Does a Second Screen or an External HDD use resources?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Psi42, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. Psi42 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    #1
    So I've been helping this guy do stuff with his mac (MBP 3,1, 2.4GHz dual-core, 2GB DDR2 RAM w/667 bus), and lately he's had a problem where his computer freezes totally and you have to reboot. I was working with him today and it froze while I had address book (which had stopped responding) and finder open. He always has a second screen (one of the big apple monitors that uses the video port, a USB, and a firewire 400) and an external Firewire 800 harddrive, with external power-source, for backup always plugged in. The machine is only like 2 years old and he has over 70 GB left on his harddrive.

    Is it possible that always having the external monitor and external disk is draining resources and making the computer run slower? If this is the case, will this model MBP hold more than 2GB, and if it does, does it come with two 1GB modules, or one 2GB module?
    The next time I see him I'm gonna install MenuMeters to see if his resources are being used a lot with the stuff plugged in.
    Thanks
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    Not likely. Is the computer freezing or is it a kernel panic? if it is either I would check the logs and see what happens at that moment when it freezes. I've run more than that and never had that issue (knock on wood).
     
  3. Psi42 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    #3
    Hmm. How would I go about checking for a kernel panic? Is there something in the logs I would be able to check quickly? And will the logs go back, say, two days?
     
  4. PolySciSurfer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #4
    An external display absolutely uses resources. I believe the GPU memory is split 50/50 between the displays. Or it could be 40/60. I'm not sure the exact amount, but the GPU memory is shared between displays. The CPU is also stressed, no doubt this is what's causing your speed issues.
     
  5. milton.sheaf macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    #5
    screen and hdd use electricity. that is a resource. also those items took many natural resources to create them. if you use external monitors or hard drives, it is like you are raping the earth. same thing.
     
  6. Psi42 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    #6
    Thanks.
    So in terms of fixing the problem, will adding more RAM help make it run smoother specifically with those things weighing it down? Or would maybe getting a more efficient drive be better?
     
  7. chill. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    #7
    lol.. totally not what the OP is asking

    why don't you try running the mbp without the second screen and without external hdd and see if you can reproduce the problem. a mbp should be able to run those easily, i doubt they are the problem
     
  8. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #8
    in fact, this thread is using up alot of black ink

    we better stop:(
     
  9. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Location:
    benkadams.com
    #9
    Whilst the display definitely uses more resources (my 4,1 MBP is sat here idling at 85c with a 2nd 1920x1080 display connected), it would NOT be the cause of the freezing, it sounds like there is a corruption somewhere along the line in the system files or possibly RAM corruption.

    The only thing (aside from a complete system re-install), is run the program Onyx, and run all of the verify, cleaning and maintenance tools.

    Failing that, it would be a hardware issue, there are a few apps out there that can diagnose issues, TechTool Deluxe is one but there's probably many more out there that do the same job for free.
     
  10. PolySciSurfer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #10
    Actually, depending on what programs are running in the background, the added stress of an external display could cause the freezing. OP, what programs are running when the freezes occur? Have you repaired permissions? We need more information.
     
  11. Alexwithad macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    #11
    Black is good, white uses more power. Ever hear of blackle.com instead of google.com?


    And on topic, it really should not do that. I run my Macbook Pro 13" on a 20" monitor and play WoW and other things and it does not freeze up. Also when using external screen is it running in clamshell mode? If so just start it in clamshell and open up display on the laptop (it should stay in clamshell mode) to get better ventilation.
     
  12. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Location:
    benkadams.com
    #12
    See

    I'm pretty sure the guy has the MBP model before the one I have (2.5Ghz MBP), which is EASILY capable of running an external display and a FW800 HD, to say otherwise is ludicrous.

    I often run Logic and FCP side by side on both displays at the same time and I've never experienced a full system freeze, even during rendering or playing multi layered recordings.
     
  13. melman101 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #13
    Yes, it sounds like a hardware problem to me. I'd take it to the Apple Store.
     
  14. Psi42 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    #14
    He actually took it to an apple store the day before to get the very same prolem fixed. I'll see if there's something wrong with permissions but I don't want to go running a bunch of diagnostics and stuff without trying a simpler way (I also only have maybe an hour tomorrow and there's other stuff to do). I'll see if it happens again tomorrow when I see him again. I'll also try and find out what exactly the apple guys did and what they ran. I'm also going to suggest a RAM upgrade.
     

Share This Page