Purchased two 2017 iMacs at the same time, one is insanely slow right out of the box.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by shinseiromeo, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. shinseiromeo macrumors member

    shinseiromeo

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2017
    #1
    As titled, my partner and I both bought iMacs recently. Due to the closest Apple store being quite a bit away, they were purchased mid August while we were traveling near that particular store. We are near this town maybe once every three months, if not longer. That visit also coincided right before a several week trip out of country, where both iMac's sat in our home unopened until last week. That being said, here are the specs of both:

    My iMac:
    Mid tier 27 inch 5k with 1tb fusion drive and 16GB ram

    Partner's iMac:
    Mid tier 21.5 inch 4k with 1tb hard drive and 8GB of ram


    My boot up is 16 seconds from a cold start to login screen. Her boot up is 53 seconds. After reaching the login screen, her mouse doesn't even load for another 15 seconds. Any app that is attempted to be opened is welcomed by the spinning beach ball. At this point hers is even more factory/stock than mine as I have several apps installed, hers has been used once since it was opened out of the box. This is her first Apple product ever, and her exact words today were "for a $1,300 computer I can't believe it's so slow".

    I spoke with Apple support earlier today and though very kind, was told that since it was purchased more than 30 days ago, we are essentially out of luck and have to go through the repairs process. My opinion so far is it may be the fact that her model has a basic hard drive, not the fusion nor SSD. Yet can they really be that bad? Even loading recovery mode with command + R takes over 10 minutes just for that to boot.

    So all, any suggestions someone may provide? My goal is to either get this replaced, or if it truly is a slow as molasses $1,300 model, exchange it and pay the difference for a higher tier model.
     
  2. alien3dx macrumors regular

    alien3dx

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2017
    #2
    1. spin disk load very slow.. So the best choice was don't off sleep and open as fast as possible..
    2. return and upgrade to 256 GB SSD .. uhk maybe add more 250 dollar.
    3. You need to specifiy what type of work you and your partner want to do..

    Compare to normal pc.. I would say the same.. what the 1300 dollar does this ? No HDMI ? that why i pick imac instead of macbook pro.. each time need to buy thing all accessory is over price.. On moved i still using windows laptop much easier..
     
  3. shinseiromeo thread starter macrumors member

    shinseiromeo

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2017
    #3
    For me I went with the 27in 5k as it will be used for heavy photo editing and soon 4k video editing.

    For my partner, it's truthfully her first computer in ten years, she never really needed one until she was recently promoted and needs a dedicated workstation at home instead of relying on a smartphone. Her work relies on documents and basic day to day things, hence why I suggested the 21.5 4k iMac, not the base model, nor one as big as mine.
     
  4. alien3dx macrumors regular

    alien3dx

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2017
    #4
    if so , no need ssd for.. Just normal entertain rather then paid 250 dollar add on just for ssd .. overprice..
     
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #5
    Take it back to Apple for diagnostics as while the boot times etc seem about right and the 5-20 seconds to open larger apps all sound about right for a HDD equipped computer. The part about recovery mode sounds a little off.

    However assuming it is just the HDD it should work fine with open apps and everything when left on.

    You state that she’s only used it once so it is probably still spotlight indexing and organising itself this is the same on all new Macs and often impacts speed for a day or so when first bought if she then just turns it off it probably has never completed this. Turn it on and leave it running for 24 hours, and use without shutter nag down.

    Assuming it’s just the fact that it’s a hard drive bottleneck (highly likely) you have a couple of options.

    1. Sell it lose a few hundred on a lightly used mac and buy something with ssd or fusion.

    2. Get a third party to open it and replace the HDD with a SATA ssd something like a crucial mx300 or a Samsung Evo. Fairly cheap and about $100 for the work.

    3. Buy an external ssd with thunderbolt connection and boot from there, using the internal for media storage only.
     
  6. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #6
    Apple shouldn't be offering any models with "spinner" hard drives but they've always sold an inadequate model at the low-end.

    8GB of RAM is OK for now but from observation through the years I'd say a buyer should at least double whatever Apple is offering on their cheapest model.
     
  7. shinseiromeo, Sep 28, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017

    shinseiromeo thread starter macrumors member

    shinseiromeo

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2017
    #7
    Thank you Samuelson. The issue is a little deeper unfortunately. At the store tha day last month, we spent a good 90 minutes there discussing several options. Particularly on buying two or three models for us. I decided on a mid tier $2,000 27in iMac and bought my own RAM to upgrade. For my partner, she has no want nor need on such a large screen so she decided on the $1,300 21n iMac. I told her not to buy the base model since it is such a low quality screen by today's standards. The problem I have is we were told both had fusion drives with the tiers we were buying. I didn't know until yesterday as I was doing diagnostics that her drive was a hard disk and not a fusion drive.

    Now I'm not saying there isn't a possibility of a bad drive. My 2007 windows laptop boots twice as fast as her brand new $1,300 iMac. That should never happen. It should not take 1m15s from a cold start to be able to wiggle the mouse.

    As far as usage and indexing, she has only used it for one session due to her frustration with it. The past two days I was working on it trying to figure out what is wrong with it and attempted to wipe it in recovery plus clean install High Sierra as I did with my own iMac, yet just booting to very mode took way too long. And that's when I started digging and found out about the hard disk drive.
     
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #8
    Even with just a disk drive it should be fine to work on once booted up take it back it’s well within 1st year warranty, it could be a dodgy drive or even a dodgy HDD cable.

    You could also insist that they take it back as they sold it to you as a fusion drive and it’s not, that is grounds for returning at any point. Ring Apple and have a chat they can be very understanding about these things.
     
  9. shinseiromeo thread starter macrumors member

    shinseiromeo

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2017
    #9
    That is my plan, to return it and exchange for the next model up, the top tier 21in iMac. We would have bought it that day if we were aware of the difference.

    Over the phone we chatted quite a bit and I do have a case number. She definitely wants and needs it, just with this being her first Mac ever, it bothers me how disappointed she is with it.
     
  10. CE3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    #10
    Good plan. Let us know how the new model works out.
     
  11. alien3dx macrumors regular

    alien3dx

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2017
    #11
    IF had extra money go.. changed/upgrade to SSD 256 GB RAM.Even top tier have fusion drive which some people said slow compare to normal SSD.

    What i do confuse thinking back was ,

    You said you take 4K,those 4K should have a graphic card and fusion drive and not like me base line which have only spinning drive and not 4K.
    o_Oo_O
     
  12. EmlynDewar macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Chengdu, China
    #12
    Get Apple to fix it, they've sold you a broken computer...

    As awful as the 5400rpm drives they use (I'm assuming they are still peddling those miserable slow spinners?) are, it shouldn't be that slow. Keep taking it back until they fix it, or give a refund.
     
  13. alien3dx macrumors regular

    alien3dx

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2017
    #13
    only loading and copy file ...... not as slow as much.. 1 minute to open osx is bearable to me. Copy file external hardisk also range 100 , this is not hardcore user which not need at all super raid 800 megabyte per second..
     
  14. shinseiromeo, Sep 29, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017

    shinseiromeo thread starter macrumors member

    shinseiromeo

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2017
    #14
    I would hope it goes as smoothly as your reply makes it sound.

    My primary is concern is that we live nowhere near any Apple Store. It's a minimum two hour drive either way we travel which is why it's past the 14 day window.

    Is there a diagnostic tool to show runtime is essentially nothing? Just in case they want to see proof we never used her iMac.

    I presume I should take it back to the original store yet even this weekend, we will be over four hours from that particular Apple Store as I travel quite often. Do you think another store could help, as there will be a store within a 90 minute drive of where we will be this weekend?




    We definitely want it, not looking to return. I'm hoping they either swap out the drive there, if even possible. If not just replace the unit with the correct model with the specs we asked for and pay the difference if need be.
     
  15. Fishrrman, Sep 29, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017

    Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #15
    OP writes:
    "My boot up is 16 seconds from a cold start to login screen. Her boot up is 53 seconds. After reaching the login screen, her mouse doesn't even load for another 15 seconds."

    Answering this is as easy as it gets.

    Your iMac is faster because it has the fusion drive.
    Her iMac is slower because it has only a platter-based hard drive.

    There is NO WAY to "fix this" through tinkering or re-arranging software.
    Trying to run the current versions of the MacOS via a platter-based HDD is going to be an exercise in frustration. The OS runs, technically, yes -- but from the experience of the user, it will seem that it's "walking" instead of "running".

    Suggestions?
    You have two choices:

    Choice #1:
    Replace her iMac with one that has either a fusion drive, or better yet, a "straight" SSD. Then the MacOS will run like it should.

    Choice #2:
    Get an EXTERNAL USB3 SSD drive, plug it in, and set it up to become her "external booter". This is VERY EASILY DONE. The result won't be as fast as an Apple-brand internally-mounted SSD, but it will be MUCH faster than it is now. You'll see read speeds of 430mbps and writes of around 250-350mbps (depends on the particular SSD).
    This choice is probably the "cheapest/easiest/fastest" way to get from where you are now, to "where you want to be".

    Those are your options.
    You pay your money and you take your choice.

    What you don't want to do, is to open up a brand-new iMac and put a new drive into it.
    THERE GOES YOUR WARRANTY...
     
  16. shinseiromeo thread starter macrumors member

    shinseiromeo

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2017
    #16
    Thank you Fishrrman. I just spoke with a senior specialist over the phone at Apple. I explained the whole case once again to them. They said they 'may' be able to replace the unit with an upgraded model, one that we were told we were buying in the first place. I have no issue with paying the difference as we would have bought the next step up in the beginning. I specifically did not want a hard drive in her iMac, I chose my 27in 5k based on it having the specs it did.

    The rep I spoke with just a bit ago had asked me to do internet recovery and clean install High Sierra, as I did with my own iMac last week. I truly don't want to spend the 2-3 hours minimum I know it's going to take just based on my internet speed alone, plus the install afterwards on a hard drive. Since we are traveling this weekend, nothing is going to happen until I call them back next week.
     
  17. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #17
    Reading through this, shiseiromeo, I'm feeling worried that you might not understand that a fusion drive is a combination of SSD and an ordinary spinning hard drive. When you say "I specifically did not want a hard drive in her iMac," it sounds as though you think a fusion drive doesn't use a hard drive. But it does -- it just blends it with a SSD.

    So your iMac as well as hers has a traditional hard drive in it. In the 27" I think you get a far better hard drive (7200 rpm) than the pathetic one in hers. Keep in mind that the 21" fusion drive has not only a pathetic hard drive, but a pathetic SSD -- very small.
     
  18. alien3dx macrumors regular

    alien3dx

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2017
    #18
    4k should have fusion drive..
    the best choice.. choice 3 only good if can get usb 3 gen 2 ssd.. :p ..
     
  19. curmudgeonette macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Location:
    California
    #19
    Base level 2017 21.5" Retina iMac comes with a 1TB 5400 RPM HDD.

    It can be ordered with a 1TB Fusion drive for $100 extra, or an SSD for $200 or $400.
     
  20. Spudlicious macrumors 6502

    Spudlicious

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2015
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, England
    #20
    Don't have valves (tubes to our US cousins) in your TV, don't use a feather as a pen, and don't have hard drives in your computers. Three good rules to follow.
     
  21. CE3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    #21
    Apple should be ashamed of themselves for putting 5400 RPM drives in 2017 Mac desktops.

    While I generally feel that iMacs are a good value, they're still premium computers from the base model on up, and people expect a better experience than what that dead weight of an HDD has to offer.

    @shinseiromeo don't do a clean install or waste anymore time on this machine.

    Call support again and have them connect you directly with the store you'll be closest to this weekend. Hopefully between these two stores you'll be able to exchange and pay the difference for a faster model.
     
  22. tyche macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #22
    I think it's been explained already what the problem is. If you want to see, install Black Magic disk speed utility (free) and do benchmarks on both iMacs.
     
  23. Awgd8 macrumors newbie

    Awgd8

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Location:
    WI
    #23
    The blackmagic benchmarked my
    1tb fusion drive to

    HDD : 150-250 Mb/s read/write speed (pathetic!)

    SSD (27Gb) : 800-1400 Mb/s read/write speed. (Wow!)

    and my

    Samsung T5 external SSD: 430-525 Mb/s

    So if you have the money, get the biggest internal SSD config that you can afford.
     
  24. Awgd8 macrumors newbie

    Awgd8

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Location:
    WI
    #24

    Correction, I went back and looked at the screen shot speed of the HDD in the fusion drive and it was

    160-180 MB/s read & write speed
     
  25. shinseiromeo, Oct 2, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017

    shinseiromeo thread starter macrumors member

    shinseiromeo

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2017
    #25
    Just an update so far:

    Spoke with a senior advisor over the phone with Apple last Friday. He advised me not to go to a store and they want to take care of the issue over the phone since I don't have a store within any close proximity. They requested I clean install High Sierra on my partner's 21in iMac as I did with my own 27in iMac last week, before they would proceed further with any other options.

    Tonight with both iMacs on my same desk, both plugged into the same APC UPS and hard wired to my router, I shot a video of both from a cold start. Just as I wrote here last week, 15 seconds to the login screen on my 27in iMac. Hers booted at 49 seconds to the login screen and another 13 seconds for the mouse to even appear on the screen. I just sent the video to Apple as well.


    Edit:

    Here's my desk at the moment...
     

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