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slow spreadsheet using numbers

3374 Views 29 Replies Latest reply: Mar 4, 2014 11:18 PM by doug Davies RSS
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doug Davies Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Oct 3, 2011 7:33 PM

I only have four spreadsheets but one is uncomplicated but long; it has about 2400 lines. Some weeks it became very, very slow; if I click, the machine is slow to respond; if I type, the data appears 15 seconds or so later. I have read that this has been a problem with Apple for a number of years, but have they come up with any solutions? I have a Mac OS X 10.6.8, processor is 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, memory is 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM. I have used the disk utility first aid and the problem does not seem to be there. Thanks

IMAC, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • BGreg Level 6 Level 6 (17,500 points)
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    Oct 3, 2011 8:10 PM (in response to doug Davies)

    Three questions ... how large is your hard drive and how much space is used? Second, if you bring up the Activity monitor, on the system memory tab, what are the values for page ins and page outs?  Finally, if you bring up Disk Utility and do a verify disk, does it show everything is OK?

     

    If you have less than 10% of your disk free, and no less than 5GB, that can slow down your system. Likewise, if page outs are 10% to 15% or greater of page ins, then your system can use more memory for what you run. A page out happens when the system writes memory to the hard drive to make room to run something else. Too much of that can impact performance.

  • BGreg Level 6 Level 6 (17,500 points)
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    Oct 4, 2011 3:20 PM (in response to doug Davies)

    So what that says is that disk space isn't a performance constraint, likewise, memory isn't a performance constraint across everything you run, and you verified your hard drive and that doesn't show any issues.

     

    My next step would be to load your activity monitor (on hard drive in applications/utilities), then load up your spreadsheet and see if the activity monitor points out anything, ie, does CPU usage spike, or disk usage, or ?

     

    If you're using Excel, it would be interesting if you had iWorks Numbers available to see if you have the same experience.  Your system may even have the free demo that's been distributed with systems for awhile. Or you can download a free 30 day trial from http://www.apple.com/iwork/download-trial/

  • BGreg Level 6 Level 6 (17,500 points)
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    Oct 4, 2011 4:05 PM (in response to doug Davies)

    Using Finder, go to applications on your hard drive. Under Utilities, you'll find the Activity Monitor. Click on it to start it up ... it may start directly to your dock, so you may need to click on it there to open it up so you can view it.  You'll be interested in the CPU and disk activity tabs. Bring up Numbers and your large spreadsheet and watch the activity monitor ... does the CPU start very high utilization? Or disk access, does it likewise have unusually high utilitization.  If there's no joy there, then you might post your Numbers-specific question on the Numbers discussion area at https://discussions.apple.com/community/iwork/numbers

  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (40,535 points)
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    Oct 4, 2011 4:08 PM (in response to doug Davies)

    doug Davies wrote:

     

         I do not have Excel, I am using Numbers. If you could explain how I can act on your second paragraph it would be helpful. I have no idea how to load my activity monitor, load up my spreasheet {do you mean add more lines?} and I am relatively unfamilar with the activity monitor.

     

    You will find Activity Monitor  in Applications - Utilities - Activity Monitor. You can also easily load it (or any other app) by opening Spotlight (Command + Spacebar) and typing the name of the app. Once you have AM open along with the spreadsheet look in AM to see how much RAM Numbers is using and if you see any app using a large %CPU. Another thing to check is how much FREE RAM you have. You can find that by clicking the System Memory tab in AM. Do this with the spreadsheet open. If your system is showing 500MB or less you could benefit from a RAM upgrade. It will look something like:

     

    FREE RAM screen shot.jpg

    iMac, Mac OS X (10.7)
  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (40,535 points)
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    Oct 4, 2011 9:11 PM (in response to doug Davies)

    I see. You can try some other things like restaring in Safe Mode (hold down the Shift key on restart) this will clear some caches. However because your FREE RAM is so low with spreadsheet running, I'm pretty sure I'm correct that your system could use a RAM upgrade.

     

    Let us know what you decide to do.

  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (40,535 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 4, 2011 10:14 PM (in response to doug Davies)

    Your system is low on RAM if you upgraded to the maximum your system can accept there is a good chance your problem will dissappear. If you have already maxed out the RAM then in order to conserve RAM while you are running the spreadsheet you can quit other apps such as iTunes, Safari, Mail, etc.......

  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (40,535 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 5, 2011 8:06 AM (in response to doug Davies)

    Interesting.

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