New here with a question



I have a MBP 3,1 and I'm looking to upgrade sometime this year. I never EVER buy brand new computers, so the latest and greatest is of dubious interest for me.

One thing I am NOT interested in, is slowing anything down. My 3,1 runs fine (and fast!) on Snow Leopard with an OtherWorld Computing 128gb SSD. With Mountain Lion, my 3,1 ran like a dog on its way to be put down. I had to wipe the system drive and re-install SL.

My most processor-intensive apps are Pro Tools, iMovie (and iDVD) and just running internet video, which heats up this computer pretty quickly.

So, my question is: Do the newer macs (say post Snow Leopard) run faster with ML than the 3,1? I mean, if the latest, using ML, is slower than my 3,1 with Snow Leopard, there is no point in buying anything newer. Considering I can't run any legacy apps in L or ML, the tradeoff is substantial, and I wonder if the 2010 MBP (mine is an '07 Santa Rosa model) will be enough of an upgrade (with a SSD) to justify the expense.

Anyone with experience? Thanks in advance.
A newer (say - a 2011 model) will have a much more powerful processor, and a faster memory bus, with the capability to have much more RAM Memory installed. The SATA bus is also significantly faster, and would give even more advantage to your SSD.
All those things working together - you should expect Mountain Lion to perform more like you would want.

You didn't say how much RAM memory you have installed in your preset MBPro. The 3,1 model can have as much as 6 GB installed. If you don't have that much, then that can also make a difference, even on your older MBPro.
A couple of web sites you need to bookmark are and Accelerate Your Macintosh to see real world speed testing/hacking.

Also IMHO you should NOT buy extra RAM from Apple because they charge way to much. Get RAM from either MacSales or Crucial because they both guaranty (for life) their RAM.

Lastly the new Intel Quad Core processors are real fast these days.
I have 4GB of RAM, and since I'm not planning on upgrading this box but replacing it (I'll use this one as my pro tools and video recording rig only) I'm content to leave it as it is.

At the time I bought this rig, I put in 4gb of RAM (all I could get at the time) and it's worked well, I put in the SSD because Office 2011 ran like a dog until I did. Especially Excel. What crap, but it's necessary in the bizworld.

My main question is will an early 2011 MBP run Mountain Lion as fast as it'll run Snow Leopard? It'll have dimed RAM and a 240GB SSD in it so it should be fast as greased lightning but I have no experience.

I've read volumes of information about what a dog ML is (my own experience backs this up) and how fast SL is in comparison. I do NOT want to slow the computer down so if ML is a dog on an MC700LL/A, or even if it's marginally slower, then the question becomes, is it faster on the newest models? I'll still have the 3,1, but if ML isn't faster, even on the newest models, I'll stick with a MC700LL/A on Snow Leopard for the next few years.

What say ye, oh experienced ones?
What is "dimed RAM"?
That model you mentioned (MC700LL/A) will take up to 16 GB of RAM.

I say you should look for a 15-inch, rather than a 13-inch. Much better performance from the graphics chip, which is a discrete chip, on a quad-core processor, compared to the integrated graphics on the 13-inch, with a dual-core processor.
Your posts indicate that you are looking for good speed.
If you are getting a two-year old unit, why not do your best to get best performance?

Your present MacBook Pro is the oldest that will run ML, so you might not expect quite as good as ML on a newer Mac, with more modern chipsets.

Another area to consider - if you hold on to an older version of OS X, then you may limit yourself as ProTools upgrades to work better on the newer systems, too.
That being said - if you are able to do what you need to do with Snow Leopard, and you can continue to use Snow Leopard, because it works well for you, then great.
Keep in mind that if you have to replace a system, the early 2011 is the last that did come with Snow Leopard. The Late 2011 came with Lion. Snow Leopard won't install directly on that system - but will boot SL, so swapping in an SSD with SL already installed will likely work just fine. You just won't be able to run the SL installer (the 10.6.3 installer is too old to boot the late 2011), but there's other methods to get the install done.
And, then you're basically done with SL - the newer models won't boot to SL at all.
If I were you I would stick with Snow Leopard, or if you want something that's at least "Mountain Lion Like" go to Lion. I'd avoid Mountain Lion at all costs.

Why? Well, I've recently started using a product called Scannerz which is a drive testing program (you can get info at somewhere on their site if interested.) In any case, they're about to put out an update for their program. Why? To compensate for the abysmal performance of Mountain Lion. Aside from looking for drive errors Scannerz monitors system timing and apparently the response to drive commands in ML is SO SLOW they needed to adjust their scanning routines, just to compensate for it.

And that's not the only problem. Take a look at the reader count on this post about ML and Spotlight from Apple:

Yes, you read that right. Over 1 million people seem to be searching for a solution to that problem. If you go back to the index, you'll see the typical post gets dozens or hundreds of views, some of the "hotter" topics get thousands, and if it was really, really hot, it might get over 10,000. We're talking millions here guys. What does that tell you?

My experiences with ML have not been good. Old Apple applications frequently crash. TextEdit has crashed while doing nothing. Safari Web content has gone wild consuming memory when nothing was going on. This is the worst operating system I've seen since Windows 95.

Regarding speed, there's real speed and effective speed. By the latter I mean that you can take an old Titanium with a 667MHz processor running Tiger and it appears to be running as fast a new system running ML when doing basic tasks, but when running more contemporary tasks, like watching a news cast, forget it. Snow Leopard is still supported and being sold by Apple - at least the last time I checked it was, and that was only a few months ago. Some people seem to have nothing but problems with ML, others have nothing but praise. With regard to SL, I've never really heard any serious complaints.

I myself downgraded from ML to Lion. My primary drive has both a Lion and a Snow Leopard volume on it. I moved ML to a FireWire drive figuring that if Apple ever gets around to fixing the incredible array of bugs in it I could always always clone it to the main drive replacing the Lion partition. The 10.8.3 "update" didn't fix a thing, as far as I can see.

If I were you and you wish to remain a Snow Leopard devotee, then I'd use Mac Tracker to find out what the newest systems that came with SL on it were, and then hunt for one of the latest. I'd second the notion to shoot for the 15" display, although the 13" units don't bug me.
We're talking millions here guys. What does that tell you?
That tells me that you need to check your numbers before you post!
When looking at that Apple thread -
where exactly did you see "over one million" views?
I only see a number of something over 113,000 (and not 1 million - easy to misread big numbers, I suppose. :D)
Nevertheless, yes, quite a few views in about 9 months - so someone is complaining.

I also wouldn't choose (or recommend) running Mountain Lion on an "entry-level (for ML)" Mac.
Clearly I need to quit kidding myself and recognize the fact that I need glasses! It's interesting that someone on a MacWorld blog post responded to the blog using the same link (he got the numbers right, though!)

I personally transferred ML to a FireWire backup drive. There were too many performance problems and too many bugs. When Leopard first came out it was slow and crappy, but after several updates it became more responsive. I'm hoping ML will follow the same path. I can multi-boot from Lion, ML, and Snow Leopard right now. I've resolved to using Lion as my base OS, but personally I liked ML better. Apple has got to convince me the OS is fixed before I move back to it.

I got the update for Scannerz today. I found it interesting that they worded it as something like "improved performance on Mountain Lion" rather than saying ML's performance was inferior. I guess they don't want to get sued! ...or they're just being polite. :)