Pb G4 - running hot'n'slow! Reinstall? More RAM?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by FrankieP, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. FrankieP macrumors newbie


    Dec 31, 2008
    Outback Queensland, Australia
    Hi everyone, first post here and I think (hope!) I'm posting this in the right forum.. :)

    I've a beloved Powerbook G4 from 2005, one of the last, and am running Leopard upgraded from Tiger. It's cpu etc from the hardware info page:

    -Model Name: PowerBook G4 15"
    Processor Name: PowerPC G4 (1.2)
    Processor Speed: 1.5 GHz
    Number Of CPUs: 1
    L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB
    Memory: 1 GB
    Bus Speed: 167 MHz
    -SODIMM0/J25LOWER: (x2)
    Size: 512 MB
    Type: DDR SDRAM
    Speed: PC2700U-25330
    Status: OK
    -Macintosh HD:
    Capacity: 74.41 GB
    Available: 15.54 GB
    Writable: Yes
    File System: Journaled HFS+
    BSD Name: disk0s3​

    It's long in the tooth now I know, but I've never had it crash and am loathe to upgrade simply for the sake of it, but recently it's had growing problems that I'd love to hear some advice on..

    It's been running hotter and hotter every year, and whilst I live in the outback it never used to singe my lap the way it does now. I installed Leopard a few months ago and realise that a new OS can have it working harder, but even since then it's been getting worse and worse with greatly shortened battery life too. During the day I've taken to plonking it upon one of those squishy icepacks with a teatowel around it to keep it cool.

    It's also getting very sludgy and slow, even when not roasting hot. Firefox has always been a pain (but still seems better than Safari) to use, hanging and stopping if it's been running awhile even if there are only a few tabs open, but works again with a force quit and restart of that application. In general though it's slow with many operations, even just browsing through Finder windows it's hardly snappy, and watching streaming video on a fast internet connection is a nightmare.

    My 80Gb HDD has 15Gb left available, and overall I'm thinking of erasing and reinstalling Leopard to start again. It might not help with the heat, but do you think it could help with performance? Everytime I open it up there's some update or other to download, and it must still have all the old stuff from Tiger hanging around in there someplace too.

    I already have data backed up on an external drive.. how would I go about erasing and installing, is it a follow-your-nose type effort like the upgrade was? I've never done it on a Mac before! :eek:

    Would it be worth tracking down two 1Gb cards of RAM to pop in instead? And is there any surgery available to cool her down - someone advised me once to send it back to have the heat cement stuff reapplied or something... if I sent her back to Apple could they service it in some way to help with this? :confused:

    Sorry for the dumb q's! I used to know more about computers when I had a pc.. I used to have to know more because the bloody thing would stop every five minutes, but simply haven't needed to learn Maccy fixes, Holly's been a dream to use.

    If it were yours, what would you do with it right now? Would really appreciate any and all advice!!!
  2. noodle654 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2005
    Never Ender
    Do you have AppleCare? If not the only thing I would recommend is to reinstall and add the 2GB RAM.
  3. FrankieP thread starter macrumors newbie


    Dec 31, 2008
    Outback Queensland, Australia
    Hi Noodle, thanks for your reply. No, no AppleCare. :(

    I'm reading up on the OS X forums right now on how to do the reinstall and make sure I keep my settings etc.. hello, headache!

    Is it possible to easily find RAM to suit my laptop, do you know? I know hardware changes quickly and versions to suit older boards can be hard to find..
  4. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    Yes I definetely recommend installing 2gb. Just sell your 512mb stick and purchase 2 1gb sticks of DDR. Should be about a $40 upgrade. Since you already have everything backed up, reinstall Leopard OS-X and use Migration Assistant to get all your personal settings back(which I think needs to be from a Firewire hard drive). The 2gb upgrade will be the best possible upgrade you could and also extend the life of your hard drive as it won't be swapping for virtual memory. Also a 250gb IDE HDD upgrade will really benifit you too.
  5. FrankieP thread starter macrumors newbie


    Dec 31, 2008
    Outback Queensland, Australia
    Thanks Orange! I don't have anything firewire but have read it's possible (albeit slow!) to migrate with usb 2.0, so will see how I go. Am backing up one last time as I type! Will start seeking more memory and space tomorrow.. I'm glad you think the RAM won't be too much, $40 sounds great.

    Thank you both for your help! :D
  6. bigsas15 macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2009
    frankie, unfortunately i can't offer any advice...but i can provide empathy. i was blown away by your post b/c i literally have the exact same problems you are having with my g4. The only difference is that i'm running tiger and I only have 512MB memory!

    i will also takes orange's advice and ramp up the memory...i'll let you know what i end up doing and see if there's an improvement.

    on a side not, my wife has a new macbook and i am insanely jealous! i frequently cheat on my g4 with her macbook and it's like hopping into a porsche after driving a 1930's oldsmobile.
  7. class action macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2010
    Everyone has the same problems...

    I honestly believe a class action suit is in order. EVERYONE has problems with their very under-performing, very over-priced MAC Books.
    I have all the same issues and more... screen problems, loud whirrring sounds, constant pausing, window freezing ect...

    The biggest problem is pain in my fingers and heels of my hands from the heat or what ever. I really feel tingling ALL the time after I finish using this computer. Is it microwaving me? What is it doing to my hands? Doctor says I'm neurological damage!!!!
  8. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    Here we go now :rolleyes:
  9. Bennieboy© macrumors 65816


    Jan 15, 2009
    precisely what i was thinking :rolleyes:

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