Constant Beach Ball

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by arice727, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. arice727 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    #1
    I've been getting the beach ball almost constantly on my mid-2010 MB. 90% of the time I just use my computer to browse the internet with either Safari or Firefox. It seems like every time I open a new tab or switch tabs in the browser, I get the beach ball. Sometimes it's only for a few seconds, sometimes it's for about 15 seconds, and other times everything seems to freeze up for almost a minute. Opening PDFs seems to bog things down quite a bit as well.

    At first I thought it was because I had a lot of tabs open in multiple browser windows, but I do this all the time on the slow Dell I use for work and never have an issue. I typically have iTunes, Bean, and Mail running at the same time.

    Anyway, I'm guessing this isn't normal. Should I try an OS reinstall, take it to the Apple store, or what? Thanks.
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    ______________________________________________________
    Have a look at Activity Monitor (Applications / Utilities /) and select All Processes and sort by CPU to see what the culprit may be.
    Also check the "System Memory" tab to see what your "Page ins:", "Page outs:" and "Swap used:" are.

    image below uses sorting by CPU as an example
    [​IMG]
    Further reading:
    ______________________________________________________​
     
  3. arice727 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    #3
    Of course now that I get home to check it, it seems perfectly fine. Nothing seems to be spiking as far as CPU%. Although, when I turned private browsing off in Firefox, everything did hang for about 30 seconds even though there was no spike.

    Pages in: 25.34 GB
    Pages out: 11.30 GB
    Swap used:1.80 GB

    I guess I'll have to keep an eye on it for a day or two.
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #4
    You don't have enough RAM, as the SWAP USED is the amount of RAM copied to the HDD, you need approximately 2GB more RAM. Can your MacBook take another 2GB RAM?
     
  5. arice727 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    #5
    Yeah it can, but it seems silly that I would need more RAM to run just a few programs on a newer computer.
     
  6. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #6
    The "new" aspect as nothing to do with it, the amount of RAM has something to do with it, and you need a bit more RAM, as you use some applications that need more RAM than that is available to them.
    Again, if the RAM is full and an application needs more RAM, content of the RAM, which is currently not needed, will be copied to the HDD to make room for more RAM that is currently needed. The beach balls occur during this swapping process.

    Look at my RAM usage, I have 6GB but could still use more than that.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. arice727 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    #7
    I understand your point about not having enough RAM, but it doesn't quite make sense that my older iMac which only has 512 MB RAM can run the same problems with less hiccups.
     
  8. vincenz macrumors 601

    vincenz

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    #8
    According to the numbers, you need more ram. If that answer doesn't satisfy you, then format your HDD and reinstall osx. Just because your older computer is running the same programs fine doesn't mean a newer one does the same. There could be other factors affecting the performance that you don't know about.
     
  9. arice727 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    #9
    Fair enough. I guess I'll be buying more RAM. Thanks.
     
  10. koo22 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    #10
    I have 8GB of RAM and have constant spinning beach balls ever since the upgrade! It's very annoying. I don't think it's a memory issue.
     
  11. bbarrker macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    #11
    I just posted this in another thread, but I think it may apply to your problem too. In my experience, the HDDs in my MacBooks slow after a few years degrading performance greatly. Everything I have read says they shouldn't, but I have replaced 2 and noticed night and day improvement. My MBP had choppy iTunes play back until I replaced the HDD. My Black MB had spinning beach balls all the time until I recently changed out the HDD. I tried more RAM and clean installs (including writing zeros to the entire drive before fresh install) and nothing helped until I replaced the HDD. My '09 2.53 C2D MBP is now just as fast (if not faster) than my '11 MBA i7.

    I would increase get a new 7200 RPM HDD and see it solves the problem. Should set you back less than a $50.
     
  12. BigDukeSix macrumors 6502a

    BigDukeSix

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Location:
    34.6700N 118.1590W
    #12
    I have recently seen the same thing as well. Spinning beachballs, system freezing especially when I am running video's. I have repaired permissions several times, and have also run repair disk which does say my disk has no issues. My white Macbook is approx 1.5 years old now. Thank goodness I do back up regularly as the last time this happened I was only able to boot up from by external hard drive, and then I ran carbon copy cloner into my internal HD to get back up and running.
    Any other idea's as to what might be causing this? I am running 4gb of RAM.
     

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