HD & Ram Upgrades to my 2008 macbook (Need a quick opinion)

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by mt6272, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. mt6272 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    #1
    Hi all!
    I recently acquired an early 2008 macbook, model MB403LL/A with these specs: http://www.everymac.com/systems/app...duo-2.4-white-13-early-2008-penryn-specs.html

    The first thing I want to upgrade is the ram and the hard drive and without spending a ton of money. Thus, I am not interested in buying brand name stuff- just something that's going to last and do its job.

    Here are the upgrades I am considering buying off of ebay:
    Ram (6gb)
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:US:1123#ht_1937wt_1189
    Hard Drive (1TB)
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-1TB-100...ultDomain_0&hash=item231902b3f0#ht_3626wt_956

    Would these ram/harddrive upgrades be wise purchases?
     
  2. iDutchman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Location:
    Amsterdam, NL
    #2
    The RAM would be a wise decision, although I think 4Gb will also be sufficient enough ( and a lot cheaper 2x 2GB). Also, I'd say an SSD (Vertex 2/3 IMO) is the best way to go. I've done the same to my early 2008 BlackBook.

    60GB Vertex 3 SSD + 4GB RAM + Lion. I also did put an optibay in (removing the Optical drive) with another HD (500GB). So two hard drives inside.

    SSD will set you back around 100 dollars for low capacity (60GB Vertex 3) and RAM will be like 30-40 dollars?
     
  3. Sirolway macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #3
    Congratulations!

    I agree that 4GB RAM should be more than enough for most tasks; I upgraded to 8 & never use the additional 4 ....

    If you're looking for cheap upgrades then an SSD is not it - they're pretty pricey. If you can afford a decent sized SSD then great, if not then I wonder if a fairly large & modern HDD, with a clean install, wouldn't give you a nice little speed boost & also give you the space to carry everything with you ...

    If you have a DVD hanging around, I'd also be inclined to install Leopard / Snow Leopard rather than Lion, as the newer OSes tend to assume you have a powerful CPU. Just my opinion, mind ...
     
  4. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #4
    ^^^Ignore

    Get the 6 GB RAM. It's well documented that 6 runs as well as 4 but 8 is not used and can cause performance to decline. The more RAM, the less you have to access the slowest part of your computer, the drive.

    The HD is a different story. There is a real cost difference between SSD and a mechanical HD. The decision usually comes down to how much on board storage you need. If space is important, max out a mechanical HD. if you can get away with a small drive, do the SSD.
     
  5. mt6272 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 8, 2012
    #5
    Thanks for the input folks!
    I love your idea, only I have about a 200 dollar budget for these upgrades and unlike some I appreciate my optical drive. You have, however, given me the idea to opt for less ram in favor of a better hard drive.

    Could you or anyone else recommend for me a hard drive which has 700+ GB that is noticeably faster than the one I threatened to buy from in original post? (Specs: 1TB (1000GB) 8MB Cache 5400RPM SATA 2.5" 9,5mm )

     
  6. mt6272 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 8, 2012
    #6
    Note: I am comfortable with my computers speed right now when my system says all the ram is not used up. But when it is used up, for example when I run something like minecraft, my mac chokes!

    I am notorious for lots of multitasking. (It would not be uncommon for me to have a browser, video, iTunes, FL studio, and photoshop going on at the same time) Would6gb ram + a 5400 rpm 1tb hard drive allow my macbook to handle the above scenarios adequately? OR, is getting a hard drive with better performance just necessary?

    (As I stated in my last post, I am still interested in your opinions on alternative drives to the one I originally posted. It all really just amounts to what's going to give me the most speed/best multitasking/space for my $200)
     
  7. mt6272 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 8, 2012
  8. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #8
    I have that exact same macbook and plan to put in 4GB of RAM and an SSD when I have the budget for it. As mentioned above 6GB isn't really worth it, you can use that money for the HD.

    Personally I suggest going for SSD and getting a firewire or even USB External drive for storage. That would add to the price of course though.

    If you want more speed (although less than an SSD) and still the storage space I suggest looking into 7200 RPM drives rather than 5400. It's not as drastic a boost but it is faster. What you did say above would be able to run it fine as well though if that fits within your budget better. An SSD would handle everything better, of course, but it isn't the only option.

    I do wonder though, what are your minecraft settings at? I run the game fine on the exact same mac. I just had to turn the render distance to short (it defaulted at far which lagged me a lot) and the particles down.
     
  9. mt6272 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 8, 2012
    #9
    I probably just need to do what you are suggesting. When I ran it, it was more less to test my systems capabilities, and when I did that everything was set to default.
    --------------------------------------------
    The consencus seems to be that I should get 4gb ram, and focus on the hard drive... so I will do this. Being that I'm not taking the ssd route for price reasons, this is what i'm considering. It is purportedly a hybrid between ssd and hdd and the amazon reviews seem pretty glowing.

    http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Momentus-7200RPM-Hybrid-ST750LX003/dp/B00691WMJG/ref=pd_cp_e_1

    ^^Has anyone had experience with one of these or would you recommend it for my budget?
     
  10. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

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    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #10
    I have no exact experience with them but a 7200 RPM Hybrid will certainly be faster then the default.
     
  11. Boca macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    #11
    Perfect timing for this thread. I've got a black mac late 07. UPgrading to 500 gb hd but think I need more ram as well. I'm getting the pin wheel quite often now and it's driving me crazy. Run Onyx, CCleaner, reapair permissions, etc but it keeps coming back.

    Currently running 4GB 667 Mhz DDR2 SDRAM ; will the extra 2 GB get rid of the spinning pinwheel?

    Thanks.
     
  12. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

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    Jan 11, 2009
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    New Brunswick, Canada
    #12
    Depends on usage. Check your activity monitor under the memory tab and post what it says.
     
  13. mt6272 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 8, 2012
    #13
    I have long deliberated since making this thread, and am now considering getting a 120gb ssd & a portable external hard drive.

    Can anyone tell me whether these 2 ssds will work with my MacBook (its specs and a link to its detailed specs are located in the original post of this thread)? If they will work, which one seems the best for the money?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148442

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226236


    ... Would buying one of these babies be all that I need (or may I need any special tools/enclosures to make the switch?)
     
  14. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

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    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #14
    You might be able to save money by buying a SATA II drive. Your macbook can't utilize the speed of SATA III anyway.

    Also, to copy your current HDD over it's easiest to:

    1) Get an external enclosure
    2) Plug the SSD into it
    3) Use Carbon Copy Cloner to copy the drive over to the SSD
    4) Remove the old HDD, put the SSD in

    Then all your stuff is on the SSD, no hassle. Plus you can put the old HDD into the enclosure instead of having to buy another hard drive. Assuming you're fine with the amount of space.
     
  15. mt6272 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 8, 2012
    #15
    Thanks aces. Do you know for a fact whether either of the 2 SSDs that I listed will work with my macbook anyway? I have indeed searched for SATA II drives but I can't find any (well reviewed) 120gb drives lower than the price of that 129.99 SATA III drive from Mushkin.
     
  16. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

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    Jan 11, 2009
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    New Brunswick, Canada
    #16
    As far as I know it will still work. The connector is the same, you just won't get anything above SATA II speeds. I see what you mean though about the drives being around the same price range anyway. Plus having a SATA III drive could be helpful if you ever upgrade to a new macbook as you could just pop the SSD into it and pull off the SATA III speeds.
     
  17. mt6272 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 8, 2012
    #17
    Alright,
    Now suffice it to say that I do want to replace my optical drive with an opti bay + hdd. How will I go about doing this? I have already found the right parts, but it would help to find a tutorial or some words from someone who has done it before to a similar model macbook. I haven't had luck with googling it yet, and all the youtube tutorials seem to be for late 2008 "unibody" MacBooks and onward.

    How much did MacBooks change between my early 2008 model and late 2008? Could I just go off of someones advise for one of those MacBooks?
     
  18. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

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    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #18
    Chacnes are the internals are similar but I've never done an optidrive and I don't plan to do it so not much help I can offer there. Closest thing I can find is:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/macbook_13_opt_h/

    Which shows how to replace the optical drive. I imagine combining this (as far as how to get in / what to expect combined with one of the other guides would do. However you'd certainly want to have everything prepared before you go and open up the computer.
     

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