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Mac Mini Slow after Upgrading to Sierra


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#1 Jakealope

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 10:51 AM

I have a mid-2010 Mac Mini with 2.4 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor.  I did not use the mac mini for several years, but dusted it off a few months ago and now my husband uses it every day.  I upgraded the OS to Lion and then to Sierra.  Now the Mac mini is pretty slow and takes a long time to startup.  

 

Is there anything I can do to speed it up?  Is it advisable to upgrade a Mac mini?  Apple advised that they do not upgrade but third party vendors may have an upgrade.  

 

Any suggestions would be helpful.  



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#2 smax013

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 04:17 PM

I have a mid-2010 Mac Mini with 2.4 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor.  I did not use the mac mini for several years, but dusted it off a few months ago and now my husband uses it every day.  I upgraded the OS to Lion and then to Sierra.  Now the Mac mini is pretty slow and takes a long time to startup.

Some of it will just be dealing with a newer, more complex, more featured loaded, and thus more bloated version of the Mac OS.

Beyond that, as I understand it, newer versions of the Mac OS are optimized to take advantage of an SSD. As a result, as I understand it, they are not quite as optimized for use on a traditional hard drive.
 

Is there anything I can do to speed it up?

You certainly could upgrade the drive from an traditional hard drive to an SSD. It is a bit on the more complex side of Mac upgrades but still do able. If you want to see what would be involved to do it yourself, there here is a guide you can look at to see if you think you would be up to it:

https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac+Mini+Mid+2010+Hard+Drive+Replacement/3113

The other possible upgrade would be to upgrade the RAM. You did not mention how much RAM you have now, so this may or may not help much. That model can technically support up to 16 GB of RAM even though Apple listed its max at 8 GB...if running Mac OS 10.7.5 or higher, the firmware is fully updated, and you get the right modules. You can read more here: http://blog.macsales.com/16302-some-2010-mac-owners-can-get-more-ram-than-they-thought

If you thought you wanted to upgrade the RAM, then here is a guide showing what is involved:

https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac+Mini+Mid+2010+RAM+Replacement/3107
 

Is it advisable to upgrade a Mac mini?  Apple advised that they do not upgrade but third party vendors may have an upgrade.  
 
Any suggestions would be helpful.

If it advisable to upgrade? That will really depend on you...i.e. how you use the Mac/what you use the Mac for, how much you might want to spend, etc. If the Mac still does what you want/need it to do and don't want to go buy a new Mac for whatever reason (i.e. mainly because they are expensive), then upgrading might be the best option. After all, you could go to 16 GB for about $127 and a 120 GB SDD for about $70 (or less with other options). If 120 GB is too small, then you are talking about $100 for 240 GB or about $200 for 480 GB. This all assumes you do it all yourself. It would likely be more expensive if you paid someone to do the upgrades. So, if you can survive with just 120 GB SSD, then you could upgrade for about $200 (or less if you find a cheaper SSD option [I like the OWC SSDs because they are designed specifically for use with Macs and the Mac OS] or if you decided not to do the RAM upgrade or just upgrade to 8 GB of RAM). That is significantly cheaper (i.e. $300 or more savings) than the cheapest new Mac Mini.

Of course, with the a new Mac Mini, you will also get a faster, newer processor and you will have longer support for it with newer Mac OS versions. You current Mini can run the latest (Sierra), but it might be able to run future versions. This will means you will get security updates for it for at least the next two years, but beyond that, it is not known.

Apple will definitely not be an option as they no longer support that model (just like they no longer support my 2009 17" MBP).

#3 Jakealope

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 08:43 AM

Thank you for the information.  I will take a look at those links.  I'm not sure I have the expertise to upgrade myself.  

 

I did forget to mention that my MAC mini memory is 2GB  1067 MHz DDR3.



#4 smax013

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 02:53 AM

Thank you for the information.  I will take a look at those links.  I'm not sure I have the expertise to upgrade myself.  
 
I did forget to mention that my MAC mini memory is 2GB  1067 MHz DDR3.


Then I would definitely at least upgrade the RAM unless you have plans to replace the Mac in the relative near future. You can go to 8 GB for about only $70 (through OWC: https://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/8566DDR3S8GP/). That will likely help quite a bit alone. And it is very easy to do.

If step by step guides are enough, here are some video for the upgrades for that Mac Mini model:

https://eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/mac_mini2010/

As noted above and as you should be able to see in the video and previous step by step instructions, upgrading the RAM is very easy. It is basically just a matter of opening the bottom cover, pulling out the old RAM DIMMs, putting in the new ones, and putting the cover back on.

The upgrading the hard drive is definitely a more intensive process, but you likely could still do it. Just follow the steps in video and/or step by step instructions. In my personal experience with cracking open Macs, it is more intimidating than hard to do. The guides typically give such good instructions that it ultimately is not hard to do, but rather just involved. Plus, I will note that the guides also do typically tell you what tools you will need as well...and those tools can be bought from either ifixit.com or OWC (aka macsales.com) as well as other sites. Probably the biggest hurdle is you have to accept that you are tinker with some thing that you could break during the tinkering, so if you do decide to upgrade the hard drive yourself (killing the Mini when upgrading the RAM is extremely unlikely unless one is really careless), be willing to forgive yourself if you do break something. If you follow the instructions closely, it is unlikely, but when tinkering inside a computer, anything it possible.

#5 sflatechguy

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 08:36 AM

To follow up on smax013's observations, your Mac Mini is "compatible" with Sierra -- but only just. https://support.apple.com/kb/sp742?locale=en_US

That means you won't get the kind of performance out of Sierra that you would with a newer model Mac.



#6 Jakealope

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 08:54 AM

 

Thank you for the information.  I will take a look at those links.  I'm not sure I have the expertise to upgrade myself.  
 
I did forget to mention that my MAC mini memory is 2GB  1067 MHz DDR3.


Then I would definitely at least upgrade the RAM unless you have plans to replace the Mac in the relative near future. You can go to 8 GB for about only $70 (through OWC: https://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/8566DDR3S8GP/). That will likely help quite a bit alone. And it is very easy to do.

If step by step guides are enough, here are some video for the upgrades for that Mac Mini model:

https://eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/mac_mini2010/

As noted above and as you should be able to see in the video and previous step by step instructions, upgrading the RAM is very easy. It is basically just a matter of opening the bottom cover, pulling out the old RAM DIMMs, putting in the new ones, and putting the cover back on.

The upgrading the hard drive is definitely a more intensive process, but you likely could still do it. Just follow the steps in video and/or step by step instructions. In my personal experience with cracking open Macs, it is more intimidating than hard to do. The guides typically give such good instructions that it ultimately is not hard to do, but rather just involved. Plus, I will note that the guides also do typically tell you what tools you will need as well...and those tools can be bought from either ifixit.com or OWC (aka macsales.com) as well as other sites. Probably the biggest hurdle is you have to accept that you are tinker with some thing that you could break during the tinkering, so if you do decide to upgrade the hard drive yourself (killing the Mini when upgrading the RAM is extremely unlikely unless one is really careless), be willing to forgive yourself if you do break something. If you follow the instructions closely, it is unlikely, but when tinkering inside a computer, anything it possible.

 

Thanks for the info.  I may try to upgrade the RAM myself.  At only $70 it's worth a try.



#7 Jakealope

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 11:34 AM

I upgraded the RAM to 8GB (2 x 4GB).  I was pretty easy, but I was afraid I would break something.  I got beeping sounds the first time so I figured out I hadn't seated the cards correctly.  I did get them in and the mac mini definitely starts up faster.  

 

I'll see how this does and decide if it's good enough until I can buy a new MAC.  

 

Thanks again for the help!

 

 

Thank you for the information.  I will take a look at those links.  I'm not sure I have the expertise to upgrade myself.  
 
I did forget to mention that my MAC mini memory is 2GB  1067 MHz DDR3.


Then I would definitely at least upgrade the RAM unless you have plans to replace the Mac in the relative near future. You can go to 8 GB for about only $70 (through OWC: https://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/8566DDR3S8GP/). That will likely help quite a bit alone. And it is very easy to do.

If step by step guides are enough, here are some video for the upgrades for that Mac Mini model:

https://eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/mac_mini2010/

As noted above and as you should be able to see in the video and previous step by step instructions, upgrading the RAM is very easy. It is basically just a matter of opening the bottom cover, pulling out the old RAM DIMMs, putting in the new ones, and putting the cover back on.

The upgrading the hard drive is definitely a more intensive process, but you likely could still do it. Just follow the steps in video and/or step by step instructions. In my personal experience with cracking open Macs, it is more intimidating than hard to do. The guides typically give such good instructions that it ultimately is not hard to do, but rather just involved. Plus, I will note that the guides also do typically tell you what tools you will need as well...and those tools can be bought from either ifixit.com or OWC (aka macsales.com) as well as other sites. Probably the biggest hurdle is you have to accept that you are tinker with some thing that you could break during the tinkering, so if you do decide to upgrade the hard drive yourself (killing the Mini when upgrading the RAM is extremely unlikely unless one is really careless), be willing to forgive yourself if you do break something. If you follow the instructions closely, it is unlikely, but when tinkering inside a computer, anything it possible.

 



#8 smax013

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 06:19 PM

Glad to help.




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