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OS Mountain Lion - Unresponsive, sound stutter, video problem, spinning wheel
Posted by: iternity (IP Logged)
Date: October 25, 2012 04:35PM

We had a number of such issues after some of our clients upgraded to OS 10.8 (Mountain Lion).
Strangely all the new machines that came with ML preinstalled behaved normally so this points clearly to hardware problem with older machines.

We have replicated the issue on our MacBook Pro 13inch early 2011 (i7 2.7GHz and 8GB of RAM, 500GB HD 5400 rpm).

We gradually upgraded it to Lion and then Mountain Lion. The real issues started with ML upgrade. It was a gradual decline in performance music became choppy and started to stutter to the point that we could not call it music anymore. The same happened to video, Safari and Chrome browsers. The whole system became unresponsive.

We run many tests with reinstalling the systems all varieties, upgrades clean installs updates, no updates etc. Always ended up with a useless computer.

So we concentrated on the hardware side and strangely enough all the other affected Macs had a standard 5400/7200rpm hard drives. The rest of the spaces were usually top end (i5/i7 and plenty of RAM) so we knew this was not the problem.
Active Monitor was not showing heavy use of the hard drive - which turned out to be slightly misleading.

After swapping the traditional HD on our test machine with SSD (Solid State Drive) one ML started to fly and was responding in the real time. After two weeks of further testing with heavy load: music, video, editing and browsing - all at the same time ML did not cause more problems.

Since then we upgraded a number of hard drives to SSD ones for our customers and it proved to fix the issue in each single case.

So the lesson is if you update your computer OS from the original one you may have to upgrade the hardware as Mountain Lion seems to be a bit heavy. Apple may say that ML is compatible with your system but they do not say how responsive it will prove.

The SSD drives come at a price and it is not a solution for everyone. So if you spent or planning to spend 14 on Mountain Lion bear in mind that you may have to spend 10-20 fold on hardware upgrade to make it work properly.

Tomasz Zbikowski

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/25/2012 04:42PM by iternity.

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