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I'm running on a 160GB HDD (nearly full), 2GB ram, on a 4 year old MacBook. I always have iTunes, Xcode, Safari/Chrome running with multiple tabs, and a mail client (Sparrow). The system originally ran Leopard and I upgraded to SL and then Lion. I wouldn't say it's slow. It's definitely getting slower but that's expected since it's such an old system. Could it be that you're just expecting too much from your computer?



"It's definitely getting slower but that's expected since it's such an old system."

I see this sentiment a lot, but I disagree with it. What are "iTunes, Xcode, Safari/Chrome, and a mail client" doing now that they weren't doing four years ago? Is it enough to justify their latest versions feeling less responsive than their versions from four years ago?


I think that as the developers are developing them on better hardware they pay less attention to performance. For example you wouldn't expect the lastest build of iTunes, or OS X to run on hardware for 10 years ago. As system specs improve developers seem to pay less attention to performance & file size. It seems crazy to me that modern web browsers are over 50mb in size. But as hard drive size isn't really a constraint anymore the developers don't optimize that aspect as much.


I would, actually. All iTunes is is an MP3 player, remember, and WinAmp did just fine on 90s machines.


Safari/Chrome: websites are more complex, more image-heavy, and more JavaScript-heavy

iTunes: layers of software for dealing with Wi-Fi sync, Ping social network, iTunes Match, and so on

Mail Client: totally agree with you there...

But I still pretty much agree with you overall...


I don't. Is that iTunes library really the same size it was when the machine was bought? Does it play songs with the same encoding size? Is the version of XCode still the same with the same feature set? Does the browser play HD video from the web as often now as it did years ago?

Things change. My old 2006 iMac core 2 duo feels a bit clunky sometimes these days, but it runs a lot of stuff fine and is actually just as good a machine as it ever was.


>I see this sentiment a lot, but I disagree with it. What are "iTunes, Xcode, Safari/Chrome, and a mail client" doing now that they weren't doing four years ago?

Lot's of things. XCode was rewritten and does live AST syntax completion, background compiles, etc.

Safari/Chrome have several more features --did Chrome even exist 4 years ago?


"nearly full"

Expectations are certainly a big part of the perceptual speed equation. But with OS X, don't underestimate the benefits of keeping your disk less than 90% full. With all the caches, iPhone and iPad backups (over 40 GB in my case), Xcode, sleepimages and swapfiles, installers (Adobe!), SyncServices, etc., a 160GB SSD fills up in no time. When things get slow, getting back below 90% works wonders.




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