1 Reply Latest reply: Oct 5, 2012 5:16 AM by BGreg
ashley1mh Level 1 Level 1

I have an early 2007 white MacBook 13". I have used it since I started college in 2007. I know I have accumulated a lot of photos and music on it, all of which I am sure contribute to it running incredibly slow. I am horrible at navigating these boards as I do not know how to word my questions in a way that even makes sense....so here are my questions (the simpler the answers the better!) (and I apologize in advance because they have all probably been answered):


1. What can I do to make my computer run faster? I have read about RAM but I don't even understand what RAM is...is that what I need? Would an external hard drive help at all? I have tried deleting files and saving pictures onto USB drives and then deleting them. I also have repaired the disk utilities multiple times. None of that helped. I know there are tons of posts on here about that stuff...but they are so jumbled and I get so lost as to what I've done. Obviously I have read some posts because I did the disk utility thing.


2. What is the highest OS X update my computer can handle? I read I can't have Mountain Lion due to my computer basically being out of date... but can I install Lion? And also, can I skip an update (for example go from Leopard to Lion)?


Again sorry for the repetition. I am hoping people on here are nice enough to just answer the questions without making me feel stupid for being repetitious. Any help would be appreciated.

MacBook (13-inch Mid 2007), Mac OS X (10.5), iPhone 4s with iOS 6 update
  • BGreg Level 6 Level 6

    Asking questions is good, don't feel bad.


    Taking it backwards, your system cannot run 10.8 Mountain Lion.


    It can support Lion, however, the performance may or may not be great. Lion requires 2GB of memory (AKA RAM), and many have found it needs 4GB to run well. While you can install 4GB on your late 2006 MacBook, the system will only access 3GB. This article talks about upgrading from 10.5 Leopard to 10.7 Lion. Otherwise, you'll need 10.6 Snow Leopard to access the App store. If you want Lion, call the Apple online store, which in the US is 800-MY-APPLE and buy a download code, which you'll use on the App store. Lion 10.7 is $29 and Snow Leopard 10.6  is $19.99.


    Your system can easily support OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. Call the Apple online store to order it. 10.6 requires a minimum of 1GB, and 2GB, or more, will give better performance.  OWC and Crucial are good sources for memory. This Apple note tells how to replace the memory, and this video shows you how to do that.


    Now, question 1. Two keys to speed are RAM or memory and free disk space. Discussed RAM already. Disk space the general rule is that you need 10% or more of the space free for systems usage. When you've deleted files, you've probably emptied the trash. Some have found using OnyX has helped with performance (you want the Leopard version). With any disk maintenance program, you should have a good backup before using it.


    See this FAQ on OS X performance.