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Reduce CPU usage of apps by hiding their windows System
Have you ever noticed that if you are downloading many things in Safari and have the "Downloads" window open, your CPU usage jumps up? On my 800MHz G4 this can amount to 40%. If I close the downloads window or hide Safari this usage drops back down to 5%.

This got me thinking, and it turns out that its the repeated updates to the window that crunches the CPU, not the downloads. By hiding apps, you can reduce the number of CPU cycles they use as OSX no longer has to re-draw their windows when something changes. Programs which show progress bars or other such frequent window changes are most affected.

The upshot of this is that I can be downloading many new maps for Unreal Tournament in the background while playing ... or maybe doing some work.

[robg adds: Hiding has been mentioned as a speed hint for other apps before -- such as this one about iMovie. As 'wildgift' noted in the comment to that hint, the GUI is not really multithreaded ... so if you have an app that's doing a lot of window updating, you may see a nice speed bump if you can hide that application.]
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Reduce CPU usage of apps by hiding their windows
Authored by: lestmak on Apr 08, '04 11:26:47AM

I've found previously that hiding applications I'm not using when ripping CDs in iTunes dramatically speeds up the rip as well



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I would love a utility...
Authored by: GuyToronto on Apr 09, '04 08:47:37AM

that would AUTOMATICALLy hide all applications in the background when I switch apps, AND prevent me from accidently clicking on the Finder, taking me out of the application.

For now, when I do audio editing, I quit the Finder, then always Hide Others, and it seems to boost my productivity immensly.

I would just love a little app or utility to handle it for me automatically.



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Reduce CPU usage of apps by hiding their windows
Authored by: seven5 on Apr 08, '04 11:45:14AM

This definatly helps when using Unison. Do yourself a favor and hide that download window as soon as it pops up.



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The real solution ...
Authored by: Greedo on Apr 08, '04 01:29:48PM

Would be a setting in Safari for "Don't even pop up the downloads window because I don't really care".



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Reduce CPU usage of apps by hiding their windows
Authored by: gdsimms on Apr 08, '04 12:56:20PM

The Quartz Extreme window compositing is a mixed blessing, I suppose.

This performance hit (and the particular fix) is actually kind of disappointing. I was finally getting used to using Exposť for all my window switching needs, and avoiding "Hide" altogether since hidden and minimized windows do not show up in Exposť.

BTW, is there anyone who knows of a third party app (a la WindowShade) that performs "Send Window to Back" and binds it to a key?



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Reduce CPU usage of apps by hiding their windows
Authored by: mproud on Apr 09, '04 04:35:23AM

Command-` (same key as the tilde '~') does that for you. It sends the current window to the back, revealing the window now closest. Should work system-wide and across all applications with windows not also binding this keystroke.



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Reduce CPU usage of apps by hiding their windows
Authored by: Squeak on Apr 09, '04 07:36:45AM

I use a little thing called menustrip - http://www.macpoweruser.com/
I don't use it all the time, but once in a while it comes in handy.
I mainly got it to add color to my menu bar (the colorful dots)
and the app menu, but the auto hide function is useful and perhaps
will contribute what you need here. It's been around for a while
and never has broken through many updates..

Squeak

---
"where the wheel gets the grease"



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Reduce CPU usage of apps by hiding their windows
Authored by: webmac on Apr 08, '04 02:03:46PM

Especially the speed of Java-Apps boosts when hiding the windows...



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java sucks
Authored by: avarame on Apr 08, '04 02:53:05PM

That's because Java on OS X sucks.



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java sucks
Authored by: webmac on Apr 08, '04 05:41:51PM

On the Powermac G5 Java is running quite good. I'm using Eclipse on my G5 and on a Windows PC and some tasks are even running faster on the G5!



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Reduce CPU usage of apps by hiding their windows
Authored by: vonkas on Apr 08, '04 07:48:28PM

This one remains unsolvable though: when copying, the Finder puts up a progress window. While in progress any kind of Finder windowing is severly affected. Especially bad when copying or windowing via a slow network connection like Airport - or the absolute worst is anything to do with iDisk - iDisk go away! About time Apple fixes the still abysmal Finder.



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Reduce CPU usage of apps by hiding their windows
Authored by: PeterDie on Apr 08, '04 11:21:41PM

This previous hint made it all dramatically clear:

http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20040316010718477



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