MacBook5,1 (Late 2008) with Lion clean install, Momentus XT hybrid + FileVault 2?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by ac3320, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. ac3320, Aug 20, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011

    ac3320 macrumors regular

    ac3320

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Location:
    CA
    #1
    Hey all,

    First post here on this site...

    Saw this thread and it got me thinking...

    I currently have a MacBook5,1 (Late 2008) 2.4 GHz. that I purchased for school. It just turned about three years old, so it was time for some upgrades.

    Hard Drive: Seagate MomentusXT Hybrid drive

    RAM: Apple Kingston 8GB

    Battery: 52whr "lasts 7x longer!" haha not sure but was time for a replacement

    Anyways, I upgraded to Lion the day it came out, but after about a week of a 30-40 second increase in boot times, I decided to do a clean install.

    It is MUCH faster now, and is getting faster each startup with the hybrid drive methinks. Down to about 28 seconds right now (plus restoring some open apps). Pretty nice!

    My question is this: I would like to start using FileVault 2, but am unsure if it will basically undo all the snappy upgrades I just did. In other words, will FileVault's encryption slow everything down? I know an "Is it worth it?" question comes up all the time, and it's hard for everyone to answer, so sorry about this. THAT SAID, if it doesn't noticeably slow my system down, maybe I should go for it?

    I checked out some reviews and for MacBook's with i5 or i7 processors (with our without SSDs) it seems that FileVault 2 was much faster than FileVault in Snow Leopard. However, for Core 2 Duo, there were up to a 44% decrease in boot time (POA), etc. So that makes me not want to do it...

    I would like to hear from anyone who has some experience using FileVault 2 (with OS X Lion) and specifically Intel Core 2 Duo (not i5 or i7 processors). If anyone has some advise, it is much appreciated :)
     
  2. kidstretch macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    #2
    I have the same macbook, upgraded to the same HDD, put 8 gb ram and upgraded to Lion from SL. Did you make a restore from a time machine backup after installing? I want to make a fresh install to speed things up, but if I make a tm restore after that, would it still be faster? Also, about the battery you bought, is it any good? My battery lasts about 3 hours, surfing etc.
     
  3. ac3320 thread starter macrumors regular

    ac3320

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Location:
    CA
    #3
    Restoring from a time machine backup after installing Lion is what I did first. Boot times were LONGER, though overall system performance was the same as with Snow Leopard. After reading on here and other places about the increased boot times (some were like 2 minutes; mine was only about 57 s or something like that), I did a "clean install," which did NOT restore my data using a TM restore. Doing so would negate any of the potential benefits of doing a clean install. With a TM restore, ALL of your data comes over, which could include preferences that were corrupt, applications that you do not use and take up space, etc. In other words, any/all of the 'bugginess' you were experiencing with SL before the Lion install would be there in the 'new' system with Lion on top of it -- not a good scenario. I wish I would have known about this BEFORE upgrading to Lion, as my system is MUCH snappier now (and IMO, Lion is primed to take advantage of that ~4 GB SSD portion of the XT hard drive you have).

    So, in short: do a clean install! Doing an upgrade to Lion and then restoring everything from TM would be pointless, IMO, and you would have a slower system than you could have with a clean install. It would possibly still be faster than SL, but I doubt it. First, make a bootable USB. Then you can start with the install process. You can follow one of the many tutorials on the internet if it helps (or YouTube vids which there are a ton of as well).

    In case it's not obvious, before you do it this way, be sure to backup everything to TM or to a removable storage device. After the clean install you can use Migration Assistant to bring over certain things, or just copy over your iTunes and iPhoto library along with your Applications and/or anything else you want (my preferred way). If you do Migration Assistant, it MAY bring over 'bad' stuff like a Time Machine restore would have.

    To answer your other question, yes, it's a good battery, and yes, I have longer battery life now with it. I used the heck out of my stock MacBook battery (took it with me everyday to school and back with constant charges, discharges). After about two years, it's likely time for a new one anyways. It's not gonna be the same battery life as all those cool kids with 13.3" MacBook Pro's are getting, but it'll be better than your current battery life, and better than stock.

    Hope this helps!

    Edit: I don't know if you know this, but if you backup with Time Capsule as I do, you CAN mount the spares bundle and drag everything over if you decide to not use Migration Assistant (which is what I recommend -- do NOT use Migration Assistant). Use ethernet instead of WiFi if your data is on a Time Capsule like mine was). Oh and I'm not sure if you are an Apple Mail user, but if you are, and want to keep all your precious emails, backup/archive/"export" all your mailboxes to the *.mbox format for restoring later. I hope everything goes smoothly for you and is faster for you :)
     
  4. kidstretch macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    #4
    Thank you for the answer, very helpful! Btw, how much time do you get of your new battery?
     
  5. ac3320 thread starter macrumors regular

    ac3320

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Location:
    CA
    #5
    It's been a while since I calibrated, so take this with a grain of salt:

    1. I leave my MacBook charging all night, in the morning I grab it and take it to school.

    2. At school I plug into the ethernet port, turn the brightness pretty much all the way down and turn airport (and bluetooth) off.

    3. On any given school day I do random things:
    < Sometimes Transmission is running for BitTorrents, sometimes I'm messing with iTunes or iPhoto... Sometimes I'm using Remote Desktop for Mac to access the school's server to deal with my patients...
    < Often I am running Powerpoint and/or Word/Pages, and VLC is open just waiting for me to get home to watch what I stopped watching the night before...
    < ALWAYS I am running Mail, Reeder, Safari (with several tabs open)

    That said, I get anywhere from 3-5 hours, but that fluctuates. I think processor load can really drain it fast (Like using XLD to convert FLAC files to m4a, etc.). To be honest, it is not NEARLY as fast as all my friends' 13.3 MacBook's with non-removable battery -- they get anywhere from 5-7 WITH WiFi on, Bluetooth on, and brightness cranked. Sad face :( But that's just how it goes!

    As an aside, as soon as Apple comes out with what I consider the revamped Air line (FaceTime HD camera, discrete graphics) i'll be all over that!
     

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