Anyone using an older MBP upgraded with an SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Ubele, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. Ubele macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2008
    In 2012, I debated whether it made sense to replace my early 2008 MBP's HDD with an SSD. I decided that it didn't, so, last January, I bought a refurbished Mac mini i7 2.3 GHz. I've been very happy with it, and it's my main Mac. Since my old MBP didn't have much resale value, I decided to keep it, and I still use it for tasks that don't require heavy lifting. I was surprised and pleased to find that Mavericks is supported, and that the computer is still useful. Anyway, it's nice having a laptop as a backup -- and, since I can't justify buying a new MBA or rMBP for a couple more years, I'm once again considering replacing my MBP's HDD with a 256 GB SSD. I read a recent post by one person who did this and said he didn't notice much of a speed increase, and said he wished he'd just installed a cheaper 7200 RPM 1 TB HDD instead. I currently have a 7200 RPM 320 GB HDD in mine, which is more than enough storage for this old machine. That contradicts other posts from 2010 and 2011 that said an SSD provided a significant speed increase. I don't expect miracles, but a noticeable speed increase would be welcome. So has anyone here recently upgraded an older MBP with an SSD, or is anyone still using an older MBP that they upgraded a few years ago? If so, would you recommend it? I'll probably keep my old MBP until it dies or become unusable.
  2. lympero macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2008
    Arta, Greece
    I'm using a late 2011 macbook pro with a 256 ssd and it's extremely fast. An ssd makes HUGE difference.
  3. Burnsey macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2007
    Once you go SSD, you can never tolerate a machine with a mechanical HD ever again. An SSD will breathe new life into your MBP. Those machines are still very fast, the bottleneck is the HD not the CPU.
  4. chevelleguy3 macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2013
    Mckinney, TX
    I use a 2010 MBP 15" with a Crucial M4 256GB SSD. It was running pretty slow with the old 320GB rotational HDD so I replaced it about a year ago with the SSD. It is like a brand new machine now. Definitely recommend doing the upgrade. SSD's have dropped in price now.
  5. Romanesq macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2003
    2008 Penryn Macbook Pro

    Recently installed a Samsung EVO SSD into an early 2008 macbook pro (4,1).
    Let's just say it's night and day and I recall what a beach ball is like and the pain it could give on just about any given moment.

    Just not with the SSD installed. :p

    Highly recommended.
  6. tigerintank macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2013
    extended the life of my 2007 MB with an SSD about 18 months ago. I'd certainly recommend it. Maybe you could borrow one from a friend for a few days and clone your boot drive - if that convinces you then go ahead and spend out. if not then you've saved some readies
  7. john123 macrumors 68020


    Jul 20, 2001
    I don't know which post that was, but it sounds like something was messed up on his machine. The difference is night and day. I put a SSD in a 2008 MacBook Pro for a family member, and for everything other than super processor intensive tasks, it absolutely flew.

    You said you aren't expecting miracles, but an SSD will come pretty darn close.
  8. Laco macrumors 6502

    Apr 23, 2008
    People always say that once you use a laptop with an SSD you will never want to go back - that wasn't the case for me. I have a 2012 Macbook Pro 13 (with the stock hard-drive). Recently I spent a lot of time using my father's new 13 inch Macbook Air but I was not blown away with the experience compared to my 13 inch Pro. I am glad I used it because before using it I was considering upgrading to an SSD now I don't care anymore. My experience is certainly not typical here but I wanted to mention it.
  9. ecschwarz macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2010
    You should see a pretty significant speed update on your particular machine...I used to own one of these and some things were getting a bit sluggish, despite the Penryn Core 2 Duo having plenty of life left in it. I actually sold mine locally for a decent amount of cash, and put the money towards a 13" MacBook Pro (I wanted a smaller form factor). On that particular machine, I recently installed a SSD and it is a night and day speed improvement. Despite the machine already being relatively fast, the SSD really pointed out areas where it was being held back.

    That being said, and to get back on topic, the only issue for you is that it has 1.5 Gbps SATA instead of the 3Gbps found in the Late 2008 models, or the 6Gbps found in even newer models. If you can find a cheap SSD, it will still improve things (I have a coworker with a 2007 MacBook that did the SSD upgrade and still is happy with using it as his primary office machine).

    This might also give you an idea what to expect - OWC does shootout videos and this machine is a bit slower than yours, but still running the original SATA:
  10. OldMacUser macrumors member


    Jan 10, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    I upgraded two MBPs - a 2009 model and a 2010 model with SSDs and it made a whole world of difference in terms of overall responsiveness.

    Definitely recommended if you want to prolong the longevity of your MBP.
  11. ssmed macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2009
    Agree with other answers

    I have upgraded an original 2006 MBP, an early 2008 MBP and a 2010 unibody with various SSDs and it is a really good upgrade. Have always used Crucial. If you don't need a lot of storage, its very economical.
  12. mneblett macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2008
    Another "+1" -- an SSD into my late '08 MBP breathed new life into the machine.

    An SSD can't do anything for a CPU that isn't up to a heavy processing task, but for anything that involves a lot of disk access (and a surprisingly large number of things do) an SSD is stunningly quick in comparison with a HDD.

    FWIW, I haven't purchased a single platter-spinning drive for any of the several desktops and laptops in the family since going SSD -- every new drive is now an SSD. Maybe if I need multiple TB of storage at some point I'll have to go HDD (>1TB SSD's are still too $$$), but otherwise the performance advantage is just too big to ignore for the sake of saving a few bucks in the under 1TB drive class.
  13. bradleyjx macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Madison, WI

    I've been running off of SSDs personally since 2010, I didn't realized how much I became accustomed to them until I tried finding a second machine a couple months ago.

    I found a really good deal on a Lenovo laptop marketed as a gaming machine, but had solid specs as the workstation-style laptop (with occasional gaming bursts) which I was looking for. I got it and liked it immensely...until I tried to use it like I use my current SSD-equipped late '11 MBP.

    Starcraft II loaded and ran fine, but it took almost 5x as long to get into a game from startup. Launching and using my normal Windows programs all worked fine, but when you're used to near-instant startups and application switches, a slow-launching program and a slow program switch just slowly eats at you.

    I returned the machine, as the cost to upgrade to an SSD put it past my spending target for the use cases that I had. I instead am putting that money into accelerating my normal upgrade cycle a bit. (I'm debating right now whether to upgrade on the Broadwell or Skylake rMBP refresh; I'm really starting to lean towards Skylake right now, though...)
  14. Ubele thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2008
    Wow, I didn't expect such a big response -- thanks, everyone! And I also expected most responses to be along the lines of, "It's not worth putting more money into such an old computer." The motherboard died and was replaced two weeks before my Apple Care ran out, so the components are newer in that respect. I realize I'll only get SATA 1 speeds with an SSD, and that there's still a risk that the GPU will fail at some point, but spending a couple hundred bucks on an SSD seems worth it to me. I've read that not all SSDs will work with the pre-unibody MBP, and it's hard to find information on which ones will, but everyone says that Crucial is a safe bet. I've bought RAM from them for my various Macs over the years, and I've never had a problem.
  15. freak99 macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2009
    Same experience on my 2008 MacBook (4,1). Just tossed in a 250 GB Samsung SSD and I'm thrilled with the results so far.
  16. miha macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2007

    I have MacBookPro3,1 with 2,4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM and 240GB SSD running Mavericks. According to coconut battery, age of my mac is 75 months..

    HDD was replaced with SSD maybe two years ago and there is no return to HDD, SSD made mac so much faster.

    OK, my mac is 75 months old, and supports only SATA-150 (link speed 1,5 Gigabit) so it is not even close when comparing speed with latest haswell-MBP.

    If you have SATA-150, like i do, it makes no sense to buy SSD with SATA3 (6GB link speed) support.

  17. CivRules macrumors newbie


    Dec 31, 2013
    I totally agree! Simply put, MBP's with HDD's are like TV's of a bygone era (ANALOGUE). When you upgrade to an SSD it's like moving up into the DIGITAL world. You'll notice quicker boot times and MUCH faster read/write speeds.

    PLEASE consider TRIM

    Well worth a quick read!

    Recommend Samsung EVO SSD 256GB

  18. catean macrumors 6502


    Jun 16, 2013
    Timisoara, Romania
    I have an early 2011 MBP with an OCZ 128GB SSD as the primary drive and an 5400rpm 1TB WD BLUE as the secondary drive. There is a really big usability difference from having a normal HDD as the primary drive. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I don't feel the difference from an 2013 rMBP to my MBP.

    Do the upgrade !!
  19. tahoeroscoe macrumors regular


    Apr 25, 2009
    +1. Makes a huge difference in day to day usage and usability.
  20. bds120 macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2013
    Early 2008 with 240gb Seagate 600 SSD. It is literally not even a comparison to the original HDD that was in it. I replaced the HDD as soon as I got it from the guy.

    NIGHT and Day difference. I am planning to keep this 08 for at least 2 more years. It works so much better than my 2010 HP that I see no reason for me to buy anything newer.
  21. Ubele thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2008
    What's funny is that I posted a similar thread in 2012, when I was debating whether to keep my early 2008 MBP or sell it and buy a new computer. I got far less response then, and more comments telling me that it wasn't worth putting more money into a then-four-year-old Mac. When I decided to buy a 2012 Mac mini, was offering $480 for my MBP, which I thought was pretty good. I didn't lock it in, and, three days later, the price dropped to $330. That seemed too low, so I decided to hold onto my MBP. I'm glad I did. My Mac mini has become our media-center hub, and I still use my MBP. An SSD will make it that much better.

    I'd forgotten about the Samsung 840 SSDs. They used to show up for sale frequently on, and then not so much. But I just did a general web search, and the basic price is pretty cheap now.
  22. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    Breathed new life into mine!

    Early 2011 MBP - I added a 1TB drive soon after it was new (replaced the stock 320GB), then 2mths ago I put a Crucial 120GB SSD into the optical bay and made that the boot drive. The 1TB drive holds media files only now. It now flies with everything (except media access as you would expect), well up on speed. You soon get used to OS and apps launching near-instantly :)
  23. Hexley macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2009

    I noticed you upgraded your 2006 MBP with a SSD. Would it happen to be a Crucial M500? I am thinking of installing a 120GB into my 2006 and wanted hear from owners who are already using one.

    Also I am finding out MBP is running a tad hot. Does yours run hot as well? I am thinking after 8 years of use it is time to have it disassembled and cleaned out.
  24. ssmed macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2009
    I installed the previous generation of Crucial SSD without problems. That MBP was always a hotter model - much hotter than the pre-intel machines and more recent models. The SSD doesn't make much difference. However you will be amazed by how much fluff, dog hair and rubbish which slowly accumulates and a bit of clean is definitely worthwhile.
  25. ttknuckles macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2014
    Need your advice: Black MB Late Model 2008


    I have a black late model 2008 MB:

    I put in a Corsair Force 3 SSD 500gb (with-out doing enough research) and now I'm having wheels/freeze'n all over…:mad:

    Is there no fix for this?

    Should I pull it and just go with another brand? If so, what drive do you guys recommend?

    Thanks for the help!!


    Sorry SSD is running 5.02…

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