Is my new quad i7 too slow?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by theromanone, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. theromanone macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2011
    Just bought a brand new macbook pro and just want to do a double check as to if things are supposed to be this slow:

    Case 1) iTunes takes 7-8 seconds to open if I haven't opened it for a while or when I start the computer

    Case 2) Microsoft Office doesn't open half as fast as it does on windows7, god forbid if it auto loads a document I had open when I last exited the program, I even get the spinning rainbow wheel for a second while it "renders" the text of the document before I can scroll down and read the document.

    Case 3) I literally just got the computer yesterday. While I was copying about 60GB of Music/Movies from my external HD via usb to the mbp HD, definitely saw a bit of slowdown on internet browsing, switching applications.

    Case 4) While playing Skyrim with Cider Wrapper (own the game, haven't setup bootcamp yet), if I switch over to safari and try to search google, I can type a word on the "search google" text box and have it take 2-3 seconds for safari to show each letter being typed. In other words, a lag between when I actually input type on the keyboard and then see the words show up on the screen.

    Sorry if I'm whining, don't mean to complain, I just didn't expect this with the specs I have. I will be getting a crucial ssd soon, but my god I didn't think I'd have the slowdown/wait times on a brand new computer? Also have 8GB ram I have yet to install since my cheap screwdriver broke while trying to take out the first screw.

    Are these problems all due to the HDD?

    Specs are:
    2.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7
    4GB RAM
    750GB @ 5400 rpm
    Hi-Res Antiglare Widescreen Display
  2. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    Nope. Normal, your issue is the 4 GB of RAM....even with 8GB my 17" pro takes a few seconds to load Office....Your speed would be increased if you sell the two 2GB sticks and replace them with two 8 GB modules.

    On the whole, I'd say you were in good shape....Office for mac really isn't great at all. I bought it because I had to, and I'm not buying it again!
  3. theromanone thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2011
    would the 16GB make a difference vs the 8GB really?
    These aren't really intensive tasks it would seem.
    Thanks for the quick reply btw.
  4. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    Not with those tasks - but it will cost you $150 more :)
  5. theromanone, Jan 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012

    theromanone thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2011
    That's really the most intensive I'll ever get on the computer..

    Wouldn't that $150 be better used toward a bigger ssd?
  6. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I think not personally....I'd take the memory will notice a difference. Should have also mentioned, iTunes can take a while to load if it hasn't been open for a even does it my iMac with 16GB.
  7. eron macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2008
    You want programs to open fast, get a good SSD. Little to do with the processor.
  8. theromanone, Jan 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2012

    theromanone thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2011
    *While we're on that subject though, what actually helps to have it on the ssd? I heard having music and movies on the ssd doesn't actually make anything faster, that it only helps in having the OS/apps installed on the ssd?

    If so, I could maybe get away with just a 64GB SSD then since I pretty much have all the app's I'll use generally, iwork/office/finalcutpro/skyrim/general usage apps and I'm only at 30GB used.
  9. RKO macrumors 6502


    Oct 21, 2008
    I have an Apple installed SSD and 8GB Ram with the 2.2GHz quad core i7 in my 15" MBP. If I blink I will miss iTunes/Microsoft Office etc opening on my machine so it takes about one second or less to open them. I agree about the SSD making a huge difference. Perhaps you can look forward to upgrading your machine later on.
  10. Akack macrumors 6502a

    Mar 5, 2011
    All normal, but I foresee a SSD in your future :D
  11. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    Case 1) SSD will help

    Case 2) SSD will help. Office is more optimized on Windows though, so a performance gap will remain here

    Case 3) You're not going to do that every day... so who cares. SSD will help though ;)

    Case 4) This is clearly a memory issue. Lion + Skyrim will use up your RAM, so Safari and other Apps that are open get swapped out to the slow HDD. When you switch Apps, there is lag.

    A quad core has nothing to do with how fast applications load at the end of the day. I would get the largest SSD you can afford - there's also a slowdown associated with small SSDs, but everything above 120 GB should be fine. Music and videos will be fine on the HDD.

    Don't waste your money on 16 GB of RAM. For your usage this is clearly not needed. I have yet to see a page-out on my machine since I upgraded to 8 GB, and that is with Safari, Chrome, Xcode, Mathematica and some smaller programs running.
  12. Joos24 macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2011
    Not sure if you've used iTunes on a Mac before as you never actually said that this was your first Mac, but anyways that's very normal. In fact iTunes opens much faster on the Mac OS than in Windows of course.

    You basically answered your own question here when you typed the first word and the last word in this post. Of course Microsoft will make sure Office runs better in Windows. Although, Office 2011 runs very fast on the Mac. You didn't say what version of Office you were running.

    Again since you didn't mention if you were a previous Mac owner but this may have been due to Spotlight indexing. When you get a new Mac, reinstall your OS, install new software or copy over large files such as your music/movie collection Spotlight begins to index your system immediately and it will slow everything down. Did you check to see if Spotlight was indexing?
    Again, this could be due to Spotlight still indexing, it takes quite a while. Unless the game was using every bit of system ram then you shouldn't have issues with typing in Safari.
  13. theromanone thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2011
    This is my first mac, and yes iTunes has always opened slow, this is faster now but not as fast as I thought it would be. It is Office 2011.

    As for spotlight, I did no changes/imports/exports from the computer since one day ago, so indexing should be completely done. I was playing on High and 1600x1000 settings.

    Looks like the ssd is necessary for me. Hopefully the 8gb ram, once I use a screwdriver that doesn't break on the ridiculously strong screws apple uses, will be enough to play games like Skyrim and surf Safari, all while having excel word and itunes loaded in the background.

    Is that too much to ask?
  14. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2010
    only 4GB of RAM and slow HDD = SLOW

    Get a Scorpio Black and 8GB of RAM and you should see an improvement:)
  15. cariocap macrumors member

    Nov 27, 2011
    Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
    You said that you copied about 60GB of Music/Movies to your MBP and spotlight is indexing them.
  16. Skika macrumors 68030

    Mar 11, 2009
    i7 and an HDD only is like a Ferrari on crappy tires.

    Get an SSD
  17. Joos24, Jan 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012

    Joos24 macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2011
    Well firstly, ram will always be your best friend. The more the better......BUT.....there's a few things you need to consider. 4GB ram is just fine to run Lion. Don't let people on this forum tell you otherwise. That's ridiculous. Apple currently sells a Macbook Air with 2GB ram and you can't upgrade it. If it was unusable they wouldn't offer it.
    If you want to add more ram to your MBP that would be a great idea but 16GB??? No. That's overkill unless you're using it for professional studio editing and you make a living doing so.

    Spotlight can take days to fully index and since this is your first Mac you can't just assume that it SHOULD be finished by the next day. You said you transferred 60GB of music/movies. That's a LOT. The system has to index each one of those files. The way to check if Spotlight is still indexing is to look up in the top right corner of the menu bar and check to see if the magnifying glass icon has a glowing dot. Or you can click it and it will show you if Spotlight is indexing.
    If you dumped a bunch of files onto your new Mac Spotlight takes a long time. It's worth the wait because Spotlight is very powerful. Windows Search comes nowhere close to it in power and functionality which is why you may not understand what's going on.

    In regards to an SSD, IMO people are over-emphasizing the need for it. Computers have been getting along just fine ALL THESE PAST YEARS without them. Professionals have been using Final Cut Pro, Avid and musicians with 1000's of music files have been working just fine without an SSD. It's still new technology and it's still expensive.
    Now while I'm not discounting SSD's, you may not get your issue solved by just adding one.

    First checkout if Spotlight is running. In the end you may want to consider wiping your drive and resintalling Lion. Test it out and see how the performance is before you dump all your old files on it.
  18. george-brooks macrumors 6502a


    Oct 31, 2011
    Brooklyn, NY
    8GB of RAM really improved speed in my new i7 system. I wasn't impressed at first either. What is your drive's rotational speed? These guys are right, SSD would really really make it sing but if you've got a 5400 drive in there, ditch it right now and get a 7200 if SSD isn't an option.
  19. theromanone thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2011
    Today is a little bit better but app switching was a bit slow, opening up a new tab.. still I get the feeling that I'm talking about a 3 year old machine and that if I would've just bought, say a vaio z, this would have never happened. When you add in that the os is "optimized", it's just frustrating.

    *Spotlight also seems to be working pretty horrible, I type in trackpad, or ibank, or the artist of a song, NOTHING comes up but the option to look it up on the web. I have every option in the spotlight preferences checked so I know it isn't that.

    *And not that it's life or death, but not sure why system preferences takes 4 seconds to open with only safari (text tabs) iTunes and an empty vlc player.

    *Another annoyance, my laptop shows 99% battery after waking from being on the charger all night.
  20. iforbes, Jan 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012

    iforbes macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2011
    I am a new mac user so take all this with a grain of salt. I have a new 13" 2.8GHz i7 with 8GB ram. iTunes opens in about a second and I have ~20 GB music files.

    Excel, Word, etc open in about a second as well.

    Spotlight changes/updates as I type...if I enter "something" it changes with each letter as I type at a normal pace and completely fills out the 20 "best matches".

    System Preferences opens in less than a second with Mail, Safari, iTunes, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Kindle and Calculator open.

    I would say there is some sort of issue with your machine. Is there an Apple store nearby?
  21. theromanone thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2011
    Yes there is I might go there to get things checked out. Do you have an SSD hard drive or HDD?
  22. iforbes macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2011
    It's a 750GB HDD. SSD sounds nice, but still way too many $$$. ;)
  23. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020


    Oct 1, 2008
    Tampa, FL
    SSD as people have stated, simple as that. You have a 5400RPM drive, SUPER slow.

    Sacrifices will have to be made. Need more storage space? hope you don't care for your optical drive.
  24. iforbes macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2011
    This is simply not true! SSD does not equal spotlight not filling out. It does not equal iTunes taking forever to load. It does not equal System Preferences taking 4+ seconds to load. Are you seriously suggesting that Apple made such a crappy OS that users now need SSD if they want System Preferences to load in less than 4 seconds?!?

    SSD might load faster, but it seems pretty obvious that the OP is having other issues. Computers have been running for years without SSD and it didn't take long to open programs.
  25. theromanone thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2011
    Thanks again for the reply's so far everyone!

    That's my biggest point, as to I didn't see this kind of lag whatsoever in windows opening control panel, switching applications (no matter HOW many apps I had open), opening the standard word processing program (word was almost instant in windows, and I have a core 2 duo 3 year old computer, 4GB ram!)

    Just opened pages for the first time after restarting, took about 6 seconds. Again, I can live, just annoying after spending $3000 .

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