My computer is slow and I'd like thoughts on why!

hinotoxin

Registered
I really apologise if this topic is too vague or something, but this problem has been bugging me for so long and I want to fix it!

I'm currently running Tiger on an iMac g4 that I think was purchased around 6 years ago, if my memory serves me correctly.

The problem is that generally if I have more than 3 or so apps open at a time (usually iTunes, Adium and Camino), everything is incredibly slow and the spinning rainbow cursor appears a LOT more than it ever used to. Camino is painfully slow at doing everything, even opening a new window. My homepage is set to nothing yet it tries to load something for maybe close to a minute or even more before going blank. Sometimes the rainbow cursor appears then too.

It's not just Camino because it affects everything else as well.

Now I think I can remember reading somewhere that Tiger is best run on 512MB of RAM at least. I currently only have 256MB. So I'm assuming and kind of hoping that this is the problem and that it will easily be sorted with an upgrade. I've been using Tiger for a long time now though, and it was never as bad as this before. Could my computer just be dying of old age? I'm sure they are much more resilient than that so I'm hoping that is not the case.

If anyone has any inkling about this then I'd be more than grateful. Thanks!
 

g/re/p

I can haz cigar?
Only 256 mb RAM? Wow - no wonder you are having the problems you describe.
Upgade your RAM to as much as the computer will support.
 

hinotoxin

Registered
Thank you, I thought that was probably it, but wasn't positive since it has only gotten this bad in the past month or so.

I shall get to upgrading!
 

MisterMe

Registered
...

Now I think I can remember reading somewhere that Tiger is best run on 512MB of RAM at least. I currently only have 256MB. So I'm assuming and kind of hoping that this is the problem and that it will easily be sorted with an upgrade. I've been using Tiger for a long time now though, and it was never as bad as this before. Could my computer just be dying of old age? I'm sure they are much more resilient than that so I'm hoping that is not the case.

...
How much free hard drive space do you have? Over time, your RAM will not get smaller but your free hard drive space will. MacOS X should have at least 10% of your hard drive capacity available as free space so that the VM system can do its job.
 

hinotoxin

Registered
Well I have just over 18GB free out of 80. It has been slow since I installed Tiger, just not quite as noticable. Unless I've just gotten more and more impatient with it (which may be the case). I ordered 512MB of RAM last night as that's the most my iMac will take so hopefully that should fix it.

Thanks for your replies!
 

pds

Registered
Well, too bad you ordered already. The older iMacs said that 512 sticks were the most the slot would take, because when the model was new, 512 was the biggest stick available. The OS will recognize up to 2 gigs. There are 1 gig sticks that should work.

Look Here

My experience is that even with 768 MB (256 on the board and 512 on a stick) Tiger kind of slogs.
 

hinotoxin

Registered
Well the website I purchased it from is what told me that was the most it would take. Hmm, that sucks....

Well hopefully it will still run at a significantly better pace, my main concern is really just with stopping the ridiculously slow lags and making Photoshop run more smoothly so I can draw in it properly with my graphics tablet.

If it's still slow I suppose I'll try selling the 512 stick.
 

hinotoxin

Registered
Just received an email from the website after I asked them what the deal was and they're still saying their site is correct! I was going to try to get it refunded but I can't really afford more RAM anyway so hopefully it will be fast enough.

Thanks for all your replies guys, wish me speed! lol
 

macworks

Christopher Raymond
If it's truley an iMac G4 (the one with the round base), there's two slots for RAM. There's one that is "user-accessible" and one that's "technician-accessible". The user-accessible one requires a simple removal of the bottom plate with a smaller phillips screw driver. The other requires removal of the whole bottom piece, disconnecting of cables and a all-important reapplication of thermal paste to prevent the iMac from over-heating.

All-in-all, it's not that complex to install RAM into the technician-accessible slot, but you must have a fresh supply of Apple's thermal paste.

So if you really want to max it out, take it to your local Apple genious and have them upgrade the RAM inside. If you catch them at a good time, they should be able to install it for you while you wait.
 

hinotoxin

Registered
Ahh okay, that's good to know. Thanks! I think I might still have some thermal paste from the last time I opened 'er up to take out the hard drive to have my friend run disk warrior on it (long story but I just couldn't boot up from the hard drive). I think I'll just try the simple way first and if it's still giving me problems I'll do that.

I actually ran disk utility as I realised I hadn't in a while, repaired the permissions and things seem to be going slightly faster now. That's perhaps why it had gotten worse over the past few months. So I'm thinking 512MB might be enough for getting Photoshop to run smoothly.

Also, if I insert the 512MB does that actually add on to the 256 I have now making it 768MB? Sorry if this is a stupid question, I've just no experience with RAM upgrading at all so not too sure how it works.
 

macworks

Christopher Raymond
The 256 MB chip is the "technician-accessible" chip, the "user-accessible" slot is empty. So yes, the 512 MB would be in addition to the 256 MB.

10.4 Does best with 1 GB or more of RAM. That said, I'm glad you're tripling what you have now. No doubt you'll see an improvement in performance.
 

hinotoxin

Registered
Ah I thought so. Thanks for clearing that up. Really should have upgraded years ago so I'd know all this by now!

As long as there's a decent amount of improvement so I don't have to sit there waiting for the spinning rainbow annoyance to go away I'll be happy enough.
 
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