MacBook Pro Core Duo?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Quad 2.5 G5 =), Apr 22, 2010.

  1. Quad 2.5 G5 =) macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2009
    I have recently received a first gen MacBook Pro, a 2.16GHz Core Duo model.
    It is a basic model, no upgrades, but was free. What sort of things can I do with it, Snow Leopard, a version of Windows 7? Also, what sort of things can I upgrade, aside from the HD and RAM, I've heard that you can upgrade the AirPort Extreme with an n-based card, any success with that? Sorry to sound a bit noobish with something like this, but I'm not exactly sure what I can upgrade in a computer like this. I will be replacing my PB G4 with this, as a netbook replacement. I would like to use what capabilities it has, instead of just passing it on to someone else. Also, it has zero scratches, and it is actually a sealed computer, never used, because the previous owner "didn't want to learn something confusing like a computer".
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    You can install Snow Leopard and Windows 7 if you want. As for RAM, I think it maxes out at 2GB, not sure though. Any 2.5" SATA 9mm HD should work. Not sure about AirPort but I think it's possible
  3. Quad 2.5 G5 =) thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2009
    Ok, sounds good. Would it be possible for a 64-bit version of Win 7 to function, or is it 32-bit only?
  4. NJuul macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2006
    32 bit only, it's a 32 bit machine ;)
    It is possible to upgrade the airport card, and it's fairly simple. You can probably find an appropriate card on ebay or the likes.

    I have one of these myself, though it is long ago passed on to my girlfriend. However, it works perfectly for her needs, which are basic internet usage, writing texts in Word, and doing some light excel stuff.
    One thing though, these first gen Intels had a lot of problems initially. There were a lot of fan and logic board issues, and they got really hot. But if they survived the first year, they were pretty robust.
  5. Quad 2.5 G5 =) thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2009
    What sort of issues should I look out for?
  6. EasyJW macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2010
    if it starts overheating then thats what you are meant to be looking out for. But im pretty sure as hellhammer says, that 2gb ram is max, you could upgrade the HDD and there are loads of youtube videos showing how to upgrade the airport[​IMG]
  7. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    2GB is max ram. Unless you are transferring files, wireless G should suffice for most users.

    If you want the OS to be more snappy, I would try a SSD. Limit is 1.5 on the controller, but will still be faster than a regular hard drive.

    Some of them like to overheat while playing video. If you are adventurous, you could replace the thermal compound on the heatsink / cpu to lower temp.
  8. otis123 macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2006
    Any Mac that doesn't have at least a core 2 duo is kind of a piece of garbage. They ran hot, and they choke on the most basic of tasks. Max out the ram, get a faster HD (ssd?) and load snow leopard, and look for an 802.11n card.
  9. Quad 2.5 G5 =) thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2009
    I know that it will be slow compared to what there is today, but nothing beats the price of free, and it would be better to get some life out of it, instead of throwing it out.
  10. decoyman macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2010
    I've been lurking for a long time, following the "Waiting for Arrandale" thread saga, but I registered to respond to this. :)

    This is the very computer I have, and I wanted to point some things out.

    1) I'm a designer who does light video work and pretty rigorous print/web design (lotsa Photoshop/InDesign/Illustrator/etc.). My machine is still very capable at all these things – so much so that I decided to hold off on Arrandale for now and keep this machine awhile longer. It's still running strong, though it did have a battery issue (swelling) and charger issue (exposed wire around brick). Since those were replaced, it's been a champ. Still get 3 hours of battery life out of it even!

    2) Be careful if you decide to upgrade the hard drive – it's a delicate operation. It doesn't have the "easy-under-the-battery"-style hard drive replacement option. You actually have to open the machine up all the way, and even then the hard drive is somewhat hard to get out. I did it to put in a 200GB 7200rpm drive a few years ago, and came out unscathed, but it was hairy there for awhile. The one thing that saved me was following a detailed walk-through online.

    Have fun with it – it's a really good machine, and has served me admirably for going on four years! :)
  11. Quad 2.5 G5 =) thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2009
    Thanks for the advice, and welcome to MR. :)
    I've ordered 2GB RAM, and a 500GB, 7200RPM HD, and a Airport Wireless-N card, along with a new battery, and another copy of Windows 7 Ultimate :)

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