New alu Macbook slowing down

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Awesome-o/, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. Awesome-o/ macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2008
    Hi, I'm pretty new to the whole MacBook world as I only brought my unibody MacBook in November. Although I've found everything to me incredibly intuitive there are still some thing i need to learn, such as what to do when thing start slowing down. Recently I have noticing a few programs having some difficulties, my Logic studio has been having System overloads, my dashboard hasn't been popping up and my Safari is feeling slower.

    On windows their was a variety of thing I used to try stop this (virus scan were a staple) but i just have no idea where to start on my MacBook. Any advice on what I could do get things running smoothly again would be really appreciated!

    Sorry if this question is a bit basic for this forum!
  2. eyefoniac macrumors 6502


    Nov 21, 2008
    Everywhere and nowhere
    Hey there,
    There are a few things you can try.
    1. Restart if you haven't in a while
    2. Download a program (free) called OnyX from and run the automation process. Make sure to restart after this process is over.

    Hopefully one of these will clean things up for you!
  3. baddj macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2009
    Okay Do the following

    Finder > Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor

    Then you can see what apps mite be taking up all the ram and or the cpu.
  4. Awesome-o/ thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2008
    ah brilliant i'll definitely give that program a go, just the sorta thing I was looking for!

    I'll also restart, it may be because I always leave it on sleep. Is this not advisable?
  5. baddj macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2009
    Sleep is good if you are coming back to the computer like 15 to 30 mins later if you are going to not use it for about 2 or more hours i would shutdown. But thats based on what i got told when doing IT cert 2
  6. amrk47 macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2007
    lol leaving it on sleep for days definitely causes it to slow down
  7. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    For some reason with the System updates past 10.5.5, the FW controller isn't shutting down correctly after System Upgrades, which is slowing the system down.

    Check your logs to see if you see some

    Mar 5 00:00:17 Macintosh kernel[0]: AppleFWOHCI_AsyncTransmit::waitForDMA - context not going inactive.
    Mar 5 00:00:17 Macintosh kernel[0]: AppleFWOHCI_AsyncReceive::waitForDMA - context not going inactive.

    And reset the SMC if you do. And they'll go away.
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    This is absolutely false. Sleep has zero effect on your computer's performance.

    To the OP:
    • You don't have to worry about viruses, as none exist that affect Mac OS X.
    • You do need to be careful what software you install and where you get it. (Best not to install software from torrent sites).
    • Running Activity Monitor won't help you, unless you know what you're looking for.
    • Restarting can solve many problems and is one of the most basic steps in troubleshooting. However, under normal circumstances, restarting is not necessary. With a Mac, you can go months without a restart.
    • If Safari seems slower, you can always do a reset, to clear your cache, history, etc. (Safari > Reset Safari...)
    • You can create a new user account (System Preferences > Accounts) and log into that account and see if you get the same symptoms. If the problems don't exist there, you might have a problem with a plist (user preferences file.... created for many apps).
  9. ux4all macrumors regular


    Jan 26, 2009
    Chicago, IL, USA
    Sleep has no affect, however not ending applications or applications that do not offer complete garbage collection may end up hurting your performance. I prefer to shutdown at the end of the day to ensure that no lingering or ghost processes (rare as they may be) are still running. Web Browsers have a funny habit of not cleaning out caches unless they are told to do so. A cache provides the browser with performance and other gains at a cost. Firefox has a private data cleaning function, so does Safari (last time I checked).

    The only other time i have heard of recently for a performance issue is that new Intel SSD that has fragmentation issues. I use of these drives in my MBA (X25-M 80GB). I have not seen any issues (but I have also seen only a small bump in performance over a 7200.3 that I tested).
  10. amrk47 macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2007

    restarting refreshes your memory, other wise chunks of your memory will be stuck in inactive which doesnt give you the same performance as if it was free memory
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Do you have any idea how your Mac works? Or are you just making all this up as you go along? It's best if you learn how Mac OS X works, so you won't continue posting things that have no basis in fact:
    What apps or "garbage collection" or "ghost processes" are you referring to? Remember, this is Mac OS X, not Windows.
    That's because they're designed that way, for faster performance.
    What cost?
    Yes, they do, but that doesn't require shutting down or restarting. You can clear the cache if you desire, but that usually will make browsing slower, not faster.
  12. amrk47 macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2007
    I know the definition of all the memory types because iv owned over 7 different macs

    sure the inactive memory will get called upon when needed
    but if 80percent of your memory is in inactive, your mac will be sluggish
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    That is absolutely false. Owning multiple computers is not a guarantee of computer literacy. Your statements are completely untrue.
  14. amrk47 macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2007
    maybe sluggish isnt the proper term, but your mac will definitely be not as fast as it would be after a restart
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    If you took the time to read and comprehend, having inactive memory will, if anything, speed up your computer. Rebooting means when you load a program, you have to start from scratch in caching, which takes longer than if you had previously opened that program and still had cache in inactive memory.
  16. tman07 macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2009
    aside from the little argument going on, this has been a helpful post. I've been meaning to ask this same question as the OP, because im in the same boat (im on a boat anddd, its going fast andddd, i got a nautical themed pashmina afghan.. hehe). Coming from windows, i knew what to do, but mac, im totally new to it.

    On a side note, i have found that after a reboot (or even logging off, then back in) the system as a whole has been much faster. Yes, it may take a few extra seconds to load up programs, but the system as a whole feels much faster. I do think, however, that i need more ram (2gb on my 2.0 aluminum). Is there an easy way to tell this? I know more ram is always better, but is there a super simple way to tell im struggling for ram? Perhaps the swap size?
  17. Mikey B macrumors 65816

    Mikey B

    Jan 4, 2008
    the island
    I'd say if you look at Activity Monitor and you're consistently running out of RAM and swapping pages, it's time to upgrade to 4GB. Activity Monitor makes it pretty easy to discern your current memory management situation.
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    From my earlier post:
    Also, if Page outs and Swap used is high.

    Picture 4.jpg
  19. Pjoseph macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2009
    How do u get to the activity monitor I just purchased a alum macbook a week ago and its my first mac.
  20. MistaBungle macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2005
    Go to Finder -> Applications -> Utilities -> Activity Monitor
  21. gypsyOtoko macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2009

    Excuse me, I'll be honest, I don't know anything about the ins and outs of Mac development, but it seems that you're indicating that somehow software run on Macs have no need to run a clean up routine on termination of processes. Is this true?

    In any event, could you please explain your background? Are you a software engineer? What is this documentation you speak of?
  22. elfxmilhouse macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    Northeast USA
    another thing to note is that hard drive read/write speeds will decrease as it fills up. this applies to traditional HDs not SSDs as much.

    if you look at HD benchmarks you see the speed slowly dropping as the disk fills up.
  23. Nobita macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2008
    La la land
    I'm a computer scientist, and most, if not all of what he said is true.

    I have just got a mac last year, but I am very familiar with memory management and CPU management in most computers. From my 5 months experience with Mac, I'm pretty sure that Mac handles this way better than windows.

  24. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Mac OS X does a much better job of terminating applications than Windows does. I'm not sure what documentation you're referring to. As for my background, I certainly don't claim to be an expert on everything, but if it helps to understand, I began my business life as a systems programmer, maintaining and optimizing operating systems on IBM mainframes, long before PCs were invented. I've been involved in practically every level of the computer industry at one time or another in my career. I guess the one thing I've learned best is that no one can know it all!
  25. gypsyOtoko macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2009
    @GGJ & Nobita

    Thanks for the clarifications on your bg guys.

    So then neither of you guys has done any software development for Mac? In other words, you haven't seen the code, but are making these conjectures based on perhaps monitoring of processes that you have opened/closed while using the OS?

    I just thought I had seen a post from GGJ pretty much saying that for some reason programs written for Mac have no need for any tear down routines to run clean up on termination of the software. My apologies if I read that wrong.

    I can dig. You guys both have more experience than me either way. I majored in Computer Science and Japanese in college, but have gotten away from programming to focus on my Japanese, sadly. ; _ ;

    Sorry, I may have kind of gotten away from the original intent of the thread a bit.

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