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2 things I hate about my new 27" 2013 iMac.

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

There's a lot to like. Things I like which I'll get use of are the 2 Thunderbolts ports and the USB 3 ports, and the Macs speed for crunching numbers. The display is really great! And at 27" I like the 16:9 ratio a lot more than I thought I would have. At that size 16:9 is easily a better aspect ratio.

 

What I don't like.

 

1. This is important: the speakers are noticeably worse than my 'OVER 5 YEAR OLD' iMac. That old iMac is a 24" top end aluminium iMac with the black plastic back. It's not subjective, or different, but worse. Positively worse. Because of the thin edge the sound sounds as if it's being funnelled down through the iMac. No, the new iMac is not broken. I hate the way I have to qualify complaints on this site, because some people here are strangely defensive of Apple. I'm actually surprised how bad the speakers are. And no, I won't add on a speaker set. I buy the iMac because I like all-in-ones.

 

2. Even with the fusion drive, waking from sleep is abysmally slow. Sometimes it's more than 15 seconds before I can move the mouse. This is something I'm sure can be tweaked with a firmware update, but the degree to which it can be tweaked is anyone's guess. My 5.5 year old iMac with an SSD woke from sleep in about 3 seconds, or 5X faster. I was under the impression that the OS would be stored on the Fusion Drive's SSD subset, but the system seems to need to wait for the spinning drive to spin up before it will even give me control of the computer. Even launching Safari seems to consistently wait for the spinning drive. It's abysmal. €2,000 and nearly 6 years later and my computer is much slower at this stuff. Yes, it's not an SSD drive, but I didn't expect this slowness. Safari should be, and probably is, running from the SSD, I use it everyday.

 

Two of these things are well below Apple quality IMO. Well below. I've already complained to Apple about the audio quality.

 

I will keep the iMac, I will use the iMac, and I like the iMac, but I don't LOVE the iMac like I thought I would and I really wanted to. Connecting with Screens now takes ages, before it was an order of magnitude faster. In the words of LOLCAT, I'm disappoint :-(


Edited by Ireland - 2/21/13 at 11:34am
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post #2 of 31

1. I'd absolutely see that as a valid complaint and certainly a result of the difference engineering. Hopefully v2 of this design will fix that, but since the iMac is basically a computer for "causal listening" (*cough*second-geniPodtouch*cough*), I wouldn't bet on it. Crying shame. Apple hasn't really paid much attention to the iMac's speakers in years.

 

2. How much RAM did you get? Putting my computer to sleep takes much longer than it used to, since I went from 6 to 29 GB. Conversely, reading in the RAM state from the drive takes longer, and if you're not used to the amount of RAM in the new machine that could be a factor. 

 

But I'm definitely noticing OS X being slower to do the four states (sleep, wake, shut down, start up) recently. Hopefully that can be de-bloated again, like Snow Leopard did.

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post #3 of 31

That's a bummer deal on your 27". I was drooling over one of those and would have purchased one (so much Apple horsepower for the $) but the weeks-long wait time dissuaded me into picking a totally different SKU (a Mac laptop) instead.

 

Speakers-wise, I'm fine plugging in an external stereo. But the Fusion drive is supposed to be best of both worlds and from your experience sounds like its a very expensive 5400 RPM platter experience.

post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

2. How much RAM did you get? Putting my computer to sleep takes much longer than it used to, since I went from 6 to 29 GB. Conversely, reading in the RAM state from the drive takes longer, and if you're not used to the amount of RAM in the new machine that could be a factor. 

 

8 GB. My old iMac was faster with 2 GB

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

But I'm definitely noticing OS X being slower to do the four states (sleep, wake, shut down, start up) recently. Hopefully that can be de-bloated again, like Snow Leopard did.

 

I hope that's the issue, but that doesn't explain it, though, because my old iMac is also running 10.8.2.

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post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HAL-9000 View Post

But the Fusion drive is supposed to be best of both worlds and from your experience sounds like its a very expensive 5400 RPM platter experience.

 

You just defined the Fusion Drive experience precisely.

 

And I mean, come on, the only true SSD addition is a 768 GB €900 option!? Feck that! I only need about 200 GB. I would have jumped at a 256 GB SSD option. I'm truly saddened Apple didn't offer an option like this.

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post #6 of 31
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post
8 GB. My old iMac was faster with 2 GB

 

Yep! That's exactly the reason. Of course, if we're talking an extra MINUTE or something, that's obviously aberrant.


Originally Posted by Ireland View Post
You just defined the Fusion Drive experience precisely.

 

I wonder to which drive Apple sends the RAM image… That might be a part of it.

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post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I wonder to which drive Apple sends the RAM image… That might be a part of it.

 

Jesus, I don't know, but I wish Apple would fix this issue if they could.

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post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland 
Even with the fusion drive, waking from sleep is abysmally slow. Sometimes it's more than 15 seconds before I can move the mouse.

You sure this isn't the bluetooth mouse taking time to connect?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland 
the system seems to need to wait for the spinning drive to spin up before it will even give me control of the computer.

The files are split between both so both have to be running at all times. You can manually split the drives up if you like. It'll still wake both up when you wake up the machine but you can ensure the entire OS is on the SSD.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil 
I wonder to which drive Apple sends the RAM image… That might be a part of it.

The VM cache, which is made up of multiple files should be on the SSD but will only be used if you run out of RAM. It doesn't dump the RAM state and reload or anything like that. You can see the files in Finder > Go to folder > /var/vm. Typing the following in the terminal should let you know where it is:

df /var/vm/swapfile0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland 
Even launching Safari seems to consistently wait for the spinning drive.

Make sure to uncheck "put hard disks to sleep when possible" in energy saver if it's checked. That will stop the HDD spinning down when files are only being accessed from the SSD and having to spin up again.
post #9 of 31
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
The VM cache, which is made up of multiple files should be on the SSD but will only be used if you run out of RAM. It doesn't dump the RAM state and reload or anything like that. You can see the files in Finder > Go to folder > /var/vm. Typing the following in the terminal should let you know where it is:

 

I mean the sleep image file to which it dumps the contents of RAM when you put the machine to sleep. That space is freed back up when you wake it up*, but the time spent writing to and from increases as your RAM amount increases. It takes over ten seconds for my Mac Pro to sleep these days. Which of the two drives in Fusion drive that file is written to would affect sleep/wake performance, right?

 

*Hilariously, not in Windows. So my ~40 gigs of free space over there is cut by over half if I ever let it go to sleep. lol.gif

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post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil 
I mean the sleep image file to which it dumps the contents of RAM when you put the machine to sleep. That space is freed back up when you wake it up*, but the time spent writing to and from increases as your RAM amount increases. It takes over ten seconds for my Mac Pro to sleep these days. Which of the two drives in Fusion drive that file is written to would affect sleep/wake performance, right?

That's not supposed to happen:

http://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/Darwin/Reference/ManPages/man1/pmset.1.html

The default for all desktops should be no reading and writing to persistent storage at all. Laptops write out to storage but keep RAM powered up and wake from the RAM.

Type the following into the terminal and hit return:

pmset -g

Your hibernatemode should be set at 0.

Apple always has a sense of humour with their documentation:

"We do not recommend modifying hibernation settings. Any changes you make are not supported. If you choose to do so anyway, we recommend using one of these three settings. For your sake and mine, please don't use anything other than 0, 3, or 25."

The command to set it to 0 if it's not already 0 is the following:

sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil 
*Hilariously, not in Windows. So my ~40 gigs of free space over there is cut by over half if I ever let it go to sleep. lol.gif

You can disable hybrid sleep in Windows too:

http://ritesh1710.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/how-to-turn-off-disable-hybrid-sleep.html
post #11 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

You sure this isn't the bluetooth mouse taking time to connect?

 

Positive. It gets stuck on the password wake screen and pauses usually for 15 seconds before the password box is ready.


Edited by Ireland - 2/22/13 at 2:02pm
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post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Make sure to uncheck "put hard disks to sleep when possible" in energy saver if it's checked. That will stop the HDD spinning down when files are only being accessed from the SSD and having to spin up again.

 

Yeah, good idea. Had that turned off before as I used to be SSD only. And it very well may fix the Safari issue, but, as expected, it doesn't fix the waking from sleep issue: just tested it. That timing is still far too long.

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post #13 of 31

I upgraded from a 2011 27 iMac 3.4 (8GB RAM) with SSD and 2TB to a current model 27 3TB Fusion, 3.4 with 16GB RAM with a 680MX GPU.

 

On the new machine:  Sound has more treble, as I expected, as the speakers are smaller.  Pure physics I think.  Heck, I changed the area of a small partition in my office (total increase was about 5 square inches) and I could tell a difference in echo.   I never expected the iMac to sound like a recording studio.  That's what my studio speakers are for!  For the iMac speakers, the equalizer can help adjust the sound.  I've had to adjust every machine I've ever owned, and make present for different sets of external speakers.

 

Waking does take longer, but is getting faster the longer I use the machine.  As I doubled the RAM, that is the most likely culprit. The base model in the shop boots faster with its smaller RAM.  My shop was careful to choose good RAM that would likely wake faster than other, lesser RAM, or something like that (I leave the tech stuff to them).

 

With the old iMac, I could assign files to the SSD, so everything was really zippy.  The HD would sometimes sleep and it was a wait from time to time to get it up and running.  I don't mind that wait, but what I wish is for Apple to flash up a message saying the disk is spinning up and not let the beach ball spin and stop the app from functioning.  I have gotten into a habit of clicking on the disk icon to spin it up before I try accessing it from the app I'm using.

 

With Fusion, it thinks on its own and seems to be learning a thing or two (I have 600GB on it right now so it is definitely using both the SSD and the HD portions).  No, it is not the same speed as the old SSD/HD combination, but Apple stated its performance and I find that it is within their parameters.  Coming from the SSD/HD, there is a slight drop in performance, perhaps, but when compared to my old MacBook Pro with its basic HD, wow, the new iMac is fast; which is what Apple promoted.

 

After a week of use, I was totally accustomed to the new machine, just like I had to get accustomed to my old machines.  Each has their strong and weak points.

 

The new iMac trumps the old one in three vital areas: the screen is less reflective and thereby more usable; rendering is a full 16% faster, saving me time and money; graphics are a world apart and I can now view a SketchUp file at almost full screen (I like to have the tools off to the side) and can fly around the scene without irritating stutter using my 3D mouse.

 

Oh, and it uses less power, runs cooler and is almost silent.

 

USB3 is actually faster than Thunderbolt I found this week.  But there are plusses and minuses to both.

 

As far as I am concerned, it is a great machine.  Perfect?  Nothing is.

 

 

Last night I ran a heavy use test and it came through pretty well.   Here.


Edited by Bergermeister - 3/5/13 at 2:12am

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

... 3.4 with 16TB RAM ...

Ha! You wish! 1tongue.gif

 

Nice review. It definitely gives a good idea about the routine usage of a recent iMac. I am planning to buy one the next update. By the way, is there any word about the next major OS X release? I remember something about yearly major updates or so for OS X.

post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by PB View Post

Ha! You wish! 1tongue.gif

 

Nice review. It definitely gives a good idea about the routine usage of a recent iMac. I am planning to buy one the next update. By the way, is there any word about the next major OS X release? I remember something about yearly major updates or so for OS X.

 

 

Fixed that.  That WOULD have taken a long time to boot/wake!


Edited by Bergermeister - 3/5/13 at 2:15am

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister 
Waking does take longer, but is getting faster the longer I use the machine.  As I doubled the RAM, that is the most likely culprit. The base model in the shop boots faster with its smaller RAM.  My shop was careful to choose good RAM that would likely wake faster than other, lesser RAM, or something like that (I leave the tech stuff to them).

The RAM amount really shouldn't affect the sleep/wake times. 3.5" HDDs take a while to start up because of the heavy platters and happens with other drives:

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1683164

I think a wake time longer than 10 seconds is really bad for an internal drive. I've had external 3.5" drives that take that long but boot drives should be instant-on so Apple could do with offering SSD-only options, preferrably a blade screwed into the RAM slot so it can be upgraded easily.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister 
I don't mind that wait, but what I wish is for Apple to flash up a message saying the disk is spinning up and not let the beach ball spin and stop the app from functioning.  I have gotten into a habit of clicking on the disk icon to spin it up before I try accessing it from the app I'm using.

I don't think this is something they can avoid easily as it's a hardware event but I'd like to see them have an I/O abstraction so that anything like USB, ethernet, SATA etc can never interrupt what the OS is doing. I agree that the beachball in those cases is very irritating. I prefer Adobe's wait symbol - it looks like the Apple startup spinner below the Apple logo. The effect would be the same though.
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


The RAM amount really shouldn't affect the sleep/wake times. 3.5" HDDs take a while to start up because of the heavy platters and happens with other drives:

 

 

 

Me no so technical.  Just a user.  Good to know.

 

When I first got the new iMac, wake and sleep could take a bit longer than the old machine.

 

Today I would figure sleep is almost instant and wake is about two seconds.  I am not complaining at all.

 

The one thing that does take time still s my Wacom tablet.  It can be ten seconds or so before it is useable.  The trackpad works instantly.  I don't know if this is Wacom's driver or not.  Again, it is what it is and I am used to it so it isn't any trouble.


Edited by Bergermeister - 3/5/13 at 6:57am

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #18 of 31

OK, here's a question for those more technically inclined than I am.

 

I'm soon going to be replacing my Late-2009 27" iMac with a new 27" model.  They just are beautiful, and while it's enough money, it's not THAT much to upgrade.  So, I was wondering ...

 

I don't do gaming, or any real video editing or anything like that.  Is there any reason to upgrade from the 2.9GHz or the basic graphics?  I'm planning on getting the basic model, with the only upgrade being to a 3TB Fusion Drive.  Most of the stuff I do doesn't seem like it would really benefit from a slightly faster processor or better graphics, but am I missing something?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

-- A.

post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post
Most of the stuff I do doesn't seem like it would really benefit from a slightly faster processor or better graphics, but am I missing something?

Well, it depends. If you keep your machines for many years, then the turbocharged high end model may be a better choice. This is what I do anyway and I have not regret it so far. Just don't buy RAM from Apple; there are other options for a fraction of the Apple price, especially if you intend to max it out.

post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

I don't do gaming, or any real video editing or anything like that.  Is there any reason to upgrade from the 2.9GHz or the basic graphics?  I'm planning on getting the basic model, with the only upgrade being to a 3TB Fusion Drive.  Most of the stuff I do doesn't seem like it would really benefit from a slightly faster processor or better graphics, but am I missing something?

The base model will be fine for average use, even with 8GB RAM. One thing to keep in mind with the 3TB Fusion drive is it doesn't support Bootcamp so you can't load Windows natively. Your only option would be a virtualisation program. While this might not affect you directly, it could still be a limitation when you sell your machine. It will also be a lot slower to format your drive if you sell it on. I prefer to keep internal drives smaller as they tend to be faster but if you need 3TB, it saves having an external plugged in. I'd make sure to keep a regular backup of all that data on external drives though.
post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by PB View Post

Well, it depends. If you keep your machines for many years, then the turbocharged high end model may be a better choice. This is what I do anyway and I have not regret it so far. Just don't buy RAM from Apple; there are other options for a fraction of the Apple price, especially if you intend to max it out.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


The base model will be fine for average use, even with 8GB RAM. One thing to keep in mind with the 3TB Fusion drive is it doesn't support Bootcamp so you can't load Windows natively. Your only option would be a virtualisation program. While this might not affect you directly, it could still be a limitation when you sell your machine. It will also be a lot slower to format your drive if you sell it on. I prefer to keep internal drives smaller as they tend to be faster but if you need 3TB, it saves having an external plugged in. I'd make sure to keep a regular backup of all that data on external drives though.

 

Yeah, I will probably keep it for a while.  At least, that's what I anticipate.  Who knows?

 

And I didn't even think about the re-sell issue.  I do have a good 2TB drive that I use for Time Machine.  The reason I was thinking of going with the 3TB drive was because it seemed like a good deal, triple your storage for $150 more.

 

Thanks guys.  I appreciate the advice.  Good stuff to think about.

post #22 of 31

Regarding your Time Machine drive....  USB 2 or FireWire 800?  The new iMacs come with USB3 and Thunderbolt, which are both much faster than USB2 or FW800.  Will make backups take far less time.  Of course, you can still use your USB2 or FW800 drive (the former plugs right into the USB3 port, the latter will need a cable adapter which Apple sells).

 

2009 machine...  You will be very impressed by the performance boost on the new ones.


Edited by Bergermeister - 3/7/13 at 9:19am

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #23 of 31

Ugh.  My earlier post about USB being faster than TB was wrong.  Very wrong.  Sorry.  (Though the original test was done with a different USB3 disk than I worked with today; will test that disk again early next week.)

 

- - - - -

 

 

Ran a careful test today and got very different figures.  Was careful with timing on Finder drag and drop (starting on the 0sec).  Also used a backup app (Intego) that actually shows average transfer speed and time taken to complete the task.

 

 

 

FILE: Folder of Adobe Encore projects (video) = 20.94GB

 

DISK A (WD Thunderbolt Duo 6TB)

Striped RAID 

Intego: 2min 35sec (avg: 138MB/s)

Finder: 1min 48sec

 

DISK B (WD TB Duo 6TB)

mirrored RAID

Intego: 3min 14sec (avg: 108MB/sec)

Finder: 3min 1sec

 

DISK C (WD My Book Essential USB3)

single disk

Intego: 4min 51sec (avg: 72MB/sec)

Finder: 4min 38sec

 

Interesting to note that the Finder was much faster on the copy to striped RAID.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

Regarding your Time Machine drive....  USB 2 or FireWire 800?  The new iMacs come with USB3 and Thunderbolt, which are both much faster than USB2 or FW800.  Will make backups take far less time.  Of course, you can still use your USB2 or FW800 drive (the former plugs right into the USB3 port, the latter will need a cable adapter which Apple sells).

 

2009 machine...  You will be very impressed by the performance boost on the new ones.

 

Sorry that it took so long to get back to you.  It's a USB 2.0 drive.

post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

 

Sorry that it took so long to get back to you.  It's a USB 2.0 drive.

 

 

That will stay the same even when plugged into a USB3 port.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #26 of 31

I see now that the new iMacs also have the image retention problem, like the retina MBPs. Is anyone here experiencing this?

 

What a bummer. Really. This kind of hardware problem is unacceptable and Apple says it is normal. I wanted a new iMac later in the year as a home machine, but if they don't solve this problem, I am not going to pay this amount of money. I fear that I may end up with a Windows machine, which I really hate to happen to me.

post #27 of 31

Got my MBP retina last year and my iMac 27 this January and have not noticed any retention in either.  

 

Just my experience.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #28 of 31

I have the 21.5inch 2.7GHz iMac, and waking up form sleep takes about 1-3 seconds, and that includes getting into the password entry. startup takes about 6-12 seconds. I have 8 gigs of RAM in case anyone wanted to know. Just thought I'd say that I'm please (especially going from a slow Windows Vista 500GB 5200rpm hard drive) I have the 1TB fusion drive and I feel like it works great. However windows migration assistant didn't work (tried about 8 times, in about 1 1/2 hours). I had to move the data and import it manually.

post #29 of 31

delete the sleep image file; that should fix your wake from sleep issue.  as for the speakers, look at the enclosure - there's no way to fit decent speakers in there so do yourself a favor and pony up for some SoundSticks (i've had my pair for 12 years and they still look and sound great).

 

To purge your sleep image:

Launch terminal.

Enter this:
sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0
(disables safe sleep)
Enter password when prompted.

Next, enter this:
sudo rm /private/var/vm/sleepimage
(removes sleep image from disk)
Enter password again, if prompted.

Finally, enter this:
pmset -g | grep hibernatemode
(prints to screen the current hibernatemode setting)

You should see:
hibernatemode 0
(Safe Sleep is disabled)

Safe Sleep should now be turned off, and the sleep image has been removed from the drive.

post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post
 

 

Positive. It gets stuck on the password wake screen and pauses usually for 15 seconds before the password box is ready.

 

I see the same thing on a mid-2010 27" imac.

post #31 of 31

Sounds like you are allowing your drives to go to sleep. If you don't like waiting for the drive to spin up then go to:

 

- - -

 

System Preferences > Energy Saver >

 

Now uncheck "Put hard disks to sleep when possible".

 

- - -

 

I always manually sleep my computer when I'm going to leave it for a while and then tolerate the drives waking up once after waking it. If this is happening a lot and it annoys you then stop it from happening.

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