MacBook slow - late 2011

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by snowydog, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. snowydog macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2011
    Hi guys

    This MacBook is my first apple laptop/computer.....I got it back in October but I'm still learning stuff about it everyday!

    At the minute it is running quite slowly - I certainly wouldn't expect it to run this slow....I couldn't imagine what it would be like if I was a graphic designer or edited videos etc as even doing the basic tasks of opening up an application or even browsing the net (as I write this now, it sometimes stops for a min and the wheel comes on)

    I'm not sure what to do to fix/make it better? I'm not doing heavy duty work on it atm. I will be in September though when I go back to work and so I want to get it sorted for then!

    I think my MacBook is great but this problem is getting in my way of enjoying it more. I was fed up with my Microsoft Laptops for the exact same reasons (albeit they were far worse than this) ...

    I have the basic Late 2011 ... 500 GB, 2.4 GHz dual core i5 chip, 4gb memory

    I'm pretty sure it shouldn't be running like this .....

    If someone could maybe help me out, that would be great...
  2. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    do you have a lot of random **** installed? no way should that i5 be that slow. whats your typical workflow on it? check 'activity monitor' (use spotlight to look for it) and see if anything is hogging cpu%.
  3. sweetbrat macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2009
    Redford, MI
    While you're in activity monitor, check the system memory tab and look to see if you're having a lot of page outs. Depending on what you're running on your MBP, you could be having slowdowns because you're using all your RAM. If that's the case, an upgrade to 8GB runs about $45 and would probably help a lot.
  4. snowydog thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2011
    Page outs says 3.03 Gb ... no idea what that means though ..

    Safari jumps between 13-23% CPU ....

    Quick look helper was at 80% CPU at one point but seems to not be there anymore

    kernal_task is jumping between 6-10% (no idea what that is)

    When I click stuff it takes a wee second to load ... I mean there's like a bit of a lag ..

    I don't have much random stuff installed ... only a few apps .. which I'm going to delete anyway cos I don't use them anymore.
  5. FastEddiebags macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2012
    Def get more ram
  6. snowydog thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2011
    I was thinking about that after reading around a bit and I probably will seeing as I'll be back to work in September ...

    ... question though - why isn't 4 Gb enough, considering I'm not doing much heavy work at the minute... I mean I'm not sitting editing documents (guess when I start back to work in SEp I will be and so will prob need more), or even watching videos ..basicallly atm I'm just browsing the internet
  7. FastEddiebags macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2012
    Could be your browser or some applications you kept open. All I know is that your page outs are forcing your hdd to be used and that is slowing you down. I'd also install Onyx to do some light maintainance and cache clearing.
  8. snowydog thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2011
    Thanks for the advice .. I'll go and get Onyx for maintenance...
  9. Arelunde macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2011
    CA Central Coast
    I had the same issue after I'd had my MBP for several months. I ended up doing a full restore and did not re-install ALL the apps I had, only the ones I knew I needed.

    The clue that something was wrong came when I found font files located in "Documents." I do graphics and had purchased several font apps and thought I'd installed them properly. I tried to delete them individually, but things went south in a hurry. Thus, the full restore.

    It turned out to be relatively easy (directions on Apple's website) and, when all was "new" again, I very carefully went through the personalization process with apps and settings. By this time, I had a much better grasp of how to work within the Mac/Aple way. I have no doubts my problems stemmed from "Operator Error."

    All much better now! :eek:
  10. Rajpdx macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    I wouldn't bother with Onyx personally. It won't hurt, I just don't think you need it.

    1) Ram
    Good idea to add ram. Prices are dropping. Crucial is a good bet, reliable and cheapish. If you're in the US I can recommend a couple of places. You can go to 8gb or 16gb (about $160).

    2) Hard Drive - How full is your hard drive? You need to keep 20% clear for normal operation otherwise you risk data corruption

    3) If you want the machine to be really fast, replace the Hard Drive with a SSD. It will fly. Again can recommend if you need it.

    4) Keep an eye on Activity monitor - but look at the page outs number over time. 3.03gb is quite a bit but could have been a one off or you had the machine running for a long time.

    5) Activity monitor - bear in mind that each processor %age refers to each core or thread, so for my quad core - which has 4 cores but 8 threads - there is a total of 800%. 100% is 100% of one execution thread. Activity Monitor>Window>Floating CPU Window>Horizontal will show you a bar graph showing what your processors are up to.

    6) Finally, do you keep a load of applications open? That could be the issue. Safari especially chews up memory over time - restart that and see the effect or close unused apps.

    Hope that helps. Call back for more info.

  11. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Feb 26, 2008
    Skip Onyx. With 3GB of page outs, you need more RAM, and 8GB should be enough. In Activity Monitor, set it to show all processes then sort by Real Mem to see what it using memory.
  12. snowydog thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2011
    I'm in UK. I haven't got a clue about adding RAM :eek: I used to be such a whizz on Microsoft (my dad is a computer genius but is only interested in his Microsoft stuff), but now I'm learning all about the Mac's (which I love so much more) .. I'm not sure where to buy RAM, ... I had a look on Apple online and to upgrade to 8 Gb is £160 ... sounds a lot more expensive than I first thought ...

    I've only used 114 Gb on Hard drive so far so I still have 449 Gb

    I'd rip a lot of DVD's to my MacBook - so I'm guessing I can't get the SSD then :(

    Thanks for the info on Activity Monitor
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    1. Launch Activity Monitor
    2. Change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes"
    3. Click on the CPU column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top).
    4. Click on the System Memory tab at the bottom.
    5. Take a screen shot of the whole Activity Monitor window, then scroll down to see the rest of the list, take another screen shot
    6. Post your screenshots.

    This may also help: Performance Tips For Mac OS X
    Deleting some caches can degrade performance, not improve it.

    You don't need "cleaner" or "maintenance" apps to keep your Mac running well, and while OnyX has a good reputation, some of these apps can do more harm than good. Some remove files/folders or unused languages or architectures, which does nothing more than free up some drive space, with the risk of deleting something important in the process.

    These apps 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. Some of these apps delete caches, which can hurt performance, rather than help it, since more system resources are used and performance suffers while each cache is being rebuilt.

    Many of these tasks should only be done selectively to troubleshoot specific problems, not en masse as routine maintenance.

    Mac OS X does a good job of taking care of itself, without the need for 3rd party software. Among other things, it has its own maintenance scripts that run silently in the background on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, without user intervention.

  14. snowydog thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2011
    Thanks for the tips and links ...

    it's working ok at the minute.....but I know it will start to do it again ... I'll take a screenshot when it happens again :eek:
  15. Rajpdx macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    Shouldn't you be asleep?

    Order your ram from here. Crucial is part of Micron - they're one of the largest manufacturers of ram in the world.

    You can easily DIY changing ram - there are loads of instructions on the net and even here. Apple may have some come to think of it. All you need to do is take off the screws on the bottom panel - ram is easily accessible.

    or try

    As for SSDs - the 256s look like they are decently priced - the 512s less so but 512s in the US have dropped to $350 or less - so if you know anyone here who can send one to you it would be worth it.

    Or get a smaller SSD and just use an external to store the movies on. I stream my tv stuff from a hard drive attached to an Apple Airport as an external drive - and it works fine.

    But keep an eye on what's happening to the processor load using the bars and Activity monitor. No reason at all your machine should be slow.


    PS - Good luck with the blog. You should have a section called "Jaime K is a ******" I would anyway :)
  16. snowydog thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2011
    Thanks for all your info and advice, you've been great ... I'm going to have a look on that site now :) ...

    Also, yeh I should prob be asleep - It's 2.30am here but I didn't sleep last night and so I slept in till 3.40pm here :eek: ... terrible, but I haven't been well this last two days ..

    The blog is still in it's infancy so I haven't been doing much on it since the Euro's started, however once LFC get the Transfers on the go and the new season starts, there'll be a lot more posts every week! :)


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