general mac speed question from newb

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by liquidsense, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. liquidsense macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    #1
    I’m only 1 week into the Mac world – and I’ve had no prior experience with Apple products. So far, I am loving my 15” MBP. I do have a very general question though. When opening IE or Firefox on my PC, both applications would snap open almost instantaneously with my homepage set to basic google. However, when I click either Safari or Firefox in my dock on my MBP, sometimes, it takes upwards of 5 full seconds before the program will actually load up (both with google as homepage).

    I’ll click, for example, Firefox, and the icon will bounce up and down for about 5 seconds before anything even opens up. It is usually the slowest upon a full restart (or startup). And then, if I quit and try to reopen, it is slightly faster. Is this normal?

    Btw, I have the 15” MBP, 2GB ram, and 5400 200GB hd.
     
  2. wk127001 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    #2
    The first time you open an app in OS X it has to be loaded into RAM, therefore it takes a few seconds for the hard disk to read the data. If you close the program however, OS X keeps it in RAM, just in case you might open it again soon. Thats why it seems faster the second time you open it. The whole process is called caching and if you're interested into the finer details I'd suggest wikipedia or maybe how stuff works.
     
  3. liquidsense thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    #3
    Ok, the caching bit makes sense. But is the amount of delay I'm experiencing normal for my particular machine?
     
  4. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Florida
    #4
    it is, in windows IE is integrated into the OS in OSX its a separate app, so it takes longer to load
     
  5. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    You can just leave it open all the time if it bothers you.
     
  6. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Florida
    #6
    there ya go, just close all of the windows, the app will stay open, then when you need it click the dock icon and itll pop up a new window
     
  7. Think macrumors member

    Think

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    #7
    Out of curiosity, is the bottleneck due to the HDD speed?
     
  8. wk127001 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    #8
    If it's 5 seconds yeah I would say thats fine. Your Windows machine is probably faster because windows uses prefetching. Prefetching is a technique in which the operating keeps track of the programs you use most and attempts to keep them RAM so programs load faster. I'm not as familiar with OSX, so I can't say if it does that as well.
     
  9. wk127001 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    #9
    Yes. Generally the bottleneck on a decent computer is the HD. They are several orders of magnitude slower than the other memory systems on a computer. RAM is the next slowest memory system, though significantly faster than the hard disk. Other common bottlenecks can be your network, system bus, or usb. Graphics cards can be bottlenecked by cpus as well.
     
  10. GotPro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    #10
    The biggest reason that it is slower is, as mentioned before... in XP... Microsoft has INTEGRATED IE into the operating system itself... just the same as opening a finder window in OS X.

    Horrible way to do it, if you ask me... but... that's what they chose to do.

    So... basically... IE is already loaded when you boot XP.

    OS X can really have 20-30 apps open at a time... depending on ram... if you are worried about it what I'd suggest (as above) is that you just click on the red x when you are done... and don't do a *Safari...File...Quit*

    Then, when you click on the safari icon again... *whoosh*... will be just like in XP...

    That's really all XP is doing... they just keep the program running all the time... remember the big anti-trust lawsuit... they COULDN'T SEPARATE IE and XP... now you know why ;-)
     
  11. GotPro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    #11
    ALSO... if on your PC you are on a regular *box* PC... with a fast hard drive... YES, ANY NOTEBOOK regardless platform (Linux, XP, MAC) will launch applications much slower.

    The small form factor and slower RPM speed hard drives make ALL THE DIFFERENCE in application launch time.
     
  12. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #12
    The only time you should need to open Safari or Firefox is right after you boot (and the only time you should be freshly booted is after you are forced to reboot by a system update or something). Macs are designed to leave apps open, and be slept instead of shut down.
     
  13. MacBookJoePro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    #13
    Just keep firefox or safari open all the time. When you don't need it just close all the windows. When you open it again, it will be instant. I guess this takes up more ram but there is an excuse to get more. hehe. Mail, itunes, ical, adium and firefox are the programs keep open all the time. So when I need them it will be instantly opened.

    -JoE
     
  14. liquidsense thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    #14
    Ahhh. Ok. Thank you everyone for the very useful information. It all makes sense.
     

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