Brand New to MBP with a couple questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bds120, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. bds120 macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2013
    Good Evening,

    I am coming to the world of Mac finally. I was able to get a MacBook to test drive for a excellent price so I hopped on it.

    Its new to me...2008 MBP with the Intel core 2 Duo, 2.4 GHz, RAM upgraded to 4GB, 3 batteries and new 85-watt cord from Apple.

    Good News = works flawless when plugged in. Not one issue.

    Bad News = one usb shorts out and owner cannot seem to get batteries to charge (hence the purchase of the $70 new charger).

    Overall News = sold me the entire kit and caboodle for $100. I figured it would be a good start into the Mac world for me to see if I really like it. I am already a little upset with me owning a mid year 2010 HP and a Mac from 2008 having better performance and graphics. Moores law states this should just not happen...ANWAYS

    Side Notes:

    1. Owner has cleaned battery contacts and ran SMC reset. Now what he does not know is if the batteries are worth jack. He said each had something like 200+ cycles showing. I have no idea what that means and if it is a good thing or if that could mean they are some cheap knock off china made batteries.

    2. USB shortage does give me a little worry but seeing this thing is bluetooth, my mouse should be fine.

    My Questions:

    1. Is 200 cycles bad for that year and should I update to a genuine Apple battery? What is the proper cycles for it and would that stop it from charging?

    2. Anything I should immediately look at as soon as I get it? He currently has Apple 10.6 on it right now but told me it should be able to handle 10.9(no idea what that is) with ease.

    3. I read it could actually beef up to 6gb of RAM (1 x 2gb, 1 x4gb). Is this possible?

    I want to thank everyone in advance. I appreciate it. I am a Windows guy. Been windows forever and it is actually what I use to develop on as well. So I would love to see what all the hubbubb is about with Mac. I am not expecting it to blow my socks off but on paper is it considerably faster than what I am typing this thread with and better screen and already has more ram so I am prod to join the club.
  2. Jaben3421, Nov 26, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013

    Jaben3421 macrumors regular

    Sep 18, 2011
    That's an amazing deal for a Mac. Even if the battery is gone. As for the battery issue, since multiple batteries are affected, I would guess it has something to do with the connecter that the cord plugs into. I'm not certain though. Also, I would never be using non apple certified products in my computer, especially the battery, just because if it's not certified it could have issues that could potentially wreck the computer. Dealing with the cycle count, 200 cycles is not bad for a 5 year old computer. I put 500 cycles on my 2009 MacBook. Some people can put on several hundred cycles in a year. If you didn't know, one cycle is the battery going from 100% to 0%. It's cumulative, so if you go from 100% to 90%, then the next time go from 100% to 10%, it's one cycle. Past a certain amount of cycles, it won't hold a charge long, but it won't keep it from charging all together. There really isn't a "proper" amount of cycles, it's just dependent on what you do.

    When he says he has OS X 10.6, he's referring to the OS like Windows 7 or Windows 8. OS X 10.6 is often referred to as Snow Leopard. Your computer can go to OS X 10.9, which is the newest OS, code named Mavericks. I would defiantly upgrade right away, one because it's free, and two because it offers lots of performance upgrades like compressed memory. Just make sure it's on 10.6.8, go to the app store and search for Mavericks. Also, if you have the money, you should look for a SSD. You can get the Samsung 840 Evo 120GB for $90 here. It'll get a little trickier to do a fresh install on a SSD, but you can just come back here and post if you decide to go for a SSD.

    Finally, 4 GB isn't bad, but doing anything past basic tasks like web browsing and email, or simple iPhoto and it might freeze. Going to 6GB would help, but you get optimum performance when you have matching stick size like 2X2 for 4GB or 2X4 for 8GB. Your MacBook can actually handle up to 8GB, so if you want to max out go for that. 8GB will be just fine, and would be perfect for Mavericks. If you do upgrade the RAM, make sure it's Mac certified 1066 Mhz.

    Sorry if the post was a little long, but that's just about everything you should know about your questions. Congrats on your purchase, and welcome to "The club".
  3. jz- macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2013
    I think that although updating is a good idea, updating right away might not be. As a new operating system, there are still some things that need to be ironed out, and I'm having OS X 10.9 wreak havoc on battery life with kernel_task. Machines won't necessarily all have issues, but staying off the newest OS for a month or two isn't a bad thing either.
  4. bds120 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2013
    Thanks. I appreciate it. I am hoping it is nothing crazy but its pretty rare for me not to have it plugged in usually.

    As well, I am pretty sure that this model wont allow for 8gb of ram. I believe 6gb is the max. It looked like from my reading that starting in 2009, models would allow for the 8gb of Ram.
  5. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Get a new battery if you plan on using it as a laptop.

    Depends on the HD in it, you might want to get a faster / larger one.

    If it's the 2008 Santa Rosa it can take 6GB of ram.
  6. bds120 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2013
    Performance Upgrade Questions

    2008 Early MBP 15in Performance updates??

    1. Going from 4gb to 6gb is it really worth it?? Is there a real difference in the speed seeing they will be unpaired due to the laptop having to be 2gb and 4gb to total the 6gb? Laptop currently has 4gb.

    2. Is the SSD worth the upgrade? Currently the laptop has a 250gb HDD and I am thinking about switching to a Crucial M500 240gb SSD

    Are those upgrades worth it? I know the SSD is probably more important because the 2gb RAM increase may not really be worth it. I may be able to score the SSD for less than $120.

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