Lexmark C522 incredibly slow to print from MacOS 10.5

Posted on 2010-08-16
Last Modified: 2013-11-12
I have a Lexmark color laser C522 that was always slow, but is now intolerable.  Have already downloaded and installed the Lexmark Printer Driver from Apple ( which is the latest for 10.5 as far as I know.

Any idea how to make this thing faster?  Just printing a word doc with a couple of pictures takes about 30 minutes (if it completes at all).
Question by:et01267
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Expert Comment

ID: 33448942

how is the printer attached? I assume it is through network?
If so, to rule out, who is the slow part, one can try the following.
Print a job to a file. Then push it either by ftp or through the web interface of the printer onto the printer.
If it prints fast then, you have confirmed that it is not a printer only issue, but the "system" is slow.
So, either the spool and transfer etc.

The next thing is, "a word doc with a couple of pictures" ... how big are those pictures and how do you put them into word?

Giving an example: If you have a photo of a modern camera, this can be easily 2 MByte of an image.
If you just put this into the word document and "squeeze" it to size, then you still transfer the full 2MByte with 10-12 MPixel information to the printer.
If you resized the image before you insert it, it is a lot smaller and does not waste memory during spool, transfer and inside the RIP memory of the printer.

This might eventually as well have to be taken into account !
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Accepted Solution

hdhondt earned 250 total points
ID: 33453280
The C522 is a PostScript printer. Hence, you don't need a driver, just a PPD file to use with the Apple LaserWriter driver. OSX10.5 probably ships with that PPD; the printer dates from 2006 and 10.5 from 2007. Try adding the printer again, but this time browse through the list of available printers and see if you can find it (possibly under Lexmark, but it may be elsewhere). If it's not there, try setting it up as a generic PostScript printer.

Either way, then check if it is still as slow. If it is, then something may be wrong with the printer (is it slow from a PC too?). If it's faster with the PPD, then something is wrong with the downloaded driver.

Author Comment

ID: 33455161
Sorry, my earlier reply was eaten by network failure.

Printer is connected via USB.  File size (and images) are not large -- maybe 1Mb total.  I've also tried printing to PDF, and also reducing the PDF file size in Preview (down to 150KB).  It literally takes an hour to print this file.

Have tried both the Apple driver I mentioned (which gives a driver version of and another I found at Lexmark (  Neither seems to make printing acceptably quick on 10.5.  I have made sure that the driver is configured with the proper printer info regarding memory (128MB), etc.

WIll try the generic postscript driver next and see if that helps. Also, I think this printer supports PCL, which might be quicker and something it calls "Mac Binary PS".  The printer statistics say that it has printed most of its pages as postscript, but 3 pages as PCL.

Also, I have tried printing from another Mac with 10.6.4 and the default printer driver - much quicker.  I don't suppose there is any chance of extracting that driver and using on 10.5?
LVL 53

Expert Comment

ID: 33457036
Someone else seems to be having the same problem and found the generic driver worked:
LVL 53

Assisted Solution

strung earned 250 total points
ID: 33457046
Here is a suggestion: The problem lies in that the default printer resolution in the MacOS  setup is 1200 DPI, which causes the printer to have to re-rasterize and  slow down. The solution is to change the resolution to 600 DPI and save  as the default setup.
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Author Comment

ID: 33457487
Yeah, I was looking at the ppd file that I dug out of the driver installer package, and it has all this nonsense about 2400x1200 and 1200x1200 dpi resolutions.  Problem is that the printer dialog doesn't offer the choice of anything smaller; the choices are 1200 or 4800dpi.

The generic postscript driver works, but it's still inconclusive whether it is any faster.  Also, the generic postscript driver doesn't have any way to set resolution, so I presume you get the printer setting -- maybe I can dive into the printer menu system and see if the default resolution can be set on the printer itself.

Author Comment

ID: 33457557
Ha!  I looked again at the PPD file.  So the two choices I see are represented by these two lines:

*Resolution 1200dpi/1200 dpi:    "<< /HWResolution [1200 1200] >> setpagedevice"
*Resolution 2400x1200dpi/4800 Color Quality:     "1 dict dup /HWResolution [600 600] put setpagedevice"

I'm not sure why the postscript commands are different on these two lines, but it seems to indicate that even though it *says* it is using 2400x1200, it's actually using 600x600.

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Expert Comment

ID: 33457626
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Expert Comment

ID: 33460142
There is no laser printer with a real 2400x1200 resolution, A few rare ones do 1200x1200, all the rest is 600x600 (or 300x300). The higher res figures are a "fudge" in the way it rasterises images.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 34076585
Sorry for the delay in closing this question.  

Never actually managed to get this printer working properly.  Solution was to junk this behemoth and buy a $100 HP Inkjet (which is way faster and better in every other way too).

But thanks for the effort.

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