upgrade or try to save my old computer?

thebig

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 5, 2014
1
0
Hi everyone – long time lurker, first time poster. So my 2008 2.66 core 2 duo macbook pro’s hard drive has crashed. Luckily, I have everything backed-up via time machine. I wanted to know if it’s worth trying to salvage my mac. My thoughts were to buy a new SSD and upgrade the ram from 4gb to 8gb. My other option is to buy a refurbished macbook pro. Certainly money is a bit tight right now but at the same time I don’t want to waste money on trying to salvage my old mac if it's not worth it. I don’t use it for gaming but do tend to run multiple media applications at once. Any advice is much welcomed and thanks.
 

Steve121178

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
5,233
4,410
Bedfordshire, UK
If money is tight then this is a no-brainer decision. Get the new HDD & RAM and there's no reason why it can't last another two years.

However, I personally wouldn't shell out a lot of money on a HDD just in case the machine develops another fault as then it would be the time to look at getting a replacement.
 

Wuiffi

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2011
686
78
I'd save it. It seems that it doesn't have real problems and it would be a waste buying a new machine imo!

Evaluate how much disk space you need. If it is in your budget get a SSD (Crucial M500 or Samsung EVO 840 are very cheap right now. Your mac won't support their full speed, but every ssd gives you a much better user experience!).
I personally have no problem working with a 256GB SSD.

Also look at the activity monitor at Ram. Look on the "pressure" and swap if you are on mavericks and on the page outs on every OS below 10.9

Personally I'd get the SSD and if you have enough money again, go for the 8GB RAM.
 

Wuiffi

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2011
686
78
If his HDD is unstable/dead then saving up doesn't seem to be an option...
Yes. Furthermore a 256GB SSD can be bought for not much over 100$ (used even less). A new Mac will be 10 times more expensive!
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
16,876
1,532
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
Hi everyone – long time lurker, first time poster. So my 2008 2.66 core 2 duo macbook pro’s hard drive has crashed. Luckily, I have everything backed-up via time machine. I wanted to know if it’s worth trying to salvage my mac. My thoughts were to buy a new SSD and upgrade the ram from 4gb to 8gb. My other option is to buy a refurbished macbook pro. Certainly money is a bit tight right now but at the same time I don’t want to waste money on trying to salvage my old mac if it's not worth it. I don’t use it for gaming but do tend to run multiple media applications at once. Any advice is much welcomed and thanks.
Salvage it. There is so much life you breathe into it with a new SSD and more RAM.
 

Laco

macrumors 6502
Apr 23, 2008
375
1
Yes. Furthermore a 256GB SSD can be bought for not much over 100$ (used even less). A new Mac will be 10 times more expensive!




Where can you buy a 256GB SSD for a hundred dollars? From what I've seen they are double that.


Personally I would buy a new hard drive and more ram. Then when there is more money in a year or two I would buy a new computer.
 

simonsi

macrumors 601
Jan 3, 2014
4,850
734
Auckland
Unscheduled Upgrade Opportunity

Save it! Cheapest would be to replace the HDD on its own. As you could always put that HDD in a caddy and use it externally it isn't wasted even if your MBP developed another fault in the future - but if you have the funds an SSD will make it seem like a new MBP in terms of responsiveness :)
 

Rodster

macrumors 68040
May 15, 2007
3,178
6
An HDD is cheap to replace. If you are looking for an excuse to buy a new Mac you got your wish. I say fix it for the cheap until the laptop either develops a major problem or it just becomes too slow.
 

PicnicTutorials

macrumors 6502a
Dec 29, 2013
546
13
I saved my XP too many time to count. Over like 12 years. It's funny I disconnected the xp when I got my macbook. But returned it and am now waiting for my imac. So I plugged the xp back in while I wait. There was a very real sense of familiarity I felt. I missed her. It's hard to let go of a machine.
 

Wuiffi

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2011
686
78
Where can you buy a 256GB SSD for a hundred dollars? From what I've seen they are double that.


Personally I would buy a new hard drive and more ram. Then when there is more money in a year or two I would buy a new computer.
Sorry I meant Euros. I bought my Crucial M4 from Amazon a year ago for something like 105€. On our equivalent to your craigslist you can get M4, Samsung 830 etc for around 70-80€, Sata 2 SSDs even cheaper
 

RITZFit

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2007
1,269
10
In my Corner
I would definitely save it...more ram and a SSD are just the ticket. Had my 06 mbp been capable of recognizing more than 3 gigs of ram, I would still be using it now.
 

blueflower

macrumors 6502
Sep 26, 2006
273
19
I am split down the middle on this one since his machine is so old and I am wondering if the hard drive dying is indicative of possibly more failures in the near future. Certainly buying a new hard drive and more ram would be cheaper than buying a refurbished machine. Perhaps a better long term solution would be buying a new machine though.
 

KUguardgrl13

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2013
2,491
122
Kansas, USA
I am split down the middle on this one since his machine is so old and I am wondering if the hard drive dying is indicative of possibly more failures in the near future. Certainly buying a new hard drive and more ram would be cheaper than buying a refurbished machine. Perhaps a better long term solution would be buying a new machine though.
I have to agree. My mid-2009 MBP just needed a new SATA cable and battery, but it was getting to be too unreliable to use every day. It's a good spare machine that I can loan out if needed.
 

petey2133

macrumors regular
Dec 20, 2012
107
2
Just my opinion. No matter which update you make it will still be an old machine. I suggest save up your money and update it to a new machine.
I just updated my ram in my Early 2011 from the stock 4gigs to 16gigs of 1600mhz 12800 and its NIGHT AND DAY.

$140.00

My next mod is a 480gig OWC SSD. $400.00
Then a Panasonic internal bluray reader/burner $170.00
then a new battery $90.00

So yea I plan to drop about $800 on my old computer, but it will have a new heart, lungs and legs. Will destroy a new mbpro in performance too.
 

ecschwarz

macrumors 65816
Jun 28, 2010
1,303
254
Another vote to save it, as it sounds like a unibody model - those still have quite a bit of life left, and a SSD connected via SATA II (3Gbps) will be a nice improvement. Depending on capacity, an SSD will probably run $100-$300, and RAM is going to run about $60-$100 for 2 4GB modules...
 

mcarling

macrumors 65816
Oct 22, 2009
1,292
180
Now is a sweet time to buy a new rMBP. I would not put money into a 2008 computer -- you won't get it back when you try to sell and you'll still have an ancient computer until you do.
 

catean

macrumors 6502
Jun 16, 2013
316
200
Timisoara, Romania
Upgrade your old mac, don't waste your money. I have an early 2011 macbook pro with 16 gb ram and 128 ssd + 1tb blue WD and I can't tell the difference from a 2013 rMBP from work.
 

Ray Brady

macrumors 6502
Dec 21, 2011
291
252
Is upgrading the RAM feasible? Apple specifies that the maximum RAM on any 2008 models is 4GB. Is it actually possible to upgrade to 8?
 

SarcasticJoe

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2013
606
221
Finland
I'd also go with adding a new SSD instead of the mechanical HDD's that broke.

I replaced the HDD in my early 2011 machine and it's like a new machine, the backup machine (which still has a mechanical disc, albeit a 7200RPM one) that I boot every now and then to update it feels incredibly slow and sluggish in comparison. Reboots used to take about a minute with all the on boot programs (dropbox, iStat, etc.) that needed to get going, but now it's less than 10 seconds. Another difference is in the boot times of programs like GIMP, Unity, XCode or Eclipse which now about 4-5 seconds.

With the prices of good performance SSD's plummeting, it makes replacing a machine that can computationally handle whatever you're doing pretty much pointless.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.