5 Replies Latest reply: Sep 7, 2010 6:53 PM by BGreg
Chris Johnston Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
Hi guys,

How can I improve the performance of my 8 year old laptop? It still works and recently I have started to find that I need it more and more! I have followed a few threads here and use Cocktail to run maintenance scripts and clear logs. Is there anything else I can do to improve the operating speed without making hardware modifications?

I mainly want to use it for internet, music and video applications, and occasionally office applications. Any help or advice would be great - I appreciate that it's quite old technology but I'd love to get the most out of it as it still works..!

Mac OS X version 10.4.11
Processor 1 GHz PowerPC G4
1 MB L3 cache
Memory 512 MB SDRAM
Startup Disk Macintosh HD

Many thanks,


PowerBook G4, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • louie Level 4 Level 4 (2,945 points)
    IMO, these machines are no longer worth sinking much, if any, money into. The processing power is just too outmoded at this time, and getting worse. I still use mine for some simple email and websurfing, but online videos are impossible, and the OS and security support for PPC is disappearing from Apple and other software vendors. I have moved on to Intel Macs.

    At best, I'd increase RAM if the cost was low.
  • Chris Johnston Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    OK thanks Louie,

    I'm based in the UK - do you know where is the best place to purchase extra RAM from online?



    Message was edited by: Chris Johnston
  • louie Level 4 Level 4 (2,945 points)
    Sorry, I do not know the UK vendors. I would just make sure there is an ironclad return guarantee, as sometimes computers are fussy with RAM that otherwise meets the published specs.
  • Braby Level 4 Level 4 (1,795 points)
    I would always recommend Crucial:
    Select your model of PowerBook and let the site do the rest. They guarantee the RAM to be compatible and when I've bought it over the years it has always been fine ( Samsung in the case of my PowerBook - exactly the same as the original spec.) A 1Gig stick is currently around £45 - I think Apple used to charge around £150 back when.....
  • BGreg Level 6 Level 6 (17,495 points)
    You may want to consider OnyX, which I believe has more utility function. It's what I use, and others I've recommended it to have been pleased with it. You can get it from http://www.titanium.free.fr/download.php?sid=4e2b577e8fe857487704347d4485d9d7

    You may want to read this FAQ about OS X performance, it may give you some ideas: http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/performance.html

    In all the ideas, more memory will likely help (you can verify that by comparing the page ins and outs on the system memory tab on the Activity Monitor. If outs are 10%-15% or more than ins, you can use more memory). Make sure you have enough free disk space, as that can really cramp your performance otherwise.

    And recognize that our Powerbooks are getting farther and farther back on the power curve, and, for example, watching streaming video's without stutters and the like is almost impossible. It's a shame, because the Powerbook is a great computer. But that's technology advancing too ....