive use.
     

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