This is my MacBooks configuration: enter image description here

I'm usually running the following Software: Chrome, Skype, Outlook, Android Studio, Safari, Terminal, AppCode, Xcode, Xcode Simulator, Firefox.

Also apart from the built in monitor I have 2 additional monitors hooked up.

I realize this is a lot. I'm using up 6.6GB of RAM. The CPU is 8.6% System, 4.45% User and the rest is idle. (At least while I'm on here typing stuff. It obviously changes once I compile something etc.)

The thing that annoys me is that all the fancy OS stuff doesn't work smooth. i.e switching between desktops, mission control, launch pad, peeking to desktop. The animations stutter a lot. Like a video game you're running on too slow hardware.

I'm guessing I'm just doing too much at once (if you think this should still work properly please share ideas on what I could investigate). Do you think a faster MacBook would help significantly? What may be my bottle neck here? Do you think El Capitan will improve on this? They said at least that El Capitan optimizes a lot under the hood.

  • 1
    You actually have a rather decent machine. But your GPU is obviously in pain here... How are those screens connected and what resolution do they have? What processes cause the CPU load? Check in Activity Monitor under CPU and Energy.
    – n1000
    Sep 7, 2015 at 14:49
  • Normally, I'd say upgrade the RAM, but it looks like that the RAM in your model in on-board, so it's not replaceable. Sep 7, 2015 at 17:26
  • Any reason not to upgrade to El Capitan beta now? Been running for couple months, very stable. Sep 8, 2015 at 10:59
  • It's a bit difficult to see what your actual question is here. Are you looking for ideas on how to improve system performance in your current setup (running Yosemite) or for ideas about whether El Capitan will solve your performance issues? As the latter may very well result in having the question closed for being primarily opinion-based, do you want to rewrite your question towards getting ideas on how to improve system performance with Yosemite?
    – nohillside
    Sep 8, 2015 at 11:31

1 Answer 1


For now, try "Reduce transparency" in in System Preferences → Accessibility → Display.

El Capitan brings improvements to System Performance:

OS X El Capitan improves system performance across your Mac, making many of the things you do everyday faster and more responsive. Metal, Apple’s groundbreaking graphics technology, accelerates Core Animation and Core Graphics to boost system-level rendering by up to 50 percent,* and efficiency by up to 40 percent,** resulting in faster graphics performance for everyday apps. Metal also takes full advantage of your CPU and GPU, delivering up to 10 times faster draw call performance for a richer, more fluid experience in games and pro apps.

Apple announced that Metal support in OS X extends to all Macs built since 2012:

MacBook 12-inch (Early 2015)
MacBook Air 11-inch (Mid 2012 and later)
MacBook Air 13-inch (Mid 2012 and later)
MacBook Pro 13-inch (Mid 2012)
MacBook Pro 13-inch Retina (Late 2012 and later)
MacBook Pro 15-inch (Mid 2012)
MacBook Pro 15-inch Retina (Mid 2012 and later)
Mac mini (late 2012 and later)
iMac 21.5-inch (Late 2012 and later)
iMac 27-inch (late 2012 and later)
iMac Retina 5K, 27-inch (late 2013 and later)
Mac Pro (Mid 2012)
Mac Pro (Late 2013)

If reduce transparency doesn't help today, I say wait for El Cap and try again.

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