From 4 to 16 GB... still slow

Bushwood

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 26, 2014
47
1
I'm stumped. The "genius" told me Mavericks and other software, etc. had rendered my 4 GB of memory insufficient. He verified that the HD was fine - my original guess, since it's on it's third HD. And, he suggested upping the memory. I did. The machine now has 16 GB of DRAM.

But, it's a slug. I see that damn beach ball way (!) too much. I restart the machine a couple times per day. Web pages are ridiculously slow to load (pinging about 27 mps). Lots of other apps are slow too. Oddly, opening System Pref's may be the slowest native app/program - it can take 30 seconds to even respond.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
 

barnettgs

macrumors member
Dec 12, 2006
93
0
Northern Ireland
Sounds very much like HDD is to blame.

Have you tried to do a disk clean-up such as Ccleaner and see how it goes afterward?

Also check the disk using Disk Utility tool in Mac.
 

MartinAppleGuy

macrumors 68020
Sep 27, 2013
2,243
888
I agree with above, CCleaner for Mac will clear all Caches as well as other rubbish. If that doesn't work, try a reformat.
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
230
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
I'm stumped. The "genius" told me Mavericks and other software, etc. had rendered my 4 GB of memory insufficient. He verified that the HD was fine - my original guess, since it's on it's third HD. And, he suggested upping the memory. I did. The machine now has 16 GB of DRAM.

But, it's a slug. I see that damn beach ball way (!) too much. I restart the machine a couple times per day. Web pages are ridiculously slow to load (pinging about 27 mps). Lots of other apps are slow too. Oddly, opening System Pref's may be the slowest native app/program - it can take 30 seconds to even respond.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
I had the same problem, trashed out the 7200rpm HDD in it and got a 512GB Samsung 840 Pro.

Problem solved. Boot times of just 11 seconds and instant app launching
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors 604
May 28, 2005
7,986
535
Pennsylvania
Mavericks is terrible on spinning HDD's. Unless you have an SDD, it'll be slow. Blame Apple for that. My dad's 2013 iMac is slower than his 2006 iMac, mostly because the new one runs Mavericks, and he doesn't have an SSD in it.
 

Bushwood

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 26, 2014
47
1
Thanks. I just ran CCleaner, resulting in: "44,845 MB (19,343 files) were removed". That seems like a lot. Thoughts?

I agree - at some point, I'd benefit from swapping the HHD for an SD, or ditching the OD for an SD... or both.
 

barnettgs

macrumors member
Dec 12, 2006
93
0
Northern Ireland
Thanks. I just ran CCleaner, resulting in: "44,845 MB (19,343 files) were removed". That seems like a lot. Thoughts?
That is huge! It is around 40 GB, curious to know what was being removed. You should see the performance difference after that.

Would need to check the drive with Disk Utility to see if it is faulty.

By the way, I didn't realise Mavericks isn't great on HDDs! Mine seems ok but would go for SSD anyway.
 

happyfrappy

macrumors 6502
Oct 14, 2007
343
49
Location eh?
Depending upon the OPs' "original(AppleCare replaced?)" HDD the SMART status is useless on Toshiba/Hitachi drives as they're prone to "slowing down" and failure status doesn't occur until the spin-up fault status hits critical(days/hours left). Seagate & Western Digital has their own tools(Seatools & DataLife Guard) to get raw status numbers which you can get a better idea of "fault status".

Mavericks is heavily optimized for 7200 RPM HDDs(notebook/desktop) and SSDs, random read/writes is most felt on 5400 RPM drives as many makers skimp on the RAM cache(2mb or 8mb). Most MBPs have 5400 RPM drives unless you CTO-ed(13" never had a 7200 RPM option). Spinning platter drives are still necessary if you're big on local storage.

Whenever you have programs which "Unexpected Quit/Force Quit/Kernel Panic/Crashed" usually the cache is never deleted, on average if you crash Safari/Firefox you can easily end up with 1-5GB junk cache(videos, photos, ad FLV/SWF files, etc).
CCleaner-type programs are useful.
 

whitedragon101

macrumors 65816
Sep 11, 2008
1,235
258
I'm stumped. The "genius" told me Mavericks and other software, etc. had rendered my 4 GB of memory insufficient. He verified that the HD was fine - my original guess, since it's on it's third HD. And, he suggested upping the memory. I did. The machine now has 16 GB of DRAM.

But, it's a slug. I see that damn beach ball way (!) too much. I restart the machine a couple times per day. Web pages are ridiculously slow to load (pinging about 27 mps). Lots of other apps are slow too. Oddly, opening System Pref's may be the slowest native app/program - it can take 30 seconds to even respond.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
Try this. When I had a failing HD apple disk utility said disk was fine. This utility said it was failing. Took it to the apple store they said disk seems fine, but if you want we can run a detailed drive test (re-boot, ethernet cable goes in and they run their software for 10mins). Turns out drive was dying, they replaced the drive under applecare. They were impressed this utility picked up a failing drive when disk utility did not.

Its free
http://www.volitans-software.com/smart_utility.php
 

556fmjoe

macrumors 68000
Apr 19, 2014
1,614
923
Thanks. I just ran CCleaner, resulting in: "44,845 MB (19,343 files) were removed". That seems like a lot. Thoughts?

I agree - at some point, I'd benefit from swapping the HHD for an SD, or ditching the OD for an SD... or both.
You would definitely benefit from an SSD over a hard disk, but I'd be more concerned about that CCleaner result. 40 gigabytes is not normal, and plugging in a fast SSD to a system that has problems won't help you much.

What stuff did you tell CCleaner to clean? I would suggest waiting a few days (or even weeks) without changing anything, then run CCleaner again. Make sure you don't close it after cleaning so you can check the files it removed. Post the results here.
 

notrack

macrumors 6502
Feb 19, 2012
401
40
I can confirm the SSD story. In my C2D I replaced the HDD with a SSD resulting in doubling the overall speed. Upgrading from 2 to 4 GB was another speed bump. But going from 4 to 8 GB was no difference any more. Mav's RAM compression seems to work really well.
 

Hieveryone

macrumors 601
Apr 11, 2014
4,158
1,476
USA
I'm no genius but from what I know it's SSD that makes the computer super fast. Ram will affect speed but not nearly as much as switching from HDD to SSD.
 

Bushwood

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 26, 2014
47
1
Per 556FMJOE's suggestion... I waited a couple weeks and ran CCleaner again. It's having a huge effect. The computer had gotten frustratingly slow again - scrolling down webpages, it would stall, then jump, spinning beachball with every app. So I just ran CCleaner and everything seems to be good again.

Here's the result:


Any idea what's going on with this machine - why it's getting so "dirty"?

THANKS!
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
What macbook are you using and what are you using it for?
What apps did this genius test? Did he even look at the activity monitor?
Disk utility? Disk permissions?

In 99% of all cases increasing beyond 4gb of ram will not increase speed. Why should it?
Its just a pointless 150$ upgrade then.

While i generally agree with the posts before about ssd upgrades you didnt give any info on anything really.
So the folks on this forum will be just guessing around like this "genius" was.

Post your activity monitor and macbook specs please.
 
Last edited:

thejadedmonkey

macrumors 604
May 28, 2005
7,986
535
Pennsylvania
Per 556FMJOE's suggestion... I waited a couple weeks and ran CCleaner again. It's having a huge effect. The computer had gotten frustratingly slow again - scrolling down webpages, it would stall, then jump, spinning beachball with every app. So I just ran CCleaner and everything seems to be good again.

Here's the result:
[url=http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee47/markspeece/ScreenShot2014-05-02at90046AM.png]Image[/URL]

Any idea what's going on with this machine - why it's getting so "dirty"?

THANKS!
That's "normal" internet stuff. The bigger issue is why is this causing your computer to run slow?

Step 1. Have you run disk utility, and verified and repaired the permissions? If not, do that. Bad permissions can have strange results.

Step 2. How much free space do you have left? OS X wants around 10% free to function properly. Since you removed 40gb of "stuff", I don't think free space is an issue, but I'm mentioning it for posterity.
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
230
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
You've a good system, but your HDD is definitely your limiting factor. Run Blackmagic tests and I'll expect your HDD to be performing around the 50-100MB/s range.

Save up and buy an SSD. Then your beach balls will disappear and your Mac will boot up in 11 seconds.
 

zsno

macrumors member
Oct 9, 2007
39
0
Richmond, VA
Just from the bit I can see in your screenshot, you've got two unresponsive processes relating to Chrome. I'd reinstall those extensions/Chrome itself and you should be good to go. I bet if you look at the CPU pane within Activity Monitor while those processes are hanging up, you'll see a huge tax on your CPU.

Unresponsive processes like that can bring the machine to a grinding halt.

While the OP would definitely benefit from upgrading to an SSD, a standard 5400 rpm drive won't cause the machine to run that slowly or freeze up based on the drive alone. This definitely looks like a software issue.
 

TechZeke

macrumors 68020
Jul 29, 2012
2,363
1,974
San Antonio, TX
Unless you use allot of programs at once and you are frequently running out of RAM, then 4GB to 16gb of RAM isn't going to make difference. More RAM just gives your computer more capacity to run things, it doesn't really make a computer faster at actually doing things.

As already been stated, get an SSD.

----------

Mavericks is terrible on spinning HDD's. Unless you have an SDD, it'll be slow. Blame Apple for that. My dad's 2013 iMac is slower than his 2006 iMac, mostly because the new one runs Mavericks, and he doesn't have an SSD in it.
It's because Apple switched back to 5400rpm HDDs in the new iMacs. My 2011 iMac, although it feels slower than my MBP with the SSD in it, isn't half bad or unbearable with it's 1TB 7200rpm desktop drive on Mavericks. My mother's base Mac mini with the 5400rpm is terrible, however.

A 5400rpm drive is by definition, slow, regardless of what OS it is.
 
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Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
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If thats your normal use then we know now that upgrading the ram was rather pointless in your case.
Seeing the other activity monitors would be helpfull, too.

In the end it might boil down to a nice new ssd like already mentioned by everone else.
I am not ruling out the cpu for some reason since the apps you are using have very low requirements and everything should run smooth even with a bad hdd.

I would bring the ram back to apple and tell them off.
The genius gave you terrible advise.

----------

You've a good system, but your HDD is definitely your limiting factor. Run Blackmagic tests and I'll expect your HDD to be performing around the 50-100MB/s range.
My mini gets 75mbs and doesnt beachball with way more taxing apps than the op is running.
Something else is wrong here.
 

barnettgs

macrumors member
Dec 12, 2006
93
0
Northern Ireland
Chrome could be a cue...

Chrome browser uses up a lot of memory and also lot of caches. Your screenshot shows about 670,000 KB or (600 MB or 0.6 GB) of all the internet cache files! Too much cache will bog down any browser, no matter which one.

The problem with Chrome is that there is no option to set the limit on cache so everytime after you cleared out the cache, Chrome will slow down once the cache goes over 100 MB. I normally set my Firefox browser to 100 MB cache max but if you want to continue using Chrome, you will have to flush out its cache from time to time to keep it quick or change your browser to Safari or Firefox.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
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Knowing Chrome browser well enough, 90 MB is quite low but OP didn't say how many tabs are on Chrome.
Anyhow Pepperflashplayer needs to be disabled or uninstalled.
His memory pressure is rock bottom. He is definitly not running low on memory.