Does it make sense to upgrade a 2007 MacBook Pro with a SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Sully, Jun 17, 2015.

  1. Sully, Jun 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2015

    Sully macrumors regular

    Sully

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    Oct 27, 2007
    #1
    I'm using a June 2007 15 in MacBook Pro. The graphics card was replaced under recall, the keyboard under Applecare, and I paid for one other major component which I can't remember.

    I upgraded the 2 Gigs of ram to 4. My 128 gig hard drive is full. Does it make sense to add an SSD and max the RAM out at 6 gigs? The processor in this computer is the 2.2 ghz core duo.

    My goal would be to make it to the next update. I can do the whole thing for under $300. Will I get useable performance gains if I do this work?
     
  2. gordian macrumors member

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    May 3, 2010
    #2
    Yes, you should see "useable" performance gains.
     
  3. Sully thread starter macrumors regular

    Sully

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    Oct 27, 2007
    #3
    Thanks for the helpful advice. I knew I had used loose language but figured people would get it anyway as the douchebag factor on this forum is low. But,touché.

    So, given my model of computer, would upgrading as described bring noticeable improvements and value for the money spent?
     
  4. RichardC300 macrumors 65816

    RichardC300

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    #4
    If you have a traditional spinning hard drive, an SSD should be a tremendous improvement. Turning on/off, going to sleep, waking up, opening applications, and other similar tasks should speed up a lot. Where you won't see an improvement is CPU-dependent tasks. I'd still say an SSD is worth it. 250 GB SSDs can be had for $90. Since your computer uses a SATA II connector, any SSD should do, because you won't be able to use the SSD to its fullest potential. I would recommend a Crucial BX100.

    6 GB of RAM could be worth it depending on your usage, so it may be worth it, especially if you are running a recent version of OS X.
     
  5. Sully thread starter macrumors regular

    Sully

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    Oct 27, 2007
    #5
    Thank you. One more question. Do you know why 6 gigs works? When I originally did the upgrade to 4, all you could do was two 2's. Now, they're saying I can replace one of the 2's with a 4.

    Thanks again!
     
  6. RichardC300 macrumors 65816

    RichardC300

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    #6
    Not sure, to be honest. Someone else could probably help with that question.
     
  7. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #7
    You could, but it doesn't cost that much more for an 8 GB kit with two 4 GB modules typically.
     
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #8
    But the 2007 only supports 6gb I think.
     
  9. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #9
    Oh, good point. If that is the case, you can mismatch modules regardless of their size as long as they are the same type of memory. In other words, if you have two modules that are both laptop DIMMs and the correct MHz, etc for your laptop, you can install a 2GB and a 4GB module.

    I think in any case, you'd be able to get a 8GB kit anyway and it would run at 6 GB. I could be wrong on that but it may be more cost effective if you want to repurpose the kit later on. This was all intended for the OP of course.
     
  10. Sully thread starter macrumors regular

    Sully

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    Oct 27, 2007
    #10
    Yes. It does supposedly support 6. But, originally Apple only called it "upgradable to 4"using 2x 2 gig modules. I don't understand why it's 6 now - one 2 gig and one 4 gig module.
     
  11. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #11
    According to Mactracker, these models unofficially support 6GB of RAM.
     
  12. Sully, Jun 21, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015

    Sully thread starter macrumors regular

    Sully

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    Oct 27, 2007
    #12
    I'm contemplating replacing my nearly full hard drive with a larger 7200 rpm Western Digital HHD because it's so much cheaper than the SSD. My primary goal is to get rid of the frequent spinning beach balls that are occurring on my 2007 MBP. I'm just trying to buy a little more time until the next major release from Appple. Would this traditional HD work to improve performance in my situation or do I need the more expensive SSD?
     
  13. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #13
    For around $400-500 you can find a used MacBook Air with 256GB RAM, which will outperform your pro in every category. I certainly would not invest $300 into a 2007 machine. However, if you can get the SSD and the RAM for very cheap (preferably used components), it might be a different story.
     
  14. Codeseven macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 31, 2008
    #14
    Unless the 'beachballs' are really driving you crazy, I wouldn't throw away any money on that old laptop. I too get those annoying beachballs on my 2008 that I know could be cured with money but all I've done is back up that old HD to an external drive so it's all saved somewhere when/if it dies. The mildly 'updated' Haswell MBP's are great laptops especially compared to what we both are used to using and the possibility of an actual 'new' version of MBP coming soon both make for good reasons put an old laptop to rest.
     
  15. shoehornhands macrumors regular

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    Oct 9, 2014
    #15
    I actually did this exact thing last year and it does indeed make a HUGE difference.

    The thing that surprised me the most was just how loud the hard drive actually was (on top of the chirping noise, the hard drive also makes a whirring noise that completely disappears when you install the SSD).

    Just keep in mind that the weakest link in the chain with the 2007 MacBook Pro will be the SATA interface (i.e. don't bother spending top dollar on something like an 850 Pro because you won't be able to utilize the full speed of the SSD). You'll still see what's for most people, the most significant benefits of an SSD though (everything will load significantly faster, boot times will be drastically reduced, everything will feel much snappier / almost instantaneous in many cases, it essentially feels like you got a brand new computer).

    The only other thing to note is that hard drive replacements on the old Al MacBook Pros are not particularly user friendly (it's nothing like the unibody design where you simply pop off the bottom plate and have access to the hard drive). The older models are built like a Chinese puzzle box (they use an idiotic clip system) and the hard drive is buried in the computer (once you get the computer open you'll have to remove a bunch of other stuff to get access to the hard drive).

    Point being, take pictures and keep track of exactly where everything went because you'll want to refer back to them when putting it back together.
     
  16. Codeseven macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    I absolutely agree that just replacing the old HD with an SSD would make a huge difference (maxing out the memory even better) but at some point an old and outdated laptop is just that, an old and outdated laptop. I think there does come a time when it makes sense to not dump any more money into an old machine but instead to invest in new technology.
     
  17. Sully thread starter macrumors regular

    Sully

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    #17
    I agree and I'm getting back to that point. I think I'm going to limp along with what I have until there's some more clarity about the future of the MacBook Pro. Even $200 is probably too much to spend on this old computer regardless of how fun the project might be. Thanks for all the comments.
     
  18. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

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    #18
    Where did you get that $300 figure from? a 250gb sad is $100 at most. A stick of 4gb ddr2 ram is expensive though. They are very rare and are like $80.

    Still, I wouldn't throw any money at it. I'd sell it for $150 (that's what its value seems to be) and buy Macbook Air from 2010 or 2011 for around $400 if you are patient to find the right deal.
     
  19. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #19
    4GB DDR2 DIMMS were virtually unheard of back in 2007...

    It's a quirk of the 965 chipset from Intel. Intel only officially support 4GB as 2x2GB - it's in all the spec sheets. Apple certified what they were happy with supporting as did other manufacturers - Lenovo did the same (2x2GB max) with the ThinkPads using the same chipset.

    Just so happens that 2+4Gb works, but 2x4GB fails POST on most machines.
     
  20. BigRed1 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 13, 2011
    #20
    I'd stick with the 4gb of ram and get a 250gb ssd. $90 to squeeze another year or two out of this machine until you really need to replace it.
     
  21. RobbieTT macrumors member

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    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #21
    If you are happy with the machine I would fit the SSD but leave the RAM alone. The speed change will be amazing and as a great deal of drive activity is in small random read/writes they will not be bottlenecked at all by the old SATA interface. Even the headline-grabbing large sequential read/writes will be much faster than before, even with the throttling of the SATA. Not everyone needs the latest and greatest.
     
  22. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    Denmark
    #22
    I've added an SSD to both a late- and early-2006 MBP, and it made a huge difference. Go for it.

    And no, a larger HDD will not remove your beach balls, but an SSD will in most cases.
     
  23. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #23
    I would skip the RAM, and go for just the SSD, you can always remove it later and use it as an external drive with a newer Mac. Skylake is coming, equally I don't think we will see new Mac`s before early 2016, and that`s a lot of "Beachball`s" :)

    Q-6
     
  24. shoehornhands macrumors regular

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    Oct 9, 2014
    #24
    Yep, I'd just pick up something like a 256GB Crucial MX100 (currently $99.00 on amazon) and it'll be like a new computer. Then when you're completely finished with the MBP, you can pull the SSD and throw it in a USB 3.0 enclosure for some speedy external storage.
     
  25. Codeseven macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 31, 2008
    #25
    Not a bad idea to use that SSD for external storage afterwards.
     

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