Compatibility/Upgrade Questions for a 2ghz White Macbook

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by skijake1, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. skijake1 macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2009
    First, I want to thank the Macrumors community for all the good help and guidance you've given me thus far. I participate in a number of different sports, politics, travel, etc., communities and this is by far the friendliest. Thank you.

    With the help of a few of you, I recently purchase a 2ghz White Macbook (MB881LL/A). It's awesome. I love it.

    Because of the relatively small HD (120GB) I decided to upgrade that and, while I was at it, go from 2gb to 4gb of RAM.

    I've sorted through a couple dozen relevant threads in this forum and read the applicable guides. I've looked at Crucial & Newegg to see what else I can find out. After all that, I still have some questions.

    Part of my questions have to do with my ongoing quest to find the best value point. I define that as being where size/quality intersect with price. So, if you know of a better place/price to buy the things I'm listing below, by all means, let me know.

    First, the Hard Drive:

    As far as I can tell, the value point for HDs is 320GB. And the highest rated on most of the places I looked (Newegg, Amazon, etc.) was Western Digital. Thus, I've pretty much narrowed it down to two drives (though if you know of a better alternative, let me know). They are:

    HD1: Western Digital 320GB Scorpio Blue 5400RPM for $59.99


    HD2: Western Digital Scorpio Black 320 GB 7200RPM for $72.99

    Maybe they can be bought cheaper elsewhere? Maybe there is another drive that is demonstrably better? Is the 7200RPMs worth the $13? Anything I've missed?

    And now the RAM:

    Ram Option 1: 2 of Kingston - Memory - 2 GB - SO DIMM 200-pin - DDR2 - 667 MHz / PC2-5300 - unbuffered


    Ram option 2: Kingston Apple 4GB Kit 667MHz DDR2 SoDimm Dual Channel Memory (KTA-MB667K2/4GR)


    Ram option 3: Crucial CT2CP25664AC667 200-Pin SODIMM DDR2 PC2-5300 CL=5 Unbuffered NON-ECC DDR2-667 1.8V 256Meg x 64 2GBx2 4GB Kit


    Ram option 4: 2 of Crucial 2GB 667 Mhz CT25664AC667 DDR2 200-Pin SODIMM Laptop Memory

    Here I am unsure of quality and compatibility. Obviously the two Crucial options are the cheapest, but the Kingston combo pack is the only one that says "Apple." Are they just trying to charge Apple customers a premium? Which should I buy? Or are none of these good choices?

    I shop with Amazon because I've bought a lot of stuff from them in the past and the shipping is cheap (free), but I'm not necessarily wedded to Amazon. I'll go wherever I can the two of these things (HD & Memory) for the best possible value.

    Thanks again for any help/guidance/clarification you can provide.
  2. skijake1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2009
  3. jlc1978 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2009
    My experiences upgrading my 08 Macbook:

    1)I'd go with a 5400 drive. I went to 500gb and the extra spaces vs speed was a better tradeoff, for me. I doubt that you'd even notice a faster unless you are moving really large files or doing lots of read / writes. So either save the money or spend it on a bigger drive. As a side note, I'd get an external case or drive adaptor to make the transfer easier, by allowing you to essentially image one drive to the other. If you simply plan to do a clean install that is not necessary, of course.

    2)I went with regular (non-Apple certified) Kingston memory, simply because it was the cheapest name brand I could find. I could have gotten some off brand or generic cheaper, but the $10 or so wasn't, to me, worth trying to sort out problem down the road. Some people have used such memory successfully, but the Kingston as cheap enough that I felt it was worth it. Crucial is good memory as well.

    I see no need for Apple certified memory - the mb is essential a generic laptop board in terms of memory needs, so any quality memory will work fine. When I bought my MB at a non-Apple Store (but authorized dealer) the Apple rep tried to get me to upgrade to 4gb using Apple's special (read - expensive) memory with dire warnings of kernel panics and other serious problems if I dared used non- Apple memory. Right, which is why every decent Mac forum has thousands of such horror stories.
  4. mgridgaway macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2006
    I disagree. You'll see a general improvement in hdd seeking and writing with every application. I've gone through several laptop hdd's (4200, 5400, and 7200 rpm) and the difference for most apps and startup is fairly noticeable. Besides, if you're upgrading anyway, why not? If you really need more than 320GB on a notebook, I would consider getting an external hdd.

    On the note of Ram, I wouldn't be too concerned nowadays. I bought a 2x2GB pair of PQI ram (a generic brand, but an up-and-comer) and it's worked flawlessly in my mac. My suggestions is to go with whatever is the cheapest and has the best reviews. Of course, Newegg and macsales are good places to start.
  5. mgridgaway macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2006

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