Mac Mini running VERY slow - how to fix?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by vumad, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. vumad macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Location:
    Ipswich, UK
    #1
    I have a Mid 2011 Mac Mini server (Quad core i7, 8GB RAM, 2 x 500GB HD, OS X 10.7.4) which at times runs unbelievably slowly. The machine isn't used as a server and all the server features are turned off. Most of the time I just have Chrome open (6 - 10 tabs / sites) and Excel.

    Sometimes popular web sites (eg Gmail, Google maps) take 10 seconds or more to load but loading the same pages on my old MBA (2009) which uses the same internet connection is almost instantaneous. I also find that gmail often becomes unresponsive (buttons don't work, can't type new mails, etc). The problem isn't confined to Chrome, Excel is often slow as well, eg it can take several seconds to load the 'Open Recent' list from the File menu. The Dashboard at times takes several seconds to render as do the Launchpad icons.

    Note this is an intermittent problem - as I type this the performance is fine.

    Any suggestions what I should look at to resolve the problem, perhaps a Mountain Lion upgrade? Geekbench (32-bit) gives a score around 8750 so it's not a CPU issue.
     
  2. pismobrat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    #2
    Take a look under Disk Utility, are any of your drives showing SMART failure? I know its a new machine, something to look at.

    Also, if the drives aren't an issue - launch Activity Monitor and look at what is gobbling of the performance. Do you see spikes in CPU when this issue happens? or other things spiking?
     
  3. vumad thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Location:
    Ipswich, UK
    #3
    I followed your advice and checked for S.M.A.R.T. errors and everything was fine. I did a few large file transfers between the Mini and a QNAP NAS and that showed that network connectivity and disk throughput were also not a problem.

    I was generally seeing CPU utilisation around 8% with no peaks and then out of the blue I saw a spike with Google Chrome Worker registering 100% CPU. When this happened I couldn't use Gmail via Chrome but other Chrome tabs (eg Facebook, weather sites, etc) were just fine. I've yet to find the action that promotes the symptom and I have to say that I'm surprised that Chrome is the CPU hog.

    Perhaps I'll give the Mountain Lion upgrade a shot and see if that fixes it.
     
  4. LaunchpadBS macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Location:
    iLondon/iDurban
    #4

    Part of the reason Chrome is the 'Worlds fastest browser' is because it is ridiculously resource hungry. Switch back to Safari, after a while you won't even miss Chrome
     
  5. vumad thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Location:
    Ipswich, UK
    #5
    OK, I'll give Safari a try. I was only using Chrome as before I saw the light I used Chrome in preference to IE. I do miss the little icons on the tabs but I also notice that I now have 4GB RAM free! :)

    Thanks for the tip.
     
  6. vumad thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Location:
    Ipswich, UK
    #6
    I still find it very strange that on a 3 yr old MBA with just 2GB RAM I can run Chrome without a problem and it flies along yet on an i7 with 8GB I have performance issues.
     
  7. pismobrat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    #7
    Haven't you people learned any thing. You need a fully pimped out Mac Pro just for surfing the internet :p
     
  8. LanWolf macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #8
    Well i use a 2011 i7 mac mini dual core (not the server version like you), and found the standard 500 gb hdd terrible slow, it does around 50 mb/s in blackmagics disk test..
    Bought an extra satacable for the mini and equipped it with a kingston v100+ 96 gb sad which had been in my 2008 macbook pro, put in the 2nd bay and use that drive for boot/OS, and the 500 for data only now, and now it feels snappy :D

    But the seagate disk in the mini is quite slow, my 2009 macbook pro 13 drive does around 70.
     
  9. lilsoccakid74 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #9
    It honestly wouldn't surprise me if its just because of the painfully slow 5400rpm hd. After replacing mine with a Vertex4 my app and restart times drastically improved (Restart went from 90+seconds to 15 max)
     
  10. tshrimp macrumors 6502

    tshrimp

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #10
    I am not sure I would go with ML for a speed boost. It did the opposite for me. $20 down the drain.
     
  11. vumad thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Location:
    Ipswich, UK
    #11
    I'm sure the 5400rpm 500GB drive doesn't help but the problem I experience is definitely some sort of hang. I've switched to using Safari rather than Chrome and things have improved somewhat but still very occasionally Safari just hangs completely with the spinning Mac 'egg timer'.

    I'm thinking of doing a complete re-install but I may try an upgrade to Mountain Lion first to see if that fixes things. I only use the machine as a desktop and only bought the server version in order to get the Quad Core i7 CPU. Is there any way I can go to a pure 'desktop' build? I assume that even if I re-install from the recovery partition that I'll get the server build and won't have an option to select the desktop variant?
     
  12. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #12
    If you purchased the Server Version of the Mac Mini, your drives should be high speed 7200 rpm versions.

    If you do a clean install, I think you will have the desktop only version of the OS since the server functions are now a separate purchase and install. Buying the server Mini to get the faster hardware doesn't force you to run the server OS extensions.



    -howard
     
  13. aarond12, Aug 28, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012

    aarond12 macrumors 65816

    aarond12

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Location:
    Dallas, TX USA
    #13
    One thing I've noticed about Chrome is that it doesn't like a lot of favorites. I have around 1000 favorites on Chrome and both the Mac and Linux versions take 100% CPU for several seconds when launching. This is from two different computers, both with reasonably fast SSDs. :eek:
     
  14. vumad thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Location:
    Ipswich, UK
    #14
    Thanks howard, by a clean install do you mean from the recovery partition on HD1 or via the internet / USB stick? I was assuming that if I did a re-build from the recovery partition that only the server build would be available. I'm a little reluctant to try a clean install from a USB stick or via the internet as I assume that I'd loose the iLife apps that were pre-installed when I bought the mini.

    ----------

    I'm pretty sure that favourites are not to blame as I don't really use them. I have the Speed dial 2 extension installed but there are only around 25 favourites / shortcuts configured. The stall I see is when Chrome is running and not during start-up. Ironically it seems to mainly affect Gmail and Google maps but this may just be down to the interactive nature of these apps / sites.
     
  15. jminnis macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2016
    Location:
    Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236
    #15
    I upgraded the RAM in by late 2012 Mac Mini to its maximum (16gigs). Seems to be working a little better now....knock on wood!
     
  16. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    #16
    I'm sure the people from 2012 will appreciate your input ;)
     

Share This Page