Your activity monitor on your mac is a great way to see what is going on inside of your computer. Keeping this clean and organsied will help speed up your mac. The activity monitor can be located inside the utilities folder, which is in the applications folder. Opening this up will display to you the things that are slowing down your computer.
The quit process is used when you are running a program that is slowing your computer down and you need to kill it. When you hit this make sure you read the dialogue box that pops up. By selecting the inspect button it will present you with more information on a selected process or application. This basically gathers all of the information found in the button bar at the bottom. This groups it and contains some other advanced information that only a programmer would probably be able to understand. The last button is the sample process this finds out specific information on what a process is performing at that time.
All of the important information on processes can be found in the very center of Activity monitor. This will continually change as it is processing tasks while your machine is running even if you aren’t doing anything. If you need to add or remove columns just right click on the top of them and tick the ones you want. The process ID columns is the number that is assigned to every process and application that runs on your computer, and as a new process is initiated, it is assigned a new number in increased value. You can sort by process ID by selecting the top showing you the ones that were last opened. The process name is the name of the process. The next column is %CPU this displays the percentage of CPU each process is taking up. When you preform tasks they will start at 0 then will rise as more actions are preformed in the application. The real memory is the amount of RAM and the virtual memory is the artificial RAM being used up by each process. The virtual memory allows the Mac to multi-task and the real memory is fast.
The button bar at the bottom is also useful information on the system. The CPU shows a graph of how much CPU you are using up. The system memory shows a pie chart of how your RAM is being used. The disk activity allows you to view how much space you’ve used up on you hard drive. The network presents the data that is coming in and going out.
When you are looking at this to speed up your computer make sure you don’t mess with anything you are unsure of. As you can see it is a little confusing but with basic knowledge you can work out what is causing your computer to run the way it runs.