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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Macbook Late 2008 Lagging Issues


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yamyambiker

 
Member Since: Jun 24, 2011
Location: Scotland
Posts: 4
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Mac Specs: MacBook 5.1

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Hi All

2 months ago I bought a second hand Aluminium Macbook (the one that looks like a pro without "pro" after the MacBook)

It's the 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo running SL 10.6.7. I have installed 8GB 1067 MHz DDR3 Kingston Ram and it is registered and working fine in the "About This Mac" .

I've never had a mac before but I always took them to be really slick and smooth. I've been using various things on the mac, iTunes, Spotify, MSN Messenger, iPhoto etc etc as well as the National Geographic Complete collection (Flash AIR based) and Blurb's Booksmart software.

Now in general use, folder browsing etc the computer seems to respond ok, sometimes it has a quick think but nothing too much.

When I get in to the programs however things really start stalling. I quite often get a rainbow wheel, the fan seems to power up for a moment and then it lurches back in to life. Once it does this it runs ok, until I try to do something else and it sometimes does it successfully, sometimes another rainbow wheel.

Sketchup is a constant rainbow wheel when I go to orbit around a model (not even complicated) and it does a wee lag before catching up.

Search bar/general box text is often lagging behind and then surges in magically.

As I type this there's no text lag at all though.


I don't know what is causing this but it's really frustrating. When using the National Geographic app and trying to flick through the pages, it always does a rainbow wheel, or sometimes it'll just sit and do nothing and you end up hitting the arrow key again and missing the next page by a few.


The fact that my MacBook wasn't designed to take 8GB Ram does make me wonder if it's that. But the additional fact that it's registered no problem, I have no page in/out issues, makes me think that maybe I have dodgy RAM. I really don't know.

I've tried a Disk Utitlity check thing and also resetting the PRAM with Option/CMD R P (or whatever the combo is).

I installed a fresh copy of SL on it when I bought it, along with a new 500GB HDD (Caviar Blue) and the RAM.



Sorry for the long post, but I want to cover all bases in a hope to avoid any duplicate suggestions. Can anyone offer any light on this. Should macs be laggy like this or should they be really slick and smooth like I've thought? If this could run photoshop with the 8GB RAM it would be fantastic, but if it's lagging with iPhoto then photoshop is surely a no-no?


Should I revert back to 4GB and it will be slick and fast, responding quickly to anything I ask of it i.e. flicking through pages in the NG app, or zooming in on a photo in iPhoto? Or is it something bigger that I need to consider?

Hope to hear something back soon!

Cheers

YY
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quin

 
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I would go back to 4GB
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yamyambiker

 
Member Since: Jun 24, 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quin View Post
I would go back to 4GB
Thanks for this. Will this solve my lagging issues?
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quin

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yamyambiker View Post
Thanks for this. Will this solve my lagging issues?
If it's not designed to take 8GB, I would put back the original RAM no matter what the system indicate under 'About this Mac' to see if that solves the problem. The next step to me would be to test out the HDD.
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chscag

 
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Mactracker and ifixit both say that model (late 2008 aluminum) can take 8GB of memory. Apple, however, specifies 4 GB.

I don't think the memory is causing the lagging. Open your Activity Monitor application from the Utilities folder and sort by process. Let's see if there is anything that's eating up the CPU.

Also, you might wish to download the free maintenance and cleanup utility OnyX and run it in auto mode.

You should also verify what's running at startup.
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yamyambiker

 
Member Since: Jun 24, 2011
Location: Scotland
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Hi All

Well I was all set for going back to 4GB, in fact I actually removed one stick of the 8GB and crossed my fingers that it was fixed...

Well it sort of was a wee bit less laggy but not anything to write home about. National Geographic was even worse, lagging tremendously between pages.

Anyway I was surfing last night and was thinking of what I could have done to cause this and when I first got my macbook (ebay) I immediately upgraded the HDD, OS and RAM to a Western Digi 500GB WD5000BEVT, Snow Leopard and 8GB Kingston respectively. I typed this in to google and lo-and-behold!

It seems like this model of HDD threw up a lot of issues for people using MacBooks. Whether it's a conflict with the mac os or what I dont know. But what I do know is there was too much of a co-incidence there to go unnoticed. So I took the decision quite quickly to swap back in the OEM Apple one (160GB Job) and see if that fixed my lag issues.

As I stated in the original post it felt like it was lurching back in to life and indeed it seems like the Hard Drive heads park themselves too much. Anyway, out came the screwdrivers.

After formatting the OEM HDD (I was using it as time machine) I placed it back in to the macbook, re-installed the 4GB stick bringing it back to 8GB and started the quite long process of getting everything back to how it was.

Apart from the couple of hours needed to do so it was amazingly painless, going so far as to say totally hassle free - migration assistant brought my apps over no-probs (incl iLife 11 - imagine trying to do that in Windows!) and I brought the music over manually from my now caddied 500GB HDD.

I had a quick spin around it last night and it seemed ok, but today I got the National Geographic out and had a spin round that. It's a different experience now.

No lag. No stuttering. No rainbow wheels. Sketchup is flawless.


I am so happy I can't tell you. Not only have I not had to spend any more money to fix it, but I've got my 8GB back (photoshop here I come) and although the internal HDD is relatively small, my new 500GB external drive will be the main storage for files/docs so I don't see any problems apart from read/write times.

So there you go! The HDD was at fault. It works perfectly as an external HDD but as an internal mac drive it was p*!%


If i hit any more lag issues I'll post back here but for now my problem is solved.


Hope this helps anyone else with lag issues.


Cheers all for your assistance and I'm glad I've got it ironed out! PHEW


YY
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yamyambiker

 
Member Since: Jun 24, 2011
Location: Scotland
Posts: 4
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For those interested,

here is the thread that gave me my EUREKA moment!

https://discussions.apple.com/messag...ageID=10876755
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