Some good friends of mine emailed me asking the following:
Does it cause pain and or destruction to our machines in any way to
force quit applications?
Andy-san and I are both too impatient to wait for laptops to close
3 programs so we can start up two others.
Force quit much faster. It is very snap-snap, but we worry about
snap-snap ohhh… you break it.
Why are you closing the applications in the first place?
The OS will reallocate RAM to your active applications on an as-needed basis.
Also, you don’t HAVE to wait for an application to finish quitting before doing something else. Use Cmd-Tab to bring up the application switcher, hit tab to scoot over to the app you want to quit (still holding down the Cmd key)…. then hit the Q key and that will send a quit command to the app. You could do all of this while staying in your current application.
In general, I would NOT do what you are doing in force quitting. The most immediate thing I’d be concerned about is corrupting documents, pref files, etc…..
Two things to consider for boosting performance on your laptop:
1. More RAM.
This will ALWAYS help and is worth more than anything.
2. Faster and BIGGER disk.
Just read a review of laptop drive and relative performance.
They were doing tests of the nominally sized 100 GB 7200 rpm drives and comparing them to the bigger and slower (5400rpm) drives. What they found was very interesting. In general, yes, the 7200 rpm drives did usually beat out the slower 5400 rpm drives, but they then redid the same tests when the drives were loaded with 74GB of STUFF. The 100GB 7200rpm drive at 74% full showed a considerable drop in performance compared to the 160GB 5400 rpm drive which was only 50% full. Enough of a drop to make the drives perform about the same.
Now, to bring the relevance back to your situation…..
As you get more and more applications/data open on your system, the OS will actually save out sections of RAM onto your disk and read them back in as necessary. So, the more RAM, the less of a possibility of needing to swap out to disk…. Ultimately, over time, as you use your computer it will almost assuredly need to swap things in and out (that’s what the spinning beach ball is when you flip back to an app that’s been sitting in the background for a while, it’s swapping data back into ram from the hard drive)
So, the FASTER the hard drive is, the faster it can SWAP. Again, you want to avoid swap, and that is where more ram comes in. (see the vicious cycle here?)
If you have older laptops…. it’s likely you have even slower hard drives in them: 4200 rpm; further aggravating your performance issues.
clear as mud?