Macbook running very slow-any suggestions

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Skerryman, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. Skerryman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    #1
    I'm hoping somebody here can help me. I have a Macbook (the first unibody version). Lately its been running painfully slow and the fan seems to be whizzing away at a pretty high rate when just browsing the net. Even when typing there's a delay in the words appearing on screen and switching between programmes nearly guarantees an appearance of the beach ball. I'm running OSX version 10.6.8 and my browser is Firefox. I have about 40 gb of disk apsce free. I checked Activity Monitor and System Memory reads the following:

    VM Size: 120.74 GB
    Page Ins: 6.11 GB
    Page Outs: 4.29 GB
    Swap Used: 2.14 GB

    To be honest these figures mean nothing to me, I just seen them on another post about a slow running Macbook. I'm currently doing a full system scan using ClamXav and so far nothing has popped up. Is there anything else I could be doing to try getting my Macbook running faster. Its really starting to bug me now as its running at snails pace. Any suggestions or help are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Zedsdead185 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Those figures suggest that you need a RAM upgrade. If you had enough RAm for your needs then the page outs would equal or be very close to zero. However, 4.29GB is quite a lot. Also, do you tend to keep it in sleep when not using or do you often restart the macbook?
     
  3. Skerryman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    #3
    Sorry forgot to mention RAM, I have 2 GB of RAM. Had the Macbook since release a few years back with no issues on the same RAM. I usually just keep it in sleep when not in use. Is it better to shut it down?
     
  4. Zedsdead185 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Definately worth shutting down or restarting now and then as this resets the RAM properly allowing the system to utilise it more efficiently. What is happening here you see is that your RAM is getting full and the mac is starting to use the hard drive for extra RAM space. Hard drives (or even ssds) are obviously a lot slower than ram and so it chokes the entire system.
    I would also recommend downloading a maintenance program like Onyx and set it to clean up your caches and other unwanted system trash. This should clear up space allowing the Virtual Memory (using HD as RAM) to run a bit better if ever you need it.
    I would also recommend upgrading the RAM if you can at some point. You can check a site like Crucial quite easily and find a decent upgrade in RAM is quite a cheap and effective way to drastically improve your macs performance.
     
  5. Skerryman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    #5
    Thanks for that. I'll download Onyx and see what that comes up with. RAM upgrade is out of the question at the moment as funds are tight but definitely something I'll look into in the next while. Is there anything else I can be doing in the meantime in addition to Onyx that might help speed things up a bit.
     
  6. Zedsdead185 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Thats understandable about the RAM. Its not necessary, but it will help tremendously when you do eventually upgrade it.

    I honestly think all you need to do at the moment is make sure you use onyx every month or so to keep on top of things. Make sure you download the correct one for your version of OS X by the way. Use Onyx to fix permission, execute the daily weekly and monthly scripts, and then clean all of the cache and log info. You won't lose anything important during cleaning so don't worry about memory loss. The only thing your likely to notice missing are autocomplete forms and cookies from websites in safari, but you can uncheck those if you really want to before cleaning.

    The only other thing I can think of that may help you is to download istat pro for the dashboard. This way, you can check your RAM usage with a single press of a button and with a simple user interface.

    Let me know how it goes
     
  7. Skerryman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    #7
    Thanks again for the help Zedsdead. Currently backing up with Time Machine before running Onyx. Will let you know if there's any improvement.
     
  8. Skerryman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    #8
    Ran Onyx and cleaned everything up everything I could pretty much. Restarted and everything is running noticeably smoother I pleased to report. Activity Monitor is reading much lower values for system memory.

    VM Size: 108.01 GB (was 120.74 GB)
    Page Ins: 220.1 MB (was 6.11 GB)
    Page Outs: 1.1 MB (was 4.29 GB)
    Swaps Used: 18.5 MB (was 2.14 GB)

    As I said before these values don't mean much to me, but they are significantly lower after running Onyx so I can only assume that's a good thing. Fan seems much quieter now also. I wasn't really aware what programmes were available to clean up Mac's so I guess this type of maintenance hasn't been done since I got the Laptop.

    Thanks again for the help.
     
  9. Zedsdead185 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    Great! Glad to hear its running a bit smoother now. Those figures do look better, however, they will increase over use since the last restart/boot. Ideally, the page outs should not be past zero so soon after a boot. The fact that it has already performed even a little bit of page-ins and page-outs so soon after boot means it is struggling slightly with the amount of memory you are using. Inevitably, you will need to increase your RAM at some point if you want to see a real speed boost, but the onyx maintenance should help it out for now until you can afford to buy more memory.

    If it begins or continues to slow down again soon then let me know and I'll see if I can help you out any further.
     
  10. Skerryman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    #10
    Will do , thanks again
     

Share This Page