Can I improve performance by changing the look and feel?
On Mac OS X, running Netbeans with the Java cross-platform L&F (Metal) is faster and appears to have lower memory overhead than the L&F normally used by Netbeans on this platform.
The Metal L&F has simpler graphics which require less computation to generate. The perceived smaller memory footprint is probably due to the smaller number of data structures required.
To run using the cross-platform L&F, specify --laf javax.swing.plaf.metal.MetalLookAndFeel as an option in the netbeans.conf file. See FaqCustomLaf for how to do this.
such that the line beginning with netbeans_default_options also includes this option:
Applies to: Since NetBeans 5.0
Platforms: Mac OS X
See also: FaqCustomLaf