Upgrade 2006 C2D Blackbook vs. Build Cheap Windows Machine

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by jcschlic, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. jcschlic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #1
    Hi All,

    I am not sure what I really want to do here...considering a few options and looking for some input.

    I have gotten amazing use out of my 2006 C2D Blackbook. It does the job for basically everything my wife and I want from a computer right now.

    However, I have recently noticed that it's (aftermarket) 250gb 5400rpm drive seems to be the culprit of some slowness that is really starting to get on my nerves.

    Also, the lower right hand corner of the keypad/case has started to break apart (which isn't a huge deal).

    Here is what I am on the fence about:

    Option 1: switch out the HD for a 120gb sata2 or sata3 SSD from Newegg for around $100 (I think I could handle the reduction in storage space) and get a few more year's worth out of this machine.

    Option 2: build myself a $500-$600 Windows machine that will bring us up to speed and allow for me to start (maybe) turning my blu-ray collection into Apple TV/Roku compatible files AND then using the Blackbook (in it's current state) as an Itunes/file server.

    I realize that this really just comes down to a question of money...but I think my biggest interest is whether or not the SSD would really be worth the investment. I guess I could always just try it out and see how it speeds up the laptop. If it doesn't pay off I could just put the old HD back in and use the SSD as a OS drive in the potential Windows machine.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #2
    I'd go for option 2, but make it a hackintosh. See the TonyMac forums for details.

    I used that method. It's really easy and the way to go if you want to run OS X for little money.
     
  3. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #3
    Firstly I would take it into apple to have the top case replaced. After that add a nice ssd
     
  4. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    ladner cdn
    #4
    I just put a ssd in my macbook 2.2GHz...it's unreal http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1382107....we just compared to my sisters modern win laptop...and my macbook in real world terms is smoking her's..i click on firefox and it open less then a sec...her's takes about 3-4 secs...same with itunes, ect...all programs just load instantly...boot time is about 20 sec's...i see why the original macbook air's that came with ssd (even with there slower cpu speed's) seem so fast...it's all because of the ssd harddrive...

    ps: as for chips..i took mine into apple other day,and they fixed for free (long past warranty) as it was a design flaw...http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1381199
     
  5. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #5
    Why not spend the $600 on a Mac mini? I suppose then you'd have to spend a little bit more on an external Bluray drive, but OTOH, you have a really great little Mac instead of a cheap Windows box.
     
  6. malman89 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #6
    Anyone who knows half of anything can build something much better than a "cheap" Windows box for $600.

    To OP, if things are all working for you and you're satisfied, I guess just get the top case replaced for free and pop in an SSD. If not, build your custom rig with better specs.

    I'm half in your situation - except my bottleneck is the GPU more so than the traditional HDD, so I have no choice but to upgrade my machine. I'll probably leave my laptop as some sort of media hub or holding device once I get a new computer in the next month or two (debating another laptop or building one myself).
     
  7. jcschlic thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #7
    How do I get the top case replaced for free?

    EDIT: never mind, read tom_vilsack's post.

    I'll try that at my local Apple Store. Good call!
     
  8. malman89 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #8
    They should do it no question. However, the repair has become a non-priority for them, so they might hold it overnight while before it was an hour turn around. I've had it done twice in my 5.5 years of having my C2D MacBook, both out of warranty. Each time just the smallest sliver near my right wrist/edge area, but since it's free and their fault, got it done. First time done in an hour, second time did overnight. Last time was this past Thanksgiving weekend.
     
  9. jcschlic thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #9
    I set up an appointment.

    I'm probably going to buy a sata 3 SSD and see how the difference is. If I don't like it I can use it in a new build.
     
  10. jcschlic thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #10
    Here's a quick update about the top case defect...kinda peeved BTW.

    After speaking with Apple's support line, they set up an appointment for me at our local store (about a 35 minute drive from where I live).

    I got there right on time and they had no record of my appointment. Didn't really matter though because they were able to get me in within the next 15 minutes. Still a bit of a surprise that they had no record of my appointment. I was lucky that they weren't busy at that moment.

    Eventually the guy at the Genius Bar told me that since it had been over 4 years since purchase (Jan. 10th 2007) I would have to pay full price for a replacement top case. This was going to cost me over $100, so I said forget it and walked out of there in a not so awesome mood.

    After initially spending time on the phone with support, driving 35 minutes to the store (only to have them not see my appointment in the system), and then be told that they would not fix it for free I have got to say that I am pretty pissed with Apple at the moment.

    Aside from that drama, the genius did point out that in his diagnostic thingy that my battery has no charge left (duh) and my HD is close to failing (could not test the SMART feature) and he tried to sell me a $100 replacement battery that only had a 90 day warranty.

    Oh well...
     
  11. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #11
    The HDD dying fits the symptom of you MacBook feeling sluggish lately.

    BTW: The 1.5GBit/s SATA I port has a maximum theoretical throughput of 187MB/s, which is far less than most SATA 3 SSDs provide and also less than most SATA 2 SSDs provide, which means that the port is going to throttle the SSD.
    So it wouldn't make sense to get a SATA 3 SSD just for its own sake. Just look for a decent SSD for a good price, no matter whether it's SATA 2 or SATA 3.
     
  12. DrakkenWar macrumors 6502

    DrakkenWar

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Location:
    San Antonio,Texas
    #12
    Not surprised..

    I had nearly the same experience with my wife's white Macbook a bit back. For me it's about 60 miles to drive to the nearest Apple store to get the plastics mucked out on her computer.
    While I was told on the phone that as the second owner of the computer it would not make a difference for the repair, I found out otherwise when I arrived to get it replaced. The same rig-a-moroll sadly. Arriving home 1/2 a tank of gas down and a bit pissed I decided to make some phone calls and fire off a few curt emails. Not only did I get most of the case replaced, I was given a set of original restore disks and a copy of 10.6 for her computer for the shoddy service I was given. You have to remember, sometimes it's not the company, but the uppity milk-drinkers that work in the stores that are the hitch. You either accept that it sucks, or you know better and press for a different answer.

    On a side note, while I have not put an ssd in my wife's macbook, I did throw a 320 gig sata drive into this pb G4/ 1.5 with a slick little conversion dongle, and if the performance is anywhere close to what you can expect? DO IT! Do it now! You will not be disappointed. This laptop went from being my meh machine, to me WOW laptop. Even with the mini I have in my sig. Nominal money for a real world fix is worth it any day of the week in my book.

    You can build a cheap windows box to fill the void, but at the end of that day that is really all it is. My linux(used to be windows) server is a cheap $300 Compaq box that I had to sink another $300 ish into it just to make it viable in my network. I could have purchased a 2009 mini server and saved a lot of heartache setting up a samba server to have file share connectivity and all that fun.

    You can ping-pong back and forth with what you think you need, or you can buckle down and save the scratch to buy what you will really use.
     
  13. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    ladner cdn
    #13
    Ftalfoot i just showed my ssd sata 3 because i got for a great price...and reports showed was very good drive...$48 after rebate (all be it only 60 gig's...which is enough for my use...and will use pulled hd with external enclosure)

    jcschlic: maybe try another macstore?...when i got to mine,i said something about you will fix this know macbook flaw that i read online that apple had admitted was defective...and guy at bar said yes of course...i kinda put the burden on them up front...
     
  14. jcschlic thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 13, 2009
    #14
    I'll try another store in a few days when I get the chance...

    I think what I'll ultimately do is get the new mac mini when it's (hopefully) updated tomorrow or later this summer. I know that's a whole other conversation we could have...
     
  15. jcschlic thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #15
    Update:

    Was able to get the top case replaced for free (despite it being beyond the 4 year purchase mark). I simply set up another appointment at the Genius Bar and ultimately spoke with the right people.

    I was able to find a 128gb Samsung 830 series SSD for $90. I know it's SATA 3 and won't operate at those speeds, but I obviously bought it for the price.

    Installation from Time Machine backup went smooth. Read and write speeds have gone from mid-50s to mid-130s. Boot time went from 57 seconds to 26 seconds.

    Pretty sweet. Totally worth the upgrade.
     
  16. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #16
    Congrats on the new MacBook experience.

    I've been trying for weeks to convince my wife of the speed benefits an SSD would bring to her late 2007 MacBook, to no avail.
     
  17. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #17
    Great to hear! You got a great SSD and, aside from probably needing a new battery, I'd say you've got yourself a whole new computing experience!
     
  18. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #18
    Just buy one and throw it in there for her.
     
  19. flatfoot macrumors 65816

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    Aug 11, 2009
    #19
    ;)
     
  20. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
  21. briansolomon macrumors 6502

    briansolomon

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    #21
    I was just wondering if SATA 2 or 3 would work in my Macbook. Good to know. Thanks for the thread.
     
  22. jcschlic thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 13, 2009
    #22
    It doesn't matter what speed you buy...
     

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