Revamp 2008 MacBook or get a new Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by artcows, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. artcows macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2012
    Hey guys, need your help...

    Right now my main comp is a Late 2012 iMac, but I still have my Late 2008 MacBook (Aluminum body) 2 GHz Intel Core Duo 4GB RAM. I still use it daily, running Mavericks, and will use it a lot over the summer as I won't have access to my iMac.

    Anyway, my dilemma now is whether I should do-up my current MB, or just sell that and get a new one?

    In the 5 years I've owned it, I've already added changed batteries, added RAM, and changed the HD to a hybrid 500GB. My next move would be to take out the optical disc drive and replace it with an SSD, running the OS off of that, leaving the HD for storage. And I'd probably replace the trackpad which has been giving me trouble.

    If I were to get a new one, I'd probably opt for the 13" Air or the 13" Retina, with 128GB SSD and 8 or 16 RAM. I'm a photographer, so my needs are mainly that Photoshop and Lightroom run smoothly, don't need a lot of storage space.


    Thanks in advance...
  2. BrettApple macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2010
    Heart of the midwest
    Looking at prices, you could get the 120GB Data Doubler from OWC that will work at full SATA 2 in the optical bay, keep the HD in the HD bay (for heat and the motion sensor). That will run $120.

    Your RAM is alright, but it will support 8GB which helps with PS and LR, that's about $105 from OWC.

    The trackpad part # is 922-9014, or you may find it under A1278 trackpad, either way they run around $50-$60. I had to replace the whole top case on mine last month because my keyboard started going haywire, not fun, but with guides it's doable. The trackpad itself isn't very difficult, but you need good tri wing screwdrivers. Mine pretty much stripped my screws.

    All in all, you'd be looking around the $275-$300 mark for all of it. Or less without the trackpad or RAM upgrade.

    The Late '08 MacBook is still perfectly acceptable with an SSD, runs Photoshop and Lightroom just fine. But the Air is going to be faster yet. And lighter with better battery life. But, that will run you around the $1,200+ mark.

    SO, up to you. I just went from a Late '08 MB (2.4, 8GB, SSD) to a 15" 2010 and moved my parts to it. A good improvement, but the only noticeable difference aside from screen size is the battery life and having a better GPU in my case.


    Forgot to add that I sold my '08 for $500 locally (new batt, backlit KB,120GB SSD, 8GB), so that could be done in your case. Might be able to get around $400 or so for it. So that would take the edge off a new Mac.
  3. artcows thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2012
    Woah, thanks so much for all the info. What I might do is just put in the SSD for now, see how that goes, and then after a few months I can decide whether to stick with it, or sell it and get one from the new line-up when it comes out in June or so. The whole revamp sounds like a solid investment though, with the SSD, more RAM, new trackpad and battery, this thing could keep going on for several more years, I would think... I'm gonna have to sit and ponder it all.

    Thanks again for the help!
  4. DmbShn41 macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2009
    For what its worth, I was where you are about a month ago. I have a Late 08 also, resurrected from the grave. Was going to get it operational and resell, but I've always wanted one of these. I maxed the RAM and added a 120GB Samsung SSD, and damn its fast. Feels a lot faster than my 2011 Mac mini. Apps launch instantly, no more beach ball. But I still have an itch for a MBA. Mainly cause of the size, smaller is better for me.

    Tough decision. The late 08 will sell for $400+ with the right upgrades and being fully operational, and that greatly reduces the cost of a new MBA....
  5. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2009
    If it doesn't do what you need it to do, buy a new one.

    If it does what you need it to do, don't spend money and enjoy what you have.

    This formula is applicable to many other facets of life.
  6. artcows thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2012
    Very good advice. Data Doubler it is, and maybe some RAM later on.

    Thanks everyone!

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