Advice for "maxing out" 3,1 2.2Ghz 160GB Macbook

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by eUnique, May 22, 2011.

  1. eUnique macrumors member

    May 22, 2011
    Hi all (cool forum btw)
    So I sold some other technology to try to upgrade this macbook as much as possible because I intend on keeping it for a while, and I like the idea of buying quality parts that can be transfered (I'm a computer newbie, so how true is that?).

    I am a math major and will be writing and running mathmatica and a few other languages (java.. etc). I also play Starcraft 2, but I don't need blazing speed but at the same time I want to run it smooth. Another thing is I 4 table poker w/ one or two poker applications running. And I'll have the usual media library. Lastly I have hopes and dreams to do some databasing (sp?) and some programs for it, but I have no idea how much space or power that kind of stuff requires, its more of a pipedream atm.

    After my "research" it seems like SSD's are desirable, and as for the ram I know I can do a 2x2 2GB upgrade. So whats everyones opinions on the choices I've made :).

    For RAM upgrade to 4GB:
    -I read alot of consumer reviews from mac owners post 2,1 and none had issues and it's faster than most others 2gb, thoughts?

    And from what I've gathered, I can put a SSD in my primary and put a HDD in my optical drive? If that is the case for SSD I have 3 "picks":

    -OZC SSD (dont know whats from what)

    -Crucial SSD

    I don't mind being a little excessive and have decided that I want a 256gb SSD based on my budget.

    Suggestions are much appreicated!
  2. JamDonut, May 23, 2011
    Last edited: May 23, 2011

    JamDonut macrumors member

    May 23, 2011
    England, UK
    sorry if i sound patronising, i don't mean to, but have you considered upgrading to a MBP? i know you said you would like to keep your MB, but your going to be spending at least £/$500 by the sounds of it and you can get a refurbed MBP for not much more than 700? already has 4gb ram and 250/320 HDD

    If you realy want to upgrade, i'd recommend crucial. I picked up 4gb crucial RAM for just under £50 (about $70 i think) for my MB and upgraded to a Western Digital 320GB HDD for £25

    but if you really are set on SSD i'd say intel 510, my preference
  3. eUnique thread starter macrumors member

    May 22, 2011
    Well from what I think I saw, a refurb MBP is 899 and has 4GB memory and a 250GB HDD not much of an upgrade right? Or am I missing something?

    Thanks for your feedback, much appreciated! (and ya I am kinda fixated on SSD's)
  4. JamDonut macrumors member

    May 23, 2011
    England, UK
    An SSD will cost you about $500 is that right? (dependant on the size you are getting?) SSD will boost your load times as in your boot-up time and the speed your apps are loaded up, so your laptop will feel 'snappier' and the drive itself is harder to damage than a normal HDD.

    If you like your laptop a lot and want to upgrade it then it's a great option to upgrade it with an SSD but it's about how much you will be spending on the SSD? (if you don't mind my asking)

    Do not be fooled by the easy assumption that your laptop will be 'amazing' because you put an SSD in it, although it will be faster in general use, a LOT. Again, if you are spending $200 then it is definitely your best option, but if you are going to go crazy and spend $500 on and SSD then $70 on 4GB Ram, there's other/perhaps better options to consider?

    If you really just want to upgrade then you have a great way of doing it planned already, i would then say either the intel 510 (which i would have got had i gone SSD- thought about it) and 4GB Crucial RAM
  5. eUnique thread starter macrumors member

    May 22, 2011
    Ya I've definitely thought to myself I should just upgrade considering how much I'd spend upgrading.

    Do you think I can get a newer MBP and still get a SSD of some sort under the same budget?
  6. JamDonut macrumors member

    May 23, 2011
    England, UK
    well 1. what is the budget? and 2. could i ask why you want an SSD so bad?
  7. eUnique thread starter macrumors member

    May 22, 2011
    The budget is about 600, and I want a SSD for some more questionable reasons:
    -Better battery life
    -I hate when my laptop gets all hot on my lap haha
    -From what I've gathered SSD are one of best upgrades you can make (especially long term)
  8. JamDonut, May 23, 2011
    Last edited: May 23, 2011

    JamDonut macrumors member

    May 23, 2011
    England, UK
    SSD's make almost no difference to your battery life according to some and a lot to others, i wouldn't say it's going to make a massiv change, better off getting a new batter if that's why your thinking of spending $600. I have never put one in my MB but if you do some research i.e. here there is a lot of evidence to suggest money is well spent elsewhere :)

    yes an SSD is a good upgrade but with such a large budget, if you sold your current MB for 400 (or even 300) you can get yourself a refurb/new MBP? for either no extra cost or a little more for a new one, either way you get your 4GB RAM, a brand new battery (and they will have new battries with better battery life) and a larger HDD - either 250 or 320GB, and the newer one, which i realise is a bit of a longshot is blisteringly fast compared to the older MB. You also get all of the aesthetically pleasing features of a MBP like backlit keyboard, aluminium unibody, magic trackpad and a higher resolution glass screen.

    i'm afraid the heat is something we mac users have to get used to, although probably doesn't help that you are unlikely to have got the dirt out of you fans any time recently (sorry if you have)

    Just sounds like your reasons for getting an SSD are a little, no offense, naive. Yes, they are great upgrades, but not necessarily in comparison to newer machnes. Putting an SSD in a 2008 MB will not make it a MBP :)
  9. eUnique thread starter macrumors member

    May 22, 2011
    I hear what your saying but selling my MB to get a refurb MBP is the same cost as upgrading RAM and getting SSD expect that with SSD route I have 4BG of RAM and 250BGish of SSD HD, but going with MBP I get 4GB RAM and 250BGish of HDD.

    I still can't see the upside of going to MBP route for the same money. :confused:

    But certainly I might be overlooking something. ;)
  10. TheMacBookPro, May 24, 2011
    Last edited: May 24, 2011

    TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2008
    Assuming you're talking about:

    Refurbished MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    Originally released April 2010
    13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
    4GB (2 x 2GB) of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    250GB Serial ATA @ 5400 rpm
    8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory

    You're missing a lot.

    You'll get...

    Glass trackpad with multitouch & a backlit keyboard
    Better processor (2.2 v 2.4, Merom v Penryn, etc)
    Better graphics (both VRAM and overall power)
    Faster RAM (DDR2 v DDR3, 667 v 1066 bus) (and up to 8GB as opposed to 6GB with the WhiteBook)
    Higher quality screen (Google it- it's been proven that the 13" Pros have better screens than the previous 13" 'Books)
    Unibody aluminum casing (won't discolor like the whites inevitably will, better build quality)
    Far better battery life (with a new battery- WhiteBook gets around 4 hours while the Pro gets around 7)
    Slightly lighter
    And it'll have better resale down the road. You'll be able to get the extended AppleCare plan which you won't with the old MacBook (and refurbs come with 1 year warranty anyways).

    With the larger battery and better power management you won't need an SSD to squeeze out every last drop of juice, Penryn has far better thermal (management I guess?) so even with an HDD it'll run cool.

    The integrated Intel graphics are pathetic anyways so gaming is pretty much out of the question with the X3100. The NVIDIA graphics are an enormous improvement.

    That's just the tip of the iceberg. Need I say more?
  11. JamDonut macrumors member

    May 23, 2011
    England, UK
    So yes, this is what I was aiming at, just not in the technical detail, maybe this what you are looking for? For the same price you are thinking of spending on an SSD, you could get the refurb MBP or keep your older MB, still have 250GB of hd space but still have an older machine for the same price as a MBP, sounds like a no brainer but like we have been saying if you completely 'love' your MB and are set on an upgrade then go for it, but, and anyone please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, putting an SSD in a MB does not make it a MBP, it's just the fact you are spending so much money and you could get so much more for your hard earned $$$
  12. TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2008

    The reasons he listed for having an SSD in his WhiteBook (less heat, more battery life) are rendered invalid on the Pros since-

    1) they have better battery life either way and
    2) Merom vs Penryn. 65nm fabrication process vs 45nm. Less heat, more performance, better battery life. Simple as that.

    Personally I think the jump to a Pro will give you more performance for your money than sticking an SSD into your whitebook. Doesn't sound like you're looking for speed from the SSD, just the reasons I just nullified above, so the HDD in the Pro should be just fine.

    And you get a whole bunch of other cool stuff.
  13. eUnique thread starter macrumors member

    May 22, 2011
    Ya that was the list I was looking for!

    Thanks guys I now see the long term light of getting a MBP =)
  14. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    Got a microcenter nearby? $999 for a new MBP. The i5 low end one.
  15. TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2008
    Sale rockyroad55 mentioned:


    Slightly faster ram and larger HDD, and a much faster processor.

    For reference:

    13-inch: 2.3 GHz
    2.3GHz dual-core
    Intel Core i5
    4GB 1333MHz
    320GB 5400-rpm
    Intel HD Graphics 3000
    Built-in battery (7 hours)

    If you plan on gaming though the 320M on the older Pro may be a better bet, depending on whether the game is CPU intensive or GPU intensive.
  16. eUnique thread starter macrumors member

    May 22, 2011
    Wow great deal, thanks everyone.... super helpful!

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