MacBook upgrade: worth it?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by skaertus, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. skaertus macrumors 68030

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #1
    Here's the thing: I currently have a white MacBook, which I bought in May 2008. It's the MacBook from my signature below. It has a Core 2 Duo T8300 2.4 GHz processor (Penryn), 2 GB RAM DDR2 667 MHz, a 160 GB HD. And, yes, after all these years, and running Mac OS X Lion, it's painfully slow.

    I will eventually buy a new laptop, but I want to wait for Haswell models with IGZO displays, or something similar. I am not interested in buying a laptop right now, as I am pretty sure these new technologies are going to cause a non-negligible impact.

    Due to these reasons, I am thinking of upgrading my MacBook tomorrow, by putting (i) 4 GB RAM; and (ii) a 128 GB SSD. I guess the two biggest bottlenecks are RAM and HD, as the processor is at least 60-80% idle for most of the time (so my guess is that the processor can still handle the tasks I demand, but I may be wrong).

    My main usage is Internet browsing and office. I don't play games on my Mac.

    My question is: Is it worth it? Will the laptop still be painfully slow, considering it has a Core 2 Duo processor and DDR2 RAM?
     
  2. scott.n macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    #2
    I have a late 2007 MacBook (Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz) with 4 GB of RAM (upgraded just after I purchased it in 2008) and a 128 GB SSD (upgraded last week). Even before putting in the SSD, it ran Lion very well. Maybe you should upgrade the RAM first and see if you notice any improvement?

    Mine really flies with the SSD. The biggest problem now is with the graphics: applications launch too quickly for the graphics to smoothly show them opening, for example.
     
  3. skaertus thread starter macrumors 68030

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #3
    Great to know that! If your Mac runs smoothly, mine will too. Will my MacBook support a SATA3 SSD?
     
  4. scott.n macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    #4
    Depends on what you mean by 'support'. You can put a SATA3 SSD in it (I'm using a Samsung 830) but it will only run at SATA1 speeds.
     
  5. skaertus thread starter macrumors 68030

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #5
    That would be fine, as long as it runs...
     
  6. sparkyms macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    Location:
    Southampton UK
    #6
    You'll find an instant benefit just by putting the 4GB RAM in, like Scott.n I have the late '07 2.2 and it runs Lion perfectly with 4GB RAM.

    I will be getting an SSD just for a speed boost soon, both are very worthy upgrades for getting a little extra time out of the machine. Like you I'm waiting for Haswell models, but I reckon once I put an SSD in this thing it could last me another year or so.
     
  7. skaertus thread starter macrumors 68030

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #7
    I've made the upgrade and installed 4 GB RAM and a 120 GB Corsair Force GT SSD. My 2008 MacBook is just flying. Now it seems that the processor is the bottleneck of this thing. Very worthy update. I just can't believe I'm using a 5-year old machine.

    Now I can definitely wait for Haswell and for IGZO displays for upgrading my laptop...
     
  8. brop52 macrumors 68000

    brop52

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #8
    How much did you spend and where did you buy from?
     
  9. skaertus thread starter macrumors 68030

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #9
    Actually, I don't live in the US, so it probably won't be of any help for you. In any case, I bought the SSD for US$ 220 and the memory for US$ 100. Prices here in Brazil are incredibly high.
     
  10. Gary0311, Jan 19, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013

    Gary0311 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2013
    #10
    What do you mean Haswell models with IGZO displays? Are those features of the new macbooks?

    Edit: Nevermind, just took at look at the buyers guide and rumours. Guess i'll wait for these new models!
     
  11. skaertus thread starter macrumors 68030

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #11
    Haswell processors will come for sure in the next wave of MacBook Pros, or Airs, or both. Haswell is expected to be released on June 2013. I have no idea if Apple will upgrade its laptops before June, but I guess it is unlikely.

    As for IGZO displays, it ia just a guess at this point. Apple is very interested in IGZO displays, as everybody else is.IGZO is the answer for the power requirements of retina displays and it is already on mass production. So, Apple could release a MacBook Air with a retina IGZO display, for instance, and battery life would not suffer. All of this is speculation, of course, but laptops with IGZO displays, or a similar technology, will be released sometime in the near future (2013 or 2014), as the industry is just hungry for power efficient high resolution displays to equip smartphones, tablets, laptops and TVs.
     

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