What is the best utility to improve speed on iMacs?

Larry Collins April 26, 2011
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What is the best utility to improve speed on iMacs? (10.5.8)

  1. Mike
    April 27, 2011 at 12:15 am

    While there are a few things you can do the benefits are only minor. Also there is no universal tweak tool [since there isn't much to tweak].

    Like on Windows you can look through your startup items and background services running. You can find them at the following locations. Just be aware that some of them are necessary for Applications to work properly:

    System Preferences > Users > Startup Items


    /Library/LaunchAgents
    /Library/LaunchDaemons
    /Users/yourname/Library/LaunchAgents

    It is recommended to unload those via Terminal before deleting the plist file:
    sudo launchctl unload /Library/LaunchAgents/com.example.agent.plist

    Other tweaks include deactivating things you don't need like AirPort and Bluetooth.
    One could go as far as unloading unneded system daemons too, for example:

    Bluetooth
    sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.blued.plist

    VPN
    sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.racoon.plist

    Apple remote Desktop
    sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.RemoteDesktop.PrivilegeProxy.plist
    sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.RRFBEventHelper.plist

    But those changes might be reversed with the next Software Update.

    Another tweak often mentioned is to strip languages and universal code from Apps using tools like Monolingual or Xslimmer.
    http://monolingual.sourceforge.net/
    http://www.xslimmer.com/
    Personally I found it having no noticeable impact expect the Hard Drive space you gain.

    The only other thing I can recommend is to Repair Permissions of your Hard Drive once in a while (e.g. once a month or so). Best practice is to run it twice, once for fixing permissions, another time for control. Don't mind those mismatches listed after the second run. They are caused by Apple not updating the reference list correctly and won't go away even after the 100th repair.

    If you have 2GB of RAM or less you should consider upgrading to 4GB. Mac OS X loves RAM and having 4GB will also improve your iMacs performance.

    • Mike
      April 27, 2011 at 12:20 am

      correction:
      ...no noticeable impact except...

      additions:
      Repair Permission is done via Disk Utility
      Select your Hard Drive (e.g. "Macintosh HD"), click on the Repair Permission button.

      One last tweak is to remove the Widgets from your Dashboard or disable Dashboard altogether via Terminal: defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES
      followed by killall Dock