What's slowing me down?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by currins, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. currins macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2010
    I wasn't going to upgrade from my mid-2010 MBP to the new refresh, but Apple let me return my 2010 for a 2011.

    I'm not a heavy user (email, internet, iphoto, imovie, video), so I usually go with the base model 15".

    Here's the rub, iMovie is intolerably slow on my 09 iMac, so I'm hoping to avoid those issues on my new MBP (which could replace my iMac for daily use). I do make make lengthy, hour-long, movies with hd video and pics for the kids each year, ie 4GB projects (just be glad you don't have to watch them)

    But when I'm working on the project, I have constant, long beachballs, and imovie is basically unresponsive. Very frustrating and almost impossible to edit once the project reaches a certain size.

    So what's my bottleneck - CPU? HDD? RAM? Graphics Card? iMovie itself?

    I ask b/c with the new MBP, I'm trying to eliminate the bottleneck. I had upgraded to 8GB (DIY) on the 2010 and will on the 2011. At some point, if prices come down, I'll do a SSD. But will the 2.0 vs 2.2 make a difference? Will the 6750M with 1GB GDDR5 make a difference on iMovie from the 15" base model.

    I know these upgrades on the 15" are "better" but I'm curious if I would see a difference on what slows down my computer currently.

  2. murdercitydevil macrumors 68000


    Feb 23, 2010
    I'm going to go ahead and guess that the HDD is your bottleneck. And upgrading to the newest models won't give you much of a boost if you still have a 5400 RPM drive as stock. Maybe you should upgrade to an SSD?
  3. drewsof07 macrumors 68000


    Oct 30, 2006
    What process of iMovie is slow? Importing, editing, or encoding?
  4. currins thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2010
    I import into iMovie every time I empty the camera, and I've never noticed a problem.

    Encoding those hour long deals takes about 4 hours. And here's showing my ignorance - if encoding means when I "publish" or create the movie to use in media browser for iDVD.

    But it's editing that's awful. If you open a clip to change the volume, I stare at a beach ball. When I drag a new picture into the large project, it just stalls, and I wait awhile with the cursor where I think it'll go for the insert line to turn green. Moving music around inside the project is a lost cause.

  5. currins thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2010
  6. Burnsey macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2007
    It's the damn hard drive, oh how I hate them so much. I would recommend upgrading to an SSD if you want to speed that up.
  7. currins thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2010
    I suspected the hard drive. Especially when I open a project or try to play a project full-screen, it takes absolutely *forever* to load. If iMovie is having to reach back to the Mac HD (where all my clips reside), I guess that's the delay.

    I love the idea of the SSD after spending a couple of months on the forums, but to solve my problem, I'll need one big enough to actually story all my media on....$$$$.
  8. Whitelightning macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2007
    I think 7200 rpm is good enough for now. SSDs are not yet at a reasonable affordable price yet. Sure it may seem cheap now, but given time, prices will inevitably get closer to hard drive range.

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