Painfully slow Creative Suite / Office 2004

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Andy G, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. Andy G macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #1
    I just installed Adobe Creative Suite on my 15" Powerbook G4 1mhz with 512 ram, with Tiger installed.

    It is running incredibly slowly, even when only one Creative Suite application is running (I mainly use Illustrator and Photoshop)

    I used to use Illustrator 9 running in Classic mode, which was about 5 times faster, so am feeling quite frustrated staring at the 'beachball of doom' all the time.

    Do I need more Ram? How easy is it to install extra Ram in a Powerbook (I have 2x256 installed currently, so I would need to ditch one at least)

    Is there anything else which would speed things up. I installed Tiger as an upgrade rather than archive and install.

    I have also recently installed Office 2004, and have found Powerpoint to perform very poorly compared to Office 98, not being able to handle presentations over 20mb without freezing / crashing.

    Any thoughts?

    AG
     
  2. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #2
    Use Activity Monitor and then go to the Activity Monitor window. Click on the System Memory tab. It will tell you how much memory is used and give you an indication if you need more memory. I purchased a eMac for my mom that only had 256 MB of memory. All she ran was iChat, Safari, and Mail but she was always close to using all of that memory and it wasn't very fast. After upgrading to 512, the system was more responsive and the memory used was around 60% free under her normal use.

    After I upgraded to 8 GB from only 1 GB, I noticed I average between 1.3 and 1.7 GBs of memory without even trying. I was able to move my 1 GB of G5 memory to a PC with no problems with reboots.
     
  3. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a

    oingoboingo

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2003
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #3
    I think your CPU is the problem. Even the original 15" PowerBooks ran 999MHz faster than your machine, so that could be a reason for the slowdown.
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #4
    I'd say you need more RAM but then I don't understand why Classic is still running fast. What the hell, install more RAM anyway, it can't hurt. :p
     
  5. AmigoMac macrumors 68020

    AmigoMac

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    Aug 5, 2003
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    l'Allemagne
  6. Andy G thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #6
    I have checked the activity viewer -

    How do I interpret the data?

    What should I be looking for as a guide?

    What is the difference between free memory and inactive? Free memory is down to 7.52 as I type, inactive 150.04

    Her are my readings with Illustrator, Mail, Explorer and the Activity viewer running:

    Wired 55.77 MB

    Active 300.89 MB

    Inactive 150.68 MB

    Used 505 MB

    Free 6.25 MB

    VM size 5.7 GB


    Does anything look critical here?

    Regards,

    AG
     
  7. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #7
    Nothing too bad there. Don't be scared by the relatively small amount of Free RAM since you have a bit of Inactive RAM to play with still. Nevertheless, you'd probably benefit from more RAM although I don't think the problems you mention would necessarily be solved.

    If you sort the processes in the Activity Monitor by CPU or by Real Memory, does anything stick out with an abnormally high amount?
     
  8. Andy G thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #8
    Real Memory Virtual

    Illustrator 51.10 MB 497.77

    Mail 32.27 MB 251.02

    Explorer 26.76 239.54

    Activity Monitor 21.37 222.63


    etc . . .


    How does that look?

    I have checked Crucial for more memory, such as a single 512 to sit alongside the existing 256 (I will have to remove one of the 2 existing 256's)

    Is it ok to have uneven memory, ie one 256 and one 512?

    Fitting seems easy . . .

    AG
     
  9. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #9
    Uneven memory should be fine. However, I'm more interested in CPU cycles now. When you sort by CPU, is there a single app that is using up a very large percentage? Of course, this is only relevant during periods when the PowerBook is feeling slow.
     
  10. Andy G thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #10
    I'll get on and do some design work, and monitor what happens . . .

    I may need a few hours for this (got to earn a crust!)


    AG
     
  11. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #11
    Fair enough. :)

    Does that mean it's working at full speed now then?
     
  12. Andy G thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #12
    No, it just means that I'm probably going to suffer some more!!!

    Andy
     
  13. Belly-laughs macrumors 6502a

    Belly-laughs

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    Location:
    you wish
    #13
    I experienced the same thing at times on my ancient 400MHz TiBook with 512MB RAM running Tiger. I found that freeing up more HD space (leaving approx 10% free) solved the issue to a certain extent, probably boosting disk swapping performance, which seems to be more active now than under Panther. I don´t know… Are you running low on HD space when working on (large) files?

    Still, more real memory has never hurt anybody. Do go for as much as your wallet allows you to.
     
  14. bellis1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    #14
    iDisk

    I was having a hard time with iDisk and Tiger which was causing slowdowns with office. If you have that turned try for awhile with it unmounted.
     
  15. rjphoto macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    #15
    What about Repairing Permissions

    have you tried to repair permissions?

    Applications > Disk Utility > Select your HD > Click Repair Permissions.
     
  16. Andy G thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #16
    Yes, I have repaired permissions already, but no improvement . . .

    Andy
     
  17. FoxyKaye macrumors 68000

    FoxyKaye

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, Terre d'Ange, Bas Lag, Gallifrey
    #17
    Also, try disabling VersionCue - unless you're doing the type of projects for which is made, it's just eating up RAM running in the background. It should be under System Preferences/Other - there will be options to disable it from starting when you log in, and to turn it off until you turn it on. On my iMac, it was taking up 128MB of RAM.

    Our designer at work is running CS2 on a 733MHz Quicksilver with the full 1.5GB of RAM, and it is still a little sluggish.

    I'm convinced that Office 2004 is slow by design. Somewhere in the annals of MR, there's a thread or two about this when it was first released. There's a couple preferences you can turn off that might speed things up a bit. I suppose you can also check on microsoft.com/mactopia and get the latest updates to Office 2004, which M$ says should speed things up as well. Also, Office 2004 installs this stupid M$ update application that also runs in the background, which you should be able to disable forever, though I'm not sure how much RAM it uses. Unless you absolutely need Office 2004, Office X would run much better on your machine.

    Though it still wouldn't hurt to add more memory, too.
     
  18. Eevee macrumors 6502a

    Eevee

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Location:
    New Haven, CT
    #18
    I have CS 1 on my 15"PB, and works fine. Believe it's the hard drive space (are you running out?) and memory ( I have 2 gigs).

    Good luck
     
  19. Andy G thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #19
    Thanks for the great tips - I have just turned off Version Cue so it will be interesting to see the effect. How did you discover this? There must be so many things like this that are not apparent which are slowing Macs everywhere!

    I am also looking into the extra ram issue.

    Powerpoint is the only Office app. I use regularly, apart from the occasional Word use. My old version was Office 98, which ran smoothly and handled 20MB + presentations no problem, running in Classic. I thought getting an Office version running in OSX would be a vast improvement, but it is quite the reverse, to the point that I don't trust it not to crash in the middle of vital client presentations, so I am using my old Pismo G3 to present with because I can trust it - rediculous really!!!

    Andy G

    P.S. Would a re-install of Tiger, doing an archive and install help? I originally did an 'Upgrade' only.
     
  20. Andy G thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #20
    Following a major system failure today (73 minutes on the Apple helpline) I zapped the PRAM, reset the PMU and re-installed Tiger, this time as an archive and install, so it will be interesting to monitor the changes, if any.

    I have also ordered a single 512 memory chip, to swap with one of the 256's, taking me up to 768mb, so hopefully all things together will help.

    Any ideas for an unwanted 256 Ram chip. Would this fit in a G3 Pismo PB? (I'm fairly sure it won't) Maybe I'll try to sell it online.

    Andy G
     

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