New harddisk for my '08 Unibody. Worth it?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by wiltrold, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. wiltrold macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2011
    Hi there!
    I'm sitting here, writing from my old 2008 macbook unibody. The beast is beginning to show it's age and I've been advised to upgrade it's slow 5400 RPM harddisk. I've come across the Seagate Momentus XT after quite some research. It is though a bit pricy, and I have to upgrade to Lion at the same time. The price tag: 165 USD.
    Do you guys think it is worth making this upgrade?
    I mostly use my macbook for school work, minecraft, iPhoto, browsing, some video editing and garageband.
    I've also thought about selling this bad-boy and buying a new macbook pro but that may be foolish if there's an upgrade around the corner?
    What would you guys do? Make the upgrade? Sell the macbook and get a MBP? or spare all the money and wait until the next MBP upgrade?

  2. jjvdhoef macrumors member

    May 19, 2009
    I'd spare myself the headache of upgrading the hard drive. How much memory is in that thing? That's the first thing I'd upgrade, especially if its less than 2 GB. Really, the speed increase will be minimal with a new hard disk.
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    The original unibody aluminum MacBook has the easiest hard drive replacement Apple has made, save the Mac Pro. It's literally a 3 minute job.

    I did the upgrade myself and it does make a difference, especially if you're getting a drive like the Momentus XT. Also, if you still have the stock 2GB memory, upgrade it, as the above post says. 4GB would be fine for your tasks.
  4. wiltrold thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2011
    I have 4 GB of ram, so that wont be a problem :) More opinions?
  5. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    I wouldn't upgrade it unless you know you'll benefit from the faster speeds.
    Your computer might just be needing a good old fresh install, thats all.
  6. tipp macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2010
    SSD would be better

    If you're upgrading the hard drive and really want to make it feel like a new computer, an SSD would give it a few more years of life. You could also remove the SSD down the road when you actually do get a new computer. You will lose some capacity, but SSD prices have been falling.
  7. CubusX macrumors 6502

    Sep 9, 2009
    Upgrade the HD

    I have a late 2008 MacBook Pro, I went from a 250 GB to a 500 GB 5400 RPM. The extra space was nice but I could hardly run Adobe CS 5 so I went to a 512 GB SSD. it adds so much more speed and accessibility to the programs and features. It still has life so why not just upgrade it.

    You could always recycle it later.
  8. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    Another vote for a SSD but get one of the second gen models if you can. You can't take advantage of SATA3 so the newer ssd's are a waste of the extra money.
  9. wiltrold thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2011
    I just can't justify using that much money on a harddrive(SSD) for an such old computer. I think I'm going to reinstall Snow Leopard and then buy Lion. save the money for an iPhone 5 or new macbook pro.
    Any more opinions?
  10. mikeydelamonde macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2011
    Get a Momentus XT

    Hi there,

    I have a late 2008 MBP and apart from upgrading the memory (which it seems you already have plenty) I bought a Momentus XT 500GB. The extra space is nice but the real improvements are in speed. Things like opening apps and booting up are much much faster with this drive and it's not that expensive.

    Unless you've scratched it or something give it a clean and put a new drive in!

    Cheers, Mike

    p.s. changing the drive took 5 mins max.
  11. gropital macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    hi mikeydelamonde,

    I was in the same situation, Macbook unibody late 2008 w 4GB RAM.

    After discussing with friends, I made the jump to Momentux XT 7200.4 and WOw. Amazing results, SL booting in 40s, recovery from long time sleep in few secs, applications starting in no time.

    I made a reading/writing speed test with aja and I got perf multiplied by two.

    I was seriously considering changing my macbook, no longer in my mind.

    Little cons, 7200rpm is a litlle bit nosier (just a little) than the previous hd (but no tickling) and no free fall sensor.

    I hope my point of view helped you.

    Remark: You should be able to find it for cheaper (I paid 90€ for the HD)
  12. wiltrold thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2011
    It's the cheapest I can get :( In Denmark, hardware's really expensive..
  13. TheRocketmac macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2011
    I may be in the minority, but I spent the money to upgrade to an SSD and to 8GB of RAM.

    After rebates and sales, I did both for about $210.

    It truly did bring a new life to the old girl.
  14. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    The Hitachi 500 GB 7200 rpm is a lot cheaper, very fast, and totally reliable. It made an enormous difference to a 2010 MBP that comes with a Hitachi 250 GB 5400 rpm drive.
  15. wiltrold thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2011
    I just saw the news about the 15" and 17" "Pro/air" models. They didn't say anything about a 13" model. So maybe are they removing the 13" model from the Pro-series, and then having 11" and 13" airs, and 15" and 17" pros. So this may be the time to upgrade to a 13" air? what do you think?
  16. AlphaBob macrumors regular


    Jan 28, 2008
    Rhode Island
    Buy a SSD!

    Unless you need an ungodly amount of storage space, take it from me the BEST performance upgrade you can do is to change over to a SSD. I did that with an older Macbook and it feels like an entirely new machine. You won't believe how quickly the machine will boot and applications will load.

    In my case I went with a rather inexpensive 80GB drive.

    Good luck!
  17. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    Put in an SSD, and keep it 3 more years, I did that last year to my 2007 BMB, and gave it to my Granddaughter to use in High School, it's wicked fast, and she is LOVING it! I will last her all through High School and beyond.
  18. readerbreader macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2010
    I literally bought that same HDD a week ago for my 2009 MB Unibody. It has made some difference in speed, but I'm still waiting for its "intelligent caching" to take advantage of the 4gb of flash memory.

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