OSX - why the heck is it so slow?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Ben Sheehan, Dec 19, 2002.

  1. Ben Sheehan macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2002
    I recently bought a PB 667 DVI, running OS 10.2. I decided to make a clean break from OS9, since the software I use is all available on OSX now.

    Now much to my disgust, I find that my sage g3450 imac runs OS9.0.4 way faster than the 667 DVI powerbook runs OSX.2. Anyone know why OSX is still so slow? Anyone have any tips to make it run faster? I'm getting spinning beachballs when I'm saving MS word docs, it's mind numbing.

    I figured apple would be moving forward speed wise with the new operating system, not backwards. Sure I like the fact I'm not having crashes using internet explorer anymore, but why does my machine have to be so sluggish?
  2. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Mar 2, 2002
    >(Tiauguinho) When you finish instaling, boot from the Install Cd 1, and in the Instaler Menu, select Disk Utility, select repair permisions, quit the disk utility and then quit the installer.

    He said this a while back. So if you have the Jaguar CD, try booting from CD 1, and repair your permissions, to see if anything speeds up.
  3. dricci macrumors 6502a

    Dec 15, 2001
    Did you do an upgrade from say, 10.1? Doing an upgrade seems to slow the system down and break things.

    Also, the more ram you have, the better. It *REALLY* helps to have a lot in Mac OS X.

    Other than that, things shouldn't be *that* slow... I am setting up a 266 MHz iMac for a family member, and it's really not slow at all (other than at 3D stuff, but that's due to the ancient ATI chip it has)
  4. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Re: OSX - why the heck is it so slow?

    The best thing you can do is max out your RAM.

  5. cubist macrumors 68020

    Jul 4, 2002
    Muncie, Indiana
    Arn's right, once you get the PB to 512MB or so, most of your beachballs will be gone.

    I will say that a G3-450 iMac is going to be a very fast OS 9 machine. I don't know if you're going to get that feeling of crispness on an OS X machine. But wait until you start trying to do several things at once, like read email and play music while downloading an enormous 10.2.3 update :) ... and I'll bet in a few months you start thinking about how you can add more RAM into the iMac and get it running OS X too!
  6. DavidFDM macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maine, USA
    I have just done a clean install of OS X 10.2.2. After working for a couple of days, I noticed a huge slow down when waking from sleep. Restarting cured this. Also, I have noticed a difficulty booting up with my FireWire devices connected. Now, I just keep them disconnected until I need them. I am hoping maybe 10.2.3 will fix the waking from sleep slowdown problem. The FireWire issue is pretty minor but it would be nice to fix.
  7. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    Virtual memory is vitally important to Mac OS X and, unlike Mac OS 9.x, you can't turn it off. If you have a slow hard drive and less than 512 MB RAM, you're probably going to have a slow system.

    I have a PM G3/400 with an Ultra2 SCSI drive and an UltraATA drive. It's twice as fast at folding@home using the Ultra2 SCSI drive. Mac OS X runs quite well.

    Doing a repair of disk permissions each week is a good idea.
  8. Ben Sheehan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2002
    Thanks for these tips, much appreciated. I added 512 MB RAM and things seem marginally faster, though I still get the spinning beach ball when using MS word, mostly when I save. Makes typing a little slow ; ^ ) Maybe this is just the way things are with Office X?

    I used Xbench this morning, and the result seems fairly decent considering the machine speed. Could probably do a lot better with a faster HD. I guess it's early days for me with OSX, and I'm still a little misty eyed for the crispyness of the old OS.

    Results 77.12
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.0b3
    System Version 10.2
    Physical RAM 768 MB
    Processor PowerPC,G4@0 [667 MHz]
    L1 Cache 32K (instruction), 32K (data)
    Bus Frequency 134 MHz
    CPU Test 78.67
    GCD Recursion 73.63 2.88 Mops/sec
    Floating Point Basic 78.04 263.00 Mflop/sec
    AltiVec Basic 83.45 4.53 Gflop/sec
    Floating Point Library 79.56 3.57 Mops/sec
    Thread Test 71.93
    Computation 43.29 348.75 Kops/sec, 4 threads
    Memory Contention 125.31 396.36 MB/sec, 2 threads
    Lock Contention 47.19 592.32 Klocks/sec, 4 threads
    Memory Test 100.83
    System 101.20
    Allocate 83.83 44.10 Kalloc/sec
    Fill 167.42 960.05 MB/sec
    Copy 52.35 314.07 MB/sec
    Stream 100.47
    Copy 99.30 397.19 MB/sec [altivec]
    Scale 101.26 405.05 MB/sec [altivec]
    Add 103.79 415.15 MB/sec [altivec]
    Triad 97.52 390.06 MB/sec [altivec]
    Quartz Graphics Test 78.05
    Line 82.61 2.10 Klines/sec [50% alpha]
    Rectangle 64.29 4.52 Krects/sec [50% alpha]
    Circle 84.65 1.95 Kcircles/sec [50% alpha]
    Bezier 83.57 908.06 beziers/sec [50% alpha]
    Text 75.12 1.27 Kchars/sec
    OpenGL Graphics Test 82.18
    Spinning Squares 82.18 57.51 frames/sec
    User Interface Test 74.29
    Elements 74.29 23.77 refresh/sec
    Disk Test 53.91
    Sequential 64.01
    Uncached Write 53.27 19.83 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 55.18 19.33 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 96.80 14.31 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 50.80 19.05 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 43.82
    Uncached Write 30.87 0.52 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 47.56 9.88 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 41.85 0.45 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 54.98 10.58 MB/sec [256K blocks]
  9. DHagan4755 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002

    I don't know what to tell you.

    I just finished installing OS X 10.2.3 on a co-worker's Blue and White G3. It's a 350 MHz model. It has over 800 MB of RAM (it's an odd number from the usual G4 amounts), and it's got a 6 GB HD. I installed OS 9.2.2 first. Then I installed Jaguar, applied the update (10.2.3 Combo), and ran a repair of disk permissions from the Disk Utility in the Utilities folder. Lastly, I optimized and rebooted. It runs OS X Jaguar fairly decently. Applications open fairly quickly. I was suprised given it's a G3 at 350 MHz with an ATI 16 MB video card. Word runs well. As does iTunes, iPhoto, and even Photoshop, believe it or not. She only wanted OS 9, but since I was curious, I tried OS X, and I'm going to see if she wants to stay with X after trying it for a while. OS X, didn't however, discover her CD-RW drive. But then again, it couldn't get it to work in OS 9 either.
  10. springscansing macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2002
    New York
    Its very simple. You need 512 RAM mininum and Jaguar. Anything else is going to suck. Jaguar is nearly twice as fast as 10.1 it seems, and around 120% the speed of OS 9. Then again, I'm on dualies.
  11. alex_ant macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2002
    All up in your bidness
    In my experience, Office v.X was a dismal performer... Word barely being able to keep up with my 40-or-so wpm typing without lagging behind on a 550MHz G4. I went back to AppleWorks. Word is a dog, iCal is a dog, iTunes is a dog, iPhoto is a dog, Mozilla is a dog... all dogs, but all still good software that will take some getting used to coming from a snappier OS, and that are worth using (in my opinion) even though they are as dogged as they are. RAM will help if that's what's slowing things down, but in my experience, egregious CPU usage is what slows things down more (with 256MB of RAM and 2-3 apps open at once).

    Some people have different ideas of what "fast" is. Some people genuinely think that OS X is "faster" than OS 9, and is a great performer on their 300MHz iMacs, and without quantitative measurements, you can't really prove that they're as full of **** as they most likely are, so, oh well. I came to the Mac from a computer that felt much faster (550MHz K6-2 with 256MB), and I was severely annoyed by the slow performance of the Mac until I got used to it. Now, a year later, I'm only mildly annoyed (more than mildly when the system bogs down).
  12. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    Surprising results. I also have a dual G4/800 (in addition to the G3/400) and i was surprised at the CPU and floating point results.

    Results 96.32
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.0b2
    System Version 10.2.2
    Physical RAM 1536 MB
    Processor PowerPC,G4@0 [800 MHz]
    Processor PowerPC,G4@1 [800 MHz]
    CPU Test 102.44
    GCD Recursion 99.83 3.90 Mops/sec
    Floating Point Basic 105.84 91.59 Mflop/sec
    AltiVec Basic 107.05 552.55 Mflop/sec
    Floating Point Library 97.05 4.36 Mops/sec

    Your machine seems to be quite a bit faster in floating point and AltiVec operations, but slower overall, due to clock speed. Sounds like your processor is much more efficient. :)

    MS Word hasn't been quick since v4.x and that's been a long time.
  13. MacBandit macrumors 604


    Aug 9, 2002
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    You tested with XBench 1.0B2 and Ben tested his laptop with XBench 1.0B3. It does make a difference. Also remember XBench is not really multiprocessor aware.
  14. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    the slowness of os x can be solved if apple came out with a home user os x with all the eye candy gui, and a more streamlined pro version...less pretty but faster for better productivity

    that way, one can choose

    right now, all os x people have to live with the ram hungry gui of aqua
  15. pianojoe macrumors 6502


    Jul 5, 2001
    N 49.50121 E008.54558
    There's grillions of Aqua replacements out there taxing quartz much less.
  16. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    I'll download the newer version and re-test but I don't think the AltiVec basic test is going to come out that much faster. Ben's is over 8 times as fast in that test...that's huge!
  17. MacBandit macrumors 604


    Aug 9, 2002
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    Trust me it will. Take a look at my system tested before with 1.0b2 and after with 1.0b3.

    Results	128.34
    	System InfoXbench Version 1.0b2
    		System Version 10.2.1
    		Physical RAM 1024 MB
    		ProcessorPowerPC,G4 @ 0 [1000 MHz]
    		ProcessorPowerPC,G4 @ 1 [1000 MHz]
    	CPU Test	136.33
    		GCD Recursion		125.06	4.88 Mops/sec
    		Floating Point Basic	137.69	119.15 Mflop/sec
    		AltiVec Basic 		160.57	828.86 Mflop/sec
    		Floating Point Library	121.99	5.48 Mops/sec
    Results	134.076279
    	System InfoXbench Version 1.0b3
    		System Version 10.2.2
    		Physical RAM 1024 MB
    		ProcessorPowerPC,G4 @ 0 [1000 MHz] L1 Cache 32K (instruction), 32K (data) Bus Frequency 167 MHz
    		ProcessorPowerPC,G4 @ 1 [1000 MHz] L1 Cache 32K (instruction), 32K (data)Bus Frequency 167 MHz
    	CPU Test	125.601578
    		GCD Recursion		125.945030	4.92 Mops/sec
    		Floating Point Basic	126.446327	426.18Mflop/sec
    		AltiVec Basic 		128.196152	6.95 Gflop/sec
    		Floating Point Library	121.818771	5.47 Mops/sec
  18. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020


    Re: OSX - why the heck is it so slow?

    Ben, the truth is that Apple doesn't make a machine that can run OSX as fast as a 300mHz G3 runs OS9 (especially if they are similarily equipped). There are tips for making it run faster and its multitasking will allow you to get more things done at once, but for now we've all come to accept that OSX is just a bit sluggish- just a few too many .5 second delays in the Finder. It seems to get marginally better with every update, but I'm guessing that between Aqua's overhead and the OS's reliance on virtual memory, OSX will never achieve a seemingly instantaneous response time.

    There are those that say OSX is indeed faster than OS9 on their machines, but I write that off to perception or a strange coincidental quirk that causes those machines to slow down the moment I touch them.

    Use and abuse OSX's multi-tasking abilities to make up for all those lost fractions of seconds. That's what OSX does best. - j
  19. Tommy! macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2001

    i couldnt agree with you more.

    apple could implement the ability to choose a more pretty but more taxing or less pretty but less taxing interface as well.

    its all about the choices :)
  20. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    Office, among other things

    If you think that Word v.x is slow when you're typing 40wpm, just imagine the quagmire that I'm in because I can type nearly 100wpm and Word practically crashes. You know, there are alternatives to Office, such as OpenOffice (http://www.openoffice.org ) and ThinkFree Office.

    Get more RAM. It's the best way to speed up your Mac.

    If you think Aqua is really that bad, you obviously have never seen how ram hungry Windows is. And there is an alternative to using Aqua that's on your Mac right now (assuming you have jaguar or something). Go to the login screen and type in ">console" and press enter (omit the password). Now, do you think that's ram hungry?
  21. mymemory macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2001
    I know what the problem could be.

    OS 9.0.4 was the fastes version ever for some reason, if you upgrade it to 9,1 it will slow down. Or if you change it to any other clasic OS version and looks like OSX version too.

    I'm telling you this because I had my pismo with OS 9.2 and a friend of mine let me his pismo with the same hardware configuration but it was significally faster and he told me it was the OS 9.0.4. I got my secund pismo later on and installed the 9.0.4 and it was fast as well. There was something in that versión that goes very fast and is very light. At list opening windows and starting up the system, the rest I can't tell you much.
  22. DHagan4755 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    Re: Re: OSX - why the heck is it so slow?

    My god, that's pure b.s. I would say OS X Jaguar runs as fast or better than OS 9. I use an iMac G3 500 MHz at work with OS 9. At home, I have a PowerMac G4/933 running OS X. There's no way in hell that my Power Mac G4/933 running OS X is slower than my work iMac in OS 9! Mac OS X is so much more flexible.
  23. Fukui macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002

    OS X is a little slower but that is because it is loaded down with supplying support for so many frameworks (Cocoa, Carbon, Java, BSD) on top of that, there is the combination of Quartz/Quickdraw (Quickdraw being used on carbon) with qaurtz sucking up the CPU quite a bit with anti-aliasing, interpolation, per-pixel transparency, and calculating all that at 32-bit color, having the CPU do all that compositing can slow things down (quartz ex only handles the UI once it as been rendered by software first, so it still is depending on the CPU).

    Carbon is also a little strange because it is basically the old mac framework (called the toolbox?) updated to run on top of mach kernel, and since it is so old, it didn't really make the transition so well, therefore your problems with Word/Office are not unique...
    If you wan't to see how good Cocoa can be though you should see the Chimera web browser...very fast.

    I got my system much faster by doing a completely fresh install, and only installing the langauges/drivers/apps I need, on a separate partition. I put my user folder in a another, and offloaded the Virtual Memory (swapfile) to a different partition (I hear linux does VM this way too), so all in all I have 3 paritions on my drive.

    512 MB of RAM does also make a difference.
    I also have seen that throwing away the Library folder (on your home folder) may help too.

    You can learn how to do that on web sites like macosxhints.com and xlr8yourmac.com
  24. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    Okay, you've convinced me that XBench is garbage and not to be trusted.
  25. MacBandit macrumors 604


    Aug 9, 2002
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    It is a decent way to compare cpu to cpu. But you have to use the same version number. Also it will not tell you any accurate MB/s or GFlops/s. Just ignore that part just use the numbers it gives to compare your machine to another. Just remember it is not really dual processor aware.

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