Why is my MacBook running slow?

premed

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 18, 2007
3
0
I have a 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo processor 2 GB RAM macbook that is just over a year old. lately, and especially since installing leopard yesterday, it has been running very slow (as in like ~150-600MB of RAM free). It usually runs slow when i have more than a couple of windows or applications open (ex: adobe bridge, photoshop, email, word, ichat, itunes, safari). I havent added much software to the computer since getting it, but i have added LOTS of pictures to the Hardrive which is 52.24 GB used, 22.97 GB free as of now. i have always thought that the speed of the computer was based on the RAM and processor, but that wouldnt explain why it has gradually decreased in speed since buying it new. Is the slowness due to a lack of RAM, slow processor, or full hardrive and what should i do to try and fix this problem seeing as how i dont think i can upgrade the RAM or processor??... PLEASE HELP!! I am very fond of Macs, but didnt expect them to start running so slow all of a sudden. Any help will do. Thank you.
 

TheStu

macrumors 65816
Aug 20, 2006
1,245
0
Carlisle, PA
I have a 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo processor 2 GB RAM macbook that is just over a year old. lately, and especially since installing leopard yesterday, it has been running very slow (as in like ~150-600MB of RAM free). It usually runs slow when i have more than a couple of windows or applications open (ex: adobe bridge, photoshop, email, word, ichat, itunes, safari). I havent added much software to the computer since getting it, but i have added LOTS of pictures to the Hardrive which is 52.24 GB used, 22.97 GB free as of now. i have always thought that the speed of the computer was based on the RAM and processor, but that wouldnt explain why it has gradually decreased in speed since buying it new. Is the slowness due to a lack of RAM, slow processor, or full hardrive and what should i do to try and fix this problem seeing as how i dont think i can upgrade the RAM or processor??... PLEASE HELP!! I am very fond of Macs, but didnt expect them to start running so slow all of a sudden. Any help will do. Thank you.
Have you repaired disk permissions after installing all that stuff? And is it running slowly all the time, or only at start up? Can you isolate it to any specific applications? Try closing them one at time and seeing if your system (after a fair amount of time) gains back snappiness.
 

premed

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 18, 2007
3
0
THANK YOU FOR THE SUGGESTIONS.
for instance, after running adobe bridge, word, email, safari, and ichat, i quit all applications except safari, word, and email and i had 156 MB free. then i quit everything and restarted the computer. upon restart, i had 1.61GB free. then i opened safari, word, and email to compare, and it only dropped to 1.4GB free. right this second it is at 1.36GB free. my computer usually runs slow when i use adobe bridge or photoshop, but i dont want that to happen. i repaired disk permissions the other day while on the phone with apple but didnt notice much difference. also, in response to your suggestions, i have tried on various occasions to quit applications in hopes of increasing the speed, but never noticed an increase. only after restarting does it go back to above 1 GB free. any other suggestions? PLEASE HELP!! THANK YOU.
 

deadpixels

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2006
913
0
do you have many startup items loading and running in the background, that could slow down your laptop. also dashboard widgets are known to be RAM hungry.
 

taylorwilsdon

macrumors 68000
Nov 16, 2006
1,864
0
New York City
What version of Photoshop is this? If its anything before CS3, that means its a PPC app and running through Rosetta emulation.

This will suck your RAM down so fast.
 

richard.mac

macrumors 603
Feb 2, 2007
6,299
2
51.50024, -0.12662
premed

"free" ram in activity monitor seems to confuse a few people. the actual amount of ram not currently being used is free + inactive. its just inactive ram is apps youve recently used and closed. If you reopen an app you just used it loads a lot quicker because its using its allocated inactive ram plus cache off the hard disk. If you use a lot of apps and hardly ever restart your free ram gets quite low, but thats fine... thats how OS X is designed to be used! 2GB of ram is a fair bit, what you should be looking at if your macbook is slow is CPU load. when leopard is indexing your time machine disk or time machine is quickly doing its hourly backup your mac could get a little slow. i suggest looking at cpu in activity monitor to see what processes are making your mac slow and report back.
 

premed

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 18, 2007
3
0
thank you all for the help.
inactive + free right now is 700MB (250 free +450 inactive). there is 1.07 GB active and i only have open word, safari and email. i do have quite a few widgets on my dashboard and perhaps that could be the problem. the photoshop version is just elements 4.0, its not the fancy version.
One thing i did notice was that i was running around 1.4GB free with email safari and word just after restart, THEN, when i opened finder (using the cover flow view) to look through some pictures, it dropped to like 265MB free and the fan kicked on. that bothers me because it seems that the cover flow view might suck up the RAM... has anyone else noticed this and what other suggestions are there for fixing this slow comp? thank you!
 

byronp

macrumors newbie
Mar 2, 2009
3
0
Did you resolve the problem?

Hi,

I was just wondering if you resolved this problem. My dad is having the same issue with his macbook and as yet I have been unable to work out what the problem is. His macbook has started running very slow. If you double click a folder or menu item in the finder it can take 2 - 4 seconds to respond.

Many thanks

Matt
 

iLog.Genius

macrumors 601
Feb 24, 2009
4,830
358
Toronto, Ontario
You want to isolate the problem. With any problem you my encounter, always determine whether it's system wide or if it's user specific and to do this is to create a new user. By isolating the problem, we are able to determine where to look or get a rough idea where the problem might be. (~/Library or Macintosh HD/Library, etc.)

With most performance problems, delete the "Caches" folder in your user Library folder and restart. You should experience some improvement and then we can move on with the applications.
 

byronp

macrumors newbie
Mar 2, 2009
3
0
Yes good point, thanks for that. I cant believe I haven't tried the new user test yet. Ill give that a go first.

Many thanks for your reply.

Matt
 

mattyb240

macrumors 6502a
May 11, 2008
520
0
Have you tried Onyx to have a clear out and run maintenance scripts? You can use monolingual to strip out the unnecessary code from applications.
 

byronp

macrumors newbie
Mar 2, 2009
3
0
Thanks for your reply, Yes I did use Onyx; in fact I did no end of system maintenance and in the end reinstalled the system, however I have only reinstalled the easy way at the moment, meaning I didn't wipe the drive and install from scratch, all of the user info, apps and what have you were kept.

Thanks

Matt
 

iLog.Genius

macrumors 601
Feb 24, 2009
4,830
358
Toronto, Ontario
You did ann archive and install? If it worked chances are it was something system wide. Next time you might want to hold out on the archive and install preserving user settings. If the problem is user specific, you just wasted time as the problem would still exist since you're backing up your user library folder and putting it back. The best thing to do is just do an archive and install without preserving user settings and slowly put files back into your user folder.
 
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