OS X Leopard – Performance Test

Yesterday I decided to run a small “performance test”, said test wasn’t scientific by any means but, I had my iMac open all 73 applications that were installed at the time.

Do not repeat this at home

Me, September 2009

My iMac is running OS X Leopard (10.5.8) and not the soon to be released Snow Leopard.


  1. Start screen recording
  2. Open applications folder
  3. Select all applications (cmd + a)
  4. Open all applications (cmd + o)
  5. wait… – a lot of it

The consequence was a dramatic wait of 40 minutes while my iMac was desperately trying to open all applications. From time to time I had to click away some warnings and messages, but in the end 73 applications were opened.

The interesting observation are:

  • while the operating system was indeed very slow, it actually did not result in a crash.
  • while the computer was busy opening all the applications it wasn’t possible to interact with any of the applications besides Exposé and Activity Monitor, of which the latter was rather responsive – especially when compared to the remaining 72 applications
  • the screen recording was captured successfully without any missing frames

The 20x accelerated video is still on YouTube to this date (though it has been flagged due to the music it contains). There have been still scenes, where nothing happened, which have been cut out of the video.

Video from 2019, opening 73 applications on an iMac running OS X Leopard

Translated in November 2020 – Article originally from 2009