I recently upgraded from Leopard to Snow Leopard on my white Macbook (mid-2007) and immediately noticed a bunch of performance issues:
- Finder is a lot slower at displaying the Applications folder. Scrolling through the applications list consistently hangs the Finder for several seconds while the Cover Flow display is being re-generated. Leopard had little to no delay when rendering the list or the icons.
- System processes (kernel_tasks) and applications are eating up my memory at a voracious rate. For example, only using Safari (all other apps closed) for about an hour leaves me with around 250 MB out of 2 GB left. Closing Safari only frees about 100 MB of memory. I've used Intego VirusBarrier X5 and the latest virus definitions but did not encounter anything suspicious.
- The "Smart Eject" functionality now takes 5 to 20 seconds to eject a DVD, when it previously was instantaneous upon pressing the Eject button in Leopard.
Aside from completely wiping the drive and installing Snow Leopard again (I have a lot of data all over the place that would be a significant hassle to restore), what are my options?
The following are screenshots that display Activity Monitor with all processes visible and the other with only system processes visible. Both are sorted by Real Memory used.
System processes only:
I am not sure how much of the memory is being consumed by the operating system itself, but it appears to be much more than what Leopard was using. After a clean boot, Leopard used to have about 1.2 GB memory free; Snow Leopard in comparison has around 800 MB free right after startup.