More frequently than one might assume, application processes under Mac OS X stick around longer than they're welcome. Even though you've ostensibly quit an application (it no longer appears in the Dock or is turned off via a preference pane), its core or periphery processes may still be lingering and consuming system resources unnecessarily. The benefit in speed brought about by ending these processes can be dramatic, especially on systems with less RAM.
There are other side effects of unnecessary processes that are hidden from plain view. Processes that are using data stored on removable media and mounted … Read more