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· Disgruntled Dev
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1,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My MacBook Pro has been my staple traveling and work laptop for the last 5 years, but within the last few months it's just been god-awful slow.

The original hard drive died a few years back a nd I replaced it with a 750GB Western Digital that has worked faithfully and given me additional storage space. Works great with OSX and allowed me to have a 200GB partition set aside for Windows.

I'm currently running OS X El Capitan (10.11.4), with everything else updated and this machine is a slouch.

I should note that on the Windows partition, this laptop is still fast and as responsive as ever.

The problem is that I do a lot of iOS and OS X development, even on the road, so I can't be having these hiccups (also a reason why I just can't get a newer, inexpensive, better Windows laptop because of code signing certs).

Is it time to bite the bullet and just get a new machine?

I know reformatting isn't a common practice for Apple machines, but I did one around the time I noticed the slowness and the fresh install did nothing for me in terms of a speed increase.

Perhaps a critical hardware failure that doesn't seem to bug the Windows side of things? That would be odd, but certainly not unheard of...

I've The-Beast (one of my sig rigs) running Mint 17.3 and it's so damn slow, but Windows 7, 8 and 10 will perform as they should.
 

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3,177 Posts
Mint is slow on your desktop? Weird.

How much RAM on your MacBook? How are the CPU temps?
 

· Disgruntled Dev
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1,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I found that to be odd too; never could find a solution even after installing it on another SSD in that machine. But oh well, that wasn't a big deal as I just wanted to play around with Mint as opposed to using it as my primary OS.

Anyway, this MBP has the standard 4GB (at the time anyway), I've run Memtest and the Apple diagnostics and both returned no issues for the RAM.

I read the OS X Repair sticky first before posting to the board; so I've done just about everything including checking HDD integrity. All checks out fine.

Not sure I want to go through the process of a fresh install, but I may.

CPU temps are normal; when I replaced the HDD, I took the opportunity to apply new thermal paste (I've found factory paste jobs to be atrocious on ALL brands of laptops).

I also clean out the inside of the machine every 3-6 months to get rid of any dust or other debris that may have worked its way into the machine. Done my best to take good care of it, but you can only do so much!

Backlighting for the keyboard doesn't seem to work anymore either.

I know I'm delaying the inevitable, but I want to get as much service out of this machine as I still can.
 

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3,177 Posts
I'd get some more RAM - the new MBPs ship with 8GB minimum, 16GB for the 15". OS X loves to cache things in the RAM, and it consumes more and more with each release.

Personally I'd recommend 32GB if your laptop supports it (I like tabs), 16GB for most power users. You can get by with 8GB if you're dev apps are light and you spend most of your time in the terminal, but I'd say that's the minimum.
 

· Data Recovery Engineer
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24,801 Posts
Sounds to me like caching issues and maybe an indexing problem.

Try this:

Type the following into terminal (or copy and paste):

sudo rm -rf ~/Library/Caches/* ~/Library/Application\ Saved\ State/* /Library/Caches/* /System/Library/Caches/* /private/var/folders/*

This will remove all caches from the system and then on reboot, the unit will rebuild them. Should help quite a bit.

Also, download Onyx (best program ever BTW). Under Automation, check off Repair Permissions, Run Maintainance Scripts, XPC, Launch Services, and Core Duet. This will run, then reboot.

Should definitely help out a bit. Also, sometimes depending on what else is going on, an archive and reinstall plus onyx does wonders.

Another thing that can be going on is the hard drive failing, but it seems like the system has an SSD in it.
 

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291 Posts
I brought my girlfriends back from the dead by upgrading adding a 500gb SSD and 16gb of ram.

I also completely disassembled it, cleaning every nook and cranny, as well as replaced the thermal paste.

Of course, last but not least, backed up, and reinstalled a fresh copy of the OS. (Before adding SSD)

Literally runs better than it was when new. Temps are a lot better too.

For disassembly: https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook+Pro+15-Inch+Unibody+Early+2011+Teardown/4990

Edit: I see you have cleaned/ applied new TIM. (DOH! should have read whole thread first!) I'd go SSD, ram, and fresh install.
 

· Disgruntled Dev
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1,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Being that my machine is an early 2011, the max memory it can have is up to 8GB, so I can only essentially double what I've got now.

If I can get my hands on another SSD, I'll do just that. Before I do what Xeb suggested first to see if there are any changes! I'll report back when I've done that.
 

· Disgruntled Dev
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1,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Then I guess I'll be getting some ram!
 

· Data Recovery Engineer
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24,801 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by VaiFanatic View Post

Being that my machine is an early 2011, the max memory it can have is up to 8GB, so I can only essentially double what I've got now.

If I can get my hands on another SSD, I'll do just that. Before I do what Xeb suggested first to see if there are any changes! I'll report back when I've done that.
That is actually incorrect. It will take up to 16GB of ram.
 

· Disgruntled Dev
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1,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah, Xylene was kind enough to point that out; haven't had a chance to do anything with the machine as landscaping has been taking up all of my time these last few days.
 
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