Optimizing early 2008 (Santa Rosa) MBP performance

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by TSNWork, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. TSNWork macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    #1
    Hi all,

    I have an early 2008 2.4/2.2 MBP. ("About This Mac" screenshot attached with the specs.) While it still runs well -- I had the HDD replaced and the maximum RAM added last year -- it's beginning to overheat more frequently, slow down when opening large documents, and just generally show its age.

    Does anyone have suggestions as to how to arrest the decline? I'm not a power user by any means, so I don't think there's much to gain from reducing usage (about the most I tax it is by having a Word doc, Excel spreadsheet, and 3-4 Safari tabs open simultaneously). I use XSlimmer and Onyx fairly regularly, but any benefits are (predictably) only marginal.

    Thanks much for help.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    1. That MBP supports up to 6 GB RAM.
    2. You could replace the HDD with an SSD to bring new life to your MBP and even replace the ODD with your old HDD with an Optibay adapter.
    MacBook, MacBook Pro: Replacing the Hard Disk Drive, transferring data to the new HDD

    the guide includes:
    • 0. Identify your MacBook or MacBook Pro
    • 1. Getting a new HDD
    • 2. Guides to replace the internal HDD with a newer one
    • 3. Transferring data from the old HDD to the new HDD
    • 4. Using the optical disk drive (ODD) slot for placing an SSD or HDD inside the MB/P (OPTIBAY)

    3. Performance Tips For Mac OS X
    4. Five Mac maintenance myths
    5. You can take screenshots of just one window or element via CMD+SHIFT+4, press Spacebar and click on the window or element you want to shoot.
     
  3. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #3
    I would look at cleaning out the cooling system, the fans my also be declining i recently replaced both on my Early 08 15" MBP. iDefrag will help to speed up your HDD access, don't expect miracles and in general it only requires defraging once - twice a year, you will see a bigger improvement if you are accessing large files frequently.

    SSD will work, just depends if you want to invest heavily on machine that is already four years plus. If you plan to keep it, then an SSD is a good option, equally a well cared for Late 2011 13" Air might also be a consideration or another 15" MBP.

    For your described usage, your machine should not be getting overly hot, once i cleaned the cooling system and replaced the fans, the operating temperatures dropped immensely.
     
  4. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    #4
    If it's been overheating more frequently over time-- chances are good that you've got some dust build-up inside. Remove the bottom cover and give it a good blow-out with some compressed air.

    An SSD works wonders; my 3.5-year-old macbook pro feels like a brand new computer again with its new SSD and a fresh install of ML. Subjectively it feels faster than my 2011 macbook pro at work (which has a 5400rpm HDD).
    The only thing lacking is the battery life, so I may plonk down $89 for a NuPower battery and keep it around for a while longer.
     
  5. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #5
    I'd recommend a clean install of OS X. My early 2008 was really bogged down a few months back and a clean install really bumped the performance.

    I've always had my MBP on a cooling stand to prevent it from being unbearably hot with even minor usage.
     
  6. TSNWork thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    #6
    Thanks much, all. I've gone through the steps in simsaladimbamba's list that I hadn't done already, and will clean out any dust.

    As for a clean OSX install, will upgrading to Mountain Lion (from Snow Leopard -- never got around to Lion) have the same effect? I was planning on doing that over the next few days anyway.
     
  7. simsaladimbamba

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    located
    #7
    Only if you do a clean install, not if you do an upgrade install.
     
  8. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #8
    I just installed 8 gigs of ram in my wife's 2.4 c2d unibody MBP; upgraded from 4 gigs.

    My wife's reaction was, "Wow, this thing is cooking with gas now!". Arguably, the best $55 I've spent, and I think she'll get a bit more contented use out of it. Next stop MAY be SSD land, but this may get me by.
     
  9. treyjustice macrumors 65816

    treyjustice

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    TX
    #9
    I'd say open and blow out add more ram and get a ssd

    ram/ssd will make a noticeable improvement!
     
  10. TSNWork thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 18, 2011
  11. TSNWork thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    #11
    Actually, one more question (sorry, but just want to make sure that I get this right): I currently have 4 GB RAM (2 x 2 GB) in my early 2008 MBP. To get to the maximum 6 GB, I need to buy a single 4 GB module to replace one of the 2 GB ones, correct? What one would you guys recommend?
     
  12. simsaladimbamba

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    #12
    Yes, that is correct, though a 4 GB 200-pin DDR2 SO-DIMM RAM module might cost 50 € or so nowadays. I can't recommend a specific one.
     
  13. TSNWork thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 18, 2011
  14. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    Mar 6, 2008
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    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
  15. tivoboy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    #15
    ebay

    I simply tracked some ebay auctions for about two weeks, for the RAM which was $$$ in the second market. I ended up getting a great Samsung 4GB stick for 29$ shipped. Maybe setup a search and track a few auctions.
     
  16. TSNWork thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    #16
    Thanks. I'm a bit time-constrained, but I was able to find this on eBay for $49. Plus next-day shipping for $19 comes to $68. It's not $29, but it's not bad either. Went with that.
     
  17. TSNWork thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    #17
    So I got my 4GB stick with all the correct specifications and installed it (it fit perfectly) in place of one of my current 2 GB ones, and yet my computer didn't recognize it (i.e., I could hear it power up, but unit never actually turned on). I then took it to my local Best Buy Geek Squad -- they aren't great, but for simple things they generally know what's going on -- and they told me they checked too sites and that my MBP only supports a max of 4GB of RAM, so there's no possibility of getting it to recognize 6 GB. I've seen elsewhere, however, including in this thread, that I should be able to get it to recognize 6 GB.

    What's going on? And how can I solve this problem? Thanks as always.
     
  18. tivoboy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    #18
    what model

    What model do you have? I have the same machine, granted bought in september 2008 (this was pre-unibody) and 6GB works fine. While apple says they don't support it, it works fine. Could be a bad stick of Ram?

    check out this thread

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=573906
     
  19. TSNWork thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    #19
    I have a MBP 3,1 (Core 2 Duo, 2.4 GHz). I've skimmed through that thread, but didn't see an answer to my question. Is the best way to test the RAM stick to take out both 2 GB sticks, put in only the 4 GB, and see whether the computer boots up?
     
  20. TSNWork, Aug 17, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012

    TSNWork thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    #20
    Update: just tested the 4 GB stick by itself and it doesn't appear to work, so perhaps that's the issue. I'll buy one from Newegg since my eBay foray didn't work well. Any difference between options # 1 and 2?
     
  21. tivoboy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    #21
    both are fine

    I've used both partiot and GSKILL memory in various systems before, both are fine.

    Can you get a refund on your ebay purchase. That's bunk
     
  22. macagain macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    #22
    Do you have animals in the house?

    ...I'm not joking! Not long ago a friend was complaining that her Dell (I know different machine... but story applies) was overheating more and more, and shutting down spontaneously more often. I had it opened up, and the problem turned out to be about 1/4 inch of cat hair clogging up the fan, pretty much cutting airflow to zero!
     
  23. TSNWork thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    #23
    Thanks. Yeah, I should be able to get an eBay refund, so it's a pain but not a hit to my wallet. And macagain, thanks for the advice on the fan -- I've already cleaned mine, so unfortunately the fix isn't that simple.
     

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