Improving a late-2008 Alu Macbook's Performance

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Hi there,

Alert: Unless you want to hear a sad but somewhat unnecessary story, skip the three following paragraphs

After years of drooling at Macs on Fnac stores, I finally managed to convince my father and since April, 2009, I proudly called myself a Mac user. I got a 2.0GHz late-2008 MacBook for something around $2500. I nearly sold my soul to get my father convinced. Among other things, we agreed that I would have to buy my next computer with my own hard-earned money, as soon as I finish school and get a part-time job.

Yes, $2500 is about the price of a much-superior Mac Pro, but that's what you get when you live on such a backwards country with ignorant, corrupt fools on the government like Brazil (literally ignorant, our much-loved president didn't even finish Elementary School). I was really pissed when I found out that nearly three months later not only did Apple upgrade my model to Pro status and lowered the price, but that they flew down here to kick Apple Brasil's ass (the official re-seller that sells Macs to all other re-sellers) and threw the price down to ground level: An improved version of my MacBook model now cost $1800; which is what it was supposed to cost since day 1.

Even though I could probably have bought a 15,4" MacBook Pro if I waited just three more months, I am very happy with my Mac. Turns out I actually like gaming a lot, although I don't feel the compulsive need to build a cheap super-powered rig with dual graphics cards, etc. I just have a quite large game library (considering I'm not an actual "Gamer") and would like to keep playing games until I get a job and amass enough money to buy a 15,4" MacBook Pro (not exactly a gaming rig, either, but much better than just having the 9400M), or even the fabled "xMac" and keep the MacBook for the everyday tasks it was built for; e-mail, internet, iWork, iLife, etc...

But I just got Mass Effect 2 (incredible game, by the way) running on W7 (bootcamp, of course), and it turns out the textures, LoS and other stuff aren't exactly adjustable, and I could only get it running ~24fps at 800x600. I have upgraded the memory to 3Gb (one original 1Gb and a Corsair 2Gb) to achieve this, but I can't get up to native resolution or even 1024x768 (which would already be fine for me) without excessive choppiness. I was thinking: how can I improve my MacBook's output so I can keep playing new games (even if on low configurations/resolution) until the end of 2012, which is the likely date for my new Mac?

Will the jump from 3 to 4 Gb be greater than the one between 2-3 Gb because of that "matching pairs" stuff? Am I beyond salvation because Mass Effect 2 says it only consumes ~750Mb and thus more memory won't help and the real issue is the 2.0 Ghz processor? I think I'm gonna shoot myself for even suggesting this, but can I overclock it to, say, 2.4Ghz after the warranty ends this April? Have I just gone mad?

Also, is my English too much of a pain?

Thanks for reading,



  • Reply 1 of 1
    Strange. I just checked out that Alienware gaming netbook: It has 4Gb of DDR3 RAM, a 1Gb 335M GPU but... a 1.3GHz processor? If it was quad-core, fine, but it is a normal C2D! So this 335M must be really good if it runs the very same Mass Effect 2 on max settings at 45fps (according to IGN)

    Windows 7 says the 9400M borrows aprox 800Mb of RAM, so either adding the final Gig of RAM will do the trick, or something is really wrong here: I knowthe 335 is like two generations ahead of the 9400M, but BioWare says the minimum GPU is a 6800... which is like, really old...
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