Previous 1 2 Next 16 Replies Latest reply: Nov 24, 2012 5:05 AM by HenryMatSmith
Miss Mercury Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

I love my MCB, but am not technical.

 

Spend my money, theoretically -- If you had an unlimited budget to upgrade this system to make it fast and more efficient, what would you buy or do to it?

 

I'm deciding if I should scrap it and get a new MacBook Pro 13" instead.  I like my MCB 15", but it seems to be getting hung up alot with the spinning rainbow, everyday apps freezing or crashing, and just slow when I have multiple windows open in Safari and Firefox at same time.  I realize that the sites I browse to are more graphic intensive than they were when I got the MCB in 2008, but I'm wondering if it would be worthwhile to spend some $$$ to upgrade whatever I can and save my pennies for a newer Mac in a year or two.  Safari and Mail crash or get hung a lot, Photo Booth folder is mysteriously empty, 

 

So should I expect to be able to get substantial performance improvement (speed, multi-tasking) if I upgrade whatever is upgradable? 

I surf using multiple browsers and open many tabs and mail with numerous accounts and magicjack, ocassionally use iweb, pages, text, calendar, low intensity games.

 

Thanks for any advice and recommendations and thoughts.  I'd probably get the Genius Bar to install upgrades.

 

 

MacBook Pro 15"

      2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

     2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM

     L2 Cache 3 MB

     Bus Speed 800 MHZ

 

OSX 10.5.8

HD 186 GB (137 used)

I back up Time Machine to WD My Passport 1TB

 

GeForce 8600M GT:

 

  Chipset Model:          GeForce 8600M GT

  Type:          Display

  Bus:          PCIe

  PCIe Lane Width:          x4

  VRAM (Total):          256 MB

  Vendor:          NVIDIA (0x10de)

  Device ID:          0x0407

  Revision ID:          0x00a1

  ROM Revision:          3212

 

Intel ICH8-M AHCI:

 

  Vendor:          Intel

  Product:          ICH8-M AHCI

  Speed:          1.5 Gigabit

  Description:          AHCI Version 1.10 Supported

 

USB Bus:

 

  Host Controller Location:          Built In USB

  Host Controller Driver:          AppleUSBUHCI

  PCI Device ID:          0x2834

  PCI Revision ID:          0x0003

  PCI Vendor ID:          0x8086

  Bus Number:          0x1a

 

BRCM2046 Hub:

 

  Product ID:          0x4500

  Vendor ID:          0x0a5c  (Broadcom Corp.)

  Version:          1.00

  Speed:          Up to 12 Mb/sec

  Manufacturer:          Apple Inc.

  Location ID:          0x1a100000

  Current Available (mA):          500

  Current Required (mA):          0

 

 

 

Also -- it had a couple of soft drops to floor and one medium intensity drop, always on carpet.  so the case (not unibody) is dented on the sides with ports.  All "seem" to work fine except right side USB; looks pushed in and angled, and the plastic trim that fills in space connecting flat top of typing surface to bottom cover has a 4" piece cracked off (kind of looks like where grout would go).  Devices work but if you move the wire it's power filckers off and on.  Have never used firewire or thunderbolt ports on this. 

 

I would like more USB port options (maybe a high grade extendor???) for Logitech laptop cooler, external HD, VOIP device, wired mouse, wired keyboard (I prefer wired).

 

Thanks again.


MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4 (1,855 points)

    Before the install

    Ensure your data (at least all Home folders) is backed up before you install. Hard disks can fail at any time so it is important to regularly backup to an external disk with Time Machine or a third party alternative. Inexperienced users should follow Apple's install advice but experienced users may prefer to do a clean install.

     

    OS numbers and names

    OS X 10.4.x - Tiger

    OS X 10.5.x - Leopard

    OS X 10.6.x - Snow Leopard

    OS X 10.7.x - Lion

    OS X 10.8.x - Mountain Lion

     

    More about Macs

    The Apple History site has specifications for every Mac ever produced: http://www.apple-history.com

     

    Upgrade to Leopard

    Those wishing to upgrade to Leopard should be aware that install disks can be expensive unless you contact Apple. Details: http://lowendmac.com/deals/best-os-x-leopard-prices.html Standard Leopard installers impose several hardware limitations including speed and RAM size but all these restrictions can be overcome. Google for details. Leopard works well at 500 MHz with 1 GB of RAM and many happy users have less than this.

     

    Upgrade beyond Leopard

    OSs beyond OS X 10.5.8 require an Intel processor. If in doubt check this: Click the apple at the top left of your screen and select 'About this Mac'. This will give you your OS number. Then click 'More Info' to see which processor you have. If it says PowerPC you cannot upgrade to Snow Leopard and above. If you have an Intel Mac it is well worth upgrading to Snow Leopard now and then considering other options after that. You can buy Snow Leopard here: http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC573Z/A

     

    Upgrade beyond Snow Leopard

    Information about upgrading Snow Leopard to Lion or Mountain Lion: http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD256Z/A

     

    Important

    Check that your Mac complies with any requirements. If you are not in the US you should use the Change Country link at the bottom of Apple pages.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (119,775 points)

    Upgrading the RAM to 6GB will help the Most, installing an SSD in place of the Hard Drive would be next, I doubt an Apple Store would do either, but likely an AASP would.

     

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/MacBook/Pro/Core2/

     

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/

     

    Of course the latest MBP will be about 3 times faster out the door to start with.

  • Miss Mercury Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    BD, Thanks for those two links.  So far so good.  They look like they would well be worth the investment.  What do you think about upgrading to Snow Leopard, then to Lion?  I have read some nightmareish complaints about the SL upgrade (but I know lots of people write when there are issues rather than when they are happy).  Do you know if OS upgrades would make things faster or open up new apps for browsing, etc. that would be faster.  I have tons of photos/images and I really miss photobooth and my screwed up iphoto library that can't be opened without doing crazy things like uploading them to an offsite photo site. I'd rather spend a few hundred if I can see an increase in speed and capacity of 20% or more.  If it would be much less, then perhaps a new one is the way to go.  I was even thinking of upgrading this to the max and then getting a nice ipad for browsing if it would be fast.

     

    Do you know anything about upgrading the graphics hardware?  Is that necessary for photos and video video viewing, or is mine right?

     

    Thanks again.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (119,775 points)

    Every upgrade of the OS will require twice the resources, & I haven't found any of them faster, just bigger, loss of useful things, addition of more useless functions for me, & even more gray things.

     

    If you wan't an iPad or other future iDevices you'll want 10.6 +, 10.7+ for full iCloud functionality.

     

    I'd say the RAM upgrade alone will feel like your MBP is twice as fast or more than it does now, an SSD will make things load & save way faster, & nearly eliminaate the lags where even 6 GB is not enough Memory.

     

    You can't upgrade the graphics/video HW at all. It shouldn't affect photo viewing, but would if you could, help with video.

     

    I'd forget iPhoto for dealing with pics, my best SW investment ever was...

     

    GraphicConverter has a powerful Browse Folder function, & many tools for manipulation, & you can keep your Pics wherever you want...

     

    http://www.lemkesoft.com/

  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4 (1,855 points)

    Every upgrade of the OS will require twice the resources, & I haven't found any of them faster, just bigger, loss of useful things, addition of more useless functions for me, & even more gray things.

     

    As Snow Leopard is Intel only I would have thought it would be smaller and faster than Leopard.

     

    Am I mistaken?

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (119,775 points)

    Well, 10.6 is smaller if you did a Universal Install of 10.5 that can run on PPC & Intel, on a few things 10.6 is faster, on many it is slower as there's even more going on behind the scenes, & then if you add up all the updated Apps like Safari, etc., which are all bigger than the originally installed versions, add the App Store in 10.6.6 & up, and by the time you get to 10.6.8 & all the updates, add in 64 bit which uses more space for everything & mostly isn't needed, then my experience would say it's slower overall than 10.5.8 on the same Mac.

     

    Also, I think they saved 1/3 of the space by cutting it to the 2/3rds that was Intel Code, added in some decompression of code on the fly, & a few other tricks, that look good on paper, but...

  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4 (1,855 points)

    Thanks for the explanation.

     

    64 bit should be faster as long as all the electronics fully support it but not unless memory is doubled at the same time - most forget this.

     

    There is some evidence that Apple try not to use the double layer DVDs they used for the early Leopard disks - one, or even two, single layer DVDs are cheaper.

     

    For those who have the option I would not advise moving to Safari 5.1.x until most of the many bugs have been fixed - see Safari forum.

     

    I am now retired and no longer plan to purchase any software. Leopard will probably be my last OS X. I have been using Ubuntu for a few years and am happy with it.

  • Miss Mercury Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    BD, Thanks for the input.  Based on that info, I'm going to make the investment in this MBP and keep 10.5.8 for now, see how it feels with the upgrades, and then decide about upgrading to SL and Lion. 

     

    I'm going to have the Genius Bar do the work even though the hardware and service will cost extra $$, but for me it's worthwhile since I've never been inside a laptop and this one has hit the carpeted floor a few times.  Plus I'll get to ask some questions and have them check the one USB port that isn't working and see if they can replace it with a USB 3.0, if they say it even makes sense to do so.  The Western Dig folks said that the reason my backups keep failing is because a single USB from this laptop doesn't generate enough power to get the job done.  Sounded like "a story" to me, but once I started using the power boost cable that plugged into two USBs (when both were working), it worked.  Sounds a little hoakey to me.  But it couldn't hurt to have a 3.0 if avail.

     

    Much appreciation to you and Neville for your kindness in helping me.

     

    Best,

    M

  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4 (1,855 points)

    I am surprised at your low USB speed. I thought you should have USB 2 but your stated speeds are only USB 1.1. The following is from:

     

    https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/DeviceDrivers/Conceptual/ USBBook/USBOverview/USBOverview.html

     

    Version 1.1 of the USB specification supports two bus speeds:

    • Low speed (1.5 Mbps)
    • Full speed (12 Mbps)


    Version 2.0 of the specification adds another bus speed to this list:

    • High speed (480 Mbps)

     

    It is not easy to find the current consumption of WD USB powered drives but their minimum separate power supply appears to be 1,500 mA ie three times the current available from Mac USB sockets.

     

    I do not think these small USB powered portable drives are particularly good. A physically larger mains powered device would probably be faster, more reliable and last longer.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (119,775 points)

    As Neville points out, Bus powered drives are a no-no, especially on Macs.

     

    While WD makes great Hard Drives, their cases & the chipsets/firmware they use is on my no buy list.

     

    USB3 on board is out of the question, would require a new Logic Board with it, which isn't going to happen.

     

    If you're using a powered USB Hub for the drive now, could the Hub be USB1.1 instead of USB2?

     

    Good luck!

  • Miss Mercury Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Both of the USBs are 2.0.  I double-checked that.  I don't use a Hub for the ex HD.  I attach is intermittently.  Apple sells the WD My Passport, which is why I purchased that model.  I had the identical issue on the Seagate ex HD I used prior.  It's all so confuuuusing to me , but I'm determined to learn.  (Today's project was to figure out port triggers and the firewall on my wireless gateway.)

     

    I'm so grateful for this discussion site and for all the folks like yourselves that are ready, very able, and willing to help.  I hope one day I can offer something other than questions -- once I know a bit more.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (119,775 points)

    Wonderful to hear, my guess is it won't be long before you're helping out here!

  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4 (1,855 points)

    Something is wrong - you posted:

     

    BRCM2046 Hub:

     

      Product ID:          0x4500

      Vendor ID:          0x0a5c  (Broadcom Corp.)

      Version:          1.00

      Speed:          Up to 12 Mb/sec

      Manufacturer:          Apple Inc.

     

     

    This not only says version 1 but also shows USB 1 speed ie 12 Mb/sec

     

    How did you check to discover USB 2?

     

    My G4 with USB 1.1 is shown below for comparison:

     

     

    Picture 16.png

  • Miss Mercury Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Hello Neville,

    Thanks for looking in to this and alerting me.  I don't know how to interpret all the data in the descriptions of the USBs in your post (or mine, for that matter) Which descriptive line/codes show a USB 1.0 and a USB 2.0.  I would like to understand how to read that.

     

    Here's how I determined both are 2.0.

     

     

     

     

    Both links say two USB 2.0 ports.  I just took it for granted that they are both correct.

     

    Much appreciation for your help.

     

    M

     

    Here's exactly what is listed in my About This Mac under USB:

     

    Picture 5.png

    USB Bus:

     

      Host Controller Location:          Built In USB

      Host Controller Driver:          AppleUSBUHCI

      PCI Device ID:          0x2834

      PCI Revision ID:          0x0003

      PCI Vendor ID:          0x8086

      Bus Number:          0x1a

     

    Hub:

     

      Product ID:          0x2046

      Vendor ID:          0x0451  (Texas Instruments)

      Version:          1.25

      Speed:          Up to 12 Mb/sec

      Location ID:          0x1a200000

      Current Available (mA):          500

      Current Required (mA):          0

     

    BRCM2046 Hub:

     

      Product ID:          0x4500

      Vendor ID:          0x0a5c  (Broadcom Corp.)

      Version:          1.00

      Speed:          Up to 12 Mb/sec

      Manufacturer:          Apple Inc.

      Location ID:          0x1a100000

      Current Available (mA):          500

      Current Required (mA):          0

     

    Bluetooth USB Host Controller:

     

      Product ID:          0x820f

      Vendor ID:          0x05ac  (Apple Inc.)

      Version:          1.80

      Serial Number:          001EC28C27BA

      Speed:          Up to 12 Mb/sec

      Manufacturer:          Apple Inc.

      Location ID:          0x1a110000

      Current Available (mA):          500

      Current Required (mA):          0

     

    Hub:

     

      Product ID:          0x2046

      Vendor ID:          0x0451  (Texas Instruments)

      Version:          1.25

      Speed:          Up to 12 Mb/sec

      Location ID:          0x1a200000

      Current Available (mA):          500

      Current Required (mA):          0

     

    BRCM2046 Hub:

     

      Product ID:          0x4500

      Vendor ID:          0x0a5c  (Broadcom Corp.)

      Version:          1.00

      Speed:          Up to 12 Mb/sec

      Manufacturer:          Apple Inc.

      Location ID:          0x1a100000

      Current Available (mA):          500

      Current Required (mA):          0

     

    Bluetooth USB Host Controller:

     

      Product ID:          0x820f

      Vendor ID:          0x05ac  (Apple Inc.)

      Version:          1.80

      Serial Number:          001EC28C27BA

      Speed:          Up to 12 Mb/sec

      Manufacturer:          Apple Inc.

      Location ID:          0x1a110000

      Current Available (mA):          500

      Current Required (mA):          0

     

    Bluetooth USB Host Controller:

     

      Product ID:          0x820f

      Vendor ID:          0x05ac  (Apple Inc.)

      Version:          1.80

      Serial Number:          001EC28C27BA

      Speed:          Up to 12 Mb/sec

      Manufacturer:          Apple Inc.

      Location ID:          0x1a110000

      Current Available (mA):          500

      Current Required (mA):          0

     

    USB Bus:

     

      Host Controller Location:          Built In USB

      Host Controller Driver:          AppleUSBUHCI

      PCI Device ID:          0x2830

      PCI Revision ID:          0x0003

      PCI Vendor ID:          0x8086

      Bus Number:          0x1d

     

    USB Bus:

     

      Host Controller Location:          Built In USB

      Host Controller Driver:          AppleUSBUHCI

      PCI Device ID:          0x2831

      PCI Revision ID:          0x0003

      PCI Vendor ID:          0x8086

      Bus Number:          0x3d

     

    USB Bus:

     

      Host Controller Location:          Built In USB

      Host Controller Driver:          AppleUSBUHCI

      PCI Device ID:          0x2835

      PCI Revision ID:          0x0003

      PCI Vendor ID:          0x8086

      Bus Number:          0x3a

     

    USB Bus:

     

      Host Controller Location:          Built In USB

      Host Controller Driver:          AppleUSBUHCI

      PCI Device ID:          0x2832

      PCI Revision ID:          0x0003

      PCI Vendor ID:          0x8086

      Bus Number:          0x5d

     

    Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad:

     

      Product ID:          0x0230

      Vendor ID:          0x05ac  (Apple Inc.)

      Version:          0.70

      Speed:          Up to 12 Mb/sec

      Manufacturer:          Apple, Inc.

      Location ID:          0x5d200000

      Current Available (mA):          500

      Current Required (mA):          40

     

    IR Receiver:

     

      Product ID:          0x8242

      Vendor ID:          0x05ac  (Apple Inc.)

      Version:          0.16

      Speed:          Up to 1.5 Mb/sec

      Manufacturer:          Apple Computer, Inc.

      Location ID:          0x5d100000

      Current Available (mA):          500

      Current Required (mA):          100

     

    Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad:

     

      Product ID:          0x0230

      Vendor ID:          0x05ac  (Apple Inc.)

      Version:          0.70

      Speed:          Up to 12 Mb/sec

      Manufacturer:          Apple, Inc.

      Location ID:          0x5d200000

      Current Available (mA):          500

      Current Required (mA):          40

     

    IR Receiver:

     

      Product ID:          0x8242

      Vendor ID:          0x05ac  (Apple Inc.)

      Version:          0.16

      Speed:          Up to 1.5 Mb/sec

      Manufacturer:          Apple Computer, Inc.

      Location ID:          0x5d100000

      Current Available (mA):          500

      Current Required (mA):          100

     

    USB High-Speed Bus:

     

      Host Controller Location:          Built In USB

      Host Controller Driver:          AppleUSBEHCI

      PCI Device ID:          0x2836

      PCI Revision ID:          0x0003

      PCI Vendor ID:          0x8086

      Bus Number:          0xfd

     

    Built-in iSight:

     

      Product ID:          0x8502

      Vendor ID:          0x05ac  (Apple Inc.)

      Version:          1.60

      Serial Number:          8T82D00GB0003L00

      Speed:          Up to 480 Mb/sec

      Manufacturer:          Apple Inc.

      Location ID:          0xfd400000

      Current Available (mA):          500

      Current Required (mA):          500

     

    Built-in iSight:

     

      Product ID:          0x8502

      Vendor ID:          0x05ac  (Apple Inc.)

      Version:          1.60

      Serial Number:          8T82D00GB0003L00

      Speed:          Up to 480 Mb/sec

      Manufacturer:          Apple Inc.

      Location ID:          0xfd400000

      Current Available (mA):          500

      Current Required (mA):          500

     

    USB High-Speed Bus:

     

      Host Controller Location:          Built In USB

      Host Controller Driver:          AppleUSBEHCI

      PCI Device ID:          0x283a

      PCI Revision ID:          0x0003

      PCI Vendor ID:          0x8086

      Bus Number:          0xfa

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