Why is my Mac so slow?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SeanAppleDude, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. SeanAppleDude, Dec 23, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010

    macrumors member

    SeanAppleDude

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #1
    I have a Macbook Pro 13”.

    These are the exact specs:
    2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    2GB 1067 Mhz DDR3

    It’s been really slow for a while now. When I’m not even doing to many things at once, it can become slow. For example, I’ll be running mail, safari, itunes, and Photoshop, things just generally become more sluggish, and there are short delays that I don’t think should be happening. Like just clicking on an icon in finder, it won’t show that it’s selecting for a second or two; it’s not immediate.

    Is there anything I can do? I’m guessing it’s because my harddrive is practically full, I have about 10 GB left. If I transfer a lot of movies and videos to an external hard drive will m computer speed up?

    Thank you in advance. :)
     
  2. macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #2
    Do you have anything on the desktop? Keep it clean.
     
  3. macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #3
    Possibly the lack of remaining hard drive space is the reason. Adding an extra 2 GB of RAM would definitely help as well.
     
  4. macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #4
    Sounds like you are low on RAM or something is sucking the CPU processing power.

    Open activity monitor, select "view all processes" and sort by CPU usage. Anything using more than 20% cpu?

    Look under System Memory. What is your page in and page out?

    Which version of photoshop? CS5 is a resource hog.

    PS. Obviously you have not used a PC recently if you can think a Mac is slow.
     
  5. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    "I’ll be running mail, safari, itunes, and Photoshop, things just generally become more sluggish, and there are short delays that I don’t think should be happening. Like just clicking on an icon in finder, it won’t show that it’s selecting for a second or two; it’s not immediate."

    I'll take a stab at it.

    Sounds like a combination of three factors:
    - running out of RAM-based memory, so computer is "writing to the [memory] swap files" much of the time
    - running out of hard drive "free space", so when the computer tries to "read/write the swap files", there is a delay as these files get read/updated, because.....
    - the hard drive has become extremely fragmented, so whenever the drive needs to write (again, particularly with the swap files), it has to "go hunting" all around the disk sectors to find free space to which to write. This takes time and slows things down.

    Here's what I suggest you do to fix things:
    - get an external drive and clean off those movies and videos and archive them to an external drive (WARNING: if they are important to you, I suggest you get TWO drives and keep a copy on each drive). When you've reclaimed free space on the drive (figure 20-30gig), it's time to get rid of all the fragmentation, so.....
    - get "iDefrag" and run it on the drive. It _will_ clean it up and you _will_ notice the results.
    - finally, as others have mentioned, add some more RAM so the computer isn't forced to "write to the swap files" as much. This is particularly true for Photoshop -- it's a memory hog.
     
  6. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    #6
    Let me guess... Western Digital 'green' 500Gb hard drive? Running 5400rpm perhaps?

    If so, I was in exactly your situation and what it turned out to be was that the drive was 'napping' when it shouldn't have. So, the small delays (even on doing seemingly easy things like clicking on a menu) were due to delays in the drive spinning up. It turns out that there is a patch that can fix this although off the top of my head I forget what it's called - something like wpadm I think - which forces the drive to stay awake. Solved the problem for me, at least until a software update appeared to 'undo' the patch.

    Might be what's up, although low disc space could well have something to do with it, or could be compounding the problem...

    john
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    East Cost
    #7
    woahh. 2 gb of ram is definitely not going to cut it for having that many things open at once!! My suggestion(Besides uping ram) is run OnyX. It should help with your problem.
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    #8
    I have the exact system as you and my system was getting slow. I was running the same amount of programs. I upgraded my system to 4gigs and a 7200RPM drive. Things are frakking flying.
     

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