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oxband 10-20-2009 07:42 PM

I bought a new computer but it doesn't seem as fast as I expected
I bought a refurbished MacBook Pro 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo a month ago. I feel like I get the spinning wheel more than I should with a machine with this much power. Is there any way to check that the speed and memory is what it should be? Are there diagnostics on the computer or would I have to bring it into a store to get it checked out?

chscag 10-20-2009 07:49 PM

How much memory does it have? And, what kind of programs are you running or trying to run when the spinning wheel appears? Finally, how many programs are you running at the same time?


oxband 10-20-2009 09:38 PM

It often happens with Word or Safari. I usually don't have a lot going on: typically it's safari, word, itunes, and maybe 1 or 2 other things, but nothing with a lot of memory requirements. As for memory, its 4GB (two 2GB SO-DIMMs) of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM. Any thoughts?


Last thing: it's not always the spinning wheels of death. Sometimes the programs just stop responding and I have to force quit them. That actually is more common than the spinning wheel.

chscag 10-21-2009 01:33 PM

If applications are hanging and you have to force quit, there's something going on in the background or possibly a hardware problem. You have plenty of horsepower and memory in that machine to run even the most memory intensive programs.

What I suggest you try first is to run the Apple Hardware Test (AHT). That will check out your hardware and more importantly, the memory. Go to this LINK and follow directions.

Post back the results. Also... since you purchased the machine only several months ago, it's still covered under the Apple warranty. If anything does turn up from the AHT, make an appointment with Apple to have it looked at.


oxband 11-09-2009 01:39 AM

I ran the comprehensive test and it said no problems were found. All the same, I get the spinning wheel and a momentarily locked computer far more than I did on my previous, slower MacBook. Is it possible there is a problem with just Safari, as it happens more with Safari than anything else? What are the possible user settings on Safari that might cause this?

thanks in advance!

wmprice1240 11-09-2009 01:53 AM


What are the possible user settings on Safari that might cause this?
The Flash Player Safari plugin is known to be quite resource intensive and sluggish at times. You can always open /Applications/Utilities/ActivityMonitor and keep an eye on any process that consuming a large amount of CPU or memory when your system starts behaving as you describe. It's a good first step to figuring out what may be the exact cause.

dtravis7 11-09-2009 02:07 AM

What wmprice1240 said is dead on.

What pages are you viewing when you get your Safari freezes? You Tube? News? Sites who rely on the Flash Plugin?

oxband 11-09-2009 09:03 AM

I'll start doing that. I have looked at the activity monitor and it often has red spikes. Would it be useful to turn the flash player plug-in off? Would it give me just as many problems in Firefox?

wmprice1240 11-09-2009 09:25 AM


Would it give me just as many problems in Firefox?
I rarely use Firefox so I am probably not the best judge on this one. Trial and error never hurts and you see less performance issues with Firefox, it might be worth a shot. Flash is pretty much ubiquitous these days so disabling any sort of functionality would probably cause more issues (or a lot of error messages) than what it's worth.

cwa107 11-09-2009 09:25 AM

Personally, I think you're probably running into compatibility issues with Snow Leopard and third party apps. I had similar issues when I first upgraded and it took a long time to nail down a combination of issues that all resulted in a single symptom: an intermittent spinning wheel for seemingly no good reason.

Things to do:

1. Monitor the Console for daemons or programs that are constantly closing and reopening. Remove offending applications.
2. Exclude your Boot Camp partition from Spotlight indexing (if you're using Boot Camp).
3. Exclude your browser cache from Spotlight indexing.
4. Make sure your apps are up to date by using a program like AppFresh.
5. Avoid using tools like Onyx/MainMenu/Diskwarrior/TechTool/AppleJack, unless they are specifically certified for 10.6

McBie 11-09-2009 09:35 AM

To the OP:

Maybe a silly question, but what OS version are you on and did you apply all Apple updates for that OS, including any hardware specific updates for your MBP model ?

Cheers ... McBie

iggibar 11-09-2009 01:12 PM

I was going to mention the same thing about snow leopard. I upgraded to SL and had more freezes/beachball effects. I went back via my backup and everything was back to normal. I never needed the upgrade to be honest.

I know that mine sometimes gives me problems when playing some youtube videos...but it's a miniscule problem for me

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