Home > Mac, Technology > Welcome OS X 10.5 Leopard

Welcome OS X 10.5 Leopard

OK, so I’m a mug, I admit it. I installed 10.5 Leopard without even trying it out in the shop. I needed something new to put on my shiny, brand spanking, iMac that wasn’t there before and this was it. 

iMac with Leopard

At first I was brassed off at having missed the mini priced upgrade to Leopard by three days, but then I realised that I’d have to buy another copy for my other machines anyway, so I plunked for the Family Pack. 

I’ve been running it a couple of days now.


Erm. It uses a lot of memory.

Stacks, nice, but bring back the menus. Spaces… whatever. Spotlight… sweet. Eye Candy… Wasted on me. The desktop wallpaper is total crap. New grey scheme seems too corporate for me. What happened to the beautiful shiny light, white fantastic?

My iMac has a nice juicy 4GB of RAM, but looking at the memory usage chart shows that over half is in use, not for caches and buffers – as we’d expect after a few hours running that all the spare memory would be used for cache and buffering.

I mean the kernel task. RSIZE is ~230MB. That is a colossal amount of RAM to consume for a kernal!

Tiger used ~115MB which is curiously almost half of Leopard. And remember that 10.2 worked (if you can call it that) with 128MB RAM all told!

This amount of kernel bloat doesn’t bode well for the performance, and if all other things were equal, that would be true, Leopard would suck.

However, I’ve noticed that the Finder is much more responsive. Windows open more quickly than I’m used to and Spotlight is a revelation – It’s actually useful when you don’t want to have to spend 2 minutes on a search.

Now, I’m sure X-Bench under Leopard will show definite performance losses in CPU / Memory intensive stuff. That’s the way it’s got to be, but “Benchmarks do not an Experience Explain” as the old say which I’ve just made up goes.

But taking into account Finder is so often used, for example means that coding changes more than make up for the added overhead.

Only one bugbear with Leopard, and it’s a biggie.

Apps on Leopard crash a LOT more often than on Tiger.

But, that’s the bleeding-edge price to pay for being on the um, bleeding edge.

Somebody pass me the plasters.

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