Late 2009 MB slow on 10.10...bad install or just my lappy showing its age?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mozillameister, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. mozillameister, Dec 19, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014

    mozillameister macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2014

    Let me start by saying that I'm very cheap and hate throwing good tech away...

    Own a 2009 Macbook (the old plastic unibody...think its the last one) running a 2.26ghz C2D and Nvidia 8400gs (yeah that's a bit old...) with 4gb RAM. Battery's about 45% strength from when I bought it (was practically restored to new 2 years in via warranty).

    I've been using it as my primary laptop since. Its about 5 years old now. Its been dropped, bruised, and just awesome in its durability.

    However, ever since upgrading to 10.10, its been slower at everything. Notice that my CPU usage jumps dramatically now when doing everything. Even Chrome seems to task it (you can see it chug when scrolling up and down). Gets super hot, too. Didn't do that before in Mavericks. Was pretty fast for everything besides compiling in Xcode, which I assumed was due to the slow HD than processing power. Multitasking is a slow PITA, but RAM doesn't seem to be an issue (its all in the green).

    My question is, do you think its a bad install? Will upping the RAM help? Or is my Macbook just too old for Yosemite? If it is too old, will a Macbook Air 11.6" be a good enough replacement? I like the portability and battery life to make it worthwhile, but need to make sure the processing bump will solve everything.

    Note: I primarily use my laptop for HTML coding in Textwrangler, web surfing, Excel, app coding in XCODE, editing videos for Youtube on iMovie, and light Photoshop (sometimes GIMP) work.
  2. poiihy macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2014
    A fresh install may make it a little zippier. If that doesnt help then you can just downgrade to Mavericks. It is still good and well supported.

    If you can use Lion, then try that. Lion is currently the last supported release, and it should be faster than Mavericks.
  3. Count Blah, Dec 19, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014

    Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    I'd second this. I have a 2008 C2D iMac(7200 RPM DRIVE) and a 2008 C2D MBP(SSD drive), both running on Mavericks, and I'm not thinking of upgrading them any time soon. Both run pretty smoothly. No 10.10 for me on those two machines.
  4. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2009
    I find any machine using a mechanical hard drive feels like it is "broken." If your machine is "broken" in the same way, get one of those 256 GB Crucial MX100 for $100 off newegg before they change their mind on price and it'll blaze.
  5. mozillameister, Dec 26, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2014

    mozillameister thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2014
    Know this thread is dead, but wanted to add to it in case it gets searched by someone looking for the same solution.

    Redid my Macbook and went back to 10.6.8. Although much faster, it was still pretty slow when opening new programs (not to mention no longer supported).

    Bought a 128GB SSD for $60 - A basic Sandisk SSD that's nowhere near the fastest. Since the Macbook is SATAII, it cannot even reach the max Read/Write speeds for the drive regardless, so a good but reliable SSD should suffice.

    Product here:

    Placed it in the computer, installed TRIM (they have it on 10.10 now, though it disables the security features enabled by Apple), and viola. The Macbook is just as fast as any new Macbook bought today. Not to mention it feels a bit lighter, and battery life has improved pretty nicely as well. My CPU is no longer constrained into retrieving applications from a slow and old Hard Disk Drive, and can now work solely on running applications.

    Give a rundown of load times:
    Startup = 10sec
    Compiling on Xcode = 12 sec (vs several minutes)
    Safari = 4 sec
    Photoshop = 8 sec...same for Dreamweaver

    The only time I've noticed a CPU issue is loading heavy Flash content (NBC Sports streaming). There's a few second stutter and high CPU load, but that's the only time I've encountered a CPU bottleneck. Fact is, unless you video edit, CPU is never going to be a real issue.

    Unless you are a speed nazi, there's no way these speeds are unreasonable. The CPU may be old, but its in no way limiting the computer in any reasonable fashion.

    So, if your Macbook is aging, really consider an SSD before throwing it away for a 'newer' machine. The only new additions to newer MacBooks are screens, weight, and processor bump. Screen is relatively overrated, and processors haven't advanced enough to warrant a new laptop purchase.

    Macs are now insanely expensive considering many new Windows PC priced at the $400 range include similar specs (I know this since I work for an Ecommerce site coding emails, and we have regular promotions for i5 laptops from Asus and HP) as Macbook Air/Pro, which is the main culprit in why performance isn't substantially better for a $1000+ laptop vs. a 5 year old $800 laptop. Macs always held a premium, but it used to be small considering the specs and internals. Seems largely disproportional to the tech nowadays.

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