MBA slowing down after Lion~

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jonomo, May 23, 2012.

  1. jonomo macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2005
    I have a 2.13ghz MBA with 2gig of ram.. I upgraded to Lion and now the CPU is always running high.. it's at 100% when I watch a Youtube video on Chrome.. it's become totally unusable.. Has anyone else had this problem? Is there anyway for me to downgrade the OS?

    I installed Lion on my core 2 iMac, and now that's just a dead stick.. freezes every 10 minutes...

    I've done all the software updates, cleaned up my HD, fixed permissions.. I'm up to my wits end!
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    2GB is likely not enough RAM to do everything you want to do. To determine if you can benefit from more RAM, launch Activity Monitor and click the System Memory tab at the bottom to check your page outs. Page outs are cumulative since your last restart, so the best way to check is to restart your computer and track page outs under your normal workload (the apps, browser pages and documents you normally would have open). If your page outs are significant (say 1GB or more) under normal use, you may benefit from more RAM. If your page outs are zero or very low during normal use, you probably won't see any performance improvement from adding RAM.

    Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor

    Performance Tips For Mac OS X

    For Flash-related issues:
    • Find your Flash version and make sure it's the latest version available. Never install or update Flash from a pop-up on a website. Always go to Adobe's site to get Flash or updates.
    • Install ClickToFlash (Safari), Flashblock (Firefox) or FlashBlock (Chrome) to control which Flash content plays on websites.
    • Try using the YouTube HTML5 Video Player to watch YouTube videos, when available. (May impact fullscreen viewing. See link for details.) As far as performance impact, YMMV.
  3. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    You mention an older imac and (presumably) one of the older airs. One thing that annoys me is that it feels like Apple goes for just enough on ram. It may also have something to do with trying to maintain high battery life. Typically the newer Airs run okay under Lion by leaning hard on the ssd on the 2GB ram models. If you're using one of the older HDD models, why not go back to Snow Leopard? I can't think of much that can't be run on SL, and I find it to be a less finicky OS. How much ram is on the imac? Also have you been able to check activity monitor during these freezes? I don't know if it's an application freeze or the entire computer locking up.
  4. jonomo thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2005
    So I'm having problems on 2 macs.. my iMac and Macbook Air with SSD...

    I wish I could increase the ram on my MBA, but I'm 99% sure that you can't..
  5. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Aug 11, 2009
    You can't. The RAM is soldered in.
  6. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I'm 100% sure you can't. I wasn't sure if it was one of the early ones that didn't come with an ssd standard. 2GB is the minimum for Lion, and many people have stated that their Airs run fine on it. I was just saying that I think they're relying on that ssd for virtual memory usage to get a smooth experience with so little ram by today's standards. Others say it's fine on older imacs than the one you own.

    If I was looking into something like this, I'd look at non standard peripheral devices, programs, and addons that are used on both machines to try to determine a possible cause. If you're looking to return to Snow Leopard, you can always reinstall SL but you'd be going from scratch. You'd have to reinstall everything. You'd need a backup of all your personal files and data as well. You already suggested your computers started with Snow Leopard, so yes they'd work under that OS.

    You used to have the archive and install method too, but most people did clean installations anyway due to bugs. Oh and that was for upgrades, like you could archive and install going up to a higher os version from the prior one. I can't recall if that option is even present anymore.
  7. Sycren macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2011
  8. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    I would go back to SL. Lion is not really usable with 2 GB of RAM.
  9. jonomo thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2005
    Is there anyway I can downgrade without wiping the MBA?
  10. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    If the high CPU usage is after your upgrade, it's possible Spotlight is simply re-indexing your disk drive.

    Otherwise, I suggest repairing your disk permissions, and then a SMC reset.
  11. classicaliberal macrumors regular


    Jul 19, 2011
    It's a common misconception that running modern OS's will speed up your older Mac. They may speed up a thing or two, but generally they're a big power suck.
    Bettter graphics, flashier transitions, more RAM needed, more processor needed.
  12. AlanShutko macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2008
    That's exactly what I'm doing. I am usually 2-3GB deep in swap on my 2GB MBA2,1. Things are mostly OK, but as I upgrade software I'm getting slower and slower, and will probably need to update this year.

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