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Question: Slow Mac mini 2014

I bought a base model 2014 Mac mini about a year ago. It's always been slow, as I recall. It's really bugging me these days, so I decided to get on with solving the problem. I waited long enough that warranty and free apple support are probably lapsed...


I'm running macOS High Sierra v10.13.3. It has 1.4GHz i5, with the basic 4GB 1600MHz DDR3 memory.


Three examples of slow performance, even if these are the first applications I use:

  • Launching Pages v6.3.1 from the launchpad takes about 7s from click --> selection of document templates to use to create a new file.
  • Launching Word v16.10 (through an Office 365 subscription) takes about a minute.
  • Running Etrecheck warns that the report is unusually slow.

Here are some relevant captures from console:

User uploaded file

User uploaded file


I've read some materials online about it's the hard drive. It might be, and I'd be willing to go through the work of building up a SSD as a boot disk, and installing it. Before I do that, I'd like to see if there are simpler ways to improve this...


Etrecheck 4 gave me some info too. I don't want to just dump it onto the forum unless it will be useful.


Any suggestions?

Mac mini, macOS High Sierra (10.13.3), Base model

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Question marked as Helpful

Mar 14, 2018 9:40 AM in response to ermfromunionville In response to ermfromunionville

I don't see anything jumping out from your report, other than your poor runtime. This could indicate a failing or corrupt hard drive. I'd suggest you run Disk Utility > First Aid from your Recovery partition. If it reports errors run it until either the errors are fixed or it reports that it could not be fixed. Also, run SMART in your Etrecheck report and post that.

Question marked as Helpful

Mar 14, 2018 9:40 AM in response to ermfromunionville In response to ermfromunionville

Hi, I've got the mid tier model 2.6 ghz with 8g ram and 1TB HDD. It pulls up pages immediately. This is the spinning disk HD. I haven't seen any other minis operate but from what I gather the 4g ram is the big bottleneck in system performance. If you upgraded to PCIe it appears that might do more for you than the SSD HD swap but I really don't know firsthand. From what I understand, the speed that sata SSD can substitute its own storage as virtual ram is not nearly as impressive as the PCIe drive's performance if that makes any sense. I think the 4g ram version was not a good configuration for apple to sell to its loyal customer base especially with High Sierra using more than half of that for the OS! I've been feeling nostalgic lately for my old 17" MacBook Pro running Tiger. That was a really good product that ran all the contemporary mac software smoothly. My guess is that the $6k iMac Pro is the only currently available apple machine that will be usable in two years time.

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Mar 11, 2018 10:22 AM in response to macjack In response to macjack

EtreCheck version: 4.1.3 (4A186)

Report generated: 2018-03-11 13:06:42

Download EtreCheck from https://etrecheck.com

Runtime: 14:06

Performance: Poor


Problem: Computer is too slow


Major Issues:

Anything that appears on this list needs immediate attention.


No Time Machine backup - Time Machine backup not found.

Poor performance - EtreCheck report took over 10 minutes to run. This is very unusual.


Minor Issues:

These issues do not need immediate attention but they may indicate future problems.


Unsigned files - There is unsigned software installed. They appear to be legitimate but should be reviewed.


Hardware Information:

Mac mini (Late 2014)

Mac mini Model: Macmini7,1

1 1.4 GHz Intel Core i5 (i5-4260U) CPU: 2-core

4 GB RAM Not upgradeable

BANK 0/DIMM0

2 GB DDR3 1600 ok

BANK 1/DIMM0

2 GB DDR3 1600 ok


Video Information:

Intel HD Graphics 5000 - VRAM: 1536 MB

ASUS MG28U 3840 x 2160 @ 30 Hz


Drives:

disk0 - APPLE HDD HTS545050A7E362 500.11 GB (Mechanical)

Internal SATA 3 Gigabit Serial ATA

disk0s1 - EFI (MS-DOS FAT32) [EFI] 210 MB

disk0s2 [Core Storage Container] 499.25 GB

disk1 - Macintosh HD (Journaled HFS+) 498.89 GB

disk0s3 - Recovery HD (Journaled HFS+) [Recovery] 650 MB


Mounted Volumes:

disk1 - Macintosh HD 498.89 GB (394.18 GB free)

Journaled HFS+

Mount point: /


Network:

Interface en0: Ethernet

One IPv4 address

Interface en1: Wi-Fi


Interface en5: iPhone

Interface en4: Bluetooth PAN

Interface bridge0: Thunderbolt Bridge


System Software:

macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 (17D102)

Time since boot: About 13 hours

System Load: 3.78 (1 min ago) 2.16 (5 min ago) 1.80 (15 min ago)


Security:

System Status
Gatekeeper Mac App Store and identified developers
System Integrity Protection Enabled


Unsigned Files:

Launchd: /Library/LaunchAgents/org.freedesktop.dbus-session.plist

Executable: /opt/local/bin/dbus-daemon --nofork --session

Details: Exact match found in the whitelist - probably OK

Launchd: /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.adobe.fpsaud.plist

Executable: /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Flash Player Install Manager/fpsaud

Details: Exact match found in the whitelist - probably OK

Launchd: /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.macports.net-snmp.plist

Executable: /opt/local/bin/daemondo --label=net-snmp --start-cmd /opt/local/sbin/snmpd -f ; --pid=exec

Details: Exact match found in the whitelist - probably OK

Launchd: /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.citrix.ctxusbd.plist

Executable: /Library/Application Support/Citrix Receiver/ctxusbd

Details: Exact match found in the whitelist - probably OK

Launchd: /Library/LaunchAgents/com.citrix.ServiceRecords.plist

Executable: /usr/local/libexec/ServiceRecords.app/Contents/MacOS/ServiceRecords

Details: Exact match found in the whitelist - probably OK

Launchd: /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.freedesktop.dbus-system.plist

Executable: /opt/local/bin/dbus-daemon --system --nofork

Details: Exact match found in the whitelist - probably OK

Launchd: /Library/LaunchAgents/com.citrix.AuthManager_Mac.plist

Executable: /usr/local/libexec/AuthManager_Mac.app/Contents/MacOS/AuthManager_Mac

Details: Exact match found in the whitelist - probably OK

Launchd: /Library/LaunchAgents/com.citrix.ReceiverHelper.plist

Executable: /usr/local/libexec/ReceiverHelper.app/Contents/MacOS/ReceiverHelper

Details: Exact match found in the whitelist - probably OK


Kernel Extensions:

/Library/Application Support/Citrix Receiver

[Not Loaded] CitrixGUSB.kext (Citrix Systems, Inc., 12.8.1 - SDK 10.9)


System Launch Agents:

[Not Loaded] 8 Apple tasks
[Loaded] 185 Apple tasks
[Running] 96 Apple tasks
[Other] One Apple task


System Launch Daemons:

[Not Loaded] 37 Apple tasks
[Loaded] 195 Apple tasks
[Running] 100 Apple tasks


Launch Agents:

[Loaded] com.microsoft.update.agent.plist (Microsoft Corporation - installed 2018-01-27)
[Running] com.citrix.ServiceRecords.plist (? 8e6543d - installed 2018-01-11)
[Running] com.citrix.AuthManager_Mac.plist (? b095ca60 - installed 2018-01-11)
[Running] com.citrix.ReceiverHelper.plist (? bbfad3f1 - installed 2018-01-11)
[Loaded] org.freedesktop.dbus-session.plist (? 132c7c19 - installed 2017-07-21)
[Other] com.adobe.ARMDCHelper.cc24aef4a1b90ed56a725c38014c95072f92651fb65e1bf9c8e43c37a2 3d420d.plist (Adobe Systems, Inc. - installed 2018-02-16)


Launch Daemons:

[Loaded] com.adobe.ARMDC.SMJobBlessHelper.plist (Adobe Systems, Inc. - installed 2018-02-16)
[Not Loaded] org.macports.net-snmp.plist (? 96faff1 - installed 2017-03-18)
[Loaded] com.microsoft.autoupdate.helper.plist (Microsoft Corporation - installed 2018-01-27)
[Not Loaded] org.freedesktop.dbus-system.plist (? e1cd8f49 - installed 2017-07-21)
[Loaded] com.adobe.fpsaud.plist (? 2afb3af7 - installed 2017-08-29)
[Loaded] com.adobe.ARMDC.Communicator.plist (Adobe Systems, Inc. - installed 2018-02-16)
[Loaded] com.citrix.ctxusbd.plist (? 44dc9c9f - installed 2018-01-11)
[Loaded] com.microsoft.office.licensingV2.helper.plist (Microsoft Corporation - installed 2017-01-07)


User Launch Agents:

[Loaded] com.google.keystone.agent.plist (Google, Inc. - installed 2018-02-03)
[Loaded] ee.ria.id-updater.plist (Riigi Infosüsteemi Amet - installed 2017-10-16)


Internet Plug-ins:

FlashPlayer-10.6: 27.0.0.130 (installed 2017-10-07)

QuickTime Plugin: 7.7.3 (installed 2018-02-04)

AdobePDFViewerNPAPI: 17.012.20098 (installed 2018-02-25)

AdobePDFViewer: 18.011.20038 (installed 2018-02-25)

Flash Player: 27.0.0.130 (installed 2017-10-07)

EPPEX Plugin: 10.0 (installed 2016-09-08)

CitrixICAClientPlugIn: 12.8.1 (installed 2018-01-28)


3rd Party Preference Panes:

Flash Player (installed 2017-08-29)

ID-updater (installed 2017-10-16)


Time Machine:

Time Machine Not Configured!


Top Processes by CPU:

Process (count) Source % of CPU
Finder Apple 5
sandboxd Apple 4
WindowServer Apple 4
Console Apple 3
kernel_task Apple 2


Top Processes by Memory:

Process (count) Source RAM usage
kernel_task Apple 618 MB
Console Apple 181 MB
com.apple.WebKit.WebContent (4) Apple 114 MB
WindowServer Apple 113 MB
mdworker (11) Apple 97 MB


Top Processes by Network Use:

Process Source Input Output
Mail Apple 424 KB 91 KB
mDNSResponder Apple 381 KB 32 KB
apsd Apple 70 KB 112 KB
netbiosd Apple 95 KB 27 KB
opendirectoryd Apple 4 KB 4 KB


Top Processes by Energy Use:

Process (count) Source Energy usage (0-100)
Console Apple 4
suggestd (2) Apple 2
diagnosticd Apple 1
cloudd Apple 0
syncdefaultsd Apple 0


Virtual Memory Information:

Available RAM 502 MB
Free RAM 18 MB
Used RAM 3.51 GB
Cached files 484 MB
Swap Used 6 MB


Diagnostics Information (past 7 days):

2018-03-11 10:46:23 AddressBookManager.app Crash (once)

objc_msgSend() selector name: objectID

2018-03-11 10:46:23 CallHistorySyncHelper Crash (once)

objc_msgSend() selector name: objectID

2018-03-10 22:16:40 Last Shutdown Cause: 3 - Hard shutdown (once)

2018-03-10 17:33:15 Microsoft Word.app Hang (once)


End of report

Mar 11, 2018 10:22 AM

Reply Helpful
Question marked as Helpful

Mar 14, 2018 9:40 AM in response to ermfromunionville In response to ermfromunionville

I don't see anything jumping out from your report, other than your poor runtime. This could indicate a failing or corrupt hard drive. I'd suggest you run Disk Utility > First Aid from your Recovery partition. If it reports errors run it until either the errors are fixed or it reports that it could not be fixed. Also, run SMART in your Etrecheck report and post that.

Mar 14, 2018 9:40 AM

Reply Helpful (1)

Mar 11, 2018 5:26 PM in response to macjack In response to macjack

Thanks for the suggestion. I did restart in recovery mode (reboot -> option+cmd+R). Then I ran the disk utility a few times. No messages about anything wrong.


I don't understand what you mean by "run SMART in your Etrecheck report". I did go look at the SMART status in the system report ... it says "Verified". Is that what you meant? I'm running v4.1.3 of Etrecheck, and I could not find a place within Etrecheck to click on SMART status.

Mar 11, 2018 5:26 PM

Reply Helpful
Question marked as Helpful

Mar 14, 2018 9:40 AM in response to ermfromunionville In response to ermfromunionville

Hi, I've got the mid tier model 2.6 ghz with 8g ram and 1TB HDD. It pulls up pages immediately. This is the spinning disk HD. I haven't seen any other minis operate but from what I gather the 4g ram is the big bottleneck in system performance. If you upgraded to PCIe it appears that might do more for you than the SSD HD swap but I really don't know firsthand. From what I understand, the speed that sata SSD can substitute its own storage as virtual ram is not nearly as impressive as the PCIe drive's performance if that makes any sense. I think the 4g ram version was not a good configuration for apple to sell to its loyal customer base especially with High Sierra using more than half of that for the OS! I've been feeling nostalgic lately for my old 17" MacBook Pro running Tiger. That was a really good product that ran all the contemporary mac software smoothly. My guess is that the $6k iMac Pro is the only currently available apple machine that will be usable in two years time.

Mar 14, 2018 9:40 AM

Reply Helpful (1)

Mar 14, 2018 9:42 AM in response to korytx In response to korytx

I improved performance a great deal. The first thing that made a difference was deleting some old keychain entries related to Office365. Here is the discussion that lead me to it. The second thing I did was replace my mechanical hard drive with a SATA III SSD -- and along the way I re-created the Mac mini software environment too.


So, I have a Mac mini with 4GB RAM, and a 120GB SSD. Its speed is so much better now.


Word now loads in less than 10s, compared to 50-60s. Pages now loads in about 4s, instead of 7s.


Thanks for the input and support from korytx and macjack.

Mar 14, 2018 9:42 AM

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Question: Slow Mac mini 2014