Longevity of components?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by u6crash, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. u6crash macrumors member

    u6crash

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Location:
    DeKalb, IL
    #1
    As much as I would love to just go out and buy a new laptop, I think I may go with a Mac Mini in the interest of saving some money and getting by for now. However, I would like to spruce up my current Macbook (13" 2.0GHz, 2007) model by putting in a new hard drive and upgrading to 10.6 from 10.4. My question is, how much is too much to put into this tired old machine?

    I know that hard drives have moving parts and wear out over time, but at what point do solid state compoents (RAM, etc) and other parts (processors, graphics chips, etc; with no moving parts) wear out?

    Since I have to buy the Mac Big Box ($169) to upgrade from Tiger, I'm probably looking at about $250 to to put the hard drive and OS in myself. Just trying to determine if it's really worth it.

    Also, if I do a full install of Snow Leopard to the brand new hard drive having cloned my previous internal drive to an external, can I migrate all my files and settings with a couple clicks, or am I better off cloning the original drive to the new one and doing an upgrade install? It seems like the latter would result in a lot of erroneous files floating around the hard drive.
     
  2. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #2
    Solid State drives will wear out. RAM usually don't wear out for a very long time.

    I still have a 1997 Compaq Desktop with a 600MHz Celeron and 128MB of SDRAM and original 15GB hard drive. It runs great for what its worth.
     
  3. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #3
    My wife still uses a 1998 white box running windows 2000 professional. It's been on pretty much 24/7 and the only issue is the onboard audio died. Other than that everything still works fine.
     
  4. Pax macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    #4
    2007 isn't tired! Lots of people out there are running on G4 Powerbooks twice as old as that.

    It won't be the solid state bits that get you, it'll be mundane stuff like hinges, LCD backlights, keyboards.

    I bought a 13" MBP Unibody a few months ago and gave my 2006 Macbook to my GF with a new HDD. To be honest there's not much between new and the old for everyday use. The MBP has a much better screen, but that's about it. Yes it's a bit faster and the battery lasts longer, but unless you are a road warrior or gamer a four year old MB is absolutely fine.

    I fully expect the Macbook to last her another 3-4 years.

    Go for it. Unless you feel an overwhelming need for New & Shiny..... in which case buy the Mini.

    Re cloning, I would make a full SuperDuper backup of the internal drive to an external backup, then install the new drive in the Macbook, then do a clean install of SL onto the new drive, then plug in the backup and run Migration Assistant, and ask it to just move user files and applications. Migration Assistant only takes a couple of clicks, then leave it for an hour.

    Migration Assistant is pretty smart, it usually gets everything you want. Sometimes there is a bit of tidying up needed, eg you could end up with duplicate applications. Obviously keep the backup handy for a while!
     
  5. u6crash thread starter macrumors member

    u6crash

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Location:
    DeKalb, IL
    #5
    Well, I will be buying something eventually because I do a lot of Photoshop, Illustruator, and the like. Google Sketch Up isn't even supposed to run with the 64MB of integrated video. However, it would be nice to get an iMac/Mini to save with having my power be at the desk and using the laptop for casual web surfing, e-mail, writing, etc.

    Thanks for the tip on the Migration Assistant. I'm not aware of all the new features in 10.6, but really looking forward to having Time Machine. Of course my battery currently has 435 cycles on it, so I can probably look forward to spending 130 bones on that in the near future, too.
     
  6. Pax macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    #6
  7. tac22 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #7
    This is true, you only need to spend $30, i upgraded day one with my imac that was still running Tiger.
    Then i would spend 90$ on 4gb of ram
    and a SSD drive, i wouldn't spend more than 250$ but they are expensive. YOu can get a kingston 128gb for about that much on amazon.

    but even just the ram and snow leopard will do you some good... the ssd will probably make it feel faster then when you got it though
     
  8. u6crash thread starter macrumors member

    u6crash

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Location:
    DeKalb, IL
    #8
    Due to the age of my machine, it will not take 4Gb. It's maxed out at 2Gb, unless you folks know something I don't.

    Thanks for the link on the upgrade! That's totally useful. Though I admit I was looking forward to having iWork, I don't really need it.

    The hard drive I'm leaning towards is this one. I considered the 160Gb version at one point. Any reason why a smaller drive would be better in terms of speed/noise, or is that more a function of the rpms? These are more or less the instructions I'll be following: How to Upgrade Your Macbook's Hard Drive, if anyone is curious. Ordered my Torx and Phillips bits off eBay because they were quite a bit cheaper than buying a took kit in a store. I won't be tackling any of this until the weekend at least.
     
  9. Pax macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    #9
    2 Gb is fine, I've got it and rarely get swapping problems. I don't use Photoshop but when I'm working I have a Parallels WinXP VM, Word and Excel 2008, Preview, Mail and a bunch of Safari windows open. It's fine.

    I put exactly the same drive in my GF's 2006 MB. Again it's fine. Cheap as chips (as we say in the UK), wayyyyyy more space than she needs. I can't get excited about a HDD, I just walked into PCWorld and bought their no-name model which turned out to be the Scorpio.

    Swapping the drive was easy. But a Handy Hint:- I put the drive in the metal caddy UPSIDE DOWN. When I tried to push it into the MB it wouldn't connect cause it was upside down. Slight panic, then Doh! Look at the old drive when you take it out - which way up is the label?? I should have checked the photo install guide more carefully.

    have fun
     
  10. mancduff macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #10
    My RAM port just went on my 2 year old macbook only have 1gb working on it now, read around the net of this happening frequently especially with 1st gen macbooks - i miss my two gigs :mad:
     
  11. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #11
    nope, sorry, chipset only supports 2GB :(

    to be honest, you SHOULD get a 7200RPM drive. that is where you are going to see the biggest speed increase.

    the higher capacity drives also generally give better performance. a 500GB 7200rpm 2.5" hdd with 1xplatter will give better performance then 2x250GB 7200rpm 2.5" hdd (im pretty sure anyway).

    i would say go for a 500GB single platter 7200rpm drive. or a 250GB single platter. 5400rpm would still be quite slow.
     

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