2008 Macbook Pro upgrade questions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by zhunter, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. zhunter macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2012
    I previously upgraded to a 500 gb hard drive, but have a 1 gb RAM

    I am looking to add 2 GB, and possibly remove the 1 GB and go to 2 GB "cards" to get to 4.

    I have an older version (early 2007 I think) Macbook Pro

    Herein lies my question, should I get a solid state hard drive as well as increasing my RAM? My computer has become very slow. Most of the time I have several Safari tabs open, Mail, Word and Excel all at the same time.

    When I look at Solid State Hard Drives, I see the 128G from Samsung is about $145 at Best Buy. But, is going from 500G to a Solid State 128G going backwards?

    Thanks in advance for your help
  2. ZacT94 macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2012
    The main issue is the RAM usage, which you are already fixing. It would be advisable to buy an SSD, but also get an enclosure and cable for your 500GB HDD, so you can use it as an external hard drive. An SSD will greatly improve start up times and application opening times.
  3. zhunter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2012

    Thanks for the info.

    I just checked, and I am currently using only 113GB of my hard drive space. Yes, looking at my activity monitor (I just found this), my RAM is completely used up when I have Safari, Mail, Word and Excel open at the same time.

    That being said, a 256GB SSD from Crucial is only $245.99, I would think that adding this to the additional 2 GB of RAM would make my old MacBook Pro pretty darn fast.

  4. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    Unless you're in a hurry, I'd say upgrade to 4 gb RAM first, use the MBP for a while, and then do the SSD if you're not satisfied.

    You may find that 4 GB fixes what you don't like.
  5. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Agreed. Adding RAM when you are lacking it is about the only thing that makes a bigger difference than a SSD. You might find that the RAM makes things 'good enough'. Normally I'd say go for the SSD, but your computer is quite old, and while you might be able to move it to the new computer, you might not, as Apple is moving to non-standard drive formats. So $250 is a lot of money for a 5 year old computer.
  6. AppleStrudel macrumors newbie


    Aug 31, 2012
    You do not specify which model exactly it is you own (you write: "early 2007 Macbook Pro, I think" !?).

    But frankly, investing significantly in a computer over five years old is misguided, however attached to it you may be. It's time to start saving for a new machine. If you are positively certain though, that you will lack the means, in the foreseeable future, to acquire a new laptop, maximizing RAM is the way to go.

    It is recommended you visit the site of one of the several vendors on the net specializing in Mac memory, as some models recognize, and put to effective use, more memory than officially stated by Apple. Only after you have indeed upgraded and find everything working reasonably to your satisfaction, should you consider further investment (i.e. a SSD drive).

    Decisions, decisions.

  7. zhunter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2012

    It is a April 2007 MBP

    I like it because it is easy to work on relative to newer MBP's

    I am hoping the increased RAM does the trick, otherwise I will give the SSD a try too. Essentially to me it seems like nearly getting a new machine if I can get it to be smoking fast again

  8. AppleStrudel macrumors newbie


    Aug 31, 2012
    Don't forget to keep us updated, after you're done with all the makeovers, Hunter.
  9. zhunter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2012
    Installed the new 2GB RAM yesterday for a total of 3GB (my early 2007 MBP will only support 3GB for RAM)

    It is much faster, iPhoto and things like Word open very quickly now (also upgraded to Office 2011 yesterday) whereas it used to take up to 2 minutes to open.

    Ordered the Samsung 830 SSD 256 GB anyway, I will update when I get it installed.
  10. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I had 4GB of RAM and a "hybrid" SSD in my 2008 Macbook. I wanted to try to squeeze another little bit of performance so I went down to Microcenter and picked up a low end SSD (Agility 4 480GB for about 62 cents a gigabyte). It caused frequent freezes and when I went to the Apple store to see if I had a hardware problem, they plugged in ethernet (wifi had stopped working) and booted from one of their test images. All freezes were gone so it was either my install of Lion or it was the SSD. I swapped back in the hybrid SSD and all was fine. At least I know now the symptom of a bad or incompatible SSD: Frequent beachballs. I was getting them every half hour for about 10-30 seconds then it was every 10 minutes then it was every 4 minutes and finally it was almost continuous.

    Meanwhile, I had ordered a single 4GB stick of memory from OWC so I could try going from 4GB to 6GB (maxed out). I popped that in and it made a huge difference. I'm glad to hear you bought the Samsung and not an Agility as I have heard Samsung drives work well with Macs.

    If I decide to try SSD again, I'll pick either Samsung, Crucial M4, OWC Electra or OCZ Vertex (which I have used successfully in our other older Macs).

    I have 199 GB used on my HDD so I'd like to "go on a data diet" before considering another switch to full SSD so I can get away with 256 or 240 GB and afford a better quality device instead of the bottom feeding that led to all those beachballs.
  11. hvfsl macrumors 68000


    Jul 9, 2001
    London, UK
    If you don't use your DVD drive too much, I would fit the HD in the DVD drive bay and the SSD in the main HD bay.

    There is one guy I know without too much money that has an old Pentium M 1.4Ghz laptop with 1GB RAM and Vista. So it has been verging on the unusable since the day he got it. Put an SSD in last weekend and the thing actually runs quite nicely now. So an SSD can make a massive difference, especially on older computers.
  12. zhunter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2012

    OK, this is new to me

    You are saying I can take my current HD and install it in my DVD "area"? I suppose this is when I have the bottom case off to switch out the HHD to the SSD? Is this just a normal "snap out and snap in" of the DVD and in with the HHD?

    If so this sounds very doable. No, I one use the DVD drive to load new software. So, If I am not mistaken, and this is in fact what you are saying, how would I then install new software like the 2011 Microsoft Office I installed yesterday?

    Thanks for your help.
  13. LaunchpadBS macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2008
    It's a 4 year old machine, it's going to be slow, save that money you were going to spend on an SSD and ram, sell your macbook and get a new/refurbished one, the 2012 MBP's have just gone onto the refurb store.
  14. hvfsl macrumors 68000


    Jul 9, 2001
    London, UK
    Here is an example of what I am talking about (there are many cheaper versions on ebay/Amazon though):

    You get a caddy to put your HD into so it fits where the DVD drive used to be. You also have the option of buying a USB caddy for your DVD drive so you can use it as an external drive.

    There are loads of guides of how to replace the DVD drive on youtube, it took me about 20mins to install, although my laptop is one of the easiest to replace the HD/DVD drive on.
  15. zhunter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2012
    I have added the RAM and installed the 256GB Samsung SSD

    All is good

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