New Macbook Pro Slow (and other questions)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Hornblower, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. Hornblower macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2006
    As others on this board, I'm also a new Mac user, coming from Windows. I bought a refurbished 1.83ghz Macbook Pro, 512 megs memory, etc. A basic starter system for the most part.

    I have a ton of questions, some of which I've seen in other posts, but I'm still catching up...

    - First off, the system is really slow. Lots of spinning discs, pauses, etc. The dock is slow to pop up at times or slow to scroll through. I figure its probably the 512 megs of memory causing this, but I'm not sure. How can I easily check to see how much memory is being used now? Is there something like Windows Task Manager that I have access to?

    - Should I have gotten an iLife install DVD? The only DVD in the sytem was an OS X one. I don't want to reinstall and lose iLife, one of the nice features of the system.

    - Any good games/showcases for the system? I tried the Halo demo and it chugged along. Call of Duty 2 wouldn't seem to run. Without installing Windows, I'm trying to get a feel for how fast the system is compared to my old desktop.

    - I've already had 4 crashes on the system. Once during a system update, another time with Safari, and the other two I can't remember. It isn't the best start, as I haven't had four crashes on my home Windows PC in the past year. I've seen reference to reinstalling the OS after getting the Macbook Pro? Do I really need to do this?

    - Are there demos for the Apple products, especially Aperature? I am a hobby photographer, and would love to try Aperature (one of the reasons I bought the Macbook Pro).

    - Windows Media Player... I'd rather leave all Windows stuff behind, but some websites have videos that use the player. Is version 9 the latest?

    - Any particular defects I should look for with a refurbished unit?

    - And the dumbest question, since this is a refurbished unit, how can I tell if its the glossy screen or not? Didn't choose when ordering it.

    Thanks. Sorry for the questions, must get tiring for you pros :). I'm so sick of a lot of Windows stuff, and really want to like OS X. I can see some really slick features (like Expose), and want to see more.
  2. winstano macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2005
    iLife should be on the OSX install DVD :)

    It sounds like a re-install of OSX should solve a lot of the problems...

    WMP - There's a program called "Flip4mac" which allows Quicktime to play windows media files, and it's really good, uses QT for all embedded WMP content, it's really handy, and it's free!

    Game wise, I only use my mac for Football manager to be honest ;) Although, I do have several games on my imac.

    Not sure on whether they'd be specific MBP problems, as I'm an avid imac user... The system crashes sound odd to me though, I've had my mac since Christmas, and I've had one crash since I bought it, and I'm using it more or less constantly :)
  3. jadekitty24 macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2005
    The poor section of Connecticut
    Applications>Utilities>Activity monitor.
  4. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    And not yet available for intel based Macs. :( (Hint: google)
  5. dhc macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2006
    EDIT: removed link to flip4mac beta link - apparently not working.
  6. Josias macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2006
    dhc, you might want to warn peope that clicking the link will start a download.

    And to the OP (Hornblower). All your crashes would probably go away by reinstalling OS X. It's really easy. I did it. I also just switched from Windows. You seem to have been very unlucky with your MBP. The slowiness you experience is definiatly due to your low amount of RAM. When you can afford it, buy another 1 GB, for a total of 1.5 GB. It is going to rock your face off!:cool: :D You have a matte screen, since your refurb. is a pre speedbump model, and glossy screens were first offered after the speedbump. You shoudl get a glossy screen on your next laptop though. Teh pwn!:D

    That link for Flip4mac doesn't work. The .dmg file isn't recognised...:confused:

    EDIT: BTW, you won't "lose" iLife '06 by reinstalling OS X.
  7. Hornblower thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2006
    Thanks guys.

    I'm still confused why installing OS X again will work better? Isn't it a pretty default factory install?

    Any other things I should watch out for on the Mac, or problems to look for? Any great apps/utilities that I should immediately grab?
  8. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    - One thing that you might want to do is get more RAM, if that's fiscally possible. Especially if you're running lots of apps concurrently.

    - Halo isn't Intel-native yet, so that's why it runs slow. You could run the Windows version if you wanted, but hey, it's a Mac, right? As for games, some ones I like to play in my spare time include EV Nova and WingNuts 2. Both of these games require you to pay to play the full version, but it's not too bad. $30 for either game, IIRC.

    - No, iLife comes on the OS X install DVDs.

    - Four crashes isn't normal. Even on my Intel Mac I don't have any crashes.

    - Aperture? I'm not sure if there's a limited-time version of it, but it wouldn't hurt to check.

    - WMP 9 is the latest (and IIRC last) Mac version.

    - I have the MacBook, so I definitely have a glossy screen. As for your MBP, here's a quick way to find out:

    Turn the laptop off, then look at it at any extreme angle – say have the MBP facing perpendicular to your view. If it's extremely reflective, then it's glossy. If not, it's matte.

    - Usually, yes, the factory install is fine, but sometimes things get corrupted (or you simply want to free up HDD space) so you reinstall.

    Apps? DeLocalizer is one I like – it allows you to get rid of all the foreign language stuff on your hard disk and save a LOT of space – I got rid of nearly two gigabytes worth of foreign localizations I'd never use.
  9. smwatson macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2005
    London, England
    I would definetely get "Quicksilver". Its basically a better alternative to Spotlight (IMO).

    Also there is a small game called "SuperTux". Its basically Super Mario with a penguin, its free, and a good short game for some laughs.
  10. w_parietti22 macrumors 68020

    Apr 16, 2005
    Seattle, WA
  11. dhc macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2006
    Fair point.

    Should've probably checked this, too before posting..apologies all.:rolleyes:

    best intentions, and all that...
  12. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    As Morpheus might say "Welcome to the real world!"

    It's a fine machine, I have the same bar an extra 512MB RAM and the faster hard drive. If your system is consistently slow even with few apps running, it's probably not the RAM; however if you find for example it takes time to switch to another app, but then it runs fine once the cursor stop spinning it probably is due to insufficient RAM, and the delay is the program being paged in from virtual memory.

    Personally, I'd recommend 1GB RAM for all Macs, particularly Intel Macs.

    It's actually not a great time to look for Mac games - there isn't a huge number of modern Mac games out there and few of those are Universal (also compiled for Intel). Unfortunately, that's forcing most gamers to install Boot Camp and Windows and have a far greater choice.

    That's not normal - if it persists I'd send it back and get a replacement, I believe refurbished machines are covered just as new machines. There's an application in your /Applications/Utilities/ folder called Console. Open that, and see if there's any error messages there that provide any more info.

    That's the latest, and last. Microsoft apparently paid for the company Flip4Mac (mentioned above) to bring out a Quicktime component to play WMV movies from Quicktime Player (or any other app that can play Quicktime movies).

    It works for me sometimes on my MBP, but not for all wmvs. Windows Media Player plays some. VLC plays many of them as well.

    4 crashes since you bought it? ;)

    Some things I've tried to impress PC users:

    - Zoom feature (Command Option +), you might have to turn it on first in System Preferences -> Universal Access.
    - Try using Tab, and Command-Tab when using Expose.
    - Address Book's integration with Bluetooth phones, ability to backup numbers from your SIM card onto your Mac, make & receive calls, send SMS messages etc.
    - There are some very cool 3rd party apps out there, such as Cover Flow and Salling Clicker.

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