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cc_foo Oct 17, 1999 12:57 AM
Performance of Mac OS 9

A post on one of the Mac sites has stated that Mac OS 9 seems a little slower than Mac OS 8.6 does.

Can users of the released version comment on this please?

Thank you.
NeonBoy Oct 17, 1999 01:48 AM
Yes, MacOS 9 run a little slow then MacOS 8.6. It is because due to MacOS 9 have a lot more feature to offer and it install a whole bunch of Extensions and Control Panels.

If you want it to run faster, remove thing you don't need. Disabled Multi User, Voice Regcogniztion, any Shared Network, and other thing you don't need. It will run twice as fast before, maybe even better then MacOS 8.6. Depend on how many Extensions and Control Panels you have installed.
dbergstrom Oct 17, 1999 02:12 AM
I'm running the released version on a Wallstreet 233 and a Beige G3/300. My initial response is that it's pretty snappy.

The 233 seems very similar to OS8.6. The G3/300 seems musch snappier than before. We have 12 users sharing the system, and multi-user functionality is super.

Also, AppleShare over IP is dramatically faster than over AppleTalk. Program linking over a 10BaseT network is actually a viable option to loading certain pieces of software on every computer on a network.

Takeo Oct 17, 1999 12:38 PM
I find it pretty snappy... but sometimes it can take FOREVER!!!! for a users desktop to come up. I mean, it can take minutes. I haven't actually timed it, but 5 minutes would not surprise me. The owners desktop comes up pretty quick, but everything else to do with multiple users (loging in, loging out, waiting for your desktop to come up) seems to take forever sometimes with a lot of disk thrashing. Any idea why? Any ideas how to speed things up?
dbergstrom Oct 17, 1999 02:57 PM

The first time each user logs in all of the preferences files are created in their user file - this takes some time and disk thrashing.

On my G3/300 it takes 15-30 seconds for the user desktop to come up, and on my wallstreet it takes maybe 30-45 seconds.

My suggestions for speeding it up are nothing revolutionary - have lots of RAM and make sure unnecessary extensions are off - for example, you can disable all of the speech recognition extensions and still use voice authentication for users to log on.

Matt Oct 17, 1999 04:50 PM
Virtual memory is the culprit for many performance related problems with OS 9. Using Virtual memory decreased my MacBench Processor Benchmarks by over 10%, and caused an even bigger hit in real life performance. Using Bryce 4, an image that rendered in 8:40 min with VM off took 12:47 with VM on - this is a 30% performance decrease!!!

I encourage others to check this out on their own systems and report the results back here. It is possible that this may be particular to my system, but other results that I've read indicate otherwise.

I for one will use the extra RAM needed to run with VM off.
Takeo Oct 18, 1999 01:36 PM
It takes 4-5 minutes for ne to log out and log back in as another user. Most of that time is waiting for the login screen to activate and waiting for the user desktop and finder to come up. This is with existing users, not just new users. I'm running OS9 final on a 233 G3 desktop... brutal eh?
dbergstrom Oct 18, 1999 04:44 PM

How much memory do you have installed on your G3?

I installed the released version of OS9 on a Rev. A iMac this morning. In many regards, the Rev. A iMac is comparable to my PowerBook G3/233. However, my PowerBook has 160MB oF RAM and the iMac has 64MB.

Whether virtual memory was on or off, the iMac took several minutes of disk thrashing to switch between users. My PowerBook, on the other hand, takes between 30 seconds and 1 minute. Again, the biggest difference between the two computers is the amount of physical RAM installed.

I have caught OS9 using more than 50MB of RAM on my PowerBook. It is Microsoft-esque in its thirst for RAM. Of course, when Apple was engineering it, RAM was still cheap, although it appears that RAM prices are on their way down once again. (BTW, Apple claims you need at least 32MB or RAM with VM set to 40MB - this is as much of a pipe dream as 32 MB being sufficient for the iBook).

I am ordering a 128MB chip for the iMac this afternoon. I think it should address the problem.

scott Oct 18, 1999 06:40 PM
I have caught OS9 using more than 50MB of RAM on my PowerBook
What do you mean by this? You mean the Finder was taking 50MB?

- Scott
dbergstrom Oct 18, 1999 07:28 PM
Exactly-the finder was using 51.6 MB of RAM.

I had several apps open - Canvas 6, Excel 98, IE 4.5, Eudora Pro 4.2 and I was printing to a desktop printer.

I use Conflict Catcher to weed out any unnecessary extensions - for example, speech recognition was turned off, and I've gotten rid of lots of the chaff that many installers try to put on my system (like AOL instant messaging).

In fact, as I write this the Finder is taking 46.5 MB (with only one Microsoft App open).

P.S. I hate the performance hit delivered by virtual memory. Naturally, this RAM usage reflected VM being off.

Gregory Oct 19, 1999 03:27 PM
Under 8.6 with VM on I use 36MB, have 256MB installed, and can't say I notice VM off or on - but one guy on the Eudora Pro team actually recommend USING VM and that system should run better. Once I turned off the junk. I use IE/OE and Office 98 and VM forces only one copy of library items to load rather than one for each app. I also allocate a lot of RAM to each app.

If standard install of 9.0 takes 50-64MB for some of use... and if it does run slow on low-end, low RAM G3's, Apple better hope RAM prices do drop down (but they are not expected to return to July levels, too many changes going on), and "ADVERTISE" that 64MB is MINIMUM and 128MB RECOMMENDED.

Also, now that OE 5.0 is out, I guess I have to worry that an Easy Install of 9.0 next week will install the older version, too.

At least Apple was offering a 128MB RAM "rebate" Aug/Sept with dealers adding another 64MB to base install. Maybe they were hoping/planning on indefinite low prices.

Takeo Oct 19, 1999 09:29 PM

Thanks for the info. I'm glad I'm not the only one having the "problem". My G3 has 128MB of RAM installed... not bad, but perhaps not quite enough to avoid all that disk thrassing upon logging in as a user. I was shocked, after turning of VM, to see OS 9 taking close to 50MB!!! That's absolutely disgusting!
ToastyKen Oct 19, 1999 11:27 PM
All this talk of turning off VM seems odd to me.

AFAIK, if you have enough RAM, turning VM on and setting it to the minimum (i.e. 1 MB more than physical) actually INCREASES your performance on PowerPC machines.

PowerPC code was designed with VM in mind, which is why it takes up so much RAM with VM off, since it can't dynamically load code from disk.

So I suggest getting more RAM AND leaving VM on.
dbergstrom Oct 20, 1999 09:58 AM
Ah, but there's another variable:

I have 160MB or RAM on my Wallstreet. That means to turn on VM, I need to use 161MB of hard drive space for even the smallest VM setting.

Now, my Wallstreet has only a 2GB hard drive, and I have only 400MB left. Do you think I'm going to squander half of that on VM?

I know, I need a bigger hard drive. However, I ordered an IBM 6.4 GB drive three months ago, and have never seen it. Nobody has these things in stock. Vaporware????

park74 Oct 20, 1999 12:28 PM
I have a 6500/250 with a 300MHz L2 G3 from Sonnet installed and 96 MB or RAM. If I disable my G3 and run with my 603e, I guess I could use it, but it's really a dog. With my G3 OS 9 runs very smooth though. It is very responsive. I've pleased with the performance I am getting. I run with VM on.
James Z Oct 20, 1999 01:26 PM
"Now, my Wallstreet has only a 2GB hard drive, and I have only 400MB left. Do you think I'm going to squander half of that on VM?"

The VM will only take up 1 MB, the extra 160 is in real RAM.

In addition, the OS only takes up 40 + MB with Virtual Memory off.

Buy more RAM if you must, but leave VM on. The software was designed to run with it on.

However, you will notice speed improvments in 3D Games, and 3D envirnments with VM off. Otherwise keep VM on.
Gregory Oct 20, 1999 01:34 PM
"The VM will only take up 1 MB."

Not under 8.anything. Did 9 change that? I thought that change was not coming until MACh OS X debut.

VM always takes up the entire amount of allocated RAM (real + vm) and only under unix and mainframes is it the "difference."

OWC has some good buys on IBM ATA and SCSI drives,

dbergstrom Oct 20, 1999 05:35 PM
Today I got my 128MB of iMac memory from OWC - about $300, which is what I spent a year ago for the same chip for my Wallstreet, so maybe RAM prices aren't all that haywire.

Anyway, it has made no difference in the amount of time needed for a user to log in to the Rev. A iMac. For a typical user it takes over 2 minutes. There is a moderate amonut of disk thrashing while the user stuff loads, but it's not really excessive.

As far as I can tell, this is a function of the number of users for the system as well as the amount of junk on the hard drive and the speed of the drive. I and others have noticed that the "owner" loads a lot faster than users. I think that what's taking so long when a user logs on is the assignment of security privileges for each folder on the hard drive. Since the owner has privileges to everything, this step can be skipped when the owner logs on, and loading time is a lot shorter.

This weekend I'm going to clean up this hard drive and see if it makes any difference. Has anybody had success using multiple users on a "slow" G3 system?

Takeo Oct 20, 1999 09:03 PM
Just to clarify... I have a 233 Mhz G3 with 128MB of RAM and OS9 final. Regardless of if I have VM turned on or off, it takes 5 minutes for any user to login and get to the desktop... 5 minutes of disk thrashing. Oh well :/
ZooTV Oct 20, 1999 09:55 PM
Just to clairify the VM issue.....i tryed it on my G3/450 with 256MB RAM and set the VM setting to DOES use 257MB on the hard disk, not the difference.
riverat Oct 21, 1999 10:39 AM
I am still losing ram under OS 9 and can't figure how. Is anybody else showing a loss? I am using the GM and seem to be unable to account for about 10 mg of ram, using the "About this computer" under the Apple. Also the "disk thrashing" referred to at sign in could be caused by a corrupted disk directory. Try Alsoft's Disk Warrior and see if it helps..It sure helps me.
park74 Oct 21, 1999 11:43 AM
I have been using the multiple users for a few days and my log in times are not significant at all. Less than 20 seconds I'd say for sure. I'm on a "slow" G3 system I think you could say. (6500 upgraded to G3 300) I completely erased my boot disk and did a clean install of 9 though. I don't have a bunch of old stuff on the disk. Even now after I have reinstalled almost all of my applications and data files the login times are still not significant. I also only have two users on the system though.
park74 Oct 21, 1999 11:44 AM
I have been using the multiple users for a few days and my log in times are not significant at all. Less than 20 seconds I'd say for sure. I'm on a "slow" G3 system I think you could say. (6500 upgraded to G3 300) I completely erased my boot disk and did a clean install of 9 though. I don't have a bunch of old stuff on the disk. Even now after I have reinstalled almost all of my applications and data files the login times are still not significant. I also only have two users on the system though.
NeonBoy Oct 21, 1999 08:42 PM
Guys, your problem will solve easierly if you did what I did. Remove out completely Multi User if you are not sharing your computer, and if it is at home why bother having it on?. Another thing to turn off is speech, a lot of time you don't need it and you have to say 25 times for it to get it anyway. Turn off networking and any sharing extension too. If you used Conflict Catcher you can spot that MacOS 9 installed a whole bunch of Control Panels and Extensions that you don't even need. After trashing a lot of this and move all the multi user feature, the finder only need 15MB total to run instead of 50MB. With VM on, graphic draw slower and decreased performance. I find put that Ram Doubler did a lot better job then VM but Ram Doubler won't work anymore on MacOS 9. Too Bad.
Takeo Oct 22, 1999 05:25 PM

My computer is at home, but I use the multi-users for personalisation. This is an extremely useful feature for me as I am not the only one using the computer. Still, most people say their login time are only 20 second or so. Mine is 5 minutes. So clearly there is some setting or something that is responsible for this long login time. I recall actaully having it only take 20 seconds or so when I first installed OS9... so there must be something up. I'll investigate when I have the chance and let you all know the results.
Takeo Oct 23, 1999 02:45 PM
To followup, I discovered the the problem was filesharing. I had filesharing set to share my entire hard disk and that was what was taking the login so long... 4-5 minutes! After turning filesharing off completely, my login times are down to 20-30 seconds.
typoon Oct 23, 1999 05:28 PM
Matt I agree. I have a 7500 at home upgraded to G3 and I have 128 megs of ram with VM off. I am also using Voice Verification. And it is very very snappy. I have not seen any lag like the other seem to have on this thread. My G3 cad is 272 MHz XLR8. Even with all the voice stuff on it is almost instant few second lag for logging in for the login when using the voice print. This New Mac OS seems quick and loaded with features
JoshLewis Oct 23, 1999 10:41 PM
Would you guys recommend putting OS 9 on a PowerMac 6500/250 with 64MB of RAM? I'm a little afraid that it might slow me to a crawl, but I do have a few people who use my computer continually and I don't want them to have access to every stinking thing... and I like some of the other features too. What do y'all think? Will it slow my old machine down too much?

Evolution Now.
Josh Lewis!
Gomer Oct 23, 1999 11:12 PM
I'm running OS 9 on a 5400/120, and things are great. The only slow thing is sometimes it seems to temporarily freeze (1-2 secs.) when closing windows in programs (IE, Word, NS Comm, etc.). Also, has anyone noticed a much larger performance decrease when using filesharing than in 8.6? Not just in multiple users, but overall. Other than these minor gripes, 9 is great!
dbergstrom Oct 26, 1999 01:40 AM
I think I would install OS9 on almost any supported machine.

Sure, there might be some sluggishness issues, but overall it is pretty snappy.

Most importantly, it is the MOST stable MacOS release in a long, long time. At work I have a G3/300 minitower with all kinds of junk loaded no it - a USB card, slide and flatbed scanners, a CDR, an ALPS printer - your basic stability nightmare. Despite 256MB of RAM, under 8.5.1 you couldn't even open PhotoShop, Excel and Canvas all at once without a complete system freeze. With heavy use, the system froze about once every two hours. OS8.6 wouldn't even load on this system without a start-up crash.

Now we've had OS9 running on this machine for over 2 weeks and its been incredibly fast and stable.

Hopefully all of this stability will not be lost in OSX.

scott Oct 26, 1999 03:29 AM
Hopefully all of this stability will not be lost in OSX.
Heh, that kind of the point of OS X: stability.

- Scott
MikeMac Oct 27, 1999 02:27 PM
Interesting article on 8.6 vs. 9 benchmarks: "Mac OS 8.6 vs Mac OS 9 A Benchmark Rumble!"

(I'm not associated with the MacSpeedZone site).
Flurk Oct 30, 1999 04:48 AM
Mac OS 9 is running slower on my PowerMacs with G3 Sonnet accelerator.
On the first, a 8100/100 with 266/1 G3 and nubus Sonata graphics card it is 10% slower than 8.6. When using the network setup assistant extensions graphics become even -33%. But on this computer OS 9.0 is very stable.
On my second computer, a 8100/80 with 220/0,5 G3 and PDS graphics card it crashes constantly. (most at startup) Once I could make a Bench test: graphics -33% !!!!
I hope that Sonnet (and VillageTronic) will find a solution.
I removed OS 9 and I returned to 8.6.

Kind regards
wlonh Oct 30, 1999 05:07 AM
My sister has a 6360 with a 250MHz/512k Sonnet L2 Slot G3 upgrade running OS 8.6, remarkably stable... and pretty fast as far as she cares.

But, does anyone out there have this setup running OS 9 and have you had a performance hit since upgrading to 9? If so, she's got all the OS she's gonna get, right now.

And she's got an HP680c printer (yuck, a handmedown from her son) anyone get theirs to work with OS 9 yet? I know that HP is working on new drivers (ha) and have heard of some workarounds like using the 560 driver for the 800 printer (I think those were the numbers), etc... but have not heard about the HP680c.

[This message has been edited by wlonh (edited 10-30-1999).]
typoon Oct 30, 1999 12:53 PM
I am using a 7500 with an XLR8 G3 upgrade card and also a PB G3 Lombard and I have Mac OS 9 install on both. It seems to fly on both my Machines even using VM. I have 128 Megs of Ram on Both Machines. I have found that if you disable all the Extensions and Control Panels you don't need the finder uses a whole lot less RAM. I would disable the Multiuser if you don need it. Also and speech and printers you aren't using. also if you aren't on a network disable that stuff too. If you do not have USB like on an older PB or Mac you should disable that too.
wlonh Oct 30, 1999 04:58 PM
thanks typoon, gracious of you to reply...

but i was looking for someone running EXACTLY what i referred to: 6360 w/Sonnet L2slot 250MHz/512k... and i am richly aware of how to 'trim' a system, even new OS9, but thanks.
typoon Oct 30, 1999 05:10 PM
Sorry about that wlonh , I was aware of that I also just wanted to put in my 2 cents about Mac OS 9 performance And also some of the other posts to the thread. I didn't even know they made G3 upgrades for that model mac.
Misha Nov 4, 1999 04:42 PM
Exactly-the finder was using 51.6 MB of RAM.
I had several apps open - Canvas 6, Excel 98, IE 4.5, Eudora Pro 4.2 and I was printing to a desktop printer.
IE 4.5 is the problem here... it's a memory leak (well not quite a leak, but an issue). Also, if you run without VM the Finder takes almost 10 MB of RAM more to run.
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