Slow Running Early-2009 Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mr D, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. Mr D, Nov 12, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013

    Mr D macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2007
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    I have no idea where else to put this so...

    I have an early 2009 MBP with a 2.93 core 2 duo and 4GB of RAM... for quite some time now it's been running slow. I'm contemplating on whether to get a new laptop or spend a few hundred if upgrading this one will get it back to running to normal. I don't do anything super intensive with my laptop outside of photoshop...but it runs slow all over the place. Takes long to launch apps, lags, etc.

    I'm looking at my activity monitor and I see that RAM has around 1+ GB of compressed I don't think a RAM upgrade would completely change what I'm experiencing?

    My last option would be to replace the HD...but would this completely speed up my computer?

    Or is the processor and computer just so dated where there is nothing I can do to dramatically improve performance?

    Forgot to add - I did a clean install of 10.8 when it came out and I don't have much on my computer...
  2. john123 macrumors 68020


    Jul 20, 2001
    I have a sister whose laptop, coincidentally enough a mid 2009, has started doing the same thing. I've tried everything as well. It passes the hardware tests, I can't find any runaway processes, she has 8 gigs of RAM, there are no SMART failures, etc.

    The HD option is the one I've considered for her, to see if an SSD might help. Before you do that, you might consider a clean install of the OS. As in, don't restore your stuff using Migration Assistant but rather put things back on manually, including application installers. That's a bit of a pain, but it's an option.
  3. Quu macrumors 68030


    Apr 2, 2007
    I have the exact same Mac as you. 2.93GHz 17" with 4GB RAM from Early 2009.

    I found that changing the 320GB HD to a SSD made it feel like a brand new machine. I'd recommend the same upgrade to you.
  4. Mr D thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2007
    updated my post and I did do a clean install of 10.8 when it came out... was still running a bit slow shortly after too... but looks like SSD might be an option.



    Ok I will look into that.

    So after you installed the SSD, everything runs smoothly?
  5. Voca macrumors member


    Nov 3, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Clean your machine with Ccleaner or CleanMyMac. Upgrade ram to 8GB. Make sure you have more than 30% free hdd space and last, open it up and use some compressed air, to clean the internals.
    (Some fresh thermal paste wouldnt be a bad idea either, if its getting hotter than normal))
  6. Quu macrumors 68030


    Apr 2, 2007
    Not really no. The only thing that the SSD did was make the system feel faster when booting up, shutting down and launching applications.

    To give you an example.. lets say you open Chrome. Before the upgrade this may take 8-10 seconds before I can actually start using the browser, typing in addresses and such. With the SSD upgrade that's more like 2-3 seconds. Not a huge difference in the grand scheme but it does make the system feel snappier.

    Where it doesn't help at all is with CPU and GPU intensive tasks. Playing 1080p video on YouTube still makes the system lag and you still lose some frames. Playing Netflix in your Browser still lags the entire system (even worse than YouTube does). Doing very intensive effects in Aperture still brings the system to its knees with 2-3 seconds per effect change on large 14 Mega Pixel RAW images.

    So if you just want it to feel a bit snappier around application loading and start-up then an SSD upgrade is for you. If you want a complete overhaul then you're looking at a new Macintosh.
  7. Mr D thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2007
    I see. Ok thanks for the input.
  8. barnettgs macrumors member

    Dec 12, 2006
    Northern Ireland
    Agreed with this.

    I have just cleaned up my Macbook Pro 2007 and it was used to be quite hot and a bit sluggish. Internals may look "clean" but these do still need a clean up and I did the thermal paste as well.

    A couple of days ago, the fans start making noise even on low rpm so I have cleaned the fans out and greased them a bit, see the link of how it can be done:

    So far, I am pleased it is running now much quieter and cooler. Got some much higher benchmark scores as a result of this which was a surprise to me.
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    A SSD would dramatically improve performance related to reading/writing to your drive, boot up times, etc. If you're having performance issues, this may help:
    Do NOT do this! I would not recommend using CleanMyMac or any of its variants, based on the number of complaints that have been posted in this forum and elsewhere. As an example: CleanMyMac cleaned too much. Here's a recent example. While you may not have experienced problems yet, enough people have that it's wise to avoid it, especially since there are free alternatives that have better reputations, such as Onyx.
    You don't need "cleaner" or "maintenance" apps to keep your Mac running well, and some of these apps can do more harm than good. Most only remove files/folders or unused languages or architectures, which does nothing more than free up some drive space, with the risk of deleting something important in the process. These apps will not make your Mac run faster or more efficiently, since having stuff stored on a drive does not impact performance, unless you're running out of drive space. In fact, deleting some caches can hurt performance, rather than help it, since more system resources are used and performance suffers while each cache is being rebuilt. Many of these tasks should only be done selectively to troubleshoot specific problems, not en masse as routine maintenance.
    Mac OS X does a good job of taking care of itself, without the need for 3rd party software. Among other things, it has its own maintenance scripts that run silently in the background on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, without user intervention.

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