Lion on Air ridiculously sloowwwwww, help

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by spinedoc77, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #1
    I've got a 2008 duo core macbook air with the ssd drive and 2gb memory. I was running snow leopard and it seemed ok overall, but I primarily run windows 7 thru bootcamp.

    I've been learning xcode 4 so even though I don't want to I'm forced to use OSx. I took the plunge and purchased Lion and installed it on my Air. I cannot believe how incredibly slow it is, especially in xcode. Sometimes I can click on something and it literally takes several seconds for anything to happen, sometimes the screen just freezes, sometimes I get the spinning beach ball. This is happening with only firefox7 with a couple of tabs open and xcode open.

    I won't say lion is unuseable, but it's pretty darn close to it. I've had Lion installed for almost a month so I know it's fully indexed as some have suggested. When it freezes I'm not showing any CPU or memory use spikes at all, and there is nothing readily onerous in the activity monitor as far as I can tell, I usually have 800mb or more of free memory, maybe less with firefox and xcode open at the same time, but usually xcode doesn't take much more than 300mb with the simple programs I am writing.

    Anyone have any suggestions or similar experiences? I'd really really hate to go back to SL after I paid for Lion, but it's looking as if that's the only option I'm going to have. In case it matters Windows7 on Lion, thru bootcamp runs extremely smoothly so I don't think it's a hardware issue, the fan runs normally in Lion and it's not getting hot or anything.
     
  2. Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    The 2gb is probably why its wicked slow. I have 8gb on my MBP and Lion flies on it.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    maril1111

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Location:
    Denmark
    #3
    1st, did you clean install or directly upgrade from sl to lion?

    2nd, do any of your firefox tabs have flash in them?

    3rd, is your lion up to date? 10.7.1?
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Brandon0448

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Location:
    Wasilla, Alaska
    #4
    As maflynn said its probably because of your 2gb of RAM. Try using Chrome instead of Firefox as it is a huge memory hog. Chrome is by far the most lightweight browser.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #5
    I did a clean install. I am running clicktoflash addon, but yes sometimes I may have a single flash video open for maybe a xcode tutorial or something, but the slowdown is even with no flash open. I've ran all the software updates and I'm showing 10.7.1.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    maril1111

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Location:
    Denmark
    #6
    Than as the others pointed out, you have a ram problem, you can't multitask xcode 4 and firefox with tabs at the same time with 2gb ram...
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #7
    That's nuts!! I can't believe just these 2 programs would bring my machine to its knees, especially seeing plenty of free RAM in activity monitor. Is there anything specific that changed from 10.6 to 10.7 to make my laptop run so much slower, it ran just fine in 10.6.

    It's a shame I will probably have to swap back to snow leopard, thankfully there is nothing useful in Lion that I can see over SL, but still I like to have the latest OS installed and I paid for it.
     
  8. Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    Just do a search in the Lion forum and you'll see that 2gb is insufficient to run Lion. Lion is bloated, no question, but if you have sufficient ram, then it runs very well.

    4gb is ok, 8gb is much much better.
     
  9. macrumors member

    aery

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    4gb would definitely be better but obviously 2gb is sufficient enough to run Lion, if it wasn't then why would the base model Air come with only 2gb and Lion as the OS?
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #10
    I'd say there are times when my Air with Lion is so slow I wouldn't call it "sufficiently" fast.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    #11
    Lion says 2gb is the requirement. And also, what aery said:

    If lion can't run on 2gb why do they sell an air with that configuration? Or does it run better than the oldest models with 2gb ram?
     
  12. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #12
    The newer SSD helps in that regard. There are third-party replacement SSDs available for older MacBook Airs that may be faster than the stock one. I had the 2008 Rev B with the SSD, and while it was a nice boost from the hard drive-equipped Rev A, it is slow by today's SSD standards.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    #13
    there are mixed experiences around with Lion.

    Sadly you got something similar to me which is a displeasing overall feel for the OS. Thing is Air was not meant to handle harder tasks like Virtual machining and possibly Xcode, so it may lag there.

    But Lion does eat up more RAM and try to use up more resources. Plus they have added a bunch of things running in the background (or as i like to call them unnecessaries)

    If Apple released a 64-bit only version of Snow Leopard, English Only, No Printer Drivers, with the updated Spaces thing, I would be in computing heaven.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Rob.G

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Location:
    NW Oregon
    #14
    Memory is cheap. What'll it take to upgrade to 4 gig? My little 11" MacBook Air with 4 gig runs great with Lion on it.

    Rob
     
  15. macrumors 68030

    Ivan P

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Home
    #15
    You can't upgrade the RAM in the MBA, so that's out of the question for the OP.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Rob.G

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Location:
    NW Oregon
    #16
    In the original Air? Dang that blows. I thought it was only the 2010+ Airs that were like that.

    Rob
     
  17. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Location:
    Location is relative, no?
    #17
    I don't know if I buy the 2GB Ram insufficient for Lion argument. I have 2GB in my ancient mac mini and it runs Lion fine while running iPhoto, ripping from VLC/hand brake, iTunes playing and general surfing at the same time.
     
  18. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #18
    I'm pretty sure its a RAM issue. I have a late 2008 macbook and lion was slowww on 2gig ram, but was fast on SL. I upped it to 4gig and its much much better! So, yea do a 4gig ram upgrade at least!

    ----------

    I suspect the 2gig ram and SSD combo is sufficient for lion to run. 2gig ram on the older models though just doesn't cut it
     
  19. macrumors 68000

    maril1111

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Location:
    Denmark
    #19
    It just as nuts as somebody running Xcode and firefox with a lot tabs, on 2gb of ram...

    Because 2gb is good for most tasks, but Xcode is pretty demanding.

    Also if you check the apple lion requirement page it says:

    Xcode 3 already requires 1gb of ram


    Hence you would need at least 3gb of ram to run Xcode and Lion...
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    nebulos

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #20
    then why is everyone so sure it's RAM?

    what does the CPU usage look like?
     
  21. macrumors G3

    Kilamite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #21
    Create a new account, and fire up Xcode and Firefox and see if the problem persists.

    I think you're configuration is sufficient enough to run Lion and Xcode without any significant performance impacts like you are experiencing. How much free space have you got left on your SSD? Open Activity Monitor, select 'All Processes' and list by CPU usage. Anything eating away there?
     
  22. macrumors G5

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #22
    XCode 4 does lots of things in the background and can use lots of CPU and RAM. Have you ever started Activity Monitor and actually looked at what is happening?
     
  23. thread starter macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #23
    Yes I've stated a couple of times already that there is no significant CPU or memory use when I monitor activity monitor. If I completely reboot and don't open firefox then xcode seems to run pretty decently, I'm going to download chrome and see if that helps any.

    So you guys think it's xcode? I haven't really done anything else on this OS other than xcode as OSx isn't my cup of tea, but I'm going to have to see how other programs function. I have a feeling it is indeed xcode that's slowing it down, but it's funny xcode ran very smoothly in 10.6.

    edit: I have 12gb free on my SSD, 18.43gb used and 12.57gb free.
     
  24. macrumors 68000

    maril1111

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Location:
    Denmark
    #24

    ?? 18gb usd ands 12gb free adds up to 31gb of harddrive space? The MBA in 2008 had bigger harddrives than that or am i missing something
     
  25. macrumors 603

    Michaelgtrusa

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Everywhere And Nowhere
    #25


    Try a test admin acc. For me a test admin acc was more stable in lion.
     

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