15" MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt Display: slow UI due to HDD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by oliver20, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. oliver20 macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2011

    I recently bought a Thunderbolt display to go with my 15" MacBook Pro (early 2011, 2Ghz i7 quad-core, 8GB, 500GB 5400 RPM, AMD Radeon HD 6490M 256MB). The display is great but I've noticed the user interface is pretty slow, particularly when using Launchpad and Mission Control (almost no animation - just jumps to final frame when opening Launchpad folder or clicking on MC). All software/firmware is up to date. Took it to the Genius bar, where I was told that it is likely due to the slow hard drive rather than GPU/RAM etc. as for LP/MC the Mac needs to access the HDD in real time during the animation.

    Anyone else have this issue? Does it seem reasonable its due to the HDD or is it just likely a limiation of the 256MB in the GPU?

  2. cosmicjoke macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    Imo that "Genius" is whack, my guess is there's a 99.9% chance this has virtually nothing to do w/ your hard drive speed. Are you only using it as an extended display or have you tried in clamshell mode as well? Try it in clamshell and see if things are snappier, try disabling automatic graphics switching in energy saver as well..
  3. oliver20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2011
    Thanks for the reply. It's in clamshell mode and I'm using high performance graphics (in fact, the system uses the 6490M GPU when an external screen is plugged in even if automatic graphics switching is turned on), but animations are still very slow. Any ideas?
  4. Blue Sun macrumors 6502a

    Feb 11, 2009
    Its definitely not your hard drive.

    My 2010 15" MBP has slow animations too, even when using the discrete NVIDIA GT 330m. I'm pretty sure its the Lion graphics drivers, with Snow Leopard its silky smooth, disappointing really.

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