Speed Tips & Tricks

"Bare Facts On Mac Speed Feats"

Hardware Tips & Tricks

MEMORY: Some memory vendors are saying the Sawtooth uses FASTER memory than the Yosemite or Yikes. That's not true. There is a low profile 256MB stick that gives sufficient clearance in the Sawtooth and DV iMac. But if they say they are charging more because it's faster, that's a LIE! Also, ask for a guarantee that they are selling you PC-100 memory that meets or exceeds Apple's specifications: 3.3v unbuffered "2-2-2" pieces with a rating of 125MHz/8ns or faster.

If you have a 7300/7500/7600 or 8500/8600 or 9500/9600, you may want to be careful about the kind of memory upgrades you buy. You want "buffered and dampened," not just "buffered." Otherwise, there's a tendency for noise to bleed back into the memory bus. This is especially bothersome if you are running G3 or G4 upgrades. How do you tell what you got? Look at the "glue" chips typically placed in the center of the DIMM. There are strings of numbers on them. One of the strings should have a "2244" within it. If not, it is NOT dampened.

KEEP IT COOL: Get a fan to cool your Voodoo board at the 3Dfx Cool site for $24. They also have heatsinks and/or fans that clip to your G3 or G4 upgrades or ZIF's.

Bare Feats Ideas for Upgrading "Old" Macs
Many of you are emailing me for ideas on HOW you can give your Mac a kick in the pants.
READ my summary of hardware options.

Software Tips & Tricks

SCROLLING SPEED: speed up your scrolling by as much as 50% by turning of Font Smoothing in the Appearance Control Panel (Mac OS 9.0, 8.6 or 8.5).

STARTUP SPEEDUP: Turn off the memory diagnostic and your STARTUP time will shorten. (Open memory Control Panel with Option and Command key held down.)

WAKEUP FASTER: Turn off AppleTalk when you don't need it and your PowerBook will wake up in 6 seconds instead of 15 seconds.

PHOTOSHOP OPTIMIZATION: You want it to use all the RAM available. Check your "largest unused block of memory" by selecting "About This Computer" under the Apple menu. Then do Get Info on Photoshop, setting the Preferred Memory to all but 10% of the remaining unused memory. Also, turn off Virtual Memory and set Disk Cache to minimum. Photoshop has its own scheme for both.

Another way to figure the Application Size for Photoshop. Find the largest Photoshop document you plan to edit. Multiply the size of that file by 6. Set Photoshop to that memory size. Don't have enough memory? Get more. There's no substitute for RAM if you want ultimate speed.

BROWSER TIPS: If you are trying to browse the net with very little RAM in your Mac, you might try the iCab browser. It uses only 2 or 3MB's. That's only a fraction of what the bloated Explorer and Communicator applications use and much better than listening to your Mac's hard drive thrashing while virtual memory tries to compensate.

A lot of folks have reported nasty problems with Explorer 5.0. Some have gone back to 4.5 until 5.5 is out. Others have gone to Communicator 4.7. I've found nasties with all three. Some folks use RAM disks for the cache. Some set the cache to zero and let the server cache the pages.


LINKS to SPEED tests on other web sites


DOWNLOADS that add more SPEED


Rob Art Morgan
Publisher &
Chief Test Pilot


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