2009 Macbook: Sell or Update?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by thejadedmonkey, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #1
    I picked up a 2009 Macbook for $100. It has 2gb of RAM, and a 120gb HDD. I upgraded it to Mavericks - which is a RAM hog. It's not good for my uses.

    I'm not sure if I want to update it to 4gb of RAM to make it usable, and maybe add an SSD (and keep it for giggles), or just sell it. Does anyone have any experience with the early 2009 Macbook, especially with how it handles if you upgrade it?

    Or should I just pop snow leopard back on it?
     
  2. east85 macrumors 65816

    east85

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #2
    I do not have personal experience with this model but I do have a 2008 MacBook that I've upgraded. It works fine for basic web surfing, email and things of that nature (on Mavericks). The way I see it if you keep it you have two routes basic routes:

    1. Don't upgrade
    - Go back to Snow Leopard on a clean install, 2GB of ram is not going to be good for Mavericks. Unfortunately you may lack security updates in the future by holding out on the old OS.

    2. Upgrade
    - Pop a solid state drive in and max out the ram. Stay on Mavericks. Even if you decide against upgrading the hard drive, bumping the RAM to 4GB would be enough for smooth operation on Mavericks.

    I've upgraded my MacBook with a SSD and maxed out my ram to 8GB. It runs great on Mavericks and I never experience hiccups of any sort. If you're in need of a laptop for basic functions such as surfing the web, email and light tasks I would recommend keeping it and upgrading. If you're concerned about money, just upgrade the RAM or sell it.
     
  3. fig macrumors 6502a

    fig

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #3
    What exactly are you doing that makes this Macbook so unsuitable for any usable work? I've got a late '08 Aluminum Macbook that I use for a good bit of design and development as well as surfing, email, music, etc.

    It's not blazing fast but it's still a very functional machine.
     
  4. MacTeides macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Bogota, Colombia
    #4
    Comments on the upgrade and hopefully some advice

    I also have the Late 2008 Macbook with 250, 4GB Ram. I installed mavericks but had errors in part of my HD so it would not install. I ended up having to install it in the windows partition. DUE TO THE errors on the HDD i want to upgrade the machine instead of having to retire it. I want to buy an IMAC 27" instead of a new laptop. I want to thank you guys for your posts, it helps me. Anyway the question is I am at 4 GB ram which I guess is the max. But as far as a Hard disk , I am open to SSD or maybe a 1TB HDD. Would a hybrid work? Seagate has a HYBRID SSD/HDD 1 TB that seems to fit (9mm high) but would the hardware support it?

    1. Don't upgrade
    - Go back to Snow Leopard on a clean install, 2GB of ram is not going to be good for Mavericks. Unfortunately you may lack security updates in the future by holding out on the old OS.

    2. Upgrade
    - Pop a solid state drive in and max out the ram. Stay on Mavericks. Even if you decide against upgrading the hard drive, bumping the RAM to 4GB would be enough for smooth operation on Mavericks.

    I've upgraded my MacBook with a SSD and maxed out my ram to 8GB. It runs great on Mavericks and I never experience hiccups of any sort. If you're in need of a laptop for basic functions such as surfing the web, email and light tasks I would recommend keeping it and upgrading. If you're concerned about money, just upgrade the RAM or sell it.[/QUOTE]
     
  5. vr4playa macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    #5
    Max your RAM first! I have a late '08 aluminum 13" MB and it was great until I upgraded both my OS to Mavericks and my VM OS to Windows 7 while running VMFusion 6.0.2.

    I'm running the "max" of 6GB(supposedly you can do 8, but I've read that only 6 is usable).

    Does anyone here have experience w/ running VMFusion 6.0.2? Not sure if I have the right settings for the memory use and processor usage(I have 4GB RAM and 1-processor core dedicated to VM). The major reason for having Win7 on the MB is b/c I have a tax biz and the software is only compatible w/ Windows.
     
  6. \-V-/ Suspended

    \-V-/

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    #6
    Do both. You should put as much RAM as your laptop will take and RAM is dirt cheap. The night and day difference of the SSD will also be a HUGE improvement to the speed of just about everything you do. 4 GB of RAM should be perfectly fine with Mavericks.


    Yes, I love VMware Fusion. If you don't have an SSD, your computer will chug almost to a halt during the installation process, but after it's set up your computer should be fine running the virtual machine. If you have 6 GB of RAM I wouldn't allocate more than 2 GB to Windows. You'll start having horrible performance on the OS X side of things, which will slow down the computer overall... including the virtual machine. If you optimize Windows, you can get away with using just 1 as well.
     
  7. east85 macrumors 65816

    east85

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #7
    You definitely read wrong. There's been plenty of times where I've seen it all being used through Memory Diag and Activity Monitor.
     
  8. thejadedmonkey thread starter macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #8
    It only has 2gb of RAM, and it doesn't work well with Mavericks. I'm going to talk to my sister and if she wants to use it, I'll probably upgrade it and give it to her, otherwise I'll look to flip it.
     
  9. \-V-/ Suspended

    \-V-/

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    #9
    2009 Macbook: Sell or Update?

    It'll work fine if you upgrade the RAM... and even better if you upgrade to an SSD. If you upgrade to 6 (which is what I believe the max for that laptop is) and a 120 GB SSD, it wouldn't cost more than $120 and you could flip it for $350. However, if you do the RAM/SSD upgrade it'll be like a brand new computer. 2 GB isn't enough for Mavericks, but 4 is and 6 is more than enough. 2 isn't good even for Snow Leopard, honestly.
     
  10. vr4playa macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    #10
    Does this mean I can upgrade to a full 8gb on a 2.4 Intel C2D? If so, I'll have to do it since running both 10.9.2 and Windows 7 uses up a lot.
     
  11. thejadedmonkey thread starter macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #11
    I replaced a 1gb RAM stick with a 2gb RAM stick and that alone seems to have sped it up enough to be usable for light "productivity". I may upgrade it to 4gb at a later date, but as of now, if I only stick to light use, it's working out well.

    Thanks for all the input guys (and gals).
     
  12. Kushp14 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    #12
    The bigger question is where did you pick up a macbook for $100?!
     
  13. Alkaid macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2013
    #13
    This is indeed a very important question.

    Also, I know my machine (a 2007) can run with 4gb RAM (it only recognizes 3gb however) and I can do anything from web surfing to email to some gaming, so if it's anywhere from light to medium usage, you should be good. You might look at bumping that up to 4gb RAM at one point in the future though.
     
  14. robo456 macrumors 6502

    robo456

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #14
    I'm running an "early 2009" that I upgraded to 4gb ram and put an old OCZ Vertez 2 128gb SSD in it.

    I have Mavericks loaded on it with zero issues... I use it for Garageband and some website design with RapidWeaver. I have Office 2011 on it, but don't usually use it.

    I have Windows 7 running on it also (via Bootcamp, I do have Parallels on it, but admittedly, that's a bit slow) that I use when I go outside with my telescope for scope control and taking astrophotos with my dslr.

    It's no comparison to my buddy's $2.5k rMBP, but for what I need, the SSD/ram upgrade made it a totally new machine! I totally recommend it, and as others have said, it is a cheap and easy upgrade!

    --rob
     

Share This Page