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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Am I pushing my macbook pro too hard?


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andymac2210

 
Member Since: Jan 24, 2011
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Mac Specs: 13.3" macbook pro (2010) 2.4 Ghz Core 2 Duo, 4 Gb RAM, 500GB HD.

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So, got my macbook pro 13" about a week ago and I'm quite enjoying it so far.

I've only had one program crash on me so far, that program being firefox.
Decided I'd just go with safari from now on, which is a bit of a pain since it doesn't seem to want to remember forum passwords (it remembers them unless I clear my history, as in it stays logged in) ie. it won't ask to 'remember' them in the tab like it normally does for other sites.


Yes, I have autofill checked in the tickbox!

Basically I tend to keep it running 24/7, sleeping at night when I'm in bed then when I go to use it again I just open it up from sleep and continue where I left off.
Now, compared to a windows machine it's been far better for this, since even windows 7 pc's tend to need reboots quite often, usually from driver related issues, so I'm quite happy so far (I've only restarted twice in a week).

The problem seemed to mainly be with firefox, glitching youtube videos and basically being a major performance hog, was even causing other programs to respond slowly.
I'm basically wondering if this is an issue of my own making (having a dozen things open, firefox, safari, itunes, kindle, mail, app store, trillian, echofon etc) or something related to the fact I don't like to totally shut down my machine?
My CPU usage tends to be at about 35% and sometimes climbing to 50 or 60 when I'm watching videos, and my memory tends to be around 2.5GB active/wired.


Am I mistreating my macbook pro, should I be shutting down more often, having less programs open?
One of the main selling points for me was the 'stability' of the Unix based Mac OS x operating system so I'm going to be quite disappointed if this turns out not to be the case.
Oh and is there a solution out there to safari not remembering passwords (mainly for forums it seems)?

I do web design www.simplerweb.co.uk
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andymac2210 View Post

Basically I tend to keep it running 24/7, sleeping at night when I'm in bed then when I go to use it again I just open it up from sleep and continue where I left off.
You can't possibly be running this computer 24/7 if you're putting it to sleep at night when you're in bed.! "24/7" means that it's running 24 hours/day...7 days/week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andymac2210 View Post
I'm basically wondering if this is an issue of my own making (having a dozen things open, firefox, safari, itunes, kindle, mail, app store, trillian, echofon etc) or something related to the fact I don't like to totally shut down my machine?
Unless you have a LOT of ram...having that many programs open at the same time just isn't very efficient. When you have that many programs open...most likely some of the programs are not getting enough ram to run well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andymac2210 View Post
Am I mistreating my macbook pro, should I be shutting down more often, having less programs open?
You're not really mistreating it...you're just not working "intelligently". Don't open so many programs at once (a dozen)...and I find that it does help to restart the computer at least once every 1-2 weeks if you're using it heavily.

HTH,

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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thanhdao

 
Member Since: Nov 29, 2009
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safari does remeber password...
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chas_m

 
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Two things:

1. There really is no need to keep so many programs open anymore, as Pigoo said. Back in the days where programs needed a lot of time to open, nobody liked to close them down. With today's computers, most programs open in under five seconds.

I come from the era where RAM was scarce, so I got in the habit of closing all programs I wasn't using. This has so far served me well even as RAM is now plentiful: I never have any sleep issues as others have reported from time to time, and my programs never get a chance to hog up all the RAM as they aren't open long enough.

So I suggest properly quitting (command-q or file: quit) programs you're not using.

2. Before putting the computer to sleep, quit ALL running programs (except Finder which of course can't be quit). Again, time it will take to re-launch Safari should be all of two seconds. Likewise Mail.
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pigoo3

 
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Mac Specs: 13" MB 2.4ghz, 2gig ram, OS 10.7.5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chas_m View Post

I come from the era where RAM was scarce, so I got in the habit of closing all programs I wasn't using. This has so far served me well even as RAM is now plentiful: I never have any sleep issues as others have reported from time to time, and my programs never get a chance to hog up all the RAM as they aren't open long enough.
chas...I think that we're both thinking the same thing! When ram was hard to come buy (years & years) ago...we were just happy to have the OS boot up & and be able to open just one application & have it run efficiently. So just like you...I don't like leaving any unnecessary apps open if I'm not using them.

As we both certainly know...even today if folks have 4 gig or more of ram...having a dozen apps open can spread the ram so "thin" that no one app gets what it needs.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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IvanLasston

 
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Plus OSX is very good with memory management. If you look at RAM statistics under activity monitor you'll see
Free -obvious free memory
Wired - used by the OS - probably won't go below this used
Active - used by open programs
Inactive - free memory - but is being remembered by the OS to help start programs that you recently used again
Used - total of wired active and inactive
The key is Inactive - if you start a program again OSX remembers you just ran that program so it will start up quicker as it has it still in memory. So shutting down programs that you aren't really using - doesn't loose you too much with respect to restarting it (especially if you closed it in error)
Here is the long explanation
Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor
Also - as long as you aren't going into swap with a lot of page outs then you won't see much of a slow down either.

On the other hand, with 4GB I could have a lot open. With 8GB I can have 2 virtual machines with 1G of RAM allocated to each, and still have dozens of apps open without going into swap. (Note if I know I am going to run something like Photoshop or Premiere I shut everything else down as those are memory hogs.)
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EndlessMac

 
Member Since: Jan 17, 2010
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Part of your problem is the application itself and how well it was created. Firefox seems to have a memory leak and will hog up more RAM the longer you leave it opened. I prefer to close Firefox and reopen it at least once a day. Other applications can behave that way also. It's not the Mac OS that is crashing but rather the application you are using. Firefox really does like being restarted daily.

If you use Activity Monitor and check up on your applications you will notice which ones are the worst problem causers. Just remember not to leave those programs opened endlessly.

I do agree with the others though. I also prefer to quit applications when I'm not using them. 4 gigs really isn't a lot of RAM when you have every single application you own opened. It's like winning the lottery and then buying a new Ferrari every Wednesday. Just because you have it doesn't mean you should waste it...
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Macata

 
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There are some default settings in Firefox that can cause it to be inefficient. The default cache size is 50Mb and it performs better if that is reduced. Unless you have a terribly slow connection you don't need to cache images from every site you visit and it can prevent you from seeing fresh content. I reduce my cache size to 5Mb and let it fetch fresh content for the rest.

The setting is in Firefox> Preferences> Advanced> Network
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