Early Intel - Trash or treasure? MacBook Pro 2008

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by AphoticD, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    Feb 17, 2017
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    Australia
    #26
    I agree. Tiger is FAST on this machine. I’m curious about just how quick it would boot with an SSD - maybe 20 seconds?

    The only drawback I have found with Tiger is it doesn’t handle the trackpad responsiveness quite the same as 10.5+, but it’s only very minor.

    I think I understand... The polycarbonate 2006-2009 MacBooks are prone to cracking, but you’d say they are pretty solid electronically?

    I have been very impressed with the late 2009-2010 white poly unibody with the 9400m. I salvaged one with a faulty display for free back in 2015, replaced the display assembly and it has been my wife’s main machine since. This design is tough as nails and the big rubber boot was great - even if it did attract a bit of grime. It also officially runs High Sierra.

    There was a person who claimed to successfully replace the MB1,1 logic board for a MB5,2 board in a blackbook here. I imagine @dosdude1 could probably get an even faster CPU in there.

    How about a 3Ghz BlackBook? :cool:
     
  2. Zenithal macrumors 603

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    #27
    Excellent write-up, mate. I had a similar model myself until it completely died. I replaced the front paneling (where your palms rest) and the keyboard midway into its life. Fantastic machine (with an SSD) up until the very end. One of the best machines Apple made before unibodying everything.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 14, 2018 ---
    I've only read issues about the white ones cracking and the black ones staying in perfect shape. I'd imagine it has something to do with the coloring used.
     
  3. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #28
    Thanks. I really like the design. The early ‘08 MBP is a perfect tribute to the beloved Aluminum PowerBook G4.

    Black don’t crack. :cool:
     
  4. weckart macrumors 601

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #29
    Sounds like an urban myth to me. I saw a BlackBook in a second hand shop the other week. It looked every bit as ragged as my white one. The condition probably depends upon whether owners availed themselves of Apples casing repair program. The replacement keyboard/palmrest units were made of a slightly thicker and less brittle plastic that held up better than the first run of casings.
    Yes. It was the better option and I got one for my niece. However, this one was also subject to an Apple replacement program. The rubber base was prone to deforming as well as getting grubby and the glue perished leading to the base falling off. The one I had got for my niece (a 2010 with a 320M) had just gone through a replacement and looked absolutely pristine.
     
  5. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #30
    I think regardless of the colour (or generation), it's rare to find a pre-unibody design MacBook without cracks in it. Apple really cheaped on the plastic over generations here. The first generation iBook was voluminous with a thick turtle-like shell that could probably withstand being run over by a truck, then the white iBook G3s were touted to be made of (almost) bulletproof plastic. The iBook G4s took an absolute beating in the backpacks of millions of school kids and for the most part, the outer shell was indestructible - it was the thin plastic top case / palm rests which would regularly crack. Apple then followed on with the MacBook using the same thin plastic idea for the entire machine. The shell really isn't much tougher than the palm rest. Every MacBook I've worked on has also had a number of the internal logic board mounts snap off the bottom case too - the plastic just seems to crumble.

    Nice. The 320M model would be even better. When I replaced the display assembly in the late '09 MB, I also bought a bright new rubber base because the original was very grubby. I've always stored and transported my own portable Macs in protective sleeves, but she doesn't like to use a case and regardless of how unprotected it has been, the MacBook still looks practically brand new nearly 9 years since it was manufactured. Unlike the plethora of banged up Aluminum Macs, you can't put a dint in the '09/10 MacBook!
     
  6. weckart macrumors 601

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #31
    The design shortcomings were also compounded by having Santa Rosa processors, which for Intel chips ran pretty hot along with the aforemaligned GMA950/X3100, which were underpowered and choked on poorly optimised Flash websites, leading to internal thermals testing the patience of the weedy plastic structure.

    They did have good batteries though. Mine was still over 90% on original capacity ten years on. I made the mistake of leaving it in storage for six months last year and when I booted it back up the battery was dead.
     
  7. AL1630 macrumors 6502

    AL1630

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    Idaho, USA
    #32
    I have an iBook G4 and Pre-Unibody MacBook, and the iBook's outer shell is in better shape, despite being 4 years older. The MacBook has the palm rest chips, a chip on the display bezel, and a few hairline cracks on the sides. Didn't apple make a slight design or plastic change around 2008 or so, because I've heard that the later Pre-Unibodys are a little more durable than the 1st generation.
     
  8. Hater macrumors 6502a

    Hater

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    Edinburgh, Scotland
    #33
    But I found one thats such good value!

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/REFURBI...D-IN-THE-BOX/182459255408?hash=item2a7b6b4a70
     
  9. weckart macrumors 601

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #34
    Now that is a bargain. :) Sadly, they will not ship to the UK. You will have to wail and gnash your teeth over this forbidden fruit.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 14, 2018 ---
    As I mentioned above, these seemed to only come in with the replacement program. I never bothered with it although i was eligible. Sort of regretting it now.
     
  10. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #35
  11. pl1984 macrumors 68000

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    Oct 31, 2017
    #36
    I have two Black MacBooks (2,1 model designation). One is a late 2006 2.0GHz and the other a mid 2007 2.16GHz. Neither has any cracking but they do have the smoothing of the track pad. I also have a White MacBook late 2006 2.0GHz in almost pristine condition. I was able to purchase all of these off Ebay for less than $100.

    My largest complaint with the MacBook is the wear that happens on the trackpad (though this is not limited to the MacBook as I also see it on my Dell laptops). As it becomes smooth tracking becomes less accurate.
     
  12. bobesch macrumors 65816

    bobesch

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    Kiel, Germany
    #37
    As I've read from everymac.com, the Santa Rosa - models don't have a multitouch/gesture-touchpad. The early 2008-models support all the touchpad functions, like the current devices (except the pressure-gestures).
    --- Post Merged, Jun 14, 2018 ---
    I use sticky matte-transparent coating film to protect the aluminium-books from scratches (the same that is used to wrap paperback-books - don't know the proper name for it, the local brand here is d-c-fix).
    It's ultra-think and also do enhance the grip.
     
  13. old mac Suspended

    old mac

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    May 16, 2011
    #38
    Apple was kind enough to give me a free 500 Gb HHD for my early 2011 MBP. Do you know if I could install that HHD in my sons 2008 MB?
     
  14. dosdude1 macrumors 68000

    dosdude1

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    Feb 16, 2012
    #39
    Yeah, as long as it has OS X 10.7 or earlier installed on it.
     
  15. RhianB, Jun 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018

    RhianB macrumors 6502a

    RhianB

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    505 USA
    #40
    Yeah ,I think chances are good that it should work. The 08 macbook is sata2 and I assume the new hdd is for the 2011 MBP is Sata3. Anyhoo, the handful of sata3 drives that I've worked with, swapped around my early intel macs etc. have all been backwards compatible, but just to be sure, check to see if there is a EFI and/or SMC firmware update - if so install it. Then clone it with something like Carbon Copy Cloner & an external 2.5 sata enclosure (using the 08MB hdd as the source). Then it's just a matter of swapping the drives out and booting it up. Below is a link explaining how to check your EFI/SMC if you need a refresher - pretty straight forward stuff.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201518

    Good luck.
     
  16. old mac Suspended

    old mac

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    #41
    Ok thanks. 10.6 wll be cloned to it
     
  17. VanneDC macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

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    Dubai, UAE
    #42
    I've got 3 or 4 of those plastic white core macbooks, not one without cracking, and I have to admit too, the performance is less than stellar.. the x3100 Gma was much better that the utter drab that is the 950gma. 2 of them are delegated to running diagnostics on my race car, the other is in a cupboard gathering dust. They still work though.

    The outstanding suprise for me was the gen 1 alu unibody MacBook (non pro)

    Shared the same mobo as the pro and unbolted to accept the pro keyboard (with backlights) this to this day I still use for all my work layovers.. takes a beating and cannot be killed.. trust me, lots of airport security idiots have tried.

    Great little laptop that..
     
  18. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #43
    I love my little unibody ‘08 MacBook. I bought it new in Jan 2009 and have probably gotten more use out of it than any other Mac I have owned. From 2011 to 2016 it was my one and only Mac and travelled to and from my workplace every day. Most of the time I would hook it up to a display and run it as a desktop with a wireless keyboard and mouse.

    I hadn’t thought about upgrading it with a pro logic board though. What would be the best model board to go for?
     
  19. dosdude1 macrumors 68000

    dosdude1

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    Feb 16, 2012
    #44
    You can't, the board is different. It's SIMILAR to the 13" MacBook Pro board, but NOT the same.
     
  20. weckart macrumors 601

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #45
    I think your first problem will be with the port layout. The A1278 lacks FireWire, which the MBP13 had.
     
  21. bobesch macrumors 65816

    bobesch

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    Oct 21, 2015
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    Kiel, Germany
    #46
    Except from DDR3 instead of DDR2-RAM the 2,4GHz 13"MB'08 should have nearly the same specs as your early 2008 15" silverkey MBP. Maxed out RAM to 8GB and an SSD makes it IMO a very capable machine to even run ElCap very smooth.
    The late 2008 15"MBP and the late 2008 aluMB are one of my favorites too - I mainly moved to the early 15" silverkey MBP as my main driver, cause the battery life of those early alu-Unibody-Books (with those large battery covers and easy to access harddrive) was somehow miserable, cause the seemed to lose constantly and fast power during sleeping mode (and because I like the old style with silver kb and matte screen).
    Unless your aluMB'08 is a 2,0GHz model (where an upgrade to the 2,4GHz logic-board would make sense) I'd stick with the logic board untouched.
     
  22. villicodelirant macrumors 6502

    villicodelirant

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    #47
    I love this guy.
     
  23. dosdude1 macrumors 68000

    dosdude1

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    Feb 16, 2012
    #48
    Just replaced the GPU on one of my Early-2008 15" MacBook Pros! The process went great, and now the machine works perfectly, and will never fail again! I made a video of the process here.

    35686839_1569209403204938_5122826219443716096_o.jpg 35695412_1569209346538277_2093206041746472960_o.jpg 35736039_1569209329871612_3247628246581248000_o.jpg 35810614_1569209286538283_3639679368235581440_o.jpg
     
  24. philgxxd macrumors regular

    philgxxd

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    Malaga, Spain
    #49
    Hi @dosdude1!
    I couldn't watch the video yet and maybe you answered it already there or elsewhere but I was told that using a revised version of the graphic chips nvidia used for this Mac model would bring down the video memory to half but I see you still have 512Mb.
     
  25. dosdude1 macrumors 68000

    dosdude1

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    Feb 16, 2012
    #50
    Yeah, just as long as you use the 128-bit version of the chip, you won't lose any VRAM. It's if you get the 64-bit version when you'll be limited to 128MB of VRAM.
     

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