Recommendations for a old cheap macbook to buy and put an ssd in?

Nathan576

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 20, 2012
116
31
Hello, I am looking to buy a old macbook on ebay or amazon for $200-$300. I plan on putting an ssd in and adding more ram. Is there one anyone can recommend that would work well? I bought a $200 2 in 1 windows tablet/laptop and it's too slow and sluggish so I'm looking for a better option for a lightweight fast laptop to do things like watch youtube without any stuttering, browse forums, etc.
 

serkan

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2012
427
67
Menlo Park,California
I have Early 2011 MBP with Corsair SSD and no Ram upgrade and I am getting around 10 seconds boot up and pretty much good surfing, video watching, browsinf forums and etc. Very decent at creating presentations with keynote and excels too.

You can push it a bit harder too with VM's which I do sometimes with VMWare Fusion and still get a decent performance. I would recommend adding extra RAM for that though. I am at 4GB and dividing them between MAC OS and Windows is not that good.

But when I push a bit with Firefox with multiple tabs, Facetime, Messages all together the fans go crazy but it doesn't slow down, maybe a bit but not rainbow loader for minutes kind.

I have over 1200 cycles of battery and still can get pretty decent battery life too.

If you can find a clean 2011, I say go for it.
 

lambertjohn

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2012
1,025
1,006
I have a 2010 15" 2.8 with SSD and 8 GB RAM. Battery holds a six hour charge. The thing runs great: Photoshop, Office, Internet. I haven't found anything it won't run. Don't do any video editing on it however.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,179
5,535
By the time you buy an "old" MacBook and get it up to snuff, you may have spent more than you figured.

I suggest you look for a "2012" model MacBook Pro (NON-retina).
They're sturdy laptops and easily upgradeable.
A good one should easily last several more years.
 
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Nathan576

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 20, 2012
116
31
By the time you buy an "old" MacBook and get it up to snuff, you may have spent more than you figured.

I suggest you look for a "2012" model MacBook Pro (NON-retina).
They're sturdy laptops and easily upgradeable.
A good one should easily last several more years.
Those are all $500.
 

Audit13

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2017
4,377
1,099
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The late 2011 and mid-2012 MBP 13 are still sought after because these work perfectly with Sierra and the ram and hard drives can easily be replaced.

I'm in Canada and the average price for a mid-2012 with 4GB and 500 GB mechanical drive is still around 550 to 600.

I believe any MBP 13 without an i5 or higher is limited to El Capitan and sata2.
 
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ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,150
In my opinion, you are going to be hard pressed to find a MacBook that meets your needs and also leaves enough room for a SSD in the given budget. The laptop you are considering is going to be very limited by the CPU, and you are ultimately talking about a laptop that is nearly a decade old that may not even be able to run one of the more recent versions of OS X (meaning no support for certain newer Apps, no ability to easily take advantage of modern cryptography [ex: missing out on the more recent internet security enhancements like newer versions of Chrome/Safari/FF supporting recent TLS revisions], and limited support.) Even just watching a video in 720p on my 2010 C2D takes the CPU to 100% and sometimes results in temporary freezing.

Have you considered a Chromebook?
 
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