Leopard extremely slow (eMac 1Ghz/512mb)

Discussion in 'macOS' started by wightstraker, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. wightstraker macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2007
    I just upgraded my parent's 1Ghz eMac (circa 2004) from OS X 10.3 to 10.5. Trouble is, everything on their computer has slowed to a crawl. Login and logout time takes at least 2 minutes. Applications (even the grand total of two that they actually use, Mail and Firefox) take twice as long to open as they did in 10.3. The finder is unresponsive (often windows won't open on the first try) and sluggish.

    I realize that their computer just meets the minimum requirements for Leopard, but I don't see any real reason for such a slowdown. My parents are not doing anything particularly processor or memory intensive, just going online and checking their mail. Nonetheless, I've thought of two potential sources of the problem:

    1.) CPU? - At first I suspected that spotlight indexing might be the source of the slowdown. I opened Activity Monitor about an hour after installation and, lo and behold, the processor was running at 80% at a standstill. I left it running all last night in the hope that indexing would finish up by this morning. It did, the processor is now running at about 10%, but everything is still slow.

    2.) Memory? - This eMac has only 512mb of RAM, the bare minimum for Leopard. Surprisingly, however, only about half of it is taken up when Mail and Firefox are open; there's still 200mb free. Given this fact I don't see how low memory could be the source of the slowdown.

    So I'm officially stumped. I don't see any reason why Leopard would run so slowly. My parents depend on this computer for their work so any and all help would be appreciated.

    Have any of you had similar experiences with Leopard? Do you have any idea what could be causing this slowdown? Any potential solutions? Thank you..
  2. Blogger macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2002
    My PowerBook (1.5 GHz, 1 GB of RAM) is noticeably slower in Leopard, but not by that much. Web browsing is still OK, as is using Mail, but if you activate Spaces, it's choppy moving between screens, and if you are doing more than one thing at a time, things go quite a bit slower (especially the Finder). However, I'm used to my Mac Pro desktop, so perhaps it's not surprising.

    The free RAM that you mention is probably due to OSX just adjusting its self to what's available. If I was you, I'd bump it up to 2 GB, which seems to be the designed optimum for non-professional use. The memory caching in OSX is intensive, and does speed things up a lot.

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