Yesterday I upgraded the OS on my MBP to Snow (Slow) Leopard Mac OS X 10.6.1, and had a problem that seems to have been pervasive among early upgraders: the system’s performance slowed to a pathetic crawl. I did the usual first steps: (using Disk Utility) repaired permissions and verified the hard disk and rebooted. Nothing. Reset the PRAM. No improvement. Fired up the Console and hunted down several files that were causing problems for various (and as it turns out, unrelated) reasons. One of those worth mentioning, however, is Pro Tools. I’ve got Pro Tools LE 7 and am not using it much any more, as I’ve opted for Logic Studio 9, but am still miffed to realize that Digidesign has no plans to provide a Snow Leopard update for LE 7, forcing all users to upgrade to Pro Tools 8. That’s a little sleazy.
Anyway, I fired up the Activity Monitor (found in ~user/Applications/Utilities) and saw that _coreaudiod was using from 2.5 to 3 GB of the 4 GB of available RAM (NOT normal), which explains the extremely sluggish behavior. (Here’s what my activity monitor looks like now.) Rather than bore you with the details of the dozen things I tried along the way to finding the solution (for me, anyway), I’ll get right to the two solutions that seem to have solved the problem for most people who had the same Core Audio issue.
Solution One. Manually delete or type into Terminal: sudo mv /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.audio.coreaudiod.plist ~/
Solution Two. (Worked for me.) Delete the folder: System/Library/Preferences/Audio.
There were no side-effects, and the OS is indeed faster than before (or it seems that way, at least after several snail-hours).