Slow Early 2008 17" Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by matthewsartori, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. matthewsartori macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2014
    Hi guys,
    I have an early 2008 17" Macbook Pro with 4g of ram, 2.5ghz intel core 2, 250g SATA disk, I have a time capsule which stores most of my files so my hd is never more than half full and I'm running Yosemite.

    My mac has been getting progressively slower and slower over the years but cannot justify buying a new mac.

    I've been looking up how to speed up my mac and the consensus i've come to is that my hd is run down so I should purchase a new hd and add more ram.

    Is it possible to get your opinion on what hd and what ram I should purchase and also where to purchase.
    if I was to add more ram, say 2x8g (16g) would that make more difference that if I was to buy 2x4g (8g).
    The ram I've been looking at are as follows;

    As I use my time capsule I do not need an overly large hd.
    The hd's I've been looking at are as follows; (240g)

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. anonthymous macrumors newbie


    Sep 28, 2014
    I think the underlying issue your macbook might be slow may be due to a couple factors such as if you're (unknowingly) running several memory intensive background processes, the HD is malfunctioned, or if the battery/laptop is hot in which case is undesirable and would consequently undermine the laptop's performance.

    To optimize your Macbook, make sure you also optimize your internet settings and update your OS with the latest drivers (NVIDIA) compatible with your macbook and download plugins such as flash for smooth video streaming. On the same token, make sure you aren't burdening your macbook with trivial plugins/drivers and that you've enabled the appropriate and important ones you anticipate using on a daily basis.

    I recommend using the built in "Activity Monitor" to monitor processes on your laptop to identify if anything might be hampering/overloading your laptop in which case, could be the culprit causing your laptop speed to dwindle. Perhaps you might've overlooked a memory-intensive program that hogs a lot of memory or you have a number of miscellaneous background processes running at the same time slowing your laptop. An example of this is "bluetooth" which by default is on an consumes memory and power. I just turn it off on my settings in System Preferences.

    To answer your question yes, adding more Ram (in general) would make a notable increase in speed difference. If you desire a faster computer, look into purchasing an SSD instead of a HDD as an SSD will make your macbook run much faster. It's more expensive but worth it in my opinion.

    And speaking of alternatives, you could always look into doing a clean install of your OS or reformatting the HD using Disk Utility (Verify Disk Permissions followed by Repairing if necessary).

    I have 8gb of Ram and my mid 2011 Macbook runs like a beauty. I'm very conscious when I download any kind of software on my laptop.
  3. anonthymous macrumors newbie


    Sep 28, 2014
    In response to the items you listed (on Ebay & OWC) they both seem pretty descent. OWC is a trusted manufacturer and the Ebay seller looks legitimate. I'd definitely recommend the 8gb upgrade but I feel this offers a temporary fix which doesn't really address the underlying issue why your macbook is slow.

    On a completely unrelated note, perhaps you could enlighten us as to what kinds of things you use your Macbook for such as do you use for video/music editing, photoshop, personal use, or a combination of the above? Programs such as FCPX, Logic, CS5+ or any program of the Adobe suite require a minimum of 4gb of ram and its quite possibly that running such programs, along with background processes previously mentioned in my first post, might be hampering your macbook speed. Keep in mind that your computer speed may be influenced by what you do on your macbook so be sure to acknowledge that.
  4. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Your early 2008 MBP will not accept more than 6GB of RAM, so don't go buying more than that. None of the RAM sticks your listed are compatible with your MBP as it uses older DDR2 SO-DIMMS, not DDR3.

    Also, I believe the SATA interface is limited to SATA I speeds, so don't spend money on the best SSD out there, you won't reap it's benefits. SATA I is only 1.5Gbps which means 187.5 MB/s, any SSD out there will easily saturate that.
  5. BrettApple macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2010
    Heart of the midwest
    An SSD can dramatically improve this machine.

    I had a Mid 2007 model running Mavericks pretty slowly on the stock 160GB HDD and 2GB of RAM.

    Dropped in 4GB and a cheap 120GB SSD and it flew!
    It is SATA I, but even so, it isn't all about top speed for file transfers as much as it is about random reads and writes which are dramatically faster on an SSD.

    With 4GB of RAM and only being able to go to 6GB, I'd keep the RAM you have and simply drop in an SSD. Good way to keep an older mac running well for a few more years.
  6. anonthymous macrumors newbie


    Sep 28, 2014
    Thanks for pointing that out, I totally overlooked it. Yes, the maximum memory that model will hold is 6gB of Ram. You can find more about your mac here. Hopefully, that is the right one.

Share This Page