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#31106 - 09/08/14 12:49 PM Startup time
deniro Offline
Temp Banned

Registered: 09/09/09
What factors affect my imac's startup time?

How could I make it faster?
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#31108 - 09/08/14 01:24 PM Re: Startup time [Re: deniro]
joemikeb Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: deniro
How could I make it faster?

Replace your rotating media hard drive with an SSD.
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#31110 - 09/08/14 01:35 PM Re: Startup time [Re: deniro]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: deniro
What factors affect my iMac's startup time?
How could I make it faster?

Why does it need to be faster?

More specifically, why would you need to be starting it up so frequently that such would be an issue?
Apple suggests (in the iMac's instruction booklet) that unless you're not going to use the iMac for a few days, you shouldn't bother to shut it down.
And that's pretty much true since the inception of the Intel iMacs.

I might shut down my iMac once a month but only if I feel that the hard drive needs to be "sorted out".

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#31111 - 09/08/14 04:53 PM Re: Startup time [Re: grelber]
deniro Offline
Temp Banned

Registered: 09/09/09
I've heard this debate for decades, the one about whether it is better to shut down your Mac or leave it on. I turn on my Mac once a day.

Why make it faster? Why not? I don't like to wait. To me, the faster the better.
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#31113 - 09/08/14 05:41 PM Re: Startup time [Re: deniro]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
joemikeb has the right answer. The single biggest thing you can do to improve startup time--and it will improve dramatically-is take out the spinning rust hard drive and replace it with an SSD.

The second biggest thing you can do is disable Dropbox, if you use it. Man, Dropbox slows down boot on my computers like whoa.
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#31114 - 09/08/14 06:09 PM Re: Startup time [Re: deniro]
joemikeb Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
There are things you can do to make booting faster, but they would be at the expense of runtime performance. For example
  • a time consuming element of the boot process is testing the RAM, so reducing the RAM will speed boot up, but at the cost of overall slower system performance.
  • Another major component of boot time is loading the OS and applications from the hard drive, thus my previous suggestion of getting rid of the relatively slow hard drive and replacing it with a Solid State Drive.
  • Deleting ~/Library/LaunchAgents and ~/Library/Loginitems.plist will save the time required to launch all the various startup items.
The simplest way of speeding boot time is never shutting your computer down. All of the ones around my place run 24x365 and are rebooted only when required by an upgrade, or once a week (as recommended by Apple).
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#31116 - 09/08/14 10:18 PM Re: Startup time [Re: deniro]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> Why make it faster? Why not? I don't like to wait. To me, the faster the better.

I'm standing right alongside you on that one!

An alternative that hasn't been mentioned is a faster HDD, which will cost significantly less than an SSD.

If your current HDD is running at 5,400RPM, you can upgrade to a 7,200RPM drive, as I recently did, and get a nice speed boost; I'm finding that my chime to desktop time is about 33% less.
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#31117 - 09/08/14 10:26 PM Re: Startup time [Re: grelber]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> Why does it need to be faster?

More specifically, why would you need to be starting it up so frequently that such would be an issue?


In a different vein than deniro's, I'm a frequent beta-tester, and let me assure you that when testing requires restarting, every blessed second faster that it happens is a godsend.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#31119 - 09/09/14 09:16 AM Re: Startup time [Re: tacit]
Ira L Online


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: tacit
The second biggest thing you can do is disable Dropbox, if you use it. Man, Dropbox slows down boot on my computers like whoa.


My experience with Dropbox seems to show that the speed of the Internet connection (or reconnection) is what affects Dropbox. Regardless, doesn't Dropbox do its synchronization after it has loaded, which is after startup?
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Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.14.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!

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#31120 - 09/09/14 01:33 PM Re: Startup time [Re: deniro]
ganbustein Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Any easily overlooked startup slowdown is failure to specify a startup disk in System Preferences. The chosen startup disk, if any, is saved in PRAM/NVRAM; that setting is cleared each time you zap PRAM/NVRAM. If a startup disk is not currently chosen, the startup process delays until it's pretty sure any disks that are going to show up have shown up, and then chooses one. If you've chosen a startup disk, the startup process can proceed as soon as that disk becomes available, without waiting for the others.

The very first Macintosh, the Mac 128K, came with the advice that it used so little power, about the power of a single light bulb, that there was no need to ever turn it off. Modern Macs, despite their higher performance, use even less power (barely) than the Mac 128K. (Of course, modern light bulbs use considerably less power than their predecessors.)

On the other hand, Steve Jobs also hated to wait. Based on the number of Macs then in the hands of consumers, he calculated how many person-years (per year, presumably) were being wasted while people waited for their Macs to start up, and how much could be saved by cutting down startup time by even a second. He made it a major focus at Apple to cut down startup time as much as possible.

My Macs all run 24/7. I restart to do upgrades, but even then I never shut them down. Before the shift to OS X, Macs needed to be restarted occasionally, but OS X is built on Unix, and Unix is designed to run continuously.

As in so many cases, the fastest way to do something is to arrange that you don't have to do it at all.

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#31121 - 09/09/14 04:22 PM Re: Startup time [Re: ganbustein]
deniro Offline
Temp Banned

Registered: 09/09/09
Does the number of fonts (enabled or not) affect the startup speed?

What about the caches?

Doesn't emptying caches (any) slow down the (insert program or process)?


Edited by deniro (09/09/14 04:23 PM)
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#31122 - 09/09/14 04:38 PM Re: Startup time [Re: deniro]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I don't know about fonts, but clearing caches can, perhaps does, slow down the apps they support.

Further, clearing system caches slows down the startup process because OS X rebuilds them during startup.

Edit: Apps loading at startup can also slow down the process, e.g. iTunes loading your music library.


Edited by artie505 (09/09/14 05:40 PM)
_________________________
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#31124 - 09/09/14 05:21 PM Re: Startup time [Re: Ira L]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: Ira L
Originally Posted By: tacit
The second biggest thing you can do is disable Dropbox, if you use it. Man, Dropbox slows down boot on my computers like whoa.


My experience with Dropbox seems to show that the speed of the Internet connection (or reconnection) is what affects Dropbox. Regardless, doesn't Dropbox do its synchronization after it has loaded, which is after startup?


I've timed my startup by tracing and analyzing all my startup apps (of which I have many, for various reasons), and Dropbox consistently uses a lot of CPU time and slows the computer to a crawl as it's getting going...even if there's no file syncing that needs to happen. Simply the process of loading, connecting to the servers, logging in, and so on seems to take some time. (This is on a 2.3 GHz Core i7 Macbook Pro with 16 GB of RAM.)

If I disable Dropbox, startup is noticeably snappier...but I rely on Dropbox for my business, unfortunately.
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#31137 - 09/10/14 09:10 AM Re: Startup time [Re: tacit]
Ira L Online


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: tacit
Originally Posted By: Ira L
Originally Posted By: tacit
The second biggest thing you can do is disable Dropbox, if you use it. Man, Dropbox slows down boot on my computers like whoa.


My experience with Dropbox seems to show that the speed of the Internet connection (or reconnection) is what affects Dropbox. Regardless, doesn't Dropbox do its synchronization after it has loaded, which is after startup?


I've timed my startup by tracing and analyzing all my startup apps (of which I have many, for various reasons), and Dropbox consistently uses a lot of CPU time and slows the computer to a crawl as it's getting going...even if there's no file syncing that needs to happen. Simply the process of loading, connecting to the servers, logging in, and so on seems to take some time. (This is on a 2.3 GHz Core i7 Macbook Pro with 16 GB of RAM.)

If I disable Dropbox, startup is noticeably snappier...but I rely on Dropbox for my business, unfortunately.


I can't deny you your feelings. smirk

Your experience is definitely real. I can only add that on a 2012 Macbook Air, 2010 dual core iMac with 8 GB and a 2012 iMac 2.9 GHz Core i5 with 16 GB of RAM I have not seen Dropbox as a startup slowdown.

I have experienced Dropbox connecting slowly, but that is a reflection of the Internet connection after startup. And what you are describing, for me at least, happens after startup; the computer is accessible and usable while Dropbox is doing its thing.
_________________________
On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.14.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!

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#31144 - 09/10/14 10:49 AM Re: Startup time [Re: Ira L]
deniro Offline
Temp Banned

Registered: 09/09/09
I'm a little confused about caches.

Many years ago, many, I recall reading that if your browser seems slow, you should delete the cache. I've always wanted to get every bit of speed out of my internet experience. And yet, obviously the cache is where web sites are stored, so to speak, so they load more quickly the next time you visit those sites. If you delete the cache, the sites have to be re-loaded from scratch, thus slowing things down.

Onyx has options to delete various system caches. I've done it for years. But I don't really know what I'm doing or even if it's a good thing. The option must be there for a reason.

Re: related issues above. EtreCheck has turned out to be a revealing tool. Such as:

Quote:
Problem System Launch Daemons:
These are any low-level, Apple-provided parts of your operating system. Any failure that appears here may indicate a problem with your system. No 3rd party software should be listed here. If there are any 3rd party programs here, they should be uninstalled.


Edited by deniro (09/10/14 10:53 AM)
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#31154 - 09/10/14 03:39 PM Re: Startup time [Re: Ira L]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: Ira L
I have experienced Dropbox connecting slowly, but that is a reflection of the Internet connection after startup. And what you are describing, for me at least, happens after startup; the computer is accessible and usable while Dropbox is doing its thing.


So "startup" might be a bit misleading. The slowdown I experience happens immediately after boot but before the system becomes usable. The Desktop appears, the Dropbox menu item pops up in my menubar, and....my computer is essentially unusable for the next minute or so. In theory, it has finished booting, but in practice I get the spinning beachball if I try to do anything. It isn't until the Dropbox menu icon changes to the green checkmark icon that the computer starts responding.
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#31155 - 09/10/14 06:10 PM Re: Startup time [Re: tacit]
joemikeb Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
In Yosemite, Dropbox is completely blocking internet access to all other applications. I don't know if it ever finishes as I have never had the patience to wait it out.
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#31157 - 09/11/14 02:02 AM Re: Startup time [Re: ganbustein]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: ganbustein
My Macs all run 24/7. I restart to do upgrades, but even then I never shut them down.

What is the status of your machine when it is unattended?

I leave the computer on but, when unattended, it is logged out and in sleep mode with a password required to log in again. It awakes from sleep instantly and the time from entering the password until fully booted is only 5 or 6 seconds.

I assume that it is wiser from a security point of view to have an unattended machine logged out and asleep….especially when the unattended periods are usually quite lengthy. Is my security assumption correct?
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ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS Mojave 10.14.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 1TB LaCie USB-C
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#31158 - 09/11/14 02:31 AM Re: Startup time [Re: ryck]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
I do precisely the same.
And I presume your assumption is correct (and I share it).

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#31159 - 09/11/14 03:48 AM Re: Startup time [Re: grelber]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Just to add some perspective, this is quoted from the user's manual of my April 2010 15" MacBook Pro:

Originally Posted By: Apple
Putting Your MacBook Pro to Sleep
If you’ll be away from your MacBook Pro for only a short time, put it to sleep.

Shutting Down Your MacBook Pro
If you aren’t going to use your MacBook Pro for a couple of days or longer, it’s best to shut it down.

...no commentary, only those terse statements.


Edited by artie505 (09/11/14 03:50 AM)
Edit Reason: Add "sleep" details
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#31161 - 09/11/14 07:27 AM Re: Startup time [Re: artie505]
deniro Offline
Temp Banned

Registered: 09/09/09
If it spins, it wears, to quote a saying. My understanding is that the hard drive is always spinning. Doesn't leaving the computer on shorten the life of the hard drive?

I recall that some of have mentioned your hard drives have died over the years. I've never had a hard drive die.
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#31163 - 09/11/14 08:21 AM Re: Startup time [Re: deniro]
deniro Offline
Temp Banned

Registered: 09/09/09
I looked at SSDs at Other World Computing. Impressive, though I noticed that they did their testing on laptops rather than desktops, and on Photoshop and big graphics apps which I don't use.

$150 may be a little steep for me. I don't know. I'd like to know how dramatic the difference would be on my particular computer.
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#31165 - 09/11/14 12:52 PM Re: Startup time [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
Just to add some perspective, this is quoted from the user's manual of my April 2010 15" MacBook Pro:

Originally Posted By: Apple
Putting Your MacBook Pro to Sleep
If you’ll be away from your MacBook Pro for only a short time, put it to sleep.

Shutting Down Your MacBook Pro
If you aren’t going to use your MacBook Pro for a couple of days or longer, it’s best to shut it down.

…no commentary, only those terse statements.

Don't forget that with laptops battery life is a primary consideration. That might have something to do with Apple's recommendation.

Originally Posted By: deniro
If it spins, it wears, to quote a saying. My understanding is that the hard drive is always spinning. Doesn't leaving the computer on shorten the life of the hard drive?

I recall that some of have mentioned your hard drives have died over the years. I've never had a hard drive die.

When my computer is inactive the drives spin down. The longest lasting HD I have is an industrial grade IBM Deskstar in an OWC external enclosure attached to a headless Mac mini server and AFIK it has not spun down in over five years. Another HD, this one the internal HD in an iMac, cratered after two days of use. When I worked for a company that manufactured its own computers we had a shipment of over 100,000 drives that would reliably fail if you ever shut one down. That was a defect in the lubricant used in the drive bearings. (We eventually used them all up on computers used internally within the company.)

There are lots of things that supposedly effect drive life, but IMHO for practical purposes you can simply attribute it to random chance more than any other singe factor.
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#31166 - 09/11/14 02:39 PM Re: Startup time [Re: deniro]
ganbustein Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: deniro
If it spins, it wears, to quote a saying. My understanding is that the hard drive is always spinning. Doesn't leaving the computer on shorten the life of the hard drive?

I recall that some of have mentioned your hard drives have died over the years. I've never had a hard drive die.

The greatest stress on a spinning drive happens when you spin it up. At that time, you're applying torque to the platters, which puts stress on the bearings. Once it's up to speed, there is no appreciable stress on the drive to keep it spinning. (There is never any stress on the surface of the platter, because nothing ever touches it.)

I do not let my disks spin down, ever. I've never lost an internal disk. (That's probably just luck of the draw. I have lost external disks, despite treating them the same.)

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#31167 - 09/11/14 02:46 PM Re: Startup time [Re: ryck]
ganbustein Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: ryck
Originally Posted By: ganbustein
My Macs all run 24/7. I restart to do upgrades, but even then I never shut them down.

What is the status of your machine when it is unattended?

I leave it logged in. The screen goes to sleep, and requires a password to wake. My Macs are all desktop models, since I've never seen any reason to pay the laptop tax. A thief would have to disconnect it from power, at which time it's logged out anyway (and requires a password to log in).

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