Looking to Max Out My MB; Any Advice?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by 2A Batterie, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. 2A Batterie macrumors 6502a

    2A Batterie

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    Out of a Suitcase, USA
    #1
    I'm currently using a 2.4 Intel Core 2 Duo MB (the one prior to the redesigned MB's with 2GB of DDR2 RAM) and am looking to really max it out for performance. I primarily am using this machine for audio production using ProTools and Ableton Live.

    First, I can stick DDR3 memory in this thing, right? Would I see any noticeable benefits using 4gb of DDR3 over 4gb of DDR2?

    Secondly, I want to stick a larger HD in here that is 7200rpm. I thinking about getting this. Can anyone think of any disadvantages or pitfalls about using this drive? The only thing I've heard is that some users complain about minor vibrations. Also, will I see any marked improvement if I partition the drive up? For example, I'm thinking about keeping my iTunes (about 100gb) on a separate partition in order to improve performance.

    Lastly, should I install some sort of hard drive utility like TechTool Pro or Drive Genius to keep things clean and running smooth? Do these apps really make that much of a difference in terms of stability and performance?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. smooth macrumors 6502

    smooth

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    Detroit
    #2
    I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that the older MacBooks could not use the DDR3 RAM. I'm sure I'll be corrected if I am wrong.
     
  3. Carnivor macrumors regular

    Carnivor

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    Feb 24, 2008
    #3
    the older macbooks definatly cannot use ddr3, firstly it just dosent fit in the hole, the pin alignments are everso slightly different, 2nd'ly if it were to fit it would only go upto the same bus speed as the ddr2 does now anyway due to the system board limitations.
     
  4. drichards macrumors 6502a

    drichards

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    Nov 30, 2008
    #4
    Drive Genius is great at fixing things that are broken. DDR3 ram won't help you, and I don't think it will actually fit. You need DDR2, its really cheap, $50 for 2x2GB. The Seagate drive you picked has a higher failure rate than the Hitachi drive that's on sale with the same specs, it has a $20 rebate at Newegg.
     
  5. gamer2502 macrumors regular

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    Dec 7, 2008
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    near Pittsburgh,pa
    #5
    ddr3 ram will not fit in a ddr2 slot wich is what the old macbooks had so it will either not boot or not fit if you put ddr3 in there. I recommend you buy 2 2gb sticks of high speed ddr2 if you want high performance or if you are on a budget get 2 2gb sticks of cheapish ram.
     
  6. paolo- macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 24, 2008
    #6
    Useless to get faster ram then the speed of the bus, no ? Anyways, ddr3 won't work.

    Not sure about the particular drive, will probably use a bit more juice, so less battery life. Partitioning makes sense also. Using an external firewire drive for recording onto could be a good idea for recording.

    You might want to have 2 accounts or even two partitions with 2 installs of osx on your computer. One dedicated to audio work and turn off stuff like dashboard, growl, disk sleep, internet, system sleep or even the dock and spotlight (mind you spotlight can be usefull on a DAW). Could enable you have a full computer for every day use and a lean machine for audiowork.
     
  7. petermcphee macrumors 6502a

    petermcphee

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    Aug 20, 2008
    #7
    This is a neat idea. Would "slimming down" the amount of stuff running in the background make a pretty noticeable difference?
     
  8. rumourguy macrumors member

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    Nov 27, 2008
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    hunched over my mac, pathetic loser
    #8
    no on the ddr3, just get 4 gb ddr2.

    get a 320gb 7200 rpm hdd.

    I like your idea of slimming down the OS by disabling apps. Maybe even try tiger instead of leopard?
     
  9. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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  10. paolo- macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    I find it mostly does when your computer is under a heavily load.

    On my hackintosh pentium 4 with 1.25gb ram, turning off the dashboard and the finder (yes it is possible) gave quite a big difference (I could use a couple more tracks in GB) but the difference would be smaller if you have more ram. Depending on what you currently have running turning, those os x programs could give you, say about of 100mb of ram more or 2.5% of your ram usage on a 4gb machine. But I guess that would remove some of the strain some of those apps probably put on your CPU, probably very little but it does mean your computer has to host a couple of programs less.

    But the real advantage would probably be the different settings that would come on instantly. Say it automatically changes the audio settings to work with your audio interface, inhibits drive sleep, maxes the display brightness... yadiyadiya
     
  11. 2A Batterie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    2A Batterie

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    #11
    Great tips.... thanks!

    I'm currently debating whether or not to buy the bundle that is being touted on the front page of MR.
     
  12. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816

    sporadicMotion

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    Oct 18, 2008
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    Your girlfriends place
    #12
    I've been using that Seagate drive since it came out and it's been great. Plus it's faster than the Hitachi. Where did you read about reliability issues?
     
  13. shady825 macrumors 68000

    shady825

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    #13

    Ive heard that painting racing stripes on it will double your processor speed! ;)
     
  14. winninganthem macrumors 6502a

    winninganthem

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    Jun 10, 2008
    #14
    I like that idea. :p

    Get an external HDD if you're worried about space/drive speed.
     
  15. 2A Batterie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    2A Batterie

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    #15
    I already use an external HD to record/edit audio. I keep all my audio programs and plug-ins on my internal HD and think it would be beneficial to have that be a faster drive.

    Also, is Drive Genius a handy app for keeping things running smoothly?
     
  16. shady825 macrumors 68000

    shady825

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    #16
    Then go with a 500GB 7200RPM if your wanting faster and more space.
     
  17. 2A Batterie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    2A Batterie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
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    Out of a Suitcase, USA
    #17
    Any thoughts on Drive Genius? Is it a good utility to improve my computer's performance? Sorry if I'm kind of being persistent about this one, but that bundle deal on the front page of MR expires today!
     
  18. shady825 macrumors 68000

    shady825

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    #18
    I dont know if you would need this. Is your MacBook not "performing" good now?
     

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