mid-2011 mini - SLOW

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by milowie, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. milowie macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2009
    I have a mid 2011 mac mini and it's really slow. Seems it may be disk related as it will grind to a halt while the disk cranks away only to free up when the disk goes quiet.

    Is there a benchmarking app I could use to evaluate the system and some objective results from similar models to compare against?

    Many thanks for any help, it's driving me nuts!

    Mid 2011 Mac Mini
    2.3 GHz Core i5
    4GB 1333 / DDR3
    Intel HD Graphics 3000 384 MB
    750GB HDD (137GB free)
    HD model:
    WDC WD7500BTKT-40JKWT0
    Driving a 27" cinema display
  2. cocacolakid macrumors 65816


    Dec 18, 2010
    Open Disk Utility (in Applications under Utilities if you're not familiar) and select your disk on the left column, the click Verify Disk. See if it can find anything wrong with the hard drive. If it does, Repair Disk.

    Might as well do the same with Verify Permissions and Repair Permissions while you are there, if it finds any that need repairing.

    Start with those two.
  3. milowie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2009
    Thanks for the quick reply. I did all four actions you suggested and have been using the machine for the last couple days to see if there is an improvement.

    I haven't noticed any change.

    Today when I launched parallels it took over 15 minutes to complete startup of the vm.

    Right now a time machine backup is in progress and the machine is unusable. Mouse and interactions take a very long time to respond (5-10 seconds)... just a constant stream of audible disk activity while CPU shows 84% idle. This has been going on for over 10 minutes since I signed in to my account.

    any suggestions?
  4. jsgoulding macrumors newbie


    Apr 14, 2012
    I too have one of these mini's (spec in my signature). I find it bottles when iTunes and Safari with many (8) tabs are open. Unlike you I have over 300GB out of my 500 remaining. I remember reading somewhere that the HDD in the minis are the issue. I have 8gb of ram as well. Sometimes annoying when you wanna browse and listen to music. I even resort to using my iBook G4 as it handles the two tasks fine :/
  5. milowie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2009
    thanks for the comments jsgoulding, interesting to hear you are having a similar experience. I went w/the 7200rpm driver w/the expectations this would remove the drive as a bottleneck (if it is indeed the drive that's causing the latency for me).

    I too have several other macs, some inferior in all specs to the mini, and all significantly outperform the mini.

    would love to resolve this - either there is an issue w/the system I can fix or it's just how this model performs.

    welcome any other suggestions on how to get to the bottom of this.
  6. k.alexander macrumors regular


    Jul 14, 2010
    I'm guessing you're just out of RAM.
  7. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    BTW, these are not mid models, but entry ones. Not that it matters. I just was trivked into this topic as I do run a mid model.
  8. milowie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2009
    k.alexander - I believe you are right. I found this thread very helpful:


    I checked memory usage as described in the first reply and have confirmed that I'm quickly running out of my 4GB memory and going to disk - and heavily relying upon it.

    page 2 of the thread has good recommendations for cheap memory upgrades.

    Corsair 16GB Dual Channel DDR3

    may also add in an SSD and try the fusion setup to help on the disk front.

    iFixit - add a second hard driver to your mac mini

    TryPodTech - implementing a Fusion Drive setup
  9. xVeinx macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2006
    I have the base 2011 mac mini and I've added 8 Gb of ram. I don't have any slowdowns for the most part; it runs pretty well. Depending on the nature of the VM and such that you are loading, then you are most definitely better of with more ram. How much ram do you have allocated to each VM?
  10. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    Definitely a RAM issue. 4GB is barely enough for the basics; running a VM with only 4GB will grind everything to a halt. I'm surprised that it could even load the VM.

    I have a client running Fusion and a lot of Mac/Windows apps on the last base Core2Duo Mini. Some of the apps are rather demanding such as Dragon Dictate. I upgraded the RAM to 8GB (16GB wasn't an option...) and it has been problem-free for going on two years.

    Your 2011 Mini should do even better as long as it isn't starved for RAM...
  11. jsgoulding macrumors newbie


    Apr 14, 2012

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