Slow 2011 iMac

zachlegomaniac

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 20, 2008
724
290
Hi all,

I have a rudimentary question....

I have a 2011 iMac 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5 with 4GB 1333 MHz DDR3 with 500 GB HHD (about 250 GB used). My Mac is very slow to open iPhoto and/or multiple programs. Lots of lag and spinning color wheels hang out on the screen.

I always migrate my old mac to my new one as I don't want to lose important files. Should this cause a problem?

Will purchasing and installing more RAM solve my problem?

I am running 10.8.3.

Thank you for your help.
 

justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
10,165
5,313
Home is everywhere and nowhere.
Here it is:
Buy more RAM, 8 GB would provably do, you can leave this memory inside and add two stick (2 X 4 GB), that is if you have two free slots, to see if that is the case open System information inside /Applications/Utilities and click on the Memory Tab.
If you add 8 GB you then would have 12 GB available, more than enough, if you want to keep it cheap you can add 2 X 2 GB to get a total of 8 GB.
 

toddzrx

macrumors 6502a
Nov 20, 2012
722
258
I'm running a total of 8GB of RAM in a 2010 21.5" iMac. I just bought an extra pair of 2GB sticks off of a guy on Craigslist for $20. Cheap performance upgrade and well worth the cost, and I'm not getting any page-outs.

If you really want your machine to fly, drop an SSD in it. No more beach-balling; it'll feel like a new machine.
 

robeddie

Suspended
Jul 21, 2003
1,777
1,700
Atlanta
I'm running a total of 8GB of RAM in a 2010 21.5" iMac. I just bought an extra pair of 2GB sticks off of a guy on Craigslist for $20. Cheap performance upgrade and well worth the cost, and I'm not getting any page-outs.

If you really want your machine to fly, drop an SSD in it. No more beach-balling; it'll feel like a new machine.
The solid state drive would benefit him a LOT more than additional ram, imo.
If his symptom is slowness right out of the gate opening iphoto, there is no way he's using even close to 4gigs of ram for that sequence, so adding ram won't help the issue he described.

I have 8 gigs of ram and after using my mac for a couple hours, editing video, etc. I look at activity monitor (with everything still running) and STILL usually have a good 5+ gigs of ram free.

Everyone here seems to always jump to the advice of 'buy more ram' whenever someone reports a spinning beachball. In fact, it could be any number of things, and probably very rarely an issue of not enough ram.
 

justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
10,165
5,313
Home is everywhere and nowhere.
The solid state drive would benefit him a LOT more than additional ram, imo.
If his symptom is slowness right out of the gate opening iphoto, there is no way he's using even close to 4gigs of ram for that sequence, so adding ram won't help the issue he described.

I have 8 gigs of ram and after using my mac for a couple hours, editing video, etc. I look at activity monitor (with everything still running) and STILL usually have a good 5+ gigs of ram free.

Everyone here seems to always jump to the advice of 'buy more ram' whenever someone reports a spinning beachball. In fact, it could be any number of things, and probably very rarely an issue of not enough ram.
Seems you didn't see his Activity Monitor screenshot, he needs more RAM, simple.
 

robeddie

Suspended
Jul 21, 2003
1,777
1,700
Atlanta
Seems you didn't see his Activity Monitor screenshot, he needs more RAM, simple.
Didn't show up, so I couldn't see it.

But my point is still valid. In fact, this is a paragraph from a recent LifeHacker article:

>Another common "fix" that people turn to is hardware upgrades, specifically easy ones like RAM and hard drives. Many people think that the more RAM and hard drive space you have, the faster your computer will be. Unless you have an older computer that is filled to the brim, however, upgrading won't give you the boost you want.
Why It's Wrong: Installing more RAM gives your computer greater multitasking abilities, particularly when running resource-intensive applications. Unless you're using particularly RAM-hungry programs—like Photoshop, for example—you probably only need 2-4GB of RAM, which most modern computers should already have. Similarly, hard drive space is only a problem if your hard drive is filled up to the brim. If you still have 10% of your space free, you don't need to upgrade.
 

justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
10,165
5,313
Home is everywhere and nowhere.
Didn't show up, so I couldn't see it.

But my point is still valid. In fact, this is a paragraph from a recent LifeHacker article:

>Another common "fix" that people turn to is hardware upgrades, specifically easy ones like RAM and hard drives. Many people think that the more RAM and hard drive space you have, the faster your computer will be. Unless you have an older computer that is filled to the brim, however, upgrading won't give you the boost you want.
Why It's Wrong: Installing more RAM gives your computer greater multitasking abilities, particularly when running resource-intensive applications. Unless you're using particularly RAM-hungry programs—like Photoshop, for example—you probably only need 2-4GB of RAM, which most modern computers should already have. Similarly, hard drive space is only a problem if your hard drive is filled up to the brim. If you still have 10% of your space free, you don't need to upgrade.
The more RAM you have the speedier is wrong I know, it just does not slow your computer down, the article comment you refer to seems to say that people think that for instance every GB RAM more will make it faster and faster.
I think most people do know this is not true.
OS X also uses more RAM if you install more, just give it a try if you don't believe me, if 2 GB is installed it will startup (After Login) with less RAM taken than if you have 4 or 8 GB.
I have 8 GB, not even using any VM and I sometimes have page outs, it does slow down the system.
4 GB is the bare minimum on ML now, anything less and the system will get slower.
Yes you can run with 2 GB, it won't be smooth though if you use a bit more tabs than normal in Safari, or Flash, which seems to eat RAM, and then extensions, these do use RAM as well.
If someones OS slows down each day and has pageouts they DO need more RAM, that is, if they want it to be faster again.
 

zachlegomaniac

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 20, 2008
724
290
The more RAM you have the speedier is wrong I know, it just does not slow your computer down, the article comment you refer to seems to say that people think that for instance every GB RAM more will make it faster and faster.
I think most people do know this is not true.
OS X also uses more RAM if you install more, just give it a try if you don't believe me, if 2 GB is installed it will startup (After Login) with less RAM taken than if you have 4 or 8 GB.
I have 8 GB, not even using any VM and I sometimes have page outs, it does slow down the system.
4 GB is the bare minimum on ML now, anything less and the system will get slower.
Yes you can run with 2 GB, it won't be smooth though if you use a bit more tabs than normal in Safari, or Flash, which seems to eat RAM, and then extensions, these do use RAM as well.
If someones OS slows down each day and has pageouts they DO need more RAM, that is, if they want it to be faster again.
I removed my screen shot only because it had personal information. I just installed the extra RAM and the superior performance is easily noticeable.

I would love a SSD though!
 

justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
10,165
5,313
Home is everywhere and nowhere.
I removed my screen shot only because it had personal information. I just installed the extra RAM and the superior performance is easily noticeable.

I would love a SSD though!
Oh, I understand, I did that once as well.
I was just responding to the poster claiming more RAM is not needed in many cases, in your case it did help, you had too little.

Good it is much better now, and yes, an SSD will make it even faster.