Mac Pro: Slow performance

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by molocono, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. molocono macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    #1
    Hi!
    I have a mac pro 2.66 with 1GB RAM. It has recently started to perfom somewhat slow after a month of use. I've been getting a lot of spinning beach balls when I open/use applications or navigate through the Finder. It just doesn't seem to be working as smooth as before. Could anyone offer any advice on how I can improve performance? I dunno what's wrong. Thanks!
     
  2. DXoverDY macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    #2
    If you're running a lot of non-intel native applications they will likely be using A LOT of ram. More ram will certainly help I think. at least two should be required. I plan to add an additional 2gb to mine by the end of the year making a total of 3gb.

    use an application like Cocktail and run the maintainance stuff. You can check ram usage in Activity Monitor, including page in/outs ... a lot of page in and page outs will mean you're swapping and you need more ram.
     
  3. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    Mine suffers with the beachball quite a bit too. Its quite obviously RAM. Each core's only getting 256MB RAM. That may not be the best way to work it out but I figure if I were to be using all four cores at once in four different programs then each program will only have that much RAM. Basically, its not enough.
    I plan on upgrading to 3GB when I can afford it. I'd love to get up to 4 but with RAM prices as they are I'll be lucky to get an extra 2GB. I'm not really willing to pay anything over £200 shipped for a 2x1GB pair.
     
  4. Mundy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    #4
    By learning the hard way, I've come to the conclusion that if you're only planning on having 1 gigabyte of RAM, don't buy a Mac Pro. This is particularly true if you're going to be using any non-Universal applications.

    The jump in performance when you go from 1 GB to 2 GB of RAM is huge, and I found that going from 2 GB to 4 GB was also very noticeable.

    After lots of experimenting, I think 4 GB is the sweet spot for these machines, and 2 GB is sufficient. But 1 GB is going to be a huge bottleneck in overall system performance.
     
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #5
    What's up with people saying that 1 GB is spread at 256 MB per core? It's PER PROCESS and a PROCESS can be spread over the runtime of MULTIPLE CORES.

    I strongly suggest checking your page outs via Activity Monitor. I have 1.5 GB on my iMac Core Duo and it barely ever gets into the hundreds of page outs.

    Rosetta is a RAM eater. Make sure you have Universal/Intel applications if you can.
     
  6. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    If you would have read the next sentence I said that this 'may not be the best way to work it out'. I'm fully aware that memory is allocated per process and some apps take up a lot more than others. However, I've definitely noticed that my Mac Pro with 1GB RAM suffers a lot more from low memory syndrome than my Mac Mini 1.66Ghz Core Duo with 1GB RAM did and also compared to my iMac 1.07Ghz 768MB.
    The iBook only has one core and 768MB suits it fine. The Mini with 2 cores suffered a little bit when using Office with 1GB but any other time it was fine. The Mac Pro with 4 cores slows down a lot due to lack of memory. This is all for similar uses - a few downloads, internet, a few pdfs, spreadsheets and word documents here and there, msn and some dashboard. So from my experience, using the rough calculation of memory per core certainly gives a good estimation.

    A good benchmark imo would be 512MB per core whatever the system for normal useage. That way iBooks and PowerBooks should have at least 512MB, Intel Mac Minis and iMacs should have 1GB and Mac Pros should have 2GB which all seems to go along with the recommended minimum amounts of memory people recommend on here for those systems. :rolleyes:
     
  7. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #7
    I still don't see how RAM is allocated per core. I understand the runtime allocation per core per process. We'd really need a benchmark of everyday tasks. You're going to get overkill with video rendering and other heavy work even with 1 GB on a Quad compared to 1 GB on a single cored machine.

    Try out the CHUD tools and kill off some cores to see if "performance" goes up. I still see a multi-cored machine as a single computer and not 2/4 strapped together.
     
  8. thechris69 macrumors 6502

    thechris69

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    #8
    Does this mean my imac is only getting 512mb per core?
     
  9. minnesotamacman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    #9
    I have noticed the problem of the beachball after a month or so. I wonder if RAM is due for an upgrade. For awhile I was getting fooled into thinking that the 1 GB of RAM would be fine for some time. Thinking otherwise now, and waiting for RAM price wars!
     
  10. DXoverDY macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    #10
    If anything it'll be more affected by being 64-bit than this non-sense about each core getting x amount of ram.

    A 64-bit memory allocation can take up significantly more ram. I believe this is true even if it's running in 32-bit mode. Don't quote me on this, it's been a few years since I took my assembly class...
     
  11. kylepro88 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #11
    I bought the standard with the X1900XT and since ive never owned such a fast machine I dont notice really. I do plan to go to 2GB or more when I have the money but this thing is still the fastest machine ive ever used currently. FCS, Handbrake, etc. all run flawlessly. I dont mind waiting 2 seconds for a program to open as opposed to instant. ;) I would't discourage the idea of a MacPro because of 1GB of ram is the only thing you can afford at the moment. Its a beast at the standard level, its not unable to perform lol. Programs will migrate to Universal and you'll be able to afford more ram sooner or later.

    -Kyle
     
  12. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #12
    If you're a recent switcher, make sure you quit applications instead of just closing the windows. I notice this all the time at school.
     
  13. MacsAttack macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #13
    As others have said, 1GN of RAM is a bit light (a rule of thumb is 1GB per core for good multip-app peformance on a multi-core system - which is why I went for 4GB in my Mac Pro and have found it to be a real nice machine).

    However nobody picked up on the point that you said that your slowdown is after a month of use.

    This could be due to...

    1. You are now running something that you previously were not - such as non-native software that requires Rossetta (which is a real memory hog - another reason for those 4GB I memtioned). Obvious suspects are Office and Adobe software.

    2. Your machine has never run the maintenance processes (they kick off at 3AM I recall). If you turn your system off at night then these are not going to get run. See..

    http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/maintscripts.html

    Onyx is a good tool that also allows you to clean up logs and stuff.
     

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