why do computers get slower as they get older?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by nlivo, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. nlivo macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2007
    Ballarat, Australia
    I've noticed my iMac G5 is getting slower and i was wondering why. I know it is getting slower in comparison to newer computers but why do they get slower? Does the 'ghz' thingy get worn out or something?
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Over time the OS gets clogged down with junk. Back everything up and do a clean install, it'll feel like new again.
  3. rainydays macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2006
    They don't get slower. At least not noticeably slower.

    What might happen is that software get more processor and memory hungry when they are updated. Also, the operating system and file system might degrade in speed over some time because you install a lot of software like daemons, drivers and services over the years.

    If you would wipe the harddisk, make a fresh install and only use software that's release around the time the computer was new it would most likely be as fast as when you got it.

    Your perception of what's fast might have changed over the years as well though. Especially if you've spent time in front of newer computers.
  4. ale500 macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2007
    The "ghz" do not wear.

    But software gets slower and slower with every revision, normally, ymmv, ykmv.

    Look at the computer cycle (example):

    - You buy it, it is fast, it has no programs, take 25s to boot.

    - You install some programs, some startup with the OS, boot time goes to 35s.

    - You fill your harddrive, it gets may be corrupted, takes longer to mount, search files in directories, etc (easy to fix with disk utility/fsck).

    - You install more programs, some run all the time, like google mail, or im programs, that check every now and them something, it gets slower, because you share your cpu time with them...

    repeat to the point where you install programs.

    If fact, it does get slower because of the installed programs and the status of you hard disk (consistency). Not because your hardware (except the harddisk) wear.

    I hope it helps. (If is too slow, may be you should consider to clean it up a biit, reove what you do not use, check the hd). A fresh reinstall is not normally required. Btw, how many fonts do you have installed ? :apple:
  5. nlivo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2007
    Ballarat, Australia
    why? do fonts make it slow or something....i have 250. i have installed some fonts, i don't know how many original came when i bought it.
  6. mrmjd macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2007
    Is there anything you should do for genral maintenance, to keep it in good working order. Like a defrag type of thing (although I know you don't defrag on macs).

  7. ale500 macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2007
    Defrag is not needed, in general.

    Running Disk utility (Repair) or fsck once in a while helps for sure, especially if you have to shut down the system abruptly.

    There are a couple of utilities to remove old and unused preferences and things like that, but the names escape me now. For sure, remove from startup the programs you do not use, and uninstall anything that you (also) do not use anymore.

    Large amounts of fonts.. take forever to load, and some broken fonts can cause slowdowns (as is stated somewhere in these forums).

    PPC drivers in Intel Macs... do not load, but are probed during boot and slowdown it to a crawl ! (Happened to me with the FTDI usb-to-serial driver, I mistakenly installed the PPC version But I did not find out how to uninstall it... so I installed the Intel version on top of it... it worked).

    Here are a couple of useful tools you can try to do maintenance.

  8. wanderlust4ever macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2007
    Maybe they are just like us, and they get old and knackhard too :D
  9. ~Shard~ macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    Here are some general tips on how to free up some HDD space:

    - use OmniDiskSweeper (not free) or my personal favorite WhatSize (free) to determine what all is taking up room on your HDD and where it is
    - I also recommend Disk Inventory X to view HDD usage - it graphically shows you what is taking up space with a decent presentation and UI
    - remove GarageBand and iDVD if you do not need them - that should free up around 6 GB right there
    - check out /Library/Printers/ - 2 GB of printer drivers that you may or may not need
    - use Monolingual to remove the unnecessary language resources from your Mac*. Another option is to use Delocalizer
    - lastly, you could always use AppZapper (not free) to ensure that when you uninstall any programs that all those pesky sub-folders, etc. are deleted

    That should just about do it. :cool:

    * a note about Monolingual. If you are not careful this can seriously screw up your Mac if it is Intel-based. Basically, leave the Architectures settings alone. If you delete G3, G4, G5 then anything which is PPC-based which will try to run under Rosetta, won't. Otherwise, Monolingual is great. ;)[/
  10. Bern macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2004
    I can never understand why anyone would want to install applications to get rid of applications or unwanted/un-needed resources like languages.

    To get those language files out of your applications is easy. Just click on the application in Finder, click the "more info" button, the window shown below will open, apple-click on all the languages you don't need that appear at the bottom of that window where it says "languages" and delete. It's that simple.

    To run the maintenance scripts manually, that are usually run at something like 3am do the following..

    Using your Admin account, you can execute all three maintenance scripts at once, as follows:

    Launch Terminal, in the Computer > Mac OS X > Applications > Utilities folder.

    1.At the prompt, type the following, exactly as written:
    sudo periodic daily weekly monthly

    2. Press Return.

    3. Type your Admin password when prompted, then press Return.

    All three scripts will run in sequence. There is no visual feedback while the scripts execute. You will know they are completed when the Terminal prompt returns.

    You can also run the scripts individually. For example, to run just the daily script, you would type the command

    sudo periodic daily
    in step 3 above.

    Other than that a clean reinstall will safely clean up your Mac.

    Attached Files:

  11. MK2007 macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2007
    Type the word "plist" into Spotlight. You'll get an idea of how much junk is left over from apps that you installed and then dragged to the Trash thinking that was all you had to do. From the plist search you should be able to develop a list of other keywords to search on and then delete those files too.

    When Leopard is released I am going to do a clean install.
  12. ~Shard~ macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    Many users are not savvy enough nor feel safe or confident enough to play around with Terminal and such - many do not know what sudo even means. Many Mac users do not even know what an Admin account is let alone how to access theirs. They want a quick, easy way to take care of such things without having to worry. Open an application, press a button, done, like magic! That's what having a Mac is all about! ;) :)

    I know where you're coming from though, don't get me wrong - but you have to realize not everyone is necessarily as comfortable and familiar with their computers as you and I might be. :cool:

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