Speeding up White macbook Running Lion

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by AcesHigh87, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #1
    Background Info:

    - I have 2 macs. My Early 2008 white macbook (4.1) and my 2011 iMac. Stats for each are in my sig.
    - The iMac runs ML and does so great. The macbook runs Lion and doesn't do so well.
    - I can't upgrade the macbook to ML, it's unsupported.
    - I don't want to downgrade to SL (even if it would be faster) because of iCloud features that I enjoy easily syncing between my two computers.

    Question:

    So, my question is, what will be the easiest way to speed up my old macbook? More RAM? SSD? Something else? My iMac is my workhorse and does the most of my heavy load. My macbook is used mostly for pages documents, web browsing and some minor photoshop and dreamweaver work (both CS6) on occasion.

    Issue is that while doing just about anything the macbook runs slow. Takes a long time to open / close things. Takes upwards of 5 minutes to startup. Hangs with the beachball frequently.

    So, what is my best option for as little as possible? I'd love to max out the RAM and toss in an SSD but I don't really have the $200 that would require so, essentially, how can I get the most bang for my buck out of this old computer?
     
  2. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #2
    That sounds like classic symptoms of a dying hard drive mate. Hope you have a backup handy.

    If you're not running out of RAM, more won't do any good. With that said, upgrading RAM is pretty cheap and will allow more multi-tasking. Adobe apps are notable RAM eaters so the more you have the better for those.

    A SSD will most likely give you the most noticeable speed increased for day to day usage.
     
  3. RSL macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    #3
    In your sig it says you have 2gb ram on the macbook, whilst 8gb on the imac. Lion is probably using virtual memory, which I guess is taking its toll on your hard drive. You should upgrade to 4gb ram, and like the guy above said eventually consider upping the hard drive.
     
  4. slomo86 macrumors member

    slomo86

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Location:
    Turkey
    #4
    Exactly what it sounds like... I would do a time machine backup ASAP!

    In the mean time I would start looking for a new HD, and I would recomend a SSD. You can get a 128GB (I know your losing 32GB but it is worth it!) for as little as $79.99 on tigerdirect.com. Also a RAM upgrade to 4GB would help out in the long run.
     
  5. TheZA macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #5
    The only thing I want to add to the above comments is that adding RAM might be more expensive than you think. A few months ago I upgraded the RAM in a mid-2009 Macbook from 2Gb to 4Gb from Crucial and the older style of RAM for the Macbooks was way more expensive than the RAM needed for newer iMacs and the like. I can't remember the exact cost, but I'm betting it would rival the cost of a SSD. I would advise checking your page ins/out before determining whether more RAM is necessary. I use iStat as an easy way to do that.
     
  6. AcesHigh87 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #6
    Oh yeah, I know that. 8GB of RAM for my iMac costs less than 4GB of RAM for my macbook. A 128GB SSD though (which is about as small as I would really want) costs about $110 after shipping. RAM costs about $60 after shipping. Only $50 but right now that $50 means a lot haha.
     
  7. AppleMacFinder macrumors 6502a

    AppleMacFinder

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    #7
    1) Reinstall the OS.
    2) Upgrade the RAM.
    3) Upgrade the SSD if you feel the need to do it.
     
  8. AcesHigh87 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #8
    Wouldn't re-installing the OS get rid of everything on my hard drive? I'd rather not have to re-install everything if I can avoid it. I have backups of course but that kind negates the point of re-installing doesn't it?
     
  9. AppleMacFinder macrumors 6502a

    AppleMacFinder

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    #9
    If you are doing a clean install, then yes - everything will be erased.
    So, a full backup of your documents is needed.

    However, that will also contribute to speed up, since some unnecessary crap will be removed.
    Setting up the applications couldn't take more than a day - three hours at max; worth it.
     
  10. AcesHigh87 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #10
    With how slow my internet downloads things, 1 adobe application would likely take longer than 3 hours. I understand the logic though and might look into it.

    How would someone do that with Lion though? I know how with older OS' but Lion didn't come with a disk so it's different. I think I made one when I downloaded it (if I can find it) but would rather not use it if I can avoid it.
     

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