TLDR: What can I do to my 2007 MacBook Pro (under Leopard) to make it snappier?
I have a 2007 MacBook Pro (technical characteristics below). I use it for heavy nonprofessional office-style work: browsing, email, Word & Pages, Excel, Keynote & Powerpoint, Acrobat Pro, … I tend to have many documents open simultaneously, so I can easily have 20 windows open and ~30 Safari anf Firefox tabs.
I don't know if my usage is slowly increasing, my expectations growing, or the system aging, but it's gotten to the point where everything feels so slow (notably app-swapping). What measures can I take to improve the responsiveness of the setup? I’d rather not perform invasive hardware changes, so I’m thinking of small small tweaks that could help a bit here and there. And yes, I realize that short of buying a new laptop, there is no silver bullet.
Things I've already done (and, in some cases, corrected):
- make sure I have enough disk space for swaping (8 GB free).
- check that I don't have FileVault or encrypted swap.
- check that my usual programs are not running under Rosetta.
- run a cycle of Safe Boot
- I could disable Spotlight altogether, which I suppose would help, but I really use that feature a lot, so I won’t.
- bought April 2007 on French Refurb
- MacBook Pro1,1
- Core Duo 2GHz
- MacBook Pro 15'
- 512 MB RAM, upgraded on the first day to 2 GB (= 2 x 1 GB)
- 75 GB hard drive
- running up-to-date Leopard (10.5.