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I'm looking for quite a technical answer here, despite the amateur sounding question.

I've got a 2006 era 17" Macbook Pro (primarily running Windows) which is limited in a number of key ways. For one, the motherboard apparently won't support more than 2GB RAM. Secondly, the CPU is a coreduo, which won't support a 64-bit OS. I'm limited to 32-bit Windows and Snow-Leopard.

I've thought about getting an SSD, but the spec says the Serial ATA bandwidth is 1.5 Gb/s so I don't know if an SSD is really going to make much of a difference? I've tried a Seagate Momentus-XT Hybrid drive in it, but I got a lot of GPU artifacts which may have been due to the slightly increased power draw of the Momentus (the issues were only on battery - they went away when plugged in). And I didn't notice a huge difference in speed. I've done all the usual windows trickery to speed things up but the machine is still quite sluggish under load.

I'm fully ready to hear that there's nothing I can do to speed it up but I thought I'd ask in case anyone has any genius suggestions.

UPDATE: I know this question is pretty much dead but I said I post my WEI score, so here it is:

Windows Experience Index 


 Processor Genuine Intel(R) CPU T2600 @ 2.16GHz              4.7  
 Memory (RAM) 2.00 GB                                        4.8 
 Graphics Radeon X1600                                       4.7 
 Gaming graphics 1015 MB Total available graphics memory     4.4 
 Primary hard disk 146GB Free (242GB Total)                  5.5 

UPDATE 2: I have a new machine now, so this question has really just become academic. This machine used to fly under Windows XP. I played BioShock on it with passable framerates. Now under Windows 8 the performance is awful.

Windows 8 is supposed to be less resource intensive than XP. (Note that guy has the same CPU family as mine - 32bit core duo - and only 1GB of RAM) I've turned off indexing, disabled Dropbox and the disk usage is still at 100% almost all of the time. Opening Chrome takes about 10 seconds. Sometimes the whole machine freezes up for anywhere up to a minute before coming back. I've run some (but not all) of the harddrive tests in Seagate SeaTools and the reports are good.

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Small error in your statement. You have a coreduo which is 32bit only so you cannot use OS X Mountain Lion as it is 64 bit. The last OS X version you can use is : Mac OS X Snow Leopard. – Huygens Mar 7 '13 at 21:34
fixed, thanks. I'm actually running SL at the moment, that's what I meant to say! – roryok Mar 7 '13 at 21:37
@roryok: Please post your individual Windows Experience scores - if there is a specific problem it may help to narrow it down. Ultimately though I would say that you should consider whether it is worth spending time and money on a six year old laptop. – James Mar 7 '13 at 22:03
I'll post my score shortly, but I don't think there are any software issues, as I've had several windows versions installed. I will eventually move on to a new machine, but I'll be needing something high end, and in the mean time if I can make some significant upgrade this one for €100 and get another year out of it, I will. – roryok Mar 7 '13 at 22:11
The WEI scores look OK to me. What version of Windows are you using - presumably Windows 7? What specific programs are sluggish? Also, are you sure you don't have something draining resources in the background? Some anti-virus programs (e.g. Norton) can be real resource hog where as others are much more efficient. – James May 17 '13 at 14:41

I think it's time for you to sell your machine. Anything less then 4GB of memory is too slow nowadays. The Os is getting more demanding and requires more memory resource. 2gb nowadays is only good for browsing and word processing any video, gaming, graphics editing would require more.

Sell it on Kijii or craiglist and get some money back while you can. put it towards a used machine or newer one.

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thanks, but as I said in the comments, I'll be buying a decent high spec machine later in the year (I'm waiting for haswell), if I can squeeze more performance out of this one in the mean time it'd be nice. – roryok Apr 30 '13 at 8:52

Buy an SSD, that will definitely make a difference. Clean format always helps. ( I would suggest using Windows 7 ) Clean your device physically. Clean the dust in it, especially on cpu fan.

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Will it make a difference though? as I stated in the original post, my SATA bandwidth is 1.5 Gb/s, so that's going to severely limit any SSD I put in there. – roryok Oct 11 '13 at 13:35
No problem, still better than an old and rust hard drive. Your computer will breathe. – Koray Tugay Oct 11 '13 at 14:14

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