Macbook Pro maintenance

01ds650

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 31, 2011
36
1
Device: 2011 Macbook Pro

Hi. I've had my MBP for a little over a year now. Lately it seems to be getting slower, something I was told Macs don't do? Anyway I don't do any type of upkeep on it and I'm wondering if I should?

What (if any) are the utilities like windows disk cleanup & defrag etc should I be running?

Any other advice?

Thanks guys
 

playsontheleft

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2012
126
0
Who told you that Macs can't slow down? Over time, OS X, like much software, is likely to start showing slight issues and inconsistencies with speed and behaviour unless it's maintained very well. They're certainly smaller than on PCs, in my experience, but I feel like they're there.

There's nothing that breathes new life into a computer like a clean install of the OS. If you're really dissatisfied with the machine's performance then, aside from unlikely hardware failures, a new OS will have it running like it did on day one. Aside from that, Onyx is a powerful little utility for general maintenance and housekeeping. While not all of its features will speed up your computer, it's likely that it'll help make some difference. If you're willing to fork out money and time, getting a Solid State Drive installed will make the whole system feel far snappier. It never hurts to use Disk Utility to repair permissions and verify that the hard drive is working properly too. Although these are also unlikely to increase speed, it's good practice to ensure that your Mac is healthy.

On defragmentation - you're unlikely to need it. The majority of files in OS X are defragmented automatically and the larger ones that aren't are likely to be used less so shouldn't contribute much to general sluggishness. If you're using an SSD then fragmentation is never an issue regardless.
 
Last edited:

kemo

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2008
735
110
ProtonVPN
Just try to not install plenty of new apps every week and from time to time run Onyx...lets say twice a month or so...

I have same set of Apps for couple of years and comaperd to new (clean) onsrpallation there is no difference in speed. On the other hand I have a friend of mine who has plenty new apps installed just to test them out and then just removes them from Application folder. Also hes keeping a lot of photos and files on the desktop...and his mac is behaving noticeably slow compared to mine (same config).

And I really recommend an SSD to your machine as well as enough RAM!:)
 

01ds650

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 31, 2011
36
1
Thanks guys.

The guy at Apple told me it wouldn't slow down.

I wouldn't say it's slow. But it's getting slower when doing things like imovie, idvd or lots of Chrome tabs open.

I have the stock 4gbs of ram. I've been thinking of upgrading to 8gb if I find a good deal on a reliable brand. Is it as easy to install as it is on a PC?

As far as an SSD. I'm not sure yet. I'm still on the fence about just getting the new MBP Retina. Just hate spending that much to get the 512. I mean with tax its like 3K. damn.

----------

Kemo,

what is the best way to remove old apps & pics from the Mac? I don't have many apps, but I do have alot of pics. By best I mean, the way which roots them out out totally the best without leaving any traces they existed. Or as few as possible anyway.

Also, as far as doing a fresh OS install (I'm not that frustrated yet). If I just put it back on from my latest time machine backup won't it work exactly the same as it would have anyway?
 

Icy1007

macrumors 65816
Feb 26, 2011
1,041
63
Cleveland, OH
Just delete any pics you don't want. Pictures can't leave anything behind when you delete them.

Moving an app to the trash is sufficient for most apps you want to delete.
 

Sital

macrumors 68000
May 31, 2012
1,848
345
New England
May sound stupid, but when was the last time you restarted your MBP instead of just putting it to sleep? That can help sometimes. Also, have you tried repairing permissions?

You can see your RAM usage by going to Activity Monitor and near the bottom click on System Memory and see what your "Page outs" are after normal use. I think the general rule of thumb is if your page outs are approaching 1 GB you could benefit from a RAM upgrade. BTW, I just upgraded the RAM in my MBP and it is about as easy as it gets. It took longer to take the bottom cover off than it did to actually swap out the RAM.

And SSD's are nice. :)
 

FastEddiebags

macrumors 6502
Jun 1, 2012
336
1
NJ
Thanks guys.

The guy at Apple told me it wouldn't slow down.

I wouldn't say it's slow. But it's getting slower when doing things like imovie, idvd or lots of Chrome tabs open.

I have the stock 4gbs of ram. I've been thinking of upgrading to 8gb if I find a good deal on a reliable brand. Is it as easy to install as it is on a PC?

As far as an SSD. I'm not sure yet. I'm still on the fence about just getting the new MBP Retina. Just hate spending that much to get the 512. I mean with tax its like 3K. damn.

----------
Ram brand doesn't matter... Also have you ever thought about upgrading your current hd to an SSD yourself. Its like 350-500 depending on brand. Very easy to do especially if you do it at the same time as your ram upgrade.
 

01ds650

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 31, 2011
36
1
Thanks guys,

It would appear I need more RAM. I've never opened up the back. On my 2011 MBP 15. How much RAM can I add? I'm at the stock 4gb now. Is it one 4gb stick or 2 2gb sticks? I guess I need to know can I order one 4gb stick and have a slot in addition to the stock 4gb for it, or do I need to order one 8gb stick since theres only one slot?

The SSD deal.... I'm not sure still. $300 could be used towards the new MBP Retina. I'll have to think about that yet.
 

hallux

macrumors 68030
Apr 25, 2012
2,781
489
Most likely it's two 2GB sticks. To find out, go to the :apple: menu, then click About this Mac. then click More Information then System Report. In the memory section you'll see what the configuration is.
 

ahdickter

macrumors 6502
Jun 12, 2011
293
0
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Thanks guys,

It would appear I need more RAM. I've never opened up the back. On my 2011 MBP 15. How much RAM can I add? I'm at the stock 4gb now. Is it one 4gb stick or 2 2gb sticks? I guess I need to know can I order one 4gb stick and have a slot in addition to the stock 4gb for it, or do I need to order one 8gb stick since theres only one slot?
There are 2 slots for RAM in the 2011 MacBook Pro. You can install a maximum of 16GB, but rarely does anyone need that much. I would recommend 8GB of RAM, in the form of two 4GB sticks. You can buy an 8GB kit for around $40. You will definitely see an improvement.

On another note, defragmenting is important. I know that OS X automatically defrags files under 20MB but that often isn't enough. Try to find a 3rd party disk defragmenter that can also improve performance. Good luck!
 

01ds650

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 31, 2011
36
1
Ok thanks. Still on the fence about 8 vs 16. I see 16 is less than $90 and that's pretty tempting.

As far as defrag, any programs out there anyone recommends?
 

Aodhan

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2012
148
0
Ok thanks. Still on the fence about 8 vs 16. I see 16 is less than $90 and that's pretty tempting.

As far as defrag, any programs out there anyone recommends?
I use iDefrag. It's reasonably priced and works very well. But God is it slow. Start defragging when you go to bed and it'll be done by the time you wake up, probably.
 

01ds650

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 31, 2011
36
1
I ended up buying the 16gb Corsair Ram through Amazon for $87. I understand Corsair to be a quality brand??? Also, why do some posts say the 2011 MBP only accepts up to 8gb, yet others say up to 16gb? Where's the disconnect?

Thanks
 

w00t951

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2009
1,831
4
Pittsburgh, PA
I use Drive Genius, but I got it with the MacUpdate 2012 bundle for $40, along with a ton of other software.

Check out my post here. Defragmentation really works, and while HFS's auto defrag kind of works, it doesn't tackle files larger than 20MB, and it doesn't seem to move files around to make a contiguous block - which is what you want.

Drive Genius works reasonably fast, but skip the disk check - it takes almost a day. The actual defragging takes 5-10 minutes for me, maybe 30 minutes the first time.
 

sweetbrat

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2009
1,443
1
Redford, MI
I ended up buying the 16gb Corsair Ram through Amazon for $87. I understand Corsair to be a quality brand??? Also, why do some posts say the 2011 MBP only accepts up to 8gb, yet others say up to 16gb? Where's the disconnect?

Thanks
Apple's official information says 8GB. In reality it can take 16GB. It's not all that unusual for the manufacturer to list the "supported RAM" as a lower number than what the machine can actually accept. And Corsair memory is fine.
 

01ds650

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 31, 2011
36
1
Screen Shot 2012-08-17 at 9.03.30 PM.png


Latest numbers after upgrade. It feels quicker, but not as quick as I'd hoped for that much RAM.
 

takeshi74

macrumors 601
Feb 9, 2011
4,972
68
It helps to determine what's causing your slowdown first and then address that rather than just tossing solutions at your problem and hoping that you can fix it that way.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,419
758
Device: 2011 Macbook Pro

Hi. I've had my MBP for a little over a year now. Lately it seems to be getting slower, something I was told Macs don't do? Anyway I don't do any type of upkeep on it and I'm wondering if I should?

What (if any) are the utilities like windows disk cleanup & defrag etc should I be running?
You don't need "cleaner" or "maintenance" apps to keep your Mac running well, and some of these apps can do more harm than good. Some remove files/folders or unused languages or architectures, which does nothing more than free up some drive space, with the risk of deleting something important in the process.

These apps will not make your Mac run faster or more efficiently, since having stuff stored on a drive does not impact performance, unless you're running out of drive space. Some of these apps delete caches, which can hurt performance, rather than help it, since more system resources are used and performance suffers while each cache is being rebuilt.

Many of these tasks should only be done selectively to troubleshoot specific problems, not en masse as routine maintenance.

Mac OS X does a good job of taking care of itself, without the need for 3rd party software. Among other things, it has its own maintenance scripts that run silently in the background on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, without user intervention.


With very few exceptions, you don't need to defrag on Mac OS X, except possibly when partitioning a drive.

About disk optimization with Mac OS X
You probably won't need to optimize at all if you use Mac OS X.
To determine if you can benefit from more RAM, launch Activity Monitor and click the System Memory tab at the bottom to check your page outs. Page outs are cumulative since your last restart, so the best way to check is to restart your computer and track page outs under your normal workload (the apps, browser pages and documents you normally would have open). If your page outs are significant (say 1GB or more) under normal use, you may benefit from more RAM. If your page outs are zero or very low during normal use, you probably won't see any performance improvement from adding RAM.

Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor

If you're having performance issues, this may help:
 

hallux

macrumors 68030
Apr 25, 2012
2,781
489
View attachment 353495


Latest numbers after upgrade. It feels quicker, but not as quick as I'd hoped for that much RAM.
I agree, mine "feels" faster after the 16 GB. The big test for me was when I loaded up my VirtualBox VM (XP) and there was no perceptible difference in performance. Could I have gotten less than 16 GB? Sure, was it worthwhile to get only 8 GB? Not when one considers that there's a good chance I'd want to max out at some point. For what this kit cost, I couldn't see not going to 16 GB at this time.
 

FastEddiebags

macrumors 6502
Jun 1, 2012
336
1
NJ
View attachment 353495


Latest numbers after upgrade. It feels quicker, but not as quick as I'd hoped for that much RAM.
Adding ram will only make it quicker up to the point of the amount of ram you needed. Since you started with 4gb and probably needed 6-7, there is no difference between 8 or 16gb of ram. The added benefit of 16gb of Ram is that if you ever decide to have 20 tabs of chrome open, your computer will not slow down.
If you want a real speed boost, get a SSD.
 

01ds650

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 31, 2011
36
1
Hallux,
I agree the cost now of the 16gb is to low not to buy. I would have went to 8gb but for the price why not max it out.

I notice some thing like my email opens faster, photoshop opens faster at times. It's not a waste, just not the total answer. I timed the start up & gained maybe 10-12 seconds there too.

While I like my Mac I'm always not as impressed as I should be at times. The guys at the Apple suggest things like more RAM & defragging Macs. But in the end I feel like ehhh, better but not fantastic. Like when I bought it I was told 4gb was plenty for a Mac, they don't get slower etc. This from Apple themselves.

I guess I expected too much.
 
Last edited: