Cheapest Way of Making it Faster?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by arthursiew, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. arthursiew macrumors 6502

    arthursiew

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    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #1
    I have searched the forums already and I didn't find much about it...

    Does upgrading the RAM to 4GB affect the performance?

    I have 90GB of storage left (20GB Boot Camp partition and lots of files on the Macintosh HD)... if I upgrade my hard drive to 250GB and transfer files to the new one... will it affect the performance too?

    I just want to know the cheapest way of making it slightly faster since it has slowed down a bit.

    Oh yea... sometimes... when I'm using safari... it will like have the spinning wheel for a moment when I scroll down.
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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  3. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #3
    check activity monitor and see the page out to page in ratio

    if its high, get more ram
     
  4. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #4
    Only if you're already hitting swap space. If you have free RAM at all times, no, 4GB won't change a thing (besides giving you more free RAM).
     
  5. arthursiew thread starter macrumors 6502

    arthursiew

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    SF Bay Area
    #5
    Right now, I don't have many apps opened and here's what I got.

    I heard that putting in a 7200rpm HD will make the computer vibrate a bit. Will I see a noticeable difference when I upgrade to 4GB DDR3 from Crucial? I plan on multi-tasking a lot. I normally keep a lot of apps opened, but today I didn't.
     

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  6. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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  7. Jollins macrumors regular

    Jollins

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    #7
    Seconded. For some people, an upgrade to 4GB can make a huge difference.
     
  8. arthursiew thread starter macrumors 6502

    arthursiew

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    SF Bay Area
    #8
    Well... now I'm starting to work on my stuff... and it takes longer for apps to open now. When I click on an icon on the dock... it keeps bouncing up and down a little longer than usual. This is what I usually have open...
     

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  9. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #9
    Mmm, with that usage, you could make do with more RAM; then upgrade the HDD to a 7200RPM flavor.
     
  10. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #10
    i agree

    more ram will help with that usage

    id do that before the hdd imo
     
  11. arthursiew thread starter macrumors 6502

    arthursiew

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    SF Bay Area
    #11
    Even when I turn on my computer... the startup doesn't flow as smoothly anymore. Is it the RAM or HDD?
     
  12. California macrumors 68040

    California

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    Aug 21, 2004
    #12
    Yes
     
  13. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

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    Denver
    #13
    Mac Performance tuning...

    Here are some tuning tips I've learned over time. They all have some noticeable improvement and the list goes from easiest/cheapest to hardest/most expensive.


    1) Download Cocktail and run its "Pilot" to cleanup log files, caches, disk permissions etc. This will likely clear up disk space and improve performance. The free version works fine. Doing this weekly to monthly helps maintain performance.
    2) Download Xslimmer ($12) and run it on all your apps. It will likely free up a lot of disk space and have your apps starting much faster and using less memory. Rerun it on new apps or updated apps to keep them slim. Just using its "Geni" feature each time works as it picks up all apps and only slims ones that have not already been slimmed.
    3) Consider installing the free SmartSleep preference pane and setting to "sleep only" and deleting the sleep file if you are careful not to run out of battery power while sleeping. This will save disk space and speed up sleep/wake.
    4) Consider a utility like iDefrag if you've kept your disk pretty full for a long period of time (more than 80% for several months).
    5) Go to 4gb or RAM (about $65)
    6) Go to a larger 320gb 7200rpm HD (about $70). Macs are pretty great until you get to 80% capacity but then they will slow down and can use the occasional iDefrag a few times a year.

    Hope this helps.
     
  14. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    Japan
    #14
    He could bolt it to the back end of an indy car!

    I'm not sure it would survive but it sure would've gone fast. :D
     
  15. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #15
    cuz indy cars are cheap!
     
  16. trule macrumors 6502

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    Mar 16, 2007
    #16
    You might want to run Verify Disk in Disk Utility to check your file system is OK. I have found that a corrupt file system can cause things to slow down (I think spotlight goes a bit funny rebuilding its index).
     
  17. foxx0775 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    #17
    upgrade to 4GB. period. its so cheap just do it.

    os x has great ram allocation so it will allow you to have more apps open/running plus it will take a bit of extra ram for itself.

    just think of it as giving your mac more room to do its stuff. like you say, having a bigger desk to fit more stuff on and be more efficient.
     
  18. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    Japan
    #18
    Nah, he can find free bolts anywhere. :D
     
  19. JamesGorman macrumors 65816

    JamesGorman

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    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    #19
    btw, i just purchased my copy of xslimmer and it was the best $12 i ever spent. I used the "genie" on xslimmer which loaded up all my programs and slimmed them down. i saved almost a full GB of Hard drive space,(956mb is what the actual number was) i also noticed my progams, some of them anyway, open quicker and a tad more responsive after slimming them down. I reccomend xslimmer for you and anyone else:)
     
  20. LFC.SL macrumors member

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    Oct 21, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #20
    Something like monolingual would also remove a GB or so... but with 90GB of storage left that is plenty of room

    I have a little over 60GB left on my aluminium Macbook and am not worried. I'd suggest buying an external HD and throwing some things on to (and then another external for backup reasons)
     
  21. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #21
    There are a number of potential causes for this.
    a) Using Cocktail will help many of them
    b) Running Disk Utility and doing a Verify could fix some
    c) Checking startup items in Account settings in System Preferences and removing ones you may no longer use or consider non critical can help
    d) Disabling or removing any preference panes you don't use or need in system preferences will also help.
    e) If you drive is fragmented (can find this out using the free version of iDefrag) then doing a full defrag will help boot times (need to purchase iDefrag to access full defrag though).
    f) If you choose verbose system startup mode in Cocktail you will see everything that happens as you boot. Overall this will slow booting but it will show you if there are any particularly long steps involved that you could then investigate.
     
  22. TheScavenger macrumors 6502

    TheScavenger

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    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    #22
    According to benchmarks from OWC the unibody macbook doesn't benefit as much from the jump from 2GB to 4GB as the plastic macbook does. I would definitely go for a big 7200RPM drive. Look at the 320GB WDs and Seagates as well as the new 500GB 7200RPM Seagate.

    Josh
     
  23. dwsolberg macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    #23
    If your hard drive is 5400 or more than about 75% slow, getting a faster or bigger hard drive will make a noticeable difference. If your hard drive is 90% full or fuller, it will make a huge difference.

    Same with RAM. If you have 1 GB or less, upgrading will make a noticeable difference. If you have 1 GB or less and you run big programs like Fusion or Parallels, going to 4 GB will make a huge difference. Differences drop depending on current RAM and how you use your computer.

    Generally, if you find your computer slow, then you'll tend to be the kind of person who would benefit from these upgrades. The most cost effective depends on what you have and how you're using it.

    Also, it really sounds like something else is wrong with your computer. Running diagnostic programs is a very good idea.
     

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