Is anyone here still using a Late 2008 or older MacBook Pro as their daily computer?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mossme89, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. mossme89 macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2009
    Just wanted to see if I'm not alone. I have a Late 2008 MacBook Pro Unibody with a 2.4Ghz processor and 3GB of RAM. The computer works great. I'm not a heavy gamer or video editor so it runs whatever I throw at it

    What upgrades would you recommend? I'm considering maxing out the RAM at 8GB but I'm not sure if I would see the benefit considering I rarely go over 2GB used. Would an SSD help with responsiveness? I find when loading things or doing other disk related tasks, my computer virtually grinds to a halt. Doing a Time Machine backup makes my computer almost unresponsive, for example.
  2. james1758 macrumors regular


    May 26, 2013
    Im using a mid 2009 macbook pro still, upgraded it to 8gb ram (which was a must) also going to get an SSD to go in the optical drive (or maybe an SSHD so I can still keep the optical drive!):p


    also how many cycles has your mac done? Just wondering as im on around 1400 and still going strong!
  3. mossme89 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2009
    You mean power cycles? I had to replace my battery last year after around 400 cycles. Starting to have issues around 200 cycles now. I keep it plugged in a lot so maybe that has something to do with it.
  4. vash420 macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2010
    Late 2007 Santa Rosa MBP. :cool:

    Had the RAM bumped to 4GB and installed a 7200rpm 500GB HD. Works absolutely fine, runs Logic well, but I'm still desperate for a Haswell rMBP. :mad:

    If I wasn't trying to save for a new Mac I'd have put an SSD in there, I think the HD is the only thing holding it back for most tasks. Just couldn't stretch to the prices of a 512MB model (I need the space).
  5. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    Hi, Yes I am still using a late 2008 2.8Ghz MBP, it is currently my ONLY Mac.
    To your questions, I had upgraded it: maximized the RAM to 8Gb it is not that expensive nowadays, the benefit is there and maybe not so obvious as the SSD, as it depends what kind of software you run and how often, I think it is always good to have more RAM for running multiple Apps at the same time.
    I am not a benchmarking performance measuring geek to give you any numbers for comparison.
    I removed the Optical Drive and put it in an external case, got in a 256GB SSD for running OSX and the Apps.

    The internal HDD also got replaced with a 1TB drive, I store there the iTunes library and all my family photos and videos.

    The performance of the machine significantly improved.

    I did this when moving from Snow Leopard to Lion, so I kept a Snow Leopard installation in the 1 TB HDD, to be able to run old Rosetta Apps(old games mainly).

    I really felt at the time of the upgrade that I was running a 'new' Mac.

    I am currently looking into a potential replacement as my particular MBP had a fried logic board and was repaired, and sometimes I get high USB port consumption warnings and I had lowered my trust on the particular case, not necessarily yours, and it is time for getting a new one, I think for when Mavericks comes out, besides it... I still love my late 2008, it is a classic, I will still keep it so I am able to run old Rosetta apps...
    Have fun doing the upgrades if you pursue them.

    A nice addition to my set up was a 4TB MiniStack MAX with a BluRay disc burner, therefore the optical drive out is no longer a flimsy plastic case that can only read CDs/DVDs, also I kept the old Apple optical drive set up for Region 2 DVDs, I have a few of them.
  6. james1758 macrumors regular


    May 26, 2013
    Wow, I've heard of some batteries being better than others, but 200 & 400? Looks like you got unlucky on the battery front :p


    ..even though mine is only running for about 1 and a half hours without having to plug it in atm ! :(
  7. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    I'm still using my late 2008 13" aluminum MacBook-Almost-Pro on a daily basis.

    Upgraded to 4GB Ram early on, and to a Samsung 830 SSD more recently. The SSD made a huge difference in responsiveness. It's basically no different than a new machine for lightweight tasks like web browsing.

    I am looking to replace it when the Haswell rMBPs are released because of the improvements in display, battery life, and GPU.
  8. mossme89 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2009
    Any chance they might be easier to upgrade? That's my hesitation in buying a rMBP. The RAM is extremely difficult to upgrade and the SSD isn't the standard 2.5"
  9. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    Current Apple Products are kind of disposables, after you get into the latest models you are 'supposed' to get a new model every 2 to 3 years...
    The MacPro seems to be re-defining this.
    I think via Thunderbolt many upgrades could be possible...let's see how it evolves.
  10. ronjon10 macrumors regular

    Dec 9, 2009
    Late 2009 13" upgraded to 8gb

    Slow as molasses unfortunately. I think it's mostly related to woeful hard drive performance.
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    My Early 2008 MBP still runs as well as it did when I first bought it, even after extensive use (15+ hours/day, 6-7 days/week).

    Adding a SSD would certainly improve performance. If you're having performance issues, this may help, as well:
  12. RITZFit, Jun 16, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013

    RITZFit macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2007
    In my Corner
    I still use my late 06 MBP for personal tasks...would do more if I could put windows 7 on it (without hacks). Admittedly, I use a borrowed i7 Dell for MS Office and CAD now :p

    More RAM is always a good upgrade. My MBP has a 4GB memory kit, although its limited to 3.3GB. Its ridiculous how quickly I start hitting walls with just a few simple programs open...running newer software on older equipment I guess :(
  13. Androidpwns macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2011
    Yup, early 2008 MBP 17". Added a 512 GB SSD last Summer.. giving it a new lease of life. Just hangin' in there waiting on a Haswell rMBP ( like many others here ), but maybe in the end.. I'll just bide my time and wait another year..
  14. CmdrLaForge macrumors 601


    Feb 26, 2003
    around the world
    I am still using an iBook G4 from 2005. Came with 1.42 GHz. Not my only Computer but I still use it.
  15. fongyuen macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2007
    Late 2008 17" mbp with upgraded 6gb and 256 m4 ssd. chugging along pretty well except it gets ridiculously hot for even watching a YouTube video. Also looking forward haswell rmbp.
  16. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Sold my 2007 MBP last month, I had it for 1 1/2 years I upgraded Intel 320 Series 160GB SSD, it runs like butterly, I would recommend add a SSD if you decided to keep 2008 MBP more longer. :apple:
  17. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Just passed my 2008 on to my daughter who uses it daily.

    A SSD was the best investment and the second was a fan control utility app. I also put the latest OS (10.8.3 at the time) which helped some. I use the fan app to turn up the fans a little early so it does not run as hot in more demanding situations. It has been an excellent laptop and passing it on was with mixed feelings. The only issue I've had is the trackpad going wonky, similar to what happens when the battery expands. I used the tip found here to loosening/adjusting the trackpad mounting screws and never had another issue.

    More RAM can't hurt, mine was a 2.4GHz processor with 4GB of RAM and never seemed to be running out of RAM.
  18. VTECaddict macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2008
    Late 2008 15" MBP here. Upgraded to 8GB RAM and 750GB Momentus XT. RAM made a noticeable performance difference. HDD was more for storage than speed, but the hybrid drive did seem to speed some things up.

    Overall it still runs great and can tackle pretty much any task you need it to. It just gets really hot and battery life is horrible. I get jealous of my friends with newer MBPs that don't burn their leg and get 5, 6, 7+ hours battery on a charge.
  19. sofianito, Jun 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013

    sofianito macrumors 65816


    Jan 14, 2011
    Late 2008 15" MBP upgraded to 8GB RAM and 500GB Momentus XT HDD. If you run virtual machines, the RAM upgrade is a must to avoid disk swapping. The hybrid HDD has 4GB flash storage cache. It speeds up the startup of your most used apps and the boot time if you reboot oftenly like PC users :D. If you install an additional SSD to boost the startup of ALL your application and I/O disk throuput, then it is recommended to move your current HDD to the optibay. Some folks reported SSD performance issues doing it the other way.

    Beside of the upgrades, I had to replace the battery. It got bulgy just after apple care warranty ended :). Fortunately I bought a new genuine one from amazon at half price. Also, both fans became noisy, so I had to replace them. You can get new ones on eBay for €20 with free shipping from China or Honk-Kong.

    I recently bought an affordable and nice 24" Dell ultrasharp IPS display and I am using my MBP in clamshell mode. I am quite happy with it and it is a solid machine, but I want more horse power!. Also, since my wife's maxed 17" Santa Rosa MBP stopped working because of the well-known Nvidia dGPU issue, and Apple wants me to pay €429 to fix it (shame on them), I am going to get a new haswell or an early 2013 refurbished 13" or 15" rMBP.
  20. ecschwarz macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2010
    I just replaced my Early 2008 15" MacBook Pro with a 13" MacBook Pro (non-Retina), since I had been in the market for new machine for awhile and the extra $100 off ($200 total) for education-affiliated folks was too good to pass up. While I would've loved a Retina Display, I also wanted a computer that I could modify and upgrade down the road (and maybe keep for 4-5 years).

    I probably could've squeezed another year or two out of my old one, especially if I had gone the Retina MacBook Pro route (and waited for the second revision).
  21. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Haswell rMBP wouldn't be any easier to upgrade than the one that's out now. That's just the way Apple is going these days. I think it's a fair trade-off.
  22. RedRaven571 macrumors 65816


    Mar 13, 2009
    Yep, late 2008 15" MBP, 2,4 gHz C2D with 8 GB RAM; still loving it!!! Still using SL as my primary OS but am running Mavericks DP1 in a separate partition.
  23. STITCHES macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    Yup, Still using my refurb late '08 MBP. I think I've maxed it out what I could. 8 GB ram, Replaced HDD with an SSD, and replaced the DVD drive with an Optibay + SSD. Also replaced the battery once.

    I use it daily but it's starting to show its age. Notably when I'm encoding movies to DVD it takes forever.
  24. Jodles macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2008
    I'm on a late 2008 13" MacBook (the first alubook), w/ 2.4Ghz and upgraded from 2 to 4GB ram. Running quite sluggish now but I think that's mostly just because I haven't done a clean install since 2008..! Once apps are loaded it's fairly quick. And the exterior still looks like new, love it. The battery's another story though, last about 5 minutes if at all, and is bulging quite a lot. Just waiting for it to explode haha.

    My warranty in Norway runs out after 5 years, so will probably get a rMBP this fall :D
  25. 007 Junior macrumors regular

    007 Junior

    Apr 15, 2013
    The Netherlands
    I'm on a Late 2008-model too. 2.0 Ghz and upgraded my RAM from 2GB to 4GB. Runs Mountain Lion smoothly, but Mavericks is quite slow.. Maybe because it's still an beta version.

    Unfortunately, my headphone jack is broken; the problem with the optical light. I tried several things to fix it, but it didn't help at all. For me my current MacBook is worthless, so I'm going to buy a MacBook Pro Retina as soon as it updates.


    What did you just say? 5 year warranty?! That's cool!
    In my country they only offer the limited 1 year-warranty :(

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