MacBook Upgrade

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by simontarr, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. simontarr, Dec 15, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010

    simontarr macrumors 6502

    simontarr

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #1
    Hey All,

    It's been a looong time since I've posted on these forums, it's good to be back though! I have just dug out my old white MacBook- specs are as follows:

    1.83GHz Core Duo
    1.25GB RAM
    60GB 5400RPM HDD

    Put simply, this thing is really starting to chug! Modern websites such as eBuyer, engadget etc cause the HD to go crazy and it's generally pretty slow, even when doing 'simple' things like making powerpoint presentations.

    The hard drive isn't particularly full (36GB available) and I'm running Snow Leopard (10.6.5). I have a little bit of cash and I'm thinking of upgrading the hard drive to a solid state flash, as well as putting in a bit more RAM.

    I was just wondering if anyone with these specs has put a SSD in their machines? I'm reluctant to drop £70+ of an SSD if it's just the age of the computer (ie. the CPU, bus etc) that's stopping this thing from being a little quicker.

    Also, what is the maximum amount of RAM this thing can support?

    Many thanks for your help!

    Simon

    EDIT- Probably worth mentioning I have run Onyx to repair permissions, clear cache's etc in an attempt to speed it up...no luck!
     
  2. GfulDedFan macrumors 65816

    GfulDedFan

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana
    #2
    The maximum amount of RAM is 2GB. Do you now have a 1GB chip and a 256mb chip? If so, you could buy one more 1GB chip to replace the 256.

    No experience here with an SSD but I did have a 7200rpm drive in my first gen and it noticeably improved system startup and app launches.
     
  3. simontarr thread starter macrumors 6502

    simontarr

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #3
    Thanks for the reply.

    Yes, I have 1GB stick and a 256MB one. RAM is so cheap in thinking of getting another 1GB stick. I'm just debating whether dropping a load on an SSD is the way forward, especially as this machine is getting a bit old now.
     
  4. hakuin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #4
    It's probably best to upgrade the RAM first and see how that goes.
     
  5. Soulman macrumors member

    Soulman

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2006
    Location:
    Detroit, Michigan
    #5
    SSD 120 Gb now $200.00 to $230.00 US

    I have a Black MacBook Core Duo 2GHz, with a OCZ 120 Gb ssd and 2gb of ram, for about 5 months and it satisfies my Netflix veiwing, also has a great deal more speed.
    I was where you are 6 months ago, prior to the release of the new macbook pro this summer. With this improvement it is hard to justify getting a new laptop. This laptop is 4 years and 2 months, you've gota love it.
     
  6. simontarr thread starter macrumors 6502

    simontarr

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #6
    Ahh nice, sounds like a successful upgrade! This laptop isn't my main machine- that's at uni and it's too big and cumbersome to transport between home and university at the end of every term. So upgrading the laptop is just a way of making my computing more bearable until I can get back to my desktop!

    I'm going to buy some more RAM now (it's only £15) and see how that goes. After that, I'm going to seriously consider an SSD.
     
  7. Jony Mac macrumors 6502

    Jony Mac

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #7
    Try downloading Onyx . You can repair disk permissions with that app, run the cleaning tools, and under maintenance you can run the OSX daily, weekly, and monthly scripts. If your Mac is not on all the time it wont get the chance to do this on its own.
     
  8. simontarr thread starter macrumors 6502

    simontarr

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #8
    Hi there, thanks for the reply. I have run Onyx and haven't really noticed any improvement if I'm honest. Still, I'm planning on repairing permissions etc on a more regular basis.

    I have installed iStat menus so that I can take a look at what's happen to my RAM/CPU as I'm using my computer for normal tasks. What I've found is that RAM is rarely used up. I'm finding that my CPU is taking a real battering when accessing webpages...I didn't think rendering a webpage was that CPU intensive?? For example, if I load up Engadget, CPU useage will spike to 60+ % for the duration of the page load. Is this normal, or is there a bottleneck somewhere causing the CPU to freak out?

    As mentioned in the original post, I was tempted to get an SSD because the current HD makes all sorts of noises all the time, I thought that would speed things up. However, if the CPU is the limiting factor, I guess there is nothing I can really do!
     
  9. seveej macrumors 6502a

    seveej

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    #9
    Hi,

    Firstly let me say, that getting an SSD, and doing a clean install might very well be worth the expense and hassle. This coming from a MBAlu owner who gladly traded 500 gigs of 7200rpm for a 80 gig 0 rpm.

    iStat is a beautiful tool, but I would not 100% trust any utilization diagnostic.

    All this said, If a computing process feels prolonged, and CPU utilization is only 60% (in fact anything under 95% is telling) then that means that your CPU does not get data quickly enough and is rolling its thumbs. Primary suspects are network and hard drive.

    HTH,
    Pekka
     
  10. simontarr thread starter macrumors 6502

    simontarr

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #10
    Thanks for the reply. You seem to know what you're talking about so do you have any idea why it would have such high CPU utilisation when watching videos on Youtube? I don't think my network is to blame as my downstream speed is 8MBit/sec. Do you think it's simply because the computer is old now? (ie. the CPU/bus speed is simply too slow for decent performance)

    Cheers.
     

Share This Page