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  1. #1
    How to Speed up my old Macbook
    We have a really old Macbook, which my daughter had in college. It runs fine but is SLOW. Was wondering if we can get memory added or an SSD hard drive or both to speed it up. It's running High Sierra now.

    I copied the stuff below from the system page. If you need more let me know.

    Hoping for some good advice!

    Thanks!

    Mike

    ardware Overview:



    Model Name: MacBook

    Model Identifier: MacBook6,1

    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo

    Processor Speed: 2.26 GHz

    Number of Processors: 1

    Total Number of Cores: 2

    L2 Cache: 3 MB

    Memory: 2 GB

    Boot ROM Version: 209.0.0.0.0

    SMC Version (system): 1.51f53

    Hardware UUID: F630634F-E110-50F8-8530-AAB686D39DD8

    Sudden Motion Sensor:

    State: Enabled

    System Software Overview:



    System Version: macOS 10.13.6 (17G8030)

    Kernel Version: Darwin 17.7.0

    Boot Volume: Snow

    Boot Mode: Normal

    Computer Name: Sherry's iMac

    User Name: MacBook (MacBook)

    Secure Virtual Memory: Enabled

    System Integrity Protection: Enabled

  2. #2
    How to Speed up my old Macbook
    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    41,248
    Your Mac's Specs
    2011 17" MBP 2.2ghz, 16gig ram, OS 10.11.6
    Rep Power
    43
    Quote Originally Posted by mmitsch View Post
    We have a really old Macbook,

    Was wondering if we can get memory added or an SSD hard drive or both to speed it up. It's running High Sierra now.
    Installing a RAM upgrade and an SSD will make this computer feel faster. The question is...is it worth it?

    This Late 2009 MacBook is probably worth about $50-$75 ($100 max). The cost of the upgrades would probably be in the $50-$75 territory.

    If you sold it...and took the funds from the sale + the funds that would have gone into upgrading it...you could purchase something newer...that has a faster CPU & GPU.

    Good luck:

    - Nick

    p.s. Thread moved to better area (Apple Notebooks).
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3
    How to Speed up my old Macbook
    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    14,370
    Your Mac's Specs
    2.8 GHz 2008 MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone XS, 2015 iMac 16 GB 10.14.4 beta
    Rep Power
    24
    Check this page for some of the options available. It looks like the memory can be maxed out for about $40.00 US. The SSD will cost between $30 and $250 depending upon the capacity that you want. It will certainly feel faster. There may still be some limits on the OS that can be used though HS isn't bad.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by mmitsch View Post
    We have a really old Macbook, which my daughter had in college. It runs fine but is SLOW. Was wondering if we can get memory added or an SSD hard drive or both to speed it up. It's running High Sierra now.

    I copied the stuff below from the system page. If you need more let me know.

    Hoping for some good advice!

    Thanks!

    Mike

    ardware Overview:



    Model Name: MacBook

    Model Identifier: MacBook6,1

    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo

    Processor Speed: 2.26 GHz

    Number of Processors: 1

    Total Number of Cores: 2

    L2 Cache: 3 MB

    Memory: 2 GB

    Boot ROM Version: 209.0.0.0.0

    SMC Version (system): 1.51f53

    Hardware UUID: F630634F-E110-50F8-8530-AAB686D39DD8

    Sudden Motion Sensor:

    State: Enabled

    System Software Overview:



    System Version: macOS 10.13.6 (17G8030)

    Kernel Version: Darwin 17.7.0

    Boot Volume: Snow

    Boot Mode: Normal

    Computer Name: Sherry's iMac

    User Name: MacBook (MacBook)

    Secure Virtual Memory: Enabled

    System Integrity Protection: Enabled
    Thank you for the quick response!

    So this can be upgraded? Do you know the max amount of ram and the largest ssd drive it could take?

    Can the processor be upgraded?

    I am also watching a video on You Tube on how to upgrade 2012 MacBook Pros.

    May do that too.

    Mike

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
    Check this page for some of the options available. It looks like the memory can be maxed out for about $40.00 US. The SSD will cost between $30 and $250 depending upon the capacity that you want. It will certainly feel faster. There may still be some limits on the OS that can be used though HS isn't bad.
    Thank you very much for your reply! What capacity SSD will it take? Should I leave the processor along? Are these things hard to get apart?

    Mike

  6. #6
    How to Speed up my old Macbook
    IWT's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2009
    Location
    Born in Scotland, Worked in Scotland then England, Now live in Wales
    Posts
    5,756
    Your Mac's Specs
    iMac 5K Retina 27", August 2019, 3.6GHz Intel Core i9, Memory 32GB, 2TB SSD, macOS Mojave 10.14.6
    Rep Power
    19
    A warm welcome to Mac-Forums. And thank you for your post.

    According to Mactracker, the Macbook details you very kindly posted indicate that this is a Late 2009 Mackbook whose current value on an open market would likely be just short of $60US. In Apple's language, the computer is "obsolete", meaning that the absence of spare parts and general support would mean that it would be beyond repair should a misfortune happen.

    macOS High Sierra (10.13.6) is the maximum operating system it can sustain.

    The slowness may, in part, be due to the 2GB of memory, where 8GB would be recommended optimum. It seems that you might be able to upgrade the Memory to 4GB (Apple). There are two memory slots so 2x2GB is possible. The necessary memory is 2 - 204-pin PC3-8500 (1066MHz) DDR3 SO-DIMM.

    Slowness may also relate to the low Processor speed, 2 cores and only 3MB on chip shared L2 cache.

    You don't mention Storage which could range from 250GB to 500GB on a spinning platter Hard Drive at 5400 rpm.

    Replacing the current Hard Drive with an SSD would be a considerable task on your part, but possible.

    Without meaning or conveying any offence, expenditure on this Mac would exceed its current value. Being 10 years old as well, suggests that it has little life left in it.

    What you could do is backup all the data on it to an External Hard Drive (EHD), wipe the Mac's Hard Drive, reinstall the current OS, upgrade the Memory to 4GB and use it sparingly.

    I'm sorry that I have not been very helpful, but the realities of that Mac make for limited options.

    Ian
    Ian

  7. #7
    How to Speed up my old Macbook
    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    14,370
    Your Mac's Specs
    2.8 GHz 2008 MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone XS, 2015 iMac 16 GB 10.14.4 beta
    Rep Power
    24
    If I read the page I linked to correctly the maximum memory for that machine is 8 GB. I think the largest SSD saw was 2 TB. ​There are links on that page to installation videos for both the memory and hard drive on that page as well.
    Last edited by Slydude; 09-02-2019 at 05:07 PM. Reason: Corrected autocorrect
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  8. #8
    How to Speed up my old Macbook
    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    41,248
    Your Mac's Specs
    2011 17" MBP 2.2ghz, 16gig ram, OS 10.11.6
    Rep Power
    43
    Quote Originally Posted by mmitsch View Post
    Do you know the max amount of ram and the largest ssd drive it could take?
    When you're talking "what's the largest..."...remember this is a 10 year old computer worth about $60 dollars. You could be talking $300-$350 for a large SSD and RAM upgrade.

    Quote Originally Posted by mmitsch View Post
    Can the processor be upgraded?
    No

    - Nick
    Last edited by pigoo3; 09-02-2019 at 07:08 PM.
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  9. #9
    How to Speed up my old Macbook
    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    14,370
    Your Mac's Specs
    2.8 GHz 2008 MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone XS, 2015 iMac 16 GB 10.14.4 beta
    Rep Power
    24
    When you get to the page I lined to there is a section on drives. When you click there you will find links to installation videos for your machine. I think they are different from the videos for 2012 models.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  10. #10
    I found that in practice, on these old MacBooks, I got the best bang for the buck upgrading the RAM to the maximum possible.

    Changing a regular spinner drive to an SSD will allow the Mac to boot up faster, but with a lot more RAM and leaving applications that you use open, you won't notice that much difference when using it - at least that is what I found with a MacBook air with SSD vs a MacBook Pro with a spinner.
    It's also a lot easier to upgrade the RAM than upgrade the drive.

    But one key thing I would check before spending more money on this Mac - what shape is the battery in.
    If it has not been replaced yet, that might be an additional expense unless you want to run this Mac with a power cord.

  11. #11
    How to Speed up my old Macbook
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Oct 16, 2010
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    How to Speed up my old Macbook

    I would agree with krs' suggestion, upgrading the RAM to the maximum possible but as well, assuming that the HDD is still fairly healthy, do a Nuke and reinstall that I have found works very well to speed up older Macs:
    • use Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) to create a clone backup phone on external drive.
    • boot from the new backup clone, do not do any email Etc,
    • use Disk Utility.app to wipe and zero out the hard drive. Do not skip the zero-out option part and yes it can take quite some time.

    • when that operation is finished, use CCC to clone back the cloned backup you had created earlier.
    • set Startup Disk pref pane to boot from the newly created restored Drive.

    When it all boots from the newly recreated restored HDD volume, sit back relax and celebrate and be amazed at the speed improvements and carry on with your normal stuff.

    You can then also set up CCC to maintain a current backup.


    - Patrick
    ======

  12. #12
    In addition to what Patrick wrote, maybe before you nuke anything, download and run DriveDX.
    A short trial is free and this should give you some indication how healthy the internal drive is.

    And also run Coconut battery to check your battery health.

  13. #13
    How to Speed up my old Macbook
    pm-r's Avatar
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    I don't know much about DriveDX, but using the zero-out option of Disk Utility, or whatever they call it these days, will or certainly should map out and re-allocate any or all bad sectors of the HDD spinner hard drive.

    It's similar to patching the potholes properly before repaving a street.


    - Patrick
    ======

  14. #14
    Taking your pothole analogy, DriveDX also checks the structural integrity of the base of the street.

    I have only looked at the app for maybe 5 minutes, but it tries to determine the "health" of the drive by looking at the number of times the heads have moved. how fast it spins up, ie mechanical aspects.
    I use a 2012 MacMini with a 2.5-inch spinner that came with it - also getting on in years, but driveDX gave it the green light on all tests except for one warning, the load cycle count.
    The count was 4021543; lifetime rating for a laptop hard drive is 300000 to 600000.
    So I'm anout 10 times that.
    But then I read elsehwre that for some manufacturers that count number is meaningless.
    So right now I just gnore that test.

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