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Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: Z
Date: January 08, 2014 05:08PM
Thinking the last of the white 24" iMacs that we've got a home is starting to get a little flaky and it may be time to upgrade to something from this decade, at least. We've gotten a goodly sevenish years service out of it - the SSD upgrade via FW800 in late 2012 was a nice kick in the pants to keep it rolling along. Been experiencing random crashes of late.

So is there a significant difference in the i5 vs i7 chipped machines? The existing machine is mostly used for email/web/'tv'/photography/some very light video work/personal web design stuff. I'm leaning toward a refurb or used 27" iMac.

Give me your input MRF braintrust!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/08/2014 05:11PM by Z.
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: January 08, 2014 05:20PM
The best mix of affordable and future-proof will come with a quad core i5, IMO. I've used the 2.5 quad iMac and it's plenty fast for lots of things. The main difference between the quad core i5 and i7 on the desktop is the i5 is not Hyper-threaded and the i7 is. The dual core desktop i5s are hyper-threaded to give you a taste of that quad feel but in reality the HT gets you around 10% speedup on average so it's not a big deal.

Generally a non-integrated GPU will get you a bit longer OS support but that's no biggie, IMO.
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: Wailer
Date: January 08, 2014 05:33PM
For what you want to do, the > 2ghz C2D imac shoud be fine. We have a 2ghz C2D running snow leopard that is still a joy to use.

Can you clean install and try to make it go a little longer? I still think Snow Leopard is a great OS and unless you need some of the new features or do some heavy lifting, I'm not sure it's worth upgrading for just performance.
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: Z
Date: January 08, 2014 05:41PM
The machine currently is a 2.016 C2D. I would like access to the newer versions of Lightroom... and some speed-up in the occasional DVD ripping and movie processing would also be nice. The 3GB ram limit in the current machine would be nice to get around.
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: hal
Date: January 08, 2014 05:51PM
"So is there a significant difference in the i5 vs i7 chipped machines? The existing machine is mostly used for email/web/'tv'/photography/some very light video work/personal web design stuff. I'm leaning toward a refurb or used 27" iMac."

The i7 rips through heavy processor jobs much faster - HOWEVER, the only difference you'd see is in rendering video and RAW conversion. If you have been using a white iMac and have not been pulling your hair out from slowness frustration, then any current computer will be a HUGE boost.

The 2010 i5 models would be a big improvement over what you have now.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/08/2014 05:52PM by hal.
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: jdc
Date: January 08, 2014 05:51PM
I would make sure it has USB 3.

there are several nice 27" iMacs in the refurb store right now, about $1500.





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: sekker
Date: January 08, 2014 06:11PM
A new Mini with a nice 27" monitor would also serve you well.

I personally do not like the ultraglossy monitor of my i3 iMac, and there are good 27" matte-finish monitors around. Even the latest, not-quite-so-glossy iMac monitors are annoying in the wrong lighting conditions.

CES was full of new 4K monitors, too - including a $700 27" Dell. Haven't looked to see whether the Mac mini can run one of those, but I think the best benefit of 4k TVs will be some excellent 30" monitors.
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: Bo
Date: January 08, 2014 06:38PM
Quote
jdc
I would make sure it has USB 3.

there are several nice 27" iMacs in the refurb store right now, about $1500.

I agree here. USB 3 has such a vast speed difference over USB 2 that it makes it a requirement for anything having to do with external devices now that Firewire is slipping/has slipped away.

I've got the 3.4GHz quad i7 27" iMac with 24GB of RAM and have been very happy. Use it for lots of CAD/3D rendering, photoshop and some video work. No DVD drive though…fine for me but sounds like that's one of your needs.



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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: Z
Date: January 08, 2014 06:44PM
We can get around the lack of DVD, I'd think, with some careful ripping beforehand.
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: jdc
Date: January 08, 2014 07:13PM
Quote
Z
We can get around the lack of DVD, I'd think, with some careful ripping beforehand.

One option is an External DVD drive -- $25ish.

There are other options.





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: sekker
Date: January 08, 2014 08:00PM
Quote
jdc
Quote
Z
We can get around the lack of DVD, I'd think, with some careful ripping beforehand.

One option is an External DVD drive -- $25ish.

There are other options.

External third party can be a Blu Ray drive, too.
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: Z
Date: January 08, 2014 08:22PM
In fact, here's the crash report from this afternoon -

Interval Since Last Panic Report: 522651 sec
Panics Since Last Report: 2
Anonymous UUID: DCEB6229-C8BE-479D-9587-4CB45558506A

Wed Jan 8 17:19:09 2014
panic(cpu 1 caller 0x496c0c97): NVRM[0/1:0:0]: Read Error 0x00001084: CFG 0xffffffff 0xffffffff 0xffffffff, BAR0 0xc9000000 0x4a295000 0x04b500a2, D0, P0/1
Backtrace (CPU 1), Frame : Return Address (4 potential args on stack)
0x48af26d8 : 0x21b837 (0x5dd7fc 0x48af270c 0x223ce1 0x0)
0x48af2728 : 0x496c0c97 (0x498d622c 0x49946840 0x498e4f88 0x0)
0x48af27c8 : 0x497db5db (0x6537804 0x6b6b004 0x1084 0x49660d97)
0x48af2818 : 0x4998a8f4 (0x6b6b004 0x1084 0x6400 0x73a9004)
0x48af2838 : 0x497fa23f (0x6b6b004 0x716c204 0x0 0x0)
0x48af2878 : 0x496c9e2b (0x6b6b004 0x6b5e004 0x0 0x0)
0x48af2918 : 0x496c650a (0x0 0x9 0x0 0x0)
0x48af2ac8 : 0x496c83d9 (0x0 0x600d600d 0x702a 0x48af2af8)
0x48af2b98 : 0x4903c0d7 (0xc1d0004c 0xc1d0004c 0x204 0x48af2e5c)
0x48af2bf8 : 0x56d196 (0x7ef7200 0x6efe300 0x48af2e3c 0x800)
0x48af2c38 : 0x56e2d8 (0x4909d180 0x7ef7200 0x6efe300 0x800)
0x48af2c88 : 0x56eb59 (0x7ef7200 0xd 0x48af2cd0 0x0)
0x48af2da8 : 0x286638 (0x7ef7200 0xd 0x6efe2fc 0x0)
0x48af3e58 : 0x21dbe5 (0x6efe2d4 0x7ec25a0 0x1fcef8 0x4503)
0x48af3e98 : 0x210a86 (0x6efe000 0x0 0x89dbea0 0x89f32a0)
0x48af3ef8 : 0x216f84 (0x6efe000 0x0 0x0 0x0)
0x48af3f78 : 0x295c57 (0x89b3968 0x0 0x0 0x0)
0x48af3fc8 : 0x2a256d (0x89b3964 0x0 0x2a17ab 0x7765444)
Kernel Extensions in backtrace (with dependencies):
com.apple.GeForce(6.3.6)@0x48ffe000->0x490b4fff
dependency: com.apple.NVDAResman(6.3.6)@0x4965a000
dependency: com.apple.iokit.IONDRVSupport(2.2.1)@0x48b15000
dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOPCIFamily(2.6.5)@0x422aa000
dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOGraphicsFamily(2.2.1)@0x48b6e000
com.apple.nvidia.nv40hal(6.3.6)@0x49948000->0x49ae5fff
dependency: com.apple.NVDAResman(6.3.6)@0x4965a000
com.apple.NVDAResman(6.3.6)@0x4965a000->0x49947fff
dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOPCIFamily(2.6.5)@0x422aa000
dependency: com.apple.iokit.IONDRVSupport(2.2.1)@0x48b15000
dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOGraphicsFamily(2.2.1)@0x48b6e000
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: Harbourmaster
Date: January 08, 2014 08:30PM
I would try a Nuke&Pave on it first to see if it's not a software related issue...



Aloha, Ken


“I have developed significant attachments to several members even though I wouldn't recognize them if I sat next to one on a park bench. I'm often tempted when in an airport to walk around, hollering "The Løpe", to see if anyone other than the Homeland Security people will acknowledge me. ” - The Løpe
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: p8712
Date: January 08, 2014 08:31PM
Try changing the thermal paste on your old iMac's CPU and GPU (I know, they're a bear to open). Random crashing can be cause by old thermal paste that's never been changed. A tube of arctic silver might be all you need to restore stability, especially if you're planning on keeping the imac as a secondary machine.

ETA: Be sure to check the temps with an app like temperature monitor. Even if they look good, they may not be.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/08/2014 08:32PM by p8712.
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: Harbourmaster
Date: January 08, 2014 08:40PM
Yes the crash log seems ot implicate the GPU as the culprit but I have seen this sort of thing before caused by nothing more than a jacked up system...



Aloha, Ken


“I have developed significant attachments to several members even though I wouldn't recognize them if I sat next to one on a park bench. I'm often tempted when in an airport to walk around, hollering "The Løpe", to see if anyone other than the Homeland Security people will acknowledge me. ” - The Løpe
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: January 08, 2014 09:13PM
the old white plastic C2D iMacs had a few graphics problems:

on the 17" model the screen itself often fails (vertical lines that increase over time)

on the 24" model with separate graphics card the card eventually fails and is normally not cost-effective to replace.

on the 20" model (integrated graphics), the graphics chip can fail (dashed horizontal lines)

But the failed chip can be bypassed via disabling hardware acceleration via modifying the library file (eliminating the horizontal lines)

Which is why I chose the 20" C2D white iMac when upgrading from my eMac.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/08/2014 09:15PM by Bill in NC.
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: DRR
Date: January 08, 2014 11:00PM
Quote
p8712
Try changing the thermal paste on your old iMac's CPU and GPU (I know, they're a bear to open). Random crashing can be cause by old thermal paste that's never been changed. A tube of arctic silver might be all you need to restore stability, especially if you're planning on keeping the imac as a secondary machine.

ETA: Be sure to check the temps with an app like temperature monitor. Even if they look good, they may not be.

I've run into this problem many times on laptops especially. Failing thermal compound makes heat transfer inefficient, fans have to run faster and louder, and the chips end up cooking themselves.
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: Z
Date: January 08, 2014 11:31PM
I've fired up Temperature monitor to see what's going on. Core temperature doesn't look out of sorts, though power supply temp is slowly creeping up from 75C to 81C...
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: haikuman
Date: January 09, 2014 12:13AM
7 years is a rather splendid time to have good service from your White iMac.
It could possibly be a decent back up or hand me down to Little z.

There are good choices at the Refurb. Store.

The first iMac from the Refurb store I would consider now is here: ymmv.

[store.apple.com]

Good luck on your upgrade. I think the 27" iMacs have easy access for adding Memory.
I personally would not consider one with less than a 1GB Graphics/card/processor and USB 3

Edit: The only caveat is your budget of course *(:>*

Edit #2: Don't a make a minimal purchase with regards to an upgrade. Make the biggest jump you can afford in hopes you can duplicate your previous longevity of the White iMac . . .

Rudie's nearly snormal opinion *(:>*



“Stay Hungry Stay Foolish"
Steve Jobs

"There are only two mantras yum and yuk mine is yum "
Bernard Mickey Wrangle<>Tom Robbins<> "Still Life With Woodpecker"

"There is a fine line between a rut and a groove"
G.D. Kittredge III

"






Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/2014 12:54AM by haikuman.
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: Z
Date: January 09, 2014 12:13AM
All seemed fine - thought I'd test the GPU with a netflix movie (butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was randomly selected) and the movie started up while I was watching temp monitor and the Colonel promptly panicked with no notice. Thus ended my temperature testing for tonite.
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: p8712
Date: January 09, 2014 04:30AM
Quote
Z
All seemed fine - thought I'd test the GPU with a netflix movie (butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was randomly selected) and the movie started up while I was watching temp monitor and the Colonel promptly panicked with no notice. Thus ended my temperature testing for tonite.

Yep, that's a classic sign of overheating. Change that paste! (if you dare)
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: haikuman
Date: January 09, 2014 04:52AM
Quote
p8712
Try changing the thermal paste on your old iMac's CPU and GPU (I know, they're a bear to open). Random crashing can be cause by old thermal paste that's never been changed. A tube of arctic silver might be all you need to restore stability, especially if you're planning on keeping the imac as a secondary machine.

ETA: Be sure to check the temps with an app like temperature monitor. Even if they look good, they may not be.

Move forward not backward *(:>*mentioned politely

There is absolutely no reason to keep this puppy as your main computer . . . in my narrow minded opinion *(:>*
Rudie



“Stay Hungry Stay Foolish"
Steve Jobs

"There are only two mantras yum and yuk mine is yum "
Bernard Mickey Wrangle<>Tom Robbins<> "Still Life With Woodpecker"

"There is a fine line between a rut and a groove"
G.D. Kittredge III

"


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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: sekker
Date: January 09, 2014 07:49AM
Quote
Z
All seemed fine - thought I'd test the GPU with a netflix movie (butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was randomly selected) and the movie started up while I was watching temp monitor and the Colonel promptly panicked with no notice. Thus ended my temperature testing for tonite.

But did Paul Newman and Robert Redford make it out yet? That's what we want to know!
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: Z
Date: January 09, 2014 11:30AM
We may never know. We may never know.
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: Wailer
Date: January 09, 2014 12:13PM
Agreed. If it's giving you problems then move forward with a newer machine. It's not worth your time to try to fix a machine that you do production on only to find out that you didn't fix anything and it slows you down. I love my old C2D imacs but as soon as the hardware gets flakey (even replacing the HDD), I'm not going to invest any time into fixing it; they are not fun to open.

Once you get up and running on your new hardware, you can nuke and pave and see if there is any value left. You'll still might get $200 or more for a 24" on craigslist even after you disclose the problem.
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Re: Probably about time to start looking for a new computer
Posted by: Z
Date: January 09, 2014 12:32PM
I've seen a similar model, claimed fully operational, on the local CL sitting unsold, price reduced from 350 to 250... So 200 might be a stretch, though certain MRF people may be interested if shipping isn't prohibitive.
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