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Nearly Done.. Macbook woes.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Okay, I've just about had it with my latest Mac. I am the (not so proud) owner of a MacBook Pro 2012  15 inch  2.3ghz Intel Core i7 with 4GB ram running 10.8.5.  And just my luck just out of warranty. This shit has been building up for a while. I already own a few Macs from years ago and this is the first time I have had to post this stuff.

 

Aperture runs too slowly.... beach ball most tasks. Just lost a shed load of photos that I imported earlier in the day. Couldn't get the software to display individual pics. Just a list of pics. (yes I know how to use the damn thing) so I restarted and the whole project is now blank. Bugs bugs. F+@$ I hate Aperture!

 

iTunes runs like a pig at times. Freaking thing beach balls when i'm trying to do more than one thing at a time. CD ripping is hit and miss too. Some original Cds are just not recognised by the drive (happens mostly with compilation CDs) and are spat out, some are seen as blank media when actually they are pre-burned music CD's. Play perfectly well on a CD player. At times i get serious vibration from the CD drive when burning discs. Terrible noise.

Safari freezes at times and refuses to scroll then comes back.

Overheats when im charging and viewing YouTube/video media and/or playing music, maybe Safari running too. Fans are way up past 2100rpm. 

Ping.. ping from the base when things get toasty. ??

Fan noise vibration (whirring like a card on spokes of a wheel) from left fan sometimes.

Connecting to my Sony SRSBTM8 bluetooth speaker - No problems with my iPhone 4. Beautiful sound and no drop outs.  With this MacBook... dropouts and clicks all the time! Click, click. click. WTF? Range is crap too.  

BTW.. build quality on this thing just ain't up to par.  The screen doesn't quite match the base, bit of awkward mm overhang on one side. Just enough to make it ugly.  

Just about ready to give up.

 

Any suggestions?

post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiMac View Post

Aperture runs too slowly.... beach ball most tasks.
iTunes runs like a pig at times. Freaking thing beach balls when i'm trying to do more than one thing at a time.
Safari freezes at times and refuses to scroll then comes back.

If you just have the stock drive, it's a 5400 rpm hard drive. To keep things responsive when dealing with lots of file activity, you are much better off using an SSD e.g

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Electronics-EVO-Series-2-5-Inch-MZ-7TE500BW/dp/B00E3W19MO

These are 5-10x faster than HDDs. 8GB RAM+ helps when running apps too but you might not need that if you aren't running lots of apps at once (check page outs in Activity Monitor).
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiMac View Post

CD ripping is hit and miss too. Some original Cds are just not recognised by the drive (happens mostly with compilation CDs) and are spat out, some are seen as blank media when actually they are pre-burned music CD's. Play perfectly well on a CD player. At times i get serious vibration from the CD drive when burning discs. Terrible noise.

Apple's optical drives have never been particularly good for heavy use and they will eventually be removed from every machine. For heavy optical drive use, you are better off with an external e.g

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-External-Drive-SE-208DB-TSBS/dp/B009QBIZ60

but any drive can have similar issues with certain discs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiMac View Post

Overheats when im charging and viewing YouTube/video media and/or playing music, maybe Safari running too. Fans are way up past 2100rpm.
Ping.. ping from the base when things get toasty. ??
Fan noise vibration (whirring like a card on spokes of a wheel) from left fan sometimes.

It shouldn't heat up doing basic things but check what the CPU usage is like in Activity Monitor. The fan shouldn't be making any clicking noise and there shouldn't be a pinging noise when it gets hot. If your hard drive is making a pinging noise, that's a sign of impending drive failure and might explain the beachballs so if the drive is making noises make sure to have a regular backup and replace it.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply Marvin. I shall look into a SSD for the machine although they are still quite expensive. I had this thing BTO with a larger 750gb HDD though in hindsight I should have ordered the 7200 version. Had a look at the process viewer and found that flash player plug-in for Safari was running constantly and using at times up to 93% CPU! Quit that.

Here is a screenshot of istat. Note the fan speed even when the machine is cool. Also note the amount of memory used with just safari running!

 

 

Yea, the optical drive is obviously a piece of crap. Will just wait till it gives up then maybe buy a good replacement. 

 

The fan issue comes and goes (maybe not seated properly) and I will closely monitor the over heating issue to see if I can track down the problem to a specific set of usages. Gonna buy a 3tb external hdd for backups. Bluetooth is still crap.

 

I have wondered if doubling the RAM would help the machine run quicker. Would you suggest any particular brand to play nice with it?

 

Aperture is still a piece of shit. Seriously considering dumping it in favour of Adobe Lightroom if Apple don't update it with bug fixes and features very soon.

 

Maybe I should really be looking at buying a maxed out MacBook Air in the future. 


Edited by MiMac - 9/26/13 at 12:19pm
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiMac View Post

Had a look at the process viewer and found that flash player plug-in for Safari was running constantly and using at times up to 93% CPU! Quit that.

This is a common problem with Flash. 10.9 Mavericks should sort that as it has a feature to throttle background web processes to save power.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiMac View Post

Here is a screenshot of i
stat. Note the fan speed even when the machine is cool. Also note the amount of memory used with just safari running!

Those numbers are normal - Safari hogs a lot of RAM for some reason, even when you close pages down it doesn't always free it up. It should know that if no browser windows are open that the RAM usage should be flushed to less than 100MB. If you can hear the fans at 2000rpm, they must be rubbing. Someone here had a temporary issue with fan noise running around the 2000 rpm base speed:



The page outs you have don't look very high but the uptime is only 19 hours so it paged out 480MB in less than a day. The ideal scenario is that page outs and swap are zero permanently. If you left it running without rebooting for a few days, the amount of RAM you'd get away with is your internal plus the swap used.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiMac View Post

Gonna buy a 3tb external hdd for backups.

They make 2TB portables now, which allows you to backup and access backups on the go as they are bus-powered:

http://www.amazon.com/Passport-Portable-External-Storage-WDBY8L0020BBK-NESN/dp/B005HMKKH4

The transfer times might be a little faster on a 3.5" drive but only about 25% and you always need the power plugged into them. Get a USB 3 one to get the maximum speed out of the drives. USB 2 is about 35MB/s, Firewire 800 is about 60MB/s and USB 3 should max out the drive and you can get above 80MB/s:

http://reviews.cnet.com/external-hard-drives/wd-my-passport-portable/4505-3190_7-35178030-2.html
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiMac View Post

I have wondered if doubling the RAM would help the machine run quicker. Would you suggest any particular brand to play nice with it?

http://www.crucial.com has an easy RAM picker for the computer model. The list of compatible ones for your one would be the following (there are 8GB options if you click show all compatible memory):

http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.aspx?model=MacBook%20Pro%202.3GHz%20Intel%20Core%20i7%20(15-inch%20DDR3)%20Mid-2012

OWC has some too:

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/Apple_MacBook_MacBook_Pro/Upgrade/DDR3_1600MHz_SDRAM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiMac View Post

Maybe I should really be looking at
 buying a maxed out MacBook Air in the future. 

The Macbook Airs are ok and recent ones perform close to the old 13" MBPs but Apple charges a lot for the SSD and the ULT CPUs in the Airs are no match for the quad-i7s and GPU in the 15". The maximum Air power consumption for the processor is 15W, the 15" MBP is 45W CPU + 45W GPU. What would be nice is a 13" Retina MBP with a 35-45W quad-i7 with Iris Pro.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks again Marvin. I actually have a Western Digital USB3 2TB portable HDD which I use solely for music simply because I have far too many songs to keep on the internal drive. The larger 3.5 externals are relatively cheaper for more storage so the more the better.

Had a look at Crucial and here's what I got...

 

So I have a question. I see there is an 8GB kit comprising two 4 GB sticks or an option of one 8GB stick. Is it possible to buy and install the single 8GB stick alongside one of my current 2GB - bringing a total of 10GB or do the pairs have to be matched? Is it possible to buy the 8GB on its own and leave one slot free for a future memory purchase?

Thanks again.


Edited by MiMac - 9/28/13 at 3:33am
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiMac View Post

I see there is an 8GB kit comprising two 4 GB sticks or an option of one 8GB stick. Is it possible to buy and install the single 8GB stick alongside one of my current 2GB - bringing a total of 10GB or do the pairs have to be matched? Is it possible to buy the 8GB on its own and leave one slot free for a future memory purchase?

It is possible to use mismatched memory but it can affect integrated graphics performance as the IGP uses main memory too:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3246

"For best graphics performance your computer should have two same-size SO-DIMMs installed, one in each slot. When memory is installed in your Mac in same size pairs, the computer gains some performance benefits from the memory being interleaved. If you upgrade the memory in your Mac, make sure you have matching SO-DIMMs (both in memory size and speed) in each slot for the best graphics performance. Systems with integrated memory already benefit from having matched pairs of memory installed"

It's not such a big deal when you have a dedicated GPU as it will switch from the IGP to the dedicated one for intensive tasks anyway. I generally always go with matched memory but either option would work.
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