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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Power Mac - G5 performance problems.


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Poppa*Toppa

 
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Ok, been a sparodic Mac user for a number of years now but don't personally own on (PC user you see) but I'm now working in design and am using them on a daily basis. I own a PC for games and design apps and keep my machine nice and healthy with the usual utilities and display driver reinstalls etc.

I am now using a dual screen Power Mac G5 with 1.5GB of Ram and Radeon 9600 GPU, not sure on the CPU clock speed as yet and only 4GB left on a 150GB HDD. My machine is very laggy particularly in Aperture and Photoshop takes forever to render gaussian blurs etc which for a Mac should be a doddle. The machines are also left on overnight for auto OS and registry cleaning but I don't think this is making much difference. I do find however that if I switch the machine off during the day for 10 or 15 minutes things do improve for a bit.

Can anyone give me some guidance on these issues and what ACTUAL control I have over the OS particularly background applications and what utilities I could use to optimize the OS. I heard about Onyx and iDefrag, do these programs work? Would MacPilot make much of a difference?

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baggss

 
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I'm curious as to what is being done overnight as far as maintenance is concerned. Macs don't have a registry and I suspect there is a script running the daily Unix CRON scripts. To be frank, that is a waste of time and may be bogging the system down if it's not being done right.


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hughvane

 
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OnyX is solid gold, I know of no better maintenance utility. Another option might be MainMenu.

As baggss points out, the overnight procedures are unnecessary and likely to do more to hinder OS operations. I've read elsewhere on other forums that 'defragging' is a pointless exercise under OS X, although with OnyX you have the option, at least up until Tiger, of optimising the system.
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As suggested above and clean some unused junk from the HDD. Modern drives require about 10-15% free space to perform at their optimum otherwise tey can become slow and tardy which sounds like your problem.

Consider setting up an external Firewire drive for storing large files.
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Poppa*Toppa

 
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Will Onyx work with 10.4?
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Titanium Software

There is a version for 10.5, 10.4 and 10.3.
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Poppa*Toppa

 
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That's great thanks for the link. How long does the SMART process usually take? My computer freezes but have had to cancel this as it hogs my machine up whilst I'm working.

The Crucial site says there's enough slots for up to 16GB of Ram. Really 4GB is about as much as we need, would this speed up Aperture and Lightroom which on 1.5GB is still very laggy? Though this could be a video ram issue (128MB on the Radeon unfortunately), any ideas?

I rougly reinstall Windows XP every 6 months or so, how often does the MAC OSX need reformatting?
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hughvane

 
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You can safely cancel the SMART status of the OnyX process, and yes, it does seem to take forever. I think I used it once. All it does is verify the HD as the startup disk, checking the boot blocks etc. If your machine is booting okay, then SMART is superfluous.

There used to be an old adage "you can never have too much RAM". Mactracker says you have 8 slots in that PM G5, so the world is at your feet in terms of how much RAM you put in. Memory hungry apps will run better with more RAM, of that there is little or no doubt.

MacOS X will not need reinstalling unless you experience some serious OS failure(s). Using OnyX on a regular basis (eg. once a month) will keep the OS in tiptop condition.

Graphics memory - Mactracker states: "128 MB (6600 LE) or 256 MB (6600, 7800 GT) or 512 MB (Quadro FX 4500)". I'm no expert in the video field, but those figures suggest you can upgrade the video card in your G5.

One further suggestion, if you don't already have/use it, is to get Mactracker, a free knowledge base for every Mac ever made. From it you can learn just about everything you can do to enhance, improve and modify your PM G5.
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Poppa*Toppa

 
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That's great, gives me enough ammunition for relevant upgrades and futureproofing these machines. Like I said I'm savvy with PC OS but not Mac but am learning as I go along.

Thanks for all your help.

Poppa
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bikalpapaudel

 
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^ Yup. The system you have is a workhorse and its odd that you are facing any issues at all.

Is your CPU overheating? Check that out. There is this Dashboard Widget 'iStat Pro' which can be downloaded to keep a track on your Mac.

Try Onyx or TinkerTool for maintainence and stuff. I have got a thing for TinkerTool, so I prefer it over Onyx, at least for now.

Mac OS X is very stable, wont need re-formatting as such.

Also you areseverly limiting the system by having only 1.5 GB RAM. Above that, you are running out of disk space. Disk space is used for Swap (Virtual) Memory. This is even more essential for Aperture and the likes.

Try to get around 10 GB free in your HDD. I would recommend more. Why clog?

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Poppa*Toppa

 
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Yeah I cleared out about 49GBs worth of desktop (yes desktop!) files which did help, the intenals only 160GB so could do with a bigger internal HDD really.

Yes its definitely a RAM issue. I had Ligtroom, Photoshop (which is also necessary for editing) and iTunes running and it really couldn't handle the processing. The temps are fineas I've got the Brensink Hardware Monitor running so I can see what's going on.

Really, I would like to update the GPU at some point but for the time being the RAM has got to be upped to at least 4GB. Any thoughts?
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hughvane

 
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RAM must be in matched pairs for your PM G5, either 4 x 1 Gb identical, or 2 x 2 Gb identical. It's a matter or economics which way you go there.

Brand? Crucial is often mentioned, or Kingston. Where to buy? Newegg.com - Memory, DDR, DDR2, DDR3, Memory Stick, Memory Card, Computer Memory, SD Memory Card, Memory Stick Duo, Computer RAM gets frequent mention, or Find the latest Performance Upgrades, Firewire and USB Hard Drives, SATA, Memory, Laptop Battery, and more at OWC.

The CPU (GPU?). I don't think that's upgradeable. According to the info you've given about the present 9600 graphics card, the CPU is a single PowerPC 970fx.

I therefore revise what I posted in my previous reply about the graphics card .. it is in fact (from Mactracker), 256 MB (6800 and X850 XT) or 128 MB (9600) or 256 MB (9650). Still upgradeable though.

To the HD - you can upgrade that to a 1 Tb or 750 Gb SATA drive. Plenty of storage; or you can consider an external firewire HD purely for storage and backup, capacity same as above.
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Poppa*Toppa

 
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Should we use buffered or un-buffered RAM for these machines if we upgrade to another 4GB, and will the machine sill recognise the extra 1.5GB already running or will we have to take it out? Though the machines are networked so unbuffered RAM would be risky.
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hughvane

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppa*Toppa View Post
Should we use buffered or un-buffered RAM for these machines if we upgrade to another 4GB, and will the machine still recognise the extra 1.5GB already running or will we have to take it out? Though the machines are networked so unbuffered RAM would be risky.
Firstly, I think I've just woken up to something (I must read things more thoroughly ) in that I'm wondering how you got 1.5 Gb to work in matched pairs, eg. 2 x 512 plus 2 x ?? Could this be the reason why the G5 is laggy, and is perhaps only using, say, 1 Gb of RAM via a matched pair, the remaining 512 Mb being an orphan. Can you please post the RAM configuration [System Profiler > Memory] of the G5.

Buffered or unbuffered? Depending on which model of G5 you have, Mactracker says unbuffered "4 (dual 2.0 GHz), or 8 - PC-3200 (dual 2.3 GHz+) 2.5v, unbuffered, 8-byte, nonparity 184-pin DDR SDRAM (matched pairs)". Could you also [from System Profiler > Hardware], check and post the exact model of G5 you have.
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Poppa*Toppa

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hughvane View Post
Firstly, I think I've just woken up to something (I must read things more thoroughly ) in that I'm wondering how you got 1.5 Gb to work in matched pairs, eg. 2 x 512 plus 2 x ??
We've got 2 x 256MB, and 2 x 512MB DDR SDRAM: Both are working up to 1.5GB. My Ram is maxing out all the time particularly if I have more than two apps open. I had Photoshop and Aperture as well as iTunes open and my machine slowed down to a halt. If we installed another 4GB (2 x 2GB) that would give me 5.5GBs worth of Ram to play with. Remember I am using two screens.
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