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About two weeks ago I upgraded from the latest OSX Tiger to Snow Leopard using the $29 upgrade disc, and the first day everything seemed good. Now my imac has slowed significantly if I have multiple programs running - yet with the old Tiger and the same programs running I didn't have any issues. I'm not talking about the occassional hiccup - but more like sluggish response, lag when typing, connecting to our office server, etc. Even after the latest SL 10.6.2 update, the issues are still there. Here's my hardware specs for reference:

  • iMac (purchased less than 2 years ago)
  • Intel 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo
  • 1GB 667 DDR2 RAM

With the above specs (I know the RAM spec is a little thin) I could run Firefox, Thunderbird, AIM, Adobe Photoshop CS3, Adobe InDesign CS3, and Microsoft Word all at the same time and my computer would respond fine. Ever since I upgraded to SL, it would slow down significantly if I ran just Firefox, Thunderbird, and one "major" app (Adobe or Microsoft Office). The second I start a third app, the sluggishness kicks in.

It's been 2 weeks since the upgrade, and I've kept the iMac running overnight a few days to let the new Spotlight do its work, but I'm at the point where I have 3 options:

  1. Clean install back to Tiger, stick with Tiger since there were no problems
  2. Clean install back to Tiger, Upgrade with SL disc, then install my apps
  3. Clean install with SL, then install my apps

At home I'm a Windows user so I'm used to the "wipe and install" method every so often, but here at the office where time is money I don't have time to test each option above. So the question is, which option of the three should I choose? I know option 1 will work, but I would like to run SL since it's the "latest." What do you think?

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1 Answer 1

Wipe and install is pretty drastic for Mac. 1 GB RAM is not enough and is almost certainly the cause of your problems. If you must do one of the 3 choices 3 will work, but this sounds like a case for more RAM, not a reinstall.

Have you opened up Activity Monitor to see what is using lots of memory and processor? Be sure to change "My Processes" to "All Processes."

There is also a column for Intel / PPC — be sure you are running only Intel applications if possible.

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