Really slow mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by wildernessbob, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. wildernessbob macrumors member

    wildernessbob

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    Pender Island, BC, Canada
    #1
    i have a mini that is less than a year old running 10.8.4 on 2.3 GHz i5. i've repaired permissions because i know how, and tech support didn't really help. any thoughts?
    wb
     
  2. mactonight macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Location:
    VT, USA
    #2
    Run Activity Monitor and see if you have a background app chewing up CPU, memory, and/or network bandwidth.
     
  3. opinio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #3
    SSD or HDD?

    How much RAM?

    Examples of what is slow? (Boot-up? apps? File transfers? External drives? Virtual machines? Internet? Video encoding?)
     
  4. DrakkenWar macrumors 6502

    DrakkenWar

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Location:
    San Antonio,Texas
    #4
    Agreed. With Activity Monitor

    If you have repaired perms and verified the drive and things are still crawling? I would also recommend opening Activity Monitor to see what is going on under the hood.

    I booted my Core 2 Duo mini the other morning, and it was slower than I had ever experienced. Even my PB G4 was "faster". Turns out, that someone in the family had downloaded a google "helper" that installed all sorts of toolbars and background apps for who knows what.

    Those programs where taking up 2 gig of the 2.5 gig of ram I have installed in the machine. Needless to say, checking Activity Monitor, finding the problem and blowing all that out fixed the issue for me.
     
  5. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #5
    If you've got 4GB RAM & a standard HDD then it's quite likely you'll be getting a lot of page-outs. As others above me have said, check Activity Monitor to verify this. (screenshot if possibly). I get numerous calls a day at my workplace regarding this issue. Often even if you're just running a few programs it happens.

    It's something that Apple will be addressing in OS X 10.9 with compressed memory.

    If this is the case, upgrade the RAM to either 8 or 16GB. You'll notice a huge difference.

    Please keep us updated, I'll be interested to see the RAM usage.
     
  6. wildernessbob, Aug 2, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013

    wildernessbob thread starter macrumors member

    wildernessbob

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    Pender Island, BC, Canada
    #6
    It has only 2 GB 1333 RAM, so that needs to be dealt with. things like opening system prefs takes 16 seconds. start up is a bit slow. the dock is jittery as you move along it. i just quit iphoto and there was a lag of about 2 seconds from when i command q to seeing the iphoto at the top of the page flash blue. my 4 year old mbp is snappy compared to this. the apps seem to run ok. it's not my machine so i don't know all the issues. i've attached a snap of the activity monitor cpu looks like isn't challenged.
    wb
     
  7. palmharbor, Aug 2, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2013

    palmharbor macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    #7
    My Mini

    I have the same mini. Because of problems I have had to use my back up and re-install the OS by erase and re-install. YOu may need to do this. If you have apple care tel support they will walk U through it. I suspect you need to do this. I have 8GB of Ram without the issue you describe.
     
  8. wildernessbob thread starter macrumors member

    wildernessbob

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    Oct 24, 2006
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    Pender Island, BC, Canada
    #8
    and now for the attachment.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. hudson1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #9
    You are way underpowered in RAM. 4GB is the minimum you should have and 8 GB would be more ideal.
     
  10. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #10
    Activity monitor snap shows that RAM isn't an issue (and in fact I've run minis just fine with 2GB) as there is no swapping. CPU isn't an issue either. But I wonder about the antivirus program. I don't use one except at work, on a PC, where I have no choice. It saps a lot of the performance, very noticeably!
     
  11. CoachDave, Aug 2, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013

    CoachDave macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    #11
    Mac Mini - Speeding It Up!

    Have a Mac Mini that came with only 4 GB of memory. It worked okay but seemed to be slow.

    So ... I upgraded to 16 GB of 1600 mHz memory and 'Wow!' what a difference that made! For $110, it's like a whole new Mini!! Found the upgrade videos on YouTube and ordered the memory on Amazon.

    Good Luck!

    PS 16 GB is probably too much memory. I usually have 10 GB of free memory at any one time. But the 1600 mHz speed was also a huge performance boost.
     
  12. wildernessbob thread starter macrumors member

    wildernessbob

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    Pender Island, BC, Canada
    #12
    this thing was bought new and only came with 2GB. i would expect from apple to have at least the minimum for decent performance. i'll disable the sophos and see if it makes a difference.
    wb
     
  13. mactonight macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Location:
    VT, USA
    #13
    It doesn't look like it's really being taxed, memory-wise. Upgrading to 4GB would make a difference. Upgrading to 8GB would be better and would go a long way towards future-proofing it. 16GB is the maximum for that model and may be overkill, but still isn't all that expensive ($110 or so, like CoachDave said).

    But just to be sure, in Activity Monitor, can you switch where it says "Active Processes" to All processes and post the new screen shot? You may need to click on the %CPU header to sort it if they don't all fit on one screen.
     
  14. hudson1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #14
    Your Activity Monitor is reading 31 MB free memory. That's almost zilch.

    My wife's MacBook had 2 GB RAM and it became unbearably slow for her despite not running much (she's a true non-power user). It was one spinning beachball after another. I upped it to 4 GB and it became a whole new machine. Under the hood the mini and MacBook are almost the same computer.
     
  15. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #15
    this is a very easy fix buy ram end of story. 2gb ram is killing speed.
     
  16. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #16
    A properly running system should have very little free memory, as free memory is simply wasted. The two important items is Wired+Active, which is the amount of memory being used, in this case 1331.5 MB. The Inactive memory mostly represents programs that have been closed but whose memory image is still present -- these can be restarted instantly.

    The second important item is Page Outs, which is what occurs when you are out of memory and the least recently referenced program/data is written out to the hard drive to make room for something else. This kills performance. If it is 0, as it is in this case, the amount of memory is fine.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #17
    OP read this note.
     
  18. hudson1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #18
    You can't assess the situation just from page-ins, page-outs, and swap file size as they are heavily influenced by how long the computer has been running and what it's recently been doing. If the OP just started his Mac and opened those apps, this is the result you'd expect. Let him use it for a few hours and then see what Activity Monitor shows. It certainly isn't going to look like it does in his/her screen shot with only 2 GB.

    This link claims no free memory is a sign you don't have enough:

    http://macintoshhowto.com/hardware/does-my-mac-need-more-memory.html
     
  19. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    Oct 26, 2009
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    Oregon
    #19
    The article says that, but the quote from Apple only mentions the paging.
    Since OS X attempts to utilize all available memory, "free" memory isn't particularly useful as it is being wasted. Actually that isn't quite true -- it is used for disk caching, so it will improve performance somewhat, particularly with databases.

    Paging does matter and certainly accumulates over time. Each GB represents about 20 seconds lost to paging. We've got a MBA that gets light use (mainly Safari) with 2GB of RAM that shows 10MB of paging after 3 1/2 days of uptime. We also have two Mac minis used as entertainment centers that I recently upgraded from 2 to 4 GB of RAM while going from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion. I don't recall them swapping either.

    Somewhat luckily, for all those confusing numbers, Mavericks has come up with a new metric "Memory Pressure" to indicate how tight memory is. It will provide a good gauge to the need for additional RAM.
     
  20. hudson1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #20
    The other thing the OP can try is booting into Safe Mode. This will load only essential kernel extensions, etc. If performance measured over a few hours is substantially better then it could indicate some third party extension that's bogging things down.

    Still... I think 2 GB is not enough. It wasn't enough for my wife's MacBook whereas 4 GB makes it run like a champ.
     
  21. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #21
    You might try creating a new account, for testing purposes.

    DON'T enable any background apps, etc. on the temporary account.

    You just want to boot from it, run a few things like Safari, Mail.app, etc.

    If the Mini seems faster in the temp account, then it may be something you have going on in your regular account that is slowing things down...
     
  22. palmharbor macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    #22
    No sense

    _____________________________________
    Does it make any sense that Apple would sell this product knowing it had insufficant RAM from the factory...and that Apple knew that out of the box
    the performance would be a big problem....answer is NO
    Yes, I had 8GB with my Mac Mini and had same problems and the only thing that fixed it is to erase and re-install.
     
  23. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #23
    The minimum RAM is almost always inadequate for heavy use, but works fine for light use -- Safari, iTunes, Pages…

    Our 2GB 2010 MBA runs just fine without swapping with such usage.

    Which shows that more RAM is not the answer!

    Usually a thorough investigation of Activity Monitor, system logs, safe boot, and trying another login account will uncover the root problem, but this takes time and technical savvy beyond that of most consumers and (as far as time is concerned, at least) AppleCare or Apple Geniuses. Erase and reinstall is certainly an quick solution, if not a painful one!
     
  24. wildernessbob thread starter macrumors member

    wildernessbob

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    Pender Island, BC, Canada
    #24
    I have done a reinstall and it didn't make any difference. it also doesn't seem to get any worse over time.she uses it very lightly, only safari, mail, iphoto. like i said, the apps seem to run ok, though menu selections take slightly longer than they should and apps start slow for the first time. i'm not totally techy, but i have an idea of how things work. so, is it normal for system prefs to take 15 sec to open? my 2009 MBP system preffs open in 3 sec. i know this is nothing to base performance on, but that and the slow response to commands, to me does suggest that something is not up to snuff.
    wb
     
  25. GGJstudios, Aug 5, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #25
    If you're having performance issues, this may help:
    Some people repair, or recommend repairing permissions for situations where it isn't appropriate. Repairing permissions only addresses very specific issues. It is not a "cure all" or a general performance enhancer, and doesn't need to be done on a regular basis. It also doesn't address permissions problems with your files or 3rd party apps.
    If repairing permissions results in error messages, some of these messages can be ignored and should be no cause for concern.
    No, that's not normal. There are a few possibilities. (I haven't read the entire thread, so if these have been covered, please disregard) One could be a failing drive. You should make sure you have a current backup of your drive at all times, especially if this is a possibility. It could also be a runaway process. 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.
     

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