Refreshing a Mid 2010 MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by punchdrunk55, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. punchdrunk55 macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2010
    I have a mid 2010 MBP that has been nice and fast for most of it's life. It was upgraded with a 750gb HD with built in SSD,(pretty fancy for the time) that helped with boot up a few years ago. It's also maxed out on ram.
    It doesn't get as much use as it used to but I'd rather not relegate it to the graveyard yet.
    I've already cleaned the junk off the drive and that didn't do much.

    With Yosemite and now Capitan it seems that everything just takes a bit longer now. My big itunes library takes longer to load, and anytime I have more than a few apps open it starts to slow. I have zero interest in buying one of the new MBP lite's that were released a few months ago so I'm mostly wanting to breathe a little life back into this one.

    About all that I have tried is Dr cleaner (I think that's what it's called) and I've noticed that when playing music and working on a doc and having a few web pages open the memory is basically maxed out.

    Any tips or apps that you've found that have actually genuinely helped. I've googled a bit but most of the reviews seems to be paid schills so I figured I'd come to the guys who use these every day.
  2. killawat macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2014
    Get a true SSD, dirt cheap nowadays but don't worry about getting the top of the line. If its one of the 15 or 17" 2010 MBP then its limited to SATA2 speeds. For reasons I can't get into (unless someone asks) the experience you get with a hybrid SSD vs an actual SSD are extremely different. Anything from Intel or Samsung will work.

    Otherwise not much else you can do unless you want to reinstall the OS from scratch. I don't know what the "Dr" application is but most of that stuff for Mac is junk, and if you've been anywhere around MacKeeper, you need to reinstall your OS anyway. That app in particular is malware.
  3. punchdrunk55 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Never touched mackeeper.

    Also I'm hesitant to go SSD because I have a terabyte of data. Mostly my itunes library that i'd rather not carry around on a portable hard drive.

    I'm curious if it's just the new OS that did it in as the Hybrid drive was speedy before.
  4. jerryk macrumors 601

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    If you still have the CD Drive, replace it with a carrier for your 750 GB drive, and put a 256 or 512 GB SSD in the main drive slot. Leave your iTunes (and other non performance sensitive) media files on your current 750 GB drive, which will be where your CD was, and on a slower interface.

    With an SSD system/main drive the system should boot in 15 seconds or less, and applications should launch in 1-2 second. Maybe one bounce of the icon.
  5. xb2003 macrumors 6502


    Jan 18, 2016
    As aforementioned, replace the CD drive with a 1 TB drive (Your current boot drive ought to work) and buy an SSD to use as your new book drive. Hybrid drives (and even 10k drives) are an improvement, but they don't touch an SSD. If you want to breath some life into that thing, drop in an SSD (I would just go with whatever is cheapest) and think about upgrading sometime.
  6. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    I'm curious how much RAM you have installed. The 15-inch or 17-inch MBPro can be upgraded to 8GB, but the 13-inch can be upgraded to 16GB maximum. (You didn't say which you have)
    Your hybrid drive is OK for what it is (slight improvement over an HDD), but not close to the potential of a pure SSD.
  7. punchdrunk55 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2010

    I believe it's 8 gb's. I don't quite remember because I did it a few years ago, all I remember is that I went for the max at the time.
  8. AriGold macrumors member

    Oct 13, 2010
    I am in exactly the same position with my mid 2010 MBP also so thanks for the thread! Didnt know you could replace the cd drive. Currenttly have 8gb ram and a 275 SSD in my amazon basket.
  9. jerryk, Mar 6, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017

    jerryk macrumors 601

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
  10. killawat macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2014
    Do you have the 17" Model with ExpressCard slot? If so you can have USB 3.0 as well. That's the only way I was able to hold onto mine until I got the 2016 model.
  11. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    Any additional info on what you do with the machine?

    I also have a 2010 MBP. El Capitan doesn't run that great on it. Safari trying to play a single 1080p video is painful.

    I also boot Windows 7, though, which runs perfectly. Linux runs sweet as a nut as well, though I don't believe iTunes is available for Linux.

    That's one way to get a big performance boost. Otherwise RAM (8 GB) and SSD drives are your main options.

    You may also find that a fresh install does the trick. If you can, try installing Mavericks and see if that works better for you.
  12. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    In my personal opinion, I agree with everyone else - moving from a SSHD to a SSD will likely yield a huge performance benefit (especially if you are running out of RAM and the OS needs to cache it, as it likely is caching to the HDD portion given the SSD portion is generally very limited in size.) Also, for what it is worth, I find that both El Cap and Sierra are especially preferential to solid state drives.

    Further, I also agree that a fresh installation can make a huge difference. Most cleaning Apps only do so much, and none of them can repair certain directory issues (which can have major performance consequences) and old remnants of uninstalled or upgraded programs (such as items in the launchd folders) sometimes stick around even after running an uninstaller or cleaner. I sometimes use Onyx and periodically use DiskWarrior (which I was very surprised to find that, when used as periodic maintenance, it can make a significant difference on how well the computer runs), but at this point I think the best way to go is to purchase a SSD and then do a clean install using a bootable USB flash drive.

    • When you installed El Cap, did you upgrade from a prior OS or do a fresh install? From a OS perspective, El Cap can run reasonably well on older computers (but again I find having a SSD is a night/day difference in the experience.)
    • If it was an upgrade and not a fresh install, have you ever done a fresh install on this computer? If you perform a fresh install of El Cap and do not like the results, I also agree that Mavericks may be a good OS to try reverting to (using the same fresh install method.)
    • Have you disabled many of the GUI animations that can really hog resources?
    • Do you have a screenshot of your RAM compression?
    • What is your current disk usage looking like?
    • Have you ran the Apple Hardware Test just to check for the off-chance of hardware problems causing this issue?
  13. punchdrunk55 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2010
    I'm really thankful for the ideas and so far this has been by far the most helpful. I think the most frustrating thing is my computer that used to run beautifully is running a little slower and the overriding opinion is toss it and get a new one or upgrade it, putting the time in to fix something is basically an afterthought for the most part.

    So thank you for the advice on cleaning up my system and returning it to it's old glory. I definitely think I should do a fresh install.
  14. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    There is a reason for not fixing computers and that's because the demands of more modern browsers and apps can become more and more taxing for older hardware especially graphics cards. At 7 years old putting any more money into it is a risk it's getting to the, could fail at any time, stage and anything you do will be marginal gains.

    The SSD is your best bet though and it can be fused to another drive in the optical bay as mentioned in the previous posts, giving you a fusion drive that is one volume OS X will manage where the best place to keep things for speed is.
  15. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009

    A "fresh install" may help a very little, but I don't believe it will help all that much. A "full defrag" of the drive might help a little.

    You've been given "the answer" above by more than one person:
    If you want to get some real speed out of it, put a REAL SSD into it.

    There's no other way possible.
    That's it.

    If the internal hybrid drive is getting full, move your large libraries to external storage of some sort. An SD card might be useful for this -- takes up little room. Or, a very small USB flash drive (some are barely more than "nubs" that won't get in the way of putting the Macbook into a case).

    For an SSD, ANY drive will do. No SSD available today -- NOT A SINGLE ONE -- will run at "full speed" due to the 2010 MBPro's slower SATA bus speeds.
    What this means is you can buy any SSD and they'll ALL run about the same.
    I'd suggest a Sandisk Plus or a Crucial.

    You have two choices, and but two:
    1. SSD, or
    2. Newer MacBook.

    Personal experience:
    I, too, have a 2010 MBPro 13". Putting an SSD into it completely revived it. Like a new machine!

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14 March 6, 2017