MacBook Pro really lagging

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tomf, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. tomf macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2009

    i have a mbp 13" late 2011
    OSX 10.8.5
    2.4 ghz intel core i5
    4gb ram

    Ive had it a few years now, but for the last couple of years its been terribly slow.
    Its got to the point now where i just can't put up with how buggy and slow it is.

    for example,
    * When i click icons in the dic, like mail, safari, iTunes, etc, the icon will bounce in the doc about 30 times before the program opens.
    * When i click the finder window, i always get the spinning ball, if i click on folders or files, the spinning ball comes on, then i get to see the contents of the folder. It's just ridiculous.

    I am convinced apple put bugs in updates to slow down older computers to force you to upgrade. That's just my opinion though.

    I have a Mac Pro in the studio and that thing is lightening quick, as soon as i click dock icons, they open. Don't get me wrong, its really well spec'd, but still, my mbp shouldn't be this bad.

    What i want to know is how can i get it so it responds fast and normal again?

    i don't expect it to be like my mac pro which has loads of ram etc, i just want it to respond well again.

    thanks for any help and advice

  2. OneAnswer macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2014
    It sounds like the HDD is the culprit.

    Ever thought about replacing the HDD with an SSD?
  3. tomf thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2009
    ah ok. i haven't actually thought about that.

    i have done a complete fresh install of the operating system, formatted the hdd and reinstalled everything, it didn't really fix anything though.

    I would love a SSD in this mbp, i need 750gb minimum though, is that possible with this mbp model?

  4. OneAnswer macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2014

    You can also look into OPTIBAY solutions, where your SSD sits in the place of the disc drive and your HDD stays where it is and can be used for storage.
  5. tomf thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2009
    Excellent. I'd like to do that.

    Is there anything to bare in mind about buying a ssd for this model mbp? Like is it tough to install etc?
  6. SD-B macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009
    I have the same model as you and it got too bogged down, just like yours.

    I havnet downloaded Yosemite on to it as I have read that it bogs down even further but I have been advised by everyone here to install an SSD and that that will apparently make more of a difference than upgrading ram will.

    I haven't done it yet for i did buy a new 27" retina iMac BUT suffice to say, the MBP you and I have is good for another 3 years or so with the right upgrade so I am doing mine right after this weekend, after the holidays finally end.

    I haven't looked into it yet to see if i can do it, but i doubt i can and just assume i will have to pay someone to do it but at the very least, its worth it to speed it right up.

    However, I bought mine on Amazon during the Boxing Day week specials.
    I bet you can still find them on sale.
    Mine, the Crucial SSD drive i got was originally $220 but I got it for $85

    I have to run out right now but if you do a search on my nick back 3 weeks or so, i did start a thread about the SSD drive as i was about to buy it and had 4 mins to do so before losing it so I wanted to see if anyone could verify for me that it was the right one to buy and they did

    if you looked back and found that, it would likely lead you to a potential sale price on one like i got, hopefully

    ( oops, mine won't be 750gb though as i no longer use that as my main mac)


    I looked and there was my thread and here was my link to Amazon but I just realized that its AMAZON CANADA

    They have bigger drives as well

    You'd have to click on it and then have it click on your countries amazon to see if the deal is still any good for you IF that one, albeit the larger one were still available if it interested you

    if not, ignore :)


    trying to get ut the door but i see it isn't as low priced as it was when i bought it :(
  7. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    It could be the HDD. Get an SSD if it doesn't hurt the bank too much. And also more memory. 4GB is a bit low.
  8. tomf thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2009
    Someone in another forum suggested to reset the SMC. When I looked into it all the symptoms are exactly the same so I think that's something I'm going to try first of all.
    I would really like to get a ssd for it though. I think that could help.
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Its odd that the SMC could be causing this, but heck, it doesn't hurt to try before laying down money on an SSD. (though as you intimated, its a good idea to get anyways).
  10. tomf thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2009
    Well I just tried resetting it and it didn't do anything.
    Am I right in thinking my 13" late 2011 is a MacBook Pro with a battery you shouldn't replace on your own?
    Only checking because it was asking on the SMC reset guide.
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I believe that battery is glued on, so you cannot.

    If you're not getting any messages to replace the battery, then I'd hold off on that.
  12. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    13" cMBPs do not have glued batteries. That said, most of the batteries on eBay/Amazon are junk. It is better to stomach the cost and let Apple do it.
  13. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    I have the same MBP albeit I upgraded the RAM (running Yosemite) right after I bought it. I put in a Crucial MX100 (512 GB) SSD in on 12/29. It took about 20 minutes or a little less. Very easy to do.

    The Mac has been running like a champ ever since. Whether that particular SSD will meet your needs is something you will need to decide. You can always replace the super drive with a HD caddy, and put your current HDD in it or a new HDD.

    Like you, I had done a clean install several times (including apps). I did the resets and I still experienced app bouncing, beach balls and lag. Whether you are experiencing the exact same thing I was, I don't know. I am just throwing it out there, so to speak.

    I would upgrade your RAM, if you are looking to upgrade to a SSD. I think the extra RAM will be of help.
  14. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I second Basic Guy's post above.

    Installing an SSD into a 2011 MacBook Pro (non retina) is "screwdriver easy".
    You can see a well-illustrated guide over at

    One proviso:
    BE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TOOLS (shouting intentional).
    The wrong tools can strip the screws and turn an easy job into a hard one.

    I believe you'll need a Phillips #00 screwdriver and a TORX T-6 driver (check ifixit to be sure).
    You can pick these up at hardware stores or places like Lowe's and Home Depot.

    I'd suggest either a Crucial or Intel drive.
    Keep an eye out over at for good prices.

    One other thing:
    I would STRONGLY SUGGEST that you "prep and test" the drive BEFORE you "do the surgery".
    To do this, you'll need either an external 2.5" enclosure, or perhaps a USB3/SATA docking station. Either will run you about $25.

    Put the drive into the enclosure or dock, connect it to the Mac, initialize it.
    I would suggest that you install a "completely fresh 'n' clean" copy of the OS onto it.
    When done, boot from the external drive by holding the option key until startup manager appears, then select it.
    Then, create a "temporary administrative account" to get it running on its own. (just name it "administrator" and give it an easy password)
    Now, use Migration Assistant to move over your account, apps, data, and settings.
    You might also use software update to get to the latest iteration of the OS.

    Then, reboot once or twice more -- you want to verify that you get "a good boot" each time and that EVERYTHING pretty much looks as you want it to be.

    NOW it's time to swap the drives around.

    Once this is done, and you've got the MacBook up and running again with the SSD, I'd suggest you re-initialize the old drive.
    Then use CarbonCopyCloner to clone the contents of the SSD to the old drive, and keep it handy as a bootable cloned backup...
  15. tomf thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2009
    Wow great advice. Thanks all.

    Yes it sounds identical to me basic guy.

    Thanks for the detailed walk through fisherman, is it possible to get a 750gb ssd or higher for this model mbp?
  16. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    Getting an SSD at 750gb or higher is fairly expensive. You're looking at upwards of $400. If you're considering doing the optibay thing, all you need is a small SSD (64-128gb) to store the OS and any files you want quick access to. The rest of your files can remain on the HDD. An easier (and slightly cheaper than a 750gb+ SSD) way would be to get a hybrid drive. Seagate (and other brands) has them in 1TB sizes. The OS goes on a small flash chip to make it a little faster, and all of your files are on a standard HDD. But it's all in one case, and it stores everything where it needs to be automatically. My boyfriend got this one (or at least a similar one) for his Thinkpad.

    I'd also upgrade your RAM to 8gb. It's a relatively cheap and easy fix. It will especially help if you upgrade to Yosemite. I'd recommend upgrading. My 09 MBP is on Yosemite with a little sluggishness, so a 2011 should do fine.
  17. tomf thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2009
    Ah great stuff. Thanks. I had no idea about the hybrid drive.
    I think I'd like to get a small'ish ssd for the main drive, then get a new hdd to replace the other.
    As you say, I'll keep the OS and applications on the ssd and things like music and files on the hdd.

    I would upgrade to yosemetie but I use program's that can have problems with it. I heard. It might be ok now, not sure.
  18. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    Just what I did just over a year ago, now have 1TB HDD for media (but it includes a standby bootable partition just in case), and 120GB Crucial SSD for OS and Apps.
  19. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    You're right, I was mixed up with what the OP had - my error :eek:
  20. tomf thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2009
    Hi all,

    Quick question, is it possible to still use my cd drive if I replace the cd drive with a hdd?

    Basically I'm thinking of getting a 960gb SSD for the main drive & a 1tb hdd in place of the cd drive - but I have some things if need to install from CDs.

    Running a MacBook Pro late 2011.

  21. SkimMilk168 macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2014
    You should be able to use the cd drive as an external drive with the correct enclosure.

    And boy, you are looking at quite an amount of storage. 960GB SSD, that's going to cost u upwards of $400. Is that necessary? I'd suggest to get a 256 or 512GB SSD and a 2TB HDD instead.
  22. iPad Retina macrumors 6502a

    iPad Retina

    Jan 6, 2013
    Lol same here
  23. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Like othes suggested, the only possible culprit is the hdd.
    A RAM upgrade will not do you any good.

    Make a fushiondrive with the optibay solution recommended by others.
  24. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Yes, get a Samsung 840 Evo and then you can have that capacity.
  25. tomf thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2009
    Thanks guys, I hear what you're saying skimmilk, it would be cheaper and I'd get more space to get a 512ssd and a 2tb hdd - But - I work with audio a lot, so the laptop is always referencing the drive for audio files, so I figured it would be better to just have ALL files on a ssd.

    I did think about installing all apps and OSX on a small ssd and all audio/samples on the new big hdd - but I don't know, I've not got great faith in hdd now after this one's problems.

    What are the things to look for to make sure I get a fast as possible, good hdd?

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