Help! My 2011 i7 Macbook Pro is very slow - why?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sdwaltz, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. sdwaltz macrumors 6502a

    Apr 29, 2015
    Greetings, all. First ever post here. A bit long-winded so I apologize in advance.

    I have a 2011 15-inch Macbook Pro 8,2 with a 2.2ghz Core i7, upgraded to 16GB Corsair Vengeance ram and a 1TB Seagate fusion hard drive (99GB free space). Running Yosemite 10.10.3. I'm in the beta program but have not installed the 10.10.4 beta software as of yet, so this is a stable release. In theory, this is still a beast even 4 years later - but as of late, I've been having some issues. If it tells you anything, my ORIGINAL 2006 Macbook Pro with a 32-bit Intel Core Duo (not even a Core 2) and 2GB ram seems to outrun it at times.

    Startup takes between 3-4 minutes, dashboard widgets take between 45 seconds and a minute to display any information, applications take longer than normal to start, and Safari is having major issues. Safari is virtually unusable about 75% of the time. In fact, I had originally written this post in Safari and it became completely unresponsive when trying to post this. This happens often across all webpages. Many pages do not load period, and when they do, they load very slowly. When they do load, it's hit-or-miss as to how responsive they are. I have submitted this post from Chrome, which works much better, but I really do prefer Safari. Internet speed/router connection is not the issue, as I have other wireless devices that work just fine when this happens.

    When performance is suffering, iStat Pro shows a processor load between 5-10%, with 4-6GB of the 16GB of ram being used - so this is obviously not an issue of not having enough processor power or ram, nor did I think it could be but I always check. The computer has been very well taken care of since day one and while it has been used often, it hasn't been used heavily. General use most of the time (web browsing, email, Facetime, word processing, etc). Light photo editing from time to time, and I rarely play games. When I do, it's an older flight simulator that I run on Windows 8.1 through boot camp. Strangely enough, Windows 8.1 runs flawlessly. I occasionally run a virtual machine (Virtualbox) as well. It runs the virtual machine just fine, though the computer does get hot, which is understandable and to be expected - but that brings me to my next point.

    It also has periods with major temperature spikes - between 80 and 90 degrees celsius with no change of load or change of computer positioning, it just shoots up. Normally it hangs out between 40-50 degrees celsius. It's at 61 degrees right now and the only applications I have open are Chrome and a PDF in Preview.

    I do have Kaspersky Antivirus installed, and it's possible it's partly to blame. However, I don't know how big a resource hog Kaspersky is. I know Norton is bad, but I don't know about Kaspersky.

    Other than possibly the Antivirus, does anyone have any idea what could be causing these issues? Is there any maintenance I can/should do, whether it be on the hardware or software side? I'm fairly technologically inclined but I'm at a loss here because I haven't really done anything to my knowledge to cause these issues to happen. Any and all comments are welcome and appreciated.

    Sound off.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    First, don't use Chrome.

    Second, get a proper SSD. OS X almost always never work properly with hybrid drives, because it doesn't see the flash area and the HDD area as two separate drives.

    Third, get rid of Kaspersky.

    I have an early-2011 15" (2.3GHz i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB Samsung 840 Pro, 1GB Radeon 6750M and antiglare display) and it only takes 12 seconds to start up, and app launching is instant. Multitasking is also a breeze.

    Ever since Mavericks, OS X only performs well with SSDs.
  3. nikhsub1 macrumors 68020


    Jun 19, 2007
    mmmm... jessica.'s beer...
    Chrome is fine I use it as my main browser. Your problem is the Seagate POS drive. I have had more seagate drives fail than any other brand, will never use them again. As stated, get a proper SSD and you will have no issues with slowness.
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Use disk utility

    And run the repair disk function... This is the easiest thing to try initially and often sorts out a slow macbook. As the windows side is fine it seems to be a problem with the OSX volume.
  5. sdwaltz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 29, 2015
    Thank you all for the swift replies. I posted the same question on Apple's forums and your suggestions along with theirs seemed to fix the problem about 99%.

    I have removed Kaspersky, which seemed to help a ton immediately. Truth be told, I know antivirus programs don't help Mac users too much, but I run Windows on all my PC's at my office because I'm in the retirement planning/finance field and most of the programs I need to use are coded for Windows only. Due to the nature of my business, and Windows having security problems anyway, Antivirus is crucial and a requirement for compliance regulations. Kaspersky was suggested to me for all my office computers, my subscription was for 10 devices, and I had a few free installs left under the subscription so I figured "aw, what the heck, might as well use them" and installed it on my Mac here at home too. Obviously a mistake because the performance difference is definitely notable.

    For the record, I only use Chrome on my Mac when I want to open a tab that I had open on my office computer (when in Windows, I always use Chrome) or pull something from my history. Otherwise it goes unused because I highly prefer Safari.

    On that note, Safari also seems to be functioning without a hitch now.

    On Apple's forum, one suggestion was to do an SMC reset. I did that too and that seemed to help quite a bit with startup/shutdown times.

    I ran the repair disk function as well, but it reported nothing wrong with the HDD.

    As far as the SSD, as I stated in my original post, my fusion drive is 1TB and is about 85% full - as much as I'd love to have a true SSD, it just wouldn't be cost-effective for me to buy a 1TB SSD. Not cheap. I know I could buy a smaller one and move some of the stuff to an external drive, but a lot of it is music and movies that I'd like to keep on the Mac full-time. That aside, I lead a pretty busy life and don't want to take the time to sift through all of it. If anything, with the prices of larger SSD's being so high, I'd probably just pony up the money for a newer Mac with an SSD and use my current one for data storage.

    Anyway, thank you all for taking the time to respond to my question. It very much helped!

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