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System Suddenly Running Very Slow

Update:11-30Source: network consolidation
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Hi All,
For some reason recently my iMac has started running extremely slow. Had an issue with Photoshop (my fault) and so reset Photoshop. I noticed after that working with a fairly large file in Photoshop in adding an effect when the effects window was open above the Photoshop file I was working on the text/graphics would disappear or appear to be wiped away if I moved the effects window over the open Photoshop file. Put it down to the fact that the file was large and my Mac was having difficulty with it. However since then I am now sure it's something worse. Playing a high def quicktime video with another open app causes the beach ball. Also opening Final Cut now takes ages and today a warning kept popping up saying out of memory when I was only playing an audio track in the time line with no video. Final cut windows also seem to have elements missing as what happened in Photoshop. I am running Onyx at the moment to see if it helps but I'm concerned. Permissions have been repaired a number times since then. I have also reset the Pram and SMC after this problem started. This was for another issue which is my iSight which stopped working a few months after getting my Mac. Was hoping things might change but oh well. Checked sys profiler and everything seems to be ok RAM/Hard drive etc. Even ran Tech tool to check the drive and all ok. Please help! Really worried as this is my work comp. Just a note, I'm running iStat and the CPU's don't seem to be overstrained in any way nor the temp overly high however the dual cores seem to run 1 at a time rather than sharing the load. Can't remember if that was the norm.

The Best Answer

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You may have to increase the amount of chip RAM installed in the Mac.
That is faster than VM swap temp files to/from the hard disk drive and
would be used by higher functions, in addition to the virtual memory.
Depending on the model of computer, the RAM may be upgraded to
a higher total than 4GB. There also may be a need to check/test the
computer to see what other underlying issues could cause the problem.
A 'suddenly running very slow' outside of the demands of photoshop,
could point to some other kind of problem; troubleshooting may help
locate the source. Console logs from the time interval these issues
appeared to gain predominance should be looked into.
There also may be some larger temporary files not appearing to take
up free-space; but they may be holding back memory, in caches. In
some instances, a restart into SafeBoot, and repair disk permissions
could help, then restart normally. Or just the suggested re-start...
Good luck & happy computing!