Upgrade Recommendations for MacBook Pro (Early 2008 - Penryn)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by isayhoomhom, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. isayhoomhom macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2010
    I have the 2.4 GHz model with the original 2 GB RAM and, if I remember correctly, a 250 GB hard drive (whatever the standard issue was). It still runs pretty well with Snow Leopard, but I was considering buying a new MBP when the next line comes in and passing this one along to my son.

    What upgrades would you recommend, especially if we were to switch to Lion? I figure bumping the RAM to 4 GB is a given, but what about the hard drive? Size isn't as much of an issue as speed. Anything I could do to increase the speed? Anyone had luck with hybrid SSD hard drives? If they're reliable and actually increase the speed, I would be interested. I've read a few negative comments here and there, but would like to hear any comments/recommendations this forum has.

  2. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    What's your budget and what will your son be using the computer for?

    In any case, I would upgrade to 4 GB RAM as you intend, possibly 8 GB if he can make use of it. It's fairly cheap either way.

    Would he need a lot of storage? If not, look into a small/moderate sized SSD, anywhere from 64 GB - 128 GB or so.
  3. isayhoomhom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2010
    I guess my budget is whatever makes sense. If it's too high, it wouldn't make sense to upgrade and I would just buy a new computer. So I guess a few hundred dollars. Not much.

    My son is just learning Photoshop and I'm sure he'll need iWork. Either way, I don't think a smaller hard drive is a good idea, but a faster one of the same size (250) would be fine.

    Oh, and I thought the max RAM for this machine is 4 GB. Is it 8?
  4. Nathan21585 macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2010
    Central Florida
    I believe its actually 6 GB. Officially its only 4 but people have gotten up to 6 to work.
  5. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    I'm not sure about the maximum memory that machine supports, but 4 GB should be plenty for Photoshop and such.

    You could always use an external drive for storage if you feel like a SSD would be best. If a smaller internal storage isn't a way to go though, then your options are basically the Momentus XT as you mentioned or a 7200 RPM drive, amongst other things like the 1TB Samsung drive, etc. Any of which should be faster than an early 2008 stock 5400 RPM drive.
  6. isayhoomhom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2010
    I'm wondering about that Momentus hybrid drive. Anybody here had personal experience with one? Wondering about its reliability...
  7. jdclifford macrumors 6502

    Jul 26, 2011
    I have the same machine and upgraded the ram to 8 GB last year (2 X 4GB from OWC). There was an update patch a while back that increased max RAM to 8GB.
  8. GuitarG20 macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2011
    Definitely upgrade the RAM

    As far as a SSD goes, it would improve speed... if you can balance storage needs and price. I haven't been able to find one with enough room for all my stuff that's cheap enough, but that's just me :eek:
  9. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    That was for the late 2008(unibody), not early 2008(non-unibody).
  10. Time Less macrumors 6502

    Time Less

    Jul 29, 2010
    Planet Earth
    I had the same exact one. Before I sold it I upgraded the ram to 6gb, installed an intel 320 120gb ssd, and transferred the original hdd to an optibay. It was pretty beasty.

    The sata speed on this machine is only 1.5gbps so you don't have to spend a lot money on newer and faster ssd. Intel is known for reliability so I went that route. Even though it's "slow" it feels blazing once you switch.

    The only issue I had was that the hdd would spin up and down killing my battery life. And sometime the hdd would not show up on a reboot. It's probably due to the optibay knockoff version or PATA to sata connection. Maybe get a higher capacity ssd if you don't want this headache.
  11. isayhoomhom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2010
    So if I went with just a regular old 500 GB 7200 rpm hard drive, I would notice a speed increase from the existing 5400? Does it make that much of a difference?
  12. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    It should be a noticeable difference, but nothing too spectacular.
  13. ecschwarz macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2010
    I'd upgrade the RAM and maybe go for a faster drive. I've found that 4GB and the stock drive runs Lion very well, but if you want more space/speed, a cheaper and faster drive may work wonders. An SSD could improve speeds even more, but may not be worth the expense on a computer that is already in the $500-$700 range.

    Plus, the hard drives are a bit of a pain to replace on these (though not as bad as the 12" PB G4s) ;)

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