Maxing out first generation Duo Core?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by robkent, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. robkent macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2008
    I am thinking of upgrading the memory and hardrive of my 1.83 ghz duo core macbook (2GB and 320GB) and I'm wondering if the other hardware (eg: processor) will support this. In the end I'm wondering if I should just buy a newer macbook (pro?) or whether mine will be just as good with the upgrades. Thanks in advice for your advice.
  2. xraydoc macrumors 604


    Oct 9, 2005
    Presuming you have an original Core Duo CPU, your machine supports 2GB of RAM maximum, sorry. If you have a Core 2 Duo machine, it will support 3GB of RAM.

    320GB hard drives are the largest 2.5" hard drives available at present, though I hear 500GB drives should be available by the end of the year. 64GB 2.5" solid-state drives are available, though they cost around $1000. They can be found at

    You could always upgrade your optical drive, if you're really itching to do something, though only you can decide if that's worth it for you.
  3. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    That MacBook works absolutely fine with 2GB and 250GB hard drive from my own experience, and there is no reason why it shouldn't work with a 320GB drive. (When buying a hard drive check that it is 9.5mm high and not 12.5mm high; the new 320GB drives are fine, but there were some 300GB drives around that were 12.5mm).

    But with 320GB, backing up on CDs or DVDs is just plain impossible. Get a cheap external 500GB drive (around £65) and use time machine for backup.
  4. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I have a 2 ghz core duo with 2 GB of RAM and it's very fast. that said, there's a limit to how much those upgrades will help you. No matter what you do, your macbook isn't going to have the processing or graphics power of a new MBP (or even MB). So the question is, what do you do with your computer, and in what ways do you feel your MB needs to be faster?
  5. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    If you care more about performance than capacity, you might want to go with a lower-capacity 7200 RPM hard drive than a higher capacity 5400 RPM hard drive. It doesn't make a huge difference, but it is noticeable. (I replaced a 4200 RPM 40 GB hard drive with a 7200 RPM 60 GB hard drive in a PC notebook of mine, and it made a very noticeable difference. But I seem to recall that the original MacBooks came with 5400 RPM, so the difference wouldn't be quite as large.)
  6. MacDann macrumors 6502a


    Mar 27, 2007
    Can see the end of the Earth from here

    When I got my 2.0Ghz CD MBP, the first things I did were replace the 5400 RPM drive with a 7200 ROM drive, and swap out the stock 802.11g AirPort card for an 802.11n card from a Mac Pro. Since you're in there with the hood up, it's silly not to do both at the same time.

    I do video editing in the field, and while I did see a slight increase in speed, it wasn't enough that I would bother doing it again. That is, if I had a machine that I was just putting the same size but faster drive in, I wouldn't bother.

    That being said, at the time I did this 100G was about the top end capacity at the time. I may replace the current 100G 7200RPM drive with a 250G drive in the near future, as 100G forces me to move things off to an external drive on an almost daily basis.

  7. tip macrumors 6502


    Mar 9, 2006
    Previous comments are correct.

    - Memory -> up to 2Gb
    - HD -> 320Gb, might want to wait
    - Wireless -> 802.11n

    I *believe* you can upgrade the optical drive to a DL write drive, however, I haven't seen much about this. Of course externals are cheap as heck, so it might not be cost-effective.
  8. Peruvian macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2006
    I have the original 2ghz core duo.. I put 2gb ram in it and also 250gb hard drive..
    I have no complaints with speed and performance... Damn i love this machine!!!!!!!
  9. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    There's a 500gb Samsung drive coming in March, IIRC.
  10. kmarketing macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2004
    I have the mbp in the sig and really do love the machine as well. I bought it with a busted screen a couple of years ago for a bit over $300 and then later added the screen, memory, wireless n, etc. So I've definitely gone through alot with this machine!

    I am still impressed overall with its performance. What's held you core duo owners from upgrading - is it primarily finances?

    I'm thinking I won't even think about budging until the second or third revision of the new design of a mbp. It's pretty cool that our first gen's look the same as the new ones!

    What do you think?
  11. mbrydone macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2008
    i just upgraded my macbook, sama as yours, with this hard drive and it rocks...and even better, it works great! installing couldn't be easier...mind you will need a T8 Torx Screwdriver!!! so make sure you have one on hand...and a really tiny phillips
  12. Shadow macrumors 68000


    Feb 17, 2006
    Keele, United Kingdom
    I bought the WD 320GB HD a while back, see my post here.
  13. robkent thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2008
    Optical drive?

    Wow, thanks for all the advice! To narrow it down a bit...

    Graphics are not an issue for me, just space and speed. I also don't need to burn DVD's so I'm ok with the combo drive. I guess it's just the processor that will slow me down a bit. Is this a significant enough drawback to warrant the purchase of a new machine?
    Thanks again for your comments,
  14. dalvin200 macrumors 68040

    Mar 24, 2006
    Nottingham, UK
    i guess it depends exactly what you want the speed for?
    movie exporting maybe?

    i maxed out my CD macbook with 2gb ram and 250gb HDD just last month to prolong it's use..

    i don't think the speed gains from a C2D > cost of HDD and RAM for CD
  15. MacDann macrumors 6502a


    Mar 27, 2007
    Can see the end of the Earth from here
    I don't really think you're going to see a noticeable or significant increase in speed for most apps. If you're using something that's processor intensive, like graphics or video, yes, but for most "regular" apps, the difference is negligible at best.

  16. xraydoc macrumors 604


    Oct 9, 2005
    Only you can determine that. It depends on what you do with the machine. If its word processing, email, web browsing, etc., then a 400GHz processor will make little difference, let alone replacing it for a processor 170MHz or 370MHz faster (2.0GHz or 2.2GHz). The Core 2 Duo chips I think are also only around 5-7% faster per megahertz than an identically-clocked Core Duo chip. And unless you're doing something that requires 64-bit compliance, I'd say there's little real-world benefit.

    The main benefit of the newer machines, IMHO, is the 4GB vs. 2GB RAM ceiling. For me, this was a bigger deal than the processor speed. I tend to have several apps open at once, and often have multiple 50+ page Word files open at the same time, not to mention 50MB Keynote presentations. I would frequently hit the swap file with a 2GB machine, but I've got plenty of room and speed with 4GB. Makes more of a difference for me than 200MHz of processor speed.

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