How do I keep my mac performance always optimal? Questions!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Digm, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. Digm macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #1
    Just got my first mac (MacBook, 2.16 GHz, 2GB Ram, 160 GB HD, AppleCare). The thing runs like a speed demon (obviously) but I want to keep it running as fast as possible, all the time. On a PC, I can just defrag the HD when I need to, but I'm installing and uninstalling programs on the Mac, generally getting used to it and probably clogging it up in some manner.

    What are some tips to keep this thing running like brand new? Thanks
     
  2. 66217 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #2
    Your Mac would run like a champ for a long time. There is no need to make anything to keep it running smoothly.

    The only software I recommend for this is Onyx. It can help you repairing permissions, running maintenance scripts, etc. Nothing really necessary, but it can come in handy sometimes.
     
  3. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #3
    To clarify: you don't need to do any fixin' if it ain't broke. Some of the old advice from PCs holds true, of course - maintain a backup, make sure you have a bootable utility disk on hand just in case, and so forth.

    But it isn't a car. You don't need to change the oil ever so often, no need to rotate the tires. Just fill 'er up with gas and go.
     
  4. MikeTheC Guest

    MikeTheC

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Location:
    Gallifrey -- Capitol City, Prydonian Sector
    #4
    There's a few ways to look at this and answer it.

    First:

    Yes, there are third-party diagnostic and repair apps out there, and it would probably be a good thing to have one (or more) of them on-hand should you need one. You can check out Apple's Apple - Downloads - Mac OS X - System/Disk Utilities page, or go to a local Apple Store or CompUSA to see what other commercial utilities they have (such as, for instance, Alsoft's DiskWarrior.)


    Second:

    Ever since Apple switched to Mac OS X, maintenance has become very minimal. This is both from the perspective of someone who has used and supported the Windows platform and the perspective of a long-term Mac user who remembers all-too-well the maintenance we had to do under Mac OS Classic.


    Third:

    Mac OS X actually does various bits of diagnostic and repair work in the background, saving you the user the trouble of much of the manual intervention you're used to. Take, for instance, Mac OS Extended under Mac OS X -- it auto-defrags files in the background when you open something.


    I honestly think you'll find that, other than common-sense things as have previously been mentioned, you can stop beating yourself up over having to do the level of maintenance you're used to.
     
  5. MackenzieArbour macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    #5
    There's a nifty little program called iDefrag to help you do just that. http://coriolis-systems.com/iDefrag.php
     
  6. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    #6
    Ditto the above, the biggest speed increase is going to be you!
     
  7. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    #7
    Does Onyx or Diskwarrior defrag? I wasn't sure if that "Optimize" setting meant defraging, or something else.

    Glad to see there's a free tool that does something :)
     
  8. amc382 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    #8
    dude!

    i just got the same exact machine, same specks. did you get white or black?

    it is a speed demon, and i couldn't be happier. i'm just avoiding any non-universal binaries.
     
  9. Dimwhit macrumors 68000

    Dimwhit

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    #9
    Don't fill up your hard drive. Keep a good amount of free space (several gigs) at all times.
     
  10. dogbone macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    Sep 16, 2005
    Location:
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    #10
    Onyx and others things that run inbuilt scripts are too confusing with too many options. I've thrown them all out and now I just run applejack it's free, reliable, easy and fun to watch.

    Apple says that 'defragging' is not necessary and can make your computer run slower.
     
  11. blackstone macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #11
    I think someone mentioned this upthread, but OS X automatically defrags files in the background unless they are quite large. So you really don't need to do any manual defragging unless you're doing hard core video editing or other regular manipulation of 100 Mb+ files.
     
  12. rockosmodurnlif macrumors 65816

    rockosmodurnlif

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #12
    Onyx, Tinkertools, Diskwarrior, Backing up regularly (I use Super Duper!), keeping hard drive space free (5-10 Gigs), clean it, speak softly and encourage it, handle it with care, and maintain a certain amount of aloofness because you use a Mac. :D
     
  13. fewture macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    #13
    ive read bad stuff about onyx - that it stuffs everything around too much and OSX eventually slows it down.
     
  14. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #14
    Restart the Mac about once a week, or whenever you feel like it's slowing down. This deletes your virtual memory swap files, which build up with use and don't go away on their own. Most of the other stuff is optional, or in some cases, worse than unnecessary. I do like the idea of keeping Disk Warrior on hand in case of a hard drive emergency. No need to run it unless you need to, though.
     
  15. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #15
    -Wolfpup

    "Defrag", as you know, puts all of the bits of a single file into a contiguous, or close-to-contiguous line on the drive.

    "Optimize" does exactly what "Defrag" does, plus puts all of the files, System, App, and user in likely-to-be-read order. thus speeding up reading functions even more than a simple Defrag does.

    Further notes: The File system OS X uses (HFS+ "Hierarchical File System Plus") has something called "Journaling" enables by default, this keeps files from fragmenting in the first place (it can't stop everything, of course, but does an excellent job anyway), so defragging isn't really something you have to worry about. However, as you use the machine, upgrade apps that require more space, increase File size, the need to Optimize still remains. So Diskwarrior, or my poison-of-choice TechTool Pro, is always good to have handy.

    I optimize about twice a year - and I use these things LOTS.
     
  16. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    #16
    So does OnyX's "Optimize" do that too? Or is it doing something else. It is free after all :D
     
  17. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #17
    -Wolfpup

    Y'know what? I didn't even know Onyx ever said anything like that (looking at own version out of curiosity - whoop! new version!). But I doubt it is the "Disk Optimization" of which I spake.

    The price you pay for Disk Optimization is that you need to boot from another Disk to do it as the system files are rearranged as a part of the operation to (see above)

    Think of it as trying to perform brain surgery on yourself - as you are rooting around in there, you'd eventually trip a neuron that'll glerg what you are trying to do, thus you'd stop, and commence drooling. This is bad.
     
  18. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    #18
    Something else. OnyX's "Optimize" is not related to reorganizing files and folders on your drive. It means that all sorts of cache files are deleted. Ironically, most of those cache files help your Mac run better. After they are deleted, your Mac rebuilds them. Addressing the original issue, you can defrag but still have files scattered all over the place making the creation of your Windows partition impossible. Optimizing (in the non-OnyX meaning) will make a nice neat blank space.

    Nominated for post of the day!:
     
  19. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #19
    Hey, I did too! I got the black one. Friggin fast computer!
     
  20. penter macrumors 6502a

    penter

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #20
    sorry, dont want to start a new thread question, but:
    from what you're saying i can assume that you keep your mac running at all times???
    is it adviseable to do so? if so, why, and how could i find out what is the energy consumption of my mac running at all times (except from when it is alseep at night and when i'm out)??
     
  21. 66217 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #21
    The good thing about not restarting is that all the apps that you have open in the background would open instantly when wanted. It is much better to have the machine on (sleeping) all the time than being turning it on and off constantly.
    I sometimes go about 3 weeks without a single restart.
     
  22. risc macrumors 68030

    risc

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #22
    The best way to make sure your Mac is performing at its optimal level is to not bother with any of these 3rd party tools.
     
  23. dogbone macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #23
    Apple started all this by setting their cron scripts or whatever they are, to run when the computer is usually off. I believe that the behaviour now is to run when they can.
     
  24. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    #24
    I've never understood why Mac OS can't do that (classic or OS X). Windows has always been able to defrag most of the disc (aside from a few tiny portions), and XP's built-in defragmentation program optimizes file placement as well (to speed program loading).

    That's good to know they finally changed that. I think under 10.2 it still wasn't automatic.
     

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