I was printing a pdf over the weekend and the length of time it took to spool it was amazing. (on adobe reader 9). it seems like it was only a 1 meg file anyway. I do know that a job with images on it takes longer to spool than a plain text document does. If I am not mistaken then pdf's are an "image", which is one of the reasons they look so nice.
That depends on how they were created. If they were scanned in then yes each page of a document is a picture of that page, embedded in another document (that's why OCR software sells so well). Natively created/Distilled/Compiled PDFs are actually object based (that's where the fun starts), and have to be dealt with on the fly during pagination (I swear that's really a word...).
Each paragraph and sometimes line, is a separate object containing vector based fonts (which is why they scale so well). This adds up to a ton of math that has to be done before the document (which is then huge) hits the spooler. Try this for "fun" ... Open the spooler so you can see the document go through. Send a small 1 or 2 page PDF to that printer and watch how big it gets before it actually gets sent to the printer. I've see 500KB documents hit 400MB many times ... Usually this happens just seconds before all parties involved simultaneously run out of memory (for no intelligent reason). The fix for this with older versions (6-8 ) of Acrobat was to select the "Print as Image" option in Acrobats custom select printer options dialog (could be set globally also, but I forget where).
The other more general "fix" for ill behaving PDF prints was to use PCL5 and avoid PCL6 like a plague. I just ran into this today, PCL6 was Happily
printing Blank Pages
, and the PCL5 (as usual) driver printed the job correctly (replete with page contents). PCL6 wastes far too much time tossing statistical information about the print job at the printer, and subsequently chronically borks the actual print job as a direct result (i.e. Long files names + Mac + PCL6 = lockups)
i know that more memory will help with printing bigger jobs. for a moment there, I was thinking that more memory in a printer would be like more memory in a computer.
Nothing wrong with that, it's a common logical assumption...(mine too, back when)...But, I've just been dealing with printers-N-such on a daily basis for the past 6 years so I've had plenty of time to notice-a-trend...