OS X slowing down over time

ProwlingTiger

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 15, 2008
1,329
218
As a dual-system user (Lion and Win 7), I must say that with OS X, I don't feel the need to do a full wipe/reinstall every year like I do with Windows. But I ran Leopard for a year or so until Snow Leopard, did an upgrade install. Then installed Lion, also via upgrade install. After a while I had to restore to Lion from my Time Machine backup due to a kernel panic issue. So in over 3 years, I've never done a clean reinstall of OS X.

Having said that, OS X does slow over time. I've resigned myself to the fact that all operating systems do. Sure, some diehard fanboys will argue against that, but whatever. Recently, I deleted a bunch of apps that I no longer need. I upgraded all my apps and system software. And I deleted a couple large caches. I have about 30% disk space free when I'm on the road, 45% after I offload a bunch of stuff to my desktop rig.

So my question: is it time to finally do a full, clean reinstall? Or is there any program that anyone uses that goes through the filesystem and wipes crap I don't need? I remember the days when Safari used to start in under 2 seconds, now it takes a while.

I don't believe the specs of my system matter, as it used to be fine with the current specs, but for what it's worth: early-2008 Macbook 2.4ghz 160GB 2GB RAM

Thanks in advance,
Dan
 

ProwlingTiger

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 15, 2008
1,329
218
With Lion, more RAM will do you good, you can get up to 6 GB for that model, but maybe 4 GB should suffice.
Yeah, I know more RAM is always good (I have 16GB in my main rig), but I was kinda hoping to do this without upgrading. Like I said, everything used to run fine with just 2GB. I'm honestly planning on upgrading to a new Macbook Pro sometime next year, so I don't want to put any more $$$ in this machine.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,427
786
For performance issues, there are a few things you can check:
  • Check your Login Items under System Preferences > Accounts to see what you have automatically launching.
  • Also check /Library/LaunchAgents/ and /Users/yourusername/Library/LaunchAgents/ for items launching at startup
  • Look at what widgets you may have running.
  • Launch Activity Monitor and change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes". Then look to see what may be consuming system resources.
  • Take a look at the System Memory tab at the bottom of Activity Monitor to see if you have excessive "page outs", a sign that you may benefit from more RAM.
  • Make sure you're not running any 3rd party antivirus app, as many of those will drain resources, reducing performance. They're not needed to protect your Mac.
 

ProwlingTiger

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 15, 2008
1,329
218
For performance issues, there are a few things you can check:
  • Check your Login Items under System Preferences > Accounts to see what you have automatically launching.
  • Also check /Library/LaunchAgents/ and /Users/yourusername/Library/LaunchAgents/ for items launching at startup
  • Look at what widgets you may have running.
  • Launch Activity Monitor and change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes". Then look to see what may be consuming system resources.
  • Take a look at the System Memory tab at the bottom of Activity Monitor to see if you have excessive "page outs", a sign that you may benefit from more RAM.
  • Make sure you're not running any 3rd party antivirus app, as many of those will drain resources, reducing performance. They're not needed to protect your Mac.
Thanks dude, I'll give that a go.
 

rhimbo

macrumors member
Jun 21, 2009
82
5
Thanks dude, I'll give that a go.
OK, I'm sure this is a stupid question so your mercy is requested.

Where is the Activity Monitor on OS X 10.6.8? I'm trying to monitor my system 'cause I see some slowness recently...

Many thanks,
 
Nov 28, 2010
22,670
28
located
OK, I'm sure this is a stupid question so your mercy is requested.

Where is the Activity Monitor on OS X 10.6.8? I'm trying to monitor my system 'cause I see some slowness recently...

Many thanks,
Finder > Applications folder (CMD+SHIFT+A) > Utilities folder (CMD+SHIFT+U) > Activity Monitor.
Or you could use Spotlight (CMD+SPACE) to search for it.

To learn more about Mac OS X:
 

rhimbo

macrumors member
Jun 21, 2009
82
5
In your /Applications folder. Or just Command-Spacebar to open Spotlight search, and type "Activity Monitor".
OK, I'm a moron. I was looking in the Utilities folder but just didn't see it. How embarrassing.

Thank you....
 
Nov 28, 2010
22,670
28
located
OK, I'm a moron. I was looking in the Utilities folder but just didn't see it. How embarrassing.

Thank you....
Then you may have moved it, as I use 10.6.8 and all Mac OS X versions I have used (from 10.2 to 10.7) have Activity Monitor in the Utilities folder.
 

rhimbo

macrumors member
Jun 21, 2009
82
5
Sorry, my ambiguous English... it is in my Utilities folder!

Then you may have moved it, as I use 10.6.8 and all Mac OS X versions I have used (from 10.2 to 10.7) have Activity Monitor in the Utilities folder.
Sorry, my ambiguous English....

What I meant was that when I first looked in the Utilities folder (before posting my question) I didn't see it -- I just overlooked it I guess. Perhaps it didn't catch my eye because I was looking for something along the lines of "Performance..." monitoring.

But it is indeed in the Utilities folder! Thanks for taking the time to post the screen shot....
 
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