MacBook running SLOW! Help!

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by yoyoma02, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. yoyoma02 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    #1
    So, I just bought a used MacBook online, as I was looking for a cheap little laptop to dink around with. I do like everything about the computer, except that it is incredibility slow and sluggish. It takes almost a minute to open Safari and switching screens between iTunes and Safari can take almost a minute as well…

    Details:
    Manufacturer Refurbished
    MacBook
    Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger
    1.83 GHz
    Dual Core
    512 MB Ram
    56 GB Hard drive

    There is 32 GB free on the hard drive, so I know it’s not a memory issue. Would it help to put in more RAM? If I upgraded to 2 or 4GB for ram, would it speed up a bit, or is it a processor problem?

    Lastly, I’m obviously not very tech savy – would fixing the problem be something I’d be able to do by myself or do I need to bring it in somewhere?

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. tonyt3rry macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #2
    maybe it could be due to the ram but , I think it might be that the harddrive has been dropped and maybe thats whats not making it work properly
     
  3. tug macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    loughborough. u.k.
    #3
    hi, try 'onyx' and see if there's any improvement.
     
  4. yoyoma02 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    #4
    What is 'onyx'? Something I should download, install, open and it'll work it's magic?
     
  5. 0815 macrumors 68000

    0815

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Location:
    here and there but not over there
    #5
    http://tinyurl.com/2v7plnz

    But probably won't do too much for you - it's a tool for tweaking things.

    If you got the original DVD's I would try a re-install - you never know what the previous owner had installed that makes things slow. That way you get a clean machine.

    For the main memory, more memory always helps.

    You can also try to find out what is eating up cpu cycles and/or memory by using the Activity Monitor App - you can find it in "Applications/Utilities" and it shows you what is running, using memory and cpu cycles. Might be a start to find out if unnecessary things run or if you need more main memory.
     
  6. StefSSU macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #7
    Firstly, that MacBook hardware is pretty old by modern standards (although that doesn't mean it is to be thrown away!), has the performance always been like this? If not, then were there any recent changes done?

    As said above, download Onyx. It's a tool to perform simple programs that may "clean" the software side of things. I'd also recommend opening Disk Utility, and checking and repairing permissions on the HDD, also it wouldn't hurt to check the hard drive.

    Your RAM is very low for todays world, since memory is so cheap these days it makes sense to upgrade to say 2gb (I don't think your laptop supports 4gb, and 2gb is already a fourfold improvement), honestly, I think this will do the most to increase performance. If you really want to get your computer going at its best, I'd suggest an upgrade to the HDD (easy to perform) alongside the RAM upgrade. The HDD is by far the bottleneck in computers these days, and getting a newer one with more storage will likely speed things up (with the benefit of being able to keep more media, apps, etc.). Don't bother going for an SSD, at the price you'd might as well get a new computer with it. And finally, for optimum performance, back up what files you may need, and perform a full installation (not an upgrade, erase and install) of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. I find it to be considerably more lightweight than Leopard, and probably more than Tiger.
    To be honest, I think that a RAM upgrade and installation of Snow Leopard will be all you'd need to get your MacBook performing nicely.

    You may want to consider using a different browser. Safari tends to be pretty RAM heavy, I'd suggest Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

    Hope this helped.
     
  7. yoyoma02 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    #8
    Awesome advice! Thanks everyone!

    I don't have the orignal discs, so I can't reinstall everything. The only thing I have is the actual laptop, case, and referbused documents.

    How much would the upgrade to 10.6 be?

    Also, does anyone have any recommendations on 2 GB RAM? I'll pick it up tonight after work.

    Is installing the RAM pretty easy? Keep in mind, I'm not computer-savy at all...

    Thanks again everyone!
     
  8. tug macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    loughborough. u.k.
    #9
  9. yoyoma02 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    #10
  10. tug macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    loughborough. u.k.
    #11
    yep, sure crucial are there, go to the site for u.s. and download their scanning tool, it will tell ya exactly what ram ya need for your particular mac. :)
    here ya go mate,http://www.crucial.com/?click=true
     
  11. StefSSU macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #12
    Yep, crucial RAM should be good. Installing RAM or changing HDD's on the MacBook is pretty easy. You just need to remove the battery, unscrew the three small screws on that L shaped metal sheet, pull that out and you have access to the RAM. check out ifixit.com for a proper tutorial if you're unsure about what you're doing, but it's easy to do. 10.6 retail DVD's should be $29, but like I said, be sure to erase and install, especially as it belonged to a previous owner.

    Good Luck, let us know how the MB performs after any of this. Hope you enjoy your Mac.
     
  12. yoyoma02, Feb 9, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011

    yoyoma02 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    #13
    Holy Moses! I stumbled around a bit, but I put in 2GB of RAM in my MacBook and it's amazingly fast now! Night and day - it doesn't even compare. It seems like my internet is way faster, too!

    Should I just throw away the old RAM? Is there anything I could do with it?

    Thanks for all the fantastic help everyone!
     
  13. StefSSU macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #14
    haha, yep RAM can make quite the difference on OS X. hope you enjoy your purchase!
     

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