Poor performance..

Discussion in 'iMac' started by newuser2310, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. newuser2310 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    #1
    Hello.

    System Spec: Late 09 21" 3.06, GeForce 9400, 4gb ram

    Currently I have itunes and safari running, if i enable the visualizer my imac is noticeably slower, especially when browsing the internet.

    I thought it might be the fact I was running a second 1080p display from the 9400 would have caused the slow down. But the same thing occurred after i disconnected it. After repairing permissions and restarting, pmram etc.

    Is the 9400 causing the slowdown? I know its fairly old but itunes visualizer and safari should be quite basic tasks. Its not the end of the world i know but does the 27" imac have similar issues as i plan to upgrade my machine in 2011.

    Thanks

    Have a wonderful new year!
     
  2. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #2
    First you should check your ram usage in activity monitor, and give us your page ins/outs after a good day or two's usage.

    My bet is on the 9400m though. It is a very slow gpu, and is not meant to power the 1920x1080 and 2560x1440 displays of the iMacs.
     
  3. newuser2310 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    #3
    If i recall ram usage for day to day tasks rarely goes over half and I don't think the page ins/out would be an issue since I've got almost 300gb of space left on my hd(out of 500gb).

    It just seems a bit crap as I use logic studio heavily whilst having itunes, safari etc open and never get any slowdown or lag

    Even though I know Apple uses old gpu's the fact that a machine thats less than a year old and cost me around £1000 can't perform a relatively simple task without lag is ****.

    Its not like i even use visualizer often if at all but I didn't expect system wide slowdown.
     
  4. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #4
    So this slowdown is only when you have visualizer running? I really wouldn't put it past the gpu if so. Now you might know why people have every right to complain about bad gpu support for apple's hardware. Thankfully the most recent iMacs all have discrete graphics.

    One last thing you could try doing is running hardware test to check to see if anything's wrong, or do a fresh install of osx after backing up all your important stuff.
     
  5. newuser2310 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    #5
    I do get some system slowdown when running win 7 in vmware, buts thats to be expected. This slowdown is caused by the visualizer and nothing else.

    I'm way too busy to try a fresh install and don't completely trust my time machine backup currently.

    I can understand modern games not performing well with the 9400 but a visualizer, Jesus wept!

    I cannot stand windows and have been using osx since 2002, it just puzzles me that my machine can handle heavy logic/photoshop sessions and work admirably considering the hardware and can then simply go to **** when using the itunes visualizer.
     
  6. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Boon Docks USA
    #6
    The page ins/outs is important because this will show if your virtual disk for paging is happening heavily. If your page outs is more than 10% of page ins, then this indicates you need more ram (usually). But 32 bit programs are known to do this too as programs can only access 3.2gb ram before paging out.
     
  7. newuser2310 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    #7
    after a day and a bit of itunes and light internet browsing:
     

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  8. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Boon Docks USA
    #8
    Run your Mac for awhile. Then open up activity monitor and watch your active processes and see if there is one hogging resources. If there is one, and you don't know what it's for, jot it down and do a google search or post it here. Something is slowing you down. Just got to figure out what. BTW, your hard drive isn't making any noises, is it?

    One other thought, if you have another account on your Mac (if not, make one) and see if it's doing the same thing. This would help narrow down if it's hardware or software issues.
     
  9. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #9
    a possible cause is because the 9400M has 256MB of video memory. you're using two displays, though, which means each display gets 128MB, which might not be enough.
     
  10. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #10
    I'm not sure if there's a program like gpu-z or not for osx, in which you can monitor your gpu usage. Anyways, if whenever you notice the slowdown, and your ram usage or cpu usage aren't spiking, then it is most likely the 9400m. Hate to break it to you, but it's not a very powerful gpu.
     
  11. Paulywauly, Jan 3, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011

    Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #11
    Dear OP,

    I have the same mac as you (with a secondary 22 inch display running 1080p) and have just tested this.

    I tested it with 4 open Safari tabs, a disc cloning in the background using carbon copy cloner. i also have Mail, Skype and Drobo dashboard open as well as a number of menu bar programs. The iTunes visualiser works perfectly smooth and isnt causing any slowdown for any other apps.

    Checked in iStat and iTunes is using around 50% of my CPU cycles which isnt particularly stressing it (considering it'll go upto 200% as its dual core)

    The only difference between our systems is ram, mine just been upgraded to 8GB and runs much smoother. i recommend you check down that route.

    EDIT - just tested this with video too, playing DVD/Bluray rips with the visualiser will slow it down but it'll only slow down the video/equaliser (indicating the CPU/GPU) the other apps in the background were fine e.g. Safari performed with no slowdown while scrolling etc. I defiantly think your issue may be too little RAM
     
  12. archipellago macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    #12



    he has just safari and itunes running ...thats it.

    are you saying he needs 8gb RAm to run 2 apps..?

    iTunes is a bloated mess but still...8GB??
     
  13. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #13
    You have a good point actually it does seem alot for two apps, when i ran the test iTunes was only using around 100MB, Safari was running closer to 1GB of RAM.

    i cant day for certain its defiantly a RAM issue, but its defiantly an avenue to look down as we cant be sure what processes are running on his machine e.g in the dashboard or menu bar etc. All the OP needs to do is have a look in the activity monitor for RAM usage and page outs.

    While the CPU/GPU isnt top of the line any more i don't think they are at fault here. My setup is near identical to the one described (apart from more RAM) and the only slowdown i could get is while running the iTunes visualiser was running it alongside a high quality DVD/1080P Blu ray rip, even then it only affected the video/visualiser. Scrolling through web pages on Safari didnt have any slow down at all.

    EDIT - just spotted the OPs post above with a screenshot, whoops! guess its not the RAM then!
     

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