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New MBP not much faster than my Core 2 Duo 2.1 GHz MBP.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I got a new MBP about 2 months ago (a 15 inch anti-glare 2.3 GHZ Quad core i7) and it doesn't seem much, if at all, faster than my old Core 2 duo 2.1GHz dual core 15inch MBP. The only thing I really see a difference in is when I search a PDF doc.

 

Both have 4 gigs of ram.

 

I'm wondering if I need more ram for the new MBP? Is there a way to tell if its using the hard drive more than its supposed to when it stores and retrieve data?

post #2 of 9
Did you get it with or without the optional go faster stripes stickers? Apply stickers to improve the perception of speed. The quad-core MBP is over twice as fast as the old one in both CPU and GPU but you'll only see that performance difference if you do things that stress either of them e.g if you encode movies with Handbrake, if you play games or use certain resource intensive apps like Adobe apps. For average use, there's going to be very little discernible difference, which is why the mainstream computers (the Air) are on ULV processors.

One of the biggest bottlenecks is the storage though and if you got the stock machine, you are still stuck with a 5400 rpm hard drive. Every program you launch, file you open or save is dealing with that bottleneck. SSDs are fairly cheap now and at least 5x faster than a HDD:

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Electronics-SATAIII-2-5-Inch-MZ-7TD500BW/dp/B009NHAF3I

There's far less chance of beachballs with an SSD and even just general delays in opening apps and files because of the IOPs especially random read/write performance. 8GB+ RAM is a good idea too but check if your page outs are high in Activity Monitor. Ideally page outs should stay in the low MBs or even 0 for long periods of time if you have enough RAM. If it's GBs after less than a few days, a RAM upgrade is worthwhile.
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Did you get it with or without the optional go faster stripes stickers? Apply stickers to improve the perception of speed. The quad-core MBP is over twice as fast as the old one in both CPU and GPU but you'll only see that performance difference if you do things that stress either of them e.g if you encode movies with Handbrake, if you play games or use certain resource intensive apps like Adobe apps. For average use, there's going to be very little discernible difference, which is why the mainstream computers (the Air) are on ULV processors.
 

I have a sticker on my own notebook. I considered looking for a circular yellow one. I would place over the Apple logo, then use an x acto knife to trim out the inner part. It would look like the Apple equivalent of the bat signal, which would be awesome, even if the bat portion was normally the shaded part. I find if you really utilize them the quad core machines are significantly faster. The OP never really mentions what was slow about his old one.

 

Quote:
One of the biggest bottlenecks is the storage though and if you got the stock machine, you are still stuck with a 5400 rpm hard drive. Every program you launch, file you open or save is dealing with that bottleneck. SSDs are fairly cheap now and at least 5x faster than a HDD:

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Electronics-SATAIII-2-5-Inch-MZ-7TD500BW/dp/B009NHAF3I


I would say it varies. I don't like to give out generic performance advice, because it does vary. If most of your time is spent in one or two applications and everything is loaded, the difference will be nearly unnoticeable assuming you are completely unconstrained in terms of ram. 4GB is really tight with Lion and ML.

 

 

Quote:
There's far less chance of beachballs with an SSD and even just general delays in opening apps and files because of the IOPs especially random read/write performance. 8GB+ RAM is a good idea too but check if your page outs are high in Activity Monitor. Ideally page outs should stay in the low MBs or even 0 for long periods of time if you have enough RAM. If it's GBs after less than a few days, a RAM upgrade is worthwhile.

 

In case he already owns a copy of disk warrior, that helps too. Part of it was a software problem, but back when I was limited to 8, there were times where I had 40GB or more of pageouts over a few days. SSDs make that less noticeable, but ram is still ideal for what it costs. It's important to actually know what was lagging to provide a good answer for the OP. Otherwise he will end up spending more than necessary.

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I have a sticker on my own notebook. I considered looking for a circular yellow one. I would place over the Apple logo, then use an x acto knife to trim out the inner part. It would look like the Apple equivalent of the bat signal, which would be awesome, even if the bat portion was normally the shaded part.

A pre-made decal would probably look a lot nicer:

http://www.gadgetreview.com/2013/01/dark-knight-batman-macbook-decal.html

Some of them are amazing:








Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I would say it varies. I don't like to give out generic performance advice, because it does vary. If most of your time is spent in one or two applications and everything is loaded, the difference will be nearly unnoticeable assuming you are completely unconstrained in terms of ram. 4GB is really tight with Lion and ML.

Pretty much every workflow is file-based at some point. I agree RAM is typically the priority but SSDs should still make a noticeable difference. Even something as simple as a web browser:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/solid-state-drive-work-tests,3064-9.html

They give an overall improvement to how responsive the whole system is. I think everyone would benefit from an SSD and would recommend that everyone gets one where possible.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

There's far less chance of beachballs with an SSD and even just general delays in opening apps and files because of the IOPs especially random read/write performance. 8GB+ RAM is a good idea too but check if your page outs are high in Activity Monitor. Ideally page outs should stay in the low MBs or even 0 for long periods of time if you have enough RAM. If it's GBs after less than a few days, a RAM upgrade is worthwhile.

 

Thanks Marvin, that's what I was looking for.

 

I just checked and I'm at 13.12GB but its been running for more than a few days. I'll reboot it and then check it after a few days, if its in the GB, I'll upgrade to 8G of ram.

 

edit: I also noticed I only have about 50MB of free memory. Don't know if that means anything but it seems kind of small given that I have 4GB.

 

 

Thanks again...

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by sc_markt View Post

I also noticed I only have about 50MB of free memory. Don't know if that means anything but it seems kind of small given that I have 4GB.

The system stores data from apps that have been launched and quit in inactive memory so that if you need to start using an app again, it can just use what's in RAM already. It tries to make the most use of the RAM no matter how much you have. The most important allocations are the wired/red and active/yellow segments as they are amounts in use. Your free memory is pretty much the free memory plus inactive memory as it will reallocate the inactive memory when needed but having more free memory is better and your page outs suggest you'd benefit from it. You can also check your virtual memory files to see how much is being used on top of the memory you have - this is stored in /var/vm, which you can access either by typing:

open /var/vm

in the terminal and hitting return or use the Finder > Go menu> Go to Folder /var/vm. The total size of files in there plus your total memory is roughly how much you'd need to avoid paging out.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


A pre-made decal would probably look a lot nicer:

http://www.gadgetreview.com/2013/01/dark-knight-batman-macbook-decal.html

Some of them are amazing:
 

I know I typed up a response to this yesterday, but it seems to be lost. Some of those are really great. In spite of not being something I would use, the Snow White ones are pure genius. Etsy in general is pretty awesome.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


The system stores data from apps that have been launched and quit in inactive memory so that if you need to start using an app again, it can just use what's in RAM already. It tries to make the most use of the RAM no matter how much you have. The most important allocations are the wired/red and active/yellow segments as they are amounts in use. Your free memory is pretty much the free memory plus inactive memory as it will reallocate the inactive memory when needed but having more free memory is better and your page outs suggest you'd benefit from it. You can also check your virtual memory files to see how much is being used on top of the memory you have - this is stored in /var/vm, which you can access either by typing:

open /var/vm

in the terminal and hitting return or use the Finder > Go menu> Go to Folder /var/vm. The total size of files in there plus your total memory is roughly how much you'd need to avoid paging out.

 

 

I'm going to have to update my RAM, not sure if I'll go to 8GB or 16GB. Crucial seems to have a pretty good deal for 16GB.

I hope I can unload the 4GB after I've installed the larger RAM modules...

 

Thanks again Marvin.

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by sc_markt View Post

 

 

I'm going to have to update my RAM, not sure if I'll go to 8GB or 16GB. Crucial seems to have a pretty good deal for 16GB.

I hope I can unload the 4GB after I've installed the larger RAM modules...

 

Thanks again Marvin.


The original ram doesn't sell for very much. If it's under warranty, keep it around. It can also be kept around for test purposes in case you are trying to diagnose kernel panics. Crucial tends to be one of the better ones in terms of QA. You don't find very many complaints about bad sticks compared to other brands, but it can still happen on occasion.

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