Mac Mini running slow... *Need help*

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by MacNoobGuy, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. MacNoobGuy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2012
    #1
    Hi all, I'm running OSX Mavericks on my Mac Mini mid-2011 with 8GB of RAM and the HDD it came with, a 500GB HDD. The HDD seems to be under a lot of strain. How can I check how much strain it's actually under? I think the HDD that came with it is a 5400RPM drive. Would it make a difference if I upgraded it to a 7200RPM drive or would I need to get an SSD to really see a difference?

    By the way, if I formatted the MacMini HDD and then use the external USB 1TB drive with Time Machine to restore it, what would happen? It feels like a lot of 'cruft' has built up over time and I use this machine often. I haven't re-formatted it since I first bought it in April 2012. Would this make a difference or would I just be putting all the files back where they were?

    Thank you for any help!
     
  2. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 21, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    How full is the drive ? What does Activity Monitor say for disk/memory usage ? What are you running on the machine ?

    I have a 2009 Mini and since putting 8gb ram and a 750 HDD in it it's running great. So your machine should be sweet too given its superior processor etc. I have never re-formatted the original 160gb HDD and the only issue was that it was full.

    No doubt an SSD will make a big difference but it isn't strictly necessary.
     
  3. verwon macrumors 68030

    verwon

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    #3
    Have you tried checking and repairing permissions?

    I had some oddities with my mini after installing Mav, so I checked and it found quite a few errors, let it fix those and now it's running great.
     
  4. nzalog macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    #4
    Get an SSD it's well worth it. Don't buy a cheapo brand and save yourself some trouble. Intel, Samsung, Crucial... all good. There is a second drive kit for these as well, so you could have both drives, meaning you just need a small 120gb or so ssd.
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    A SSD will definitely make a noticeable difference to most users.

    If you're having performance issues, this may help:
     
  6. MacNoobGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 18, 2012
    #6
    Alright, thanks.

    It says this: 'Reads in: 260, 642' 'Reads out: 202,910'

    What does it mean?
     
  7. satcomer, Nov 16, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013

    satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #7
    How much RAM is installed? The Readouts means you might need more RAM.
     
  8. MacNoobGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 18, 2012
  9. Partron22 macrumors 68020

    Partron22

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    #9
    Nice. For iTunes users, having too many Smart Playlists with live updating turned on can also slow things to a crawl.
     
  10. ABC5S, Nov 16, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013

    ABC5S Suspended

    ABC5S

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    Sep 10, 2013
    Location:
    Florida
    #10
    Not maxed out OP. MacMini 2011 and I have 16 GB of ram. Yes, it can handle it.
     

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  11. MacNoobGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 18, 2012
    #11
    Hmmm I see. I don't want to cannibalise a stick of 4GB of RAM though...
     
  12. MacNoobGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 18, 2012
    #12
    Thanks for posting that. Did you need to tweak anything in OSX for the Mac Mini to accept 16GB of RAM???
     
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #13
    No, just install it. OS X will automatically recognize and use it.
     
  14. MacNoobGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 18, 2012
    #14
    Alright, thanks!

    Why does it say that it only supports 8GB though?
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #15
    Apple has a long history of understating maximum RAM supported for its models. a great number of Mac models support more RAM than Apple claims. As to Apple's reasoning behind this, who knows?
     
  16. MacNoobGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 18, 2012
    #16
    Alright, thanks!

    But if I want to increase my RAM I have to throw away a perfectly good stick of 4GB of RAM, right?
     
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #17
    If your Mac came with 4 GB of RAM, that means you have two sticks of 2 GB each. Yes, you would have to replace each of those with the new RAM.
     
  18. MacNoobGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 18, 2012
    #18
    No, I've got 8GB of RAM total. 2x4GB sticks.

    There's nothing else I can do with the 4GB stick is there? I'll just have to discard it? I can't install 3 sticks of RAM or use the 4GB in another way?
     
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #19
    No, the mini only has two RAM slots. Unless you have another computer that uses the same type of RAM, there's nothing you can do with it.
     
  20. ABC5S Suspended

    ABC5S

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    Sep 10, 2013
    Location:
    Florida
    #20
    Nope, no tweaking. Bought the system with 2GB of memory, took out and installed 2x4 GB sticks than later wanted more so I got 2x8 GB ram sticks and inserted normally, no tweaking and all has been well for more than 2 years. You can try and sell any left over memory if you wish, but I kept mine just in case
     
  21. MacNoobGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 18, 2012
    #21
    Thanks
    Alright, thanks. Yah, I started out with 2GB as well then I bought 2x4GB. Would 1x4GB + 1x8GB for a total of 12GB work? Does anyone know of 12GB working?

    Thanks!
     
  22. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #22
    Yes, you can mix capacities with no problems. There is a slight (5-6%) performance benefit from using matched pairs of RAM, but not enough to negate the benefits of more RAM.
     
  23. ElectricSheep macrumors 6502

    ElectricSheep

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    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Wilmington, DE
    #23
    I assume that you mean

    Reads in: 260,642
    Writes out: 202,910.

    This doesn't have anything to do with not having enough installed memory. This is just a running total of how man I/O Reads and I/O Writes have been issued. Some processes read a lot of data, and some write a lot of data.

    You need to be looking at the Swap Used and Compressed metrics in the Memory tab of Activity Monitor to draw any conclusions that you may or may not be running low on memory.
     
  24. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #24
    This should be fine for most normal usage. What are you running on the machine ?

    Can you check how much of the 500gb HDD you are using (graphic in "about this mac" under storage) ? My 2009 mini was 2gb ram and a 160gb HDD which was nearly full and it was very slow until I upgraded. Your machine is a far better spec (as noted better than my now upgraded 8/750) so something is a bit odd.

    Also you said the hard disk seemed to be under pressure ? Does that means its noisy / being accessed frequently ? I do find from time to time there is quite a bit of disk access but it's fairly rare and machine performance is good.

    There is a cheap utility on app store recommended which clears disk space, to be honest it doesnt seem to do much except delete safari downloads (so check you don't need any) and a few system logs etc but it might be worth a try for approx $2. E-mail logs and old attachments can take up a lot of space too.
     
  25. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #25
    Unless a drive is almost full, there is no performance benefit in deleting files off the drive. Having data stored on the drive has no impact on performance. Unless you're troubleshooting a particular problem, it's not wise to delete system logs or other system files, as those can be needed in future troubleshooting. If the goal is to free space, deleting user data or moving it to an external drive is the best approach.
     

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