A year ago I brought new life to my 2009 Mac Book Pro by doubling the RAM, installing OS X Mountain Lion, and replacing the internal HDD with a SSD (Solid State Drive) by Crucial.
Everything was just – faster – it felt like the future was now, it truly was a new lease on life for my aging laptop.
But, after installing Mavericks my system’s performance plummeted. I waiting patiently for the first update, installed it, no change. It became increasingly frustrating to use my system as any task related to the hard disk (opening an application, saving a document) now took up to minutes to happen whereas it was nearly instantaneous before the “upgrade”.
I was lamenting my situation to some friends at the cafe serving as my office today and then was hit by the realization that all of the performance loss seemed to involve hard drive read/write speed. I did a quick search for “Crucial SSD Performance Mavericks” and saw a thread comment mentioning the “Put hard disks to sleep when possible” option… of course! A SSD has no moving parts so there’s not much point to putting it to sleep and further more, since this was an aftermarket part there’s is a good chance that sleep mode isn’t implemented properly.
So I went into the System Preferences / Energy Saver options and changed three check boxes in the hopes of an improvement.
- I set the “Graphics” setting from the default “Better battery life” to “Higher performance”
- I unchecked the “Put hard disks to sleep when possible” option under the Power Adapter tab
- I unchecked the “Put hard disks to sleep when possible” option under the Battery tab
I then logged out and experienced the fastest log-in that I’ve had in the past two months! We’re back on track! Applications are opening nearly instantly once again and I’m feeling a little less jaded as I was starting to suspect that this whole free Mavericks upgrade was just a trick to get people to buy the latest hardware.