Macbook Pro running slow/ defrag?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sonsurion, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. sonsurion macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2008
    Hey All,

    I'm a recent switch to Mac, I've been a PC builder for years but as a professional illustrator it was only a matter of time before i heard the Apple Siren Call.

    That being said, I have a late 2008 MBP 2.6Ghz with 4GB RAM, 512Mb GeForce 8600M GT and 200GB 7200rpm HDD- I got it new the day the next generation was announced (at an awesome discount worth jumping at)

    It has steadily been running progressively slower, getting noticeably worse in the last couple weeks despite the fact i haven't really loaded on any new signifigant files. It is used primarily to run Illustrator, Indesign and especially Photoshop (CS3). The biggest noticable difference is when watching any video, which will steadily slow down and become choppy, or when working on the files.

    Being a PC user, my first thought would have been to find a Mac equivalent utility to defragment the harddrive, but was told by a Mac associate that macs do not require defraging, that the OS has a constant-stream refraging directive built in. I'm not sure what to think, being both a PC and Mac enthusiast- it seems like having a feature like that built into OSX 10.5.5 would be appropriate for apple's claims of a cleaner-running OS, but the weekly-defragging PC side of me is skeptical.

    What could be causing this slow down? Is there such a thing as defragmentation in OSX? Any ideas would prove helpful!
  2. mAc-warrior macrumors member


    May 11, 2004
    Don't defrag. Mac OS X understands the HFS+ filesystem better than any 3rd party app and it does a superior job at optimizing file distribution across the drive than anything else. Defragging will often slow down your machine. OS X does this in the background whenever you modify any file. It also runs cleaning scripts at night, or at boot if you shut down or sleep your machine at night. Apps that claim to defrag Mac OS X systems to "speed it up" are a complete waste of your money.

    The type of performance that you describe is not normal for a MBP. Something is going on here. What you can do in this situation is Repair Permissions. Applications --> Utilities --> Disk Utility. Choose your drive on the side, and click the First Aid tab. Then click "Repair Disk Permissions". Should take a few minutes, then see if things improve at all. I assume you've tried simply restarting the machine?

  3. sonsurion thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2008
    Thanks for the advice. I hadn't thought to look for a 3rd party defragger- i don't trust them. I was more curious if OSX had its own utility, or if defragmentation was a part of the normal OS operations. From what you've said, it's pretty clear it's built right in! thanks for that.

    I'll give the repair a try.

    And yeah, I'm used to shutting down the system whenever i don't use it. I'm still not 100% clear on the power usage and memory fill difference between shutting down/sleeping, so i prefer to just shut it down all the way. It starts up in like 5 seconds anyway :)
  4. mAc-warrior macrumors member


    May 11, 2004
    Yep, I guess you could say that defragging is built into OS X. They don't really market it as such but its the same idea to my knowledge at least. It simply optimizes file placement on the drive.(I think that's what defragging does too?)

    Anyway, the permissions repair simply makes sure all the file permissions across the system are right. Incorrect permissions can cause some operations to hang or proceed much slower.

    If that doesn't do the trick... I'm not sure! I can't think of many things that would cause choppy video playback on a brand-new MBP... You could always make sure that you're fully updated to OS X 10.5.6 as it contains new graphics drivers. That's under Software Update in the Apple menu.

    Hope you see some improvements soon! Merry Christmas!

  5. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    Also, make sure your maintenance scripts have actually been running on time. Open up Terminal and type in:

    ls -l /var/log*.out

    and hit enter. You should see something like this:

    -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 24097 Dec 25 06:15 /var/log/daily.out
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 84 Dec 10 18:16 /var/log/monthly.out
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 586 Dec 20 07:38 /var/log/weekly.out

    The time stamps will tell you when the daily, monthly and weekly scripts last ran. If any of them are behind schedule, use the "sudo periodic" command to run them. There's no quotes, just type in those words then the name of each script, ex, if you want to run the weekly and monthly ones:

    sudo periodic monthly weekly
  6. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    If you are uncomfortable with the command line, MainMenu is a nice app to run maintenance such as daily, weekly and monthly among others like the user above explained.
  7. macrem macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2008
    Here we go, suggestions to install unnecessary apps that could further slow things down...

    I don't install any apps that modify or claim to boost OS X and never had such problems. My current uptime is 7 days (had to reboot after 10.5.6 update), there is no performance degradation from longer uptimes. Something else is happening.

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