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OT: Has my Macbook Pro reached a lifespan?

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  • #31
    Your choices are a bigger internal hard drive, or record all audio to an external drive.

    With the amount of free space you have OSX is constantly writing to your system drive. OSX will always have priority and may delay other apps access while it handles virtual memory.

    Also max out your RAM.

    I have a black macbook, and have no problem with sessions of 32-48 tracks using Logic9, all audio resides on external firewire drives.

    G-Dub
    www.studiog-fx.com
    15 inch Quad-core i7, Macbook Pro,
    OSX 10.8.2, LPX, Logic 9.1.8, Apollo Duo

    Comment


    • #32
      Hey, just want to throw my hat in the ring here. There's a couple of things that haven't been said yet . . .

      FWIW - I'm a Mac System Admin and have managed schools with 200-1000 Macs of varying ages for about 6 years now. I wrote this because you can make even an old mac run very well and this machine will serve you well for another 2-3 years if you do some updates now.

      Depending on whether that's an "Early 2006" or a "Late 2006" MacBook Pro, you can support either 2GB or 3GB of RAM. If you haven't upgraded the RAM since you bought it, and you got it with 2GB, then you might be able to support 3GB.

      Go to http://support.apple.com/specs and enter your serial number. It will tell you what MBP you have, and if it's a "Late 2006" one, congrats, you can buy a RAM upgrade. That will help you out in the short term.
      This $36 upgrade will yield some immediate benefits. ttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148234

      Next, buy an external drive. You need to back your stuff up, not so much because you need to empty the hard drive but because you're running on a 4 year old hard drive that's going to fail at some point.

      On a Mac, the hard drive doesn't get fragmented the way a PC's does (it does get fragmented, but it doesn't degrade performance as drastically). Having 10GB of space available on what I assume is a 120GB drive is fine. I mean, you might want to consider an upgrade for peace of mind, but the only time a full hard drive degrades your performance is when the free space is less than the desired swap file size. (2-4GB)

      Now, if you're up for a weekend project, you can make your MacBook Pro scream. Your '06 MBP shipped with OSX 10.4 Tiger. Did you upgrade it to Leopard? It doesn't sound like you did.

      Installing a fresh copy of the Operating System will do wonders for your computer, as you've likely installed and uninstalled hundreds of programs over the last 4 years, and shuffling roughly 100GB of data around is taking its toll on the OS.

      Upgrading to Snow Leopard will blow you away. If you upgrade to 3GB of ram (if you can) and you get Snow Leopard, you should be very happy with the performance. So if you don't have the iLife '09 DVD already, buy the Mac Box Set. It's $100 but it gets you a copy of iLife 09, iWork 09, and Snow Leopard.

      Now, here's a step by step of what you need to do.

      1. Back up everything to your external hard drive (everything under your home folder)
      2. Backup Applications that you can't get again (purchased downloaded apps, for example). Just copy them to the external drive.
      3. Put in the Snow Leopard DVD. Double Click Install Mac OSX. It will reboot the computer. Follow the instructions.
      4. When you get to the "Install Snow Leopard to Macintosh HD" screen, click "Options" or "Customize" (I can't remember which), and choose "Erase and Install" or "Clean" or "Fresh" installation.
      5. Install
      6. Install iLife 09
      7. Install iWork 09
      8. Run Software Update several times to get all updates
      9. Install other programs
      10. Restore your data
      11. Use Disk Utility (Applications/Utilities/) to erase your external drive
      12. Set up Time Machine to automatically back up your stuf.
      13.

      You can spend $100-200 now and get the new OS, a new internal hard drive, an external hard drive, and upgrade the ram, and have a great computer for 2-3 more years, or spend $2-3000 and have a great computer for another 4 years.

      Comment


      • #33
        Whoa, that's a novel. Here's the Cliff Notes:

        You might be able to go to 3GB of RAM. Check Support.Apple.com/specs with your serial number

        10GB of space on your hard drive means you need to upgrade the internal hard drive . . . not so easy on a 1st-gen MacBook Pro

        You need to back up your stuff before you lose it. Get an external drive NOW.

        You should really consider reformatting your drive and installing Snow Leopard. It will save disk space and run a ton faster (especially if you can upgrade your ram).

        Your computer is capable of running very fast and just needs some maintenance. I have an old PowerBook G4 with 1GB of Ram that probably runs faster than your machine. oke:

        Comment


        • #34
          Hey, just want to throw my hat in the ring here. There's a couple of things that haven't been said yet . . .

          FWIW - I'm a Mac System Admin and have managed schools with 200-1000 Macs of varying ages for about 6 years now. I wrote this because you can make even an old mac run very well and this machine will serve you well for another 2-3 years if you do some updates now.

          Depending on whether that's an "Early 2006" or a "Late 2006" MacBook Pro, you can support either 2GB or 3GB of RAM. If you haven't upgraded the RAM since you bought it, and you got it with 2GB, then you might be able to support 3GB.

          Go to http://support.apple.com/specs and enter your serial number. It will tell you what MBP you have, and if it's a "Late 2006" one, congrats, you can buy a RAM upgrade. That will help you out in the short term.
          This $36 upgrade will yield some immediate benefits. ttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148234

          Next, buy an external drive. You need to back your stuff up, not so much because you need to empty the hard drive but because you're running on a 4 year old hard drive that's going to fail at some point.

          On a Mac, the hard drive doesn't get fragmented the way a PC's does (it does get fragmented, but it doesn't degrade performance as drastically). Having 10GB of space available on what I assume is a 120GB drive is fine. I mean, you might want to consider an upgrade for peace of mind, but the only time a full hard drive degrades your performance is when the free space is less than the desired swap file size. (2-4GB)

          Now, if you're up for a weekend project, you can make your MacBook Pro scream. Your '06 MBP shipped with OSX 10.4 Tiger. Did you upgrade it to Leopard? It doesn't sound like you did.

          Installing a fresh copy of the Operating System will do wonders for your computer, as you've likely installed and uninstalled hundreds of programs over the last 4 years, and shuffling roughly 100GB of data around is taking its toll on the OS.

          Upgrading to Snow Leopard will blow you away. If you upgrade to 3GB of ram (if you can) and you get Snow Leopard, you should be very happy with the performance. So if you don't have the iLife '09 DVD already, buy the Mac Box Set. It's $100 but it gets you a copy of iLife 09, iWork 09, and Snow Leopard.

          Now, here's a step by step of what you need to do.

          1. Back up everything to your external hard drive (everything under your home folder)
          2. Backup Applications that you can't get again (purchased downloaded apps, for example). Just copy them to the external drive.
          3. Put in the Snow Leopard DVD. Double Click Install Mac OSX. It will reboot the computer. Follow the instructions.
          4. When you get to the "Install Snow Leopard to Macintosh HD" screen, click "Options" or "Customize" (I can't remember which), and choose "Erase and Install" or "Clean" or "Fresh" installation.
          5. Install
          6. Install iLife 09
          7. Install iWork 09
          8. Run Software Update several times to get all updates
          9. Install other programs
          10. Restore your data
          11. Use Disk Utility (Applications/Utilities/) to erase your external drive
          12. Set up Time Machine to automatically back up your stuf.
          13.

          You can spend $100-200 now and get the new OS, a new internal hard drive, an external hard drive, and upgrade the ram, and have a great computer for 2-3 more years, or spend $2-3000 and have a great computer for another 4 years.


          Yep!
          G-Dub
          www.studiog-fx.com
          15 inch Quad-core i7, Macbook Pro,
          OSX 10.8.2, LPX, Logic 9.1.8, Apollo Duo

          Comment


          • #35
            I have a 13" macbook that I got in late sept./early oct. of '06 and it still runs like a champ with only 1 GB of ram. It was running pretty slow lately but here are some of the things I did to clean it up and getting it running as fast as they day I got it.

            1) I got an external HD and dumped everything on it I don't absolutely need, and deleted stuff I realized I'd never use. You need between 15-20% of your Hard Drive free at any given time for optimal use. There's a ton of flash based porn sites nowadays so you don't need to save porn. Unless it's stuff so weird you can't find it anywhere else oke:

            If you run things like movies or garageband off your hard drive they will likely load quicker because you're not burdening your computer's on hard drive.

            2) Get the free program 'Monolingual'. Your Mac is dedicating a ton of hard drive space to plugins and what not to support languages you will likely never ever use. Monolingual finds and deletes them all. It may mess with some programs, like Office, but I haven't had problems. Back up your computer first.

            3) Use the disk utility to fix permissions, etc.

            4) Download the free program Onyx. This is the windows equivalent of disc defragmenting. It will clean house and leave your computer running great.

            4) Clear out EVERYTHING from your dock and desktop. Having things stay in your dock and desktop uses up a lot of memory, especially Dashboard. Keep your dock as compact as possible.

            5) download the free program Quicksilver. It's basically a task launcher to make up for the fact that you cleared everything off your destktop/dock. You set it to a hotkey (I use Command + Space). It comes up and you type the name of the program, folder, file and just hit enter. You can easily get away with never using your trackpad again. I seriously only have the HD icon on my desktop, and the Finder, Quicksilver, Documents folder, and Trash in my Dock. It's slick.
            Good Deals: Hangwire, mhuxtable, Travybear

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            • #36

              4) Clear out EVERYTHING from your dock and desktop. Having things stay in your dock and desktop uses up a lot of memory, especially Dashboard. Keep your dock as compact as possible.

              5) download the free program Quicksilver. It's basically a task launcher to make up for the fact that you cleared everything off your destktop/dock. You set it to a hotkey (I use Command + Space). It comes up and you type the name of the program, folder, file and just hit enter. You can easily get away with never using your trackpad again. I seriously only have the HD icon on my desktop, and the Finder, Quicksilver, Documents folder, and Trash in my Dock. It's slick.


              There's some truth in this, but there's also a little FUD too.

              Clearing off items from your desktop will not, in itself, speed up your system. It does not significantly tax an Intel Mac to render icons on the desktop, even with the little drop shadows that it throws under the icons and labels. The same goes for the dock. When the dock program starts (at system login), it renders it's assets and then is done. Turning off Magnification, turning off dock hiding, and using the Secrets PrefPane to disable the minimize animation will make your computer use less resources when using the dock, but removing icons from the dock will not, of itself, speed up your computer.

              In Leopard and Snow Leopard, putting the dock on the left of the screen takes away the 3d effect (this can also be turned off using the Secrets PrefPane), and that might be of some benefit on older Macbooks, but probably wouldn't increase the speed of a MacBook Pro, which has discrete graphics.

              What CAN tax the computer at startup is rendering FILE PREVIEWS for those icons, but that's true in ALL folders, not just your desktop. Click on the Desktop. Hit Command-J, and deselect the checkbox "Show Icon Preview". Now, long DOCX documents and XLSX spreadsheets won't render a tiny, tiny thumbnail preview that's useless anyway. Pictures and videos won't show icon previews, and your computer won't have to render those changes when it boots up, or when a file is changed. THAT will speed things up. The number of icons has a drastically smaller impact.

              Removing icons won't speed up your computer, but not waiting for icons to load when your computer loads might make you THINK it's starting up faster.

              Quicksilver is a nice program but I don't know that I would trade icons on my desktop for a program that actively runs in the background, using CPU cylcles and RAM kilobytes to speed things up.

              Macs have few Terminate-and-Stay-Resident type programs but some common ones are Google Notifier, Dropbox, Little Snitch, Quicksilver and a few others. Avoid those if your computer is slow while using it, as they use system resources all the time, and it can add up.

              Monolingual and Onyx are two great suggestions. I use Monolingual to save literally Gigabytes of space on my machines at work. Also useful because it removes PowerPC code from programs that have intel or Universal binary.

              Comment


              • #37
                Similar thing happened with my '05 powerbook G4 (a year before they changed the name to "macbook"). It still works, but using photoshop or any audio editing programs almost turns it into a paperweight.

                Comment


                • #38
                  I have one of those at work. With 1GB of ram, it performs pretty decently for everyday stuff, even up to the resource heavy Filemaker Pro. It's much quicker under Tiger (10.4) than Leopard (10.5), though. I'd never consider putting a version of photoshop newer than CS or CS2 on there. I don't think CS5 would even run.

                  I recently got a MacBook unibody to replace the PowerBook G4. I'm gonna put Ubuntu 10.8 on it (they make a powerpc build). It should run much faster. I'll let you know how that goes.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    I realized that using the computer with having an electrical fan waving wind into the computer solves the speed issue.
                    Originally Posted by Noam Chomsky


                    Whenever you hear anything said very confidently, the first thing that should come to mind is, wait a minute is that true?

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      10GB of space on your hard drive means you need to upgrade the internal hard drive . . . not so easy on a 1st-gen MacBook Pro


                      Not strictly true. You can clear up space, and, as the post above you noted, the *only* reason this is even necessary is because you don't want to to have free space that is lower than the preferred swap space size (which is 1.5-2.5x physical RAM, which would be 5-7.5GB free).

                      Better to just figure out what you don't need on the drive all the time and save it off to an external (should really be running time machine regularly on a macbook of that age, anyway, given that the MTBF of a consumer level drive is much less than 4 years).
                      --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      "Vaginas are nice, but I wouldn't trade my balls for one." - boxorox

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                      • #41
                        I have 20 gigs free now, cleared a lot of space.

                        But I'm planning to buy a new macbook pro eventually, when the new line up releases. I'm also keen to be involved in gaming.
                        Originally Posted by Noam Chomsky


                        Whenever you hear anything said very confidently, the first thing that should come to mind is, wait a minute is that true?

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          also keen to be involved in gaming.


                          Macs have gotten more options for gaming lately, but if you're thinking of taking up gaming as a hobby (and don't mean "gaming" as a synonym for "playing World of Warcraft"), you're going to want to look at a Windows machine or a dedicated gaming console (360/PS3).

                          Yeah, you can do bootcamp for OS X if you've got the drive space and what not, but you can make a pretty decent gaming machine in Windows 7 for much cheaper than you can spec out a general purpose OS X machine that ALSO is good at gaming. Know what I mean?
                          --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          "Vaginas are nice, but I wouldn't trade my balls for one." - boxorox

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Macs have gotten more options for gaming lately, but if you're thinking of taking up gaming as a hobby (and don't mean "gaming" as a synonym for "playing World of Warcraft"), you're going to want to look at a Windows machine or a dedicated gaming console (360/PS3).

                            Yeah, you can do bootcamp for OS X if you've got the drive space and what not, but you can make a pretty decent gaming machine in Windows 7 for much cheaper than you can spec out a general purpose OS X machine that ALSO is good at gaming. Know what I mean?


                            Funny you should mention that because I owned an Xbox and sold it this summer to rid myself of the habit of gaming. But I kinda miss it.
                            Originally Posted by Noam Chomsky


                            Whenever you hear anything said very confidently, the first thing that should come to mind is, wait a minute is that true?

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              I bought this computer in freshman year, back in 2006, and ever since have been using it for studying, work, and most of the time just browsing.

                              I've noticed that it's been slowing down for the past half a year or so, and I started to trash all the stuff I don't need. Now, if I'm lucky, I can barely watch a youtube video with some jittering.
                              The computer sometimes crashes when I'm running Google Chrome and iTunes together.

                              I read somewhere that Macbooks have a lifespan of about 3-5 years. Maybe it's time for me to buy a new one...

                              Can the problem be solved any way, like removing the RAMs with new ones?


                              One thing I'm doing with my 2007 MBP is putting in a solid-state drive. I've seen the difference just in bootup between a SSD and a hard drive and there's no comparison. The other thing I've done since it was new is to use it on a cooling rack, which is a forced-air fan used to cool the unit. Since I'm not in a position to buy another just now, the SSD upgrade will no doubt extend the life of the unit.

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