Things Are Sooooo Slooooow

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by aleksandra, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. aleksandra macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    #1
    Hi everyone! I've lurked here for 6 months, bought a 17" iMac about 10 days ago (after having used a PC my entire life), love it, and now finally have a question that I hope someone might be able to help with.

    Everything on my computer seems to have really slowed down. At first I thought it was my internet connection, but even when I am writing in word, there's a clear lag between when I hit a letter on my keyboard and when it appears on the screen. Scrolling is slower, typing is slower, opening files is slower, etc.

    I looked at the little thing that shows you CPU usage and everything is low (below 1% when I'm not doing something like opening a program). I ran a virus scan (sophos) and that didn't come up with anything.

    Does anyone have any ideas on where to go from here?
     
  2. bill4588 macrumors 6502a

    bill4588

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Location:
    Kennesaw, GA
  3. pianoman macrumors 68000

    pianoman

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    #3
    i think having the virus software is unnecessary since there are no viruses for Macs. if that's running in the background (like most virus software does), it could be using some resources you're not aware of thus slowing your computer down.

    how much RAM do you have? if it's 512MB or 1GB, you might want to consider upgrading. OSX, especially with Rosetta, is very RAM-intensive. FWIW, i have 2GB of RAM in my MBP and i don't have any issues with Word or any other programs running through Rosetta.
     
  4. aleksandra thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    #4
    Officially, I've got 250GB of memory and 1GB of RAM. According to the activity monitor, I've got 117.52GB space free and am utilizing 31.21GB of space.
     
  5. simontarr macrumors 6502

    simontarr

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #5
    Sounds like lack of RAM.

    Back in the days when I had 512MB, things were pretty slow once I'd opened a few applications. Now, I've got 2GB, things run brilliantly.
     
  6. simontarr macrumors 6502

    simontarr

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #6
    Ah! Looks like you beat me to it!
    Can't be a lack of RAM with 1GB in there unless you're running loads of apps. But it would be good to know what applications you've got running simultaneously.
     
  7. Scottyk9 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #7
    Check activity monitor >system memory and look at the page ins/outs after running your system (without a restart) for a while.

    The number of page outs should ideally be very low compared to the page ins.

    I have been surprised at just how much additional RAM makes a difference when using a lot of Rosetta apps.
     
  8. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #8
    Microsoft Office is not Intel native yet. So when you run it, your system has to translate everything from PowerPC code to the Intel (and back again) in real time. It's very processor and memory consuming. 512mb would be your problem.

    Other programs that currently are not Intel native:

    Everything Adobe makes, except Acrobat (but who cares about Acrobat).
    Everything Macromedia used to make.
    Everything Microsoft makes.

    Other things to consider:

    If you have older versions of software that may currently be Intel native, they probably aren't Intel native (like Quark 6 for example).
     
  9. aleksandra thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    #9
    Thank you all so much for your help!

    When things slowed down I only had Firefox and Word (Office 2004) open. I'm not a power user by any stretch and on most days I've only got those two plus Mail open at the same time.

    RAM would be the thing to explain the lag with scrolling and the time gap between what I type and when it shows up on the screen? I'm not talking huge gaps where I can't work at all, but I have been typing about two words ahead of the computer (and I'm fine, but not that great of a typer).

    Update: So it's Word slowing things down? On the activity monitor... the page outs is 0 with the page ins at something like 18000.
     
  10. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #10
    Well, try this...

    Quit anything that is not Intel native, which would be Microsoft Office in your case. Open up TextEdit (a basic word processor included in your Applications folder) and start typing. Does it have the same effect?

    And why are you using Firefox already? Safari is not IE... and is faster and more Mac-like than Firefox. There is no need to instantly download Firefox on a Mac like people do on a PC.
     
  11. Scottyk9 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #11
    my experience is:
    Mac OS runs great with more RAM.
    Rosetta uses a ton of RAM.
    Others may disagree, but in my opinion 1Gb is the minimum amount of RAM if you are using all universal apps.

    Again, check your page ins/outs for an idea. If the outs are very low, then look at something else, but the 3 most common problems for overall "slowness" are lack of RAM, lack of RAM, followed by lack of RAM.
     
  12. Scottyk9 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #12
    Is it only Word that you are noticing feels slow? Even native (PPC), I found that Word for Mac was not as "speedy" as Word for windows.
     
  13. aleksandra thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    #13
    No, scotty, it's not only word that's slow. If that were the case, I would have just blamed Microsoft and stewed about how much I dislike Bill Gates (I might do that anyway).

    It started when I had Firefox open yesterday evening. Even though I'd only be on google or the New York Times site (or something innocuous like that), scrolling from the top to the bottom of the page would really have a noticeable lag. I then exited firefox completely and opened word. Same lag. I restarted the computer and the two applications. More lag.

    I feel like a bit of an ass, but now that had the computer off for a bit and have turned it back on (without opening word) there's no lag. Did the problem solve itself?

    Is this just part of the growing pains that accompany moving away from PC's? I'm at a complete loss now that I have a computer where I don't have to download all sorts of fit-it applications and burn incense to get it working again.
     
  14. macros macrumors newbie

    macros

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    Location:
    New Yorkshire, UK
    #14
    Try this

    Try creating a one more user account (System Pref > Accounts)
    Logout from yours and login into the new one.

    see if its slow there.
     

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