Very new Macbook Pro 13 so slow

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ETID, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. ETID macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2008
    Hi there,

    I have a 3 month old MB Pro 13" (2.5 i5 with 4GB) running 10.8.2

    Firstly it is incredibly slow to come out of sleep if its been shut for more than a few hours. The grey screen comes up and has a progress bar. If I am just running on battery this seems to not happen. Any ideas?

    Also certain apps and settings take a long time to load up, especially system preferences, which can take up to 15 seconds to load up.

    I had a 2007 macbook before this and up until it finally bit the dust it did everything lighting quick. Is this just a symptom of Mountain Lion?

    Thanks for any replies.
  2. Asuriyan macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2013
  3. ETID thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2008
    Yeah I am. I didn't think this would be too much of a problem as all the ones I've used before have been 5400.

    What are your thoughts?
  4. B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    Try an SMC Reset. Under the performance, it mentions both the waking up from sleep issue and the apps loading for a long time issue. Hope it helps.
  5. ETID thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2008
  6. Asuriyan macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2013
    First, newer versions of OS X have somewhat higher RAM requirements, particularly in that the kernel task takes up quite a bit on its own. That's not necessarily a bad thing- some of that extra usage involves pre-caching important bits- but that in combination with a 5.4k drive is a bad mixture, especially if you're getting page-outs. The slow wake-up from deep sleep could also be a symptom, since it's writing data from RAM to disk in order to be able to cut power to the RAM without data loss.

    The standard answer on here is "Get an SSD"- which is good advice, but I'm not sure I would be thrilled about dropping an extra 2-300 bucks on a new machine. Hybrid drives from Seagate are a good performance upgrade without spending too much or sacrificing storage capacity.

    There are of course troubleshooting steps you can take before jumping straight to replacing hardware. The SMC reset mentioned above is one.

    Also, I've noticed my machine runs better on 10.8.3- any reason you haven't updated? :)
  7. ETID thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2008
    Great response Asuriyan.

    Yeah I was wondering about SSD but like you said they ain't cheap!! I will try the SMC reset when I finish work and update to 10.8.3. No reason other than laziness for not updating!!

    If there isn't much improvement I may look at another HDD.

  8. jmdMac macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2010
  9. wonderspark macrumors 68040


    Feb 4, 2010
    I have this laptop. I suffered for about an hour before fixing it myself.

    1) If you replace that slow HDD with an SSD, it will boot from cold hard shutoff to login entry in fourteen seconds. Not fast enough still? Close the lid, and it will be ready instantly when you open the lid. Doesn't seem to drain the battery, either. I bought this one for $180, so shop around. Rejoice!

    2) RAM. Add 16GB. I got this set... currently $126.

    $300 to completely transform it into a speedy little workhorse. I got mine refurbished from Apple for $1019, then added these $300 bits... a touch over $1300 total, and now I can edit with Premiere and After Effects without any problems, boots in a quarter of a minute, and that is all on 10.8.2. It's currently sitting in a house in the UK right now, so when I get back there in a couple weeks, I'll update it to 10.8.3.
  10. ETID thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2008
    Thanks for the reply. That was very helpful, looks like I will be performing a few upgrades!!!!

  11. jNSK macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2013
    Personally, I never used the optical drive on my 13" MacBook Pro. You can actually replace it with a hard drive!

    So I swapped the optical drive with the hard drive that was currently in the machine, then put a Samsung 830 128 GB SSD where the HDD used to be. It's amazingly fast now. Plus, you have the extra hard drive for media storage!

    It's really easy to do, as long as you're competent with a screwdriver. I'd recommend it if you don't use the optical drive. It does void warranty, though, which is an issue.
  12. wonderspark macrumors 68040


    Feb 4, 2010
    I'm probably about to buy a 15" cMPB, and I only need one laptop with a burner, so for this new one, I'll put two SSDs in. I'm digging the idea of a 256GB 840 Pro for the boot SSD and the 960GB M500 for media. I've read one decent review of the M500 so far, and it would be a perfect candidate for my media drive in place of the optical bay.
  13. dakhein macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2011
    NorCal, USA
    Was it always slow to load?

    Recommended upgrades such as an SSD and RAM will definitely increase the performance of a base machine but I'm still curious to whether this machine has always been slow to load or just after a period of time it now takes forever to load apps.

    And in regards to Mountain Lion, in my experience it shouldn't take that long to load System Preferences.
  14. mutedf8 macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2013
    i have recently upgraded my 13" (mid-2012) brand new to corsair 240GB SSD & corsair 16GB RAM....

    Still = It takes 3min approx to copy 750mb file to a usb :(

    sometimes shutdown will take <3 sec & sometimes its >8 sec..... Its not consistent !!

    *i have done a carbon copy cloner to new SSD, will a clean install of 10.8.3 will resolve the issue ?
  15. Asuriyan macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2013
    Upgrading to an SSD won't fix the fact that most USB 2.0 devices are slow as sludge :)
  16. dakhein macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2011
    NorCal, USA
    File copy will be limited to the slowest component which is most likely the USB device and nothing to do with your RAM or SSD.

    As many people could tell you, shutdown times can vary on condition. It takes time for the OS to shut down all the services and apps that may be running. Your shutdown times aren't even what I would call bad.
  17. mutedf8 macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2013
    Noted & Thanks.


    Noted & Thanks


    :p I note that it will take on <1 min to complete this operation in windows with HDD & 4gb ram :p
  18. idunn macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2008
    On the upgrade

    Just to endorse the previous advice given on how you might upgrade. There may be steps you can take which will increase the speed of your current system. No thoughts on that, other than insuring all is well before making any upgrades. But adding a SSD and more RAM will definitely see decided speed improvements.

    8GB of RAM would be a good idea; 16GB if you want to max it out, although the uses of most will likely not require it.

    No more than adding a SSD will make everything snappier—by way of general impression. It will do nothing for tasks dependent upon RAM and CPU speed. But a big difference on start up and opening applications. On lifting the lid from sleep, it is just on, like that. Well worth the upgrade and the money necessary to do so.

    Do a little research in advance on SSD's, as they are not all created equal. The brand and model you choose can make a difference. And avoid the temptation to buy less in storage size than what will make you happy in the long run; consider that prices are declining, and that even 256GB can be had for less than $200.

    The installation of a SSD in a MacBook Pro is simplicity itself. Pretty much remove the back cover, remove and unplug the old HDD, and reverse the steps in installing the SSD. Installing the OS and transferring files can be simple, but read up on it. But, first, on the physical installation, familiarizing yourself with the simple steps with one of the YouTube videos on the subject can help. As well as having the right tools on hand. You will need two: a T-6 Torx screwdriver, and a 00 Philips screwdriver.

    The Torx is for removing the four mounting pins from the old HHD and reinstalling them on the new SSD. A simple process. The Phillips is for removing the two screws for the internal bracket keeping the HDD/SSD in place. Then also for the number of small screws around the perimeter of the back cover, holding it in place.

    With the exception of three of these screws being longer, all are identical in being quite short. They are small things and not all that easy to handle. This is where having quality tools on hand really matters. It would be simple to strip one of these screws if not careful, and some cheap ass screwdriver would facilitate that. Choose the brand you like, but one possibility is Wiha, who manufactures both the Torx and Phillip models required. One source for these is Amazon. Read the reviews and you'll see they are recommended by others who have used them precisely for this task with a Macbook Pro. I can personally recommend them as well. It matters.

    In sum, it is a relatively simple and inexpensive upgrade—and you WILL notice the difference.
  19. sperry1988 macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2011
    The answer to a slow computer is not always buy more upgrades.... Although it would make everything faster technically.

    The reason you see that progress bar is because your computer is in "Safe Sleep" mode. This is why it takes longer than normal. Generally when your mac is sleep, its still technically running as all you information is kept in ram. however in safe sleep mode that information is transferred to your hard drive in a temp file. This information is then retrieved from the hard drive, not ram when you come out of sleep.

    The reason you did not experience this on your older mac was because of some new BS EU standard... Basically since 10.8.2 all computer that are "plugged into a power source" for 4 hours or more with no activity will go into "safe sleep". Before 10.8.2, the only time your mac would go into safe sleep is right before it detected you battery was about to run out.

    Note: the above 10.8.2 update is only for 2012 macs and newer i believe, older macs running 10.8.2 will not go into save sleep after 4 hours if plugged in.

    Now about your system preferences, when you say up to 15 seconds, is this really 15 seconds or does it just feel like 15 seconds but its really 8?

    This should not take more than 2 or 3 bounces max on a new system, even with a 5400 rpm drive. There could potentially be an underlying issue. Open up your "disk utility" app, click on your hard drive and see if you have an smart errors. If there is take it to apple, they should replace the drive for you.

    Also, do you hear any clicking from your drive? like louder than what you use to hear from your old computer? one sign of a drive starting to go bad is a metallic clicking sound instead of a more muted sound that a good drive omits.
  20. ETID thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2008

    The system preferences can vary but worst I've seen was about 15 seconds. If it has been brought up before in the same sesion it will be about 3-4 seconds, which I would say is acceptable.

    Regarding the safe sleep mode: Is there a way this can be turned off via terminal? I can see the logic behind it but for me I would rather have it off.

    I haven't really got an outrageous number of programs on the laptop. Maybe 15? I have considered taking it to Apple but I am a little hesitant as I don't want to be the typical guy who complains his computer is slow.

    Oh and no clicking from the drive

  21. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Apr 5, 2009
    Kyoto, Japan
    The following is a list of things found in various post here on the sleep mode; I cannot give credit where it is due, as I don't remember where I got the info, but thanks to those who contributed!
    Sleep settings
    All changes made through pmset are saved in a persistent preferences file (per-system, not per-user) at

    Scheduled power on/off events are stored separately in

    pmset modifies the same file that System Preferences Energy Saver modifies.

    hibernatemode = 0 (binary 0000) by default on supported desktops. The system will not back memory up to persistent storage. The system must wake from the contents of memory; the system will lose context on power loss. This is, historically, plain old sleep.
    hibernatemode = 3 (binary 0011) by default on supported portables. The system will store a copy of memory to persistent storage (the disk), and will power memory during sleep. The system will wake from memory, unless a power loss forces it to restore from disk image.
    hibernatemode = 25 (binary 0001 1001) is only settable via pmset. The system will store a copy of memory to persistent storage (the disk), and will remove power to memory. The system will restore from disk image. If you want "hibernation" - slower sleeps, slower wakes, and better battery life, you should use this setting.

    Open a Terminal shell (in the /Applications/Utilities folder)
    pmset -g
    will list all the current power settings/device settings.
    1. set hibernate mode to 0
    sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0
    hibernationmode 0 is normal sleep, data kept in ram, nothing written to disk
    2. delete the unnecessary sleep file (since hibernate is disabled) to regain disk space equal to memory (saves the same amount of disk space as your RAM, eg. 8 GBs, valuable on an SSD),
    You can use the Go to folder menu to delete the file, found in the /var/vm/ folder, and named sleepimage. Reboot and simply delete that file,. Or use this:
    sudo rm /var/vm/sleepimage or sudo rm /private/var/vm/sleepimage
    The sleep image file is actually in /Private/var/vm/ but /var/vm/ is a symbolic link to that location.
    Optional: Create a blanked zero-byte file so the OS cannot rewrite the file:
    sudo touch /private/var/vm/sleepimage
    Make the file immutable:
    sudo chflags uchg /private/var/vm/sleepimage
    3. If pmset -g shows: autopoweroff**1,
    disable this automatic hibernation mode (happens even if hibernation mode is set to 0 on the new Mac mini 2012 and iMac)
    sudo pmset -a autopoweroff 0
    4. set the safe sleep timer (standbydelay) to 20 hours, default is 4200
    sudo pmset -a standbydelay 72000
    5. sudo pmset -a standby 0
    While researching this, I noticed that bit 3 of hibernatemode encourages the dynamic pager to page out inactive pages prior to hibernation. So this appears to be why I have swap used after sleeping (even though my hibernatemode is 0, so bit 3 is off). I disabled this new, possibly buggy behavior by switching off standby: sudo pmset -a standby 0
  22. ETID thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2008
    I changed my settings using terminal so that the safe sleep is turned off and that has helped a lot on waking it up. Unfortunately the rest of it is still painfully slow.

    Any more troubleshooting ideas on that? Otherwise I guess its a trip to the geniuses!!

    Cheers guys

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