Early 2008 - Time for an upgrade?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Bibgibs, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. Bibgibs macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    #1
    I know there's a thread on this at http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1212731 but my circumstances are different.

    I currently use the early 2008 MBP 15.4" model with upgraded RAM (4GB). I am a heavy Xcode user (doing iPhone dev as well as other Mac and web development). I also do minor graphic work in Adobe products. I have a pretty beefy desktop, but it's mostly used for gaming and other Windows/*nix development.

    Most of the time while using Xcode, it will hang when I begin a build process, which is very annoying. The build time on basic projects takes quite a while, and larger, more mature projects even longer. I experience these hangs on both Xcode 3 and 4.

    I am thinking about either buying a 4GB stick so I would have a total of 6GB of RAM, and possibly upgrade my HDD. I'm a little hesitant, as I don't want to keep investing in an old laptop.

    I'm highly debating on whether or not I should upgrade to the 2011 MBPs. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? I'm sure there are others who were/are in my situation. I'm also trying to decide whether to go with the 15.4" again or go with the 17". I really like the 1920x1200 resolution of the 17", and I have seen some good deals online for it. Should I just stick it out until the upcoming releases of the MBP line?
     
  2. GrannySmiths macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    #2
    There are some tweaks you can do to xcode to make it run a bit quicker. I also do iOS development and have noticed it hang on my 2010 MBP at times.

    I think xcode uses the CPU when compiling. I have 4GB in my MBP, but most of the time its pretty quick which would suggest it's a CPU issue. Either that, or there is something on your machine that's causing the issue. But, saying that, I know a few developers that are using the 2008 models without issues.

    Have you monitored the CPU and RAM at compile time?
     
  3. Bibgibs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    #3
    With 2 Xcode projects, iOS Simulator and Chrome running, I have about 300 MB free of RAM.

    It seems the hangups are somewhat random. They don't always occur. I've noticed when they do happen, GDB seems to be the culprit. I'm not 100% sure, however. Xcode also eats up the CPU when compiling (going over 150% use), which sounds normal, since it is intensive to build.

    I'm also suspecting it could be Chrome. I've noticed that it eats up quite a bit of RAM, so the hangups (sometimes even over a minute) could be caused by the OS trying to swap.
     
  4. GrannySmiths macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    #4
    Chrome and Firefox are notorious for eating up ram. I switched to Chrome because Firefox was terrible, then I noticed Chrome did the same, just a little less. If you have a lot of plugins/extensions they also make it worse.

    If you're like me you hate to close tabs incase you lose the information you was just reading, and then you end up with 25 tabs open and wonder why the computer is running slow lol.
     
  5. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #5
    I would also suggest monitoring CPU and RAM during the hangups and throughout the day (RAM). If the CPU isn't maxing out, then moving to a new MBP wont' really give you any benefits as you aren't fully using what the old one can offer.

    From what I've read, heavy x-code usage requires a lot of ram; I'd suggest just picking up 2 4gb sticks for under 50 bucks online and sticking that in the machine for 8 gigs of ram; I'm going to end up doing that pretty soon.

    Getting a new hard drive won't bring performance increases, not majorly noticeable ones that would justify the money, IMO. If you want to increase storage speed, go for an SSD.
     
  6. Bibgibs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    #6
    Ha ha, yeah, that's pretty much the same for me as well. I currently don't have any plugins installed though.

    The 2x4GB sticks are for DDR3. The early 2008 MBP only take DDR2. Although there are 2x4GB sticks for DDR2, early 2008 MBPs max out at 6GB (the "secret" firmware didn't update to allow 8GB for early 2008). Sadly, DDR2 is much more expensive than the DDR3 you mentioned.

    SSD is a good choice, but then again, we're talking about a big investment for such an old laptop.
     
  7. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #7
    Thanks for the RAM clarification.

    But big? And you say that like the SSD can't simply be transfered to a newer laptop when the time comes. It isn't like buying a new engine for an old car; you're buying a part to upgrade into the machine that can be REMOVED and installed in a new machine within minutes.

    Your machine isn't that old either; I just sold a 07 black macbook that ran perfectly fine. New HD, 4 gigs of ram, had no problems with it. 3 years isn't old at all. And, for what you use it for, it should you at least another year, if not more.

    EDIT: I initially thought this was another poster and not you, the OP, who stated this, hence it seeming like a rebuttal.

    But the machine you have should last you a very long time. If you want speed, simply get a SSD and, when you're ready to upgrade, pop it out and put it in the new model. It isn't like the SSD will break or need to be replaced as well.
     
  8. Bibgibs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    #8
    I've had a lot of issues with this MBP. I've had to replace the left logic board twice, MagSafe, and the battery.

    Getting an SSD would definitely increase the speed for bootups. But for performance, getting an SSD is not necessarily the best option. If I were to buy the SSD to speed up every day usage, then it's more likely that I have a RAM issue (not enough) because the OS is constantly swapping between RAM and disk.

    I think I might just buckle down and buy the extra 4GB stick of RAM to bump me up to 6GB. I'll most likely be buying http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220495 I might also buy an SSD, but I haven't decided yet.

    I'm hoping this will hold me over until the new MBPs are released.
     
  9. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #9
    I just replaced a 2008 MacBook.

    Yes, it's time. I wouldn't consider not upgrading as I did this week. Night and day.
     
  10. Bibgibs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    #10
    Yeah, I'm still debating, ha ha. One other thing I was thinking about was resale value of this MBP. Right now, I see them going for about $700 on Craigslist. If I waited another year, who knows how much it will sell for (could be down to around $300-400). I was thinking that if I upgraded now, I could easily sell the new laptop when the other models are released. By that time, the 2011 model will have depreciated a bit, but not as much as the early 2008 model.
     
  11. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #11
    This generation of MacBook Pro is, I think, built to last. These things will be fast for another three years.
     
  12. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #12
    Open up activity monitor, what are your page-ins and outs? The reason the MBA is so fast even with 4 gigs is that, when the machine is limited in RAM, it uses the hard drive to off some of that extra data; having a faster drive increases ram "performance", if you will, along with increased read and write speeds.

    Having an SSD would give you major performance increases; doing that with RAM would make your machine twice as fast as it is now.

    I mean, I get what you're saying, but I'm just suggesting that you could keep your machine (or sell it, or whatever) and put a SSD in there to improve the longevity.


    But by going along with the (sell now, upgrade, sell later) thing, if you sell later and say, get 400 from it, you'll be saving 400.

    If you sell now and get say, 700, then buy the new (spend 500), then sell the new (lose, 300), you'll come out even, that's just doing rough estimates and not taking into account tax (which will be ~100 bucks for every new machine); mine after education discount came out to 1168.

    So I mean, it's up to you, but if you want to save money, you could easily get the SSD and ram, use the machine until the next, next iteration, sell it for at least 600, and then put the SSD in the new machine.

    Of course, it's all up to you. Good luck :)

    ----------

    All of the MacBooks are fast; my 07 Black Macbook held up against the newer models inside the store (SNB iCore) when doing day to day programs; people overestimate the need for a SNB processor when RAM and a 5200rpm/SSD is all they need to kepe the machine fast for many years.

    I only sold the blackbook due to it not having the multitouch trackpad and having a crap graphics card (1080p video fine, no games though :/). Other than that and the weight/size difference, there is no difference between that and the 2011 MBP I have now.

    It runs a lot quieter of course :)
     
  13. Bibgibs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    #13
    I think I'd better just do a pro's and cons.

    With my AppleCare expired, and given all the trouble I've had in the past on this thing, I'm a little worried to invest anything into it. Granted the SSD could easily be put into a new laptop. I'd hate for this one to die (logic board goes out, etc.) and have to pay to fix it. To me it feels like I'm sitting on a time bomb.

    One other thing I forgot to mention was the heat issue. This thing heats up to the point where I can't have it on my lap. I have checked the fans, and both work. I installed smcFanControl just so I could crank up the speed on them. They're constantly running at 6000RPM just to keep it at around 40-50C.

    I did some research and there's a lot of other people with this model that have had issues with heating. I'm not sure if there's much I can do other than investing in a nice lap desk.

    I found someone selling a lightly used 2011 17" MBP that has full AppleCare for $2100. I might put my money into that, because next year I'd probably be able to sell it for around what I paid for it.
     
  14. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #14
    1) If you feel the machine is going to die, get rid of it; of course, you should be honest and state that when you sell it. There are far too many people selling machines on their "last leg" and marketing them as new and guaranteed to work for many years.

    2) Lap desk will do nothing. The heat comes from the CPU/GPU, which is inside the machine. Blowing air, no matter how much it is, will do nothing to lower this temp. I actually used my MBP on a block of ice once and saw 5 degree C drops. That's it. I didn't expect it to work miracles, but this is what I saw.

    3) Does his unit have applecare? Or is it within the 1 year free warranty?
     
  15. Bibgibs, Sep 4, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011

    Bibgibs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    #15
    1) I'm note sure if it's on it's last leg. The logic board, battery and adapter were replaced about 5 months ago, so it should be good for a while. Who knows, maybe those replacements fixed it completely.

    2) Sorry, I should have mentioned that the lap desk would be for me so I could actually use the laptop without sweating. Ha ha!

    3) His unit has the full 3 years of AppleCare, started mid-June 2011.
     
  16. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #16
    Ah; well I mean, in that case, get a hard backed book or something. Up here at college, I just brought my middle school yearbook to put the laptop on. Any hard backed book will do.

    When I'm at my friend's houses that don't have a free desk, I use a kids picture book or something.

    I mean, it's 30 bucks; it isn't a lot but you could get 5 cups of coffee for that. Which highlights the immense overpricing of something that costs next to nothing, for the length of time you can use it.
     

Share This Page