Slow iMac | September 21, 2003

My little iMac has been struggling of late. When I first got it, I couldn't believe how speedy it was. Aqua literally popped with responsiveness. However now it just crawls along. Want Dreamweaver and Photoshop open at once, may as well go and make a cup of tea if you want to switch between to two. It's not quite that bad, but it's getting there.

I'm not sure why things slowed down so much. I guess it's just the weight of OS updates, applications, game demos and mp3's getting too much for the machine. I'm sure there are things I can do to speed up performance but I'm not exactly sure what (answers on a postcard please!). There really is nothing quite like the speed of a new computer.

So if in doubt, throw RAM at the problem. I own one of the first 15" flat panel iMacs which came with a puny 256MB RAM. Yesterday I decided to drop into Cancom and get an extra 256MB RAM. I would have got more, but at 120 for 512MB it was pretty pricey just for my home computer. However even the addition of 256 megs seems to have improved my OS's responsiveness considerably.

Posted at September 21, 2003 2:44 PM


LFN said on September 21, 2003 5:22 PM

can get the iMac 512 for 139.00 USD and they make reliable RAM. better than Kingston I think… You’d have to look into shipping though.

768 MB of RAM is probably going to shift the weakest link back to the processor depending on what you do. I’m also a fan of fresh reinstalls, but they take time…

Dan said on September 21, 2003 6:39 PM

I recommend taking the ram to at least 768MB as “LFN” suggested. In fact, I’d take it to 1GB if you can.

I purchase memory from, and have for many years (not sure if they ship overseas). Highly recommended.

Tim said on September 22, 2003 12:12 PM

+1 on Crucial - good value, reliable memory.

joshua said on September 22, 2003 3:41 PM


Jon Hicks mentioned has an entry on his blog that is somewhat related. Maybe this will help.


Andy Budd said on September 22, 2003 6:43 PM

Hmm, well I use Mail not Entourage but I guess it could be a similar thing. I do have lots of email messages in various folders, however I don’t know how one would go about rebuilding the “email database” in Safari.

Chris How said on September 27, 2003 11:04 AM

I don’t know how one would go about rebuilding the “email database” in Safari.

Select your mailboxes one by one and choose Mailbox->Rebuild Mailbox.

I doubt this will help though.