Cover image for Take Control of Speeding Up Your Mac

Book description

Has your Mac lost its zip? Do you wish you could squeeze extra life out of an older but still functional Mac rather than investing in the latest model? Or are you a power user looking to put together the ultimate high-end Mac configuration for work or play? Nearly every Mac's speed can be boosted considerably and inexpensively if you know what you're doing. In this practical, hands-on book, best-selling author Joe Kissell offers you the results of his extensive research and experimentation in the area of Macintosh performance.

This book shows you how to identify the exact causes of slowdowns and measure your Mac's speed before and after making changes so you know exactly what their effect was. You'll systematically root out the gremlins that chew up CPU cycles, RAM, and disk space; discover numerous tricks to improve responsiveness; and learn how to speed up your email, Web browser, network, peripherals, and more. You'll also explore the benefits of hardware upgrades such as SSDs, faster hard drives, and extra RAM; discover techniques and utilities to boost your Mac's speed; and get to the bottom of some of the most common and pervasive performance myths.

Table of Contents

  1. Read Me First
    1. Updates
    2. Basics
    3. What’s New in Version 1.2
    4. What Was New in Version 1.1
  2. Introduction
  3. Speeding Up Your Mac Quick Start
  4. Learn What Makes a Mac Fast (or Slow)
    1. The Three Most Important Determiners of Mac Performance
    2. Myths, Misconceptions, and Half-Truths
  5. Try a Few Quick Fixes
    1. Restart Your Mac
    2. Quit Inactive Applications
    3. Prune Login Items
    4. Log Out of Other Accounts
    5. Upgrade Your Firmware
    6. Reset the SMC
    7. Update Mac OS X
    8. Upgrade Your RAM
  6. Diagnose Common Speed Problems
    1. Understand Diagnostic Principles
    2. Benchmark Your Mac’s Performance
    3. Check Your Resource Usage
    4. Test Specific Speed Problems
  7. Fix File and Directory Problems
    1. Run Disk Utility
    2. Check for Damaged Preference Files
    3. Check Your Fonts
  8. Lighten Your CPU Load
    1. Cut Back on Startup and Background Items
    2. Update Your Software
    3. Watch for CPU Hogs
    4. Pause Background Applications
    5. Adjust Application Priority
  9. Increase Your Free RAM
    1. Reduce the Number of Open Applications, Windows, and Tabs
    2. Reduce the Number of Desktop Icons
    3. Watch Out for Memory Leaks
    4. Disable Unused Dashboard Widgets
  10. Improve Your Disk Performance
    1. Tame Disk Access
    2. Free Up Disk Space
    3. Defragment Your Disk
  11. Speed Up Your Browser
    1. Quit and Reopen Your Browser
    2. Have Fewer Tabs and Windows Open
    3. Manage or Disable Flash
    4. Manage Extensions, Plug-ins, and Add-ons
    5. Use a Faster Browser
  12. Speed Up Your Email
    1. Adjust Checking Frequency
    2. Consolidate Your Accounts
    3. Keep Your Inbox Trim
    4. Optimize Your Rules or Filters
    5. Rebuild Mailboxes or Database
    6. Monitor What Your Email Client Is Doing
  13. Speed Up Your Network
    1. Understand Factors Influencing Network Speed
    2. Monitor Network Activity
    3. Check Your Wi-Fi Connection
    4. Check Your Wired Ethernet Connection
    5. Use a Faster DNS Provider
    6. Test Your Broadband Service
  14. Speed Up Booting, Sleeping, and Waking
    1. Understand What Influences Startup Speed
    2. Speed Up Startups
    3. Manage or Disable Safe Sleep
  15. Speed Up Mouse and Keyboard Input
    1. Speed Up Your Pointer
    2. Enhance Your Mouse, Trackball, or Trackpad
    3. Speed Up Typing
    4. Speed Up Keyboard Control
  16. Upgrade Your Hardware
    1. Add RAM
    2. Upgrade Your Hard Drive
    3. Add an SSD
    4. Add a Secondary Drive
    5. Use a RAID
    6. Use a Faster Disk Interface
    7. Add a Faster Video Card
    8. Add a Second (or Larger) Display
    9. Buy a New Mac
  17. Speed Up Your Peripherals
    1. Learn about Buses and Ports
    2. Optimize USB and FireWire Configurations
  18. About This Book
    1. Ebook Extras
    2. About the Author
    3. Author’s Acknowledgments
    4. Shameless Plug
    5. About the Publisher
  19. Copyright and Fine Print
  20. Featured Titles