Posts Tagged

performance

Sometimes it’s good to know what’s going on beneath the hood of your Mac. Keeping track of memory and processor usage helps you manage open apps and current tasks, ensuring that your computer never grinds to a halt because you’re doing too much at once.

iStat Menus is one of the more popular apps to help you keep tabs on your Mac, with its advanced monitoring of memory usage, processor usage, network bandwidth, hardware temperatures, and much more. It just got a major new version upgrade, with a slew of new features — including history graphs, calendar events, and an improved interface — so we thought we’d take a look to see how this new release stands up.
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Much has been written about Apple’s decision to no longer ship the MacBook Air with Flash pre-installed, and while there are plenty of arguments for and against this, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that uninstalling Flash can dramatically improve your browsing experience and battery life.

Apple themselves have stated that Flash is the number one cause of crashes in Safari, and—if you’ve ever watched a YouTube video on your MacBook—you’ll know that all the system fans kicking in can’t be good for your battery life.

Unless you spend a great deal of time designing or visiting Flash websites, you should definitely try uninstalling it for a few days. I have, and I won’t be going back in a hurry.

Fortunately, there are a few simple workarounds to make the transition easier and still allow you to use Flash when you really need to.

John Gruber posted a great article on this topic a few weeks ago, explaining that even after installing Flash system-wide, it’s still available in Google Chrome (as it has its own self-contained Flash plugin). For the few times I need Flash on a day-to-day basis, this workaround is more than reasonable for me.

I’ve noticed a far quicker browsing experience, and found that many sites actually serve alternative content when they discover you don’t have Flash installed. This is more notable than when you’re running ClickToFlash, and uninstalling Flash altogether is a more honest process than tricking websites into letting ClickToFlash handle this type of content.

Is this something you’ve tried on your own machine? If not, I’d strongly recommend giving it a go, even if just for a few days! Have your say in the poll above, and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Wouldn’t you love to have a dashboard for your Mac, similar to the one in your car that alerts you if anything seems likely to malfunction? CheckUp is exactly that. From your hard drive to your OS installation, CheckUp will keep watch for anything that’s wrong with your Mac, and tell you how to fix it.

Today we’ll go into detail with every aspect of this application, and assess whether it’s a worthwhile purchase to keep your Mac running in tip-top shape.

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Much has been said about solid-state drives (SSD) being the next “big thing” in terms of computer performance. If you regularly find that your Mac is running slowly when opening apps and booting, it might be obvious to immediately think that the problem is down to insufficient RAM.

Although the amount of memory in your Mac does make a big difference, we’re starting to get to the point where we all have plenty of RAM for everyday tasks (4GB is more than enough for most Mac users). The main piece of old technology inside your MacBook or iMac is actually the hard drive, and that can contribute significantly to poor performance with certain tasks.

Not convinced that you’ll notice a performance benefit? Check out this video and come back in two minutes. I’ll wait!

So why hasn’t everyone jumped ship to this new performance-boosting miracle? The main problem with solid-state drives at present boils down to price. They’re still far more expensive than a standard Serial ATA drive, and out of the budget of many Mac users.

The question I’m asking today is whether you’re sporting a shiny new SSD (and reaping the performance benefits), or waiting for the price to drop over the next year or so. Have your say in the poll, and let me know your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear what you all think!

If you like to know what’s happening behind the scenes on your Mac, Bjango’s iStat Menus 3 (currently on sale for $10) is one of the very best apps available to you. I’ve heard people recommending it for years, but though I’ve tried it several times, it’s never really stuck for me – until recently.

Bjango recently released version 3 and, although there are some significant changes in this version, there’s not much new except for the addition of battery monitoring.

I’ll walk you through the app’s main features, and conclude with a few comments on what I’d like to see added in the future, as well as suggesting a couple of alternative options.

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Today I’ll walk you through the potentially frightening process of upgrading your Mac’s performance through increasing your RAM. We’ll start with a brief discussion of what RAM is and why you should upgrade, before taking you through every step of the upgrade process so you can be confident you’re doing everything right.

This article will help anyone looking to upgrade their RAM but is especially targeted at computer hardware novices. Many of the steps I will go through are to simplify the process of finding the right RAM for your Mac and can be completely skipped if you already know what you need and where to get it. Let’s get started!

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