Performance is weak?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by juantoothree4, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. juantoothree4, Mar 27, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014

    juantoothree4 macrumors member

    Mar 27, 2014

    This is frustrating because I consider this 1 day old refurbished Macbook Pro an upgrade from my desktop. I love the notebook, it's very silent and I am enjoying the peace and quiet in my room. This is my first time using the Mac OS, still getting used to. Been searching and reading for info about this new computer of mine. My siblings have had the Macbooks for 3-5 years now, so I know a small part of how to use the OS, but they can't really help me with this topic.

    My old desktop PC has GTX 260 1GB graphics card, 2.7 GHz Dual Core, and only 4 gigs of memory RAM and a couple of simple hard drives. I had an extra 1TB hard drive which was basically full, so I think that doesn't matter.

    This rMBP I have purchased is the February 2013 one, the supposed 255 GB Flash storage, GT650M 1GB video, 8gigs of memory RAM, and 2.4 GHz i7 Intel which I believe is a quad core.

    Coming in to Mac, I knew the OS seemed memory intensive. I don't have a lot of money, I went and purchased what I think was the most bang for the buck, so I got the one with 8gigs of memory, which should be more than enough! I check the activity monitor consistently, I disabled the Spotlight feature, dashboard, and notification centre to free up some RAM space, but I'm still disappointed at what I see with the memory usage. It uses half of my 8gigs all the time, what is causing that?

    I have read that the Macbook Pro uses the memory in some way, that basically all memory must be used, that because you paid for the 8 gig, thus it must be used instead of just sitting and idling. But still, I am experiencing some lag issues. I don't really believe in that type of memory usage anyway.

    I have noticed this intensive memory usage. I noticed whenever I watch YouTube videos not in HD but fullscreen, the video consistently lags, and the sound also, cracks. This is what brought me here. I can't let this past 14 days knowing my noisy, ***** desktop runs better. Even when I am not watching any videos, I notice some random lags just when browsing with Firefox or Chrome. Even when I'm gaming, Counter-Strike Source, on this mac, it lags consistently, it's not smooth.


    The point is that all these processes and applications I'm using, I've been able to do with my old desktop PC, multiply those tabs by 2-3; with a game running in the background (CSS, Dota 2), and iTunes playing. Now I'm pretty sure if I play a 4gig mkv file movie on this mac it will not be smooth as well if this is not going too smooth right now. Sometimes I even run Chrome with those tabs at the same time with FireFox with the same tabs with my desktop, and it doesn't lag.

    I should be able to do all of this with this newer and higher end laptop, for this price especially. What is going on? Is this the norm of this laptop, do I just have to deal with this for the rest of this investment? I'm not willing to do that.

    How can I fix this, is this even fixable? I am planning on installing Windows OS here on this laptop, will running Windows have smoother performance compared to the Mac OS?

    Please don't tell me to just buy a Windows laptop, we all know what they are missing out on. It doesn't matter if I'd like to use Windows on a Macbook Pro, I would buy just the hardware only and install a Windows OS only if it was possible or easy. I would like to stick on this laptop, and I hope I can find some solutions or explanations. I still have 12 days to go for the free return, and I hope I won't have to do that. The Macbook Pro is really a good laptop.

    Can you please help me, thanks!
  2. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Your memory usage is absolutely fine, OS X reports the RAM usage a bit differently from Windows and almost 100% memory utilisation is not necessarily a bad thing.

    Regarding video lag - are you sure you are using latest Flash etc.? Flash is knows to cause problems under OS X. Did you try same videos from Safari? Lag in gaming (especially when you turn the camera around quickly) can be a thing - its combination of issues in OS X drivers and how Steam ports their games. I play most of my games under Windows.
  3. boast macrumors 65816


    Nov 12, 2007
    Return it for another. That is not normal and is probably defective.
  4. juantoothree4, Mar 27, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014

    juantoothree4 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 27, 2014
    Ok, I have tried playing videos on Safari, and it is better, but why is that?

    So is running programs under Windows better than running it under Mac?

    Bottom line, is the OSX basically more performance intensive than Windows?

    Should I really exchange this for another one? It just seems like it's the Mac OS that is draining my performance. Comparing this to my Windows, outdated desktop PC, the old PC is better.
  5. Lunfai macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2010
    I'm surprised no one has picked up on it but I believe you're running Lion. Have you thought about upgrading to Mavericks? It's free and I think it will increase the performance, especially on a first gen 15" Retina MBP.

    Scrap that. Have you tried restoring to default settings?
  6. juantoothree4 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 27, 2014
    No. How do I do that and what will that do for me? I have only changed my settings so that the dashboard, notifications, and spotlight is disabled. It gave me more free RAM memory.

    Should I update my OSX? I'm at Version 10.8.5.
  7. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    Some thoughts...

    o Be sure your OS is fully updated. Run Software Update (in the Apple menu).

    o Chrome is not a terribly highly optimized browser on OS X. You might have better results using a different browser.

    o From what I see in the picture you posted that shows Activity Monitor, your CPU is loafing. Your disk drive might not be, though. If your machine is new, it may be busy indexing everything on the disk. Depending on how much you've stuffed onto the disk, that can take a long while, and it does bog the machine down for the interim.

    o Do you have sufficient disk space? OS X starts to get unhappy with less than about 15% free space on the disk.
  8. Lunfai macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2010
    You can try upgrading to Mavericks. You can do this by going into the Mac App Store and look at top downloads or type in Mavericks. Mavericks has several improvements with system optimization, including a new feature that optimise's ram usage. It will also improve the battery life.
  9. juantoothree4 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 27, 2014
    Hey, my macbook pro currently only has 30 gigs used up out of 251 gb ssd. So there is not much put into it yet. I basically have installed CSS game and a few small programs up to 10 or 20mb.

    I have been trying to update my Macbook but apple store seems to be failing. Apparently it is temporarily unavailable, please try again later it says. When I try again, it just keeps loading. Is it down right now?

    EDIT: Okay, wow. I just checked my sisters MB and the app store updates is working for her. Mine is just loading, this is lame.
  10. Lunfai macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2010
    It's working fine on mine too :/
  11. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Restart your Mac.
    Don't start up any other apps, but try the App Store/Updates.
  12. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    No, running games is usually better under Windows

    No, its certainly not. Make sure you upgrade to Mavericks and clean up your machine.

    P.S. If your main activities will be playing games and watching youtube, a cheaper Windows gaming laptop could be more appropriate.
  13. juantoothree4 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 27, 2014
    Ok, sorry about this. Turns out turning off Spotlight will disable that. So I reenabled it again and it's back. Will be updating shortly.

    Hey leman, no sir I have 220gigs left on my SSD. To be exact, the only size used up in my storage is under 'Others' with 27 gig something.

    I'm settling with a Macbook Pro. I want the investment, and I believe I will be keeping this for almost a decade, I don't game too much anymore. And this hardware is exceptional compared to any other laptops out there. Plus my support is just 30 mins away, at least for 3 years more.

    I am currently downloading the Maverick update.
  14. Lunfai macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2010
    Where does it say that he used 200 GB? And yes, games will run better in Windows.
  15. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Sorry, I misread. I should probably get to bed now :D
  16. juantoothree4 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 27, 2014
    Hehe, it is all good. Don't sleep though, I need your assistance! :p

    I hope this update will make performance much better. I would like to ask, does this version currently I'm using, usually conflict with performance for my MBP?
  17. Lunfai macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2010
    Not really, but using Safari would be the best choice since it really does use less power compared to other browsers. You will see this in the Mavericks updates when you hover over the battery indicator, it will list Chrome as using significant power.
  18. juantoothree4 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 27, 2014
    Understood. I like to use the google chrome. But given the better spec-ed computer compared to my old one, shouldn't I be able to handle this without any issues?
  19. 53kyle macrumors 65816


    Mar 27, 2012
    Sebastopol, CA
    Especially on Mavericks, safari is far more optimized on OS X than google chrome. Chrome is better optimized on PC than it is on mac.
  20. OldMacUser macrumors member


    Jan 10, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    A weak and/or intermittent wireless signal (assuming you are on wireless) is likely the cause of both the App Store not loading and YouTube videos not playing smoothly due to buffering and incomplete frames.

    I just tested playing this HD video fullscreen in Chrome and it is absolutely smooth -

    Also tested on another (older) MBP and the result is the same, no issue whatsoever on both discrete and integrated graphics chips.

    If you are keen, try downloading the HD video to your computer and play it off the hard disk (you can use a freeware called Clipgrab) to eliminate buffering and network issues. If the video is still choppy, that will present other avenues to explore.
  21. juantoothree4 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 27, 2014
    Ok. Thank you for the informations and suggestions. I have successfully upgraded to Maverick. I will be testing and doing more experiments. Yes, I am on wireless, my router seems to fail sometimes. But when it fails, it does big time for 2-5 mins. Maybe it was because of it, I used to run wired internet. I guess this is my first time on wireless internet.

    I have just played an HD video fullscreen on google chrome and it ran pretty smoothly.

    But everything is much smoother now compared to earlier. Just some lags, but I think what is causing the hangs for my computer is the visual effects of the OSX. For example when I try to move my tabs and windows excessively it causes lags. Sometimes scrolling causes lags. I really think it is the OSX. If that is not normal then I don't know.

    I'll be receiving my external HD on Monday, by then I'll be able to transfer and experiment on heavier stuff from my old PC.

    I still think OSX needs more for performance than Windows. I had Windows 7, and even if Win7 was also performance intensive, I was able to tweak the hell out it to limit the visual effects, etc. to gain more performance. I think that is what I am looking for and just got used to that. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

  22. gngan macrumors 68000


    Jan 1, 2009
    Maverick definitely speeds things up. It's way better than Lion. I have early 2011 MBP with 128gb SSD and 1 TB. I am happy with the speed and it looks like it can last 2-3 more years for me. Let us know how it goes.
  23. Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2006
    This seems significant.

    Are you saying that your old desktop was always connected wired, but now the new MBP is wireless, and the main problems are with online video and the App Store?

    An app from MAS like WiFi Explorer will tell you what your wifi is doing.
  24. simon48 macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    I just wanted to chime in and say, not to worry about RAM usage when you're not lagging really bad. It is totally normal in OSX to have 90-100% RAM usage, the OS will free up more RAM if it needs it. It keeps things that have been used recently to help the performance, but if it's running out it can easily make space. You are doing totally fine.
  25. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    You don't need an app for wifi monitoring.
    Just holt option while clicking on the wifi symbol.
    click on Open wireless diagnostics
    close the wizard that opens and hit CMD+2
    Then you have all the info you need about your wireless. Negotiated speed, SNR and channels.

    One should ignore RAM usage and focus on the simple pressure. As long as the line is green there is no need to worry and if it is orange and you are at your peak usuage it is still fine.

    In my experience the Windows Window Manager is just a bit better at GPU scheduling which sometimes make OSX feel sluggish when an app isn't quit that uses resources. But video playback should be a piece of cake and never lag. If the wifi drops packets you need to find a better spot for the router. You cannot trust the wifi signal indicator on OSX. It is complete nonsense. If still shows me almost full bars even when the wifi drops to a 6 or even 1 Mb/s transmit rate. It is stupid really.

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