New imac unbearably slow

Discussion in 'iMac' started by pubjoe, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. pubjoe macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #1
    Hi,

    I've just bought my second alu imac. I sent my previous one (2.4ghz, 1GB) back to apple after a few weeks, simply because of moving house, it was handy getting my money back.

    This new one is 2.8ghz, 2GB and has a faster FSB, so all should be great yes?

    Well no. The old mac was quick and snappy - I remember being really impressed after squeezing the remote after a week's time and the screen immediately faded straight into front row despite the fact I had some work in process.

    I pressed the menu button on the remote on this new Imac last night and, no word of a lie, it took over 90 seconds to get to front row.

    That is just one example, but this mac is just generally sluggish at most things - internet (a pause of a few seconds when tabbing through forms) safari often has enough and simply crashes from time to time. - File browsing - starting up and shutting down. I'm sick of seeing that little spinny kaleidoscope.

    Okay - there is one thing that could cause all this. vmware fusion? (I think) the problems have been worst since installing it. I used default settings. But now, my mac is slugish most of the time - without vmware running at all.

    So I'm thinking, upgrading to 4GB should fix the problems (I intend to to this anyway). But really, should this make that much difference? My last imac had only 1GB and was slower all round but never showed any signs of weakness like this.

    Also, I am pretty unhappy with some obvious yellow radial blotches of light that bleed in to the screen from the edges on a black background.

    I feel like this imac is a bit too faulty and should just return it.

    I bought this one from amazon (as I had a ton of vouchers) but I still have an applecare pack that I never got round to activating last time round.

    What would be the best way to get it replaced?

    [edit] I've owned it for almost 4 weeks.
     
  2. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #2
    Something is not right, but don't return it. I agree it probably is the software you installed. I would revert it back to how it was when it shipped to you. Everything should be fine then.

    Did you try it out for very long before installing software? Was it working fine then? I always run my Macs for weeks before installing anything to be sure it is a fine running machine. Have you done any tweaking of the Mac? (meaning install any sofware programs that tweak system preferences such as the dock, etc?) Or have you installed anything like an iTunes controller or other software? Even some of those little programs will mess with a Macs speediness.

    I would say if you remove anything you installed and that didn't work, reinstall the system software entirely and if that doesn't work then you have a problem.

    Did the 2GB come with the Mac- and is that standard shipping amount or did you order extra to get to the 2GB? Memory not being seated correctly can cause issues I think.
     
  3. pubjoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #3
    I've installed adobe CS, iwork, some sort of all-in-one codec pack that was recommended from these boards somewhere, transmission and I have set up a bootcamp partition and installed vmware fusion. - I have used up about 30GB of 274GB on the main HD.

    The imac was simply bought from amazon as an "iMac 24" Desktop 2.8GHz/2GB/320GB/SD" (£1,149) which became available shortly after the announcement of the new imacs. So I presume it is factory stock (no upgrades).

    Memory problems could be it I suppose (just trying to find a mac memtest program that I don't have to enter credit card details to download atm).

    The reason I am thinking of returning it now, is because I have almost had it a Month and if I leave it a few more days, I am probably slimming down my chances of being able to return it. Also, the screen defect is a bit annoying.
     
  4. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #4
    I agree if the screen is defective then return it. I know nothing about that type of defect you describe and don't know if it could be software or hardware related. Have you searched the forums for info about the screen defect you describe?

    You might go to the apple menu and check out about this mac, then more info to see what it says under memeory- is it one stick or two, is it showing 2GB, etc. Not sure about memory testing software- others on the board will know that.

    You definitely have plenty installed so that could be it. When I install things that are not apple produced I always do it in stages...will install Word one week and run it for a bit to make sure it is not causing any issues, then install the next program, etc. Make troubleshooting much easier.

    One tidbit I have found on the MacRumors board- if you have a thread you want to start- start it during the week sometime- not weekend- I have found much better response during the week to troubleshooting threads.

    Good Luck!
     
  5. pubjoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #5
    Thanks a lot for your help flyfish.

    The screen defect is simply just some backlight bleed. It is definately worse than my last imac was - when it first arrived I thought I'll just put up with it but combined with these speed issues, I'm beginning to feel unhappy all round.

    You say I have a fair amount of software installed, but to be honest, I don't think that is much at all. My old 12" G4 powerbook (my Girlfriend has now adopted) has been running a few years now with new software thrown on it all the time and it is running as well as ever. I've never once had to reinstall the OS and it has a third of the ram of the imac and probably a 6th of the processor power.

    I have heard that vmware fusion can reduce performance - but not to this extreme.
     
  6. gehrbox macrumors 65816

    gehrbox

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Charleston,SC
    #6
    I have VMware fusion installed (3Ghz iMac, 4GB ram) and the impact of it running is negligible with XP running in a Window. It does have a impact when running unity mode, but nothing major. Fusion likes ram. I see a significant difference in performance between my Mac with 2GB and 4GB installed and usage of Fusion.

    Installing a ton of apps is not going to slow your Mac down unless they install high CPU usage background processes that are running full time or if you open a bunch of them that are doing some form of processing. I generally open apps and leave them open. They idle in the background and usually have no open documents, but are open and stealing a few cpu cycles for there event loops, but I see not notable processor usage.

    As Leon has pointed out in this forum in the past a nearly full hard disk is half as fast as a nearly empty one, but this is not the case with your computer. Yours would qualify as nearly empty.

    Have you looked at Activity Monitor to see if there are any processes running that are using a large amount of the cpu capacity when the computer is idling?

    If you can see nothing eating up cycles, then as someone mentioned earlier take the system back to stock with a fresh OS install and observe performance. It could have been something you installed that caused the performance to degrade. Otherwise make an appointment with an Apple Store or return it. Your experience is not normal performance form a 2.8Ghz iMac.
     
  7. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #7
    While I understand that you had lots of software on your powerbook, you were probably not running windows on it. I just meant that sometimes one program can eat resources or not play nice with something else and cause slowdowns. I agree- activity monitor would be a good start to see what is eating up resources...how many programs (and which ones) do you leave open most of the time would be another thing to post here to help solve your issue.
     
  8. pubjoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #8
    Thanks again for all your help flyfish and gehrbox.

    I've got to do some work for a couple of hours then I'll try some of the tests you suggested.
     
  9. gehrbox macrumors 65816

    gehrbox

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Charleston,SC
    #9
    I ran Windows 2000 on my 17" Powerbook via VirtualPC. Slow but it worked.
     
  10. pubjoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #10
    :eek: ...Looks like I'm just an idiot.

    I looked in Activity monitor (cor! What a lot of processes! - I thought XP had a lot).

    First thing I noticed was that my processor was constantly at 100% usage! It turns out that there was a process called "brother scanner" & "image capture" using almost 100% between them. So, I turned my printer/scanner off and hey presto!!! :D

    At first there was a couple of processes that then shot up to 100% immediately after: pmtool (something to do with indesign) and systemUIserver (??) - also, front row was using up a lot of resource. However, they soon settled down, so I imagine that they might have had a little task that they were delayed to do due to the image capture clogging up resources.

    I then pressed menu on the front row remote - and swoosh! straight in there!

    Thanks for the help - I never realised something as simple as leaving a printer on could cause such a drain on the system!!!

    now "idle" is hanging around the 95-98% mark (instead of 0%) and the back of the mac is beginning to cool down quite a lot.
     
  11. gehrbox macrumors 65816

    gehrbox

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Charleston,SC
    #11
    Glad we could be of assistance.
     
  12. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #12
    Glad you figured it out, but bothersome that it is affected so by just having the printer on...must be something wrong there...not sure what.
     
  13. pubjoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #13
    Who knows. I did just plug the brother in and start using it after it was auto-detected, maybe I should search for proper drivers for it?

    At least, for now though I've sorted it. Just given the imac a pat on the back - and it's down to a bearable temperature. I previously thought that a blazing hot shell was normal!! ...Thinking about it, I've basically been using the imac at flat out 100% cpu usage for the last 2/3 weeks and it's held up pretty damn well considering. :D

    Mmmm... I can't edit the thread title, I wanted to add a " - now fixed" extension, as there are many of these sort of threads that mislead potential switchers who don't read the final outcome.
     
  14. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #14
    You might try and contact a moderator and see if they will/can change the title...good thinking on the switchers!!

    As far as the printer goes- I would think it would have just worked...but maybe it has something to do with the windows side of the computer? Maybe it was just a glitch at the time? I would try plugging it in again and leaving it on and see what happens in activity monitor. Also I guess check for drivers.
     

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