New Quad Core Macbook Pro seems "not so fast"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lazerbrains, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. lazerbrains macrumors regular

    lazerbrains

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    #1
    I just recently upgrade to an Early 2011 Macbook Pro, with a 2.0 Ghz Quad Core Intel i7 "SandyBridge" processor. It came with 4 GB of RAM, but I quickly upgraded that to 8GB, and have been dying to really see this thing perform. This replaced my old Core2Duo 2.8 Ghz. I expected to see a huge performance increase, and sadly, I have not.

    I run iStat Menus, and have for quite some time. On my old system, I could see my system spike when rendering video, or exporting large flash movies. I always keep a close eye on what is using up CPU power.

    WHen I switched to my new machine, I expected to be able to do more, faster. However, in real world use, it doesn't seem any faster. Actually it almost seems to lag in comparison to my old 2.8 Ghz dual core. However, iStat menus, never shows my CPU usage ever moving above 50%. Even when I am running processor intensive stuff. It never seems to get up and go. When I checked "Activity Monitor", same story. You never see those CPU monitors ever jump above 50%. Maybe one core will spike above 50% briefly, but other than that, they all stay relatively low. Why is this? It seems like this machine just never gets up to speed.

    Is there anyway to run benchmark software to see if this machine is performing as it should?

    I bought this as a refurbished system from Apple. Could that have anything to do with it? Please help! i need some guidance.
     
  2. baaadboy, Oct 19, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011

    baaadboy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    #2
    Well, the main bottleneck in today's computers(not just laptops) is the hard drive. Upgrade to SSD and you will most certainly see a performance boost.

    And you are not seeing CPU jump above 50, because you are not using enough CPU cycles to make it go over 50%. Try some CPU intensive programs, like write a multithreaded java program with infinite loops and you will most certainly see 100% utilization.
     
  3. lazerbrains thread starter macrumors regular

    lazerbrains

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    #3
    Is there any benchmarking software, or diagnostic software that can show me where my system is lagging? Or how it compares to other Macbook Pros like it?
     
  4. baaadboy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    #5
    You can try cinebench. Then you can compare the results with the results from Anandtech. But I seriously doubt there's anything wrong with your mac. I also own 15 inch MBP and I almost never see CPU go over 50% utilization
     
  5. lazerbrains thread starter macrumors regular

    lazerbrains

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    #6
    Thank you both! I will check those benchmarks. That is exactly what I was looking for!! Guess I may need to start looking for a new hard drive.
     
  6. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #7
    You didn't post anything about what you're doing… Are you doing video encoding? Exporting photos?

    Your computer won't be significantly faster booting up, web browsing, etc.
     
  7. IGotBush macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    #8
    Sad truth but I feel the speed from SSD's do not outweigh the amount of memory on a hard disk...I mean unless you got the money upwards to $400 for 256 gb is so expensive and its not a lot of room..I'm one of the few people I know that still use an Ipod Classic I have a full 150gigs on that sucker...if I didn't have my home made rig with three hard disks I'd be ****ed
     
  8. TheRdungeon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    #9
    I own a 2.2 and can confirm it goes up to 750% on some occasions, because it has 8 threads. I've had multiple applications use it to that extent and it is MILES faster than the 2.4ghz c2d it replaced. Give geekbench a go definitely and tell us what the reading is. 32bit is fine
     
  9. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #10
    Have you used a computer with a solid state drive for more than a few days? It seems from your comment that you have not. A solid state drive is the most noticeable computer upgrade that you can make, it is something that you will notice every time you open a file or an application or start your computer.
     
  10. lazerbrains thread starter macrumors regular

    lazerbrains

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    #11
    I am doing a lot of Motion Design using After Effects, Flash, Final Cut Pro, and even some 3D. I was using a 13 inch Macbook Pro at work for a bit, and I was Maxing out that processor regularly. It was showing 90% usage on the CPU in Activity monitor very regularly. I am just surprised doing the same things with this newer 15 inch Quad Core, aren't showing any significant power increase, and the CPUs are sitting idle a lot. Seems like they should be working harder, and things should be rendering quicker.

    ----------

    I have not. Is it that noticable?
     
  11. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #12
    To the first part of your post, CPUs have multiple cores, some programs are coded in such a way to take advantage of multiple cores, some are not. If you see 50% of the CPU being used in Activity monitor that means that a program is only using two of the four cores that your computer has. It is not that your Mac is slower or not as powerful, it is that the program is not coded in such a way to take advantage of the quad core CPU.

    To the second part of your post, yes, it is tremendously noticeable. Take a look at this to see the real world benefits of a SSD.
     
  12. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #13
    What is your Geekbench score? It should be between 8700-8800, according to this. Unless it's drastically lower than what it should be, your computer is fine.
     
  13. lazerbrains thread starter macrumors regular

    lazerbrains

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    #14
    Mine is 8408 is 32 bit mode. So it is probably right in that range in 64 bit mode. Plus it has the bottom of the barrel 5400RPM drive in it. From the example shown above, hard drive speed makes a huge difference. I might have to upgrade to at least a 7200 RPM. As, I would love to get an SSD, but the cost vs size is holding me back from that right now. Would a 7200 RPM upgrade give me a decent speed boost?
     
  14. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #15
    8400 is on the low side, those numbers were from 32-bit mode. The best thing you can do now is upgrade from your 5,400rpm HDD to an SSD, that way everything will run quicker with one simple upgrade. Not worth it IMO to go to 7,200rpm, you won't see much of a difference and likely no difference whatsoever with rendering tasks.
     
  15. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #16
    The 7200 RPM hard drive would provide a small improvement, although most likely would not be noticeable in day to day tasks. Do you use the Superdrive in the computer? If you don't, you could get an optibay which would allow you to replace the Superdrive with your current hard drive and place the SSD in the hard drive spot. You could put your OS and applications on the SSD and any media or large projects on the hard drive, that way you get the best of both worlds. And you could get an external DVD burner for the cases where you do need the ability to use DVDs or CDs.
     
  16. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    #17
    pffft

    A nice 7200rpm drive (see > Scorpio Black) is probably the best bang for buck upgrade you can get at the moment. You can always swap out for an SSD when they get cheaper later.
     
  17. baaadboy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    #18
    Even if ssds get cheaper, they will not be as cheap as $50 for 1tb anytime soon. And by soon I mean at least good 6-8 years. Is it worth waiting that much? Probably no.
    Back to the point, If you really need ssd, just buy 128gb for $200 and put your original 500gb hard drive into optibay.
     
  18. TheRdungeon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    #19
    Do a SSD in primary and move your current HDD to the optibay. Best solution for MBPs and make the most of it because I doubt the same thing will be available when they change the chassis at some point
     
  19. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #20
    1. Get around 500 songs in your iTunes library
    2. Get X Lossless Decoder
    3. Set setting to use 16 threads
    4. Convert all 500 songs to MP4 HE-AAC
    5. [​IMG]

    Or...
    1. Download Big Buck Bunny 1080p MKV
    2. Download Handbrake
    3. Let Handbrake convert the MKV file to the Apple TV 2 preset
    4. [​IMG]
     
  20. IGotBush macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    #21

    Where in my post did I say it wasn't a noticeable upgrade? I stated my opinion on SSDs and sorry shaving 30 seconds off of my boot up or having programs open faster doesn't mean **** to me when I never have to close them b/c my computer doesn't run slow with everything open, and the only time my computer restarts if for updates when I'm asleep.

    If the price:Gb was better I'd be the first one to buy an SSD and I'd preach for everyone to get them but they're simply too expensive right now. Buy a 120gb SSD for near $300...Ok if the person plays WoW thats an easy 50+gb (and if constantly grows from patches) right there not counting the OS, then their media. Not left with a lot of room. Go with what your needs are if you need the faster boot up and load time get the SSD if not don't.
     
  21. Prodo123, Oct 20, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011

    Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #22
    You seem to be missing the point.
    SSDs speed up read/write, and that's about it. Nothing more. SSDs have no effect whatsoever on CPU-intensive tasks. Sure, your applications open faster and files save quicker, but there is no practicality in putting a SSD into a heavy-CPU-workload machine.

    Which means, if you put a SSD into for example a gaming computer, you will not see as much of a performance boost as what you would get from a 0.1Ghz boost in CPU clock speed. Making a lot of videos? Forget SSDs, you'll need improvements on RAM, hard drive space and encoding time, not read/write speeds.

    @OP, take it to a Genius Bar. Although an SSD will immensely help with small tasks like casual browsing, if you're getting slow encoding speeds then it's definitely a CPU problem.
     
  22. heisenberg123 macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    #23
    lol even though i dont understand your post that made me laugh
     
  23. lazerbrains thread starter macrumors regular

    lazerbrains

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    #24
    Since I do need a considerable amount of space on my hard drive, and I don't have $500 - $1000 to spend on an SSD, I think I will do the only reasonably priced solution. Get a good sized 7200 RPM drive, for under $100. Thanks everyone for the input, and wealth of information. I think under my circumstances this will be the best solution for me right now.
     
  24. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #25
    My advice would be to get a Samsung Spinpoint. Although it is a 5,400RPM drive, its sheer density and capacity (1TB!) actually speeds the drive up to 7,200RPM speeds.

    This will not solve the problem of a slow or malfunctioning CPU. Taking it to a Genius Bar is your best bet.
     

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