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My Mac is very slow  RSS feed

 
Joe Harry
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My Mac Book Pro which is 3 years old now is very very slow and freezes at times. When I do some development, I open iTerm, IntelliJ, Scala SBT console and a Chrome browser. When I issue SBT commands to compile, test my project, my Mac cries, freezes and hangs. Since I purchased this machine, I did not do any cleanup. Could anyone please suggest what I could do to improve the speed on my Mac? I have a 4 GB RAM! Should I consider upgrading the memory?
 
Tim Cooke
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Have you done any analysis to determine what resource is getting saturated when it appears slow? CPU, memory, or disk space?
 
Bear Bibeault
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4G of RAM is very very low for development work. I insist on at least 16GB for a development machine. And it all gets used.

Open Activity Monitor (in /Applications/Utilities) and go to the memory tab to see what the memory pressure is. I'm betting that it's far into the red.
 
Joe Harry
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I will try adding conjuring up some more RAM. Are there any other ways that I could pep my Mac Book Pro before I add more RAM? Deleting caches?? Deleting un-used files??
 
Bear Bibeault
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Unless your disk is full and swap space (which you are likely using heavily with only 4G) is being squeezed, deleting files will be unhelpful.

Close programs that aren't actively being used. Close and re-open long-standing applications -- especially browsers -- to trim their memory footprint.

Monitor memory usage via the Activity Monitor application.
 
Sean Corfield
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Bear Bibeault wrote:4G of RAM is very very low for development work. I insist on at least 16GB for a development machine. And it all gets used.

Agreed. I consider 16GB the minimum for a Scala development machine. You might also want to consider swapping out your HD for SSD -- that can make a huge difference too. My last two machines have been SSD-based and I'd never go back to spindle drives!
 
Joe Harry
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Would any Apple store do this service where I can swap my existing hard drive for an SSD? If this is not an expensive option, I would definitely go for it! If it would cost me half the money of the original price that I paid for my Mac, I would better avoid doing it. So two things that I see would speed up my Mac:

1. 16GB RAM
2. SSD drive

Any ideas about how much roughly would this cost?

But there is another question if this is doable on my Mac if it would support a 16 GB module! My Mac is a late 2011 model that I bought during June 2012! It is almost 3 years now since I purchased it and I could vaguely remember that it can take upto 8GB RAM, though I do not understand why!
 
Joe Harry
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I did quickly check the Apple website and looks like there seems to be no more RAM modules available for my model!

http://store.apple.com/us/memorymodel/ME_MB_W11_13_2_4

Wouldn't the memory module for the year 2012 not suit my machine?
 
Joe Harry
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For the Hard Drive, I would follow this video and perhaps do it myself:

http://www.cnet.com/how-to/upgrade-your-macbook-install-ssd-hard-drive/

I hope that there should be a similar video on replacing RAM's! What I need to find out is what maximum capacity I could install on my Mac and how much would that cost!

Found another reference on how to increase RAM:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT1270

For my model it recommends only a maximum of 8 GB! Damn! I would prefer to go 16 GB rather! Would that simply work?
 
Joe Harry
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What should I prefer first? RAM or SSD? As I told you, I would need better performance on my machine so that I would be able to work with IDE's for Scala development. I'm convinced that I could go 16 GB, so should I prefer that to going for an SSD?
 
Joe Harry
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It just took 10 minutes to get the RAM replaced on my Mac Book Pro! I have 16 GB now. How do I make sure that it indeed uses 16 GB? I mean, I could see that it says 16 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 as Memory. Is that all needed to confirm that it indeed uses 16 GB? Where do I find if my OS is 32 or 64 bit?
 
Joe Harry
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Joe Harry wrote:Where do I find if my OS is 32 or 64 bit?


I figured that out! I opened a terminal and just typed:



I see the following (truncated the first couple of text):

........./RELEASE_X86_64 x86_64


So it is a 64 bit version!

Cool. I will now run my Mac for a couple of days and see if I get any noticeable performance boost. If yes, I will stick with it for some time and may be a year later, upgrade to an SSD!

Thanks for all the support!
 
Joe Harry
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One final question though. Would this 16 GB produce more heat than the 4 GB that I originally had?
 
Bear Bibeault
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I doubt that memory is a significant contributor to the heat signature.
 
Joe Harry
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I was very tempted to change my current HDD to an SSD. I went for the Samsung EVO SSD drive which I will be installing today. I'm now convinced that I will have a better performing Mac for couple more years!
 
Joe Harry
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Hurray! My Mac is on an SSD! But I seriously did not notice any boost in performance. Changing the SSD did not bring up the performance boost that was as significant as it was when I went from 4 GB to 16 GB RAM. May be I should try editing with Lightroom to see any real effect that the SSD brings!
 
Bear Bibeault
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You are not going to see any performance boosts from an SSD that do not involve disk operations. For me, I see the biggest differences when loading applications -- especially those from Adobe.
 
Joe Harry
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Is anyone here owning an early 2015 Mac Book Pro? Is it that there is no way to replace RAM or SSD with the early 2015 models?
 
Tim Cooke
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I have a 2014 MacBook Pro (and MacBook Air) and you cannot upgrade the RAM for sure as it's hard soldered directly onto the main board. As for the SSD, I'd be surprised if you can't upgrade it, but I wouldn't expect it to be easy.
 
Joe Harry
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Being not able to add more RAM seems a bit annoying. Looks like when you buy a new Mac Book Pro, better get one with the maximum RAM!
 
Bear Bibeault
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Yup, that's the advice. Max it out at the outset.
 
Joe Harry
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I'll keep that advice. My next Mac is 3 years from now!
 
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