Re: Max 5 — slow edition
2008/10/15 Kyle Kaplan
> My conclusion – Max 5 is slow and unreliable.
I have to disagree, at least on the second part.
I have been using Max since 1990, and it is my preferred software
environment. I use it to make ridiculously huge patches, including ones that
explore aspects of AI. My current patch is over 11 MB, without any audio or
video, and it loads within seconds (on a MacBook Pro, 2.5 GHz, 4MB RAM,
When Max 5 came out, I was thrilled that it addressed issues of programming,
and brought itself into the new millennia. I have grown accustomed to the
rounded corners. Like others, I have noticed two major issues: the font
aliasing, and the gradual slowing down.
In the former, this is offset by the ability to zoom in without losing
clarity (appreciated as I get older!). I took Tim Place’s suggestion, and I
use Verdana 11 point for my default font. I’ve seen some of the images that
people have posted, comparing 4.6 and 5, and it is clear there is a
difference. But perhaps this says more to user interface design than
The latter problem happens after patching for longer periods (say, several
hours), particularly with the Inspector window open. I haven’t had Max crash
on me yet, although I’ve got used to the spinning beachball (formerly an
image of terror, now inconvenience). I’ve also learned to save before
testing the patch (but this is also a habit from working in Max 4.6).
I have Menumeters running on my Mac, which displays memory usage. Whenever
my memory usage goes above 50% (with 4 GB of RAM, with only Max running!),
Max definitely slows down. I can quit Max and restart to reclaim the memory,
but I’ve noticed that this only works a few times. After that, I have to log
out and back in again. Obviously, there is a problem here, but one that I’ve
found a relatively painless workaround.
All in all, I would never go back to 4.6.
My 2 cents, your mileage may vary.