Old Macbook - Considering upgrade to new MBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jrickett, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. jrickett macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #1
    Hey guys, bit of a long post here with lots of questions, but would appreciate any input anyone has.

    I currently own a Macbook, it's the MacBook2,1 late 2006 model, 2 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB HD. Over the past few months it things seem to be running a lot less smoothly, for example if I'm watching a video in quicktime, and also browsing in safari, the video will often start to stutter and will then not play smoothly until I close and reopen it, but then the problem will start again. I've also had more kernal panics lately - I've had 3 today.

    As well as completely erasing the hard drive, and reinstalling, I've tried a few of these apps that try to clean up and make things run smoother, but I haven't really noticed any improvement.

    To add to this, probably about 6 months ago, I was at a friends house with my mac, picked it up, and noticed the battery wasn't flush with the casing. It has now expanded to at least a few mm of where it should be. Apple wouldn't replace it and said I'd have to buy a new battery.

    So I think it will soon come to either upgrading the RAM and buying a new battery, or buying a new machine. Say I buy a new battery and either 4 or 8GB of RAM, would this solve my problems and keep me going for the next 3 or 4 years, or would it be better to just buy a new mac? I've also just realised my Mac will only be able to use 3.3GB of RAM, and that probably won't make much of a noticeable difference, which pushes me towards the option of going for the MBP

    If I were to go down the path of buying a new mac, I'd be looking at buying a MBP, either the 13" or 15", and at least 4GB of RAM, may even go for 8GB. Although I'd like to go 15", for the larger screen size and option of a matte display, I don't know if I can justify the extra money to go the larger screen, considering I already have a 23" cinema display for use at home, and the 13" would be more portable for uni. Any other reasons for one or the other?

    Quick little question here, 2.26 vs. 2.53 v 2.66 GHz - obviously there will be a difference between them, but not worth going the faster processor with all other specs being the same?

    One last question - opinions on waiting for next revision?

    Thanks
     
  2. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Your 2006 macbook cannot take 8GB of ram. Are you running Snow Leopard? That may help speed things up, and for £29 its a bargain.
     
  3. jrickett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #3
    Yes, I realised it could not take 8gb of RAM after I posted that, and yes, I'm running snow leopard, was really hoping that it would speed things up, and for a very short time it seemed to help a little, but that was fairly short lived and seems to be about the same again.

    Thanks for your input though. Any ideas from here?
     
  4. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Well only you can decide if you want to buy a new mac. Now is a good a time as ever to buy one. You can wait forever for future upgrades. If I was you I would be swayed towards the 13" macbook pro as you already have a large screen. Seems like wasting money to me if yo go for the 15".

    General rule of thumb is to buy the best spec machine that you can afford, ignoring RAM and the hard drive as these can be upgraded later.
     
  5. iFirmware macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #5
    i'd say go with a high spec 13. the 15 is pointless seeing as you have a large screen but i was going to say you can't put 8gb in the macbook but you corrected yourself... My suggestion is the 13 definately
     
  6. jrickett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #6
    Yeah, I'm leaning towards the 13", but the larger HD + option of anti-glare screen makes me consider the 15". The thing is I could get the base model 13" MBP, buy 8gb of 3rd party ram and it would still be cheaper than the 15" with only 4gb of ram.

    Why can't apple have the option of anti-glare on the 13"? :( Then my decision would be made.
     
  7. acurafan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #7
    personally, i wouldn't get 8GB of ram. i get the base 13", upgrade to 4GB ram + 256GB SSD.
     
  8. Bakey macrumors 6502

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    Oct 6, 2003
    Location:
    O Donny Boy
    #8
    I'm also running a late 2006 MacBook of the same speed and RAM as your own, but with a larger hard-drive (250gig) complete with SL.

    Did you perform a clean installation of SL or was it an install over the top of your previous OS?

    I'm asking as I did install SL over the top of Leopard - but later performed a clean installation and, as a consequence, re-installed all of my apps. Doing so has resulted in an "already pretty stable machine" being even more so.

    It might be worth a shot! I reckon there's a good year left in the old dog before it gets an total replacement... :)
     
  9. jrickett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #9
    Hmm... now I'm tempted by the idea of an SSD. I wouldn't go for a 256GB, the price is too much for me, and I have a 1TB external drive sitting here for data. But 128GB... maybe? I hadn't really thought about it before. What sort of difference is there in speed?

    And does anyone else have an opinion on 4 vs 8gb of ram?

    Yep, erased HD and installed a fresh copy.
     
  10. pukifloyd macrumors 6502a

    pukifloyd

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Scottsdale
    #10
    I will also recommend SSD...128gb would be enough for you...keep most of the files in the external 1TB and only keep important files on the SSD...
    SSD's are a lot faster than regular 5400/7200RPM drives...and since they don't have any mechanical parts they have less chances of failures...

    4GB RAM would be enough for you...if you need more then add them later when prices would go down of the 4gb sticks...currently they are a lot more expensive than the 2gb sticks...

    cheers:)

    ps-will you buy apple care ? if not then you really should!
     
  11. jrickett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #11
    Thanks, I think I'll wait 'til the next update, but 13" with 4gb ram and 128gb ssd is looking like a pretty good option - I really would like the matte screen option. Of course there's no guarantee that it'll be an option in the next revision, but is there any reason why they wouldn't offer it? Even if they don't offer it, I'll probably still go the 13".

    At the moment I probably wouldn't buy apple care, I have it with my current macbook, and haven't had any use for it.
     
  12. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #12
    So $350 for a 128 gig SSD and $400 for 8 gigs of ram?

    So even you bought a base 13" MBP + above = $2000, ouch

    They wont offer a matte screen, but screen covers are cheap.
     
  13. YanniDepp macrumors 6502

    YanniDepp

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    #13
    Can our MacBooks (I have the same late 2006 Core2Duo model as the original poster) take 4GB RAM? source

    I was under the impression they maxed out at 2GB. If they can take 4, I'm upgrading mine :)
     
  14. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #14
    Maxes at 3.3 gigs of ram, which can be obtained by adding 4 gigs, about $100.

    BAck when 4 gigs of ram was as little as $29, it made sense.

    Now its probably more thrifty just to buy a single 2 gig stick.

    This is the cheapest I have seen for 4 gigs, but involves a $30 rebate...

    Amazon.com offers the OCZ 4GB PC2-6400 DDR2-800 SO-DIMM Dual Channel Notebook Memory Kit with two 2GB SO-DIMMs, model no. OCZ2M8004GK, for $85.98. $30 mail-in rebate cuts it to $55.98.
     
  15. jrickett thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 24, 2008
    #15
    Obviously not with the current MBP's, but not even in the next revision?
     
  16. eastcoastsurfer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    #16
    First, I'm surprised that Apple wouldn't replace your bulging battery for free. I have a 2007 MBP and just got my battery replaced for free because it started coming apart. This is a known issue with the batteries from that time period. It may be that your computer is just too old.

    IMHO, you have a computer that should hold out for the next few months. I would wait until the next MBP revision. Obviously no one knows exactly when it will be, but I would expect some bumps by February.
     

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