Questions dealing with performance of Apple hardware or software, especially about troubleshooting or improving poor performance.

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53
votes
8answers
24k views

How to simulate slow internet connections on the mac

What's a good software solution to slow down internet connections on the mac for testing and simulations? My primary need is when testing code in the iPhone / iOS simulator, so slowing down the ...
31
votes
12answers
26k views

Why would I disable swap file in Mac OS X?

I came across a thread about installing an SSD drive in MacBook Pro. Someone in the comments also recommended to disable the swap file but didn't say why: sudo launchctl unload -w ...
28
votes
5answers
3k views

Do computers slow down as they age?

I have an eMac I bought in 2004. I just used the system restore CD to re-install Panther, iLife '04, Internet Explorer for Mac(!), etc. I don't have any timed specs from "back then", so I can't answer ...
28
votes
3answers
11k views

What are the differences between journaling HFS+ and non-journaling HFS+?

I'm about to format an external hard disk drive (HDD). What are the key differences between journaling HFS+ and non-journaling HFS+? Apart from the fact that one has journaling and the other does ...
23
votes
6answers
1k views

Is there any way to speed up my iPhone 3G since upgrading to iOS4

I have recently upgraded my iPhone 3G to iOS4 and there is some noticeable performance issues will some of the basic tasks (text messaging, loading application, etc.) I have restarted my iPhone and ...
18
votes
12answers
43k views

Will Mountain Lion make an older computer run faster or slower?

Performance/responsiveness is a common concern with new software, especially on older machines. In general, upgrading from Snow Leopard (10.6) to Lion (10.7) wasn't too bad, but now Mountain Lion ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Does the use of SSD give one a dramatic performance boost?

I use Mac book pro 15", and it's time to buy a new one. For HDD, now I see a new option of SSD, which is pretty expensive. I can expect shorter boot-up time and faster access of files, but I'm not ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I figure out which tab in Safari is using CPU?

I usually have several tabs open in Safari in the background, and sometimes I see it taking up an unusual amount of CPU (PluginProcess or WebProcess). How can I figure out which tab (or tabs) is ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

What does FreeMemory actually do?

There's a highly-rated app on the Mac App Store called FreeMemory. It claims to be able to "increase your free memory with a simple click." Although it's free right now, I believe it normally goes ...
11
votes
5answers
691 views

Should you format your Mac?

Back in my Windows days, I used to fully format my PC once a year or so, to start fresh and get rid of some of the slowdowns. It helped. Would you recommend the same for Macs? What's the recommended ...
10
votes
5answers
765 views

What scenarios benefit from Mac OS X allowing apps to run when no document windows remain?

As a rule of thumb programs on Mac OS X stay running when you close all their document windows. This is the behavior I noticed in MacVim, VmWare Fusion, Chrome and host of other applications. I ...
9
votes
3answers
14k views

Can the iPad / iPad 2 handle iOS 6?

I've heard anecdotal evidence of iOS 6 seriously impairing the performance of the iPhone 4 (and had a poor personal experience with it on iOS 5). I was wondering if anyone has had any problems ...
9
votes
4answers
10k views

Using FaceTime without the video

I have a first generation MacBook Air that heats up a lot when playing videos, and almost grinds to a halt after a few minutes of playback. Is there a way I could turn off the video during FaceTime ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

What has changed Finder list view in Lion to make “Calculate all sizes” exponentially faster?

Since way before Mac OS X came on the scene, we have been able to ask the Finder to Calculate all sizes in order to determine the sum total of readable file size space contained in each folder for the ...
8
votes
5answers
6k views

Alternative activity monitors for OS X?

I’m a bit intrigued by the new detailed activity monitors and progress indicators in Windows 8 (copying files, the task monitor, network activity, etc.) It got me thinking: surely there must be some ...
8
votes
5answers
14k views

What's the fastest connection speed / shortest elapsed time using Migration Assistant?

When using Migration Assistant to move users, files, and folders from an old Mac to a new one, you have a few different choices, depending on the Macs involved. Presuming that both Macs have ...
8
votes
3answers
71k views

What is the best version of iOS to use on an iPhone 3G?

my girlfriend is currently using an iPhone 3G (iOS version 3.1.3 - 7E18) and I've noticed it can be very sluggish. She doesn't use it for much more than the usual messaging/safari/mail. Compared to my ...
8
votes
2answers
673 views

Tool for determining performance bottleneck

I am using my early 2011 MacBook Pro for iOS development, Photoshop work, and the like, and it is at times quite sluggish. Is there a tool that I can just run for a day, and then look at the ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

How can I speed up SD card writing speed (using /dev/disk*) on a MacBook Pro?

I've been installing some linux distributions onto an SD card from my MacBook, although they take over an hour to transfer a few hundred MB (using dd and /dev/disk1). If you look at the above ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I simulate having a slow CPU?

I am almost done coding my webapp-game. It runs on all modern browsers. However, I want to establish some minimum requirements for it. Thus, I need a slow Mac. However, I don't have access to a slow ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

How would enabling FileVault alter my system and TM performance?

What are the pros and cons, performance-wise, of enabling and using FileVault? Is there any at all, or does it slow a computer down significantly or on the contrary speed it up? Also, what effect will ...
7
votes
2answers
413 views

How can I diagnose really poor performance of my 13" MBP 2011 on 10.6?

The specs are: 2011 MBP 13" Core i7 4Gb RAM 320Gb HDD (not SSD) I use the system for work everyday, I almost always run the following: Mail.app Chrome (7-10 tabs) Terminal (2-3 sessions) Skype ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Will upgrading to Lion boost performance and responsiveness?

I remember going from Leopard to Snow Leopard was a huge performance boost. Going to Lion, is it going to be the case? Read so many reviews yet none of them discussed this (many discussed gestures ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Is the i7 2.3 Ghz CPU significantly faster than the 2.2 one?

I'm shopping for a 17-inch MacBook Pro and trying to figure out my minimum specs. From the Apple website it appears these are the two procesor options... 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor ...
6
votes
3answers
9k views

Are the Retina MacBook Pro 15" suitable for PC (Windows) gaming?

I want to buy a MacBook Pro Retina 15" and install Windows 7 or 8 (boot camp) to play games. Obviously games aren't ready for this 2880x1800 resolution, so I hope I can set the games to run at ...
6
votes
3answers
18k views

Functionally speaking, where will I see a difference between dual- and quad-core i7s?

I am ready to buy a new MacBook Pro. I am drawn to the portability of the 13" and the better specs of the 15". If you take money out of the picture I would really like to know where I would see the ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I best use an SSD?

I have a Mac Pro, and I've added an Intel 80GB SSD to improve performance in LightRoom and Photoshop. So far so good. But after moving all of my current work, catalogs, etc. to the SSD, I still have ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Are there general or specific iOS6 performance issues on iPhone 4?

I would like to upgrade my iPhone 4 to iOS6 but I'm wondering if I will get performance loss (as when I upgraded my iPhone 3G to iOS4 : terrible). Can someone confirm that it won't affect my day to ...
5
votes
2answers
8k views

How can I monitor the FPS in OSX?

I'm looking for a solution to monitor the refresh rate of the OSX. In several reviews like this one about the retina Macbook Pro by Anandtech they report actual fps to discuss the performance of ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I boost the performance of my MacBook?

I know that upgrading my MacBook with extra RAM can help boost the general system performance. Recently, I upgraded from OS X 10.5 to OS X 10.6.8. I thought that my RAM upgrade would speed up my ...
5
votes
1answer
7k views

How can I control (start/stop) applications and services that start up after reboot?

I have a Mac that is slow when using the internet, but other PCs on the same connection aren't as slow. I suspect there are too many AV scanners running concurrently, or there is some process that ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Bootcamp: is there an advantage of 64-bit vs 32-bit Windows?

I've got the new MabookPro retina. I want to install a dual boot Windows OS. I have the option from MSDN to either install a 64-bit or a 32-bit. Is there a performance advantage? Other advantages?
5
votes
4answers
22k views

What is the fastest iOS version for the iPhone 3GS?

I upgraded my wife's iPhone 3GS to iOS 5.0.1 and now basic tasks like opening apps like Texts/Phone dialer are now slower than before. I understand the 3GS is 2 years old, but just being able to type ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Are there performance (slowness) issues with iOS 6 running on iPhone 3GS?

My brother has an iPhone 3GS. The upgrade to iOS 5 has considerably slowed the device. Will the upgrade to iOS 6 slow the device even more? Will iOS 6 work well (not any different from iOS 5) on an ...
5
votes
1answer
284 views

How to isolate the most disk-active process(es) in OS X?

I have some process(es) performing a lot of drive access from time to time, however I've hitherto been unable to isolate which process or processes are performing the access. What shell command can I ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Mac Mini suddently terribly slow

My Mac Mini crashed. I restarted and after a long time the screen remained gray. I then started in single user mode, did a disk check (fsck reported no problems) and rebooted again. The Mac is now ...
5
votes
1answer
184 views

Do more desktops occupy more ram?

I was an exposè addict and so do I am for mission control. I was wondering if for many desktop you have "instantiated" the more your computer slows. Since I am a developer i always have at least 5 ...
5
votes
1answer
6k views

Animated GIF images are slow on iOS

Animated GIF images seem incredibly slow since iOS 4.3ish. Prior to that, animated GIFs worked just fine and had the same speed as on a computer. I don't mean loading the GIF, but the speed of the ...
5
votes
3answers
799 views

Does moving my home folder to an non-boot drive decrease performance?

I'm going to get an SSD, making that my boot drive and moving the existing hard drive to the optical drive bay. I will keep my data on the original hard drive. MacPerformanceGuide.com says "If the ...
5
votes
2answers
681 views

Cursor stuttering: “IOHIDSystem cursor update overdue. Resending.”

My 2011 iMac running Lion recently developed a new problem; the mouse cursor stutters. At random intervals when I move the mouse it lags, then jumps, like it missed a couple of frames. Ordinarily I'd ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

is it worth it to install SSD internally, instead of using USB3?

I prefer to keep my boot drive external, so that I can quickly boot using another Mac if my primary Mac fails. I use a USB3 drive dock to connect the drive to my Macs. I bought a 120GB SSD w/SATA3 ...
4
votes
1answer
144 views

Is it good to keep apps closed on iOS devices?

Is it better to keep apps closed (double tap home button, hold the icon, and exit the app), as much as possible on iOS devices? I know the more apps one has open, the more RAM, for example is used, ...
4
votes
2answers
414 views

How do I tell what processes are driving I/O loads?

Something is driving a lot of Disk I/O on my system lately. I can see in ActivityMonitor that there are huge volumes of reads and writes every second. But none of the "normal" suspects are active when ...
4
votes
5answers
477 views

How can I put heavy load on my CPU for a long period of time?

How can I put my CPU under very high pressure for a long period of time? Are there programs for that that I can keep running ?
4
votes
3answers
973 views

MacBook Air mid 2011 Geekbench results too low

My MacBook Air from mid 2011 recently only scores about ~1800 on geekbench vs 5300+ that it was before. I'm starting the benchmarking right after reboot, and the CPU seems initially calm. Any points? ...
4
votes
1answer
8k views

How to identify CPU and memory usage per process on iPhone?

There are many common apps available to show total system RAM usage and free. However, my understanding is only a jailbroken phone has access to the APIs to access PER PROCESS memory usage on iOS. ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

How can I disable CPU throttling and CPU disabling?

On a 2011 17" MacBook Pro (i7, 10.6, 16GB ram) I do not have any options in the energy saver preference panel to control CPU throttling. I need to be able to disable CPU throttling for short periods ...
4
votes
1answer
312 views

How fast should my MBP internal drive be?

I'be been experiencing an ongoing (if not precisely measurable) feeling that my MBP is underperforming, and it seems to be related to disk IO. I recently downloaded a disk benchmarking tool, to see ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Will the MacBook Air (2011) perform as well as my MacBook Pro (2008)?

I've got a 13" 2009 MBP (8GB, 2.53Ghz). A lot of the time it runs a Win 7 web dev environment (Visual Studio, SQL Server databases, various editors, Photoshop etc.) under Parallels Desktop. It ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Snow Leopard vs. Lion performance: what are the differences?

Is Snow Leopard or Lion faster? And how significant is the speed difference?