G4 Powerbook (1.5 MHz, 2 GB RAM, Tiger) slows to a crawl and activity monitor shows 90-100% CPU usage - with minimal number of open applications. Might this be software (Tiger?) or hardware (CPU)?
The machine has been slow for a long time. Fall 2006 - power supply replaced under warranty. Then Genius Bar said to reinstall OS -- did a clean reinstall late last spring (2007). No help. Tune-up in November. Hard drive died in December and I thought, "That was the problem!" Installed new (MacSales/OWC) faster (7200 rpm) drive; installed 10.5. All apps installed as new.
Machine crawls. System resources maxed out regularly -- everything slow. Tabbing between applications is painful.
Genius Bar person said he thought my processor was bad. (??) Before I spend $350 (the "flat rate" fix), I'm trying alternatives.
Regularly use Firefox, Thunderbird, BBEdit -- background apps Snapz Pro, Twitterrific. Have learned that MarkSpace sync for my Blackjack seems to be a resource hog, so now I kill it after use (via Activity Monitor).
Sometimes: PPT or Keynote, Word, Excel. Would love to be able to use Photoshop again; haven't tried since new hard drive because of performance.
Have done most of the things on the list on this thread: http://ask.metafilter.com/80841/Help-My-mac-runs-slow
In the process of disabling FF extensions -- here's what I have left: Session Manager, ScribeFire, Web Developer, Extended Status Bar. If it's any of these four causing the resource issue, I'm guessing its Session Manager. Sigh. That's a lifesaver.
Since disabling some FF Extensions, in Activity Monitor CPU graph, the CPU is no longer always maxed out -- but everything is still slow, especially when an app is *doing* something. FF is still at 35-50% CPU "on idle" and goes up to 90+ when it's loading a page or doing something. RAM: 500 Free, 245 Wired, 700 Active, 600 inactive (rounding). But it says my VM size is 42 GB!!! WTH?
Any suggestions gratefully appreciated! Even if they echo the Genius Bar recommendation re $$$.