General Question

shammie's avatar

How do I make my mac OS X 10.4.11 faster?

Asked by shammie (64points) November 27th, 2010

I think need to add memory to my computer, but I do not want it to be external and I do not want to go to the apple store and pay a fortune. I have 512 MB memory, and I want to get around 2 GB. My computer is older and I just want to add some space so it will be faster…

My sister said she bought something at costco or maybe online and was able to do it herself(she was nervous, but she followed some online instructions).

Where do I begin? What do I need to know when looking for this? How do I know it is safe. I would assume I should back up my current hardrive (which I already have with my external hd)...

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7 Answers

wenn's avatar

a 2GB RAM set will cost you around $20. depending on model & generation of your Mac.
RAM installation is also really simple.

10.4 is kind of outdated btw, we’re at 10.6 now. And 10.7 is coming out summer 2011 also.
just a sidenote

jerv's avatar

First off, memory (or RAM) is ENTIRELY separate and different from storage (your hard drive).

Second, RAM is ALWAYS internal; it is mounted directly onto the motherboard, usually in sockets.

Now that we have that lesson in basics off our chest, you should know that RAM is usually pretty easy to replace/install. I say “usually” since Apple sometimes likes to make things difficult with their all-in-one designs that intentionally block end-users from upgrading/modifying/repairing their systems. Some models are easy to get into though.

So we need a little more information. In order to help you, we need to know which Mac you have. Not only do we need to figure out how hard it is to upgrade, they also use different types of RAM, so we need to make sure you get the right type.

It is obvious that you have an older model, since no Mac made within the last 2 years has 10.4, and it’s been 3–4 years since they made one with only 512MB of RAM. In fact, it is questionable whether installing more RAM will help much as most Macs (and PCs) of that vintage are at least two generations behind in processing and graphics, and may not even be able to run the latest software.

It is safe as long as you have the wisdom to know when to ask for help instead of assuming you already know, the intelligence and courage to follow instructions, and the dexterity to tie your own shoelaces. backing up your hard drive is not required for upgrading RAM, but it’s always wise to keep an external backup anyways just in case your hard drive goes tits-up.

crisw's avatar

What model of Mac do you have?

Adding RAM in most older Macs is pretty easy; if you tell me what you have I can point you to instructions.

shammie's avatar

Hi again,

Thanks so much for the replies. I have a bit better understanding:

The computer I have is Macbook1.1 version 10.4.11. I am aware that it is outdated; i think I’ve had it for about 5 years. But it still serves it purpose just fine, except thaT it is a little slow. I am not so sure that I am ready to use the very latest software though, maybe when I go back to school…

Anyways, what other info do I need to share. I thought I had installed leopard operating system, but I guess that when my hard drive crashed (yes, my mac hardrive crashed, about 2 years ago) and replaced it, I had to reinstall it and I was in the middle of moving, 2000 miles away…bla, bla, bla… it is sitting in a storage unit at home, which I will get shortly when I return for the holidays. So, I guess maybe I have 10.5 operating system in a month or so, but right now, 10.4.

What about the processor speed, or the number of processors. Are those things I can add to to make the computer faster?

I am good at following instructions and asking more questions…

crisw's avatar

If it’s a MacBook, it has an Intel processor and can run Snow Leopard. It should not be a slow machine.

Most MacBooks can take 2G of memory although the older models usually came with only 256K. That 2G can be gotten for around $50 and takes about 2 minutes to install- remove the battery and you will see the instructions underneath it. You have to push pretty hard to seat the memory properly, but it shoul be very safe and easy. I have done easily 100 memory upgrades in MacBooks and I think I have had issues three times- all from bad memory. If you have a problem with this, your computer will not start up after you replace the memory, so you will know right away.

You cannot add processors. Do check through Activity Monitor and see that you don’t have any memory-hogging processes running. Also make sure you actually quit applications rather than just closing windows. Run Font Book and validate all your fonts and remove any that have issues, Those things should help with speed.

shammie's avatar

Ok, thank you crisw.

I did not mean Snow Leopard, I meant Leopard. I am not sure if my computer can even run Snow Leopard or not. How would I find that out, I guess the apple store? I am considering just buying that soon, if I cannot find the Leopard disc when I go home.

Anyways, do you have any recommendations on where to get the memory to add? My sister got hers(for the same computer) from Costco or somewhere like that I think, in order to save money. Do you have any advise on what to buy? I would like to buy it online, if that saves money…

crisw's avatar

Yes, your computer can run Leopard or Snow Leopard as long as you bump up the memory. Any MacBook can.

We get our memory from ChipMerchant because they are local. As others have mentioned, Crucial is also good.

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