PDA

View Full Version : 2010 MacBook Pro excruciatingly slow



Mel7
22nd March 2015, 06:36 PM
Hi. My 2010 MacBook Pro is sooooooo sloooow. Is it time to upgrade, or can it be fixed at the Apple Store? Specs are:

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2010)
Processor: 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Memory: 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 320M 256 MB

Memory: Your Mac contains 2 memory slots, each of which accepts
a 1067 MHz DDR3 memory module.

I mainly use the MS Office suite plus several websites operating. It really is impacting on my productivity, as it takes forever to open applications after boot up, and I'm getting sick of constantly seeing the revolving beach ball each time i try to swith apps.

Grrrr.

Oldmacs
22nd March 2015, 07:03 PM
Hi. My 2010 MacBook Pro is sooooooo sloooow. Is it time to upgrade, or can it be fixed at the Apple Store? Specs are:

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2010)
Processor: 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Memory: 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 320M 256 MB

Memory: Your Mac contains 2 memory slots, each of which accepts
a 1067 MHz DDR3 memory module.

I mainly use the MS Office suite plus several websites operating. It really is impacting on my productivity, as it takes forever to open applications after boot up, and I'm getting sick of constantly seeing the revolving beach ball each time i try to swith apps.

Grrrr.

You can upgrade it yourself :)

Assuming that it doesn't have problems which are slowing it down, installing an SSD(Solid State Disk Drive) can help massively.

kyte
22nd March 2015, 10:10 PM
Hi. My 2010 MacBook Pro is sooooooo sloooow. Is it time to upgrade, or can it be fixed at the Apple Store? Specs are:

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2010)
Processor: 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Memory: 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 320M 256 MB

Memory: Your Mac contains 2 memory slots, each of which accepts
a 1067 MHz DDR3 memory module.

I mainly use the MS Office suite plus several websites operating. It really is impacting on my productivity, as it takes forever to open applications after boot up, and I'm getting sick of constantly seeing the revolving beach ball each time i try to swith apps.

Grrrr.

Thats the same model I just bought last week, ex-Lease. I'm going to go 8GB and a 512GB SSD. It can go to 16GB according to everymac.

MacRowdy
23rd March 2015, 05:12 AM
I have a similar vintage and spec Mac mini.

The last month or two it has slowed to a crawl.

The prime suspect is Google Chrome - that seems to be using more and more memory these days, and limiting the number of open tabs helps, or trying not to run anything else while Chrome is running.

Firefox seems marginally better, although most of my bookmarks are in Chrome.

Also my disk was nearly full, which severely limited the amount of swap the system could use. Freeing up about 10GB has helped to a certain extent.

Short term fixes might help - ultimately I think an upgrade is required, even if to a refurbished last year model of something.

kyte
23rd March 2015, 07:54 AM
Or, don't use Chrome or Firefox. Even if you don't like Safari, it doesnt crawl too much. Opera is much leaner than any of them... Hmm... maybe thats where I will save some beachballs. LOL

Oldmacs
23rd March 2015, 09:20 AM
Or, don't use Chrome or Firefox. Even if you don't like Safari, it doesnt crawl too much. Opera is much leaner than any of them... Hmm... maybe thats where I will save some beachballs. LOL

Agreed. Chrome is a terrible performer on pretty much everything. Even on a 2014 Macbook Pro Retina, Chrome is a disaster - it uses so much more energy, RAM and Processing power than Safari.

I find that the latest version of Safari is great even on older machines.

Mel7
23rd March 2015, 09:35 AM
Thats the same model I just bought last week, ex-Lease. I'm going to go 8GB and a 512GB SSD. It can go to 16GB according to everymac.

Sounds like a good option. Excuse my ignorance: what is a SSD? I have a 500 GB SATA disc. What is the difference between mine and SSD? Also, do you think going from 4 GB memory to 8GB will help?

Oldmacs
23rd March 2015, 11:07 AM
Sounds like a good option. Excuse my ignorance: what is a SSD? I have a 500 GB SATA disc. What is the difference between mine and SSD? Also, do you think going from 4 GB memory to 8GB will help?

A SSD (solid state disk drive) is a storage drive that uses flash storage instead of spinning magnetic platters to store your data. Because flash memory is so fast, compared to a traditional spinning hard drive, SSDs are significantly faster than the sort of Hard-drive you currently have.

Also as there are no moving parts, an SSD is reliable, quiet and runs cooler than a traditional hard drive.

An SSD would improve pretty much every aspect of your computers performance. I would recommend you buy an SSD to replace your current Harddrive, even before you upgrade the ram - e.g. you're probably going to get a bigger performance improvement with an SSD rather than more ram. However if you have the money to spend go ahead and do both :)

Mel7
23rd March 2015, 11:45 AM
A SSD (solid state disk drive) is a storage drive that uses flash storage instead of spinning magnetic platters to store your data. Because flash memory is so fast, compared to a traditional spinning hard drive, SSDs are significantly faster than the sort of Hard-drive you currently have.

Also as there are no moving parts, an SSD is reliable, quiet and runs cooler than a traditional hard drive.

An SSD would improve pretty much every aspect of your computers performance. I would recommend you buy an SSD to replace your current Harddrive, even before you upgrade the ram - e.g. you're probably going to get a bigger performance improvement with an SSD rather than more ram. However if you have the money to spend go ahead and do both :)

Fantastic - thanks so much - very much appreciated. I assume I can take my MacBook to an Apple Store and they can replace the disk? Any idea of cost?

Oldmacs
23rd March 2015, 12:11 PM
Fantastic - thanks so much - very much appreciated. I assume I can take my MacBook to an Apple Store and they can replace the disk? Any idea of cost?

I don't think Apple does SSD upgrades, but if you're happy to open your Mac you can do it yourself...

The SSD price varies, depending on the size of disk you need. A 500 GB SSD is around $280 I think.

Mel7
23rd March 2015, 12:25 PM
I don't think Apple does SSD upgrades, but if you're happy to open your Mac you can do it yourself...

The SSD price varies, depending on the size of disk you need. A 500 GB SSD is around $280 I think.

Thanks. $280 is certainly a lot cheaper than a new MacBook, so even if I get another 12 or so months out of it, I reckon it's worth the investment. I'm not really game enough to tackle it myself. Should I just go to one of the Apple endorsed service companies? I'm in Sydney, so any recommendations would be welcome

Oldmacs
23rd March 2015, 12:49 PM
Thanks. $280 is certainly a lot cheaper than a new MacBook, so even if I get another 12 or so months out of it, I reckon it's worth the investment. I'm not really game enough to tackle it myself. Should I just go to one of the Apple endorsed service companies? I'm in Sydney, so any recommendations would be welcome

Hmm... I'll find out about apple service companies.

I recently put an SSD in my aunt's 2008 Macbook and she says it runs like new and she hopes to get another few years out of it!

If you can survive on 256 GB of hard drive space, you can get an SSD for $140... just depends on how much storage you need :)

Mel7
23rd March 2015, 02:26 PM
Hmm... I'll find out about apple service companies.

I recently put an SSD in my aunt's 2008 Macbook and she says it runs like new and she hopes to get another few years out of it!

If you can survive on 256 GB of hard drive space, you can get an SSD for $140... just depends on how much storage you need :)

I definitely need 500 GB.

kyte
23rd March 2015, 09:33 PM
Mel, go and take a look at ifixit.com before you go spending lots of dollars on getting a Mac guy to do the job for you. It will be a lot more expensive that way. I looked into doing that too, but our local non-Apple people charge $99 to start and $149 an hour and that's not including parts. Ifixit gives excellent instructions, in both text and photo at each step.

If after you look you decide its still too difficult, thats fine, but don't make the decision until you have seen how easy it could be.
Here's the link: https://www.ifixit.com/Device/MacBook_Unibody_Model_A1342

Oldmacs
23rd March 2015, 10:03 PM
Mel, go and take a look at ifixit.com before you go spending lots of dollars on getting a Mac guy to do the job for you. It will be a lot more expensive that way. I looked into doing that too, but our local non-Apple people charge $99 to start and $149 an hour and that's not including parts. Ifixit gives excellent instructions, in both text and photo at each step.

If after you look you decide its still too difficult, thats fine, but don't make the decision until you have seen how easy it could be.
Here's the link: https://www.ifixit.com/Device/MacBook_Unibody_Model_A1342

Its a pretty easy installation, if you take your time and you're careful about it.

The harder part is getting all of your data back onto it - so if you were to do it, make sure you're comfortable with reinstalling OSX, reinstalling applications, copying over data and re setting the computer up (Though a program such as Carbon Copy Cloner may do the trick?)

I just looked and its $509 at Mac Medic to get a Samsung 500GB SDD installed.... Perhaps if you ordered the SSD separately it would be cheaper, as there are much better value SSDs from brands such as Crucial and OWC.

soulman
23rd March 2015, 10:26 PM
I definitely need 500 GB.Absolutely go for an SSD if you're up for spending a bit on the existing machine - all the posts above are good info and it will make a dramatic difference to the speed - but don't buy just any SSD. The current favourite for reliability and speed seems to be the Crucial MX100 512GB. The Wirecutter goes into the details (http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-best-ssds/), but you can be confident it's a good buy (http://www.staticice.com.au/cgi-bin/search.cgi?q=Crucial+MX100+512GB&spos=3).

I would also recommend increasing the RAM to at least 8GB too. If you do a lot of web browsing and like to have heaps of tabs open at once like everyone seems to do these days, then 8GB is only barely enough.

The only other thing that may be worth thinking about is why your computer actually is so slow at the moment. I have a friend with a similar machine who was suffering terrible slowdowns and it turned out that she hadn't restarted the machine in many months. There was nothing obviously wrong with it when I checked it and a simple restart made it like new again. You should try this first if you haven't restarted your machine in a while.

Another possible cause of the symptoms you describe is a disk with less than 10% of free space. This is especially important when you don't have a lot of RAM, as the disk gets used to temporarily store data that doesn't fit into RAM. This is slow at the best of times, but if you're short on disk space, it becomes ridiculously so. Whilst the symptoms aren't as bad with an SSD, they slow down for other reasons when they're nearly full, so I would recommend never going under about 20% free space. I always try to keep mine under half full if I can. They just work better and last longer. Make more use of externals or get a NAS if you need to get stuff off your hard drive.

If it's not a full disk, then it's possible that some process (application like Word, or Safari, or a system level process) is using up all your processor cycles. A restart will likely fix this too, but the problem will return most likely. It's reasonably easy to know if it's happening on a laptop because the fans will run hard and the battery will not last as well. If that's not happening, then this is not likely to be the issue.

It would be worth putting a little bit of time into finding out what's dramatically slowing things down now, so you won't have the same issue in the future. The hardware upgrades will improve things, but at least try restarting and checking disk free space before you spend any money. I have also used a free utility called EtreCheck (http://etresoft.com/etrecheck) to check for performance issues and found it handy. Basically, if there's anything in red print in the report, it might be causing you some issues. That only takes 5 minutes to download and run, so it might be worth doing too.

Oldmacs
23rd March 2015, 10:40 PM
Absolutely go for an SSD if you're up for spending a bit on the existing machine - all the posts above are good info and it will make a dramatic difference to the speed - but don't buy just any SSD. The current favourite for reliability and speed seems to be the Crucial MX100 512GB. The Wirecutter goes into the details (http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-best-ssds/), but you can be confident it's a good buy (http://www.staticice.com.au/cgi-bin/search.cgi?q=Crucial+MX100+512GB&spos=3).

I would also recommend increasing the RAM to at least 8GB too. If you do a lot of web browsing and like to have heaps of tabs open at once like everyone seems to do these days, then 8GB is only barely enough.

The only other thing that may be worth thinking about is why your computer actually is so slow at the moment. I have a friend with a similar machine who was suffering terrible slowdowns and it turned out that she hadn't restarted the machine in many months. There was nothing obviously wrong with it when I checked it and a simple restart made it like new again. You should try this first if you haven't restarted your machine in a while.

Another possible cause of the symptoms you describe is a disk with less than 10% of free space. This is especially important when you don't have a lot of RAM, as the disk gets used to temporarily store data that doesn't fit into RAM. This is slow at the best of times, but if you're short on disk space, it becomes ridiculously so. Whilst the symptoms aren't as bad with an SSD, they slow down for other reasons when they're nearly full, so I would recommend never going under about 20% free space. I always try to keep mine under half full if I can. They just work better and last longer. Make more use of externals or get a NAS if you need to get stuff off your hard drive.

If it's not a full disk, then it's possible that some process (application like Word, or Safari, or a system level process) is using up all your processor cycles. A restart will likely fix this too, but the problem will return most likely. It's reasonably easy to know if it's happening on a laptop because the fans will run hard and the battery will not last as well. If that's not happening, then this is not likely to be the issue.

It would be worth putting a little bit of time into finding out what's dramatically slowing things down now, so you won't have the same issue in the future. The hardware upgrades will improve things, but at least try restarting and checking disk free space before you spend any money. I have also used a free utility called EtreCheck (http://etresoft.com/etrecheck) to check for performance issues and found it handy. Basically, if there's anything in red print in the report, it might be causing you some issues. That only takes 5 minutes to download and run, so it might be worth doing too.

I would also be recommending the Crucial MX100 512 GB - It is $280 on amazon :)

kyte
30th March 2015, 09:52 AM
I prefer to order things like that in Oz, so I've gone with 8GB and 256GB SSD, both Crucial, the SSD is MX200. Now I'm all excited and want the items here right now.

I'll get the new battery next pay. The Macbook doesnt seem to care that its missing a couple of screws. I found the one I lost, yesterday, whilst vaccing on the other side of the room. Small things travel far when you drop them.

nibbles
30th March 2015, 05:14 PM
An SSD will definitely help and you might find someone on here or a site such as airtasker willing to do it for you a lot cheaper than any repair place. It isn't a difficult job and $50 or so would be reasonable for such an installation. I'd offer if I was in the Sydney area :/

Before you rush out and buy one (by all means get one if you have the money) there's a few things you can do to try and speed it up, your success may vary and it could be a dying hard drive but the below option are worth a shot, they cost nothing but a few minutes of time.

1. Restart. After a while things start to slow down, RAM is being used but not released as it should be, things are still running in the background even though you've closed them off. A quick reboot takes nothing.

2. SMC Reset. Follow this guide https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT201295 to reset the system management controller. The SMC can go into a sort of safety/limp mode like a car where it will assume a worst case scenario because it wasn't getting the information it expected. It doesn't hurt to reset it, the clock will reset (and then automatically set it self again) and the volume will go to about 50% both of which are easily fixed. Personally I've seen performance increases of 4 - 5 times.

3. Software updates. What version of Mac OS X are you using? And what browser? As said above it's common for Chrome to use more resources than it should and the same goes for older versions of Safari.

kyte
31st March 2015, 11:57 AM
You know when I first responded to this, saying I had bought the same model... I was wrong. Mine is *not* a pro. so ignore almost everything else I said.

Oldmacs
31st March 2015, 01:13 PM
You know when I first responded to this, saying I had bought the same model... I was wrong. Mine is *not* a pro. so ignore almost everything else I said.


What you've said though is still pretty relevant, as the Pro and the normal Macbook were pretty similar in the areas that matter here (processor speed, hard drive speed, bus speed, ram speed etc) - the White Macbook just had less ram standard, a smaller Harddirve, less ports, no backlit keyboard and was plastic instead of metal. (of course this is under the assumption that the OP's Macbook Pro is a C2D 13 inch model not an I series 15/17 inch model.

kyte
31st March 2015, 01:41 PM
Yeah, true. I've just put the new 8GB in and oh my what a difference. Havent installed the SSD yet, forgot I needed torx screwdrivers. Off to bunnings in the morning.

Oldmacs
31st March 2015, 01:52 PM
Yeah, true. I've just put the new 8GB in and oh my what a difference. Havent installed the SSD yet, forgot I needed torx screwdrivers. Off to bunnings in the morning.

If the ram made that much of a difference, the SSD will blow you away...

Swathe
31st March 2015, 03:09 PM
I've been using SSDS in everything for a good 5 years now until recently I got an old Mac Mini with a 5400 RPM spinning disk in it lol. Man it's torture, it will be going in the bin soon!

kyte
31st March 2015, 03:32 PM
Well, I couldnt stand it, and bunnings isnt far from here so I went and bought some Torx screwdrivers. The SSD is in and the contents of the previous drive are being restored by SuperDuper! even as I type. Cannot wait to start using it., And now I have a bunch of tools... (glares meaningfully at the Mac Mini)

Oldmacs
31st March 2015, 06:46 PM
I've been using SSDS in everything for a good 5 years now until recently I got an old Mac Mini with a 5400 RPM spinning disk in it lol. Man it's torture, it will be going in the bin soon!

The Mac Mini or the Harddrive?

Swathe
1st April 2015, 06:33 AM
The hard drive. The mini will run fine once I give it these upgrades. I'd never just bin it.

Mel7
2nd April 2015, 02:20 PM
Excellent advice. I shutdown 95% of the time before logging off for the night, so it's probably not that. I've got more than 20% of disc space, but I'll look into the processor cycles thing and also check out EtreCheck.

Awesome advice - thanks

DebB
3rd April 2015, 12:57 PM
I have that model, and it does work better with the 8GB (I put this in myself). However, it still slows to a crawl when the HD is full, so +1 to adding a larger SSD. I have huge a iTunes library as a music teacher, and I enjoy photography so I am now trying to keep as much as possible of my data on Firewire HDs. I have a LaCie 2TB which I can piggy back another 1TB portable drive to through Firewire. The connection is fast enough for photo editing using Aperture. That has saved me the hassle of putting in a new internal HD. Long term storage is on a NAS with auto backup and mirrored drives.

Oldmacs
3rd April 2015, 12:59 PM
I have that model, and it does work better with the 8GB (I put this in myself). However, it still slows to a crawl when the HD is full, so +1 to adding a larger SSD. I have huge a iTunes library as a music teacher, and I enjoy photography so I am now trying to keep as much as possible of my data on Firewire HDs. I have a LaCie 2TB which I can piggy back another 1TB portable drive to through Firewire. The connection is fast enough for photo editing using Aperture. That has saved me the hassle of putting in a new internal HD. Long term storage is on a NAS with auto backup and mirrored drives.


I say that the RAM is good, but if you're on a budget, keeping 4GB of ram + an SSD is far better value for money... But of course this means you often have to sacrifice disk space, thus while on my own Macbook I upgraded to 8GB rather than putting an SSD in (I have 950 GB of data on my laptop). :P

RodB
8th April 2015, 08:46 AM
I have that model, and it does work better with the 8GB (I put this in myself). However, it still slows to a crawl when the HD is full, so +1 to adding a larger SSD. I have huge a iTunes library as a music teacher, and I enjoy photography so I am now trying to keep as much as possible of my data on Firewire HDs. I have a LaCie 2TB which I can piggy back another 1TB portable drive to through Firewire. The connection is fast enough for photo editing using Aperture. That has saved me the hassle of putting in a new internal HD. Long term storage is on a NAS with auto backup and mirrored drives.

I have the similar model 2009 MBP too. I 'lost' my newer 2012 MBP a while ago (long story) so resurrected the 2009 one and upgraded to 8GB of RAM and an SSD. Although I do these kind of upgrades a lot, it really is amazing how much of a performance boost the RAM/SSD combo can give an old Mac. I now have the 2009 MBP as my main work mac and don't even miss the newer one.

If you want to have a crack at installing the RAM / SSD yourself, then the ifixit guides are great.

We've also got a few videos on our website explaining how it's all done. Just google ramcity and go to the installation guides menu on the right.

Dog Knight
14th April 2015, 09:26 PM
Both an SSD and extra RAM will make a big difference.
Changing the RAM and the hard drive are very straight forward if you know how to use a screwdriver.

See this video below. Not the best video, but shows how easy it is.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5xTr76_j1E

As for RAM, you can see it in the above video, also very easy to change.

If you can put 8gb of RAM in there, I definitely recommend so. Will help avoid the speed drop when you are running a few tasks.