Resolved Need help with iMac and beachballing

Discussion in 'iMac' started by kdog679, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. kdog679, Oct 17, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011

    kdog679 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    #1
    Ok, so my brother's iMac has been having difficulties for the longest time, and it is getting on my nerves. It is a 2006(I believe) 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 2 GB of ram running snow leopard. Whenever opening applications such as safari, the thing beach balls and takes forever to load. I've watched the CPU in activity monitor, and it never shoots up to extremely high levels. The ram also usually has around 600 mb free. What do you guys think I should do? I've run onyx, cleaned his extremely messy desktop, and freed hard drive space, but nothing has worked. I just finished backing up the hard drive, would a erase + restore help me?

    Thanks

    edit: Or is the computer just dated, and running at the speeds it should be running at? It is 5 years old.
     
  2. Spike88, Oct 17, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011

    Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    #2
    As a suggestion, use the iMac like you usually do. When too many beach balls appear, immediately launch Applications - Utilities - Activity Monitor application. Within this free SL application, view its CPU, System Memory, Disk Activity, Disk Usage and Network screens. Post a Print Screen of each screen. We'll help you decipher each screen.

    For example, if FREE value within System memory is less than 500 Megs, one needs to install more physical memory. Page Ins/Page Outs is the real values to focus on. But from a glance, if FREE value is less than 500 Megs, more Memory (re: upgrade to 4 GBs) is needed.

    Note: If too little of physical memory, Disk Thrashing will happen. Disk Thrashing is when too much page ins / Page outs are happening. Disk Activity shows high - caused from available memory "starvation".

    Within CPU screen, look at specific applications (tasks) that are using most CPU usage. For example, if Safari is at top of the list and NO active screens in Safari pages, then one of its add-ons is stuck. Its "sucking away" too much CPU time.

    If you can provide us a print screens of each Activity Monitor stats screens, we can help identify the root cause of the "too many" beach ball problems....
     
  3. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    #3
    SBBOD can be cause by a lot of things here is a great article to help you troubleshoot what is causing the on your system.

    http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/sbbod.html
     
  4. kdog679, Oct 17, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011

    kdog679 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    #4
    Alright, just grabbed some screens, trying to replicate what he's doing normally.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [IMG=http://img255.imageshack.us/img255/945/screenshot20111017at103.png][/IMG]


    So are there any glaring issues? Will a backup + erase/restore of hard drive do anything? Even waiting for the browse window to pop up in imageshack took ages.

    edit: Also forgot to say I went through that website and took some of the steps, such as performing a hardware test. It found nothing wrong. The computer just may appear slow to me since I'm comparing it my new one, but its my last day at their place, and if a hard drive wipe might help them I'd like to perform it before I go.
     
  5. Spike88, Oct 17, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011

    Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    #5
    Based on above Activity montitor screens, I would:
    - Install another 2 Gigs of Memory (making total of 4 GBs). Reason is, when beach balling, FREE memory is less then 500 MB value. Always best to have FREE value above 500 MB (not its current 27.8 MB value).
    - Also... Both WarCraft + Safari applications is chewing up 95% of CPU. Suggest running either one or the other. CPU is being bottle necked. Especially with its current 2 GB memory - which means its also disk thrashing (disk paging in/out) at the same time.

    In summary...
    Step 1. I would upgrade to "minimum" 4 GB of RAM.
    Step 2. (after more memory is installed), only run Safari or World Game (not both at same time).

    .
     
  6. kdog679 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    #6
    Alright, thanks for the advice? If you are still there, any idea how much improvement I'll see by doubling the ram? And again thanks for taking the time to go through all the screenshots.
     
  7. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    #7
    RAM is cheap these days. If you can, upgrade as much RAM as possible (for that year of iMac). SL likes 4 GB - for average home users. Having 6 is better and having 8 GB for multiple Apps is even better. If you can (and have the budget), upgrade to 6 GB or even 8 GB ram.

    For improvement comparison (expectations), not too sure. Best to upgrade the RAM (to 8 GBs - if possible) and try it out. Games are very CPU intensive. I hear its best to run games on a i5 or even i7. Having great video card (like in the new 2011 iMacs) are huge game response improvements.

    As a suggestion, upgrade RAM in existing iMac (since RAM is cheap these days) and try it out.

    .
     
  8. kdog679 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    #8
    Yea, part of the reason it seems like to runs so slow to me is the fact I'm running a 2011 high end macbook pro with 8gb of ram. Crucial's scanner says the max this mac can have is 4gb, so I guess I'll go with that. Thanks for all your help!
     

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