All-Singing MacBook Pro slower than MacBook Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by daniel.w.leigh, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. daniel.w.leigh macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2013
    I am a bit confused at the performance of my MacBook Pro, and wondered if anyone can help!

    I have both a MacBook Pro and a MacBook Air, the MBP is an 18 month old 2.4 GHZ i7 with 750gb HDD, 4GB RAM, 1GB dedicated Graphics, and the MBA is a 6 month old 1.8GHZ i5 with 256gb SSD, 4GB RAM and integrated graphics. For some unknown reason, when booting up ANY application, whether it's Safari, iTunes or Word (particularly any Office 2011 application), the Air starts up within 2 seconds, but the Pro takes at least 30-40 seconds to boot any application, again particularly any Office '11 application.

    Is there any explanation why?! Do I need an SSD in my MBP?? I expected that spending £2000 on an MBP would give me the instant-boot applications that my MBA has which cost 1/2 the price.

    Why is my MBP so slow?!
  2. minhvn macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2013
    Yes, that will make your MBP runs 10 times faster.
  3. Ricanlegend macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2009
    The ssd in the air is the huge difference , if you but a ssd in the pro the pro should out shine the air cause the air uses ultra low voltage cpu
  4. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    When it comes to loading applications - that is almost exclusively based on the drive they are stored on. Therefore the Air because of the SSD will outperform the MBPs hard drive.
  5. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    As others have said, the drive is the limiting factor. Another issue might be the SATA speed. The MBP can support 6m but the drive only supports 3m transfers. Check your system report to see what the negotiated SATA speed is.
  6. BeeJee macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2011
    Long Island/North Jersey
    SATA II is 3gb/s and SATA III is 6gb/s, not sure what you mean by the m's? If he bought the machine new it would be a 2011 and support full SATA III speeds. To the OP, yes an SSD will make a HUGE difference, like a lot of people on here, I feel like it's almost unbearable using a computer with a HDD now that I'm so used to the SSD speeds. SSD will make everyday tasks faster like opening your programs and accessing stored files. Definitely worth dumping one into your machine.
  7. tshrimp macrumors 6502


    Mar 30, 2012
    SSD would make a difference, but if it is taking 30-40 seconds to open an app on a Macbook pro then there is something else wrong.
  8. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Well, I feel like I'm stating the obvious, but here it is:

    The MBA has a SSD, whereas your MBP does not.

    What determines how fast apps(or anything) boots is how fast the hard drive can get the information loaded into the RAM. Seeing as a SSD roughly 4 to 5 times faster than a platter hard drive, it's a no brainer why your MBA feels faster.

    Processor speed matters only when there's processing to be done. Think of it as a calculator, no matter how powerful it is, the power is useless until you make it do work.

    Opening an app is not "work", for a processor.

    Ask your MBP to convert video or audio files from one format to another, say using Handbrake, which will max out all 4 cores in your MBP.

    Do the very same video, with the same program, on the MBA. It'll likely take more than twice as long.

    Then, you'll see why your MBP is more powerful.
  9. akdj macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    Not true...only different tasks handled by your HDD/SSD read/write will be quicker...main computational tasks will be significantly faster on your MBP. Snaky has provided an excellent explanation

    That said...An SSD is without a doubt, a significant upgrade to that MBP of yours. As all others have said, it's definitely the reason for the perceived 'quickness' of your MBA vs. your MBP. However...slap an SSD in your MBP and it'll be even faster than your current MBA @ launching your MS Office apps

  10. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Just to second/third/fourth the comments that fitting a SSD will really put a bomb behind a Macbook Pro.

    The problem is, if you want the speed of SSD and 750+GB of disc storage offered by the MBP then, right now, you'll need deep pockets (even with third-party drives).

    One solution is to get an "optibay" or "data doubler" - this replaces the optical drive in the MBP with a second hard drive, so you can have a fast SSD for your system, applications and frequently used data, and a HDD for bulky data files. You can either keep things organised manually or combine the two into a 'fusion drive' (google for instructions) that automatically keeps your most frequently used data on the SSD.

    The downside is that your optical drive gets relegated to an external USB enclosure.

    Option 2 is to wait a few months - affordable ~1TB SSDs were recently announced as 'coming soon'.
  11. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT

    I don't think he meant literally as much as figuratively. It will significantly speed up the MBP considering specs of the MBP and SSD of coarse.
  12. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    Not a downside if you never use it :)
  13. cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011

    While you are all right that's not really the OP's problem. No program, especially office should take 30+ seconds to open on any medium grade computer. Somthing else is wrong with the OP's computer. A atom netbook will open office in less than 10 seconds (using a much crappier HDD). Most laptops do not have a SSD, most laptops can open office in 3-4 seconds (A ssd would open office in something like 0.5 to 1 second).

    Agree completely, how full is the drive? Are other disk hungry processes running all the time? Is it making funny noises (sign its starting to fail)?
  14. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Have you ever even opened office for mac? It is loads slower than the PC version. Atom processor or not, opening an app is almost exclusively the hard drive's job.

    All my macs are in great shape hardware wise, and word for mac 2011 takes 20-25 seconds to open on a cold boot. Word 2010 on my virtual machine takes less than 10 seconds to open. The apps are simply poorly optimized.

    His times are normal for a platter hard drive.
  15. cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    I think he means from an empty desktop. Ex) close everything, click icon. takes 40 seconds.

    It should not take more than 10 seconds to open a blank work file period.

    One of the better things about office 2011 was that it loaded fast for mac. Previous versions were slow 2011 is not. Takes about 5 seconds according to the article (don't know whether its using an SSD but the article is over 2 years old). Most people I know say that office 2011 was a huge improvement in speed.

    Regardless his loading times are ridiculous (launching itunes, internet should not take more than 5 seconds on an i5 and a decent HDD). I brought up the atom processor because the netbooks they are most often paired up to are 1.8 inch really slow HDDs.

    It takes less time for me to open internet explorer, MS word (2003), and mathematica 7 together on my 6 year old 1.5 GHz core 2 duo dell (with 1 GB ram and a 5400rpm 120 GB HDD--which is much slower than modern drives because of low data density).
  16. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    Office on the Mac, especiall Word/Excel, are incredibly fast oepning programs.

    They are a poor comparison to other apps on other platforms. MS pulls a lot of tricks for this to happen.

Share This Page