Is my MBP supposed to be this slow?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Disc Golfer, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. Disc Golfer macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #1
    I just got a new laptop for the first time in almost six years! It's a 13" MBP, 2.53 ghz 4 gb ram 250 gb hd refurb, software updated running 10.6.2. Upgrading from the powerbook g4 I expected this thing to be crazy fast however it's impossibly slow, just unusable. So far while typing this post I've gotten the spinning pinwheel thing six times. It seems like I get about five seconds of go, twenty seconds of stop. All I've installed is apple software updates and firefox, and I've copied over 35 gb of music into itunes and I'm in the process of moving 20 gb photos into iphoto. Are these simple file transfers enough to make this computer basically frozen? I was concerned about this so I copied the old iphoto library to my desktop in case my external drive was causing issues, so now I'm importing to iphoto from a local backup; there are no devices of any kind plugged into this laptop but it is still wicked slow, in increasing spurts of pinwheel horribleness. I've been copying files for two hours with no end in sight and it's taken 25 minutes to hammer out these few sentences. What the heck? :confused:
     
  2. Matthew Yohe macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    #2
    Check out Activity Monitor. I assume all of the importing and such is the cause of all of this. Check out your Disk Activity... I would imagine that is pegged.

    Since you didn't import right away you just dropped on your desktop, there is that initial load to dump onto Spotlight. Now that you are also importing all of that into iPhoto, all of that needs to be processed and such, which takes time, and is just constant hard drive activity.

    The 13" only has a 5400 RPM drive, and if you're importing and copying files to that machine, that seems reasonable. All of this importing and such should probably be done overnight.
     
  3. 1rottenapple macrumors 65816

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    Apr 21, 2004
    #3
    that does seem odd. I have the same model with the exact specs and I've personally done backups while having the mbp run on a 24in display plus safari, word, several pds and havent experienced a slow down.

    I'd see what the other poster said. investigate what is going on in the background and go from there.
     
  4. Disc Golfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #4
    I just assumed I'd be able to take a dump on it right off and it'd be ok. iPhoto will go from well over 100% cpu usage briefly then down to below 10% and its rocking the disk usage. Firefox status keeps changing to (Not Responding) and occasionally does a zoom in when I click on its window. This seems bunk but I'm going to observe its behavior over the next day or so. Perhaps I should have gotten the macbook as this computer doesn't seem to jive with my unproness. :(
    Thank you for the responses!
     
  5. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    May 28, 2005
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    Pa
    #5
    I'm not sure about SL, but in Leopard, disk activity absolutely destroys any responsiveness whatsoever in OS X. If you're trying to copy, import, and Spotlight is indexing, then yes, it will be slow... That's sort of how OS X is.
     
  6. akadmon macrumors 68010

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    Aug 30, 2006
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    New England
    #6
    Does sound like Spotlight indexing was the culprit. This should go away after the Spotlight is done with the initial pass. Nothing to worry about. I bet everything running fine by now :)
     
  7. Disc Golfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #7
    Yes! iPhoto finishing overnight seems to have cooled everything down to the quickness. A case of ignorant overestimation apparently. There are still a few things I have to learn about this so I'm glad it's not borked. :) Thanks for the assistance and encouragement all.
     
  8. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

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    Aug 29, 2006
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    Home
    #8
    If probalem comes again, check to make sure you're leaving 30GB of free space on the hard drive. Pretty much all laptops soon will retrospectively be able to be sped up fairly easily with an SSD soon enough, when the prices drop.
     
  9. Disc Golfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #9
    OS X really needs 30 gb free disk space? Wow. I've still got 170 gb free and I've moved over nearly everything I've accumulated in the past five or six years from my backup drive so it shouldn't be an issue. I had previously considered upgrading to the SSD drive in the future, now I'm looking forward to it.
     
  10. seepel macrumors 6502

    seepel

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #10
    I've found that firefox doesn't run so great for me on OS X, I often get the spinning beach ball. So much that I've given up on it and moved over to Chrome.
     
  11. TheWelshBoyo macrumors 6502

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    Dec 14, 2008
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    Cardiff, Wales
    #11
    What!? You want to take a dump on your computer?
    Well... whatever floats your boat :rolleyes:
     
  12. Matthew Yohe macrumors 68020

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    Oct 12, 2006
    #12

    No. 30GB is not necessary. I would just try to keep it at or above how much RAM you currently have.
     
  13. Disc Golfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #13
    Porcelain is so cold this time of year, what can ya do. :eek:
    Word, 30 gb free space not to bog down seems kind of msft'y. I always tried to keep at least one or two gb free on the powerbook, which has one gb ram, and it's always run properly. I'm still trying to come up with a new use for it but it's kind of old and bustedy. It will be a while before I use up the drive space on this mbp as I don't have huge storage requirements, I'm pretty basic as far as computer use goes these days (the source of my initial surprise at the slowdown). I'm thinking about installing windows just to see if anyone still plays tribes though.
     
  14. Disc Golfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #14
    After a couple of days of using this computer I've decided that it's alright for what I'm using it for but the "pro" title is completely misleading. If I were actually trying to get anything done I don't know what I'd do. It seems to pinwheel a lot when I use iphoto, or when I try to play my itunes via the airport express using my iphone. I can't imagine trying to edit video or something with this, or using several programs at once. Notably faster than the powerbook but, :(:apple:
     
  15. akadmon macrumors 68010

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    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #15
    Sounds to me you're not happy with your purchase. Sucks! Just return the MBP, get a used (or refurb) Mac Pro and don't look back. Seriously. Yes, it will cost a little more (especially if you don't already have a good display), but you will thank yourself for it in the long run.
     
  16. Disc Golfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #16
    The problem is that I'm trying to use a laptop here so a mac pro would be completely useless to me as it does not fit in my backpack. I'm reasonably happy with the computer, I like the multi touch feature for example, and the keyboard is nice. I just don't think it's as "pro" as advertised, as I'm nearly as far from a professional user as one can get and have already experienced performance issues with oem software. If I think this configuration is "just alright" as a pretty basic user, after not upgrading for more than half a decade, what would I think if I were using this machine for contemporary professional applications? Do people who need computing power for their jobs avoid the MBP line entirely? If so, why the "pro" tag? I got it because I don't like having to upgrade my hardware annually.
     
  17. Albal macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    #17
    I too was a little dismayed at the speed of my macbook pro. And I too upgraded from a powerbook G4. I managed to scrape together enough cash monies to buy the 15" 2.8 with 4gb or ram and 7200rpm drive. It's speed was ok but things like face recognition in iphoto (on one of the first opens of the app) and 'determining audio playback volume' in itunes caused the beach ball.

    I was slightly disappointed because I was expecting everything to just be instant.

    However, now if I turn on my powerbook everything seems so slow. I think the MBP are good computers and are fast but it is easy to take that speed for granted.

    Maybe your computer needs time to settle in?
     
  18. Disc Golfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #18
    It is interesting to hear that another previous powerbook g4 owner going to an mbp was also dismayed at the speed increase.

    After getting spinning ball randomly while using itunes, iphoto, hulu (not at the same time and not exactly "pro" apps imo) I'm back to the powerbook because the four day old macbook pro no longer boots up. Is the Apple refurb store a total roll of the dice or what? :(
     

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