Time for a New MacBook or is Mine Salvageable?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by malibuboats91, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. malibuboats91 macrumors regular

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    Sep 30, 2011
    #1
    I have a MacBook aluminum from late 2008 with 2 ghz intel core 2 duo processor, 4gb of memory and 160gb hard drive. I have been having a lot of issues with it for the past year or so. I just did a clean instal of Mavericks on it and with just the pre-installed programs on it I am still getting the beach ball all the time. That's with none of my files on it. I've checked the hard drive and ram and they all are fine according to the Mac hardware test. I'm to the point of buying a new MacBook but if this one is salvageable I'd be fine with keeping it. Any help would be much appreciated!
     
  2. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    #2
    A SSD and 8GB RAM must make it faster. I have a late-2009 white macbook (9400m video card) and my apps open fast with a SSD+8GB. Buy a refurb 2012 i7 13MBP in 2014 and you'll be fine for another 4-5 years.
     
  3. malibuboats91 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Thanks for the reply! My goal was to make it last until I'm done with college so about a year more. So you think the SSD and 8GB of ram would make it so I don't get the beach ball so often? That would be a lot less than a new computer.
     
  4. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    #4
    I think yes. I presume your Macbook has practically the same specs as mine (read in my signature). Your HDD is probably the bottleneck for opening apps. 4GB RAM is ok, so the very first upgrade would be a SSD.
     
  5. malibuboats91 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Mine has the 2 ghz intel core 2 duo processor and yours is 2.26 ghz. I'm not a computer guy so iI don't know if that makes much of a difference. Do you have any recommendations for a SSD and RAM? I might go to Best Buy in a little bit to look at the stuff.
     
  6. jamesjingyi macrumors 6502a

    jamesjingyi

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    #6
    Bump on the SSD option. I would suggest (however I might be wrong) downgrading to a previous OS. My MacBook from 2006 was running slowly so I downgraded to Leopard and now its brilliant! :)

    I mostly use my MacBook Air anyway...
     
  7. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    #7
    I read the specs from your Aluminium Macbook (http://support.apple.com/kb/sp500)

    It has the same video card (9400m, 256MB), the same frontside bus (DDR3 1066MHz RAM) and is just 260Mhz slower than mine. I don't think this will make your computer significantly slower than mine. Honestly, this difference will be hardly noticeable in everyday tasks.

    My SSD is a Samsung 840 EVO Series, 250GB. This SSD supports SATAIII - my Macbook is SATAII - but the SSD works flawlessly in a SATAII connection. You could get a Samsung 840 EVO like me or a 840 Pro (more durable, more battery-hungry). Also you can buy an OWC (www.macsales.com). At OWC, I'd buy a Mercury 6G one, since it's SATAIII and you can use it in newer machines too. There is a lot of options, but I suggest these two because I know they work. You can check the forum for other good models.

    I wouldn't downgrade to Leopard as Snow Leopard is the very minimum spec for most apps these days. I don't think that you'll feel your Macbook slow after these upgrades. Take care with RAM upgrades. Macs usually need low-latency memories, so I suggest that you buy memories specifically "designed for Mac" or "Mac compatible".
     
  8. jamesjingyi macrumors 6502a

    jamesjingyi

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    #8
    Sorry, I meant just downgrading to an OS where it is more stable... I.e SL or Lion...

    ----------

    Try MacBoost From the HackStore... It might solve your problem as it reduces all the animations etc in normal use...
     
  9. malibuboats91 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 30, 2011
    #9
    Thanks for that info! I was reading about the samsung 840 a few minutes ago. Do you think to do ssd first and see how it is or do ram right away also? Mine is 4gb 1067 MHz DDR3 right now.
     
  10. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    #10
    I would upgrade to a SSD first. Your 4GB is ok, unless you can promptly afford a SSD and 8GB (4+4) ram modules.
     
  11. malibuboats91 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Thanks for the help! I just picked up the Samsung 840. Is it basically plug and play? I read a few threads on installing hard drives but not SSD's. Right now the hard drive on the computer has nothing on it and all my data is on my time capsule so that's not an issue.
     
  12. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    #12
    Read YouTube videos about opening your specific Macbook model and upgrading HDD. On my Macbook it's straightforward once you have the right tools - search tutorials and videos on YouTube about what tools you need for opening your Mac. In my case, a very small Philips (#00 or #000, don't remember) and a Torx T6 screwdriver (or other Torx, don't remember) were enough.

    My upgrade process was the following:
    1. Installed the ssd inside an external enclosure, plugged it in an USB port and formatted through Disk Utility;

    2. Removed the ssd from the enclosure and installed on Macbook;

    3. Installed Snow Leopard from the installation DVD pressing "C" or "Option" key right after turning the Macbook on;

    I'm not sure if the step 1 is necessary. Maybe the installation DVD will format the drive. Also, I didn't tried restoring directly from a TimeMachine backup or installing from a USB key. You can try these approaches.
     
  13. malibuboats91 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    Thanks! What I did was removed the old and put in the new. Went into disc utility and erased the new HD then put Mavericks on from my bootable USB. It seems considerably faster than before! I'm going to use it tonight to see if it totally fixed my computer. I realized I bought the 840 Pro and not the Evo. I did a quick search and the Pro is older but faster and will last longer. My plan was to return it and order one online if I could find a cheaper price so we'll see.
     
  14. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    #14
    Congratulations for the 840 Pro. I think the SSD will make my Macbook usable for more two years, maybe, and even more for just browsing. The problem is finding newer batteries for my specific Macbook model. Sadly, newer Macbooks are becoming progressively less upgradeable.

    I love OSX but Apple is working hard for making computers last only 3 years (just an Apple Care cycle). If your soldered RAM fails after that, you're probably forced to buy an entire new computer. On the other hand, chinese manufacturers can build third-party logic boards in the future, so the upgrades will be a rather radical process, but still possible -- and you bring even more life to Macbooks, adding newer processors and faster memories.

    This will bring us back to the 90s when there were implementations of Macintosh clones.
     
  15. malibuboats91, Oct 25, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013

    malibuboats91 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Time for a New MacBook or is Mine Salvageable?

    Thanks! I used my computer for a few hours today and it's faster than ever. In your opinion would you stick with the Pro ($150) or the Evo ($99)? I have all my stuff on the Pro but it wouldn't take long to put it on the Evo if I ordered on online. I figured I could put the saved $50 toward ram then. I'm not sure if the pro is worth the $50 extra or not?
     
  16. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    #16
    I think the Pro is worth for the money. It's a long term solution while the Evo will eventually show problems after 3-4 years. Here where I live the Pro is much more expensive so I bought the EVO. Keep the Pro one and get more RAM later...
     
  17. Chase R macrumors 65816

    Chase R

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    #17
    Your MacBook is definitely salvageable! Your current hard drive is what is bottlenecking the computer. Grab a cheap SATA II SSD and call it good. I think I picked up my Vertex 2 SSD for $45 on Newegg a few weeks ago. So far so good.
     
  18. malibuboats91 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 30, 2011
    #18
    Thanks for the replies! I'm going to keep the pro for sure then. My MacBook is still going strong. I compared it in speed to my roommates MacBook Pro with the i7 and 8gb of ram and mine is faster now lol. I think he is going to get a SSD now.
     
  19. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020

    TacticalDesire

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    #19
    SSDs are probably the biggest upgrade you can do to an older computer.
     
  20. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #20
    Where did you get that info?? I don't think it's true at all.
     
  21. rdp5008 macrumors regular

    rdp5008

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    Florida
    #21
    Hey mate.

    I have the same exact computer as you. I've been debating whether or not to upgrade to a refurb 13 MBP ... but this laptop is still too good to give up on now.

    I upgraded my boot and apps drive to a Samsung 120 GB SSD. I replaced my optical drive with a 750 GB spinner. I have 6 GB of ram from OWC. Runs like a champ. None of the new laptops give me this storage option.

    I did notice some slowdown with Chrome on some web pages after upgrading to Mavericks but Safari seems to be smoother. I don't do demanding tasks because I use my Hackintosh but the Macbook is still a killer machine.
     
  22. AppleFanatic10 macrumors 68030

    AppleFanatic10

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    Encino, CA
    #22
    I think you have the ability to upgrade to 8GB RAM also.
     

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