Should my mid-2009 2.53GHz MBP be faster (with OWC 8gb 1067MHz memory)?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tmcalister, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. tmcalister macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2014
    #1
    My mid-2009 MBP seems very slow and I'd like to figure out what I can do about it.

    I used to have the standard 4gb RAM from Apple, but upgraded to an 8GB 1067MHz DDR3 aftermarket option from OWC. It still feels pretty slow and it takes about 15 minutes to fully start up, even without any login items.

    So if I have Chrome with 8-10 tabs (max) and Spotify running together, it's difficult running any other large apps like Final Cut or Photoshop. Even Mail seems to take forever to load, especially if I have other programs like Calendar running as well.

    Not sure what to do to allow my computer some breathing room in having multiple (larger) apps open at once. Do I need 16gb RAM if I want Chrome, Spotify, Final Cut, and maybe one other app open at once without feeling like my laptop is trying to catch it's breath?

    What alternative options do I have to help speed it up without another RAM upgrade (i.e. a new laptop since mine only supports up to 8gb).

    Below is a link to some system info pictures. Let me know if anything else would be helpful.

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/v28cs6j1b54fwyb/AAA3xShJIdQ0ZQtQEV9PRshfa?dl=0#lh:nul l-Screen%20Shot%202014-10-11%20at%207.01.43%20PM.png
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #2
    The slowest thing in your MacBook is the hard drive.

    You should buy an SSD instead.

    And try not to use Chrome. It's a massive resource hog.
     
  3. tmcalister, Oct 11, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014

    tmcalister thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Thanks, yjchua95.

    I'll look into an SSD. I think I kind of understand the difference between a SSD and my SATA, but could you explain again how an SSD speeds up my computer as a whole?

    Any good SSD recommendations?

    I thought the same was true with FF. I never felt like FF was improving anything that much. And Safari just crashes on me every single time. In what ways is Chrome more of a resource hog?
     
  4. Count Blah macrumors 68030

    Count Blah

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    #4
    15 minutes to start up is 100% not normal.

    I switched the misses late 2008 15" C2D to a 256Gig SSD, and got a new battery recently. Her machine screams for what she does - Firefox with tons of tabs, M$ Word, Excel, iPhoto, etc.

    I'd look into what processes are taking up the most CPU as you are sitting there waiting for it to finish the startup process. Sounds like something more than RAM or HD.
     
  5. tmcalister, Oct 11, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014

    tmcalister thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Can anyone tell me if this Intel 320 series SSD is a good fit for my laptop?

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-SSDSA...?pt=US_Solid_State_Drives&hash=item51ba28d6a4

    Also, if I decided I wanted to upgrade my laptop down the line (to a 2011-later model), this SSD would be pretty useless considering it's max 3gb/s, correct?

    What about the newer Intel SSDs (530, etc)? If I got one of these newer 6gb/s SSD, would I be able to use it on my current laptop (or would I even want to)? Then, if I decide to buy a new one, could I use it there as well?
     
  6. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #6
    Your machine is almost 6 years old now, and uses 8 years old technology. SSD will certainly improve things, but it will still be much slower than a contemporary Macbook Air. You should consider getting an entirely new machine. For 6 years, your C2D had a good run for its money.

    ----------

    It certainly won't be useless. I doubt you will notice any difference in every day performance between a 300MB/s and a 600MB/s model. The random access speeds are still slower than 300MB/s even on newest drives, and that is what has the biggest impact on how fast the drive feels.
     
  7. tmcalister, Oct 12, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2014

    tmcalister thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 11, 2014
    #7
    Thanks for your reply, leman!

    I don't mean to sound confrontational or anything, but why would a newer model Macbook Air (running at, what, a max 2GHz and 8GB RAM?) be faster than my mid-2009 model with 8GB RAM, a Samsung 840 EVO 500GB SSD which is on it's way, and if I went and purchased an Intel i7 processor aftermarket and installed it on mine? Can I install a faster aftermarket processor (2.5+) in an Air? Cause I just can't fathom a max 2GHz Air being able to do what I need it to.

    I mean, I would be paying around $400-$600 for an i7 (right?) and I paid $229 for the SSD. So that would be an investment of around ~$650-$850 (how much are i5s anyway?) vs. a used Air for around $1000-1300 or $1000-1500 for Apple refurbished.

    So what else about a newer model (even an Air) would make my computer pail in comparison? I'd LOVE a Retina display, but I'm under the impression my laptop would be "almost" as fast as a newer one if I just upgraded the processor, RAM (done), and SSD (about to be installed).

    I honestly don't know much about the other inner component advances in newer Mac models, so I'd love to know.
     
  8. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

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    Aug 22, 2014
    #8
    15 minutes to start up?!?! :eek: no way!!! if it takes THAT long then something is very very wrong! :eek:
    I think you have a software problem. You could also have a dying HD but more likely it is software. Do you have a lot of background software installed?

    ----------



    I disagree with you. A 2009 MacBook pro can do plenty. My MBP is the same year and it is still fast and powerful (and has original HD). There is no reason to spend money for a new MBP when the old one has nothing wrong with it and is still powerful.
     
  9. lagwagon Suspended

    lagwagon

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    #9
    15mins for a boot up is INSANE! I have a mid 2009 17" macbook pro I was getting around 30-45 seconds for boot up on the stock 500gb HDD running Yosemite Public Beta 5. It used to be around 1 min boot, but a fresh install dropped that down to the 30-45seconds.

    I've since installed an old SSD I had lying around and that has dropped my boot times even lower to about 15 seconds in Yosemite Public Beta 5.

    So it IS possible for an older mid 2009 to be quick and snappy, I would guess there is something seriously wrong with your OS install.
     
  10. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    Delaware
    #10
    The newer laptop will have a more powerful processor, faster system and memory buses, faster storage interface, etc.
    5 year newer hardware will be faster, even with a slower processor speed.
    I think it's unlikely that anyone makes a third party processor upgrade for your MBPro (never heard of any?) And, no way to replace your Core2Duo in your 2009 MBPro to an i7 anyway.
    Your new SSD WILL make your 2009 MBPro significantly faster - just not as fast as going to a new MBPro or MBAir. You can expect that it will be much more improvement than RAM alone.

    There are NO third party internal upgrades for the last couple of MBAir models - zero - beyond the optional upgrades when you order. You get to choose processor, memory, and storage at the original purchase. No one makes upgrades yet for the MBAir, except Apple.
     
  11. tmcalister thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Is there some way I can test this?
     
  12. lagwagon Suspended

    lagwagon

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    #12
    Not that I'm really aware of, but someone else who may know a lot more about these things can chime in. Perhaps doing a fresh/clean install. Maybe wait on that for Thursday when Yosemite is officially released and clean install then.

    I suspected something was up prior to my clean install because it seemed somewhat sluggish (dreaded beachball from time to time) and trying to install the iWoW plugin for iTunes would totally break it and it would hang on launch and needed force a quit every time. iWoW worked 100% on my iMac, so I knew something wasn't right.
     
  13. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

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    #13
    Restart and hold command+r
    Go to disk utility, click Repair Disk and Repair Disk Permissions
    Try that.
     
  14. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

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    #14
    An 09, especially the not-base model should not be booting up that slowly. My 09 is the 2.26ghz model and only takes a minute or two. It's slower than my late-2013 rMBP, but it's not quite 5 1/2 years old. I'm running Mavericks and the Yosemite Public Beta on it with only minor slowdowns. 8gb of RAM and a 500gb HDD. I also replaced the battery last year.

    Which OS are you running? If it's Leopard 10.5 or Snow Leopard 10.6 upgrading may help. Yosemite runs fine on mine, even slightely better than Mavericks at times. You might also replace the battery if you still have the original. I'm not sure how that impacts speed, but the issues I had with mine went away.
     
  15. jbachandouris macrumors 601

    jbachandouris

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    Upstate NY
    #15
    I ran a 2010 MBP before I sold it and the SSD is the only thing that made any noticeable difference. RAM had no effect as I wasn't using up available RAM.

    I may be mistaken, but can you even upgrade the processor on a 2009 MBP? Maybe it's physically possible, but the chipset of the system board has to support the upgrade as well, so my first instinct would be to say no.
     
  16. lagwagon Suspended

    lagwagon

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    #16
    Ram could make an improvement for him since in his first post he said he runs multiple tabs in his browser and other programs all at once. Going from 4 to 8gb he could definitely see a gain there, but you are correct in that an SSD is by far the best increase.

    As far as upgrading the CPU. I do not think that is possible at all.
     
  17. jorgk macrumors member

    jorgk

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    Mar 20, 2013
    #17
    One easy check, but depending on availability, would be to take a friends HDD (or better SSD) with a current OSX install and swap it into your machine.

    If it starts up fine on that and does the most processes fine it's your HDD or OS install that's the culprit.

    [Only thing: Do not start SW that checks its legitimacy online - your friend may loose one system-change.]
     
  18. leman macrumors 604

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    #18
    Its fairly simple, your CPU is several generations behind and modern chips are much more energy-efficient. The MacBook Air's 1.4 Ghz CPU is around 2x faster than your 2.5Ghz CPU, and has the potential to be 3x-4x faster in certain specialised workflows. The integrated GPU on the Air is faster than your dedicated Nvidia GPU. The RAM is faster, the memory controller is much more efficient, the SSD is faster, the WiFi is faster, the external interface speed is MUCH faster. If your 2009 MBP does what you need it do do right now (performance-wise), the MBA will do it as well — faster and more efficiently. Of course, a quad-core retina MBP will be much faster yet.

    BTW, you can't install an i7 CPU on your laptop — the mainboard is not compatible. I am also fairly sure that the CPU is soldered to the mainboard in all more or less recent Apple laptops.

    ----------

    There is no doubt that a 2009 MBP is a capable machine — for casual use. Computational need of an average computer user are much lower than the current technology can give us, so an almost 10-year old Intel Core architecture can still be absolutely sufficient.

    However, the second part of your post is not entirely applicable here. It seems clear that OP is not happy with the performance of their machine and seeks to improve it. My point is that investing in such an old machine is a questionable enterprise: not only you will not be able to match the performance of newer ones, but you also risk to lose all your investments because of a hardware failure. Its an old machine after all — it very well might be that it will live another 5 years, but would you bet $300 on it? I certainly would't. I would recommend investing a bit more and getting a new machine which will be more capable from the start.
     
  19. nudoru macrumors regular

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    Feb 27, 2012
    #19
    I have an old late 2008 and an SSD upgrade made a HUGE difference! I didn't even notice when I doubled the ram to 8gb. Even if it's going at SATA2 speeds, it was a decent fill in for my late 2011 when it was down.
     
  20. tmcalister thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 11, 2014
    #20
    Thanks for the feedback, guys!

    Like I mentioned before I've ended up getting a 500GB SSD for my 2009 so we'll see how that goes.

    But then I also bought an Apple-refurbished 2012 15" MBP with 2.7GHz/16GB/768GB SSD for ~$1650 on ebay. I might have overdone it. Haha. (And yeah, I know the 2.7 isn't as powerful as even the early 2013 base processors, but still, it'll be an improvement on mine. Seriously, guys, I was scouring over CPU performance benchmark reports). And I'm thinking that's a pretty good price for what I'm getting.

    Anyways, I'll test both options out and make a wise financial decision after I have spoiled myself with the 2012 that's coming in. xD

    But I might sell it. Who knows? I'll accept offers if anyone's interested.
     
  21. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #21
    Keep that mid-2012 machine. That i7-3820QM is still vert powerful.
     

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