Acceledating old Macbook with hard disk upgrade

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Macula, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. Macula macrumors 6502

    Macula

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Location:
    All over the place
    #1
    Hi there,

    I have a Penryn (Core 2 Duo@2.4GHz) Macbook in the black plastic enclosure, with 4GB of RAM, X3100 integrated graphics, and a 250GB hard drive.

    Obviously, by today's standards it is not a screamer, but I do not want to invest in a new laptop yet.

    So I am looking into my options for accelerating the machine to any noticeable extent.

    There is no room for more RAM, unfortunately, as the machine supports no more than 4GB. So the question is rephrased as such: Would a larger/faster hard disk result in better performance?

    My machine has a little more than 70GB of free disk space at the moment.

    Please do not suggest an SSD as I cannot afford 250+ GB drive of this type!
    Perhaps one of those Seagate 'hybrid' drives would do the trick?

    Or perhaps I should format the hard disk and reinstall everything in hopes of having a more responsive system?

    Many thanks.
    UPDATE: Apologies for the typo in the title—unfortunately, there seems to be no way to edit it!
     
  2. valmar macrumors member

    valmar

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    #2
    A hybrid hd might look tempting due to the low cost compared to a SSD but it's probably not worth it. It might speed up some of your every-day tasks but the performance boost is barely noticeable.
    You won't get anything close to "SSD feeling".

    Same goes for a better "ordinary" hd. If you do the step from an older 5400rpm drive to a new 7200rpm, you might gain a little performance benefit but again, you won't really notice it. Besides that, your battery will just go down faster.

    To sum it up:

    If you want more hd space, go for a good "ordinary" 5400rpm drive (Samsung, for example). They're VERY cheap.

    If you want the speed, go for a SSD. They're very expensive but you'll be amazed how incredibly fast they are. However, before you purchase one, you should make sure that your Macbook can handle such drives!

    A hybrid drive is not worth it.
     
  3. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #3
    Your MacBook can be upgraded to 6GB of RAM.

    If your current hard drive is a 5400RPM model, going to a Momentus XT should make it feel a bit snappier. It won't be SSD fast, but it should still be a noticeable difference.

    Any MacBook can have a SSD drive installed. No need to check if they can handle it.
     
  4. valmar macrumors member

    valmar

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    #4
    So?

    If your Macbook only has a pata connector (like e.g. the 1st generation Macbook AIR), go find me good 1,8" SSD that fits it with more than just a few GB disk space.
    Most SSD's today are non-pata.
     
  5. Macula thread starter macrumors 6502

    Macula

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Location:
    All over the place
    #5
    Thanks, everyone, for the useful responses.

    I am afraid that an adequately large (250GB+) is outside my purview, financially speaking.

    But it is great to know that the machine can handle 6gigs of RAM! If I can find a good deal on 2x3GB DIMMS, I think this is the option I will opt for.

    The hybrid drive seemed promising at first look, but after having read about its operating principles (only 4gigs of the most recently used code and data cached at a time), I begin to have doubts about the performance gains it would incur.

    Thanks once again.
     
  6. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #6
    All MacBooks have SATA. A MacBook Air is a MacBook Air.

    So?
     
  7. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #7
    If you want to go to 6GB of RAM, you'd have to get one 2GB SO-DIMM and one 4GB SO-DIMM.
     

Share This Page