Generally my Mac has been slow since I got it. To cut a long story short: I had a 7200RPM hard drive in a MBP, which I sold for a 2010 MacBook Air. I got really used to the MacBook Air's speed, given it has an SSD (that was my first time using an SSD). I then exchanged the Air for the new MBP. Anyway, I put down the sluggishness of my MBP to the fact that I was so used to an SSD before hand. However, I've been monitoring the hard drive read speeds, and when doing hard drive intensive stuff (i.e. booting up a virtual machine or loading Photoshop) the read speeds are on average 5MB/s, peaking 12.5MB/s briefly. Booting up Parallels Desktop literally brings my Mac to a crawl - I've used Parallels for years, and on my old MBP, same setup, while it slowed things down during boot, it never came to a standstill (Safari beachballing, not able to do anything until Parallels has finished booting the VM). This is a stock 5400RPM hard drive. Is this normal read speed? Perhaps Activity Monitor isn't the best way to measure disk performance..