Months after you purchase and use a Mac—or any computer for that matter—it may stop performing at a rapid speed like it did fresh out of the box. We stuff our machines with applications; hundreds, if not thousands, of bookmarks; all manner of documents, photos, music files—plus all the little unknown items that get thrown into the Home Library folder. Leave 5-10 applications running at the same, and you may experience the beach ball of death, or you may have to get a cup of coffee while you wait for Microsoft Word to fully launch.
There are things that contribute to a Mac’s performance, but according to Joe Kissell, author Taking Control of Speeding Up Your Mac, three of the most important contributors to a Mac’s slow performance include, CPU power (the computer’s brain where all the calculations happen), RAM (random-access memory—in which “program code and data is stored and retrieved during use”), and disk speed (the hard drive or solid-state drive that stores all your software, preferences and files.) Checking these items can sometimes help you understand why your Mac is running slow.
We’ve covered briefly 4 Methods to Monitor Running Processes on Mac, including the Activities Monitor that comes installed with OS X. The latter built-in application is helpful (here’s how to use it), but you probably will not want to keep Activity Monitor open all the time to monitor’s your Mac performance—the window for the monitor it too big. This is where Magician Monitor comes. It’s a little Mac diagnostic scanner application that you can park anywhere on your desktop and click on it to get an overall view of how your Mac is running.
Magician Monitor shows the bandwidth speed, memory usage, the amount of free space on your internal hard drive, fan speed, CPU, GPU, and Disk temperature, and batter level, if applicable.
Click on the menu bar of Magician Monitor and you can see all the indicators, or you can minimize them individually and hide the ones you don’t need.
As you might expect, you can make various changes for how you want Magician Monitor data to appear, including the refresh intervals for your computer’s memory, network, and hard drive.
You can change the color settings for various displays, and you can configure Magician Monitor‘s paster settings to appear in the dock and/or menu bar.
Optimizing Your Mac’s Performance
Of course just having Magician Monitor provide you performance data will not improve the speed of your Mac. You will need to try different methods for optimizing your Mac‘s performance. In general, to get your Mac up to speed, you may need to reduce the number of startup items that open when you restart your Mac.
If Magician Monitor reports that your CPU, GPU or Disk temperature is too high, it may mean that you need to close your Mac and give it some rest, and/or quit many of your unused applications.
If Magician Monitor shows that your memory usage is full, you may need bump up your Mac‘s memory from 2gigs of RAM to 4.
And if you’re running low on hard drive, you may need to clean it out or move items off to an external drive. You can read about other suggestions for optimizing your Mac on the Magician Monitor website. Magician Monitor can only run Intel-based Macs, OS 10.6 or higher.
Let us know what you think of Magician Monitor, and about any other performance monitoring tools you use on your Mac.