John Smith wrote in with a very interest set of queries about whether his Macs slow down when they’re left to complete a task. “Do you know why and whether there is a way to prevent it?”

John noted a few different behaviors he’d observed:

  • After enabling FileVault on an older Mac, the time noted for completion ballooned dramatically when he’d walk away and come back.
  • An animation program estimated completion time after about 5 or 10 percent was done, but on his return long after the remaining part should have been completed, it was still working away.
  • Also with that animation rendering, the fans blazed full power until he walked away. Coming back and moving the cursor seemed to put the app back into full-speed mode, as the fans fired back up too.

John adjusted the Energy Saver system preference pane to make sure his Macs aren’t going to sleep or engaging other modes. He thinks he found a sweet spot for his animation software, but FileVault remained a slug.

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