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View Full Version : Semi-new user Mac user here. Few observations



LSUMac
06-03-2017, 01:42 PM
So about 6 months ago I made the leap from a windows machine, which I've been using for 20+ years, for a variety of reasons, the most important being iMessage from my desktop and I suppose using facetime to video chat with my son a few times a day from the office.

The system I bought is an iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, Late 2015), 3.1 Intel w/8 Gigs of memory. I soon discovered that multi-tasking was a real challenge for this machine because of the memory. My job requires me to have 2 separate browsers open at a time along with about 3 or 4 other apps. I am totally shocked at how slow this machine is when I am running everything I need to run simultaneously. I suppose I should have done a little more research on memory upgrades before buying this particular machine as the RAM in this one is soldered in and no upgrades are possible without a major effort. Being an apple iPad/iPhone user so long I just assumed that since it was an apple product it would run as fast and as smooth as every other apple product. I must say I am totally in love with MAC software, but, unfortunately, this machine just isn't cutting it for me.

I keep a close eye on Activity Monitor, anyway, and find myself killing a few items from time to time in an effort to keep things running smoothly, but I am experiencing some incredibly long wait times opening/closing apps at times.

Anyone here have any suggestions on multitasking on machines with 8 gigs? I'd love to find a solution other than having to sell this thing and buy a new machine.

Thanks!

Slydude
06-03-2017, 01:56 PM
It seems to me that the Mac you have should be performing better than it is. Can you give us an idea which apps you typically have open when the problem occurs? Also, you mentioned needing to have two browsers open, which browsers are open and roughly how many tabs are usually open?

When you are experiencing the problem and open Activity Monitor, click the Memory tab and see what color the memory pressure graph os at the bottom of the window. That may give a few clues about how well memory is being used.

BTW You aren't running anything like Clean My Mac, MacKeeper, or similar software are you?

Ember1205
06-03-2017, 02:02 PM
Welcome to the forums.

I have a MacBook Air with 8G RAM that I routinely have about 15-20 tabs open in Chrome plus Safari with up to a dozen tabs. In addition, I will have Outlook and/or Remote Desktop (access to a Windows instance on my network) running as well. Generally, I don't have any issues with multi-tasking although sometimes I see a bit of impact from something within the tabs of the browsers.

Web browsers themselves should be consuming any significant resources although Chrome on Mac OS X tends to use up whatever available resources there are. If you're experiencing slow-down on your system because of the web browsers being open, take a close look at the sites that you have open. If they're doing a lot of scripting or loading advertising content and such, that could be a huge part of the issue as it will be tying up CPU resources as well as RAM.

What browsers are you using? What are the applications that are also running?

LSUMac
06-03-2017, 02:09 PM
It seems to me that the Mac you have should be performing better than it is. Can you give us an idea which apps you typically have open when the problem occurs? Also, you mentioned needing to have two browsers open, which browsers are open and roughly how many tabs are usually open?

Quickbooks, Picasa (this one severely impacts performance but I have no other viable photo editing option at this time), Google Drive and Microsoft One Drive are all running all the time.

I run chrome and safari, although not safari so much anymore. After a solid month of experimenting I realized that Safari and GMail do not play well together. I would routinely have to log out and log back in to retrieve attachments in gmail, if using Safari. Since switching to Chrome for gmail, i've not had that issue a single time. Some of my online bank/checking deposit websites do not work with chrome and some do not work with Safari so I'm forced to utilize both. Usually 6-7 chrome tabs open at a time. I have noticed on Activity Monitor that Chrome is a resource hog. This screen shot from A.M. is when all I have open is Chrome. Its God awful.

http://i.imgur.com/GT0EJv4.png


When you are experiencing the problem and open Activity Monitor, click the Memory tab and see what color the memory pressure graph os at the bottom of the window. That may give a few clues about how well memory is being used.

Here is that shot

http://i.imgur.com/dHILqtQ.png


BTW You aren't running anything like Clean My Mac, MacKeeper, or similar software are you?

I definitely want to use one of these but, not knowing much about Mac, I am petrified to install anything that says it will keep my computer running smoother/faster. Repercussions of being a Windows user all these years.

LSUMac
06-03-2017, 02:14 PM
Welcome to the forums.

I have a MacBook Air with 8G RAM that I routinely have about 15-20 tabs open in Chrome plus Safari with up to a dozen tabs. In addition, I will have Outlook and/or Remote Desktop (access to a Windows instance on my network) running as well. Generally, I don't have any issues with multi-tasking although sometimes I see a bit of impact from something within the tabs of the browsers.

With that scenario my machine would be running like a 1gb Windows Machine from the 90s.

LSUMac
06-03-2017, 02:15 PM
It seems to me that the Mac you have should be performing better than it is. Can you give us an idea which apps you typically have open when the problem occurs? Also, you mentioned needing to have two browsers open, which browsers are open and roughly how many tabs are usually open?

When you are experiencing the problem and open Activity Monitor, click the Memory tab and see what color the memory pressure graph os at the bottom of the window. That may give a few clues about how well memory is being used.

BTW You aren't running anything like Clean My Mac, MacKeeper, or similar software are you?

I replied but I think the post is awaiting approval because of images.

lclev
06-03-2017, 02:35 PM
Yes your iMac should be running better. We have a 2013 iMac with 8GB and a 1TB HDD. We use it to capture live music from a lot of channels (I don't run it so I am guessing 8 plus channels) then edit it in ProTools. Also iTunes will be open to play music, if needed, and a DJ program will be loaded to play music for various performances. There is no hesitation or slow performance.

I think there is something else going on because what you have listed should not even create a speed bump for your iMac. You do not mention what your main drive is. A regular hard drive versus an SSD make a big difference. SSD's will speed up a computer a lot. But I still think something else is going on, possibly failing drive or misbehaving apps.

If you can provide pictures as suggested above that will be helpful. EDIT: Pictures just loaded!

Lisa

LSUMac
06-03-2017, 02:38 PM
You do not mention what your main drive is. A regular hard drive versus an SSD make a big difference. SSD's will speed up a computer a lot. But I still think something else is going on, possibly failing drive or misbehaving apps.

Lisa

Thank you Lisa. Its an SSD. My days of buying SATA are long behind me :)

Slydude
06-03-2017, 02:42 PM
Quickbooks, Picasa (this one severely impacts performance but I have no other viable photo editing option at this time), Google Drive and Microsoft One Drive are all running all the time.

I definitely want to use one of these but, not knowing much about Mac, I am petrified to install anything that says it will keep my computer running smoother/faster. Repercussions of being a Windows user all these years.

Personally, I'm glad you're not running one of those programs. Some users don't have issues with them but we get posts regularly from people who seem to be having them as part of the problem. Same goes for most anti virus software. About the only routine maintenance apps we recommend on a regular basis are Onyx (https://www.titanium-software.fr/en/onyx.html) and MalwareBytes for Mac (https://www.malwarebytes.com/mac/). Both programs can be run on demand and don't use resources when not being run.

I have to run Chrome once in a while to pay a bill or two from companies that don't seem to play nice with Safari but I tend to only run it on an as needed basis.

I haven't run Picasa in quite some time and I know they have added features since I ran it but have you taken a look at the "Photos" program on your Mac. It has some decent editing features (https://www.imore.com/photos-mac). There are numerous other good (and sometimes cheap) photo editors for Mac but I'll have to let others chime in on that.

As far as Gmail and Safari goes I'm not a fan of Gmail on any browser. I have the Mac email client set to check my Gmail.

How much free space is on your drive and how large are the images you are editing (file size/format)?

BTW Just noticed the screen name any significance to that? LSU Fan? Allum?

IWT
06-03-2017, 02:43 PM
Hi LSUMac

May I just add a comment or two?

Firstly, don't add ANY AV software or "Cleaning" software.

Instead, download Malwarebytes Anti Malware app which is very much supported on this Forum and seeks out Malware. The latter is far more important than "viruses" of which there are none in the wild which affect Macs.

Also, for those rare occasions, down load OnyX, the only Mac-appropriate housekeeping app you will ever need. Downloadable from : https://www.titanium-software.fr/en/onyx.html. Be sure to download the version specific to your Operating System.

Next up: with respect, there is a very good and reliable alternative to Picasa - namely, the app which is native to Macs, is free and ready awaiting your pleasure: "Photos".

Photos does everything, and more, than Picasa, and is both a photo editor AND a photo library.

I genuinely believe that once you start using "Photos" app, you will find that it organises, creates Albums, Folders, has Face recognition and has a great Editing Suite of options.

Finally, I agree with previous commentators that your Mac specs are more than enough to handle the relatively mundane challenges you throw it.

OnyX may sort out any problems - need advice on its usage, just ask.

Ian

lclev
06-03-2017, 02:53 PM
Well I am currently on my 2013 MB Air that has 4GB of memory. I have opened 14 webpages, Photoshop (and loaded a picture), InDesign, Opera with one webpage - and no beachballs. I am trying to stress mine and see what it shows in Activity Monitor. I have attached what my MB Air is currently showing just to give you an idea that what you are experiencing is not normal.

26565

One suggestion - download Onyx and run it's automatic feature. It will check your drive and clear out all your caches. The link to download it is listed below.

Lisa

pigoo3
06-03-2017, 03:05 PM
Just to echo what other's have said...it's not the computer (hardware). And it's certainly not the apps. "Picasa" (the app you mentioned that really slows things down)...is just a "teeny-weeny" Google app that's a substitute for Apple's iPhoto.

You didn't mention how much storage this iMac has. The first thing I would ask is...how full is the storage (gig's total & gig's free)?

Bottom line. It's not the computer hardware. It's the way the computer is being managed.;)

- Nick

LSUMac
06-03-2017, 03:34 PM
Thank you all for the help and suggestions. What a great community.

First thing's first, I downloaded and ran Malware Bytes.

It found 16 items including

OSX.Genieo
Adware.Awesome Screenshot (which is a chrome extension, as far as I can tell)
PUP.Advanced Mac Cleaner
OSX.FakeFileOpener

I am going to remove these, reboot and run again.

Slydude
06-03-2017, 03:45 PM
Good idea. That first one on your list has been known to cause slowdowns,

BTW Any chance you have downloaded software from one of the big software aggregators (CNET, Softonic, etc)? Many of these sites have become notorious for adding such "extras" to their downloads. The thinking around here seems to be that the best place to go for software is the Apple App Store or by downloading directly from the developer's website.

chscag
06-03-2017, 03:53 PM
@LSUMac:

Have approved your post. And yes, it was the large amount of graphics that threw the post into moderation, that, and the fact you're a new member. Welcome to our forums!

LSUMac
06-03-2017, 03:54 PM
Good idea. That first one on your list has been known to cause slowdowns,

BTW Any chance you have downloaded software from one of the big software aggregators (CNET, Softonic, etc)? Many of these sites have become notorious for adding such "extras" to their downloads. The thinking around here seems to be that the best place to go for software is the Apple App Store or by downloading directly from the developer's website.

So upon restart and rescan, MB found zero threats. Still a ton of Google Chrome related processes sucking up memory, but we'll see how that goes.

To answer your question, no, I haven't downloaded anything like that. I rarely trust software which makes me wonder how on earth I ended up with that Malware.

Oh and to answer one of your previous questions. LSU Fan and Alum still living in BR

LSUMac
06-03-2017, 03:55 PM
@LSUMac:

Have approved your post. And yes, it was the large amount of graphics that threw the post into moderation, that, and the fact you're a new member. Welcome to our forums!

Thank you sir.

lclev
06-03-2017, 05:50 PM
Just FYI - for every webpage you have open in chrome you will have a Google Helper entry in the Activity Monitor. As you close webpages the number of those Google Helpers drop out.

Lisa

Slydude
06-03-2017, 06:43 PM
Just FYI - for every webpage you have open in chrome you will have a Google Helper entry in the Activity Monitor. As you close webpages the number of those Google Helpers drop out.

Lisa
Either I didn't know that to had forgotten it. I'm not sure which.

@LSUMac I'm a bit north of you. Closer to Shreveport than BR but have enjoyed that area every time I've been there. When I get ready to take control of the forums from the Texans I'll let you know.:Mischievous: Wait, did I say that out loud?:Oops:

LSUMac
06-08-2017, 04:52 PM
So checking back in after running Malware Bytes. I still feel like my mac is slower multi tasking than it should be, but I could honestly just expect too much out of it. I am going to buy another for my home office with different specs and do some comparisons.

I haven't had the chance to work with Onyx yet, but I plan on doing that and checking back in. Thanks for all the help. I am definitely going to spend some time in this community!

harryb2448
06-08-2017, 05:10 PM
1., Remember the antivirus question?

2. No 'cleaning' utilities installed such as CleanMyMac or Mackeeper etc?

3. Try a browser other than Google.

pigoo3
06-09-2017, 07:34 AM
I haven't had the chance to work with Onyx yet, but I plan on doing that and checking back in.

Downloading, installing, and running Onyx should only take 15-20 min. This is an important troubleshooting step to cross off the list. If it solves the issue...great. If not...we try something else.:)

Definitely agree with what's been mentioned earlier in the thread. You've got a great & powerful Apple computer. Don't seem to be doing anything super special on it that some of the rest of us are also doing (while using older less powerful Apple computers).

The problem is very likely software or OS based...and if you REALLY REALLY want to get to the bottom of this...the "nuke & pave" approach would certainly answer things (erase & reformat...and fresh install of the OS). This approach can also be very useful for helping determine if the computer has a hardware issue. If the computer is still slow after this "nuke & pave" approach...then this could point to a hardware issue. And if this is the case...time to take advantage of the Applecare warranty...and have Apple look at it.:)

HTH,

- Nick