How to speed up a Mac?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by EarthNeutron, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. EarthNeutron macrumors regular


    Aug 6, 2010
    Ok so I currently own a 2011 13 inch base MacBook Pro model bought in September. At first it was blazing fast, but now after dozens of apps,movies,pictures, it's even slower than my crappy windows machine. I get the beach ball EVERY time I log in. I even get it when opening Safari, system preferences and so on. It's incredibly annoying.

    Anyway, is there something I could do to speed up my Mac? I've deleted all of my movies and TV shows and I only have 60gb free space out of 320 for some reason. Is there any software I could install to speed it up a bit?
  2. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2009
    I'd look at the Activity Monitor and see what processes are running. If needed, you could go to the Preferences Settings and under users accounts change the applications that you have set for automatic startup.

    Check your SSD/HDD speed and if you're paging out your RAM to your drive (lack of RAM issue).

    If all else fails, you could back up your drive by cloning it or using Time Machine and then do a fresh install of your OS.
  3. Hustler1337 macrumors 68000


    Dec 23, 2010
    London, UK
    Deleting movies and tv shows will only free up your hard drive space. This is not what is causing the problem. Try using CleanMyMac to clear out junk from your mac. This may help to speed up your machine but make sure you check what you are clearing before you proceed.

    You can also try upgrading your RAM if possible to help speed things up. Check to see if you are frequently close to using the full amount of RAM - it could be that you need additional RAM for your needs.

    Hope that is of some help. ;)
  4. MrBullet macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2011
    Bristol, UK
    Check your activity monitor for any RAM hogs. You filled HDD shouldn't cause you problems regarding the speed of your MBP. I would recommend upgrading to 8GB of RAM as I have the base model with 8GB and experience no troubles.

    OS X looks after it's self perfectly fine without the need for 3rd party apps such as Mac Keeper, Clean My Mac etc.
  5. tmagman macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2010
    Calgary AB
    I prefer a clean install once in a while over using third party programs. I find sometimes they add clutter in the big picture and the gains aren't as stellar from running their cleaners. Clean installs also force you to really scrutinize what you put back on your computer.

    8GB is a must, SSD is optional but always a nice gain (and force you to really be discerning with what you put on the computer since most people can't dole out the big bucks for a high capacity one- thus you are forced to be careful of how much stuff you put on).
  6. keith4594 macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2010
    make sure you always empty your trash i forgot to empty it for a while and all my .dmg's where there and old movies/music/photos

    i save 30GB :)
  7. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    A Movie file that just sits there doesn't hurt performance the least. Only if the hdd is almost full fragmentation can cause bad performance.

    There is some app that is the problem. Check what you installed over the time and delete everything you don't need. Especially stuff that needed installers and does background work can be the cause of such things.
    Check activitiy monitor what is running and what takes resources.

    It may just be though that this is how fast a Mac normally is. You can never really compare anything to a completely new install that one always runs fine but sooner or later you end up somewhere else simply because you have some programms running and system files fill up with data.
  8. cariocap macrumors member

    Nov 27, 2011
    Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
    try to verify/repair disk permissions

    I read a lot of reports about this solving slow Lion.
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    One app that I would not recommend, based on the number of complaints that have been posted in this forum and elsewhere, is CleanMyMac. As an example: CleanMyMac cleaned too much. While you may not have experienced problems yet, enough people have that it's wise to avoid it, especially since there are free alternatives that have better reputations, such as Onyx.

    You really don't need "cleaner" or "maintenance" apps to keep your Mac running well, and some of these apps can do more harm than good. Most only remove files/folders or unused languages or architectures, which does nothing more than free up some drive space. It will not make your Mac run faster or more efficiently, since having stuff stored on a drive does not impact performance, unless you're running out of drive space.

    Mac OS X does a good job of taking care of itself, without the need for 3rd party software.

    Performance tips for Mac OS X
    Repairing permissions only addresses very specific issues. It is not a "cure all" or a general performance enhancer.

  10. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    If you are currently using up all of your RAM, or if your hard drive is failing, you would notice quite a slowdown system-wide. I'd monitor your RAM usage and backup frequently, a beachball while simply logging in is not normal.
  11. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    On the hardware side, you could upgrade to 8 GB RAM and install a SSD.

    However, it would make more sense to first identify the source of your problems. For this, follow the advice of GJJstudios and others in this thread.
  12. EarthNeutron thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 6, 2010
    Ok so here's my update after a week of posting this.

    I've installed CleanMyMac, cleaned about 6-8gb of unnecessary files
    I've verified and repaired my HDD, uninstalled a bunch of apps, deleted some movies and junk BUT IT STILL lags from time to time.

    I even stopped logging items such as Caffeine, Ramstatus and so on, but still not much has changed overall.
    I sometimes get a beach ball while typing in Safari, opening pages, scrolling down and so on. I ALWAYS get one while logging in or opening the Mac App store.

    I mean WTF? I paid almost 2000$ for this computer. (yeah they do cost that much in my country), which is a lot considering the fact that I don't even earn 1000$ per month ****.
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    As I said earlier, you don't need CleanMyMac or any similar app to keep your Mac running well. They will NOT speed up your Mac, and could create serious problems. I highly recommend you uninstall it.

    Did you look at the performance tips I posted earlier? Did you try any?
  14. EarthNeutron thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 6, 2010
    Yes, thanks I did. I verified and repaired my HDD (there were some problems though). This made my Mac a little bit faster but it's still slow IMO.

    BTW BlackMagic Disk Speed Test result: 49mb/s write and 55mb/s read. Is that slow for a 5400 320gb HDD? IMO it is
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    That wasn't on the list of performance tips I posted. What problems?
  16. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Here is a chart from 2008 that puts your speeds in the middle of the table.,685.html

    Your HDD is pretty slow and together with the 4GB of RAM will explain a lot of your frustrations with the computer. I have 3 Apple computers right now. A 2011 Mac Mini Server, a 2011 13" MBA and a 2009 MBP 13" and I do not have any of the problems that you've mentioned. However, there is clearly something going wrong if your computer does not run like it used to.

    Even my 2009 MBP does not exhibit what you've described, except for the beach ball when opening the MAS. This is normal since when you open Mac App Store it first connects to the Apple servers. The beach ball is there to show you that it's busy connecting and downloading info.

    I cannot explain the issues you've mentioned in Safari though and it does not sound normal, but I don't use Safari so I cannot help you there.

    For reference, my 2009 MBP has 8 GB of RAM and a Seagate Momentus XT 7200 RPM HDD.

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