early 2011 15" MBP (my iphone works better)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by howm, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. howm, Sep 23, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015

    howm macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2015
    Finally decided to post a thread about my ongoing dreadful experience with my MBP I bought early in 2011... I have sent it for repairs about 5 times and upgraded a few times since I bought it. The experience I had with it over these (almost) 5 years has got my nerves badly.

    First year was OK as far as I remember, but later on I have noticed performance going down and down eventually. Now it has come to the point where I actually don't really want to use it anymore. I have started working as an IT help desk analyst, therefore spend most of my time during the day using windows desktop PC. I noticed I don't want to touch my macbook when I'm back home, I can do all my daily needs on the PC at work, which has not that much better specs than my 5 years old macbook. The CPU of the PC at work is:

    Intel Core i5 3550
    • 3.3 GHz
    • Quad core (CPUBoss rating 7.0/10)
    • 6GB DDR3 RAM
    • HDD
    compared to my MBP:

    Intel Core i7 2635QM
    • 2 GHz
    • Quad core (CPUBoss rating 6.5/10)
    • 8GB DDR3 RAM (upgraded from 4GB)
    • 250GB SDD (upgraded from HDD)
    • Yosemite OSx
    I tend to think that my MBP should work just at least as good as the PC at work, but it does not at all. I like to have many tabs open (30+), but even with 5 or so it is so laggy, scrolling is stuttering badly, especially on content rich website (I'm using Chrome browser). Where on the Windows PC its just fine, I can have 50+ tabs open and it still performs.

    As you can see I have upgraded my MBP, added more RAM 2 years ago, noticed slight difference in performance at that time. Then around 7 months ago I have swapped the HDD for SDD and reinstalled OSx (fresh install), noticed big performance boost, but it lasted for maybe 1 month or so.

    There are few more things that should be taken into account, the logic board has been swapped a few times during these 5 years, 2 times at the authorized apple service, then I had this infamous GPU problem that lots of early 2011 15" MBPs had, had to take it to the unauthorized apple service to re-solder the GPU processor on the logic board. It failed two times each after approximately 2 months. Then I had to take my money back (unfortunately only half of it) and take it to some more serious unauthorized apple service where they would have given 6 months warranty at least. Almost the day after I have taken it to that service store, I saw that apple admitted their fault and had launched the program to replace all logic boards for defected MBPs. Luckily my MBP was still in the queue for being re-soldered again so I cancelled the repair and took it to the authorized service to have it checked. Even though they knew that my MBP had this exact same problem - the tests they ran on it came up as negative (for GPU defects). Of course it might have been the problem that my logic board was modified by another unauthorized service before (by the way that is what Apple service would never do - they just change the whole logic board if eligible or under warranty). But one thing is that they knew that mine had the same exact GPU problem so it is eligible for repair. It took a month for me to convince them that they have to take care of this and they finally did.

    Now thing is, I'm not quite sure if it is something they did that my MBP is so crappy I don't want to use it anymore. Maybe they have used some refurbished logic board that is yet to be broken and is not performing as it should? Is it me doing something wrong? I had reinstalled OSx a few times during last few months and it does no good. I live with two of my friends who have macbook pros too, one is 2011 and the other one 2012, they work noticeably MUCH better, I can tell it right away, after just scrolling or typing using the browser. I mean as far as I know about computers it can't be that different, there is something wrong with my MBP.

    Now thank you if anyone has read that far, I'd like to have your input. How do I troubleshoot it? Is there anyway I could tell if its hardware issue or no? Reinstall OSx one more time and have programs I use installed one by one each after one week or so? Try just browsing first without installing any programs? I mean I'm so fed up and its so time consuming. It seems it would have been much easier if it was a windows laptop from the very beginning and I could buy one more now using the money I would have saved. I'm actually building a tower windows PC now as I'm amazed on how the machine at my work works, but it would be really nice to have my macbook doing at least as much as its capable of. And for the thread title - yes, my iPhone 6 works better than my macbook, at least I have more fun on it.



    Just joined this forum so please don't go too hard on me:)
  2. Kissmyne macrumors 6502


    Apr 21, 2015
    Just to start with some steps/questions...

    1. Have you started in Safe Boot?

    2. Do you have a lot of login items?(watch out chrome loves to add itself)

    3. I usually reset SMC after completing any H/W repair on a Mac, has this been completed?

    4. Does this issue occur in Safari? Chrome Canary(Don't use regular Chrome, you are just setting yourself up for failure)? Firefox?

    5. Have you cleared User Caches?

    6. When you reinstalled OS X, did you do an archive/dirty install or did you complete an Erase and Reinstall?
  3. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Chrome is your problem, or at least part of it.

    That POS, poorly written, ressource hog of a browser shouldn't be on any computers. Try Safari for your regular browsing, it should be faster already.

    8GB of RAM and a SSD should not be feeling sluggish, at all. Either a runaway process or software problem is causing the issues, or you have a hardware problem on your hands.
  4. howm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2015

    1. Have started in safe boot fine, its just that screen is flickering when starting or running things. But I think that its fine in safe boot due to limited graphics performance.

    2. Chrome is not added to login items, though I have added uTorrent and Spotify.

    3. Do not remember if I have tried resetting SMC ever, might have, but not sure, should I do this just in case?

    4. Have used safari for a week now, at first looks like its faster, but same experience after opening more than 5 tabs...

    5. Have not cleared user caches on macbook itself, how often do you this? I mean my macbook has been formatted ~4months ago and I dont really use that much...

    6. When reinstalling OS X I have always done a clean install, would never do a dirty reinstall.

    For the safe boot, can I run some check-ups when there or something?

    Big thanks for replies, would like to get more info on what i can do:(
  5. Kissmyne macrumors 6502


    Apr 21, 2015
    1. Expected Behavior in Safe Boot.

    2. I have seen countless issues with having Spotify in login items on Cx's macs.

    3. SMC Reset won't hurt.

    4. Ok thank you for checking, sounds like you might have something that is starting with your browsers. Check ~/Library/LaunchAgents and remove anything you don't recognize that DOES NOT start with com.apple. Caveat is that this may damage functionality of apps installed that depend on the .plists.. but should be ok.. your call. You can also do the same with /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons...

    5. It isn't so much how often you should do it, but THAT I would recommend WHEN you have issues you are trying to troubleshoot. ~/Library/Caches. You can also clear the system library cache, located at /Library/Caches however this is something I would only suggest if ALL else fails.

    6. Sounds good for this portion.

    I would suggest clearing your user caches, then repairing disk permissions, then remove ALL login items from the login items list(at least to isolate the issue), clean restart(Uncheck "Reopen Windows when logging back in), and then reset your browsers to defaults for the sake of argument.
  6. howm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2015
    well, I have cleared the user files, fixed permission, 0 login items, restarted (would never tick the box "reopen windows" for the sake of freshness and not messing up my computer), except haven't deleted the system cache, as I understand "~" in the beginning stands for user files and if not applied, directs to system cache files, correct me if I'm wrong. I still experience above mentioned issues. Have noticed that one of the programs i use a lot - uTorrent is drawing 100% at the moment (does that almost all the time its open), is that normal? Also just checked the activity monitor - 100% uTorrent, 30 percent Safari on this tab alone, I mean WTF its JUST a forum tab... I'm losing my temper with this laptop so bad. Why the hell would a torrent client take up to 100% of CPU? What else can you suggest? For the system cache files, as I understand I have to delete all of the files within the folders there, correct? I mean I'm so fed up I'm ready to do a fresh install if only I would be sure that it would help... My archives and all are worth nothing on this system since they're a big mess, all because of the system being terrible and not allowing to work on it properly:(
  7. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    100% CPU is not 100% of all the CPU power. It's 100% of a single hyper threaded core. Full load is 800%.

    P.S. stop using Chrome. It's a badly coded resource hog on OS X.

    Also, what make/model is the SSD? Is it on the latest firmware?
  8. howm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2015
    So you're saying that uTorrent drawing 100% is fine? I have no idea why it would take that much power anyway. It's a quad-core, shouldn't full load be 400%? Not using chrome at all for around a week now. Its slightly better maybe.

    For the SSD drivers, in system information it comes up as:
    Revision: 1,010000

    And according to this website http://ocz.com/consumer/download it says that it is the latest.

    My SSD:
    Model: OCZ-ARC100

  9. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Quad core yes, but it also has hyperthreading.

    4 physical cores, 8 logical ones. Each of the 8 logical cores can be pegged to 100% for a total of 800%.
  10. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    Quad cores, each one hyper-threaded into two logical cores for increased efficiency. Check Activity monitor and you'll see 8 graphs, therefore 800%.

    I don't know if that level of CPU usage is typical for uTorrent as I use Transmission. A large torrent with many seeds and simultaneous transfers could potentially be quite CPU hungry on a fast connection.

    I've no experience with the newer OCZ drives, hopefully someone else can comment. Other possibility is a damaged SATA cable, which isn't unknown on the 2011 15", especially one that's had a lot of work done.
  11. howm, Oct 6, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015

    howm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2015
    Would be nice to have more info on my SSD drive, you think that might be the issue? It was one of the cheapest at the time I bought it. Changing SATA cables shouldn't be too complicated, right? I think I could do that myself, but is there anyway I could check and verify that it is a SATA cable issue?

    For the uTorrent, I'm afraid I can't use any other alternative to that since I'm using a private tracker where they have their strict rules so my client has to be in the whitelist. I'm seeding 60-80 torrents, but they are RARELY active, not a lot of people are leeching them, most of the time they're just staying not being leeched. So I'm not sure what is going on with the CPU being at 100%.
  12. chevalier433 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2011
    Yosemite?what you except...You have the privilege to install snow leopard.
  13. imorton macrumors 6502

    Aug 21, 2010
    Thats unfortunate as I use a 13" early 2011 Macbook Pro with 8gb Ram and (2) Samsung 250gb SSD's and it flies and runs well with Parallels Desktop running Win7.

    Putting the SSD's was the best thing to make it fly, and I don't think a newer MB Pro would be a night and day difference. Mind you, I will eventually have to upgrade, but I'll keep my current machine going as long as I can.... :)
  14. howm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2015

    take a look at this. i mean yeah, last time i restarted it it was 2 days ago. but I am literally watching sentences i type in appearing letter by letter on the screen. wtf is wrong with my mac? i installed shazam recently, its messing up everything as bad as utorrent (if not worse). why? why on the earth these applications do this? why utorrent is taking so much cpu power? scrolling on utorrent takes ages to reflect... just let me know if its actually me doing something wrong here? (going to restart now)

  15. Daytona 360 macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2010
    You already know what the problem is - the applications.

    uTorrent is notorious for hogging CPUs, use something else. (uTorrent claims that the bitcoin miner is not installed on Macs, but after that fiasco I wouldn't trust it anyways)
    No idea why Shazam is taking up that much CPU - I don't use it myself.

    You may also want to consider upgrading to El Capitan (better yet, a fresh install)
  16. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    May 6, 2010
    New York
    I've got a 15" 2011 MBP. Same 2GHz machine. I also have 8GB of RAM (OWC). I have a Crucial 480GB SSD in it. My laptop FLIES. I mean, it's insanely responsive. I'd backup my files, wipe and start fresh if I were you. The hardware you have should still be working like lightning.
  17. gngan macrumors 68000


    Jan 1, 2009
    What Window computer are you comparing to? It looks like you are a heavy user to me and are particularly have higher expectation than most users.

    Or maybe there is something wrong with your Mac. Since your Mac is known for GPU issue and it will just have issue later...why not just get a new one instead of 'fixing' it?
  18. Dead0k macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2015
  19. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    Wow, you are a Helpdesk Analyst with zero structured approach to troubleshooting? You can't link poor performance with Shazam (whatever that is), eating a BIG chunk of CPU? Just kill Shazam and see if performance comes back up...same with every other application that uses more CPU than is justified and your machine slows unacceptably...
  20. howm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2015
    Well i managed to move all my 300 torrents from uTorrent to Deluge, seems its going to be a significant step to improving performance. Even though Deluge is taking 40-50% at the moment with none of the seeded torrents being leeched, so still not sure, but anyway i believe its going to be massive step forward.
  21. gngan macrumors 68000


    Jan 1, 2009
    See... it's your usage not your MBP's issue. When you say your work computer (Window) has no issue... are you doing the same tasks in it (comparing to Mac)? Maybe your Window PC is built for heavy usage?
  22. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    I don't see why the OP is complaining about the MBP about a 3rd party software issue. If the application is poorly coded and a resource hog, then it won't matter even if he's running a 12 core Mac Pro.
  23. howm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2015
    All i'm doing besides running torrent software is just browsing, you might call it heavy browsing maybe, its 20-30 tabs sometimes.

    By the way you can see specs of PC at work in the original post.

    I'm very sorry I was so frustrated when writing all that here(still am), I don't see why such specs would be incapable of running that software. For example at the moment of writing this post, there is still typing LAG using safari and activity monitor looks like this:


    why the typing LAG?

    Running Safari (4 tabs), Deluge and activity monitor.

    Thanks for all the replies guys and sorry for looking like a desperate idiot:(
  24. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Try transmission as the torrent client. It's about the lightest weight client for OS X out there. 35% CPU for a client is ridiculously high.
  25. gngan macrumors 68000


    Jan 1, 2009
    It looks like it's the torrents that is affect his MBP's performance. I do think anything more than 10 tabs is abit too much but it's your choice.

    I never have anything more than 10 because it's just not possible for me to look at those tabs at the same time. For work? Maybe ... when I have to refer to each tab.

    If you look at the Activity Monitor... the more tab you have...the higher % for CPU usage.

    I can certainly conclude that your MBP is not faulty... it's your usage that's affecting it.

    If you need more power than maybe you need a custom build PC or Mac Pro.

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