Performance problems with iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Silas1066, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. Silas1066 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    #1
    I have a iMac 27 inch (purchased in late 2009).

    It has an Intel 2.66 i5 and 8GB of RAM.

    In the last 4 months, I have seen a big decrease in performance on the machine: endless rainbow wheels, hard drive sounds like it is thrashing, unresponsive scripts when visiting certain webpages with dynamic content, long boot times, etc.

    I couldn't find any runaway processes on the machine. 80% of the HD is free space, the CPU is typically at less than 20% utilization. One thing I did notice, is that minute after rebooting and logging in, roughly 50% of the memory on the machine is occupied--by what I am not sure.

    So I upgraded the machine to Mavericks last night: just the install took like 4 hours, and rebooting and logging in the first time, took over 1 hour. The machine was just thrashing endlessly.

    I've repaired disk permissions, but problems continue.

    Any idea what might be going on here? The upgrade just made things worse.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
  3. Silas1066 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    #3
    Excellent! Thanks for the advice

    I will go through these steps
     
  4. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    New England, USA
    #4
    Really!?

    That will help my performance issues!?

    I'll be able to keep...oh...wait...

    Never mind!:eek:


    ;):p
     
  5. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #5
    Hi, perhaps something a little easier and quicker I was hoping you could try.

    Download SMART Utility (https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/24875/smart-utility) and this will very quickly tell you if you've got any corrupted sectors/issues with your hard-drive. If you've got anything other than a green 'Passed', it's time to replace the hard-drive.

    Hard-drives can often be the cause of things like this (less so in iMacs though, because iMacs are moved around much less)

    If you have the OK on the SMART Utility, run Disk Verification (not permissions repair, just the 'Verify Disk'). If you get red here and green in SMART Utility, your hard-drive's OK but you've got some corrupted OS stuff which needs repairing. If this is the case, hold 'Alt' on startup, boot into Recovery HD and run Repair Disk through Disk Utility.

    Please could you be kind enough to let me know when you've tried this? The process won't take longer than 5-10 minutes, and it will certainly help us diagnose what the issue could be. :)
     
  6. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #6
    If you're using a HDD, it's normal.

    Upgrade to an SSD.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/oqc4q8j3rfgdc1q/IMG_2903.MOV

    This is how fast my SSD iMac starts up.
     
  7. garycurtis macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles & Northern California
    #7
    YJ, that was the same result I saw in an Apple Store when I clocked the startup time of a FD iMac. Now I'm singing the blues, because the vendor who sold me my new 27" iMac didn't offer FD as an option. Best Buy.

    So, as an alternative, I'm going to buy the 128Gb SSD (with Thunderbolt) ext drive from OWC and use that as my boot drive. I'll report back here in a few weeks about the startup speed.
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    Some "issues" are beyond help! :D
     
  9. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #9
    It'll be fast, but nowhere as fast as a native Fusion or pure SSD setup :)

    I tried it before using a Buffalo HD-PATU3 Thunderbolt drive (swapped out the stock spinning drive inside it with a Samsung 840 Pro). It's fast, but not as fast as a native SSD setup.
     
  10. garycurtis, Jan 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014

    garycurtis macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles & Northern California
    #10
    I was at the point earlier today of buying an ext. SSD connected either with USB 3 or Thunderbolt. To be used as a boot drive. Just to confirm my choices I telephoned an old friend who has a thriving business as a Mac troubleshooter.

    He talked me out of spending money on ram or on an SSD. He outlined a few cleanup routines that would accomplish much of what I want at no cost. I asked if he was promoting Disk Warrior. I already have it. He said unless DW indicates some file faults in read, about all it does is speed up file access. Who knew that?

    First off he said to start every single application I have and get the latest update. I was way behind on about 7 Adobe programs. I was fearful of their new Cloud payment plan and didn't want to get hit with charges. It turned out all the Adobe stuff downloaded for free.

    I generally keep abreast with my Microsoft programs, so, no problem there. But at the bottom of the System Preferences you'll a button for a few odd things, like Flash and Flip4Mac and Growl. People tend to ignore them, but if they are outdated versions, the OS hesitates on Booting while it hunts around for registration data, etc.

    The end result is that, for no cost, I cut my Boot time on an iMac i5 3.2Ghz (late 2012) by 25 seconds. Startup takes about 45 seconds. It was 1:15 before I undertook this cleanup.

    (morning after correction. I was a bit too optimistic. Boot times are about :50, but all my apps start up in a blink.)
     

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