New 27" iMac is s l o w

thekb

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 8, 2010
629
23
I got a new 27" base 2.7 ghz i5 iMac a couple of months ago and it is very slow. Much slower than my previous 24" C2D 3.06ghz running Snow Leopard. It bogs down frequently and hangs up, especially when I am running Aperture. Opening programs takes forever and I have had far more problems with needing to reboot this machine to recover from a frozen state than my previous 2 years with the last iMac combined. The new machine wakes from sleep very slowly and is slower to boot and shutdown.

I am guessing it is starved for RAM, so I have ordered 8 additional GB to bring me up to 12. I hope this resolves the problem, but I am disappointed so far. I don't know if the problem is related to Lion or not, because my prior iMac runs great on only 4GB.

I've repaired permissions and it does nothing to speed things up. Any other advice?
 

darknite38

macrumors regular
Nov 18, 2010
219
59
When running Aperture and your computer seems to be slowing down, open "Activity Monitor" and check the amount of free ram. If the amount is very low (0-100 Mb) then you definitely need more ram. If the number is high then I am not sure what the problem is, check to see that there are no other programs running that would use a lot of CPU.
 

philipma1957

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
6,302
210
Howell, New Jersey
Shouldn't u have more "Free" green color in that wheel chart at the bottom?
YES and no lion pulls all the ram you have and makes free low. think of free ram as wasted ram. that screen shot shows that 3.4gb is being used as active and that 4gb is wired or inactive the rest is free. the wired and or inactive is available to be shifted from program to program.

it also shows that I do run out of ram and have to swap to my hard drive pretty often. this is due to the vm I run for windows. this mini would like 16gb or 12gb of ram.

the op needs to get over the fact that his older iMac runs fine with 4gb ram.

I have found that
2011 iMac
2011 mac mini
2011 macbook pros really like a lot of ram.

since 4gb sticks are under 20 usd and 8gb sticks are under 85 use get over it and buy the ram!

you never know if ram will find a reason to get more expensive.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231531


pair of 8gb sticks price 169

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231342

pair of 4gb sticks 30 bucks with discount code.

the iMac is more then 1500 what is 30 bucks.

apple did us a favor by giving almost no ram. it gave us the chance to get ram at low prices.
 
Last edited:

thekb

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 8, 2010
629
23
the op needs to get over the fact that his older iMac runs fine with 4gb ram.

I have found that
2011 iMac
2011 mac mini
2011 macbook pros really like a lot of ram.

since 4gb sticks are under 20 usd and 8gb sticks are under 85 use get over it and buy the ram!

I am over it. Maybe you didn't read in my original post that I just ordered an additional 8GB of RAM to bring me up to 12 total.

My question is whether my problem is directly related to the lack of RAM and whether there are any other options to try to increase the speed.

Here's the numbers from my Activity Monitor window. It doesn't look very good to me, so here's hoping things improve dramatically when the new RAM is installed.

Free RAM 52.6 MB
Page ins 17.5 GB
Page outs 7.94 GB

Thanks, I will try resetting the PRAM in a bit and let you know if that helped.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,461
4,964
Well, the data from your activity monitor suggest that you indeed might have some RAM problem. Do you have demanding tasks running in background, or maybe you use some sort of bugged software which claims to much RAM? Can you look up in activity monitor which application use most RAM on the regular basis? I am unsure whether this is related to Aperture, as I don't have any experience with this software, but its unlikely to use more RAM than it did with previous OS X version... my 2009 MBP with 4GB RAM runs Lion without any problems.
 

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
4,062
4
I've repaired permissions and it does nothing to speed things up. Any other advice?
Who told you that would speed anything up? 10.7 requires more memory for everything vs. 10.6. Now whether it needs twice as much is debatable. If you really want some info have your generally used apps open and screenshot activity monitor with "Real Memory" descending view and System Memory tab highlighted. Just posting historical Page-outs is really of no use. See philipma1957's request for same.
 

thekb

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 8, 2010
629
23
OK, here's the Activity Monitor screenshot. Nothing much is running right now, but I haven't rebooted for about 4 days.

 

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
4,062
4
OK, here's the Activity Monitor screenshot. Nothing much is running right now, but I haven't rebooted for about 4 days.

Well aside from Safari using 1.25GB you look good. The swaps don't. So at some point you had some issues and the RAM isn't being recouped. Reboot and keep the Monitor.app open as you do your thing. Snap a shot when the slowness returns. You kind of have to catch it in the act.
 

thekb

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 8, 2010
629
23
FWIW, I just opened Aperture and applied a few adjustments to an image and this is what the Activity Monitor looks like now. When I try to close Aperture it often hangs up and either takes many minutes to close or else requires force quit.

The problems not entirely Aperture, as many processes are slower on the 27" than they were on my prior 24". When it gets too bogged down, I reboot, but I never had to do that before.


 

philipma1957

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
6,302
210
Howell, New Jersey
it looks like you have more then one issue.

yeah more ram is needed but safari is pulling too much ram and cpu it the first shot. you may go on a site that has a lot of flash and a lot of hdtv content.

try going to your resolution for the display and set it at 1920 x 1080 instead of 2500 by 1400 (I know that is not the exact number)

see if that helps to speed things up. you have the base 27 inch and it is pushing a lot of pixels at 2500 by 1400 your graphics card is AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512MB GDDR5

the top end machine has this for an option

AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5


If I recall aperture like both a good cpu and a good gpu to run well. by moving to a 27inch you doubled your pixels at high setting from your older machine.. I am not sure that you doubled your ability to do aperture in terms of cpu and gpu. As for the safari issue I get it on my mac mini server some of the time and I am pushing 1920 by 1200 pixels.

They did give a 10.7.2 update that improved it. somewhat. Humor me and try setting your resolution to a lower setting. I am curious to see if it helps. The bad thing is if the 1920 by 1080 helps a lot and you feel it is not clear enough you need to get the better iMac. the good thing is if it helps a lot and you think the picture is good enough problem is mostly solved. the extra 8gb ram and the lower setting will have worked
 

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Last edited:

tyche

macrumors 6502
Jul 30, 2010
411
62
Who told you that would speed anything up? 10.7 requires more memory for everything vs. 10.6. Now whether it needs twice as much is debatable. If you really want some info have your generally used apps open and screenshot activity monitor with "Real Memory" descending view and System Memory tab highlighted. Just posting historical Page-outs is really of no use. See philipma1957's request for same.
There are a number of documented instances where permission problems are causing slow downs on Lion. This issue really doesn't look like a ram one. The OS should behaving fine as is, especially booting.

One recent one is here https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/1301989/ where a shortcut solution is to simply remove the directory, reboot and let the OS rebuild it properly. The longer step is fixing permissions.

There is another thread on the Apple forums about slow speed where most people got things fixed by booting into recovery mode and doing the permissions fix. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3203965?start=0&tstart=0

If I had to guess what's going on it's a combination of iCloud type services and certain applications (installed or not properly uninstalled) not behaving well together and people's machines having corrupted directories/permissions (maybe due to a cold shutdown).
 

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
4,062
4
There are a number of documented instances where permission problems are causing slow downs on Lion. This issue really doesn't look like a ram one. The OS should behaving fine as is, especially booting.

One recent one is here https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/1301989/ where a shortcut solution is to simply remove the directory, reboot and let the OS rebuild it properly. The longer step is fixing permissions.

There is another thread on the Apple forums about slow speed where most people got things fixed by booting into recovery mode and doing the permissions fix. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3203965?start=0&tstart=0

If I had to guess what's going on it's a combination of iCloud type services and certain applications (installed or not properly uninstalled) not behaving well together and people's machines having corrupted directories/permissions (maybe due to a cold shutdown).
Those are not knowledgable posters on those threads. The only reason you repair permissions is if permissions are not correct on your system disk. It does not in any way repair permissions for anything in your User folders. Those permissions need to be dealt with separately. So someone telling me their iTunes library was slow to load until they repaired permissions means nothing. It never touched that library.
You do want to repair after any system change and if that was not done prior to using the Mac it can have a performance impact but you should not rely on "Repair Permissions" to speed up your Mac, generally speaking. For more info:
man diskutil
 

thekb

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 8, 2010
629
23
Following up on my slowness issue ...

Received the 8GB of RAM from Crucial and installed this morning (12GB total now). So far at least this has provided a considerable boost in performance.

Brush strokes and adjustments in Aperture are much quicker to apply and the program has not bogged down at all yet. No page outs at all despite opening about a dozen programs and tinkering around in each of them for a while.

Time will tell if the lack of sufficient RAM is/was the whole problem, but so far it was a very smart $45 investment for me.
 

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