My MacBook Pro specifications are:
Core2Duo 2.65 Ghz
320 GB HD

Performance is killing me literally. Really long response time.

Do you suggest to replace the Hard disk with SSD one ? Is it going to solve my MBP performance issues?

enter image description here

What is getting slow

I'm a software developer (code compiling, building, Xcode, IntelliJ, Sublime Text 2, tens of Chrome tabs, iTunes, Preview).

It could takes seconds to switch between running applications. A lot of spinning colored-balls.

It takes seconds to launch an application.

  • 2
    What's your RAM usage like? Maybe you could post some screen shots from Activity Monitor. Upgrading the HD will give you better performance, but it's possible the RAM will be a bigger difference (for likely less money). Mar 5, 2013 at 21:05
  • 1
    @bassplayer7 I updated the post with a screen shot.
    – Chiron
    Mar 5, 2013 at 21:27
  • 1
    This is where the purge command can come clean things up… Also turning off dynamic paging helps too
    – Alexander
    Mar 6, 2013 at 3:30
  • 1
    I'd recommend both a RAM and SSD upgrade. Your page outs and swap are quite high, indicating disk thrashing. Which is why you're seeing a decline in performance, especially with, I'm assuming, a 5,400 RPM HDD. These days, 8GB is the bare minimum, unless you want a sluggish computer.
    – user10355
    Mar 6, 2013 at 10:06
  • @cksum Upgrading both of RAM and SSD ? I don't know but Mac is already starting to show its age (I bought it in 2009) . I don't want to spend a consider amount of money. Maybe after a year, I get a new Mac.
    – Chiron
    Mar 6, 2013 at 19:40

3 Answers 3


A RAM upgrade is inexpensive (~$70) compared to an SSD (~$1 per GB e.g. $250 for a 240GB) and based on your pagefile usage and available RAM I would start there. That being said, an SSD is a massive performance upgrade and worth every dollar in my opinion. I won't use a machine without an SSD anymore.

Links to: RAM and SSD.

Could you provide some more details as to what specifically is slow?

  • I updated my post.
    – Chiron
    Mar 6, 2013 at 19:37
  • Based on your updated post, I would at the very least max out your RAM. You can do the RAM upgrade yourself in a few minutes if you're careful. If you can afford it, get an SSD. When you replace your laptop, you'll be able to ask more, sell the SSD separately, or use it in your next Mac (unless it's a rMBP). You will not be disappointed. Every client that I've swapped/added an SSD for is amazed. It's really cool how much faster it makes an older machine.
    – John C
    Mar 8, 2013 at 5:24

Note the numbers in the middle of the screenshot. Your Swap Used is higher than the amount of actual RAM you have, and there is a lot of swap activity. This indicates you are starved of RAM. I would upgrade that first. I have 8GB RAM and my swap used is 33.5MB.

An SSD would help here also, somewhat, but swapping that much on an SSD would serve to wear it out faster.


In my experience (rMBP 8GB RAM), the SSD is fast enough that swap feels almost as fast as RAM. Even at 8GB RAM, my swap is often 5–10 GBs but everything is responsive because the SSD as fast enough to keep up.

As WMD says, it will wear out the SSD though.

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