Previous 1 2 Next 17 Replies Latest reply: May 28, 2011 2:06 PM by Linc Davis
wendyfromcastle roci Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

my computer is really slow cant figure out why?  hoping there is an easy fix?


Mac Pro
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,880 points)

    Not if we have to pull teeth to find out why.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (173,635 points)
  • wendyfromcastle roci Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    thank you for your help!  Im new to the mac world I did go in and clean out cookies and cache and that helped!  Have a great day!

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,880 points)

    Some 'cache cleaning' programs are not much if any help and can be a cause of trouble.

     

    Knowing when, why, what applikcation, etc.

     

    There are 100+ threads on Snow Leopard "10.6 has slowed my MBP to a crawl" or "Safari (or OS X) is a memory hog" or such, one thread is over 18 months old and long.

     

    Low disk space.

     

    Freezing and not doing anything - hard restarts - that will cause trouble.

     

    Drivers. Peripherals. Started after doing XY or Z.

     

    10s of possible, and we aren't mind readers, spoon feed us or play 20 questions.

  • Eric Eskam Level 2 Level 2 (260 points)

    Has it always been slow?

     

    If not, did you change anything, install anything right before it got slow?

  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10 (100,370 points)

    How much free disk space?

     

    Right or control click the MacintoshHD icon. Click Get Info. In the Get Info window you will see Capacity and Available. Make sure you have a minimum of 15% free disk space.

     

     

    Check for Login Items 

     

    Open System Preferences/Accounts then select the Login Items tab. Delete any files or apps you have listed there. And go to /Library/Startup Items. Move any files in the Startup Items folder to the Trash.

     

     

    Mac Maintenance Quick Assist

     

    Using Disk Utility to verify or repair disks

     

     


  • wendyfromcastle roci Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It just recently became slow I cleaned out safari and firefox and they are fine now!  Thanks for responding! 

  • Eric Eskam Level 2 Level 2 (260 points)

    wendyfromcastle roci wrote:

     

    It just recently became slow I cleaned out safari and firefox and they are fine now! 

     

    I'm glad it worked out for you.  You may also wish to take a listen to the first part of this podcast - there is a great discussion about routine and simple system maintenance you can do to keep things running in tip-top shape:

     

    http://www.technightowl.com/radio/podcast/now-playing-april-9-2011-—-joe-kissell -karen-combs-and-jason-snell/

     

    Until I can get my Aperture library moved over to my SSD (still moving my masters out of my library so they can be referenced) iDefrag is an essential part of my toolkit - browsers can also be a little disk intensive since cookies, history and cached content are kept in databases that don't take keenly to file fragmentation.  Then again cleaning them out takes care of that problem

     

    Sigh - I really miss the old DiskExpress product from Alsoft - it would automatically run in the background and keep your drives defragmented.  As SSD's take over, this will become a non-issue since they don't have the latency issues that mechanical disk do, but it's still a pain vs. the old "set and forget" of DiskExpress.  Even if you don't think you need a defragmenter, you may wish to download their free trial version and give it a whirl - you might be pleasantly surprised.  Hard drives are definitely the weakest link in the speed chain on computers these days!

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (173,635 points)

    The HFS filesystem has built-in defragmentation. Third-party defragmenters are of no value, except perhaps in very unusual circumstances.

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,880 points)

    Free space can get highly fragmented and does become a problem, and nothing in HFS+ to deal with it.

     

    An SSD has been shown to be of value for Aperture and for audio (though audio usually needs so much storage space). 40K IOPS for one.

     

    Latency of 1nanosecond vs time in milliseconds for one.

  • Eric Eskam Level 2 Level 2 (260 points)

    Linc Davis wrote:

     

    The HFS filesystem has built-in defragmentation. Third-party defragmenters are of no value, except perhaps in very unusual circumstances.

     

    If a overly fragmented Aperture thumbnail and meta-data databases are unusual circumstances then - guilty!

     

    I used to think as you.  But then after continually being frustrated with Aperture's performance on my 8 core Mac Pro with 16 GB of RAM and an RAID 0 array of Western Digital Black drives, I ignored the conventional wisdom that defragmentation doesn't apply to HFS, downloaded iDefrag and was blown away at the difference.  It felt like I had a new machine!  It also accelerated my move to SSD where random reading is practically instantaneous and fragmentation *really* doesn't matter.

     

    If you haven't tried it yourself, your comment isn't helpful.  If you did and it didn't work for you, making your assertion as a blanket statement that apply's to everyone is irresponsible - we all use different software that has different requirements and have different hardware.

     

    For example, the factory SATA drive in my Mac Pro didn't support native command queuing (NCQ) - fragmentation would dramatically affect performance on such a drive since it basically processes one command from the SATA controler at a time - even something as simple as the Safari caches databases will take a big hit from fragmentation on such a drive.

     

    Which, if you do have such a drive you should replace it.  I can't believe Apple put such an under-performing drive in a workstation class machine like the Mac Pro.  If you want to check out your hard drives, hold down the Option key and pick "System Profiler" out of the Apple menu.  Click on the Serial-ATA heading in the left column under the Hardware heading the click on one of your hard drives.  Native Command Queuing is the first line under the serial number and hopefully it says Yes.  Queue Depth of 32 seems to be the norm - enterprise class drives with larger cache can have higher Queue Depth.  NCQ is basically the amount of simultaneous commands the drive can process - allowing the drive to acknowledge requests from the SATA controller in the computer faster and also fully utilize the cache embedded it it's controller - potentially allowing the drive to act out of the cache embedded in the drives controller instead of having to take the hit going to rotating disk.

  • Eric Eskam Level 2 Level 2 (260 points)

    The hatter wrote:

     

    Free space can get highly fragmented and does become a problem, and nothing in HFS+ to deal with it.

     

    Free space isn't the magic bullet either, my RAID array with my Aperture library was over 50% free (could have duplicated my library three times) and the database files still fragment.  I can always tell when it's time to take a break and let iDefrag do a quick pass.  In software that is highly disk intensive, the difference in speed can be astonishing.


    Whats frustrating is I have enough RAM that Aperture could cache both data base files in RAM - easily!  Sigh...

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (173,635 points)

    If you haven't tried it yourself, your comment isn't helpful.  If you did and it didn't work for you, making your assertion as a blanket statement that apply's to everyone is irresponsible - we all use different software that has different requirements and have different hardware.

     

    I did download iDefrag once, long ago, and ran it in demo mode. It showed that none of my volumes was more than 1% fragmented, despite the fact that none had ever been defragmented. I have yet to see any objective evidence showing a benefit from third-party defragmentation products. If you know of such evidence, I'd be grateful for a link.

  • Eric Eskam Level 2 Level 2 (260 points)

    Linc Davis wrote:

     

    I have yet to see any objective evidence showing a benefit from third-party defragmentation products. If you know of such evidence, I'd be grateful for a link.

     

    How convenient - it only has value for not just you, but everyone else, if there is "objective evidence"?

     

    Sheesh - talk about close minded.  You can't even admit that it may have value for others when it didn't for you?  If you really care, go search the Aperture forums - plenty of feedback about it in there.  Then again, we must be suffering from a shared mass hallucination since there is no "objective evidence".  Unbelieveable.

     

    BTW - did you notice the comment about the majority free space on my RAID array?  I had less than 1% fragmentation too - the problem is the files that were the most fragmented, my Aperture database files within my Library package, were the ones that caused the biggest performance hit from being fragmented.

     

    Careful you don't smother yourself with all your blanket assumptions

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