Snow Leopard and Aging

Discussion in 'macOS' started by lordthistle, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. lordthistle macrumors 6502

    Feb 29, 2008
    Hello everyone,
    Leopard had its share of bugs and not-very-well-written features, but it did work well. I had no problems moving from 10.5.2 to the last release before Snow Leopard. More in detail, its speed remained constant over the several upgrades I did.

    With Snow Leopard I am experiencing once again how annoying the OS aging might be. This is what is happening on my Unibody MBP (late '08):

    - every once in a while, Spotlight fails. More specifically, it does not return any application that matches the search criteria. For example, if I write 'Safari', the application 'Safari' does not show up.

    - After a couple of days Spotlight has failed, the Finder freezes. I cannot relaunch it because the system says it's impossible. After a hard shutdown, the Spotlight index is rebuilt and everything goes back to normality for some weeks.

    - The boot time is too long. It's embarrassing long when compared to a similarly specced Dell laptop with an installation of MS Vista order than my SL one. I did not install anything that might influence the boot time.

    - If we consider as 'boot time' the time passing from the button press to the moment when I can really work (boot - login - few user defined startup processes), the boot time is way too long.

    - All of the applications are not snappy. For example, launching 'Terminal' requires a long time. Waking up from sleep requires longer than an instant (and that's normal).

    What is your experience? My Snow Leopard installation is not a fresh one: I upgraded from Leopard. Do you think that might be the cause of such a degraded performance? Snow Leopard was initially very fast: now it has become very very 'slow'...

  2. SimonJ macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2008
    Czech Republic
    I seem to be in the same boat (and now I see I'm not the only one), but I have installed SL from scratch so I guess that's not a factor. If you decide to do it anyway I think it'll be snappy for a while and then start to slow down.

    A restart fixes this but that's just plain annoying.

    I guess it has something to do with freeing up memory since after restarting iTunes takes like 3 bounces to launch (MacBook - 5400 RPM HDD) vs. about 10 bounces after working with the computer all day.

    Tools like Onyx also offer a temporary fix, but just temporary. Having to use Onyx once in a while seems like the regular maintenance I used to do on my Windows box - you know - cleaning the registry and all.. I thought I wouldn't have to do this on OS X...
  3. charliex5 macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I'm experiencing this same type of issue. I reinstalled Snow Leopard and all of my programs a couple days ago and its flying along. I had previously been watching the system monitor whenever I'm using the computer for anything and since reinstalling have noticed a significant drop in the amount of memory and processor power that is used. I restored everything from a Time Machine backup so it is essentially the same computer. Talk about irritating. I'm just waiting for it to start running horribly again.

    I'm beginning to feel like a Windows user again...
  4. sidewinder macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2008
    Northern California
    I did an upgrade install of Snow Leopard on release day on my Mac Pro. Snow Leopard has worked flawlessly since that day.

    I suspect the vast majority of users have had a similar experience.

  5. SolRayz macrumors 6502a


    Jul 5, 2007
    Ft. Lauderdale
    I've seen some minor slowdowns here and there on my wifes macbook, but then again she has no clue on how to maintain an OS. With my mbp, I have seen no major issues and SL has been quite responsive overall since the last update.
  6. mattyb240 macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2008
    Define a long boot time? No problems here at all and I upgraded from Leopard. Have you had a look to see what items you have at start up in system preferences?
  7. fishmoose macrumors 68000

    Jul 1, 2008
    A lot of things can slow down your computer, your RAM can do it for sure. So take a look at that, how much RAM do you have?

    I did a clean install and SL is pretty fast for me, not a huge difference from Leopard (from what I can remember) but a difference there is.
  8. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    zero issues here and I've been running SL since day one (on a fresh install). Of course, I don't run a bunch of 3rd party apps to make my system pretty.

    All OS's slow down over time as the caches get bloated and software bits get corrupted. For those who are experiencing problems, I suggest a total reinstall on a brand new or reformatted drive. I do that whenever a major OS upgrade is released. New OS? Time for a new drive.
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I've yet to notice any issues, performance degradation or problems with running SL. I opted for the clean install and like the previous poster, I've not "customized" the system with any haxies or utilities that would affect the inner working of the system, that is, its pretty much a vanilla install.
  10. lannister80 macrumors 6502


    Apr 7, 2009
    Yeah, my MP with 10GB takes several (7 or 8 maybe?) seconds to POST (gong sound) after pressing the power button, that's a lot of RAM to check.
  11. Skippy440 macrumors member


    Dec 2, 2009
    I seem to notice that most of the issues with Snow Leopard seem to be happening to the ones that are upgraded.

    Has anyone who's computer came with SL experienced any issues? Mine has been no problem since I got it. I hope it stays that way.
  12. macrem macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2008
    No problems here either, SL has been running tip top since day one of release. I only reboot my machine when there is an upgrade which requires it (~once per quarter) & there are also no slowdowns from running SL for 2-3 months between reboots. Great OS!!
  13. scroto macrumors regular


    Aug 14, 2009
    Trenton, MI
    Good for you
  14. macrem macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2008
    Upgrades went smoothly too in my experience. My guess is the problems mostly occur when upgrading hacked systems. Also for every one user with issues here, there are millions of issue-free users.
  15. sidewinder macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2008
    Northern California
    I was offering a counter point showing that what they were experiencing was not what everyone was experiencing.

    What's your purpose in this thread?

  16. akadmon Suspended

    Aug 30, 2006
    New England
    Yeah, I seem to have aged about 3 months since I installed SL back in September :(
  17. lordthistle thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 29, 2008
    I was speaking about the SL boot time, not the overall boot time: from the gong to the login window. If many people among you are not experiencing any of the described issues, then I have to check my installation. In my case the time between the gong and the login window is quite long (up to two minutes) and I have never experienced such a long delay with Leopard. All of the tests were negative, i.e. everything is considered to be just fine.

  18. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    The only problem I have with Snow Leopard is that it does take a little longer to boot into OS X than Leopard by a good 15-20 seconds but that doesnt really bother me as that could be solved with a SSD or a 7200 RPM drive. The login window appears almost instantly when the background appears.
  19. ss957916 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2009
    I thought the considerably faster boot-up time was one of SL's selling points?
  20. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030


    Oct 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    From gong to desktop (I use auto-login) takes a little less than 30 seconds on my late 08 unibody MacBook Pro running Snow Leopard. I can't help but think you would be better served with a clean install as opposed to an upgrade install.
  21. applesupergeek macrumors 6502a

    Nov 20, 2009
    Works flawlessly for me too, please don't compare sl with a windows box, it's a sacrilege.

    Maintenance really is NOT required in Mac OS X, but if you are in that unfortunate minority that do have problems, hey it's IT after all..., then may I suggest you try out a bunch of solutions, idefrag is one, the other is not a remedial feature but more so a precaution, take a sandbox image (everything but user files, apps included in image) of the system with superduper and if problems persist restore to that. Shouldn't take more than a couple of hours, probably much less, or more than about 20gb.

    Secrets is a nice freeware to tweak some options that might be unwanted or cause problems. Of course there's onyx for maintenance scripts too as mentioned.

    Run some system checks with tec tools pro (free with applecare) to just see that everything is ok, maybe ram or the hd are the culprit. Also try to identify any add ons that might be troublesome, think what you installed, some framework...

    Apple is currently busy working on the next update to sl, already available to developers and it should be with us soon, this should fix a lot of minor issues that may have become critical in some configurations. Everyone should always bear in mind that unless they require some new feature extra fast there is no reason why they should not wait for a .X2, .X3 or .X4 OS releases before the update to it. Apple is rolls out very frequent updates to avoid the big dumb "service packs" system of Windows, and thus addresses issues quickly and effectively.

    If all else fails, it won't be hard to do a fresh install and have a seamless transfer of all your apps and settings of the original hd or an image. If speed is that important to you, you might want to invest in an ssd, which will give you a responsiveness unlike anything an hd can offer. Of course they are still overpriced, but if you want to get the job done...
  22. hugodrax macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2007
    I have upgraded from 10.4,10.5 to 10.6 with no issues.

    (no clean upgrades)

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