Early 2008 Penyrn 17" - Upgrade to New MBP or Just SSD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bleepjay, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. bleepjay macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2008
    Here's the situation. I've got an early 2008 Penryn 17" MBP 2.5 with hi-res screen. I am thinking about upgrading to the new i7 17", but what would you guys/gals do considering the following?

    I've already maxed the RAM with 6GB, upgraded to a WD Scorpio Blue 500GB Drive, but was thinking of moving that to the optibay and upgrading to a SSD. I primarily use this as a desktop replacement, therefore battery life is a factor, but not huge factor. I use Bootcamp/Fusion for windows development, so I would probably want to partition this SSD for this case? Is this supported?

    Will this upgrade buy me enough time and keep me happy performance-wise until a new MBP comes out (or refurb with lower price)? As it is right now, I am not too dissatisfied with the performance. I would just like some better performance when running Fusion against my Bootcamp partition (as well as have the whole computer run faster).

    I figure I would probably have to upgrade to a 256GB SSD ~$600USD (cost is not deciding factor for SSD as if I did upgrade to new i7, I would probably eventually upgrade to an SSD also)
  2. underblu macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2010
    If you really need the performance boost then you should sell your existing MBP and use that money to help fund the purchase of an i7 MBP.

    Depending upon what apps you are using I would go for an i7 with 8mb of RAM. That is the most powerful mobile option currently available from Apple.

    AS far as SSD is concerned it really depends what you will be using it for. SSD's will give either MBP a snappier feel and can help speed up some applications but it's no performance panacea for an older MBP.

    Bottom line, one of the real great thing about Macs is the fantastic resale value. If your MBP is in good condition you can upgrade for not a ridiculous amount
  3. AmazingRobie macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2009
    I need to see some credentials, you just signed up for an account at macrumors today and you're pushing a $4,000.00 machine versus giving him any kind of real advice about upgrading a machine that's only two years old. You sound like you work for Apple or MacMall or some place.

    I have an early 2008 Macbook Pro as well and would like to hear some real advice about upgrade options. I hear SSD works very well in older macs to improve performance. Does anyone besides underblu have any advice about going from 4Gb of RAM to 6Gb or upgrading to SSD on an early 2008 Macbook Pro? Thanks in advance.
  4. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    If you want better virtual machine performance, just get an SSD.

    Believe it or not, the real bottleneck of VMs, according to VMware, is the I/O or Hard Drive, not the ram or CPU.

    I noticed this too.

    With running 3x virtual machines off an external 7200RPM, 1TB desktop drive on my MacBook Pro with 2GB and the iMac with 6GB, I found the performance between the two to be almost the same. The iMac has far better specs in terms of CPU and Ram capacity yet they run nearly the same. It's not any more smoother, just calculations and installs and such might be a few seconds faster, that's it. Boot up is the same as well.

    Perhaps the new CPU architecture would help with VMs but really, your hard drive is a huge bottleneck especially since its a 5400RPM.
  5. underblu macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2010
    Maybe it's you who signed up today, it wan't me and i don't appreciate a personal attack for voicing my honest opinion, frankly it's completely uncalled for and i would think contrary to the etiquette of this forum.

    For processor intensive tasks an ssd is going to be of little help, for a task that requires lots of quick reads/writes than yes an SSD may be of benefit.
  6. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA

    Attached Files:

  7. underblu macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2010
    What are you his alter-ego and I didn't sign up today. Did it say April 29th somewhere? What is it, cause I joined in April and Robie joined last June that he has the right to insult my integrity for my offering an honest and I believe accurate response to the OP's question
  8. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    Personally, I would say SSD. Yes, the new architecture is a bit faster, but that is almost never the bottleneck in a computer, and I think you would see a much greater performance boost with the SSD, unless you are doing some pretty intense video rendering.
  9. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    I'm still rockin' the original 2006 MacBook Pro and when I upgraded to the Intel Solid State Disk it flew.

    For mobile needs this is more than enough, for me at least.

    Switching to an SSD will probably give you the most noticeable upgrade you can get, besides to the great battery life of the new MacBook Pro's.

    Honestly, the #1 reason I am considering an upgrade is the battery life. I am lucky if I hit 4 hours with this computer, compared to the easily obtainable 8 - 9 hours of the new MacBook Pro's (with ClickToFlash).
  10. AmazingRobie macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2009
    Apologies, but honestly, your generic response and sales pitch for a $4,000.00 machine didn’t offer much in the way of help to someone who is asking for some real advice regarding upgrades. I would much rather throw down a grand or so on 6Gb of RAM and a larger capacity SSD, than 4 times that for something new when what I already have might be just as capable with an upgrade. Your post didn’t explore this. I still didn’t mean to upset you. I was only asking how you would know there wouldn’t be a benefit to an upgrade because your response sounded like something from one of the first time Mac owning YouTubers that post videos about how “this” is sooo much better than “that” simply because it’s newer and without giving any real details to back up your statements.
  11. bleepjay thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2008
    Thinking about getting the Crucial CT256M225

    Any opinions on this? Will I be able to create a Bootcamp partition on this or should I even bother if using VMWare Fusion? Will the performance increase cause me to not even bother needing to bootup in Bootcamp (other than for video performance, which I do not really use)?
  12. underblu macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2010
    All good Robbie. Trust me the last thing I am is a SJ or Mac fanboy. Im not into the whole lifestyle thing but I do appreciate great form following function and I do think Apple got it right with the MBP.

    That aside I don't want to see the OP needlessly spending 3k on a new unit. However, I've been on the other side of that coin when the money I spent upgrading could've been better utilized on a new machine.

    Look at the end of the day the OP should probably explore whether the performance bottleneck he is facing stems more from HD access times and System memory or processing power. Then he can make the best decision that's right for him
  13. stjohnswell macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2010
    I like to get three years out of my machines. If I was you I'd take a punt on a decent SSD, which you can always re-use when you decide to upgrade the mbp.
  14. rellimyrf macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2010
    Personally, I'd opt to sell your machine, which could possibly go for a fair amount at this point. The longer you hold on to it the less it will be worth obviously. With the money you get, I'd opt for the base i5 17 inch, throw in the 4gb ram module from your last machine to boost the ram to 6gb, and then upgrade to an ssd when you can. The price for the new computer upgrade would be probably the same as getting a new ssd, which you can do at any time in the future. You could also temporarily switch out the optical drive with a smaller ssd for $100-$150 to run the OS, while you save up for a bigger ssd which will inevitably be cheaper as time goes on. There are so many subtle new features on the new macbook pros that make a difference. The seamless GPU switching, the upgraded graphics cards (while they don't meet the performance standards of something like an ATI 5870m, they show genuine improved performance over previous macbook pro models and don't devour the battery), faster CPUs, display port sound with hdmi adapters, and better GPU driver support for working with things like the new flash.

    Basically I'm saying I would prefer a temporarily ssdless new machine with an i5 (The i7 isn't absolutely necessary as the i5 alone will be a lot faster than the Penryn. The 2.53 GHz i5 is merely something like 8% slower than the i7 according to benchmarks I've read and it gets better battery.) over your older model with a new ssd.
  15. bleepjay thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2008
    Ok, I splurged and went for the Crucial m225 256GB. Hopefully should be here tomorrow. I started reading about how/if I want to format this thing for Bootcamp, and it looks like this drive has issues with my model MBP when trying to access a Bootcamp Partition.




    Does anybody have any suggestions/ideas of what I should to to try to get this to work?

    Should I just go ahead and run VMWare Fusion as a native VM file rather than via Bootcamp?
  16. bleepjay thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2008
    Another question. If I take my new SSD and place it where the current HD is, and get a caddy to place where the optical bay is, will my current HD (Scorpio Blue) be running at PATA speeds.

    It looks like I need this caddy for this to work http://newmodeus.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=306

    I didn't realize my optical bay was PATA until I saw this. Any way of running my old HD at SATA speeds? Does my SATA controller have two cable inputs that I could use or am I stuck with PATA for this?
  17. mdatwood macrumors 6502a

    Mar 14, 2010
    Denver, CO
    Looks like you already did it, but I would say get the SSD (and max RAM, but you already did that) to squeeze another year or more of life from your computer. Unless you're currently doing something processor bound, the most limiting factor in your system is going to be HD access speeds.

    I plan on getting an SSD on the next tech jump and move it to my boot drive and my HD to where my optical is now.
  18. wakeborder556 macrumors regular

    May 31, 2008
    does the motherboard have an extra sata port not in use?

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