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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > 20 inch 2.0 GHZ iMac slow with 512mb ram?

20 inch 2.0 GHZ iMac slow with 512mb ram?
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Daniel Bayer
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Aug 16, 2005, 04:39 AM
 
For some reason, the other thread I tried to post did not work right.

So here is the text:

So I decided it was time to get a second computer for my business.

I have ran a very busy freelance photography bizz off of my laptop for years now.

First, a little background on the Powerbook: It has 2GB of ram and a 7,200 rpm HD. Ever since I upgraded to Tiger, I have been having major not waking up from sleep issues. So I drove 200 miles to Denver to visit the Genius Bar. While I was waiting, I burned a 110MB TIFF file on to a disk and tested the file in Photoshop on several machines besides my superbook. I was ready to lay out some $4-5,000 on a top of the line dual G5 until I found it was only twice as fast at most photoshop tasks. I then tested the lovely "all in one's" of an iMac G5 20 inch. It ran fairly well but only had 512 mb of ram.

So after not bieng able to figure out the PB and deciding it needed to go in for a checkup, I bought the iMac. I LOVE the screen, so much better for PS work. But I got right on the phone and ordered 2 GB of ram from Crucial for this thing is just not performing like my PB does. In fact, I did a complete erase and install on the PB and aside from the major power managment issues, it beats the pants off of the iMac. The iMac is hanging up and beach balling on stupid things like opening files and folders, starting and quiting apps. It's not terribly slow but it is considerably slower than the PB at overall operation.

I am really hoping that maxing the ram out makes all the difference. And yes, I do a permissions repair at boot up.

Here are some stats from my day at Apple. I even rebooted the test machines and repaired permissions on them all:

110 MB Photohop TIFF file, Open File.

2.7 Dual G5, 2GB ram, 3 seonds average, .6 seconds fastest.

My new 2.0 GHZ iMac 20 inch w/ 512MB ram, 5.5 seconds average, 1 second fastest.

My 1.33 GHZ PB 17 w/ 2GB ram, 5 seconds average, 1.6 fastest.

Any thoughts?
"I'll take a extra layer of ram on that
gigaflop sandwich mister"
     
Wickedkitten
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Aug 16, 2005, 07:12 AM
 
If you had the same amount of ram in both, You'd find that the imac is much faster I would think.
     
Colonel Panic
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Aug 16, 2005, 07:26 AM
 
random thought, apart from RAM: Is Spotlight still indexing on the new iMac?
     
CaptainHaddock
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Aug 16, 2005, 09:08 AM
 
Well, Powerbooks and Powermacs do have superior motherboard and bus designs. But my wife's new iMac seems pretty darn fast, with little or no stalling and beachballing.

Is there any way you can find some other store with an iMac to compare to your Powerbook?
     
pete
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Aug 16, 2005, 09:48 AM
 
Hi,

I received my imac 20" 2ghz/512mb yesterday and was initially disappointed with the speed too. However, I totally forgot that it takes some time for spotlight to finish indexing and while it is doing that, the system becomes slow and choppy. Once it finished last night, the imac became quite zippy, although adding more ram seems like a requirement rather than an option.

In any case, I think the sluggishness you experienced is related to spotlight.

Good luck.
     
cleanup
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Aug 16, 2005, 10:38 AM
 
I never really noticed any "sluggishness" when I set up my iMac. But after its first bootup, I immediately shut it down and installed a gig of RAM, bringing the total to 1.5 GB.

I did experience a few beachballs during setup, and I had to hard reset twice (curse the Finder). Perhaps that was Spotlight issues.

But now I rarely to never get beachballs. If I do, it's usually from some third-party application that screwed up somehow.

Also, I find that repairing permissions slows my iMac down. After repairing permissions for the first time (everyone says it's a good thing to do) my iMac started getting slower at normal tasks, like opening Finder windows, opening folders, files, launching programs, etc. After a while the problem went away, but exactly what does repairing permissions do that helps Mac OS X run better?
iMac 17"/1.8 GHz/1.5 GB RAM/160 GB HD/SD/BT/AP/10.4.1 Tiger
iPod nano White/4 GB

cleanup.tk | cleanup.devart
     
PeteWK
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Aug 17, 2005, 01:40 PM
 
I have the Rev. B 20 inch. and there's no doubt that you'll enjoy a major speed gain from upping it too 2 gig. I did and found it faster across the board. Video was the biggest winner.

PeteWK
     
yongfook
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Aug 17, 2005, 06:41 PM
 
I have a rev B 20" too.

At 512mb, my machine crawled. I did a clone of my powerbook, so there was a lot of crap on it from the start - iPhoto with around 10'000 photos was near-unusable.

I threw in a gig stick of RAM recently and my experience has been vastly improved. It's now performing as I would have expected - very satisfied.

Get more RAM!
http://www.yongfook.com
     
cSurfr
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Aug 17, 2005, 07:05 PM
 
Also, as I noticed that this wasn't mentioned before, but make sure you go into system prefs and under energy saver options, set the processor to highest. This makes a huge difference in any machine. It's set to automatic by default, but since it's a desktop I can't think of any reason that you would want to run it in power saving mode. Hope this helps a bit.

-cs
-How pumped would you be driving home from work, knowing someplace in your house there's a monkey you're gonna battle?
     
Synotic
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Aug 17, 2005, 09:41 PM
 
Any good deals or does everyone just buy Crucial? I'm looking to buy a gig of ram for the same model iMac.
     
Daniel Bayer  (op)
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Aug 17, 2005, 10:13 PM
 
Well, I was about to pull my hair out and then I thought of the power saver setting too. It did make a good bit of difference. But the 2GB of ram I just put in has made all the difference. Much, much faster at everything.
At the peak of my frustration, Apps like PS CS2 and Safari would hang big time on shutdown because of obvious VM purging. Safari was one of the worst as pages would just flat out stall as they were building.
I have to be honest, that despite the massive increase in functional speed, the previously poor performance I got was stupefying for a 2.0 ghz processor even at 512.

All is well now. The performance increase in PS CS2 alone was critical.

At some point the frontside bus and ram will about double in the Powermacs and I will consider one. Right now, the iMac is behaving the way I hoped it would.
"I'll take a extra layer of ram on that
gigaflop sandwich mister"
     
Daniel Bayer  (op)
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Aug 17, 2005, 10:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Synotic
Any good deals or does everyone just buy Crucial? I'm looking to buy a gig of ram for the same model iMac.
You really don't want to skimp on ram. If you saved $40 on a pair of 1GB chips and they went buggy on you in a slow kind of way, the hours it would add up to would cost you about $200-$500 in man hours at $15 an hour from start to finish.

Maybe it was my luck, but I did get bad units from both 1-800 Memory and Ramjet. Knock on wood with Crucial.
"I'll take a extra layer of ram on that
gigaflop sandwich mister"
     
   
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