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The MacWhisperer
The MacWhisperer, Professional Mac Guru
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 250
Experience:  25+ years on the Mac, 6+ years as a Mac Guru running a computer consultant company.
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My lovely iMac takes ages to open Entourage - or ay app. It

Customer Question

My lovely iMac takes ages to open Entourage - or ay app. It acts as if constipated, and the little rainbow wheel keeps turning, for about three or four minutes.

How can I free up memory? How can I be sure that memory is is the true cause of the sluggishness?

Mike Bird
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  The MacWhisperer replied 8 years ago.
First off, let get some info:
Click on the apple menu, and tell me your processor speed and most importantly, how much ram (memory) you have.
Secondly, look down at your dock, and see what apps are open (you can tell because you will see a glowing ball, bubble, or arrow depending on your os version, underneath all open apps).
Please note that closing an app will not free any memory, whereas quitting an app will.
The more free memory you have the faster your computer performs and multi-tasks.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Model Name:     iMac
Model Identifier:     iMac6,1
Processor Name:     Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed:     2.16 GHz
Number Of Processors:     1
Total Number Of Cores:     2
L2 Cache:     4 MB
Memory:     1 GB
Bus Speed:     667 MHz
Boot ROM Version:     IM61.0093.B07
SMC Version:     1.10f3
Serial Number:     W86475SNVGN

I don't know where to look for RAM - is that Memory 1 GB above? How do I tell what amount of available RAM there is?

I usually have open at any given time Excel, Word, Sibelius, Entourage, Safari, Skype & often iTunes. Is that too much?

PS Helpful so far - I may have bought the first Mac in the UK - March 1984 - before that I had a Lisa.
Expert:  The MacWhisperer replied 8 years ago.
So, that's a pretty fast machine, but you are running it with minimal ram... 1GB rather than that machine's maximum 4gb. Ram controls how many things your computer can do at any one time. The spinning beachball is a tell tale sign of insufficient ram. The more often you see it the worse that situation. You can purchase ram at many retailers (best buy, Fry's, circuit city) but I'm not sure which of those is available where you are. You can also buy ram online at or .

I would suggest going all the way to 4gb. You can upgrade it yourself.

In the interim quit (not close) any open apps that you are not using. The biggest memory hogs are microsoft programs, adobe programs and big programs like final cut or Sibelius.

Last thing, make sure your computer has had all updates run and installed. You can do that by clicking on the apple menu and select software update.

Hope that helps. Let me know if there's anything more I can do for you.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I have already clicked on the Accept button - I don't want to pay twice!