Improve iMac Performance and Speed?

McQ

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My 20" iMac is still my workhorse and does well, although it has started to show signs of slowing down significantly and now freezes when I'm using CS4 most of the time.

The color wheel of doom shows up, usually in the midst of editing any where from 2 photos to 15 photos. I can force quit CS4, but then the color wheel stays put and I have to physically use the hard button shutdown and restart.

I've consistently maintained the computer with Disk Utility for Disc Verification and Permissions Repair for the past three years. Don't know what else to do to hep it get back into fighting shape.

Any help is appreciated. If you need more info just ask.

Info on the system:

Running Snow Leopard 10.6.7

HD Capacity: 319.73 GB
HD Available: 56.54 GB
HD Used: 263.18 GB

Hardware Overview:

Model Name: iMac
Model Identifier: iMac8,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 6 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz
 
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you need more room if you want to keep that little hard drive.

you have very little virtual memory or scratch disk space.

you need more ram.

a newer multi processor imac would be my suggestion.

clear all caches.

do not put tons of folders on desktop.

clean your itunes and downloads and document folders.

i posted this link before:

http://www.chriswrites.com/2009/04/17-reasons-why-your-mac-is-so-unbelievably-slow/
 
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Glenn, I'm in a similar "boat" as you are. I have a 24" iMac with a 500GB hard drive, and while still have just over 100GB left on the drive, it is getting full. I think one more part of your solution is to buy an external drive (something with a good connection) and use it for storage of things like photos, etc. I have a 2TB that I use for Time Machine, and really TM only needs one of those TB's. I am going to partition the drive and use 1/2 for photo storage and the other 1/2 for TM, if this is possible. I think this would greatly help you, also.
 

McQ

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you need more room if you want to keep that little hard drive.

you have very little virtual memory or scratch disk space.

Ok. I'll have to look up "scratch disk" and see what that is, but I can do that easily enough.

you need more ram.

I need hair, too, but neither one are going to happen, unfortunately. I'm maxed out on RAM for this system.


a newer multi processor imac would be my suggestion.

I agree. My wife disagrees. She wins.

clear all caches.

Done.

do not put tons of folders on desktop.

Never have. Never will.

clean your itunes and downloads and document folders.

Clean them? Don't know how to clean iTunes or Downloads, and my Documents Folder is being cleaned now. So I'm one for three there.

i posted this link before:

http://www.chriswrites.com/2009/04/17-reasons-why-your-mac-is-so-unbelievably-slow/


Thanks. I read it. Trying out MacKeeper to see how well it works. Keeping fingers crossed.

Thanks!
 

McQ

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Glenn, I'm in a similar "boat" as you are. I have a 24" iMac with a 500GB hard drive, and while still have just over 100GB left on the drive, it is getting full. I think one more part of your solution is to buy an external drive (something with a good connection) and use it for storage of things like photos, etc. I have a 2TB that I use for Time Machine, and really TM only needs one of those TB's. I am going to partition the drive and use 1/2 for photo storage and the other 1/2 for TM, if this is possible. I think this would greatly help you, also.
Shaun. Thanks. I have two external HDs: 1 TB and a 500 GB. I've transferred most things I can to them. I also have an Airport Extreme with 500 GB which is used as my Time Machine backup. So hopefully I'm going in the right direction with this stuff.
 
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Aside from the previous suggestions, remove any unused applications. I would not spend any money on the current IMac aside from an internal HDD upgrade. Start saving for a new IMac.

Best of luck!
 
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Shaun. Thanks. I have two external HDs: 1 TB and a 500 GB. I've transferred most things I can to them. I also have an Airport Extreme with 500 GB which is used as my Time Machine backup. So hopefully I'm going in the right direction with this stuff.
If you would be so kind, please let me know if you noticed anything in particular that worked. My iMac is not slow, but it's not as fast as it used to be. I had a scratch disk problem, too, until I moved all the RAW files that had been building up in my one desktop folder to their appropriate folders. However, I still get the spinning ball more often than I'd like, too...
 
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There is also a programme called IDEFRAG for mac, this will work wonders for your performance because contrary to opinion macs do need this operation regularly.
 

McQ

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If you would be so kind, please let me know if you noticed anything in particular that worked. My iMac is not slow, but it's not as fast as it used to be. I had a scratch disk problem, too, until I moved all the RAW files that had been building up in my one desktop folder to their appropriate folders. However, I still get the spinning ball more often than I'd like, too...
Shaun, I noticed an immediate improvement with a couple of things. I purchased MacKeeper and used that first. They tell you that you have a free fifteen day trial period with FULL benefits of the regular service, but that's not true, so it is a strike against them in that regard. It only "cleans up" a certain amount then says you've hit your Free limit and have to purchase the whole package (a yearly subscription) to clean up the rest.
However, the software does seem to work very well and I'd recommend reading about it on their site.

Also, I moved all of my video and movie files from my hard disc to my external drives. Huge difference in HD space.

So far, so good. We'll see how well it does when I get back into CS4 for some serious editing.

I removed about 35 GB from my HD with just those things.
 
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I would fresh install OS X and work from a fw800 drive to save space on the internal drive... a 2.66 c2d and 4gb ram should be sufficient for cs4...

Check how much page-in and page-outs you have... If the outs are "high" like 20-30% of your page-ins a memory upgrade would be good if not to expensive, otherwise sell and upgrade to a 21.5" i3-5 with ddr3 (which is cheaper, 8gb for €70,-)
 

McQ

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Patrick and Tom, thank you. I'll have to dig in to the system carefully to make sure I understand your information and can implement any of it.

Tom, in particular, I know you are the guru of Mac info from history here. I may send some PMs to you if you don't mind.

Thanks again, guys!


UPDATE: CS4 seemed to only crash whenever I used my Noiseware Plug In. Si, I removed the Noiseware Professional Plug In for CS4 and my CS4 stopped crashing! Knock on wood, so far, that seems to have been the culprit. I sent off an email to Imagenomic's support to give them the info and ask if they had any thoughts on it. Haven't heard back yet.

Weird. I've been using that plug in for two years without incident.
 
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Clearing my desktop, dock and running Onyx from time to time speeds mine up noticeably. As did the extra 4gb of RAM and clearing out 100gb off the HDD.
 

McQ

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I use Onyx as well. My desktop is rarely used for storing anything. I have a thing about a very clean desktop. They make great meds for the condition, I'm told!

Does anyone know of any issues with using Onyx and then also, at some point, using the Mac's own Disk Utility to Repair Permissions? Would they be counterproductive to one another?
 
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