Why are Macs slow?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Whiteapple, Oct 25, 2006.

  1. Whiteapple macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    Haute Savoie,France
    #1
    Hi all,

    I have a request and question.

    Request: Don't flame me.

    Question: Why are Macs slow?:(

    Explanation: Being a mac user since 1999, I haven't really noticed that Macs were lacking "responsiveness", or "snapiness". But at work, I use a budget Pentium 4HT Hewlett Packard box, and dammit, I have to admit, this thing IS snappy. I mean, you open IE6, open MacRumors, scroll down, all that being done quickly and smootlhy as hell, with 512MB RAM and intel xpress graphics...

    On my MacMini, on a MacBook Pro, on a G5, ect. I can feel something is holding it back, like a lag maybe. Why's that?
    Anyone got a clear answer?

    PS: I have upgraded the 1.66CD mini to 7200rpm HD and 2GB RAM. Should be snappy as hell, no?

    How about Leopard? Will it be "snappier?"

    PS2: I love my MacMini, don't worry. PC is for Solitaire.
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    I could say the same to why is Windows slow. Buggy window redrawing and sluggish application response.

    You shouldn't judge speed on web page rendering. :rolleyes:
     
  3. Hummer macrumors 65816

    Hummer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2006
    Location:
    Queens, New York NY-5
    #3
    I have the same feeling. My cheaper PC is A LOT "snappier" than my iBook. But then again I stay optimistic and say that maybe it's just crappy because it's the lowest (spec wise) mac. Well at the time I bought it. The only reason why I use this thing is for OS X.
     
  4. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #4
    Macs are optimised to do many things at once well. Windows is optimised to do one thing at a time well. So although Windows starts off more responsive, the more you load it up with multiple tasks, the worse it's responsiveness gets, whereas the Mac starts off with a lag but copes much better as you open additional software.

    You can even see this attitude in the GUIs of the OSes. With Windows, the program you're using typically fills the screen because it's the only thing you're supposed to be working on, whereas on the Mac you get multiple layers of programs visible.
     
  5. Exist2Inspire macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #5
    Could be down to the possible fact that your internet connection at work is simply faster than your home one. :confused:
     
  6. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #6
    I have to second this. Windows is still very stuck on the one application on screen at a time approach. (Welcome back to DOS!) It still caries over into Vista.
     
  7. bill4588 macrumors 6502a

    bill4588

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    Location:
    Kennesaw, GA
    #7
    yeah im guessing that's it. the computers at my uni are windows and firefox is much snappier but windows itself is not. you click the start button and it takes 10-15 seconds to load the friggin menu.
     
  8. Shadow macrumors 68000

    Shadow

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    Feb 17, 2006
    Location:
    Keele, United Kingdom
    #8
    Previous versions of Mac OS X (exp Public Beta, 10.0, 10.1 & 10.2) were critisized for the GUI (aka Aqua) being slow. Although the situation has improved, its far from perfect. One of the problems is that the Aqua GUI requires a lot of "graphical oompf" to run smoothly. Luna (Windows XP GUI) on the other hand is far "easier" for the graphics card to render-the textures are simpler. Because (depending on the model) the G5 shipped with an "under-powered" (when compared with the rest of the system) graphics card, Aqua will seem a little sluggish. Your Mac Mini has a GMA950 made by Intel and arn't known for their graphics ability (however they excel at video playback). Because boh the graphics card's arn't very powerful, that could be a major factor of what you call "slugisness".

    You may want to run OnyX to clear caches and generally speed stuff up.
     
  9. Whiteapple thread starter macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

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    #9
    Well, I shouldn't have used the example of the Internet. Let's take another one. Umm... Browsing through the finder? Dammit when I press that "my Computer" icon, the thing pops out right away, whereas OSX seems to hold it a bit. I dunno, can someone with a 16GB RAM and 3GHz Xeon Mac Pro tell me if he/she has this feeling?

    dynamicv I get your point. It kinda justifies the issue, no?
     
  10. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #10
    It does for me, because that's the way I work. When I use Windows I always end up swearing at it as it takes 15 seconds to redraw the screen after I flit between programs, but then I'm used to having nine or ten things open at once. Most Windows users, and some Mac users too, probably don't work like that.
     
  11. tech4all macrumors 68040

    tech4all

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    Location:
    NorCal
    #11
    When I click on my Finder icon in the dock, the Finder comes up right away - virtually instant. Except when my second HD is asleep and has to spin back up. How long is the delay?
     
  12. simontarr macrumors 6502

    simontarr

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #12
    Yeah I know where you're coming from.

    I personally think it's just because OS X is more attractive & there are more animations. For example, when I double click on Macintosh HD, it loads instantly, but feels sluggish because the finder window 'flies' in from the Mac HD icon. The same when you go to close it (it 'flies' back to the icon).

    With XP, theres nothing really to render. Its all just a boring grey- no brushed aluminium & no fancy animations- it just appears. I personally don't mind the lag. It's certainly not enough to annoy me. I switched from PCs about 2 months ago & I'm still just beaming every time I get to use OS X :D
     
  13. Whiteapple thread starter macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

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    #13
    No delay. No delay.

    But, I mean, I would tend to refer to the interface itself, with all that cool "sliding" from the icon to the window. It is fast, but not instant and snappy like when you double click on XP. Very subjective I suppose...

    EDIT: the guy above me was faster. This is exactly what I meant.
     
  14. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

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    Location:
    UK
    #14

    I'm the same.

    I use a Windows PC at work to design catalogues and sales leaflets. At any one time I'll have Photoshop, CorelDraw, Word and Firefox running at the same time. Switching from Photoshop to CorelDraw sometimes take upwards of one minute.

    At home my iMac (G5, 1GB Ram) will have 5-6 apps open simultaneously (including Adobe CS2) and with a simple press of F9, it switches between apps with no lag.

    I curse the lack of Expose on my works PC!
     
  15. tech4all macrumors 68040

    tech4all

    Joined:
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    Location:
    NorCal
    #15
    Oh ok, I see that. But if you click the Finder in the dock or from the menu bar then it appears instantly without the "travel" time. Never really noticed it. I wonder how the GUI will behave in Vista, in regards to the "travel time" vs. instantaneous. :)
     
  16. Shadow macrumors 68000

    Shadow

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    #16
    Totally. Expose is awsome. I really really really wish I had it on my PC (or on the school comps). I use it every day hundereds of times.
     
  17. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    around/about
    #17
    I third this. MacOS isn't necessarily as snappy on a single-program basis, but once multitasking comes into play it doesn't skip a beat.

    That said, I find Camino and Firefox to be quite snappy in terms of browsing. Much better than IE.
     
  18. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

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    UK
    #18

    I occasionally press F9 out of habit. The only problem is that when I'm in CorelDraw - 80% of the time I'm using the PC - F9 loads up a fullscreen 'Print Preview' that takes about 30 seconds to render, instead shrinking everything into little windows.

    I get annoyed at the PC and then at myself for doing it!
     
  19. Whiteapple thread starter macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

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    #19
    Oh, and you made me notice that when I open a new finder window with Command-N then there is no "travelling time".

    I dont use Exposé that much. I prefer the Command-Tab function and then select the apps either with the mouse or the Tab key. Depends.

    I haven't really been into Multitasking on this PC. I only have this Database program launched and like 2-3 IE windows, plus **cough** Solitaire.

    Yeah, one time I launched Acrobat Professional and it's not as "snappy" as Preview to actually view PDF files. Preview rocks. Now that you say this, I notice how well the Mac likes to switch between apps.

    /Embrace MacMini.

    EDIT: Oh, but the Mac isn't that fast at launching apps after a fresh reboot. After a daytime's use, OK, everything is in the RAM, but I mean, what do you guys think about the "snappiness" after a reboot? Well, MacMini is fast, but I mean, XP cheap box is faster after a reboot. Am I picky?
     
  20. the Western zoo macrumors 6502

    the Western zoo

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    Aarhus C, Denmark
    #20
    I must say that switching to mac was a great improvement in speed!! My old PC got rather slow in the end because it was loaded up with antivirus, antispyware etc. so the only time it performed fast was before I installed anything other than winXP...!!

    further booting my mac is just so much faster than booting any PC I've ever used! Even waking it from sleep is much faster than my friends PC laptops...

    Maybe OS X would be faster if all the animation weren't there but I don't mind cause I love the eye candy!! :)
     
  21. Gosh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    #21
    Well XP is a bit snappier in my virtual machine on my iMac than my OS X outside my virtual machine!

    However, the 'snap' sound along side the action is a little psychosomatic (in the context of an interaction of mind and PC).

    But it's that archetypal fixated-timer crash which happens every so often (usually when I'm really busy, trying to do several things at once to get my work finished to a deadline) that I consider unacceptable whether its Windows in virtual machine on a Mac or in a gray Dell it is minus slow; a stop!

    Mac OS X is a bit more methodical but much more reliable.

    Keep your system sprightly with a running regular 'cron' scripts see link http://macmaineiac.com/columns/06c/062306c.html
     
  22. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #22
    Personally, I think OS X is just as fast if not faster than Windows now-a-days. Try opening Safari on a first start on a MacBook (not Pro). It'll open so fast you won't have time to get your finger off the mouse button (if you use one) before its ready to go. I've never, never seen IE start as fast in Windows.
     
  23. Whiteapple thread starter macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

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    Jan 17, 2006
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    Haute Savoie,France
    #23
    While we are at it, can you jot an eye on this thread I have also started?Nobody seems to care, but I do.

    Mouse acuracy is a problem I think in OSX. (maybe this is just trackpad and bluetooth mighty mouse? : Apple made)

    Edit: link
     
  24. Whiteapple thread starter macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

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    Jan 17, 2006
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    Haute Savoie,France
    #24
    Oh yeah? On my former macbook pro, it took 5 bounces with a 7200rpm and 1GB RAM

    On the Mini (close to Macbook) it takes 3 bounces. See, this is something else I don't get, why are some computers snappy, while others are not?

    Nervetheless, once the RAM is filled, it's far more responsive.
     
  25. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #25
    http://www.apple.com/pro/tips/switch_expose.html

    Use Exposé, hiding programs, Quicksilver, Spotlight, Finder, and Command + Tab. ;)
     

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