Switched to Mac after 5 years, something wrong happened during this time.

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by theodordiaconu, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. theodordiaconu macrumors newbie


    Feb 13, 2017

    A little bit of context:

    I've used Macs since 2009 to 2012, but getting a powerful mac machine was very expensive for me at that time, so I got a lenovo i7 2.4ghz (4700MQ), 755m SLI, 16GB ram and a 256gb ssd. The machine was more than wonderful, there was nothing I could throw at it, whatever I did everything was smooth. As a plus, it was a very powerful gaming machine, but I did not care about that too much.

    Now recently I felt the need to have a better screen, longer than 1.5hr battery life and ofcourse I had to make iOS apps so I had to suck it up and get a mac, because I didn't want to waste time with hackintoshes or virtual machines.

    So I found a sweet deal, a second hand laptop, late 2013 15" retina, i7 2.3, 256gb, 16gb ram (iris pro only). Something quite decent for development. Laptop was 10/10, newly replaced battery and screen. It was like brand-new.

    Now, back in the macOS world, things are beginning to get choppy. (Using Sierra)
    - Chrome is not butter smooth, when scrolling I see it struggling to render
    - Using mission-control when an external display whole system becomes choppy
    - Using mission control with no external display sometimes is choppy (less often than with ext. display)
    - Scrolling down on a PDF is worst experience, especially with Adobe Reader
    - Resizing windows is laggish as hell

    I resetted PRAM, SMC. I tried the trick with "disabling brightness adjustment".
    There are no CPU hogs. And no CPU spikes during my usages according to Activity Monitor.

    I was always with the impression that macOS is built for the hardware macs offer. And this baby is an i7 and struggles with common tasks ? Like WTF has happened...

    I also have a macbook air, late or early 2015 don't remember, my wife uses it. That works butter smooth, for common tasks. It feels snappier than this retina powerhouse.

    Maybe I'm a pretentious f***, but I shouldn't be getting any slowdowns, it irritates me. It's something I did not have on my big ol' lenovo.

    Question is: is anyone else experiencing this ? Is there any fix to it ?
  2. CoastalOR macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2015
    Oregon, USA
    Are you using a "Scaled" setting in the System Preferences>Displays? I have read of some people having problems using the Scaled setting using El Capitan & Sierra OS. If you are using Scaled, then try switching to the "Default for display" setting to see if that helps.
  3. theodordiaconu thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 13, 2017
    Using Default for display, unfortunately. Ty for reply!
  4. Kekinash macrumors member

    Nov 24, 2016
    If it helps, I have a iMac 2015 non retina i5 8gb RAM, and it runs like worst than my old Surface 3 with an Atom processor. Opening apps like Excel takes more than half minute, in the surface is less than a second. Everything on my iMac moves slow. The iMac is new, no CPU hogs, no startup apps, nothing special installed, plenty of empty HD space, and still works so slow. I just came back to MacOS after an 8 year hiatus, and I remeber MacOS being fast, efficient and stable. Now I feel Windows 10 is fast, efficient and stable, and MacOS not at all.
    Still keeping my iMac because my iPad which I love.
  5. FNH15 macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2011


    I have nearly the same machine that you do, albeit with a second graphics card (Nvidia 750M GT), slightly faster processor, and more storage. However, I use the Iris Pro about 90% of the time, so my observations should (mostly) hold for you as well...

    1. Try Safari. Chrome's rendering, especially in regards to how it handles scrolling / compositing on the GPU, is vastly inferior to Safari's. You won't notice this on a non-retina machine, but you will on a retina machine. I've observed this when I run Chrome for some web apps which still require Flash.

    2. Make sure that you've updated to Sierra 10.12.3. Fixed a lot of choppiness in re: external monitors. I also noticed that the most recent public beta of Sierra 10.12.4 fixed all the lingering, intermittent issues with choppiness- perhaps you might consider trying it out?

    3. I've never had a smooth experience with Adobe Reader - at least not in the modern era. On my iMac G3 running Mac OS9, however, it's totally smooth :) Preview works just fine for me 99% of the time, and is pretty smooth. It does beachball when handling really large PDFs, but I attribute that to it having to load the PDF into the framebuffer.

    4. Which program windows are you resizing? I've noticed MS Office products (especially Excel) do that quite often.

    Your last resort may be to do a clean install of Sierra.

    Hope that helps!
  6. theodordiaconu thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 13, 2017
    Indeed, safari works much better. But I need chrome for web-development, unfortunately. With "Preview" PDFs are smooth. And resizing as I saw, works choppy only with some apps, for safari is instant for example.

    I'm glad they are aware of this issue I will try 10.12.4 when they get stable because I prefer choppy-ness over instability.

    Thank you for the reply!
  7. editonmac, Feb 14, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017

    editonmac macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2008
    What kind of hard drive do you have? I know with iMacs, for reasons unknown, Apple tends to put extremely slow, 5400RPM traditional hard drives in their machines. Furthermore, macOS is now optimized for SSDs more than anything, so that might be part of your trouble. When I picked up my 2012 MacBook Pro (non retina), it came with a 5400RPM hard drive and it just lagged through everything... even startups took about 90 seconds. Once I swapped an SSD into it, startups now take about 10 seconds, and everything feels extremely snappy.

    I believe the iMac and Mac mini are the last 2 Apple computers still sold with spinning platter hard drives. Even with a quad core i7 processor, the hard drive will bottleneck it. Your mileage will vary, though.

    As far as the OPs, though, since you said you bought it used, did you do a clean install when you got it?
    Another thing you might want to try is set up another user account (for testing purposes) and try things you would normally do in that user account. There was a scenario I had once where something was installed on my user account that bogged down the computer, but was not present on another account. So I ended up moving all my data to that new account and deleted the old one (since I was too lazy to do a clean install at the time).
  8. Ritsuka macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2006
    That is what happens when you have 4x more pixels to push on the screen, but the hardware isn't even 2x faster than before. A retina screen needs a lot of hardware resources and software optimizations. Unfortunately some software (Adobe Reader) works still the same way as 20 years ago.
  9. theodordiaconu thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 13, 2017
    It was a clean install, and I created a fresh account.

    Don't get me wrong. It works lightning fast, I have a lot of things opened. But it's these framerate drops on mission control that annoy me, the rest works lightning fast. Hopefully 10.12.4 will fix it.
  10. roadkill401 macrumors 6502


    Jan 11, 2015
    Sadly you can't go back to 10.8.x when most things worked far better. The new model at Apple is to throw in new features that we don't need rather than fix the bugs that are stopping the OS from running smoothly.
  11. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
  12. stooovie macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2010
    That choopiness is due to Retina resolution. Try disabling transparency in Accessibility, that helps a lot. And yes, surprisingly, newer macOS update CAN improve it. The animations were dramatically more choppy for me (latest 5k iMac) on El Capitan than they are now on Sierra.

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