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How do you assign more memory to specific software

255 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Oct 16, 2012 7:58 AM by rkaufmann87 RSS
giantjakey Calculating status...
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Oct 16, 2012 7:27 AM

In the past few days my iMac (27" 3.06GHz/2x2GB/1TB) has become incredibly slow, no matter what software package I'm using and there is a rather worrying whirring noise in the background which suggests I'm at the limits of my computer's capability/brainpower (unlikely I know!)...


I know on my previous iMac (my current one was purchased in June 2010) you could assign increased memory to specific software packages (eg Quark, Photoshop, Fireworks, etc) to ensure smooth operation but I'm totally at a loss as to where that facility is on this iMac and how exactly I go about changing the current settings - if it's possible at all!


Help please oh wise ones out there!...

iMac, OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard)
  • seventy one Level 6 Level 6 (8,510 points)

    The memory you have may be insufficient for the load you are putting upon it.   Keep an eye on Activity Monitor.

  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (36,585 points)

    I know on my previous iMac (my current one was purchased in June 2010) you could assign increased memory to specific software packages

    I remember that from pre-OSX days of last century, but we're talking OS9 and earlier.


    Thomas A Reed's Mac Performance Guide -


    Instructions on using Console to analyze slow computer response [Linc Davis] -


    The whirring noise is, disturbing.  It could be a sign of a hard drive going.  Maybe not, but I think this is a good time to ensure you have a good backup.


    How much free space on your harddrive?  If only a GB or two then it is far too full and it could be working hard hunting for space for your files.  That also slows it down.

  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (40,615 points)

    I agree about the slowing and the whirring possibly being the sign of a HDD going. Before you do anything BACKUP!!! Next run Apple Hardware Test in Extended Mode. If no error codes appear run AHT in Extended Mode 2-3 more times to be sure, it's not the most reliable test in finding errors so it can take 2-3 attempts to be sure. You will find AHT instructions in:



    Read the instructions carefully please!


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