OS X 10.1.5 slowness and Flash Player Plug-In

in macOS edited January 2014
Hi All,

I have been running 10.1.5, and all seeemed to be running pretty speedy on my G4/400 sawtooth, but I was not doing anything really demanding. Then I got some contracts doing web development, so I've got apache/php/mysql, Flash, Fireworks, Freehand, quicktime (pro) player, sparkLE plus (audio editor), iTunes, mail, a browser or two, captain FTP, and appleworks all running at once. Trying to switch between these apps to do actual work was very sluggish. I upgraded from 576MB or RAM to 1GB of ram. That helped a lot with the disk swapping problem, but things still felt a little slower than they "should." I thought it might just be that I was not actually trying to do so much at once before I started this web contract.

Anyway, I thought it might be time for a processor upgrade or new computer, but then I updated my flash plug in (i think my old one was v30). I read that there was a problem with background cpu consumption when hidden. After installing the new plug in (v47, I think, whatever's on versiontracker today), it seems a bit of the fog has lifted, and the machine has regained a bit of it's "snappiness." I have not even logged out or restared, just restarted my browsers.

Am I just imagining this speed increase, or is there something to it? Also, while we're on the subject, any hints as to how to improve the speed (particularly switching between apps, and waiting for the panels to display their info in the macromedia apps) would be greatly appreciated. (Should I uninstall xfree86? will it slow me down even if it's not running?) I'm hoping 10.2 will help, but I have to wait until all my apps are compatible.

Anyway, I appreciate any advice, info, ect, that you might have. Thanks!


  • Reply 1 of 2
    When your Mac gets sluggish, you should open the Terminal and run the command:

    top -du

    That will give you a list of your apps, sorted by which ones are using the most CPU. If you watch this for a few seconds, you may find where the problem app is and when you quit that problematic app the sluggishness may clear up.

    For example, my system will occasionally slow to a craw when I'm working. I've found that Chimera has a rare bug where it will spike to 100% cpu usage and stay there, even with no browser window open. I simply quit it and return to work without any more problems.

    When you're done watching top, simply press the 'q' key and close the Terminal.

    [ 08-17-2002: Message edited by: Brad ]</p>
  • Reply 2 of 2
    [quote]Originally posted by Brad:

    <strong>When your Mac gets sluggish, you should open the Terminal and run the command:


    Yeah, I've been using top, and I've fine-tuned things a bit over the past few weeks. But still, iTunes uses 10-15% while playing, and other apps (sparkLEplus, flash, fireworks...) use about 5% just sitting there doing nothing, even with no windows open. Is that normal?

    But suppose TOP samples every 2 seconds...does that mean that the AVERAGE cpu for a given app for those 2 seconds was 10% (or whatever top says), or is that the PEAK cpu during that time? If it's average, then my machine would using 30-50% or more while idle (with lots of apps open), and that's not the impression I get from "cpu monitor." It fluctuates from just about zero to about a quarter, only occasionally spiking to 1/2.

    Also, if the flash plug-in were causing problems, where would it show up under TOP? As part of the CPU usage of the browser running it?

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