Best Mac OS X for MacBook5,2?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Cubytus, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    #1
    Hello all,

    I have this MacBook pre-unibody, fitted with a 120GB SSD and 4GB RAM. Currrently running El Capitan (incrementally updated from the first public beta), I find it rather sluggish and annoyingly loud, regularly over 80 degrees without 100% CPU, at times going over 100 degrees under full load (measured with Macs Fan Control on the CPU diode). Thermal paste isn't the issue (Gelid), radiator is clean. Is OS X prevently spinning the fan faster as load increases, without waiting for the temp to actually be higher?

    At first I thought about drilling so-called "speed holes" like the ones here, but before resorting to extreme measures that will surely increase dust intake, I thought it may simply be running a too recent Mac OS X for its age.

    Hence my question: what would be the best Mac OS X to run on this older MacBook, which works fine otherwise? The choice would be between still-supported (AFAIK) Mac OS X versions.

    10.9 Mavericks?
    10.10 Yosemite?
    10.11 El Capitan, but a fresh installation / restore documents from TM backup?
    10.12 beta?
     
  2. asoksevil macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Location:
    Taipei, Taiwan
    #2
    I would also add thermal pads as it also helps reducing heat from the logic board and transmuting it to the top case.

    I would get Mavericks for any pre 2011 model and El Cap for 2012 onward.
     
  3. Cubytus thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Mar 2, 2007
    #3
    Hmm, and where exactly would I add thermal pads? I never saw any contact points between heat-producing parts and the top case, which is plastic.
     
  4. asoksevil macrumors 6502

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    Taipei, Taiwan
    #4
    I'm not sure how the MacBook's one look like but should be like this:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Cubytus thread starter macrumors 65816

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  6. bjet767 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 2, 2010
    #6
    They should all work fine, but quit running bette versions. Betas often, ok quite often, are not optimized and may run your processor a bit more than is required.

    I assume you are cash strapped and need to run a 2009 model, because the best option may be to upgrade to a newer used version.
     
  7. Cubytus thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Mar 2, 2007
    #7
    The best option is always to spend mode :cool:

    I use this 2009 simply because it still runs and it's not THAT old (I euthanized my first computer after 10 years), even though my daily driver is a MacBookPro8,1.

    However, I don't want to spend on the MacBook5,2 as I feel this money would be better invested in a used motherboard for the other one. Alas, no current Mac comes close to the flexibility I have with these.

    I know that according to Apple, all these versions "should" work fine, except the latest doesn't. I don't remember about the previous Yosemite performance, though.

    So your answer would be 10.11, but final version, reinstalled ?
     
  8. bjet767 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 2, 2010
    #8
    We have the latest Yosemite running on a MacBook early 2010 pro and it works better then the previous OSX. As I mentioned Betas are not the best running versions and there is a reason behind that. Unless you need to run a beta or just are curious about what's new a beta is just that, an experiment.
     
  9. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #9
    Welcome to the pre-unibody MacBook. My old mid-2007 MB always ran hot even after replacing the thermal paste, it's just a typical thing for that model.
     
  10. Cubytus thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Mar 2, 2007
    #10
    Weird, I don't remember this MacBook to run hot when it was recent

    @bjet767 you would replace the El Capitan Beta by a Yosemite final?
     
  11. bjet767 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 2, 2010
    #11
    Yes I would and did so on an early 2010 13" MB pro i5.
    The performance actually improved.

    Oh and I updated to El Captain final when it came out. No problems at all.

    Oh, "Is OS X prevently spinning the fan faster as load increases, without waiting for the temp to actually be higher?"

    I may be mistaken but the fan spins based on the temperature not because the OS told it to. It's a hardware design and if it's getting really noisy then there is either some sort of dust bunny hiding in there or the fan bearing is wearing out. If you are going to keep the computer have it serviced (cleaned) by someone who knows how to dismantle it.
     
  12. Cubytus thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Mar 2, 2007
    #12
    I may reinstall El Capitan to the final version.
    Maybe you are mistaken, because 70 degrees is by no means a high temperature for a Core2Duo.

    As I said previously, radiator is clean, thermal paste is recent.
     
  13. bjet767 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 2, 2010
    #13
    I'm not sure but it should be a two speed fan. My best guess, but I can't hear it, is you may have a failing fan bearing. Stuff happens and it is getting old.
     
  14. bunnspecial, Aug 12, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016

    bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #14
    I have Sierra(DP1 currently, hacked) and El Capitan on mine. With 4gb of RAM and a 256gb SSD, it's nicely perky on both. I actually bought this computer specifically as a testing platform for new OS releases(plus bunches of installed software that came on it) as it supported everything officially up until El Capitan.

    I'd lean toward El Capitan at least at this point for it if you want to be the most current, although I find the post-Yosemite UI a bit glaring on fluorescent backlit LCDs. Mavericks is still my primary "daily driver" OS, and probably what I'd use on the 5,2 if I were to make it my main computer.
     
  15. bjet767 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 2, 2010
    #15
    I found something for you, apparently all macs have a system reset and the fan issue is addressed by this.

    Here's the link:
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201295

    If that doesn't work maybe a 12" MacBook ?:rolleyes:
     
  16. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #16
    I really wish that they would give those of us who like the pre-Retina Macbooks our own forum so we wouldn't have to deal with this crap. This sub-forum(along with PPC, Apple Collectors, and Mac Pro) was one of the "safe places" where you could get real help before the new Macbook came along.
     
  17. bjet767 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 2, 2010
    #17
    Bunns you need to lighten up.

    You do realize that technology does move slowly and the "retina" display is what all the MacBooks will have in the very near future.

    I used my wife's 2010 13" Mabook pro this morning and the screen now seems very out dated and the speed of disk access is well below the 12" I have. Of course it is an SSD (the 12") and what was once fast is now painfully slow (the 13").

    Yep a hijack has occurred. :eek:
     
  18. BrettApple macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

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    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Heart of the midwest
    #18
    I've owned 2007, 2008 (both models) and Early/Mid 2009 MacBooks. The Core 2 Duo just runs hot in them and requires a good amount of fan.

    I remember even in Leopard and Snow Leopard on my aluminum unibody MacBook it would easily hit 200ºF encoding or gaming. The plastic ones are almost a bit worse due to less heat dissipation through the case. I would say that after OS X Lion things got a bit more toasty with added UI effects, and more so with Yosemite/El Cap. Coolest recent OS on the C2D/9400m is probably Mavericks. But with a clean slate install of El Capitan on to an SSD and after turing off transparency effects, it should still be perfectly usable. I did replace the thermal paste on my Early 2008 one though and it seemed to help quite a bit (Arctic Silver V I think). Used lots of 99% Isopropyl Alcohol and a coffee filter to clean that heatsink like there was no tomorrow and spread the paste with a plastic baggie.

    Under full load it'll still get into the 190ºF range but with normal use (no flash) it's pretty quiet.
     
  19. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #19
    What the heck does that have to do with the OP's question? He asked about the computer he had, not advice on buying a new computer.

    MODERATORS, please give us a "Classic Intel" subforum.
     
  20. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    Apr 22, 2014
    Location:
    Central New Jersey, USA
    #20
    I have Mavericks on my Early 09 MacBook (exactly the same as the Mid 09 aside from RAM speeds) and it runs much nicer than El Capitan and Lion did. Once Sierra is released, I'll hack it onto it along side Mavericks for no other reason than because I can.

    Also, I second having a classic Intel subform, pls
     
  21. bjet767 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 2, 2010
    #21
    bunns

    The author wanted advice about how to improve his/her older MB Pro and we gave it. That advice can also include stating that what he/she may be seeking really can't be found completely in the older machines and the best choice may be to upgrade to something newer. If they choose to accept such an answer that's their business and not yours. Advice was given with full politeness and consideration while your comment is neither.

    Oh and it does have a lot to do with the question.

    He/she doesn't need another special sub-forum he/she needs for people like you to lighten up.
     
  22. comda macrumors 6502a

    comda

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #22
    Greetings!

    Im currently typing this message from a Macbook Pro 5,5. Its not fully the same machine but very similar in comparison. I too have the Nvidia 9400M in my machine with a Core 2 Duo. My machine too has 4GB of ram as my 1600Mhz 4Gb sticks would not work in this machine. I currently have a nice little 240Gb Kingston V300 SSD.

    The machine was given to me last year when my little Macbook 3,1 no longer fit my needs. The Macbook Pro 5,5 was my main machine for about 6 months. I still use it now as i rather enjoy it over my retina.

    Anyways. Ive had Mavericks, and El Captain on here and even with the SSD El Capitain was indeeed rather sluggish. It did the job but not the best. I currently have Mavericks back on the machine Via a fresh install and latest update (10.9.5) and its very smooth. The SSD allows me to boot in under 20 seconds and the fans are not that loud. Right now i have Slack open, as well as 2 Firefox windows typing this message and a youtube video open. The Fans are idling at their low 1999 RPM according to istat in Dashboard.I use the system for my usual internet browsing, homework, skype etc. Its more then usable under Mavericks and i still have access to the latest apps and software. Go Mavericks i say.

    With all due respect. The OP was looking for which OS was the most respectable for the machine. He claims he doesnt want to spend on the machine because there is no point but since the machine still works he wants the most punch from it. So no need to get into an argument here.

    I ran my 07 Macbook 3,1 since new till last October and each time i asked for a little help getting the most from it, all i ever got was "its old get a new Macbook pro." I had to post in the PowerPC mac forums because those chaps know how to make the best of older machines without forking over for newer ones. This is a forum page designed to help users out. If the OP wanted to hear someone tell him its old and to get a new one, i Guarantee ANY apple store will tell him that just to get a sale. So please, no negativity and i also agree we need an early intel mac forum page. Thank you.
     
  23. Jack Neill macrumors member

    Jack Neill

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    Sep 13, 2015
    Location:
    San Antonio Texas
    #23
    My 5,2 is happily running El Cap. I have a 240 SSD and 8Gb Ram.
     
  24. bjet767 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 2, 2010
    #24
    The only negativity was the poster demanding a sub forum. My posts were quite clear as is your example.

    Again people have the right to suggest alternatives that may meet the desired results. This is a public forum so posters will get all sorts on responses and it should be expected.

    I'm glad your happy with the hardware set up you are using. In (my opinion) general MACs function far longer than their windows counterparts.
     
  25. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #25
    Once again, the question was "What is the best version of OS X to run on this Macbook" not "What computer should I buy."

    Answering otherwise is not answering the question.
     

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