Late 2008 Aluminium MacBook performance/advice!

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by steffenxo, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. steffenxo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #1
    Hello all,

    First time post and I felt it necessary as I've been having some issues with my MacBook as of late. Firstly, I've had to take the battery out because it was 'swollen' so I'm currently running battery-less, directly from the mains supply.

    Now, on to the issues I'm having. I've noticed that, as of late, my MacBook is struggling with even the most basic of web pages at times. Multi-tasking i.e. having Chrome open whilst trying to browse finder and/or watch something on VLC, sometimes my MacBook just freaks out and takes so long to think about what it's doing. Wheel pops up and I have to often force quit applications in order to get it running again. Is this a RAM issue? I'm running the factory installed 2x1gb (2gb) RAM currently.

    I'm well aware the MacBook is coming up 6 years old, but it's only as of late it's been struggling and even then it's not all the time.

    Is it worth me reformatting? Starting fresh? I have Mountain Lion installed currently. I've upgraded from Leopard 10.5.6 since others were released. I have the original install disc that came with my MacBook but not the Snow Leopard upgrade, as that was done via the multi serial pack when it was released. I don't have access to the disc as I was working in the US at the time and a few of my friends used the same pack to upgrade. Will that be a problem whilst reformatting in order to get it back to Mountain Lion?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm not ready to spend £1000+ on a new MacBook with Christmas around the corner but really could use my MacBook running more efficiently.

    Thanks in advance.

    Steffen
     
  2. rapicell macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    #2
    Well, your first problem is that without a battery in it your computer it isn't working at full power. As for reformatting you won't be able to get lion or LM without SL because SL is the only access to the app store (where the downloads for the newer OSes are). Also upgraded ram would 100% help with the aging macbook as I have the same one and when I went from 2gb to 4gb it was quite a nice different (and as was the change of HD vs SSD)
     
  3. MeUnix macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #3
    Definitely get a new battery ASAP. Like another member said, your computer is not working at full power without a battery installed. An SSD upgrade is advisable, it will make your system launch programs and start-up much faster. Also, upgrade the RAM. You will notice a significant difference with these upgrades.

    You can get the Snow Leopard disk from Apple Stores or order it online here for $20.
     
  4. HIMAN1998 macrumors 6502

    HIMAN1998

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #4
    I would put 8GB in there, just to max it out. I did that and it runs a lot better (even though it dropped off a folding table that fell down today and bent the corner by the hard drive in)
     
  5. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #5
    So how come the machine isn't running at full potential without the battery in it? I have the same MB and had to take the swollen battery out.
     
  6. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020

    TacticalDesire

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan
    #6
    New battery, SSD, 8gb of ram in that order. You computer will feel like a new machine.
     
  7. Chase R macrumors 65816

    Chase R

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    PDX
    #7
    Funny I stumbled across this thread. I was just thinking how it is hard to believe how old my MacBook is, considering how well it has held up over the years, and how fast it still is.

    The biggest speed killer of any computer is hard drive fragmentation. People will tell you that it is not an issue on OS X, however that is false; it will always be an issue. If you don't have the money for an SSD, try doing a fresh install of Mavericks (its free!). That has always resulted in the biggest and most notable speed increase for me. FWIW, I have never been a fan of "Upgrading" to a new OS version.

    And, 8GB of RAM is super cheap these days, so why not?

    I am finally getting around to replacing my battery. I ordered a new one from Amazon a couple days ago. The original one still isn't bad (75% "health" after 1,200+ load cycles!), but I figured it would be a nice compliment to Mavericks and my new SSD.

    Good luck. Just remember: 8GB of RAM and a fresh install of Mavericks will make a night and day difference.

    Edit: Here is the battery I ordered. Seems to have excellent reviews, and at a competitive price http://www.amazon.com/Upgraded-Version-Battery-Macbook-Aluminum/dp/B006ZGCH18/
     
  8. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #8
  9. Elho macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Belgium
    #9
    My alu MacBook with 4gb, 2.0 GHz and mavericks is running okay for every day tasks. But as soon you open iPhoto and iCloud is syncing the photostreams, or faces is updating or you just want to edit some pictures, things are going really slowwww. I'm wondering if a 200 dollars ssd will improve this.
     
  10. Chase R macrumors 65816

    Chase R

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    PDX
    #10
    I spent about $45 on my SSD (Vertex 2... sata 2). No reason to spend extra money on a SATA3 SSD. Yeah its only 60GB, but that's what my Windows 8.1 box is for with over 10TBs of storage :)
     
  11. Elho macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Belgium
    #11
    60gb really isn't enough... I need at least 256 - 320 ... Unless i would settle for a dual drive set up and give up my superdrive. And use the ssd only for booting up my device.
    But that wont increase the speed of iPhoto? Or am i wrong?
     
  12. Chase R macrumors 65816

    Chase R

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    PDX
    #12
    Having iPhoto on a separate drive will increase speed a bit. Just think about it... If the hard drive only has to respond to a single application's requests, it will be more responsive and speedier than in a traditional setup where it is supporting the entire system. Still not as fast as an SSD, but a happy medium. It will also help resist fragmentation of the main system drive (SSD), which is the biggest killer of a hard drives performance.
     
  13. Elho macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Belgium

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