Slow Mac

Is it just me, or is a 20″ iMac 2GHz Intel Core Duo with 2GB RAM not as fast as you’d expect it to be?

I mean don’t get me wrong, it’s generally faster than my 800MHz Pentium III running Linux was. But I’m still spending a lot of time hanging around waiting for it to do stuff. For example:

Safari sometimes sits there for 30-60 seconds with a spinning beach-ball when I try to switch tabs (often after the Mac’s recently woken from sleep, but sometimes for no apparent reason at all).

Spotlight is shockingly slow sometimes – it can sit there for over a minute. Quicker to just find the file manually!

Waking from sleep is a good exercise in patience. The display appears more or less straight away, but it’s a good 20 seconds before you can actually log in, and then another 20 seconds before you can click something in the Dock.

I know NeoOffice isn’t renowned as a speed demon, but the thing’s actually slower than OpenOffice was on my Linux box (if that’s possible)! The thing takes about a minute to start, and sometimes I’m waiting for at least a minute between clicking the close button and a document actually closing. WTF?

OfficeTime and IE5 (I know, I know – I’m a web developer…) are slow as molasses, but then they are running under Rosetta, so I’ll let them off. (C’mon OfficeTime, let’s have this Universal version you’ve been promising for the last 6 months!)

Where’s all this super-duper 2GHz processor power going?! I know I’m a bit of a “power user” and tend to have 10-15 apps open at once, and often run Parallels with a 256MB virtual XP machine, but I mean, 2GHz and 2GB RAM shouldn’t be this slow, should it?

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2 Responses to “Slow Mac”

  1. David Beasts Says:

    Nice blog you have here. I came across it when searching for iMac squeeks. Next time it squeeks, I will try your method of rapping the beast in the back. I have the same computer as you do, iMac 20″ core duo.

    But dude, my iMac is not near as slow as yours. These 30 seconds pauses you mention, I have not noticed.

    Not meaning to be rude, but try backing up your stuff, and then formatting. Strange this is, I think. Perhaps you installed some app on your system causing this shit to happen?

    Anyway, keep up the good work. Nice blog.

  2. mattdoyle Says:

    There’s nothing particularly memory- or cpu-hogging in the process list. I think I just tend to have a lot of stuff running (apache, Parallels running XP, NeoOffice, 5 browsers, iTunes, Adium and about 5 other apps usually). Also it’s only a problem when it wakes from sleep which leads me to believe it’s to do with memory not swapping in/out as efficiently as it could do.

    BTW I’ve switched to Firefox as my main browser now (Safari hung on me, losing my 20 open tabs, one time too many) and it’s a fair bit more responsive on waking than Safari was.