Help! Why so slow?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by ozone, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. ozone, Oct 4, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016

    ozone macrumors 6502

    ozone

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #1
    I have a 2012 MacMini loaded with 16 GB of memory. However, I found it was running very slowly lately, so when a deal was advertised on a 500 GB SSD, I picked one up and installed it.

    I did a "clean install": no transfer of programs or settings from another Mac. I wanted to streamline the computer and toss out unused programs and files. I installed El Capitan (which seems to run fine on my MacBook Pro), then programs like Office for Mac, Lightroom, and a few others. It's far from being overloaded.

    BUT... the MacMini now runs slower than ever! Firefox takes forever to load, and almost seems unstable. Lightroom takes an eternity to load just one photo. Simple things like "About this Mac" and even the Finder seem unusually long to start up or sluggish.

    Am I missing something here? Did I forget to do something?
     
  2. grcar Suspended

    grcar

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2014
    #2
    1) sounds like there was a problem before you added the ssd

    2) maybe the ssd you bought was not such a deal. I personally would only use the samsung devices

    3) maybe you damaged or did not correctly seat the memory sticks

    4) intel cpus throttle back when they get too warm. maybe your machine is overheating or the fan is broken.
     
  3. esk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2016
    #3
    Maybe your cpu is over heating.

    http://www.crystalidea.com/macs-fan-control

    This is a great little tool to check your temperatures and you can also configure your fan. Apple tends to put silent over performance so even when the cpu is getting very hot they let the fan run at a low speed to keep the mac silent.
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    This is a dumb question, but did you replace the HDD with the SSD, or install them both together (one in the upper bay, one in the lower)?

    If you kept both, are you still booting from the old HDD?

    Get ahold of the "BlackMagic" speed tester, run it, and post your results.
     
  5. ozone thread starter macrumors 6502

    ozone

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #5
    Thanks. Well, before I checked this thread, I observed that FireFox and YouTube would cause the MacMini to slow considerably, and then I noticed that the surface of the MacMini was very hot - almost too hot to touch. I didn't notice this before when it had the original HDD.

    I decided to try Safari, and it was better, but as soon as I started to open and run other programs, it again slowed down, ran very hot, and even after closing a number of programs, the performance remained slow and sluggish.

    So, I suspect as some of you have pointed out that it's running hot, the CPU has throttled back, and performance slows. I double checked to see if the fan is still working and it seems to be, so I don't think I made a mistake there when I swapped out the HDD for an SSD.

    I read elsewhere that an SSD can run hotter depending on the system efficiency and physical configuration. Of course, it could all be bull, but hey...

    I think I'm going to clone the newly configured system back onto the old HDD, swap it back in, and just go from there. I don't need extreme performance, I just need better performance than what I've had in the past.
     
  6. Nospig macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    Bangkok, Thailand
    #6
    It doesn't sound like your fan is running properly. Under full load the fan on my 2011 is *loud*, there is no doubt that it is working hard to keep things cool. I would double check your fan, maybe it's faulty? In my systems the SSDs run maybe 1-2C hotter than the HDDs, nothing to worry about and unlikely to be causing your issue.
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    OP:

    Do you have processes running in the background that could be eating up all your CPU and slowing everything to a crawl?

    Here's a suggestion to try:
    In the Users & Groups pane (system preferences), create a NEW ACCOUNT. To do this, click the lock on the lower left and enter your password. Then, click the "+" sign just above the lock.
    Give it an easy-to-remember name and password, such as "temp"/"temp".
    Give it administrative privileges.
    DO NOT "add anything" to this account. You want it to be "bare bones" with ONLY Apple's software.

    Now, shut the Mac off -- ALL THE WAY OFF.
    Reboot, and you'll get the login screen.
    Log into the "temp" account.

    Now, try opening/running some of the apps in your Applications folder.
    Any changes in overall performance?
    Again, try the Blackmagic Speed Test on your drive.
    Any changes in overall performance?
    Try browsing with Safari.
    Any changes in overall performance?

    Do this and get back to us.
    Note: when you're done with the temp account, you can just delete it, and you will be "back as you were before".
     
  8. komatsu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #8
    Great advice given already but don't forget to run the Activity Monitor to see if that shows up anything else.
     
  9. ozone thread starter macrumors 6502

    ozone

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #9
    I'll give this a try, and yes, I've been using the activity monitor regularly. CPU usage seems to spike after a while, although there is nothing particularly demanding running.
     
  10. ozone thread starter macrumors 6502

    ozone

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #10
    Alright... so I did (more or less) what you suggested. Thanks for the suggestion.

    First, I just started the MacMini up on my usual user account. I started up the Blackmagic Speed Test, ran a YouTube video, and watched the activity monitor. Nothing unusual for the first 20 minutes but then the activity monitor ramped up to about 80%, and then the sluggishness started. And then at about the 40 minute mark, the computer just shut off by itself. It was hot to touch. The obvious conclusion is that it's overheated.

    Next, I did what you suggested: I created a temporary account, fired it up again, and ran the Blackmagic Test, a YouTube video, and watched the Activity Monitor. At about 20 minutes, the CPU usage spiked again (see attached image). This time, given it was a temp account, I was pretty sure the spike was not due to any odd programs or processes - it just happened.

    Again, I think I have to conclude the unit is just overheating. Maybe the fan is faulty (it is running, but maybe not well) or else the new SSD is somehow contributing to overeating.

    However, this might explain why prior to this the MacMini seemed slow and occasionally shut down. Perhaps it was overheating but not enough to consistently shut it down, but the new SSD has just pushed it over the edge.

    So, the question is what do I do now?
    1. Should I just reinstall the old HDD and forego the SSD (given this is now a 4.5 year old computer, I'm not so sure I want put more money into it if I know it's likely faulty)?
    2. If I leave the SSD in, would having a third party program run the fans faster help that much? What if I left the bottom cover off?
    3. Has the CPU overheated enough times now that it might damaged? If so, then options (1) and (2) are probably pointless.
    By the way, if I return the SSDs, what's the recommended number/type of formatting to ensure any data on them is truly gone or inaccessible.

    Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Heat_Fan89 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    #11
    I once had this problem where all of a sudden my 2012 mini got super slow and performance was sluggish and choppy. It also was running hot and the fan was running. I removed the bottom cover and there was no dust or dirt visible that would make it run hot.

    I decided to reinstall OS X and just like magic the problem went away and never came back. Your mileage may vary but that fixed the problem for me.
     
  12. komatsu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #12
    Thanks for sharing Heat Fan (and what an appropriate name...)
     
  13. ozone thread starter macrumors 6502

    ozone

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #13
    This was a fresh install, and given that I had some issues prior, I'm thinking there's more to the problem than just the OS.
     
  14. ozone thread starter macrumors 6502

    ozone

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #14
    Well... that was a complete bust.

    Since I had all the SSD all set up, I cloned it back to my original HDD. I just reinstalled the HDD... and now the bloody thing doesn't start at all. I can hear the chime faintly... and then nothing.

    I give up.
     
  15. Cycling Asia macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    #15
    You could install a fan and temperature monitor. Personally I have Macs Fan Control (http://www.crystalidea.com/products?source=fancontrol_mac) It is a free utility. It shows the current temperature (can be configured to use different sensors) and current fan speed. You can also use the utility to set your own fan speeds based on a temperature sensor.


    I had a similar issue with my MBA where the fans would just not spin up. I had installed a temperature monitor (SMC fan control I think) and I managed to prevent the SMC from managing the fan speed. An SMC reset failed to resolve the issue but after installing the above mentioned software, I was able to regain control of my temperature. Note that you can set it back to auto from the app (do it prior to uninstalling if you don't want the app).
     
  16. Adz76 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Location:
    Dagobah System
    #16
    First up do you have a full backup? If not get one asap by whatever your preferred means is be it Time Machine or a clone.

    Did I read correctly you have a working Mac apart from the Mini? If you do I would wipe one of the drives ( the HD if you want ) and put it in a USB caddy and install OSX from your working Mac, once this is done I would boot the working Mac off the new USB connected fresh install.

    Run the drive for 30 minutes and do nothing with it, if stays on then drive is fine and it's your hardware that's at fault. Next I would remove the SSD from the mini and external boot it via the USB again and test that in the same way as the HD, same theory if it boots the drive is fine.( In which case the chassis is where the problem lies )

    From what you mention in your posts i would suggest there is a cooling issue , the random shutdowns is to prevent irrevesable thermal degradation from happening to the chip.

    Run a hardware test: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201257

    When you have done all of the above you should be able to at least work out where the fault lies, drives or chassis.

    Goodluck!
     

Share This Page