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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac OS X > Recommendations for Aging, Slowing Macs

Recommendations for Aging, Slowing Macs
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Mac Elite
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Aug 27, 2013, 10:33 PM
 
I've noticed on two machines that as they get older, I find my Macs are slowing down. I've got an old '07 Macbook that's almost unusable it gives us the rainbow ball so much. Now my '10 Macbook seems a lot less peppier on intensive applications (read: games) than it used to be.

I'm wondering, short of wiping the drive and doing a clean install, what I can do to improve performance. Are there some folders I can clear out or something?
     
Managing Editor
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Aug 28, 2013, 12:48 AM
 
SSD. RAM. OS reinstall.

Those are my three recommendations, in order.
     
P
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Aug 28, 2013, 06:20 AM
 
IME, OS X performance does not degrade that badly. Newer software uses more RAM, though, so if you've upgraded you may need to up the RAM a bit. In general I would try to figure what you're doing when it starts to beachball - if it's in Safari, upgrade Flash as far as it goes and install Click2Flash.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Mac Elite
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Aug 28, 2013, 08:30 PM
 
I know that's what I've always been told, but in the case of the '07 Macbook, I just can't imagine that the automatically updated software has expanded in its system demands that even running mundane tasks like Pages and Safari, it is agonizingly slow whereas once it was my main machine and I used it no problem. So I thought there must be something that's dragging it down. Same concern with my '10, but much less pronounced. My performance in a few games seems slower than it used to and I see more rainbow balls than I'd like.

I just don't have the stomach for a full reinstall so I was hoping to find some shortcuts. Oh well...maybe I should just wipe it and see if it helps.
     
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Aug 28, 2013, 11:19 PM
 
how much hard drive space is left? and is it indexed?
     
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Aug 29, 2013, 12:35 AM
 
Use older software. Do not use the latest software even if it means security concerns.
{{{ mindwaves }}}
     
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Aug 29, 2013, 01:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
Use older software. Do not use the latest software even if it means security concerns.
OK I can accept your reply upto some level but what to do is the startup or login is very slow. I think andi*pandi's idea can be considered.
     
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Aug 29, 2013, 12:43 PM
 
That is how my computer behaved before the hard drive collapsed. S-L-O-W. If you have less than 15% free, start backing up important stuff and deleting things you don't need. Search apple forums for OSX indexing problems also.
     
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Aug 29, 2013, 01:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
That is how my computer behaved before the hard drive collapsed. S-L-O-W.
^THIS.

Just had to replace the hard drive in my late-2009 iMac. Saw these exact same symptoms before I checked the hard drive in Disk Utility and it said it was failing.

One thing I noticed more than anything else was that when playing a TV show in iTunes it was choppy and would stutter and skip repeatedly while playing.
27" 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7 iMac
15" Late-2013 2.3GHz i7 Retina Macbook Pro
     
Managing Editor
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Aug 29, 2013, 06:09 PM
 
I guess I probably should have been more clear with my answer.
     
Mac Elite
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Sep 20, 2013, 06:58 PM
 
Oh wow... you just called an '07 Macbook old.

I clicked this thread hoping to find some advice for my late '03 G5 PPC tower, LOL.

"Sing it again, rookie beyach."
My website
     
Clinically Insane
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Sep 21, 2013, 01:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by Miniryu View Post
Oh wow... you just called an '07 Macbook old.

I clicked this thread hoping to find some advice for my late '03 G5 PPC tower, LOL.
ROTFLMAO <---- 1st time I used this in 5 years

-t
     
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Sep 22, 2013, 07:31 PM
 
I agree that the hard drive is the first thing to check out. The OS needs some elbow room to run efficiently, and no matter how well it does its housekeeping, there's going to be gunk built up on the drive that will gradually slow the machine down.

I'm running an '06 first gen MBP. It's not as speedy as my wife's much lMacBook (last unibody with a separate battery version), but it works fine. I did max out RAM and replace the 100GB hard drive with a 500GB drive, which helped a lot. At the same time I upgraded the AirPort card to a more capable a/b/g/n card, which has made this machine useful in a lot of places it couldn't in its original configuration.

It sure looks like it's been through the mill, but the screen is clear and bright and the keyboard works perfectly. On the other hand, I had to replace the SuperDrive; some time ago I had the poor machine slide off a table and land (in my book bag) on its hinge side. It seemed to work fine until I needed to run some optical media. Picture the sound of a very small garbage disposal trying to ingest a VCR... Oh, and the screen doesn't pop up when you press the latch, so you have to lift the lid while holding the latch. No biggie.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Sep 27, 2013, 09:57 AM
 
Take it apart and remove all the dust. Overheating due to dust might slow your computer down when components are shut down to protect them from heat damage.

If that doesn't help replace the hard drive and restore the content with Migration Assistant or from the Time Machine backup.
     
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Oct 21, 2013, 03:29 AM
 
Replacing a drive be expensive. I would suggest to go for optimization. It includes cleaning Mac drive and defragmentation. It will be easier and affordable.
     
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Oct 21, 2013, 04:37 AM
 
Unfortunately it will not do anything to help your speed. "Cleaning the Mac drive" only helps if it is full to bursting, which we mentioned above. Defragmentation happens in the background automatically.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Oct 21, 2013, 04:40 PM
 
More RAM never goes amiss it also may be worth downgrading the OS to find that sweet spot between performance and fetaures.
     
   
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