MacBook is unreasonably lagging at everything

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by zephead, May 1, 2009.

  1. zephead macrumors 68000

    zephead

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    in your pants
    #1
    This has been a weird issue with my MacBook for the past couple months or so. Whenever I'm doing pretty much anything, like Safari, Dashboard, or iTunes (not even with all of them open at the same time), the screen starts slowly refreshing from top to bottom. After that, everything starts lagging and the fans start blasting. I've already looked in Activity Monitor and nothing in the background is sucking up any CPU, and usually I'll have a lot of free RAM available. Right now I have 1.24 GB out of 2.00 GB free and just scrolling up and down in Safari seems like a chore. The fan is running normal but the temp is hovering around 130-135F (54-57C) right now, which seems a bit high for just using Safari 3.

    I've done pretty much everything imaginable to fix it: I repaired permissions, used OnyX to clean out everything, moved ALL my preferences (root and user) into different folders so I could start off with fresh prefs, and I've even created a new user, but none of those has seemed to work. I've even blasted the dust out of the fan vent. There wasn't that much dust, but that didn't help either.

    It's really confusing as to whether it's a software or a hardware problem because if I start up in Windows, the fans still blast whenever I do stuff but it doesn't lag like it does in OS X. But when I restart to go back to OS X, it starts lagging right from the gray Apple startup screen.

    Has anyone had this happen before? I'm thinking maybe I should go to the Genius Bar to see if they could tell me what's going on, but I'm out of warranty.
     
  2. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #2
    Despite the temp reported, your computer might be overheating. The Intel processor will drop into a low power mode (i.e., slow) to protect itself from overheating damage.
     
  3. Erendiox macrumors 6502a

    Erendiox

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    #3
    Wirelessly posted (Erendiox: Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5H11 Safari/525.20)

    54C isn't enough to be overheating. Im pretty sure you need to be well above 70C. If you can, try reinstalling your OS. If that doesn't work, sounds like your logic board is busted.
     
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #4
    Reset the SMC yet?

    Those symptoms are on the list for, when should I reset the SMC.
     
  5. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #5
    Have you run disk utility and performed a verify / fix permissions?

    How about a PRAM reset?
     
  6. zephead thread starter macrumors 68000

    zephead

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    in your pants
    #6
    Hmm, I set my fans to full blast (6200 rpm) and everything's fine performance-wise. But there's no way I'd want to keep it like this.

    I did already zap my PRAM, but I'll definitely have to try resetting my SMC.

    If it means anything, the highest temperature I've ever seen it get up to is 187F (86C). :eek:

    It didn't last very long though, the temperature dropped without the computer totally melting down.
     
  7. zephead thread starter macrumors 68000

    zephead

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    in your pants
    #7
    Resetting my SMC, along with keeping my fans at 4000rpm seems to work.

    Thanks, guys! :D
     
  8. Chase R macrumors 65816

    Chase R

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    PDX
    #8
    You shouldn't have to set your fans at 4000 RPM. That is way too high.

    If your MacBook is running hot, I'd suggest taking it apart and cleaning all the dust out. Check out this thread.
     
  9. zephead thread starter macrumors 68000

    zephead

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    in your pants
    #9
    I already did that. I was kinda surprised to see that I didn't have much dust at all; nowhere near the amount of dust that guy had in his thread, but I still sprayed it out with an air can.

    I also put on a nice, thin, new coat of Arctic Silver 5. The amount of excess paste on my CPU was outrageous.

    At 4000rpm, my temps are around 110-115F (43-46C) and everything moves along quite smoothly, even with a few apps open and a couple tabs open in Safari. However, I put the fans back to 1800rpm (default is 1500 but I set it to 1800 a while ago), and things are a little cooler than they were before: 125-130F (51-54C), but I'm still getting the lag from just having Safari open and scrolling around, even with Flash blocked.
     
  10. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #10
    Something's not right, then.

    My wife uses an original (Yonah) Core Duo 2.0GHz MacBook with 2GB of RAM and she keeps tons of open documents and apps. No fan modification at all. I can see she's cranking out the page files which makes switching app to app lag, but her machine never beachballs by just scrolling Safari, even on the flash-heavy sites she uses. I'm trying to get her to move to my 4GB 2.2GB Merom MacBook (mainly because I want a new one for myself) but she says her machine is doing fine.
     
  11. Prekesh macrumors regular

    Prekesh

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    #11
    My MacBooks CPU (2.4ghz core2duo) is running at 80C atm and i see no performance drop and im multitasking like mad :p
     
  12. zephead thread starter macrumors 68000

    zephead

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    in your pants
    #12
    Maybe it's my graphics chip that's gone bad? Things open, close, and switch just as fast, but it's just the delay in displaying things which is driving me up the wall. Is there any way to diagnose that?
     
  13. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #13
    Core Duo don't have that much power.

    Note when you look at activity monitor, you need to look at All Processes
     
  14. zephead thread starter macrumors 68000

    zephead

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    in your pants
    #14
    I do have it set to "All Processes". And it's not like scrolling around in Safari requires very much power. And it's still a very capable machine; I could do pretty much anything on this a couple months ago, including having Safari, iTunes, Windows XP in VMWare Fusion, and maybe even GarageBand all open without so much as a hiccup.
     

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