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Mac OS X Feels Sluggish To Me
Thursday, September 21, 2000 — by Jon Bonner

That's right… the graphical user interface of Mac OS X Beta feels sluggish to me.

According to the Mac OS X Beta license agreement, users are not permitted to publish benchmark results from Mac OS X Beta without prior written permission from Apple. Although I don't know of any Mac OS X compatible benchmarking applications, this means that even if I did, I couldn't back up my claim of sluggishness with cold hard numbers. (Unless Apple approved in writing first. Yeah right, what's the chance that would happen?)

Nevertheless, I know what sluggishness is, and Mac OS X Beta fits the description.

My system is an original iMac Special Edition with 128 MB of ram. I installed Mac OS X Beta onto my single-partitioned hard drive, so it coexists with Mac OS 9.

What do I base this claim of sluggishness on? Well for starters, I can type well over 100 words per minute if I try hard enough, and probably type anywhere from 60-80 words per minute in spurts when composing e-mail messages off the top of my head. When using the Mail application in Mac OS X, I continually typed faster than the system could display the typed text.

Also, when selecting menus or bringing up dialog boxes just about anywhere in Mac OS X, it just seems to take a moment longer than an OS like Mac OS 9 or Windows takes. At first I thought it could be that I was mistakenly sensing a delay when the "fancy" menu transition effects executed. Then I realized Windows 2000 has menu transition effects too, but without the sluggish delay feeling. Mac OS X just seems more sluggish than fancy.

Okay, so I realize that this is a beta version, and one has to hope and believe that Apple will have the graphics better optimized prior to the final commercial release. Still, after all the time they've spent on Mac OS X so far, one would think the basic graphics engine should be fairly well developed by now. With only a few months before the "supposed" release of the commercial version, it doesn't bode well that basic graphics in Mac OS X - on a stock iMac SE - feel sluggish.



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