my mac mini is very slow

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by bdee1, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. bdee1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    #1
    Hello everyone - I have a mac mini which I bought in mid 2012. It is the baseline $599 model. I have since upgraded it to 8GB of RAM and still it is VERY slow at times.

    I have read that adding an SSD for the boot drive can drastically improve performance.

    I am wondering if there is any consensus on what is the best SSD to use.

    And advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. jedimind macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    #2
    That's very weird. I just got a 2.3ghz 16gb ram i5 and it runs surprisingly fast IMO.

    Take a look at this vid of a performance test made using my Mac mini (same specs). Tell me if that's what you would describe as slow/sluggish to get an idea of your situation:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?nomobile=1&v=bJOYdfByIXA
     
  3. bdee1 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 9, 2012
    #3
    no that is definitely not what I would call slow. That is very snappy compared to mine.
     
  4. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

    Joined:
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    Location:
    In the core of a black hole.
    #4
    Make a new User Account (Admin) in User & Groups, logout and into the new account once, when finished (first login) restart and login into new one again, does it make a difference, if so there are issues with your normal account and can be solved without a reinstall.

    Edit: Do you happen to have installed any of the next Apps:
    MacKeeper
    CleanMyMac
    CCleaner
     
  5. jedimind macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    #5
    Okay, gotcha. Thought so because a 2012 model should run at the least similar to that.

    The HDD shouldn't pose a threat like that to the speed UNLESS it is faulty. SSD would make things run faster but that doesn't mean that you should expect a slow/sluggish/poorly responsive experience using a HDD.

    Here are two excellent resources that I've personally used to speed up/fix my Mac computers. They contain a series of things to try:

    https://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-3353
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?nomobile=1&v=5s6L-uNfy90
     
  6. bdee1 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    #6
    thanks for the tip - unfortunately that didnt seem to make a difference.

    I do not run MacKeeper, CleanMyMac or CCleaner. I did install MemoryClean from the AppStore though because things were running so slow.

    ----------

    thanks for these resources - lots of detailed instructions there. I will definitely check that out.

    ----------

    thanks everyone for the troubleshooting tips. Even if I am able to resolve some of my speed issues I may still want to get an SSD for my boot drive.

    Can anyone suggest a 128GB SSD that works well with the mac mini?
     
  7. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    In the core of a black hole.
    #7
    Open Activity Monitor, make sure ALL processes are selected from the drop down Menu, then click on the CPU tab to have the top using processes on top.
    Are/Is there any runaway process(es)?
    Look if MDS and MDWorker are doing anything, they are many times the problem and can be solved.
    If you don't know make a screenshot (Command-Shift-4, then hit SpaceBar and click window) and post it here.
     
  8. elolaugesen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    #8
    What are you trying to do???

    you said it is very slow at times!!!

    please describe what is slow what is fast ....

    what is your configuration?

    What machine did you have before?

    cheers elo
     
  9. bdee1 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    #9
    at the moment there appear to be no runaway processes. the trick here is that while my system is slower than I would like overall, there are times when it just grinds to a halt for a few minutes. That is when i would expect to see a runaway process or something but when that happens it is literally so slow that I cant even get to activity monitor until it recovers itself.
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #10
    If you're having performance issues, this may help:

    Follow every step of the following instructions precisely. Do not skip any steps.
    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).
      (If that column isn't visible, right-click on the column headings and check it, NOT "CPU Time")
    4. Click on the System Memory tab at the bottom.
    5. Take a screen shot of the entire Activity Monitor window, then scroll down to see the rest of the list, take another screen shot
    6. Post your screenshots.
     
  11. bdee1 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    #11
    typical task I perform on my mac are web development using coda, web surfing, iphoto, and parallels for some of my windows apps i cant live without.

    there are a few things i do on my mac that make me perceive it as slow.
    1) when I launch an app sometimes it is 15 seconds before it launches. sometimes it is something am minor as safari or textpad.

    2) sometimes the system just screeches to a complete halt for 1-3 minutes. it becomes completely unresponsive. this is usually with a normal amount of apps open (sarari, chrome, each with several tabs, and maybe coda)

    those are the two biggest problems i notice.

    my system config is a 2012 mac mini i5 2.3 with 8GB RAM and 500GB HD. OS is 10.8.3.

    before this i had a very old home built PC, i dont recall the CPU - it was an early intel dual core, 4GB RAM.
     
  12. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #12
    I would try a reindex of spotlight, this can be easily done by opening Spotlight Preferences>privacy and drag all your disks inside, then remove them again.

    Edit: What about page outs?
     
  13. Jedi macrumors regular

    Jedi

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    #13
    Here is what I would do :

    Back up all the data that you need to another drive , make sure you have everything.

    Then just reinstall the OS.

    Doing so would save you a ton of time in trouble shooting , and give you a "clean" system folder { finder } to work with.

    Just a thought , best of luck to you :)

    Gary 
     
  14. elolaugesen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    #14
    I agree clean the system run something like free onyx from
    http://www.titanium.free.fr

    this will check your drive, rebuild permissions etc etc., clean caches

    easier than reinstalling the whole system.

    if it slows down when you have chrome and safari... what is your network like. high speed? what time of day do you see the slowdowns. in the early evening when everybody is on the networks.?

    at home I get up 40mb at my other place I get 1.5mb and then complain about the slow system.

    just standard run of the mill things to consider before you get to the heavy stuff....(upgrading, etc etc....

    cheers elo
     
  15. bdee1 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 9, 2012
    #15
    right now under page outs inactivity monitor it says 11.03GB (0 bytes/sec).

    what exactly does that mean? is that bad?
     
  16. justperry, Apr 18, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013

    justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

    Joined:
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    #16
    Wow, that is way too much, this indicates you will get improvements by upgrading RAM.
    On my 2012 Mini I had page outs a couple of times in the last few months, but only something like 100-200 MB.
    Oh, and I too have 8 GB, what are you doing to get that many page outs?
    Can you post a screenshot?

    Edit: It means that all your physical RAM is taken and the system has to write the data to the HD which is immensely slower than RAM.

    Here is mine at the moment 12 KB page outs!
     

    Attached Files:

  17. elolaugesen macrumors regular

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    Aug 1, 2008
    #17
  18. elolaugesen, Apr 18, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013

    elolaugesen macrumors regular

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    Aug 1, 2008
    #18
    some additional things re memory

    my wife plays a lot of games on her machine. many of these are old pc games converted to mac. every so often her machine runs hot, and disc works like crazy. yes memory is gone used up. these games do not release all memory even when they are shut down.

    I have installed memory clean app by FIPLAB on the app store. She runs the app every so often then everything works again. sometimes she runs three times in a row and each time more memory is available.

    example.... I have been up and running on my mac mini for three days now. did a check only 7gb out of 16 is free. Ran memory clean and I now have 12 gb available. yet all the apps are still active. (and I do not play games on this work horse)

    Likewise. every single widget eats up memory as long as they are shown as being available. get rid of any you do not use.

    cheers elo
     
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #19
    How long since you restarted your Mac? 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.

    Using Activity Monitor to read System Memory and determine how much RAM is being used
     
  20. elolaugesen macrumors regular

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    Aug 1, 2008
    #20
  21. bdee1 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    #21
    hey thanks very much for this tip - I cant seem to find the preferences panel mentioned in the link though. Under Parallels Preferences, General there is a slider to specify the amount of memory it takes but I dont see any way to set it to automatic. also - this wouldnt matter if the parallels VM was shut down right? more often than not my parallels vm is not booted up.

    ----------

    It has been a while since i have rebooted - i usually dont reboot unless I have to - I often go more than a week between reboots.
     
  22. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #22
    That's fine for normal use. However, when you're checking for page outs, restarting is the first step.
     
  23. bdee1 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 9, 2012
    #23
    I have actually been using Memory Clean ever since I started noticing problems. It does help. I guess I am just frustrated because a it seems like a system with these specs ought to be able to handle the things I am running - i am really not running anything crazy. thats what makes me think there is something wrong.
     
  24. elolaugesen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    #24
    Hi: after suggestions below I will keep quiet...

    I think that before you go out and spend any money on upgrades etc. some things should be done.

    1. Run an app like onyx, or cocktail. They will check your drive out, clean/delete all the garbage, handle the permission issues etc.
    2. Run the app from the NOVA bench site http://novabench.com this app will run a series of tests and should tell you if the Mac-mini meets the specs that you paid for. It will/may also show you any specific problem areas.

    If machine works as it should then run some tests to see if you still have the performance problem ??? (remember you cleaned out the garbage etc)

    If the problem persists then rebuild the entire system. Check to see if all the apps are compatible with your OSx. Upgrade/download every app one at a time then test it. Then the next one, then again.......and again one at a time until you hit the culprit.... Run safari and chrome last keep network apps until the end. allways try to download and test apple products first.

    If you still have a problem and can not find it go the guru at the apple store . Your machine is still under warranty. Maybe he can find it. (unfortunately he does not have access to your network/router leaving out a potential problem area.

    cheers Elo.....
    this is plain boring work.
    have I done this before... yes back in the dark ages..
     

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