Why is my MacBook Pro so slow?

Caporegime
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Late 2011 model, base spec except I've upgraded it to 8GB of RAM.

It's fine for browsing and day to day stuff, but as soon as I ask it to do anything demanding, it gets frustratingly slow.

I have a Win 7 VM running in Parallels, first off I assigned it 4GB of RAM, but I've now dropped it to 2GB and not much difference.

Apart from that, I have Skype open, MSN, iTunes, Firefox and Mail. So nothing exactly demanding.

While the Win 7 image is doing nothing, Mac OS becomes slow, unresponsive and I get that stupid parasol up spinning away VERY often. Switching between Spaces is clunky as is just generally using the OS. Sometimes the OS is fine, other times it goes slow.

If I close the Win 7 image, and open something like Backtrack, the same happens. Same with any other Linux image I have.

It also does it if I have GNS3 running with more than 2 routers but Parallels closed.

It's hugely frustrating. If I wanted a computer that was only capable of browsing the internet and having MSN conversations, I'd have bought a £300 laptop, not a nigh on £1000 MacBook Pro.

All software is up to date.

Any ideas?
 
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Associate
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...only capable of browsing the internet and having MSN conversations...

if thats all you need, then why are you using VM? theres safari and msn on mac for the two things you do above...
 
Soldato
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...only capable of browsing the internet and having MSN conversations...

if thats all you need, then why are you using VM? theres safari and msn on mac for the two things you do above...

I think he's saying he can't use the Win 7 VM at the same time as using his other programs.
 

fez

fez

Soldato
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I find that using a windows 7 virtual machine is pretty painful at times with a 2.4 i5, 8gb ram etc. I never have any issues with just using the mac but even with 8gb ram the virtual machine eats far too much.

Normally I can have photoshop, fireworks, chrome, firefox, transmit, transmission, itunes, spotify, sublime text 2, xcode, echofon, 1password, pages, numbers, preview and mail open and then is never a beachball.

Parallels is just a bit **** I find. I did find out how to stop that god damn popup from appearing each time I start asking me to register. Apparently they don't quite understand that when people click "I don't want to register, ever, not even the next time I use this software", they are not just kidding.
 
Soldato
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I have a similar setup but with the early 2011 MBP and I have no problem running a Win 7 VM along with Word, Iron, Mail and anything else I'm using. I have an SSD though and it does speed up using a VM with that compared to when I had the original HDD.

Have you checked Activity Monitor to see if any process is using more resources than it should?
 
Caporegime
OP
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...only capable of browsing the internet and having MSN conversations...

if thats all you need, then why are you using VM? theres safari and msn on mac for the two things you do above...

Have you read my post? I think not.

Running Windows, that'll be the problem. Reason? It's Windows. ;)

If you have nothing useful to add, don't bother.

It does it with any other OS running in Parallels, such as Backtrack and various Linux distro's. It also does it with Parallels closed, and GNS3 running 2 or more routers. I did mention this in the OP if you read it all.

So no, it's not Windows.

Typical Apple fanboy comment. :rolleyes:
 
Caporegime
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I have a similar setup but with the early 2011 MBP and I have no problem running a Win 7 VM along with Word, Iron, Mail and anything else I'm using. I have an SSD though and it does speed up using a VM with that compared to when I had the original HDD.

Have you checked Activity Monitor to see if any process is using more resources than it should?

Everything looks fine to me.

It only seems to happen when I virtualise anything.
 
Associate
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have you tried a different flavour of virtualisation? i just use the freebie virtualbox and don't have these problems and i'm running a mid-2010 base spec 13" macbook pro, and i only give vm's 1gb of memory.
 
Caporegime
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have you tried a different flavour of virtualisation? i just use the freebie virtualbox and don't have these problems and i'm running a mid-2010 base spec 13" macbook pro, and i only give vm's 1gb of memory.

Considering it happens with both Parallels and GNS3 I don't really see the point in trying something else.

A router is hardly a complex thing to virtualise.
 

Hxc

Hxc

Soldato
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Any reason you need Win7? I run a TinyXP image on my MBA with 4gb of ram and the thing flies. Going back to anything with a HDD now feels so, so clunky. Never expected an SSD to have as much of an impact on my day to day life.
 
Caporegime
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I'm guessing you have opened activity monitor to see what the issue is?

Yes, nothing out of the ordinary showing.

Any reason you need Win7? I run a TinyXP image on my MBA with 4gb of ram and the thing flies. Going back to anything with a HDD now feels so, so clunky. Never expected an SSD to have as much of an impact on my day to day life.

I don't have any XP images and I can't be bothered getting hold of one. Win 7 should virtualise just fine on a MBP.
 
Soldato
Joined
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I find that using a windows 7 virtual machine is pretty painful at times with a 2.4 i5, 8gb ram etc. I never have any issues with just using the mac but even with 8gb ram the virtual machine eats far too much.

Normally I can have photoshop, fireworks, chrome, firefox, transmit, transmission, itunes, spotify, sublime text 2, xcode, echofon, 1password, pages, numbers, preview and mail open and then is never a beachball.

Parallels is just a bit **** I find. I did find out how to stop that god damn popup from appearing each time I start asking me to register. Apparently they don't quite understand that when people click "I don't want to register, ever, not even the next time I use this software", they are not just kidding.

Hmm! your post has puzzled me. I have the base i5 iMac with an upgrade to 8 gig of RAM and I too run Parallels 6 with Windows 7 VM. I have dedicated 2 gig of RAM to the VM along with 2 CPU's. I don't run in coherence mode as I like to keep OS X and Windows as separate entities. Set up like this I find no lag whatever I'm doing OS X or Windows. I would heartily recommend Parallels to anyone wanting to use Windows as a VM on the Mac. Perhaps this is where a Desktop scores over a Laptop - just that bit of extra grunt where you need it?
 
Associate
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I run Parallels 7 (latest version is 5 April 2012) on my MBP with no problems. I have VM Fusion also.

I have Parallels on a separate partition and allocate it 1Gb of RAM (out of 8Gb). Plus an extra 5Gb cache on a fast USB flash drive via eBoostr software.
 

Ev0

Ev0

Soldato
Joined
18 Oct 2002
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13,989
I've an early 2011 13inch base model with 8gb and regularly run a Win7 machine and a Backtrack machine in Parallels with no real performance issues I can think of.

Only have 1.5gig RAM assigned to the VMs and they run just fine.
 
Soldato
Joined
9 Jun 2005
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13,929
its the 5400rpm hard drive...

or your imagining things as there is no other technical reason for it to be slow
 
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