You’ve had your Mac awhile and it just doesn’t seem as fast as it was. How can you speed up your Mac? The answer isn’t as simple as installing a utility called SpeedUp Mac.
Your Mac is a complex, complicated beast, capable of many feats. Getting your Mac to perform better requires a little understanding of what makes it tick faster. Here are my tried true methods.
How Do You Define Speedy?
That’s a good question. How would you define fast? Is a fast Mac one that starts up within 60-seconds or faster? Is it how fast it takes for an app to open after a double-click?
Or, is it how fast your Mac displays a web page?
Or, is it how fast it downloads email, or scrolls through your iPhoto collection?
Or, is it how fast your Mac cranks through an Excel spreadsheet, or imports music into iTunes, or handles a video project in iMovie?
What defines a fast or slow Mac is probably subjective, but it’s easy enough to put a stop watch to different functions of daily Mac usage—opening files, starting apps, etc.
SpeedUp Mac Speeds Up What?
There’s a new utility in town called SpeedUp Mac, complete with a list of duties which supposedly avoid the Spinning Wait Cursor to optimize and enhance your Mac’s hard disk drive.
SpeedUp Mac Optimizes and enhances your Mac Hard Drive performance by cleaning language files, large files,duplicate files, cache & temporary files,universal binary file and other unwanted data.
Here’s the problem I have with such expensive utilities. It’s called SpeedUp Mac, so you should expect your Mac to be faster after you use it, right? Yet, what it does can also be done by a number of free Mac utilities. And, the focus is your Mac’s hard disk drive, not other components which may affect perceived speed.
SpeedUp Mac is a complete Mac cleanup utility that removes unwanted data from your Mac hard drives and thereby improves the performance by optimizing the Mac drives. To cleanup Mac hard drive, you have three useful utilities: SpeedUp Mac, Clean My Mac, and Uninstaller.
If those three components combine to speed up a Mac, it would be great to see a before and after video, or some benchmark tests which show how much speed is gained. SpeedUp Mac should be renamed to TidyUp Mac.
Make Your Mac Go Faster 6 Ways
Your Mac’s perceived speed is based upon these six basic factors: Hard disk drive. CPU. Mac OS X. Graphics chip. Internet connection.
#1 – Internet Connection: If you have a fast internet connection, your Mac may appear to load web pages, download files, retrieve email, upload files faster than with a slower connection.
#2 – Graphics Chip: If your Mac has a faster graphics chip, one with hardware acceleration for specific functions, it may import music into iTunes faster, or chew through Photoshop filters faster, or encode video faster. Faster graphics makes a Mac appear, well, faster.
#3 – Mac OS X: Unlike Windows, Mac OS X doesn’t need a handful of utilities to improve performance or security. However, keeping up with Apple’s recommended cache cleaning schedule won’t hurt. For the most part, removing duplicate files, unused apps, or language files won’t make your Mac appear to run faster.
#4 – CPU: Apple doesn’t put Intel’s slower CPU’s into Macs. You may not have the latest and greatest speed demon, but an Intel-based Mac isn’t a slouch. With few exceptions, there isn’t much you can do to a Mac’s CPU to make it work faster.
#5 – RAM: The rule of thumb for RAM, the memory that controls your Mac, is to get as much as you can afford. Historically, Apple has been stingy with the amount of RAM in Macs. Generally, the more RAM, the faster your Mac will appear to run. The amount of RAM will vary Mac to Mac. Usually, four to eight gigabytes of RAM provide normal to exceptional performance.
#6 – Hard Disk Drive: If there’s one component you can change to improve a Mac’s perceived performance, it’s the hard disk drive. In most cases, a faster disk drive equates to faster performance—opening files, loading apps, starting up, etc. We recommend that you use Disk Utility from time to time to Repair Permissions and Repair Disk as necessary.
Apple’s new flash drives, SSDs for Solid State Drives, as found in the new MacBook Air line, and available on other Macs, are screamers, remarkably fast, despite modest graphics chips and minimal RAM.
What About Utilities To Speed Up A Mac?
I have yet to run into a Mac app that helps to speed up a Mac to a notable tell-your-friends level. That includes SpeedUp Mac.
Its three components remove redundant files, remove unneeded language files, remove cache files, and remove installed applications.
It is unlikely that you’ll notice a performance increase (speed) using such tools.
Cleaning cache files and tweaking your Mac is easy using any one of a number of free Mac utilities, including Onyx, Deeper, or Maintenance.
I wouldn’t spend $40 to buy a utility called SpeedUp that doesn’t.