16 GB, clean install, and running slow with El Capitan

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by Djezz, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. Djezz macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2016
    Hi, few weeks ago I was still using OSX 10.7 (lion) with 16BG, and my computer was super fast. It is a Macbook pro 13-inch Mid 2012.

    Recently I installed the newest OSX 10.11.4 (El capitan), so from 10.7 to 10.11 it is a big leap. I made a clean install, erased the hard drive, then transferring my data and reinstalling few softwares (latest versions). So I was expecting the computer to be fast, but I find it surprisingly slow compared to what I was used to with OSX 10.7. Opening files and folders in the finder sometimes takes few seconds with a beachball. Opening tabs and browsing with firefox is slow. Scrolling with whatever program is slow and sluggish. Hot corner is slow. Very often, an action like scrolling or clicking has this little 2-3 second freeze which is really annoying when you are used to a fast OS. I was really not expecting this with 16GB of ram.

    I tried to optimize the system as much as I could. I Removed all animations, disabled everything unnecessary. Found some advanced advices to improve the speed on El capitan. Also, activity monitor does not show any particular problem.

    I have an HDD 500GB sata, it is 65% full, and I read it is advised to change for a SDD to improve speed, but still I am wondering how OSX 10.11.4 could be much slower than 10.7, even with a HDD? Or is El capitan designed to force people to buy a SDD? I am not doing anything heavy at the moment with the computer, just internet browsing, vlc, this kind of stuff. Or maybe my hard drive could be tired? But it was working fine few weeks ago and it is not very old.

    Anyone has had this kind of experience with El capitan?
    In particular I would like to find someone who has the same kind of configuration as me: 16GB, HDD macbook pro 2012, if your El capitan is fast, then it may be that I have another problem.
  2. MacGizmo macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2003
    El Capitan most decidedly runs better from a SSD drive. That's by design, as it is the future of all computers. You're also running a 4 year old computer, which isn't ancient, but it's not exactly fresh either.

    That being said, the "slowness" you're describing sounds a bit overkill. It shouldn't take seconds to open a simple folder in the finder. While I do believe your hard drive is a major factor, it doesn't sound like it's the only one.
  3. MRS265 macrumors newbie


    Apr 10, 2016
    Good evening, I have a Macbook Pro mid 2012 and am sorry to say but the original HD is a bottleneck in this new system, strongly recommend upgrading to an SSD, your equipment turned another fact machine after this exchange

    Remember that after a clean installation, the system can still be indexing your machine which can lead to performance losses until the completion of the process
  4. \-V-/ Suspended


    May 3, 2012
    You should really upgrade to an SSD. It also sounds like your drive could be taking a dump on you. There's nothing wrong with the year of your Mac ... it should run El Capitan fine. With an SSD it's quite fast.
  5. richard2 macrumors regular


    Oct 21, 2010
    England, United Kingdom
    It's possible that your Mac's internal disc drive is failing.

    Please do the following:

    Note: The following procedure must be performed on an OS X user account that has administrative privileges.

    1. Open Terminal.
    2. Enter the following:

      diskutil info /dev/disk0; syslog -k Sender kernel -k Message RCeq "(corestorage|disk\d+(s\d+)?|jnl):" -k Time ge -1w
    3. Include the contents of the Terminal window in a reply to this post.
  6. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    It might be a little slower moving to El Capitan, but not like you are describing. No doubt a SSD is faster than a HDD, but it is by no means a requirement to run El Capitan. This sounds more like you either have some software/utility you installed that is conflicting with El Capitan or as richard2 mentioned, your drive is failing. Try the command richard2 suggested to show any disk errors.
  7. IowaLynn macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2015
    Run Etrecheck just to have detail report to go from. Not all tweaks or tools are needed.

    SSDs are cheap and 500GB 850 EVO $149
  8. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009

    It's the internal HDD.
    It's just too s-l-o-w.

    Get a 480gb SSD and put it in. They cost about $120.
    On a non-retina MacBook Pro, the drive swap is "screwdriver easy", SO LONG AS YOU BUY AND USE THE RIGHT TOOLS (shouting intentional). I believe you need a Phillips #00 driver and a TORX T-6 driver.
    Go to ifixit.com to see an illustrated guide as to what's involved.

    Just about any SSD will do the job.
    I've had good luck with Sandisk Plus and Crucial SSDs.

    I would also suggest a USB3 external enclosure for the old drive.
    Get one that is specifically advertised to support "UASP".

    I would suggest you put the SSD into the external enclosure and "prep and test" it that way BEFORE you install it into the MacBook. Doing it this way makes it easier if you encounter any problems.

    Again, the SSD is "the key" to a faster experience with El Capitan.
    It's well worth the money spent.
    Don't waste your time bothering with anything else...
  9. mag01 macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2011
    The point is why would he have to buy an SSD just to be able to get El Cap performing acceptably, when Lion performs more than very well on the very same hardware? If that's really the case, that's some lousy programming by Apple and SSD just helps to cover that up.
  10. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    mag01 asked:
    "The point is why would he have to buy an SSD just to be able to get El Cap performing acceptably, when Lion performs more than very well on the very same hardware?"

    The answer, as I see it:
    With the release of Mavericks, Apple completely changed how memory is managed. The changes -- particularly with regard to VM and disk swapping (page ins and page outs) seem to work best with SSDs. With platter-based HDDs, Apple's new memory management scheme -- along with all the processes running that seem to interact with "the cloud" -- put so much of a burden on the HDD that it just "bogs down", so to speak.

    Of course, of course, the OS "still runs" on platter-based drives.
    But the user experience all-to-often becomes one where it seems things are "walking", rather than "running". That is to say..... S_L_O_W.

    This is what it is.
    Apple -- or at least those who engineer the OS there -- seem to believe that if you want to use the Mac OS, you should pony up for an SSD (or fusion drive) that is "fast enough" to run the insanely great OS that they're providing for us. /sarcasm

    The "point" really is this:
    1. The OP can stick with an older version of the Mac OS on older hardware, and continue to enjoy the user experience he was enjoying before the upgrade,
    2. The OP can buy an SSD and run the latest Mac OS at "normal" speed,
    3. The OP can choose not to do so, and live with the Mac OS meandering along at a snail's pace.

    His choice.

    There is one other option, and I've posted about it before:
    If one has enough RAM installed (at least 8gb), one can TURN OFF VM disk swapping, and TURN OFF Spotlight, and the OS will run much faster.
    This is what I do myself.
    Works great.
  11. Djezz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2016
    Hey thanks Richard2, here is the result of
    diskutil info /dev/disk0; syslog -k Sender kernel -k Message RCeq "(corestorage|disk\d+(s\d+)?|jnl):" -k Time ge -1w

    Device Identifier: disk0
    Device Node: /dev/disk0
    Whole: Yes
    Part of Whole: disk0
    Device / Media Name: TOSHIBA MK5065GSXF

    Volume Name: Not applicable (no file system)

    Mounted: Not applicable (no file system)

    File System: None

    Content (IOContent): GUID_partition_scheme
    OS Can Be Installed: No
    Media Type: Generic
    Protocol: SATA
    SMART Status: Verified

    Total Size: 500.1 GB (500107862016 Bytes) (exactly 976773168 512-Byte-Units)
    Volume Free Space: Not applicable (no file system)
    Device Block Size: 512 Bytes

    Read-Only Media: No
    Read-Only Volume: Not applicable (no file system)

    Device Location: Internal
    Removable Media: No

    Solid State: No
    Virtual: No
    OS 9 Drivers: No
    Low Level Format: Not supported

    Apr 29 18:56:21 localhost kernel[0] <Notice>: CoreStorage: fsck_cs has finished for group "B6A4BE44-7EED-4942-8BEB-6B229832FD44" with status 0x00
    May 1 14:46:41 Antoines-MacBook-Pro kernel[0] <Notice>: jnl: disk3s1: replay_journal: from: 27865088 to: 30153216 (joffset 0x129f000)
    May 1 14:46:42 Antoines-MacBook-Pro kernel[0] <Notice>: jnl: disk3s1: journal replay done.
    May 1 15:43:58 Antoines-MacBook-Pro kernel[0] <Notice>: jnl: disk3s1: do_jnl_io: strategy err 0x5
    May 1 15:43:58 Antoines-MacBook-Pro kernel[0] <Notice>: jnl: disk3s1: write_journal_header: error writing the journal header!
    May 1 17:17:08 Antoines-MacBook-Pro kernel[0] <Notice>: jnl: disk3s1: close: journal is invalid. aborting outstanding transactions
    May 2 22:35:17 localhost kernel[0] <Notice>: CoreStorage: fsck_cs has finished for group "B6A4BE44-7EED-4942-8BEB-6B229832FD44" with status 0x00
  12. richard2 macrumors regular


    Oct 21, 2010
    England, United Kingdom
    The output doesn't indicate that your Mac's internal disc is faulty. :)
  13. Djezz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2016
    Hey Fishrrman, turn off VM disk swapping, and turn off Spotlight sounds like a good idea for a while, since I never use spotlight anyway.
    Can you explain how to do it, or can you send me a link?

  14. katewes macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2007
    If the latest OSX El Capitan really needs an SSD to run smoothly, it begs the question why Apple callously keeps HDD disks as standard on iMacs, when really they should have SSDs as standard even on iMacs.

    With the cost of 500GB SSDs being so reasonable on eBay, it's an indictment on Apple's greed that they will not supply a standard SSD on iMacs to give their customers the user-experience that is possible with El Capitan.

    Apple's costs amount to extortion for the price they charge to upgrade an iMac to a SSD, with reasonable capacity of 500GB.
  15. Negritude, May 17, 2016
    Last edited: May 17, 2016

    Negritude macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2011
    I had a 2011 Mac Mini with a 500GB HD, and it was indeed very slow. The problem is not simply about the change in memory management, as someone else mentioned, but also massive changes in the kinds of information that is being stored and managed for files. There has been an exponentional increase in the amount of metadata that is being stored for every file and program, and this has led to a lessening of the viability of 5200RPM hard drives under OS X. You need one of the following to get decent performance:

    1. 7200RPM Hard Drive - I have an external Toshiba 2.5" 1TB 7200RPM USB 3.0 drive that I can boot from and run things comfortably and quickly. It far exceeds the performance of the internal Toshiba 2.5" 500GB 5200RPM SATA drive that was installed in my other machine. If I wanted to, I could even remove the drive from it's enclosure and use it internally.

    2. Fusion Drive - My 2012 Mac Mini came with a 1.1 TB Fusion drive, and the performance is awesome. The 128GB SSD drive that is paired with the 1TB 5200RPM hard drive, makes all the difference. On average, the combination exceeds the performance of 7200RPM drives by themselves, and when you're accessing files and data that are already on the SSD, it's obviously lightning fast.

    3. SSD Drive - Going with a pure SSD solution will give you the fastest speed, but can also be the most expensive.

    4. Hybrid Drive - There is also another type of drive, called a Hybrid drive, where a standard hard drive has an integrated SSD buffer/storage. This is different from a Fusion drive where two separate drives are made to operate as one, a Hybrid drive is a single drive with an onboard SSD. This is nowhere near as fast as a Fusion drive because the SSD is only a fraction of the size of what a Fusion drive uses, but the performance can be on par with 7200RPM hard drives. Note, the original Hybrid drives actually used 7200RPM hard drives, so the SSD buffer made them much faster, but the latest iteration only uses 5200RPM hard drives, so the SSD only brings them up to 7200RPM performance.
  16. roadkill401 macrumors 6502


    Jan 11, 2015
    That is the most junk generalization that anyone can make. I bet that his Lion 10.7 would also run much faster from an SSD drive.

    The issue here is that Apple is loading junk and bad code and the OS is now worse that Windows with it's bloatware badly written sub systems that simply don't work. Perhaps it's another one of those forced obsolescence ploy where rather than write the code to work well, it's optimized to only run on the latest hardware. That way Apple can convince you your 4-5 year old computer that if you ran the original OS on would scream, now runs like its stuck in mud. But you are forced to upgrade due to compatibility issues with the rest of the Apple Eco System. ie you need the latest iTunes to connect your iPhone and iPad
  17. Erdbeertorte Suspended

    May 20, 2015
    Sounds slower than the 2008 MBP with just 4 GB of RAM and a smaller and older HDD I gave to my Mum. Just the booting time is a little long but everything else is very much faster as you describe it.

    Something must be wrong with your Mac.

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16 April 23, 2016