How to optimise a MacBook Pro for DAW

Hi I’ve just done a clean install of Yosemite on my MacBook Pro (early 2010). I’ve upgraded to 8 GB RAM and I use a regular 500 GB harddrive (not SSD). I’m running a few of apps in the background, like Dropbox, CrashPlan, Alfred, 1Password and a few others small utility apps, but the machine is generally slow. I just bought Cubase 8 and installed it and right off the bat it runs very slowly.
I’ve only used the internal sound card for now but I’m planning on using a MOTU MicroBook II.

Does anyone have any tips on how to make the system run better?

Thanks. :slight_smile:

I used a mid-2010 MBP and I can tell you the most important thing to do besides killing off all of your non-essential background programs is to keep your computer clean on the inside by opening the chassis and blowing out the dust on a regular basis - your system will run hot and your fans will be spinning at maximum when running multiple VST Instruments and plugins and the MBP is simply not well-designed for airflow. You’ve already maxed out the RAM so you so could replace your internal drive with an SSD and remove your DVD drive and install a second drive dedicated to your music projects and sample libraries, if needed. This will boost overall performance and keep the internal access noise down. The procedure is somewhat painless and affordable.

Thank you. I had no idea that keeping the machine physically clean was a big issue. Do you use special equipment to blow out the dust or do you just use your mouth and lungs?
When you say non-essential apps do you refer only to the ones I’ve installed myself like the above mentioned, or are there other processes that OSX runs by default that can be shut down too?