2012 Mac mini feels sluggish compared to 2009 model

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by aajeevlin, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. aajeevlin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    #1
    I got a question for you guys/girls. So with the whole disappointment of the 2014 "upgrade" and the discount from BB couple of days ago I finally jumped on the deal and got a "new" 2012 i5 Mac mini.

    Now, all things being almost equal, here are my specs:
    2009: 2GHz, 8GB RAM, and a 7200 RPM HDD.
    2012: 2.5GHz i5, 4GB RAM and also a 7200 PRM HDD.

    The 2009 model is running Yosemite, upgraded from Maverick, and the 2012 is running a clean installed of the Yosemite.

    Here is my question, after a couple days of use, I feel that the 2012 model is at best AS fast if not slower sometime when it comes to doing just the day to day stuff when compared to the 2009 model. Things such as web surfing, opening up Word, Preview, just the regular day to day stuff. Of course, the most obvious hardware difference between the two machine is the RAM, one is 8GB and one is 4GB, for the 2009 and 2012 respectively.

    Do you guy think a merely 4GB of difference (but at the same time given the advantage of the new i5 on the 2012 model) would make that much difference as to slow down the day to day operation and makes it seem like the two machine is running at the same speed? I'm sorry I can't be more exact, but I thought that I've became extremely patient with my 2009 model already given its age. But the 2012 is certainly not living up to my expectation right now.

    For reference, I also tried the 2014 model at the Apple store the other day, I don't know what the exact specs are but at least the computer feels quicker and I can feel that it was performing much better than my 2009 model. Any thoughts? Thanks.
     
  2. mojolicious macrumors 68000

    mojolicious

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2014
    Location:
    Sarf London
    #2
    Looking at Geekbench results for the 2009 and 2012 models, the newer mini appears to be ~150% faster in single core testing, and up to ~200% faster in dual core testing. If you click the blue links in those tables you'll see the exact spec of the mini being tested; having looked at a dozen or so I'd say that the amount of memory installed does not appear to be the determining factor in benchmark scores.

    If I were you I'd Geekbench both minis and see how the scores compare with those listed above, then panic accordingly!
     
  3. aajeevlin thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    #3
    Right, just ran the test and it looks like both of my machines matches quite well with what you have posted in your links. Yea, the machines have been working just fine, I have not experienced anything out of the norm (e.g., freezes and hang ups etc). Just feels sluggish and not as snappy. Maybe Yosemite has something to do with it.

    Anyways, thanks a lot for the help at least I know the machine is working fine. I guess I was expecting that snappy feel that comes with the new machine.
     
  4. mojolicious macrumors 68000

    mojolicious

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2014
    Location:
    Sarf London
    #4
    Geekbench is quite divorced from the real world, although you now know your CPU/RAM are acting normally. Download Blackmagic and see if the HDD in the 2012 is underperforming for some reason.

    If both HDDs give comparable results then you're going to have to dive into Activity Monitor and see if there's something nasty going on with the newer mini, or indeed if you actually are being hindered by lack of memory.
     
  5. xylitol macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    so you've already upgraded from the (unfortunate) standard 5400rpm?
     
  6. barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
    Location:
    Lancashire
    #6
    It could be that it's rebuilding the spotlight index or enabled the annoying "Safe Sleep" feature mine did and it's bogging down your system.

    When I updated from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion on my 2009 Mac Mini, which is almost to your 2009 model apart from mine booting off an SSD, I noticed straight away that despite not being a Macbook, it had enabled the "safe sleep" disk image process and it slowed down the responsivness of the OS.

    Type this into terminal to see what it returns as a status. If it's enabled by accident, it will return something other than "hibernatemode 0" in the terminal window:

    pmset -g | grep hibernatemode

    If it does have a sleep image enabled type this to delete it:

    sudo rm /private/var/vm/sleepimage

    then type this to disable it being re-created:

    sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0

    after that, type the original one to confirm it's now at hibernatemode 0:

    pmset -g | grep hibernatemode

    You can reset it back to how it was any time you want by remembering the status before you deleted it and substiting that number at the end of "sudo pmset -a hibernatemode ".
     
  7. aajeevlin thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    #7
    Thanks for the suggestion (and learned something new today). Unfortunately, it was already at hibernate mode 0, haha. I guess I'll look for some other source of possible issues. Maybe I simply just need to up the RAM, as somebody had suggested that the intel graphics is already eating away 0.5GB of the 4 GB of available RAM. I see swamp memory from 100-600 MB, and compressed memory of around 500MB. I'm going to say that's not that good. Thanks again for the suggestions.
     
  8. barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
    Location:
    Lancashire
    #8
    I'd suggest that Yosemite is a resource hog and you need more RAM. I know a lot of their systems run off a PCIe SSD so swap activity will have little impact on system performance but any HDD is going to bog down quickly in comparison. I really don't know why Apple let bloated inefficient builds of Mac OS X out to start with.

    Yosemite is such a trainwreck of an OS, I have a friend who's lost access to a 4Tb drive completely because the WiFi simply won't see it anymore.
     
  9. mojolicious macrumors 68000

    mojolicious

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2014
    Location:
    Sarf London
    #9
    Swamp memory is bad, but with 8GB of RAM (2011 mini / 10.9.5) I *always* see compressed memory usage. Here I am, doing nothing whatsoever...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. aajeevlin, Oct 31, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014

    aajeevlin thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    #10
    I see, yea I figured the swap memory is no good. On my 2009, I have about ~10MB worth of swap. A lot more on the 2012 with only 4GB of RAM, maybe it is necessary to upgrade. Just not sure why the 2014, base model (also only with 4GB of RAM) at the Apple store with Yosemite seems so much snappyer.

    Update: Just tried to look into this issue a bit more, but I think I might end up return the 2011 model. I guess the Wow factor just isn't there for some reason. Along with the fact that my 2009 model is just performing so well and so stable even with Yosemite. Plus if I want I can still upgrade it with SSD to get more performance out of it. I'll save my money and maybe wait for the next mini upgrade or maybe just buy something different all together.
     

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