Thank you for purchasing through links and ads on this site.
OWC / MacSales.com...
diglloyd Deal Finder...
Buy other stuff at Amazon.com...
Handpicked deals...
$30 $15
SAVE $15

$2998 $2498
SAVE $500

$1199 $920
SAVE $279

$1999 $1599
SAVE $400

$2799 $2399
SAVE $400

$89 $59
SAVE $30

$400 $280
SAVE $120

$1798 $1598
SAVE $200

$3297 $2797
SAVE $500

$3397 $2797
SAVE $600

$150 $90
SAVE $60

$1398 $898
SAVE $500

$3698 $2998
SAVE $700

$1799 $1329
SAVE $470

$1999 $1199
SAVE $800

$2299 $1599
SAVE $700

$2399 $2049
SAVE $350

$2799 $1899
SAVE $900

$997 $897
SAVE $100

$2099 $1699
SAVE $400

$1999 $1369
SAVE $630

$1349 $949
SAVE $400

$4499 $3999
SAVE $500

$329 $329
SAVE $0

$1499 $1029
SAVE $470

$1499 $1289
SAVE $210

$2199 $1999
SAVE $200

$3399 $2199
SAVE $1200

Upgrade the memory of your 2018 Mac mini up to 64GB

Case Study: Upgrade a MacBook Pro to Banish Sluggishness

In October 2010, I worked with a local consulting client (a photographer) on setting up a fast and reliable 3.33GHz hexacore Mac Pro as an MPG Pro Workstation for their photography needs. It was a delight to work with the MPG Pro Workstation— smooth and fast.

Though the MPG Pro Workstation was the at-home workstation, the existing MacBook Pro laptop remained a key computer for travel to many locations, including worldwide. Speed, and especially reliability were key. But boy, was it a dog.

MacBook Pro sluggishness

Before and after HDD => SSD upgrade

As every photographer who works in the field knows, the last thing one wants after a long day’s shoot is to spend hours waiting for a computer before one can rest and sleep.

My client client travels extensively with a 2-year-old MacBook Pro (MBP). It had the maximum of 6GB of memory, enough for their needs, but an aging 320GB hard drive, which degraded performance in numerous situations.

It was from the MBP that images and Lightroom catalogs needed to be transferred to the Mac Pro, with the MBP to be cleaned and emptied for each new trip. However, images and Lightroom catalogs were scattered across four different drives, with duplicates, and it was really quite a mess. And cleaning up a mess is very painful on a slow computer.

I made the following observations while working with the MBP:

  • The MacBook Pro was unbearably slow to work with, with program launches taking 20 seconds instead of 2 seconds, and a wide variety of other basic tasks taking similarly long durations.
  • The dreaded “rainbow beachball” occurred frequently as the result of the slow hard drive.
  • The two year old hard drive was not only slow, but increasingly at risk of failure.
  • Some of the external drives reported I/O errors while transferring data— a predictor of future failure.
  • The ethernet network was running 100 megabit instead of gigabit, slowing transfers to a maximum of about 14MB/sec.
Apple iMac 5K Speed Demon
$3849
$3499

It rocks! What Lloyd uses every day, best upgrade in many years!

SMART MOVES:
• Add 128GB or 64GB memory
fast SSD storage
Thunderbolt storage

√ B&H Photo PAYS THE SALES TAX FOR YOU More info...

How to fix the MacBook Pro

The analysis of performance can sometimes be complicated, but in this case the causes were obvious once Activity Monitor was consulted during the slowdowns. This led to the following conclusions:

  • The old and slow hard drive was responsible for a wide variety of sluggish behavior.
  • CPU speed was not the issue; the CPU cores were almost always idle.
  • Memory was not the issue; most of the available memory was not in use.
  • The network switch was 100MBit, slowing transfers to a crawl.

My recommendations to my client:

  • Install a 240GB or 480GB solid state drive to eliminate drive speed as an issue, and to gain high reliability when traveling (slower and less reliable alternative: a modern 7200rpm 500GB hard drive).
  • Install an inexpensive gigabit ethernet switch;
  • Avoid using the external drives that showed I/O errors.
  • Consider an external SSD for travel (for backup).
  • After the initial data transfer to the Mac Pro, wipe out and install a fresh current system on the new MacBook Pro drive so that all old artifacts are swept away (along with any problems), thus prepping it for field use. Install only the mandatory software, avoiding any extras.
  • Enable the 64-bit Snow Leopard kernel.
OWC Envoy Pro EX SSD
Blazingly fast USB-C SSD!

Up to 2TB capacity, USB-C compatible with Thunderbolt 3.

√ Fastest USB drive MPG has tested!

How it turned out

Internal drive — The aging hard drive was swapped for a 240GB Mercury Extreme Pro SSD. All the speed problems simply disappeared. While an SSD is not inexpensive, it’s a far cry from spending $2000 on a new laptop (which would still contain a relatively slow hard drive).

Not only did the speed problems vaporize, performance in Lightroom for skimming through images was hugely improved, which means a good night’s rest after a day of shooting!

Approximate difference in launch time for Photoshop CS5 and similar

Network — The client installed an inexpensive gigabit ethernet switch, and even as sluggish as the internal hard drive was, we immediately saw a 4X speed increase in network copy speed from 11MB/sec to 44MB/sec, greatly speeding up the data transfer to the Mac Pro (network copy speeds up to 110MB/sec are possible with large files off a fast drive).

OWC Thunderblade Thunderbolt 3 SSD
Gen 2!

Blazing fast, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 8TB.

Lloyd’s all-time favorite SSD!

√ No more slow and noisy hard drives!
OWC
USB-C Travel Dock

Fast charging with up to 100W!

HDMI, SD card reader,
USB-C port, 2 USB Type-A ports
Built-in cable self-stores neatly.
See also OWC 14-port Thunderbolt 3 Dock"
OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock
Ideal for any Mac with Thunderbolt 3


Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports
USB 3 • USB-C
Gigabit Ethernet
5K and 4K display support plus Mini Display Port
Analog sound in/out and Optical sound out

Works on any Mac with Thunderbolt 3

Deals Updated Daily at B&H Photo
View all handpicked deals...

Pelican 3rd-Generation 1910B LED Flashlight (Black)
$30 $15
SAVE $15

diglloyd.com | Terms of Use | PRIVACY POLICY
Contact | About Lloyd Chambers | Consulting | Photo Tours
Mailing Lists | RSS Feeds | Twitter
Copyright © 2019 diglloyd Inc, all rights reserved.
Display info: __RETINA_INFO_STATUS__