Buying a older MacBook...

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by cuzo, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. cuzo macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2012
    My old laptop just died on me it was a xpsm1530 and I'm looking to replace it with a cheap MacBook but I'm thinking of the black MacBooks in particular as they go pretty cheap.

    I only use my laptop for studying and so forth so I don't demand alot of power. I'm wondering is it worth it to get something older at this point.

    They go for pretty cheap now. Should infer one or should I get something a little better? I really don't need something over 500 for such basic usage.
  2. gryffinwings macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2012
    You could possibly good a 2008 Macbook for cheap, I got my Early 2008 Macbook 13 inch for $180, but I may have gotten really lucky, however the battery is shot, but everything is in pretty good shape, no cracks that I can see.

    With the Early 2008 model you can only upgrade to Lion and get up to 6 GBs of RAM, so consider the limitations, I've heard Lion runs slow on the these too, so I'm only going to install Snow Leopard myself.

    For me, this Macbook runs great, I've started watching movies on it and the display in my opinion is great, it's really smooth and clear.

    For me I plan on upgrading the ram, not sure if I want to go cheap or just bite the bullet at get 4 GBs of RAM, but I definitely want to get a Hybrid Hard Drive since that will speed things up a bit. SSDs are just too small for me, also I think you can get one for like $100.
  3. Calisi* macrumors member


    Dec 30, 2012
    Down under land
    I've just bought a 2010 white macbook with 4gb and 250 hard drive. I only really plan to use it as a portable browse-the-internet lappy as I've just ordered a 27in iMac for my main computer. Can't wait!

    I think an older macbook for your needs should be fine. :)
  4. Munkypoo7 macrumors 6502


    Oct 24, 2011
    Miami, FL
    I just purchased a 2008 Macbook, the Aluminum body with the split bottom MB467LL/A, installed Mountain Lion + Windows 7 on a spare 120GB SSD and wow this thing hauls :D

    Got the laptop on eBay for $525 shipped. Mind you, I could have easily snagged one for less, it's just that this one was in pristine condition and I'm somewhat crazy and wanted a mint condition Macbook.

    Love this little thing, plus changing the HDD / SSD and battery is so easy with the small hinged door :)

    It's for school work only, so your typical Word, Excel, PowerPoint, web browsing, programming and the occasional MultiSIM, SolidWorks etc. So far she does an excellent job.
  5. eda macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2011
    Birmingham, England
    I think you should look for something with a Core 2 Duo processor and NOT a Core Duo, might be slightly more expensive though!
  6. brop52 macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2007
    Problem with eBay is that the prices you pay for such old technology is inflated. (Good to sell on though). If you want a deal on a newer machine buy an open box from Best Buy and haggle down the price (and use student discounts etc). If you want something that is going to last you more than a year or two why buy such old technology that you know the battery will need to be replaced ($150), RAM upgraded to make it usable (old RAM gets more expensive), HDD more prone to failure as it is inevitable. Upgrading an old machine is fun, but once you upgrade it or replace failing parts it isn't that much of a savings.

    So if I were you I wouldn't buy something more than two years old. Plus if you want to sell it down the line it will go for much more than a machine sold for parts. Either way there are pluses and minuses which both routes.
  7. gryffinwings macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2012
    Yeah, what you say is true most of the time, but if he can get a good deal on an older model, why not, but obviously it would be better to get a slightly newer model. However since the OP is not needing a high powered laptop then an older model will be fine, however it would be best to get one as cheap as possible in the best condition you can get it in.

    Likely issues that your going to run into when you buy cheap is running into a dead battery issue or a battery that won't hold much charge, like in my situation, you can get a new battery, but for me it's too costly, so I went and bought a 3rd party battery from a company that has a good return policy for around $30 that way I don't have any issues if I need to return the battery.

    Like previous poster said, older RAM is a little pricey. If you have 1GB of ram , upgrading to 2GB isn't too bad, around $20, 4GB is around $50 for DDR2 ram.
  8. brop52 macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2007
    If getting slightly older computers (prior to 2010), people should expect to have to pay to upgrade the components (HDD, RAM, and battery). Using an aftermarket battery is cheaper but I would be a little concerned using most of them. The only one I would probably consider is one from OWC but that's probably a third of the price of Apple's anyway.
  9. cuzo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2012
    Haven't decided yet what I'm gonna do, I'll just sleep on it and do what's best, I do fear no warranty and older technology like my old lappy but my old lappy is now for parts so I can transfer the ram, hard drive and so forth over into it.
  10. gryffinwings macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2012
    That's a good choice. What ram and hard drive is your dead laptop using?

    If you have that information, get a macbook that uses basically the same RAM.
  11. dazcox5181 macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2005
    Essex, UK
    If on ebay look for a 2010 unibody - I got mine for £265 recently (absolute steal lol) and upgraded to a momentus XT and 8GB ram (Tried a SSD over the weekend that I had going spare and my god this machine FLEW!)

    Could buy something cheap now that will still see you through school/college and then buy a nice mac after?
  12. seveej macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2009
    Helsinki, Finland
    Agree. I really miss my MBAlu...

    OP, I'd pretty much recommend against going with anything pre-2008 - the price difference just usually is not worth it.
    Also keep in mind, that the 2008/4,1 MacBooks only take you to OS 10.7 (Lion), whereas the Alu/5,1 and later models enable 10.8 (and hopefully beyond)

    Also, when you buy a laptop, keep in mind to save cash for upgrading memory (4 GB minimum) and HDD - these updates are usually worth the expense.


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