Keep me afloat please!

comda

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 15, 2011
597
68
Greetings PPC fans!

MODS: I understand this is a early intel machine, yet i find those in this forum understand the struggle and what it means to keep an older machine running, instead of telling me to simply replace it.

Anyways, here is my issue. Im trying my best to keep this machine as my main laptop as i love being different from all the aluminum macbooks out there. What i am using is the machine in my Signature, a Macbook 3,1 running one of the faster C2D, 7400E at 2.2Ghz, 4Gb of Ram and yes (i got a great deal for it) a 240Gb kingston SSD!

Considering it was my first laptop ever when i bought it with my parents in late 2007 and the fact it has a new battery i want to keep this old girl going. Im a first year Uni student and love this machine, however running slow leopard a lot of things trigger the Fans to go nuts. I redid the thermal grease last summer cleaning both the intel CPU and the video card. Computer was dust free inside.

I was had mountain lion running as software is no longer really supported in 10.6.8 but the wifi wouldnt work at school and for now im sticking with snow leopard until i have a moment to figure out what a great forum member told me to do. I have ML installed on a different drive as i had to use MLpostfactor cause this machine wont do more then Lion and lion was terrible here. it ran too hot and laggy.

So any suggestions to keep it going? i usually use word, macrumors, facebook, hotmail and dosbox. But even DOOM gets the temp to 74 degrees celcius and the fasns blast.

Any advice is appreciated.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,178
13,012
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
SMC Fan Control. You can keep the temps under control by running the fan(s) at a higher than normal setting (but still under your hearing).

My A1151 is running it on Snow Leopard. I have both fans set at 2000rpm as my standard setting. That's double the 1000rpm that the fans usually run at idle. You can also use it to cool the Mac quickly if you know the CPU will be busy. 3500rpm for both fans is just under being noticeable.

Set it up any way you like though, the app lets you do that.
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
6,718
3,271
Kentucky
The main thing you want to worry about in these systems is GPU heat. I've been told that 70ºC(GPU temperature) is where trouble starts happening.

I have a pair of early '08 MBPs that are "work" laptops for me, and I too want to keep them going as long as possible. I use SMCFancontrol on both. SMC allows you to tie the fans to a specific temperature, and I have it set to the GPU. I also use very aggressive fan settings to keep the temps down. Basically, I have it start ramping the fans at 45ºC and have them at max speed when the GPU hits 65º. This manages to keep the GPU around this temperature.

Low temps are the key to longevity with these, and having the fans blast is a consequence of this. It's a trade off that I'm happy to make.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
@comda I would not recommend installing Mountain Lion through hacks on a daily use machine. There is too much at risk especially for the needs of a university student. Since software support is lacking for OS X Snow Leopard, I highly recommend the upgrade to OS X Lion. 10.7.5 fixed much of the issues that were present in Lion and it will run great with the SSD. I think Lion is the best bet between reliability and compatibility! Make sure that you update to the latest copy of Lion as it was much better than earlier versions.

If the CPU is being consumed by web browsing then I recommend using Safari (if on Lion) or Firefox. Google Chrome, despite being my browser of choice, actually uses a lot of CPU power with multiple tabs open. It is also a RAM pig. Firefox will work on Snow Leopard as well should you choose to stick with it.
 

comda

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 15, 2011
597
68
@comda I would not recommend installing Mountain Lion through hacks on a daily use machine. There is too much at risk especially for the needs of a university student. Since software support is lacking for OS X Snow Leopard, I highly recommend the upgrade to OS X Lion. 10.7.5 fixed much of the issues that were present in Lion and it will run great with the SSD. I think Lion is the best bet between reliability and compatibility! Make sure that you update to the latest copy of Lion as it was much better than earlier versions.

If the CPU is being consumed by web browsing then I recommend using Safari (if on Lion) or Firefox. Google Chrome, despite being my browser of choice, actually uses a lot of CPU power with multiple tabs open. It is also a RAM pig. Firefox will work on Snow Leopard as well should you choose to stick with it.

Thanks for the input guys! i actually use SMc already and i had Lion on here and it was horribly laggy. Another thing i only have 1 fan here and SMC nor istat pro finds GPU temps.
 

556fmjoe

macrumors 68000
Apr 19, 2014
1,604
904
If you're connecting this to a university wireless network, I strongly suggest using an operating system that is still receiving security updates, or the latest one you can if that is not possible for some reason. I have seen a lot of bad stuff on my university's network. Mostly SSH brute forcing, but also MITM attacks on TLS and recently someone attempted the FREAK attack.
 

comda

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 15, 2011
597
68
I think Lion bears a bigger graphical load which works the integrated graphics more than Snow Leopard.
Indeed it was a LOT harder on the system. Versus mountaion lion was very light and i was able to run 1080p video with very little to no lag, however im working on getting wireless kexts working. But i agree with someone who posted a legit OS not cracked/fixed etc is good for a daily driver.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
@comda I would stick with Snow Leopard then and just use alternative software for the tasks you do that still support it. What applications do you need that don't support Snow Leopard anymore?
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
6,718
3,271
Kentucky
@comda I would stick with Snow Leopard then and just use alternative software for the tasks you do that still support it. What applications do you need that don't support Snow Leopard anymore?
I know at my University, some academic software is starting to deprecate support for older versions of OS X.

I can still access Blackboard fine in Tiger(using TFF). Tegrity, however, which I rarely use but is essential for some applications, is getting ready to drop support for Lion.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
I know at my University, some academic software is starting to deprecate support for older versions of OS X.
I believe this is one of the costs of Apple's new yearly release cycle for OS X. There is still new software coming out today that supports Windows XP or at least Windows 7 which is six years old. Now, you are lucky to get Lion support in new software for OS X which is just four years old.
 

oldmacs

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2010
4,298
5,696
Australia
If you have time and money, you can put a 2009 White Macbook (not unibody) logic board in. I have a frien who did this, and it allows you to run Yosemite (and El Capitan presumably)

I'm currently on my Macbok 4,1 with Lion as I'm waiting for my new Macbook to arrive. Honestly Lion is as far as I will go back, as SL is just missing too much (Lion is already missing enough) and Lion plus an SSD and 6GB of ram runs pretty well.
 

oldmacs

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2010
4,298
5,696
Australia
I believe this is one of the costs of Apple's new yearly release cycle for OS X. There is still new software coming out today that supports Windows XP or at least Windows 7 which is six years old. Now, you are lucky to get Lion support in new software for OS X which is just four years old.
It annoys me how that happens. The only reason that these MacBooks don't have Yosemite is Apple couldn't be bothered to write a 64Bit graphics driver -_-. Then they go ahead and drop support for everything but iTunes.
 

comda

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 15, 2011
597
68
@comda I would stick with Snow Leopard then and just use alternative software for the tasks you do that still support it. What applications do you need that don't support Snow Leopard anymore?
Thats the sad part. Almost everything works. I mainly use firefox, office 2011, garageband dos box and itunes as well as winamp. The only application that dropped support is TeamViewer. my parents arnt really tech savvy so when im on the go they might ask to connect to their machine. Since their teamviewer asked to update i can no longer tap into my desktop of their Pc. ;(
 

oldmacs

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2010
4,298
5,696
Australia
I do not believe it was that simple.
It was. THats the reason that Mountain Lion is not on the MacBooks prior to the late 2008 aluminium. Apple removed the 32 bit compadiblitly mode for drivers and didn't write a 64 bit one for the GMA graphics. The fact that Mountain Lion post factor can run on these machines demonstrates this.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
Apple removed the 32 bit compadiblitly mode for drivers and didn't write a 64 bit one for the GMA graphics. The fact that Mountain Lion post factor can run on these machines demonstrates this.
When I said I don't think it was that simple was due to a couple of reasons. Apple wanted Mountain Lion and higher to be fully 64 bit. They were building up to a full 64 bit OS since the introduction of the PowerMac G5. If I recall correctly, the early Mac Pros were also dropped from support beyond Lion as well and they do not feature the GMA chipset. I think that if it was a simple driver rewrite then Apple would have done it with the introduction of Lion. With the Mac Pro, the EFI was not 64 bit compatible and thereby they dropped it. Hacks to get Mountain Lion running use a variety of different methods to get it to work and it isn't as simple as a kext rewrite.
 

oldmacs

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2010
4,298
5,696
Australia
When I said I don't think it was that simple was due to a couple of reasons. Apple wanted Mountain Lion and higher to be fully 64 bit. They were building up to a full 64 bit OS since the introduction of the PowerMac G5. If I recall correctly, the early Mac Pros were also dropped from support beyond Lion as well and they do not feature the GMA chipset. I think that if it was a simple driver rewrite then Apple would have done it with the introduction of Lion. With the Mac Pro, the EFI was not 64 bit compatible and thereby they dropped it. Hacks to get Mountain Lion running use a variety of different methods to get it to work and it isn't as simple as a kext rewrite.
The Mac Pros that were dropped, I believe are a whole lot easier to upgrade, but the GMA Macs the complexity was around writing a 64bit GMA kext or getting the whole thing to run in 32 bit, and writing the 64bit kext was not easily doable, and getting the rest of the system to run in 32bit was doable but complex as far as I have followed.
 

comda

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 15, 2011
597
68
For teamViewer, you can always use Parallels and install Windows 7 to use it.
Thanks but Parallels seems to drag this machine down and then the fans go nuts. I did manage to get Mountain lion running on it but havnt had a chance to fix the wifi. i saw another guide to get Mavericks on here. Now what would be nice.