Upgrading my black macbook? Worth it?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by mcovalt, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. mcovalt macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2011
    I plan on throwing a SSD and 4GB of RAM in it. It's got the 2.2 GHz Intel C2D, so that's a pretty peppy processor. My question is would throwing $250 into this laptop be a waste, or do you think this will be worth the $250?

    I guess another way of putting it would be: $250 for an SSD based laptop w/ 4GB RAM and 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo or (sell the lappy for $500) and find a better computer for under $800?

    Besides the i series from Intel and apple's shift to dedicated video (which doesn't really apply to me that much), there doesn't seem to be that much incentive to buy a new unit. The SSD will feel really fast I think. And the black macbook just looks so fly.
  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    You could do that, it'll definitely give it a big speed boost. And when you do decide to buy a new computer you can always transfer over the SSD to the new computer :)
  3. iTattoo macrumors regular


    Aug 6, 2007
  4. JamDonut, Jun 10, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011

    JamDonut macrumors member

    May 23, 2011
    England, UK
    I had the same spec laptop as you but the white version (black looks better but i liked white at the time :D) and recently wanted to upgrade too. Like you, whilst i appreciate everything in the MBP, the changes weren't really enough for me to warrant £1000 on one so i got a mid 09' aluminium SE macbook for £560 and sold my whitebook for £400. The reason being that, typically, i wanted the alu-unibody, the backlit keyboard, magic trackpad and MDP. so i'm only £160 out-of-pocket.

    The point i'm getting at is decide what it i that you actually want and what you will spend on it, because all i really wanted was the improved aesthetics until there comes an upgrade i find worth the money and go from there. If you like you blackbook enough and just want to upgrade the hardware then do it! it is obviously cheaper, but obviously if it bothers you enough that you heart desires a new MBP ;) for the aesthetics and gained speed, you are wasting your money.

    if it does hat you need and you still love it, then i would say upgrade; my two cents :)

    also if you're going to go ssd, get a SATA 3 because even though your laptop will not use above the SATA 2 3GBPs speed, a future MBP will take advantage of the full 6GBPs, so it's a much better investment for your future
  5. Skizoboy macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2011
    I've just put 6Gb of RAM and a Crucial M4 SSD in my early 2008 macbook: Fast! :eek:
  6. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    if you feel like you could get more use out of it, then yes, as it is more sensible than buying a new computer. also as stated you could always use the ssd even if it won't be in the computer you are originally upgrading.
  7. ThomasJL macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2008
    At the moment, Snow Leopard does not have TRIM support for non-Apple-supplied SSD's. Therefore, any SSD you put in there will slow down significantly over time.
  8. Skizoboy, Jun 11, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2011

    Skizoboy macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2011
  9. mcovalt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2011
    thanks for all the input guys! I did weigh it all out and decided to go with the SSD and RAM upgrade. It was only $160 and I decided it would increase resell later if I later decided to sell it (who knows why the black macbook has held a ridiculously high resell over the years :confused:).

    The only things the new macbook pro has that interests me is the aluminum casing (seems sturdy) and the 10-hour battery life. Other than that, I should be happy with the new setup.

    6 GB of RAM doesn't make sense to me. Wouldn't you be missing that dual channel speed? Well, I guess it would make a lot of sense depending on your computer habits. I would never fill up 6 GB, but nowadays there are such heavy RAM heavy apps!

    I'll let you all know how it goes!
  10. Skizoboy macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2011
    Every single benchmark test I found on the subject came to the same conclusion: The impact of Dual channel is negligible and "the more total memory, however configured, the better".

    On top of that, swapping is bad for SSDs… 6Gb of RAM reduces :)D) swapping and make virtualization a real pleasure :)

    4Gb is great but if you do some very "heavy" stuff and/or virtualization and can afford a 4Gb module I'd say go for 6Gb…
  11. msjones macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2007
    Nottinghamshire, UK
    Ugraded my 2009 MacBook to an SSD recently and I have noticed a big improvement. I don't think I will be upgrading my machine for a few more years yet.

    Make sure to download and install the TRIM enabler for snow leopard. It works without issues and definitely something worth having.

    Lion is supposed to come with TRIM support enabled. I actually have the new dev preview installed and it doesn't have it enabled for my SSD. Again I used the enabler program.
  12. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Good thread.

    I'm looking to extend the life of my maxed Santa Rosa 2007 2.2ghz macbook by putting a SSD in it. (already have the 4GB RAM thank you very much).

    Has someone now found a way to unlock the SATA-II 3Gb/s on these machines?


    I plan to move the existing 500GB HD to the optical drive bay. (not via Optiplex - too expensive - have found some cheaper solutions).

    I note that the SR Macbooks are limited to SATA-I, even though the ICH8-M AHCI motherboard has SATA-II as default. I understand the reason for this was to ensure compatibility with the SATA-PATA bridge for the optical drive, and I'm fine with that.

    Now that I'm taking out the optical drive however, is there a way to unlock the SATA-II 3Gb/s capability for the SSD in the main slot? Small SSDs that are faster than SATA-I are getting quite cheap now, especially second hand.


  13. mcovalt, Jun 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011

    mcovalt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2011
    Hey all,

    Replaced a shorted inverter cable (what a PITA!), OptiBay'ed my old HDD (with a cheap eBay drive), upgraded to 4GB of RAM, and fresh installed Leopard on my SSD.

    What a difference! I'm lovin' it.

    To the above poster: that is interesting! Never heard of that, but let us know if you find anything out. About the cheap OptiBay drive. It is cheap. Didn't fit right so I had to rip off some of the plastic. No bluetooth antenna clip so I had to duct tape it. Had to superglue the casing on it because the screws didn't fit right. All this to say, it is cheaper but not very well built. Be prepared to ghetto-rig it.

    EDIT: Would random reads/writes even reach SATA II speeds? That's really all that matters on SSD's.
  14. ault45 macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2008
    Delaware, OH
    I would add the ssd and the ram. You see a noticeable improvement.
  15. orfeas0 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2010
    Athens, Greece
    i'd suggest you upgrade your blackbook. and if you don't, do not sell it! it will soon be a collectible xD or at least a "cool ol' model"
  16. RedTomato, Jun 17, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011

    RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Which one did you get and where from?

    With a newish drive like the OCZ Vertex 3, random read/writes for 512Kb and 2MB files are way over even SATA II (300Mb/s). Random r/w for 2MB files approach the limits of SATA III (max 600Mb/s)!

    It would be overkill to put one of these in an old macbook, but even older and cheaper SSDs can blow past SATA I (150 Mb/s) on random r/w, so that's why I'd like to activate SATA II on my macbook.

    SSD prices are going down slowly but steadily on eBay etc as people replace their older smaller SSDs with newer faster larger ones.

    EDIT: forgot to add link to review of OCZ Vertex 3 (from February 2011!)


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