How fast is your Mac? Does it need to be faster? Are there ways to speed up OS X Tiger’s performance?
Is it worth it to try all 52 ways to speed up OS X? My Mac is already fast. Fast is good. Faster isn’t necessarily better.
My main Mac will be three years old this summer. I’m waiting for a next generation iMac—thinner, faster, bigger screen, and OS X Leopard. In the meantime, is there anything I can do to make my Mac, essentially OS X Tiger, run faster?
I had to chuckle at some of the 52 items on the list. Good or bad, we have a love affair with lists. An article entitled, 12 Ways Bill Gates Is Smarter Than Steve Jobs would get plenty of hits. And comments.
It would still be wrong. So it is with most of the gang of 52 ways to speed up OS X.
For example, #1 on the list is Repair Disk Permissions. It’s easy. It probably can’t hurt. If you’re Mac is already up to date and runs OK, it won’t matter, so why bother?
#3 is Clear Out Unwanted Applications. That may save some disk drive space, which is cheap already, but it won’t make OS X notably faster.
Turn Off seems to be the common denominator on such lists. Turn off Speech Recognition, turn off Universal Access, turn off Bluetooth, turn off Internet Sharing. I’m willing to bet that not one in 10 Mac users has those on.
Remove is another common item on such lists. Remove the language packs, remove the dock’s animation (or, is that really a Turn Off item?), remove unused Dashboard Widgets, remove animation effects, remove unncessary Login items. You get the idea.
Some items are simply ridiculous. #24 is Skip Checksum Verifications When Opening DMG Files. Puhleeeeze.
You’d think that out of a list of 52 ways to speed up OS X there would be half a dozen you could use, right? How’d they get to 52? They cheated on the count while stretching the truth. Politicians do it all the time. Why not Mac tech writers?
Repair Disk Permissions is on the list multiple times, as is disabling Dashboard, as is removing various and sundry effects. 52 items does not a valuable list make.
The problem here is matching expectations with reality. After employing or implementing all or most or a few of the 52 ways, you’d expect your Mac, OS X, to be faster, right? Chances are, it won’t be.
There’s also the issue of segregating Mac OS X vs. the applications we use on our Macs. Mail and Safari are applications that run on OS X. They’re not OS X, and if we could get them to run faster, they’d need to run about 15-percent faster, otherwise we’d never notice.
MacUser does a decent job deflating the performance enhancing balloon created by the 52 Ways list.
What are the best ways to speed up your Mac? This is easy. First, RAM. OS X loves RAM. The more, the merrier. Reboot your Mac from time to time. That restarts processes.
Keep your Safair bookmarks organized in folders. Too many bookmarks scattered all over tends to slow down Safari, and ditto for extensions in Firefox. What else?
In the end, keep your Mac up to date, reboot from time to time, if you don’t use a feature, don’t turn it on, add RAM, get a bigger hard drive (if you need it), and stop worrying about how fast OS X runs. It’s not the speed of the tool, it’s how you use it.