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Old Mar 8, 2007, 12:41 PM   #1
macbook41
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How to make macbook run faster

I have a 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo Macbook with 512 MB memory. I have a few large programs that I run from time to time when I run 2 or more of these programs I am struggling. It works fine, just takes a while to load and everything. I am not that computer savy when it comes to upgrades but can anyone suggest a way to make my macbook run these programs a little more profficiently without buying a macbook pro? Thanks!
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 12:45 PM   #2
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Upgrade your ram will help immensely. There are quite a few places to buy reasonably cheap ram from, very easy to install as long as you have a screw driver.

crucial.com

There are others but I'm English so do not know the best places in the states to buy from.

If you want to see how hard it is then apple's instructions are here
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 12:45 PM   #3
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RAM. You are running on the bare minimum. Get 1GB at least, more if you can. I use 2GB in all my Macs. You'll be amazed.

EDIT: Buy two of these, put them in your MacBook, and you'll feel like you got a new computer.
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 02:22 PM   #4
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Ram

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Originally Posted by mrogers View Post
RAM. You are running on the bare minimum. Get 1GB at least, more if you can. I use 2GB in all my Macs. You'll be amazed.

EDIT: Buy two of these, put them in your MacBook, and you'll feel like you got a new computer.
RAM, just one word. RAM.
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 02:31 PM   #5
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If you put it on a treadmill - that should make it go faster




more ram as others have said.
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 02:48 PM   #6
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RAM. You are running on the bare minimum. Get 1GB at least, more if you can. I use 2GB in all my Macs. You'll be amazed.

EDIT: Buy two of these, put them in your MacBook, and you'll feel like you got a new computer.
Agreed. I bought a stock Rev. A blackbook in October, bought 2GB of G.Skill RAM from Newegg, and have been very happy with the results. It takes all of about five minutes to install the new RAM.
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 03:36 PM   #7
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as the intel chips need more RAM it is best to have a min of 1 gig, and if you can get 2 gig. the diffrence in loading apps is quite noticable.
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 03:56 PM   #8
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm quite certain without checking that it is 2GB max in any MacBook.

As for the original poster, RAM RAM and more RAM. 2GB and you'll be flying. Also, a faster Hard-drive will help, preferably a perpendicular 7200RPM SATA.
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 03:58 PM   #9
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Also, make sure you aren't running anything in the background that you dont have to. The macbytes section has a great blog about how safari sucks the lifeforce out of your computer, when you leave it running in the background.
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 04:12 PM   #10
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Absolutely more ram. 512 is not nearly enough, I'd swap out one of your ram sticks for a 1gig'er
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 04:34 PM   #11
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I thought that's what I needed but I wasn't sure. Sounds like if I upgrade to atleast 1GB I should be doing much better. Anyone know around what I should expect to pay for a 1GB? How much difference is it to go up to a 2GB?
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 06:48 PM   #12
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Anyone know around what I should expect to pay for a 1GB?
From link above about $68, (i do not know about sales tax in the states and lots of people always mention it, so could be more)

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How much difference is it to go up to a 2GB?
About twice as expensive.


You can always sell you old ram.
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 06:52 PM   #13
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Also disable Dashboard if you are not using (uses a lot of RAM), delete Chess (I heard it uses a lot of RAM), check the option in iCal's preferences Turn off alarms when iCal is not open(this might also use a lot of RAM when unchecked) and run software updates.
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 06:54 PM   #14
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Also disable Dashboard if you are not using (uses a lot of RAM), delete Chess (I heard it uses a lot of RAM), check the option in iCal's preferences Turn off alarms when iCal is not open(this might also use a lot of RAM when unchecked) and run software updates.
Chess won't use RAM unless you run it.
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 07:09 PM   #15
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You can always put it on a diet of veggies.

Try clearing the cache. Sometimes all the files slow stuff down.
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 08:40 PM   #16
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Maybe it would help if I mentioned the programs I run. I usually do design stuff and i sometimes run dreamweaver, photoshop, indesign or flash. I usually run only two at a time so that it is not terribly slow. Would dissabling my dashboard really help that much? Would 2GB be a noticeable difference over 1GB RAM? I tried a tred mill and veggies and nothing, macbooks fatass is still strugglin'.
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 08:42 PM   #17
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Maybe it would help if I mentioned the programs I run. I usually do design stuff and i sometimes run dreamweaver, photoshop, indesign or flash. I usually run only two at a time so that it is not terribly slow. Would dissabling my dashboard really help that much? Would 2GB be a noticeable difference over 1GB RAM? I tried a tred mill and veggies and nothing, macbooks fatass is still strugglin'.
Yes, disabling Dashboard does help a lot. I heard that each widget uses 9MB of RAM.

Last edited by nazmac21; Mar 8, 2007 at 08:50 PM.
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 09:07 PM   #18
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I don't know if the widgets really consumes so much RAM.
In my experience (my MB originally had 512 Mb RAM), when I tried to work in two programs of design (photoshop and illustrator simultaneously) the computer had a terrible slow down in the processes speed and in many, many occasions, one of these programs shuts down without notice, so I tried to restart them and the problem cames again, and again.
The solution that I found to that is add more RAM from 512 Mb to 1 Gb and the difference is tremendous, really. I firmly recommend you to take an upgrade today, because the day that you have to get more RAM will come inevitably, instead if you turn off today the widgets, the mail, safari, chess and many other things to work better. It's a part of the business of Apple too... don't forget it.
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 09:09 PM   #19
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Also disable Spotlight if you are not using it. Follow MacOSXhints.com for instructions on how to do this. Users reported (I think) that their computer was faster when Spotlight was disabled.
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 09:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I usually do design stuff and i sometimes run dreamweaver, photoshop, indesign or flash.
WOw, there's your problem. Those are all Rosetta apps, which means they gobble up even more memory than normal. You really should get 2GB, but if you can't afford it right now then buy one stick of that 1GB G.Skill RAM I linked to above, which will give you 1.25GB. Then, later, buy another stick and replace your other 256MB one and you'll be up to 2GB.

Just for your reference, here's what's running on my 2GB iMac right now:

- 3 FireFox windows with a total of 19 tabs open
- MacroMedia Fireworks 8 (Rosetta)
- TextMate with 10 files open
- Terminal
- Locomotive
- Safari with 3 tabs open
- Adium
- iTunes
- Parallels (384MB dedicated)
- Skype
- VirtueDesktops
- Growl
- Quicksilver
- MenuMeters
- 4 dashboard widgets
- Steermouse

That's using about 75% of my 2GB of RAM. Out of all those apps, Fireworks is by far taking up the most memory -- almost 400MB with several files open. I can't even imagine what your system must be like when you have even TWO Rosetta apps open, let alone all four. When I started out with this machine it had only 1GB, and when I got going on on development stuff -- especially when I had a Rosetta app like Fireworks open -- it was bad. So get the most memory you can. At least buy one 1GB stick now, if not two.
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 09:35 PM   #21
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I don't know if the widgets really consumes so much RAM.
oh they do, they really do
(left column is real memory, right column virtual memory)
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 09:50 PM   #22
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oh they do, they really do
(left column is real memory, right column virtual memory)
wow... I've nothing to say about that...
Yet, still a better option to upgrade RAM shortly... the day to do that it's inevitable anyway. Is a fact that the computer runs much more smoothly with 1 Gb than 512 Mb, in general terms.
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 11:53 PM   #23
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I agree with the comments on upgrading your RAM, especially if your are doing graphics (even more so if working on large files). Dashboard is only really a factor if you have tons of widgets, of course the fewer widgets you use the better. Spotlight slows down the machine as it builds its database...which means the first time it does this, you'll have a big performance hit, but day-to-day it's not a large problem. And you might already know this, but the upgrade to Adobe CS3 is gonna help performance as your graphics apps will be native on the intel...still the RAM will be a big help.
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Old Mar 9, 2007, 01:22 PM   #24
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RAM! and be quick. Running your Mac with 512MB, i think, died with Panther. 1GB should be the minimum now...2GB ideal. Even non pro apps are becoming more RAM hungry (iTunes/Safari). Rosetta also works much better with RAM. As soon as you do the upgrade you'd think you bought a completely different machine.....a much faster machine.
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Old Mar 9, 2007, 01:28 PM   #25
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use Activity Monitor, find it in Applications/Utilities, in order to check at any time what is using the most ram, processor cylces and more ..
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