New iMac 3.2Ghz - Speed/Hanging Issues when Multitasking

Discussion in 'iMac' started by krimedog, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. krimedog macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    #1
    Hi,

    I just purchased an iMac (my first OSX product) and the speed seems to be great when performing a single operation, for example encoding a video or copying files. However, if I'm performing a few operations at once I get the rainbow circle waiting icon and can't do anything until it's done. I've been installing a fair amount of software since I bought it, but not much that runs in the background.

    Also, I set up iPhoto for the first time this morning. When I went to open it tonight it was frozen until I deleted and remade the library.

    • Is my situation common for Macs vs. PCs? Do Macs generally wait for operations to finished?
    • Is there some setting I have wrong?
    • Could I have a defect? How can I test it?
    • Any tips?

    Thanks,

    Andrew
     
  2. capone2 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2005
    Location:
    chelsea-nyc
    #2
    you're iMac

    Hi Andrew,

    Yeah, something is wrong with the computer. I would take it to a Genius bar if you could or get a Apple tech on the phone.

    I'm a certified tech myself.


    any question let me know.
     
  3. krimedog thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    #3
    Ok

    OK, thanks.

    Anything I can run to test it? Or run some maintenance and see if it fixes it? Most of the time it seems fine unless i hit an intense process and switch around.
     
  4. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #4
    Check out Activity Monitor in your App>Utilities folder
    You can use it to see what apps are using the processor and their relative % of CPU time.

    The other 2 things come to mind.....

    iPhoto might have been scanning your whole photo library to set up the Faces recognition feature....

    Another idea, many PC users are in the habit of clicking the X (close box) in windows and having it quit the app. Most Mac apps do not quit by just closing the window.
     
  5. raysfan81 macrumors 6502a

    raysfan81

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #5
    Can we call them Windows users instead of PC users? Macs are personal computers as well, it makes no difference what OS its running. :cool:
     
  6. TennisandMusic

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    #6
    In my experience, this is how OSX is, even on my Mac Pro. It is nowhere near as snappy as Windows 7. You could always try installing Win7 on your iMac, and see for yourself. ;)
     
  7. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #7
    Pinwheels are often the result of hard drive and ram. I'd check your ram usage. Sometimes restarting a computer can help with pinwheels, because it in effect resets the ram.

    Snow Leopard itself seems to have a couple optimization problems that will hopefully get fixed with the release of 10.7.
     
  8. whoda macrumors member

    whoda

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    #8
    Just curious, how much ram is in your system? When I bumped my ram up to 8GB, I found it gave my system a good boost.
     
  9. Warbitrary macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    #9
    Something is wrong with your Mac Pro. Maybe you never upgraded from the stock 3GB RAM?

    I have a 4.5 years old iMac and the only way to make it beachball is to saturate the RAM or thrash the hard disk. Both are rare occurences.
     
  10. krimedog thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    #10
    Thanks. Things aren't terrible, so I really think it's a software issue. I know how to quit vs. X out apps, so it's not excessive programs open.

    Is there a way I can test my RAM? I have 4GB as 2 sticks, maybe it's faulty? Also, if I do pick up another 4GB of ram, can I install it myself?
     
  11. Warbitrary macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    #11
    Open Activity Monitor in /Applications/Utilities . Post a screenshot of the System Memory tab. Cmd-Shift-4.

    In my experience, when Wired + Active memory takes more than 75% of total installed memory, I sometimes see little pauses (<1s) when switching apps.

    BTW, RAM is extremely easy to install.
     
  12. krimedog thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    #12
    With a lot open

    I took an image of Activity Monitor. I have iTunes, Chrome, Ableton Live, Vuze, iPhoto and OpenOffice open. Not what i would consider a little, but certainly within reason for a new computer.

    I notice that is says theres only 19MB free or something (green). Why is 1.14GB inactive?

    It looks like Live uses quite a bit of resources. Is this reason to jump up to 8GB of RAM? Should i get 1 4GB stick?
     

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  13. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #13
    No bc I'm older than you and my dad can beat up your dad - what was the unhelpful point of your post? I'm trying to help and you are being ....

    To OP

    You mention Vuze.... How fast are you downloading?
    This app is constantly writing to your HD.

    Never use Vuze and expect to enjoy Ableton at the same time.. On Mac or PC or Windows ;)

    They are both disk resourcsive tasks

    If you are downloading several torrents then that puts alot of overhead on the wireless and hard drive.

    Vuze is best used when you are not actually trying to use your computer, use it when to are sleeping.
     
  14. krimedog thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    #14
    Vuze

    Wasn't downloading anything at the time. Would an activity screenshot without it running help?
     
  15. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #15
    Whenever you get the pinwheel again, pull up console log afterwards to see what it has to say. Console log usually tells you what went wrong during pinwheels. For small cpu hangs that involve the pinwheel, however, it sometimes doesn't tell you.
     
  16. Warbitrary macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    #16
    krimedog, I looked at your activity monitor and while you could benefit from more RAM, you aren't using running out of it, so I doubt lack of RAM is causing your slowdowns.

    About inactive RAM, I suggest you read the "Activity Monitor Pie Chart" and "Understanding Inactive Memory" sections of this article:
    http://macs.about.com/od/usingyourmac/qt/os-x-memory-usage.htm

    Have you considered using Transmission instead of Vuze? It's less CPU and RAM intensive, and in my opinion the best OS X BitTorrent client. For example, with 81 torrents running, my CPU usage is 4% and RAM is 22MB (My CPU is at least 2x slower than yours, so you should see 2% CPU or less).

    The only reason to use Vuze is if you need extremely customisable prefs.
     
  17. krimedog thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    #17
    I'll uninstall Vuze and see if it improves. I was playing an MP3 this morning and it froze for about 5 seconds with the pinwheel. Wasn't doing much of anything else.

    Hopefully we can figure out the issue. Thanks.
     
  18. Warbitrary macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    #18
    Hmm, quite strange. Did it pause before playing the mp3 or during playback? Do you have external hard drives connected to your Mac?
     
  19. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #19
    OP

    Do you have any external hard drives attached?

    I have a bunch of USB drives attached to my Mac Mini and when they randomly wake from sleep, I get the pinwheel
     
  20. krimedog thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    #20
    External Drive

    I do have an external, but the MP3 was stored locally. Do you think waking up the external drive caused the skip during playback?
     
  21. Warbitrary macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    #21
    I have 2 externals and the system beachballs (while the drives are waking up from sleep) when I open a save/open dialog. I just did it now, while playing a song, and no audio skipped. So while it's normal, albeit annoying, to have the system beachball when a drive is waking up fom sleep, the audio skipping is wierd.
     
  22. krimedog thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    #22
    Soundcard

    I'm using a Firewire 410 M-Audio soundcard. Maybe that caused something with USB/Firewire to goof?

    Weird.
     
  23. krimedog thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    #23
    Spoke to Apple Support

    They reset my computer a few different ways and thought it was the External Hard Drive. I've verified the disk and reformatted it. It STILL freezes during Time Machine backup. In fact, as I was opening this page it stalled for 15-20 seconds.

    Is there anyone experiencing freezing with Time Machine, or is this definitely only me and a potential hardware issue?

    Thanks.
     

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