Mini runs like crap

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by rockinrocker, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. rockinrocker macrumors 65816


    Aug 21, 2006

    So I use my mini as a HTPC, but every time I do just about anything I get the ol' beach ball.

    Open a video file? Beach ball.

    Change tunes in iTunes? Beach ball.

    Mission Control? Beach ball.

    Launch Sys Pref? Beach ball.

    Once they get up and running, videos and stuff like that seem to be ok, but there're are hangs when ever doing just about doing anything.

    Already ran Disc Utility and it didn't come up with anything.

    Anything else I should try before I just reinstall the OS?

  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    What year model is your mini? How much RAM? What version of OS X are you running?

    How to maximise your MacRumors troubleshooting experience

    If you're having performance issues, this may help:
  3. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2012
    I know tons of people complain about 5,1 minis that have 2gb of ram. I've seen plenty of complaints from folks who came up with the insane notion that 3gb of unpaired ram would be a massive improvement. However, with 4gb of oem ram, that model runs fine. It turns on MUCH slower than a 5,2 with 8gb of ram but that could be a number of things.
  4. rockinrocker thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 21, 2006
    Check my sig.


    So it's been people experience that upping the RAM can help with this sort of stuff?

    I do have the stock 4 gig that came with my MBP just sitting around...

    The odd thing is though, Menu Meters shows I'm only using about 3/4's of the RAM.
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I didn't assume that was the model you were referring to, plus your sig. doesn't answer all the questions.
  6. rockinrocker thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 21, 2006
    I haven't really noticed the boot times, but I don't turn it off too often.

    I'll switch the RAM and see if that helps.
  7. goy091 macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2011
    solutions from cheapest to most expensive would be

    Re-install OS
    Ram upgrade 16GB for ~$70 to $80
    SSD upgrades 256GB for ~$150 to $250

    My 2011 2.5GHz with 16GB ram, 256GB Samsung 840PRO and a fresh install of Mountain Lion works great as an HTPC. I can rip/encode a dvd, play HD video and surf the web at the same time without the beach ball. I believe most of the performance issues can be attributed to the mechanical HDD, as even my 2011 MBA i7 with 4GB ram, runs quickly due to the factory SSD.
  8. rockinrocker thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 21, 2006
    Yeah, I'm gonna pop that 4 gig in there tonight and see if that helps. If so I might spring for 8 or 16 more.

    I'm not gonna spend the $$$ on a SSD at this point, but I might get a higher capacity 7200 rpm. A little bit of lag is understandable, but it just sucks with the way it is now.
  9. MatthewAMEL macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    What does console report?

    Frequent 'beach balls' are often a symptom of a HDD/SSD that is going bad. Do you have any SMART tools installed?

    I like SMARTReporter.
  10. rockinrocker thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 21, 2006
    Ok, kicking it up to 4 gig made a HUGE difference.

    I'm shocked they even sold these things with that little memory.
  11. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    yeah the 2011 with 2gb ram was mr beachball.
  12. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

    Dec 21, 2009
    Far away from liberals
    Same here. I put 8 gb in mine. Made a huge difference. I use mine as an HTPC and it's been fantastic. I wish Apple would stop being stingy with ram and include a minimum of 4gb with their base model. 2 gb is a joke
  13. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2012
    told ya that would work. I find 4gb of ram easy to max out on my late 2009 mini. 4gb is fine for a few basic tasks. Anything more and you really should bite the bullet with 8. 16gb of ram is really for those who like overkill. I would max out the cpu before I got page outs with 16gb of ram.
  14. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    4-8 is all you truly need unless you're getting into heavier tasks, although it would depend what OSX revision. Lion and beyond are pretty ram hungry. Some people upgrade straight to 16 due to its current pricing. 2 on any recent version of OSX is absolutely terrible. It's ridiculous that Apple shipped anything with that in recent years. The thing with 2 is it means way too much disk activity, which still slows down with an ssd. With an HDD, it's just not sufficient for recent OSX versions. This was a reason some people with heavier workloads would use raided boot drives or dedicated scratch volumes years ago. Without them the lag whenever swap was accessed was unacceptable. Today you should be able to balance it primarily by ram. If your disk is mostly full or it's indexing, you will notice the difference. I don't think an ssd is necessary for anything you described.
  15. WillFisher macrumors 6502


    Feb 19, 2011
    I used to have beach ball all the time.
    Second I went from 2gb to 8gb of RAM, I haven't come across a single beach ball, and that was 3 months ago. I think any system on Lion/ML with only 2gb RAM is a terrible idea, it may run with it, but only just.
    Next step is a SSD, that'll make this thing FLY.
  16. rockinrocker thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 21, 2006
    Yeah, I'll see how the prices go. I may go up to 8 or 16 depending on where they bottom out at. This seems sufficient for my current needs, but a little future proofing never hurts.

  17. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2012
    My advice is thus, use istat to check ram usage when you are experiencing bouts of beach balling. If ram usage looks pretty high, close a couple things out and look in activity monitor. If you see ANY page outs, your problem is almost certainly insufficient ram for your tasks.

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