Trying to Extend Life of 2009 MP

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by gadgetfreak98, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. gadgetfreak98 macrumors member

    Feb 6, 2009
    Hi there. I know a number of these questions have been addressed across various threads, but it's tough making sense of everything in a consolidated way, given my specific setup. So I'm opening it up to all of you for suggestions as I try to avoid having to replace my 2009 MP.

    First of all, my usage:
    • General computing including Microsoft Office, iTunes, etc.
    • Light photo work (often via Aperture, occasionally via Photoshop variants)
    • Rarely need to do anything in video
    • I like to keep a number of applications open at the same time to avoid having to re-launch (e.g., 8-12 applications sometimes); I do close things I know I won't need
    • So nothing too heavy/intense, but iTunes and Aperture can be painfully slow
    My setup:
    • 2009 MP Octo-core, 2.26GHz
    • OS (10.11) is installed on an OWC Accelsior drive with more than 50% free space
    • All my data files are on a software RAID 4 TB internal WD Black set up (e.g., 2x2TB); backed up automatically to a single internal 4TB WD Black drive and an external 4TB WD Red drive
    • EVGA 750 (non-flashed) GPU using latest NVIDIA web drivers
    • 32GB of RAM
    • One 30" Apple Cinema Display
    • One 24" 1080P (I believe, but definitely not 4K) Dell display
    • Internal USB 3.0 card
    When I upgraded to the 750 GPU (got a cheap deal), that helped speed things up a bit. But the computer continues to bog down. Would a new GPU (like a 980ti) help out in my usage? Or am I stuck with a CPU upgrade or just getting a more modern machine? I like my setup generally so I'm disinclined to give up on the old thing, if I can help it.

    Any suggestions?

  2. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
    My 2010 is way slower than that and I never feel bogged down, and I have similar usage.

    Have you tried a reinstall, first and foremost?
  3. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    You already have most of the Oradea I suggest to people (more RAM, SSD). What is your definition of bogging down?
  4. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
  5. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    From your post you're using El Capitan. It could be the OS 10.11 is slowing things down. There are a number of other users having problems with El Capitan's speed including iTunes.

    I think your GPU is fine. I am on a 2009 classic Mac Pro with just a Nvidia 285GTX, on ML 10.8.3 and no problems with my iTunes. When I had Aperture before, it was also running fine.
  6. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    I'd check activity monitor (or top in a Terminal, if you prefer) for high CPU usage. If your CPU's aren't maxed out, and if you aren't seeing masses of errors on the disk subsystem, I'd suspect software. Something hogging memory, or perhaps it's a weird networking issue like a DNS resolver problem, or who knows. If it were Linux I'd suggest an fstrim on the SSD, perhaps there's an osx equivalent.
  7. dimobr macrumors member

    Feb 14, 2016
    you have tried a clean installation of the system? do it and install only what you actually use.
  8. h9826790 macrumors G5


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    I can hardly see that you need the GPU power, IMO, upgrade to 980Ti will only give you more trouble on the driver issue.

    It you believe that a GPU can help, you can try an AMD card. 5870 etc should serve you very well. This card is highly optimised in OSX. And it's cheap anyway.

    Painfully slow Aperture, iTunes… since you didn't say that the OSX is generally slow, I will assume the OWC SSD is working well. And the slow down is because the library is on the HDD, 2 HDD in RAID 0 only has little help in small files reading.

    Anyway, Apple stop update Aperture for a long time already. It doesn't even have a GPU accelerated UI. No GPU can improve it's performance. That's why a 980Ti won't help.

    What can really help is upgrade to dual X5677 / X5690 etc. That can easily improve any CPU limiting task's performance by 50% (or more). However, upgrade the dual processor 4,1 is not a easy task. I suggest you pay a bit more to get the delidded CPUs.

    Also, put the library on SSD should help a lot, however, 4T SSD (if you really need that much) won't be low cost. You may wait for few more months. There should be some SATA SSD which is more focus on storage size than speed enter the market this year. If the price is ok, that should help a lot.
  9. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    Check all your disks for errors (S.M.A.R.T.). If a disk is getting marginal, it can retry and really slow down the IO.

    Usually this is seen as normal operation with occasional to frequent pauses of 10 to 20 seconds - not as consistent slowness.
  10. macpro00 macrumors member


    Feb 7, 2016
    this may be a long shot.... have you cleaned out your tower? Dust build-up is a silent killer to electrical/computer components. How are your CPU temperature?
  11. haralds macrumors 6502a


    Jan 3, 2014
    Silicon Valley, CA
    That configuration should really not bog down. I would do some analysis with Activity Monitor. What processes are hogging CPU? Do any of them have memory issues? A leaking app could create excessive paging, which will kill performance. I've also had trouble with network issues locking up Safari.
    The console log should show issues with drives. Recurring drive retries and errors really kill performance.
    Guessing and jumping to conclusion doing reinstalls etc. is not the quickest way to approach this.
  12. gadgetfreak98 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 6, 2009
    Thank you all for the helpful replies. Glad to hear that my set-up sounds like it should be up to the task. To address a handful of the ideas / suggestions:
    1. It has been a long time since I did a clean install. I think that's a wise idea. To be clear, I should NOT use migration assistant then to copy data back after the fact? I assume that basically undoes the benefit?
    2. I do clean inside the tower on occasion, so hopefully dust is not a culprit here
    3. I like the idea of an SSD for my data, which would undoubtedly far exceed the software RAID setup. Hopefully drives of size do start to fall into range price-wise soon
    4. Someone suggested looking at the console log. What specifically should I be looking for there?
    5. I'm probably unwilling to do a CPU upgrade. My understanding is they are quite pricey and at that point, it sounds like it might make more sense to throw in the towel (or should I say, the tower) and go iMac 5K

    Thanks for the continued help and advice on my questions above. I'm open to further suggestions as well.

  13. r6mile macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2010
    London, UK
    Others are more qualified to answer the others, but as for 1), you could use migration assistant to copy only your home data, and then manually re-install your apps.
  14. MrAverigeUser, Feb 24, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016

    MrAverigeUser macrumors 6502a


    May 20, 2015
    Try to install the free onyX software.
    As always, after a fresh backup.

    I solved some of my problems using ONYX It is a very smart app.
    Just follow all the instructions. You have to restart your machine several times after each step - depedent on the level of chaos which opal will find on your system it may take up to 30 minutes to finish all interventions - but IMHO it is worth it.

    I recommend also etrecheck for diagnosis. It is also free - being a strictly diagnostic tool it is worth using it - but opal does also the treatment for solving your problems.

    Edit: here is the link about onyX:
  15. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    I haven't done a clean install since I migrated from PowerPC to Intel close to a decade ago. When I upgraded computers, I just transplanted the drive and continued to chug along. When it was time to replace the drive, I just used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the drive. I honestly don't know how much benefit a clean install will achieve.
  16. m4v3r1ck, Feb 24, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016

    m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020


    Nov 2, 2011
    The Netherlands
    Same here since 2008, clean installs of the OS X 10.x amd using Migration Assistant to
    Since 2008 when I started using a Mac Pro 3.1 with Mac OS X, clean installed OS X 10.x and using Migration Assistant to migrate users/apps/setting etc. Using the combo updates OS X 10.X.y to update to the latest version.

    NOTE: I keep all virgin installers and combo updates on a NAS, so I can revert to ANY version of OS X 10.X.y without being dependent on the version that is available in the Mac Apple Store at any moment!

  17. CapnDavey macrumors 6502


    Apr 11, 2015
    I have to agree I still have my Blue and White G3 it still has the base install from 10.0 upgraded to 10.3.9 still runs fine 15 years out
  18. dimobr macrumors member

    Feb 14, 2016
    Well, each one has a way of working, is impossible to know what he did in his system over the years.
  19. TonyK macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2009
    Personally I'd like to know what is meant by "bogged down" because that is such a large term it could mean a lot of things.

    Also which variants of Photoshop are being used. Some of them may not be well performing.

    My wife uses a 2009 and myself a 2008 and both systems have 32GB of memory and SSD drives. She does heavy word processing now with Word 2016, she keeps way too many tabs opened in Firefox and has lots of applications running simultaneously.

    On my 2008 I do photo editing with Lightroom 5, Photoshop 6, OnOne Photo 10, etc. and occasionally will have to wait a few seconds here or there but nothing horrible. I attribute it mostly to the spinning drive my photos are stored on.
  20. zephonic, Feb 27, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016

    zephonic macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2011
    greater L.A. area
    I've tried to explain this to my wife too many times, and she just doesn't get it. She'll have 200 tabs open in the browser of her work computer and gets pissed off because the d**n thing is so slow. She saves documents onto the desktop and gets pissed off it takes forever to boot up.
  21. prvt.donut macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2008
  22. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    Because you didn't quote the "d**n" comment - I don't have a clue about your question.
  23. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
  24. prvt.donut macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2008
    Hahaha! Ok. I didn't realize that was a "bad" word!
  25. BillyBobBongo macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2007
    On The Interweb Thingy!
    ...made more confusing that in the next sentence he says 'pissed off', but that's Americans for you. I mean half the time they can't even say 'hell', clearly they have a different idea as to what makes a 'bad' word than the rest of us English speakers! :p

Share This Page