Early 2008 Macbook Pro Upgrade

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Sdougherty, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. Sdougherty macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    #1
    Hey guys, Im at the point with my MBP that its either fight or flight. I was hoping someone could give me some info on upgrades, maybe a zippy SSD, or a new HDD. Right now im running with 3GB of RAM, and I would love to upgrade that. Really, anything people know that I can do to improve the performance of my MBP (15"). Any advice or help is appreciated!
     
  2. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #2
    That generation MBP(which I also own) can accept up to 6Gb of RAM (1x4gb + 1x2gb sticks), you can stick any SATA II 2.5" SSD under 9.5mm tall in it as well.

    What do you do with the computer? That'd help us tell you which upgrade is more worthwhile for you.
     
  3. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #3
    Max the RAM from Newegg or Amazon and get a 750 GB 7200 RPM HD, like the Hitachi or Samsung or WD Scorpio Black. You'd be better off putting SSD money into a new computer.

    Then enjoy!
     
  4. Young Spade macrumors 68020

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    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #4
    Give it more RAM? I mean, we can't really help you if we don't know what all you're doing with the computer. If you're just browsing the web, watching HD video, and doing regular stuff like that, adding RAM might help but you can't just make the computer "super fast".

    To increase speed you'd have to install a SSD. Adding RAM would help keep the computer "snappy" when it's under load though.
     
  5. Sdougherty thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 8, 2009
    #5
    Im actually a video editor, for most of my life I have been using my Mac Pro, and am very new to upgrading the MBP, so I thought this would be a good place to start. I use final cut studio 3, and Adobe master suite. 6GB of RAM is a good start, but which RAM will fit in the MBP? I tried to do a 2x2 upgrade before and it would only work with 3GB, ( 1GB / 2GB ). And as far as the HDD, 7200 sounds like a plan, do you have a recommendation?
     
  6. Young Spade macrumors 68020

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    Mar 31, 2011
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    Tallahassee, Florida
    #6
    Well if you're thinking of changing the storage, I would highly suggest a SSD. The prices are somewhat high for the storage but you could get an external HD and only load what you need at that time.

    You'd see speed increases across the board.
     
  7. Naimfan, Aug 15, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011

    Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #7
    You need DDR2 PC2-5300 667 MHz RAM. Look on Newegg and Amazon--G.Skill, Crucial, Samsung, Kingston, etc., are all good.

    Hard drive: I'm a big fan of Hitachi, as they seem to create the least vibration and work well. I've read elsewhere that they are the most conservatively engineered but cannot comment on that. So I'd look for a Hitachi 7K500 or 7K750. I have a Samsung 750 GB 5400 RPM drive in my 13" MBP, which also works well.

    "Somewhat high?" Try outrageously high relative to a hard drive. And getting an external drive rather defeats the purpose of having a PORTABLE laptop, doesn't it? :D

    Ahem. No, you won't. SSD will shorten boot times--but really, how often do you reboot? SSD will also shorten application launching times--but again, how often do you open and reopen applications? And yes, if you're working with extremely large files, SSD will be quicker. But let's not overstate the benefits of SSD.

    For most tasks, an SSD is a waste of money--it is not going to make you surf the web any faster, or do iPhoto any faster, or make Word or Excel run any faster. So beware those folks shrieking "Get an SSD! All your problems will be solved!" ;)

    You can get a 750 GB hard drive for $69, and a 750 GB 7200 RPM hard drive for around $89--both of which are a fraction of the cost of the LEAST expensive 256 GB SSD on Newegg, which is $394.99 (but, hey, FREE SHIPPING!). You do the math.
     
  8. chiefroastbeef, Aug 16, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011

    chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

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    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #8
    I would just max out your ram if you really want. I never noticed any substantial difference upgrading from a 5400rpm to 7200rpm drive on my mbp. I too edit video via FCP when I do not have my Mac Pro around, the best thing for me was getting an optibay, and putting a second hard drive (1tb) into the DVD slot to use as scratch disk. I don't have to use an external drive anymore, all files are on either one of my two hard drives INSIDE my MBP. I no longer have to worry about accidentally wiggling my firewire/usb cable and ejecting the drive while on a project.

    If I were you, I'd install another 4gb stick of ram, since you already have the stick of 2gb (I am maxed at 6gb, and yes, it made a difference), take out dvd drive and install an optibay hard drive. Or save up and buy an i7 MBP! :)
     
  9. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #9
    If the OP has the same generation I do(the last before unibody), there are no optibays for it, as the optical uses a PATA or IDE(I don't recall) interfeace, not SATA.
     
  10. pgseye macrumors member

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    Sep 19, 2007
    #10
    I've got the same mbp (early 2008). When the standard hdd (5400 250gb) it came with died earlier this year, I put in a Momentus XT and also got a 4 gb stick of ram, so now has 6 gb. The computer feels like it has a new lease on life - it seems a lot faster in everything I put to it. I think the biggest difference was made by the Momentus XT - I know there have been some people who've been unhappy with theirs, but I can't fault mine at all. Compared to the old drive, boot times and app opening times are much better. Also good bang for buck.

    I was getting to the point where I thought I could do with a faster system, but am thinking now I'll be content for another year or two with this. For the ram and HDD cost was about $250.

    I think these older computers still have life in them - it's worth considering upgrading before putting money down for a complete new system.
     
  11. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #11
    I agree with you. The only reservation I'd have would be with the nVidia 8600, though Apple's repair program does provide at least some reassurance. And RAM and HDs are MUCH less expensive than a new computer.

    Great computers, and for most people the CPU will rarely be a bottleneck.
     
  12. Cool Runnings, Aug 17, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011

    Cool Runnings macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Location:
    Sweden
    #12
    This is what i have done. And this baby fly.

    First upgraded to an SSD and it´s blazing fast.
    Last week I upgraded the memory from 4 GB to 6 GB and with the latest memoryhog Safari 5.1 it makes night and day even with light use.

    If you not are taxing the processor (i don't know how intense editing video is) and don't need to run the latest OS X or upgrading the editing software from what you already have and save up money for future needs for hardware.
     
  13. Sdougherty thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 8, 2009
    #13
    WOW, thanks for all the great replies from everyone.

    To start it off, I'm going to go with either the Hitachi 7K500 or 7K750, And I am looking for a nice stick of RAM (4GB). I was hoping to be able to change the graphics card to something more modern, but I was just told in this MBP you can't change the card (please correct me if I was misinformed).

    On the topic of a second HDD, my on-the-go kit has 4TB of external storage setup with it when I do a field station for editing, so its really the internal HDD that needs a zippy upgrade, although I appreciate the thought of using a second internal drive.

    When I tried to do the 2x2 original upgrade to 4GB from 2GB I got these from Crucial and was told they would work, [2GB,200PIN, DDR2, SODIMM, 256Mx64, PC2-5300] but surely enough the computer won't boot with two, only one and a stick of the stock RAM.

    The computer needs to last another year or so, I figured these upgrades would help it last, instead of shelling out $3,000 right this month!
     
  14. neenja macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #14
    i have 2x2gb crucial sticks and they load fine. are you 100% sure both sticks are securely in place?

    i've actually just ordered a 4gb one from newegg. waiting for it to arrive :D

    great thread btw.. will the Hitachi 7K500 feel smoother compared to the stock hd? if so, how much?
     
  15. njsa04playa macrumors 6502

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    Apr 5, 2010
    Location:
    new joisey
    #15
    trust me once the get figured out, then they will last for a while!
     
  16. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #16
    You can't change anything apart from the RAM and HD in about 99% of laptops, as everything is soldered onto the logic board, so no, you can't change your graphics card, nor your processor. This goes for most laptops, it isn't Mac specific.

    Your initial experience with 2x2gb was probably due to a faulty stick, they are mass produced and defects happen, buy from a reputable seller from a brand with a good warranty and you'll be good to go. 200-pin DDR2 SO-DIMMs @ 667Mhz is what you're looking for.
     
  17. Sdougherty thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 8, 2009
    #17
    Im having trouble finding the Hitachi (7500) in stock anywhere, and can't seem to find a 4Gb stick of DDR2!
     
  18. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #18
  19. neenja macrumors 6502

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #19
    i just threw in the 4gb crucial stick that finally arrived. was running 2x2gb before.

    [​IMG]

    so far so good :)

    now im thinking if i should get a new hd.. even tho i have two 1.5tb externals..

    are our early 2008 4.1 mbp's able to use an optibay? from what i saw on other threads, only the late 2008 unibody ones can.. i'm considering gettin an ssd and using it as my bootdrive
     
  20. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #20
    Not the optibay made for the unibodies though, I don't there was a caddy designed for the non-unibody MBP's, and I don't think the optical bay uses SATA anyway.
     
  21. Andru1313 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    #21
    I thought they were limited to 3gb of ram. hmmm i am only running 3 and would love to bump that up. How do i verfiy that I can run that much? I thought mine was a 2008..
     
  22. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

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    Jun 17, 2011
  23. head honcho 123 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 18, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #23
    i owned a 2.5ghz early '08 mbp.

    the single best upgrade for that computer was an intel g2 80GB SSD.

    get an ssd.
     
  24. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #24
    Well, if you don't mind the outrageous cost per GB and it not affecting how fast you surf the web, do email, write Word docs or Excel spreadsheets, etc., sure, get an SSD.

    With the OP's computer, a large 7200 RPM HD is a better use of money, else he's better off getting a newer laptop.
     
  25. tivoboy macrumors 68030

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    May 15, 2005
    #25
    hard drive

    I'm in the same boat, waiting to buy a 15" MBA. Please let it happen.

    Till then, I MIGHT get a 120GB SSD (pretty reasonable pricing) and put a second HD in the optibay, but as for harddrives, I'm going to try this newer 1TB scorpio blue, seems to be faster than even 7200 rpm drives AND than the momentus xt
     

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