How can I speed my PB up?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Zisa, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. Zisa macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2009

    I have a G4 1.5GHz PowerBook 15" laptop and love it. I have upgraded the RAM to 1.5GB.

    A few days ago I decided to upgrade it to Leopard, and let it do all the updates etc.

    I could not help but notice a slowness in performance. I was aware that Leopard is slower than Tiger, but by this much?

    Before I list my tests, I was wondering whether there are any tweaking tools that help speed up this? For example, is it work automatic the launch of my key apps (i can go and make coffee while I power up)?

    Any third party tweaking tools?

    My basic tests are listed below, and I was just wondering whether this is the norm (I will then return to Tiger) or can i tweak it by adding more RAM?

    Start up took 2 minutes from pressing the ON button. Althought the OS was on after 90 seconds, that last 30 were taken up by Leopard updating the bar at the top with Adobe, wifi, blutooth etc.

    Word 2008 took 40 seconds when I launched it first time before it could let me type text. Closing it and re-launching Word took 10 seconds.

    Entourage took over 2 and a half minutes. Closing and re-launching took 1 minute.

    I can go on, but will do not want to bore you.
  2. bertpalmer macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2007
    Max out the RAM if you haven't done so already.
  3. MagicWok macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2006
    Well the most he can put in is 2GB in the old 15" PB's I believe, so adding an extra 512MB won't make any noticable difference for him in use. Correct me if I'm wrong if the PB 'unofficially' supports more.

    I'm afraid there's not much that you can do. Scratch that, there's nothing cost-effective you could do. You open it up and put a faster HDD in, but if you have the 7200rpm model - then the next step up is really only an SSD which is wasting too much money on an old machine, and I don't know if the HDD in the PB's connect via PATA or SATA, the latter of which you would need.

    Don't spend any money on it, save up instead for the new unibody MB/MBP or a refurb Intel MBP ;)
  4. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    max out ram, put in faster had, run onyx, that's about it.
  5. Peterkro macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2004
    Communard de Londres
    If it's a stock model it came with a 4200rpm drive so a fast drive would help plus the extra 1/2gig of memory, I still think it's a reasonable machine.
  6. srexy macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2006
    Go back to Tiger... (unless you absolutely have to have iLife 09)

    I have a mid 06 MBP and even though I bought a full retail Leopard install am holding off for Snow Leopard and am listing my copy of Leopard on Ebay to defray the cost.

    Sell your copy of Leopard and use the interim months to save up for a new MBP or if $$ are tight a refurb/used one... You'll be much happier w/the performance.
  7. Zisa thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2009
    Thank - yes, 2GB is the max it can hold. such a shame that the price of the DDR ram is so much higher than DDR2.

    As for HDD - yes, it came with the stock 4200 rpm hdd. I take it is is easy to replace the hdd?
  8. Zisa thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2009
    very tempting. So far, I have un-installed Office 08 and re-installed Office 04as I have not seen any significant changes to warrant the upgrade. that is now going on eBay.

    As for Leopard itself - is it worth spending the money on upgrading the hardware? I have not seen anything to warrant it so far.
  9. Zisa thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2009
    what is onyx?
  10. sparkie7 macrumors 68010


    Oct 17, 2008
    I have the 17 PB 1.5GHz. I maxed mine out to 2gb RAM. The only thing I can do to speed it up is to whack a fast SSD drive like the intel SSDs that everyone is raving about. Drive speed can do more than RAM in some instances.
  11. srexy macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2006
    The one reason to hold on to Office 08 would be if you're going to upgrade to an Intel mac as 04 will run under Rosetta and be a bit flakey... (but bear in mind that a new MBP would have iWork pre-installed also - so maybe let it go anyway)

    As for upgrading hardware - you should sit down and do the math. What kind of $$ can you get for your PB on Ebay, add that and the cost of upgrades together and the decision should become much easier. Personally, I don't think there's anything in Leopard that special that warrants spending $$ on hardware if everything was running fine in Tiger.

    If the $$ in your above calculation come even remotely close to the cost of a new machine then it's really a no-brainer. $1099 for an Intel 2.4ghz MacBook on the refurb site or $1700 for a 2.4ghz MBP.

    Thanks for bringing this all up btw. In the last year I've spent at least $300 on upgrades (HDD x 2 and Ram). I figure w/the $1000 or so I can raise for my current MBP on Ebay, plus the $100 for Leopard, plus the $169 I'd save if I got Snow Leopard pre-installed and the fact that my MBP will be 3 yrs old in September I should probably be following a similar upgrade path to the one I'm suggesting vs spending any more $$ on small upgrades that won't net me nearly the same results.
  12. hazybluedot macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2008
    I have a similarly aged powerbook. Last year I maxed out the RAM to 2Gb and upgraded to a 120gb 7200rpm HDD (and yes, the powerbooks of that era take PATA hard drives, not SATA, so selection is somewhat limited). I am running Leopard and do still feel like things are running slow but at this point I'm just saving up and holding off for the next MBP update cycle and will get a new one. I think if you really want to get the most out of what you have and aren't planning on getting a new MBP in the near future than going to a 7200rpm hard drive will help quite a bit with the slow app loads. Replacing the HDD in the powerbook is not nearly as straight forward as upgrading RAM, for instance, but it is certainly doable. Just make sure to keep track of all the screws that you have to take out to get to the drive! There are guides online to do this.
  13. LouisBlack macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2007
    Balham, London
    Umm. No Macs come with iWork preinstalled. Not for free anyway.
  14. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Upgrade Harddrive, note it's IDE, not the latest SATA drives!
    Upgrade RAM.

    Word 2008 is slow. It's a known fact. Windows pre-launch it. OSX does not pre-launch it.
  15. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
  16. srexy macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2006

    My mistake - got iLife and iWork confused.

    Still a better app suite than Office 08 tho :)

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