Upgrade plans for MacBook late 2008

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by berone, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. berone macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #1
    As sexy as the new MacBook Pros are, a new computer is not in the budget. But reading about them prompted me to do a little research on how I can get a bit more pep out of my aging late 2008 13" MacBook. It has 4gb ram (which was called max when I got it) and a 500 gb hdd, running Snow Leopard. I also run Parallels with Windows 7 to run a drafting program and CorelDraw X6. With that running I'm using close to the full 4 gb of ram and frequently swapping to the hard drive. So I'm certainly going to go to 8 gb of ram. I'm thinking of also getting the OWC data doubler with a 3g 120gb SSD, putting the SSD in place of the HDD and moving the HDD to the optical bay. Operating systems and programs would go on the SSD, along with the vector graphics files, and all other data on the HDD. My plan is to do this as a clean install when Mountain Lion arrives next month. Does that sound like a good plan? Is there any reason that Mountain Lion wouldn't be the better choice for operating system? (Vs Lion or staying with Snow Leopard. I think I prefer to not be more than one OS revision behind.)

    This is a $275 upgrade, which seems like a reasonable price for the potential performance enhancement. Another $28 makes it a Crucial 128gb drive, which may not suffer from the problems that people seem to be having with the Sandforce units, although I read one recent post from someone who had success with the OWC drive in the same machine I have, although he references a firmware number I can't identify.

    Comments appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Anthony
     
  2. chrisperro macrumors 6502

    chrisperro

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Location:
    canada
    #2
    well you pretty much answer your own question, ssd and ram,i recomend crucial.
    is your machine able to run mountain lion?
     
  3. berone thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #3
    Well, I've done the research and I think I've got it down. But before committing to it I'm making sure there isn't something that someone more experienced would flag as trouble waiting to happen. According to the specs my system can run Mountain Lion. If anyone is running a beta on a similar system I would love to hear about it.

    Thanks,
    Anthony
     
  4. macpeach55 macrumors 6502

    macpeach55

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Location:
    Germany, & the Rest of the known World
    #4
    I have a 15" Late 2008 Macbook pro & already maxed it with 8gb Ram and it did make tremendous difference. I only use it now when I am travelling but as it used to be my main computer the drive has clocked a lot of hours. So I am thinking to replace it with a 256Gb SSD. What makes would anyone suggest and any pitfalls in doing this?
     
  5. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    ladner cdn
    #5
    -here is site showing who can run mountain lion (thanks apple for making my 2007 macbook old errrr)
    http://www.apple.com/osx/specs/
    -as i just posted in another thread...i installed a 60 gig ocz sandforce (latest firmware) agility 3 ssd...when i used carbon copy to image over to sdd i would get minor lag every now and then...then after reading more on ssd's,i read that zeroing drive and installing osx clean was way to go....so i did as such and now no lag at all,and my macbook runs faster (except games) then my nefews 2010 mbp...really!
     
  6. jbg232 macrumors 65816

    jbg232

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #6
    I was in the same oat as you with the exact same computer. Last week I upgraded to 8gb ram and changed the drive to an owc Electra 3G 256gb ssd. Simply put, it's a totally different computer. I edit 30mb raw files in aperture and run VMware fusion and man this thing is fast now. It will definitely hold me over so I say go for it. FYI - I chose the owc over the m4 as the m4 doesn't have as good garbage collection, to be honest there probably isn't a difference between the two as they're both going to be running at 3G. Also, you wil be able to run mountain lion on your machine. Lastly, I recommend doing a completely clean install of the operating system - combined with the ssd and ram it was such a fresh start.... Really like getting a new computer.
     
  7. macpeach55, Jun 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012

    macpeach55 macrumors 6502

    macpeach55

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Location:
    Germany, & the Rest of the known World
    #7
    Thank you, this is exactly the answer I was hoping for :D

    One tiny further question; was swapping the original hard drive for the SSD easy, or is it better to have this done at say an Apple Store?

    Thanks again for your help and answer
     
  8. chrisperro macrumors 6502

    chrisperro

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Location:
    canada
    #8
    is really easy,take a look at this site, ifixit.com great site ,they have an app too for iPhone -ipad.
     
  9. berone thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #9
    Thanks, jbg. I ordered the 8gb of ram and an Intel 120gb SSD with the data doubler from OWC. I'm going to put my OS and program files on the SSD and data files on the current 500gb Hitachi, moved to the optical bay. I figure when I'm doing any video editing or particularly large graphics work I can move the data file to the SSD. I'm actually going to put Lion on it first, since it's available now and I have to buy a copy to upgrade my wife's machine which isn't ML ready.
     
  10. jbg232 macrumors 65816

    jbg232

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #10

    The hard drive in the late 2008 macbook is user-replacealbe, that thus very easy. You just need to have the rights tools which are a #000 philips head screwdriver and a #6 torn screwdriver. You can't do it without those two tools.

    Which intel drive did you order? I've read that the sand force ones that are 6G rated only run at 1.5G speeds (which is why I bought the 3G drive). Also, make sure to make the lion usb key before you start obviously... pretty easy after that.
     
  11. Creek0512 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #11
    I thought Unibody MacBooks only supported 6GB or RAM?
     
  12. jbg232 macrumors 65816

    jbg232

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #12
    Ever since the firmware update last year they now support 8gb, I'm using that much now...
     
  13. berone thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #13
    I ordered an Intel 320 series 120 gb drive. It's a 3gb drive, so it should run at full speed in my machine. It was a little more than the OWC drives (okay, a lot more!) but I liked what I read about its compatibility and reliability.
     

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