OSX responsiveness / app load time

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ls1dreams, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. ls1dreams macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2009
    Hi all,

    A quick question about OSX speed in general:

    I am coming from using PC's, both Windows XP and Windows 7.

    After playing with the brand new MBP 13 and 15 quad i5/i7's at the Apple store, I have to say that a big gripe is how long it takes to launch software.

    On a PC, when I launch Chrome/Word/Excel/Powerpoint/etc, the software launches so quickly that I can not even count the load time. It's probably < 0.5 seconds.

    However, when I attempted to launch all of these on OSX, there is always this awful delayed feeling as I watch the icon on the toolbar bounce 3-5x.

    NOTE: This was NOT a first-load issue where the software was trying to configure itself. I loaded each software item, closed it, and launched again to even let it cache.

    I am sitting here on a PC desktop from 2002 that launches Excel -instantly-. (There is no office startup helper running, either). Why can't OSX have this same kind of speed? Is there something I am missing?
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Wow, you either have a very well configured Windows (?) computer or some magic is going on. I have never opened an application within Windows in less than five seconds, more like 20+.
    On OS X it is a bit faster, but an SSD provides much faster start times (Firefox on HDD takes ten seconds, on SSD one to two seconds to start).
  3. neko girl macrumors 6502a

    neko girl

    Jan 20, 2011
    I am also confused. The experience is in reverse.
  4. ls1dreams thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2009
    20 seconds?!? Have you not used a PC since 1982?
  5. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    As Windows was non-existent in 1982, and you seem to refer to Windows with the term "PC", I wasn't able to access a Windows PC then, only Robotrons. I started with Windows in 1991, and with each new version of Windows, applications loaded slower and slower, except those small ones like Notepad/Editor and such.
    In the last six/seven years I have used Windows for maybe a week or two combined, and even fresh installations of Windows didn't give me such application startup times.
    Sorry, if I and many others don't share your experience, but this slow response in Windows was one of the reasons I switched, combined with the abysmal user interface (Windows 5 was okay, but 5.1 started to become ugly, and Windows 6 and 6.1 are quite unintuitive for my brain) and the lack of proper multi tasking (not meaning I couldn't run multiple applications, but the switch between applications was always slow and handled not well - again, for my brain) and many other things (small ones I guess, I can't stand using Windows anymore, and if I have to work in it, it always takes me longer to finish a task).
  6. ls1dreams thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2009
    Very odd. Didn't mean to be rude, but no PC I know of comes anywhere close to 20 seconds launching an app.

    I'd encourage you guys to try sitting your machine next to a similar spec'ed PC and firing up an app on each.
    I'm going to see if I can find a few at work to do this for comparison as well. I think there is something weird going on in OSX, though.

    A little searching also turned this up, so I may not be crazy:

    Referencing 10.0, but possibly may still be applicable:
    I realize this is a very old release, but many of the underpinnings are probably the same.
  7. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    I don't think you are rude, you just have other experiences. I mostly used Windows for DCC (Avid, Combustion, PS, Premiere, 3ds max, ...), but of course those applications load slower. But even applications like Windows Explorer took their time to open a new window or applications like Opera took at least twenty seconds. If I would have to use the full of dreck Windows PCs at work, which aren't properly maintained and used by a variety of users since 2006 or so, I would wait even longer (and I do, opening Firefox is a dread).

    Mac OS X 10.0 and Mac OS X 10.6 are not the same anymore, 10.6 is streamlined and Mac OS X wasn't really usable until 10.3 (Panther), in my opinion.
    Anyway, even my 2007 iMac with Mac OS X 10.6.6 and a seemingly dying HDD does not take longer than five seconds to open Safari, less than ten seconds to open Firefox or Opera or even Chrome, and less than twenty seconds to open PS. My MBP with SSD could open 46 or so applications in less than two minutes, another 20 applications were opened in less than one minute, and I could even manage to navigate OS X with those 66 open applications. In my experience I would never try this with Windows, SSD or HDD, as I never ran more than five applications at once. Now my average is 15, sometimes I can have open up to 25 applications.
    But that is my experience. Even with Macs running for a month, though the PPC Macs and Mac OS X versions (10.3 and 10.4) seemed to be more stable than the current Universal and Intel versions of Mac OS X. I almost never had to shutdown my iBook, except when updates were due or a kernel panic occurred (five times in three years maybe).
  8. Nobita macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2008
    La la land
    Try to play around with a Macbook Air in the Apple store.

    The weird thing about the laptop lineup right now is this:
    - Responsiveness-wise, MacBook Air is much more responsive than MacBook Pro.
    - Horsepower0wise, MacBook Pro is much faster than MacBook Air.

    Therefore if you like to be able to open things < 0.5 seconds, try it on MB Airs. If you want to be able to play games with 60 fps framerate use MB Pro.

    Unless – you configure the MB Pro to use SSD, then you'll see much more responsiveness in it.

    As a side note, I'm a part-time Windows user too, but I haven't been able to get < 0.5 second launch time when launching modern apps like MS Office 2008 or Firefox. I only get 0.5 launch time when launching notepad, my computer, calculator, things like that. Firefox and MS Office usually 3-5 seconds.
  9. ls1dreams thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2009
    I haven't tried to compare for larger A/V type apps, so it's certainly possible that those do in fact load faster in OSX.

    Office/chrome/etc though definitely load faster on my home PC.

    My work PC is an exception - I think the combination of remote management software + virus scanners just destroys performance.

    It's not about SSD vs. a regular HD either, since both machines I compared were running standard hard drives.
  10. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Tell that to my work's Vista Business load Dell Optilex 760.
  11. ls1dreams thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2009
    Tell me about it. Work computers get so dragged down by antivirus + background admin processes + monitoring tools you really have nothing like a fresh PC anymore.

    I'm currently sitting here on an Athlon XP2200 (released around 2002 or something) that launches Excel 2003 with zero lag. Like, I click and it's open.
  12. Nobita macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2008
    La la land
    Wow, you really got a grip on your PC! I don't know why, but my PC is very slow... I always have my PC dual boot with Ubuntu or something else, to do everything else except work...

    Over the years, I tried many things to help sluggish PC (Running win XP):
    - adding RAM (Works only a little bit)
    - free up HDD (Works quite well)
    - defrag HDD (Doesn't work at all)
    - use ccleaner to clean up registry (works a little bit)
    - delete startup programs using msconfig (doesn't quite work)
    - trying various anti virus to speed up (doesn't quite work)
    - use FF or Chrome instead of IE (works quite well)

    What else can I do to make it run faster? I really want to know actually. Although I'm a big apple fanboy, but I still think windows has done a very good job making a software that works for all the possible variations of hardware!
  13. cdf3 macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2012
    Coming from a PC, I noticed that apps load faster on my PC in comparison to my MacBook Pro. I heard that installing a SSD will make it load apps faster. If so, I plan on getting one if prices drop in the near future.
  14. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    I agree, a PC definitely loads apps faster for what I use (browsers, office software, Outlook, paint, photoshop). Currently my macbook from 2009 runs windows apps faster than equivalent mac apps, and I'm even using a 32 bit version of windows 7 vs snow leopard.

    But all pcs and macs i use get slower the more you fill the hard disk and more startup apps you run.

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