new MBP slower than 3 y/o iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by 2ms, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. 2ms macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2002
    Why does my new 2.4GHz 15" MBP feel much more sluggish than my nearly 3 year old 2.16Ghz 20" iMac? It's got way more powerful video hardware (and way larger amount of video memory). It has a faster processor. It has a faster FSB with DDR3 instead of DDR2. The only thing my iMac has over my MBP is 3GB ram (2x2GB pair, but the generation of chipset is only able to use 3GB) as opposed to 2GB and possibly a faster hd (both are the ones they came with, but my MBP is 5400rpm and maybe the iMac's is 7200rpm). They even have the same size hds.

    Could 1 GB ram really be making all this difference? Could having a 5400rpm hd rather than 7200 rpm be the explanation?

    I was expecting my new Mac to be noticably FASTER than my old one, not SLOWER. They're both running Leopard, by the way, and the MBP feels faster when in Windows in the same manner that it feels faster in OS X.
  2. surflordca macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Bingo, I think you hit it. RAM. You would notice a slow down with less RAM. It depends on the apps you are loading if you would notice a slow down on the HDD speed but must likely to two put together is your problem. As far as the CPU goes from 2.16 Ghz to 2.4 you won't see a difference.
  3. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    i think it woud be the speed of the hard drive 5400 rpm vs 7200 rpm and the fact that its a 2.5" drive which usually has a slower thruput than a 3.5" drive. an increase in the speed of the hard drive increases responsiveness while you will only notice a difference in speed with RAM until you run out and need more.
  4. i.shaun macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2008
    the HDD could also account for the slowness.

    I recently changed the HDD in my intel iMac to a 1TB, and I've noticed the mac is faster than ever. This only has 1GB of RAM but that's fine for most things I do.

    Of course my fun will eventually run out :(

    I still get a hardware test error code and apple support can only say it means either the HDD or the Fan. It could be a screwed sensor, a screwed fan (in which case the HDD is in danger), or a problem in the logic board. I'm able to replace the HDD, but there is no way I can fix a logic board or other more serious issue.
  5. AppleMatt macrumors 68000


    Mar 17, 2003
    Assuming there isn't a software issue, or failing hardware, I think it is a combination of both:

    - Hard-drives are the only mechanical thing inside a computer, and consequently are the bottle-neck, especially laptop hard-drives. Bear in mind everything you see and use is lifted from the hard-drive, so you'll really notice the benefits of a faster one.
    - As you've little RAM, you might find the computer is paging out a lot. If it's paging from a slow hard-drive, you're doubling your pain.

    So upgrading either, or both, would help. I'd probably start with the RAM as it's cheaper and easier. If that doesn't work, consider the hard-drive. To check if it's paging a lot, use Activity Monitor. If you don't know how to check this post back and I or someone else will show you.


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