First-time poster, just joined today. Looks like a nice, active forum though. Grateful to be here. Here are my specs, first off:
• 17" MacBook Pro (Model ID 1,2)
• 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo
• 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 RAM (max possible, I'm told)
• OS: 10.6.8
• 250 GB hard drive (upgraded ~2 yrs ago) with 42 GB free space
In the past few months, I've noticed some significant degradation in performance with this machine that I can't attribute to any new apps or 3rd-party utilities that I've recently added (i.e. I haven't added any recently). There are often up to 60+ seconds of delay while opening or closing apps, switching windows or browser tabs in Chrome, entering or editing text with the keyboard, scrolling through windows or documents, and so on. Even while typing this message, the text I'm typing is taking several seconds to appear on the screen.
I've tried a number of the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article
such as running the UNIX maintenance scripts (which were already run today, this week and this month automatically anyway), repairing permissions, and watching my CPU and RAM loads with the Activity Monitor, but there are no errant processes that I can easily identify which are tapping more than 1-2% of the CPU's resources at any given time. On the advice of my local Mac store guy in Dartmouth, I also booted in Safe Mode which he suggested might kill some of the legacy files and such that could be bogging down performance. But none of the aforementioned really helped.
There are basically two things I'd appreciate more expert opinion about
1.) Back when I used to use a PC, I used to format my hard drive and reinstall the OS every 4-6 months or so, and this would significantly improve my performance. I know that such a thing is sort of drastic and not typically needed on Macs, but given the age of this machine and how long I've been using it, do you think that might help? Related to this, would it be of any benefit to delete the swap files, which have probably been growing ad nauseam for several years? I wonder if that's contributing to this somehow.
2.) Have I just gotten the most I can expect from this machine, and should I maybe just think of replacing it? Certainly it doesn't owe me anything; I've definitely gotten my money's worth out of it. I can't upgrade the RAM any more than it currently is, unfortunately.
Many thanks in advance for any advice or guidance you might be able to provide.