Beach ball!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jogl, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. jogl macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Hey all i've got a base 15" Macbook pro 2011 that i've had for a few months.

    Running OS X and Win7 (bootcamp) and i'm getting lots of beach balling with light use such as browsing and even word. I've done all the regular things, repaired the disc, booted to safe mode, checked no power or memory hungry processes are running.

    Are there any other steps I can take to speed things up? I run hardly any apps in the background?

    Maybe I just need to accept it - Does anyone else get it? This is my first mac and as much as I love it, ive not been impressed with the general speed and 'snappyness' of OSX even though the spec eclipses any PC i've had before.

    Thanks for any ideas...
  2. jogl thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2011
    that explains it! you really should put such helpful advice in your sig ;)
  3. atlanticza macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2008
    Cape Town
    Completely delete then reinstall the apps/programs that are problematic, unless it's a universal problem, of course.
  4. jogl thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Hey, it seems to universal. When I have a working after effects project open everything slows down to a halt (like when switching to safari to browse)

    Safari is a culprit all the time though and the system just seems generally slow for a $2300 machine. Everyone i've spoken too have been really impressed with the i7 machine speeds...

    Win7 in bootcamp runs much faster so im sure it's software based
  5. orfeas0 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2010
    Athens, Greece
    try without safari. try chrome (i strongly recommend it), firefox (not as fast, but has many addons and features), or opera (it's fast too with a nice interface).
  6. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Create a new user and start from there. It will help us to find out where the problem is coming from.
  7. stefmesman macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2010
    after effects sucks up almost all of your ram. how many do you have installed? if the answer is 4gb. its not enough, youll need 8.
  8. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    If you haven't upgraded your RAM to 8GB, you need to do so now.
  9. TomLopez macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2011
    Last year on my MBP 2010 I also experienced beach balls while using Parallels or VM Ware because of no free RAM available.

    If you have beach balls also when you are not doing any virtualization your HDD is perhaps faulty.
  10. jogl thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2011
    I do use Chrome too but it seems some websites don't work so i'm forced to also use safari. Just as an recent example - currently running just safari with one gmail tab and I opened word which beach balled for about 20 seconds. It's not like i'm out of system ram as i've got nothing else running!

    I'll give the other use thing a go tomorrow. Do you suggest using it as normal and seeing if the beachballing goes away?

    stephmesman - I only have 4 yes. I can understand the need for 8 for after effects but this problem is still occuring when only using apps which a baseline macbook should be able to handle :(

    TomLopez - I'm not virtualising as I only run windows in bootcamp. How can i check if my HDD is faulty?

    thanks for your help with this guys
  11. kappaknight macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2009
    Do you have a SSD installed? It sounds like one of those issues.
  12. jogl thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2011
  13. fattire357 macrumors regular

    May 18, 2011
    Run iStat or a similar activity monitoring program and find out what is stalling your macbook.

    If you have <1GB of free memory that's something to start with...
  14. jogl, Jun 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011

    jogl thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2011
    I stat shows memory clear and no processes eating up memory.

    I ran XBench too, below are the results. It'd be interesting to see if any one else with a similar model is getting different results.

    EDIT: also created a new user and it seems slightly better but not completely (is that possible?!!)

    Results 189.54
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.6.8 (10K540)
    Physical RAM 4096 MB
    Model MacBookPro8,2
    Drive Type TOSHIBA MK5065GSXF
    CPU Test 223.96
    GCD Loop 295.51 15.58 Mops/sec
    Floating Point Basic 195.99 4.66 Gflop/sec
    vecLib FFT 144.71 4.77 Gflop/sec
    Floating Point Library 405.96 70.69 Mops/sec
    Thread Test 814.22
    Computation 788.29 15.97 Mops/sec, 4 threads
    Lock Contention 841.92 36.22 Mlocks/sec, 4 threads
    Memory Test 520.36
    System 548.94
    Allocate 836.50 3.07 Malloc/sec
    Fill 382.93 18618.97 MB/sec
    Copy 603.08 12456.37 MB/sec
    Stream 494.60
    Copy 490.76 10136.53 MB/sec
    Scale 484.50 10009.53 MB/sec
    Add 506.48 10789.21 MB/sec
    Triad 497.18 10635.88 MB/sec
    Quartz Graphics Test 282.82
    Line 253.82 16.90 Klines/sec [50% alpha]
    Rectangle 317.21 94.71 Krects/sec [50% alpha]
    Circle 267.20 21.78 Kcircles/sec [50% alpha]
    Bezier 276.23 6.97 Kbeziers/sec [50% alpha]
    Text 310.16 19.40 Kchars/sec
    OpenGL Graphics Test 205.68
    Spinning Squares 205.68 260.92 frames/sec
    User Interface Test 403.29
    Elements 403.29 1.85 Krefresh/sec
    Disk Test 54.23
    Sequential 114.61
    Uncached Write 112.55 69.11 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 116.37 65.84 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 96.96 28.38 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 140.66 70.69 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 35.52
    Uncached Write 13.59 1.44 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 78.51 25.13 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 58.15 0.41 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 109.71 20.36 MB/sec [256K blocks]
  15. awer25 macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2011
    Is there a way to check the SMART attributes of the drive on a Mac? When I had a HDD failing, random freezing was a common problem.
  16. jogl thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Good idea.

    It happens a lot when I go into things like context menus (file, view etc). Is this a time where disc access is happening?

    I've been looking at some app launch times with SSDs and am amazed. Could it be that my low rpm disc is just slow?
  17. acron1 macrumors regular


    Dec 7, 2008
    Disk Utility shows the SMART status...
  18. Robin Chung macrumors member

    Robin Chung

    Apr 6, 2010
    A beach ball happens when the HDD can't keep up with the need for data. It doesn't happen with an SSD installed, explaining why the Macbook Air is so fast in everyday tasks. ;)
  19. jogl thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Just a note to anyone who's interested, i've noticed Tuxera NTFS trial is using a decent amount of CPU, but I never noticed it as it's intermittent. Sometimes it jumps up to 30% then drops back down.

    It sits around 10% most of the time which is quite a lot considering I thought it would only be used when writing to my bootcamp drive?!

    I'm thinking of just giving bootcamp the boot!

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