Upgrading my Macbook (2,1 Mid 2007) Questions

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by jojones88, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. jojones88 macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2011
    Well, I think its finally time for an upgrade. My poor old Macbook is slowing down with all this new software I've been using. I mainly browse the internet, convert video/audio, play video/audio, use MS Office, Garageband, etc. I sick of seeing the beach ball all the time and want this laptop to last me for another 5 or so years...

    I was wanting some advice from you experts here as to what decisions I should make.

    Here are the current specs:
    CPU: 2.13ghz Core 2 Duo (stock)
    HDD: WD Scorpio 250GB, 5400RPM, 8MB (upgraded in 2008)
    RAM: 1gb (stock)
    OS: Snow Leopard / WinXP Bootcamp (for playing older pc games)

    Here are the specs on Apple's site:

    I want to upgrade the RAM obviously. I also want to upgrade the HDD as I am running out of space.

    My Budget: around $150 USD.


    Now for the RAM. I have read that this model can only access 3gb of ram. So I was thinking about buying a 2gb stick and a 1gb stick:


    However, I have read that when you match two 2gb sticks of ram there is a performance boost. Is it really worth the extra money to spend? I know it performs better, but will I get what I pay for?



    I was thinking either one of these two models:

    $79 Western Digital Scorpio Black WD5000BEKT 500GB 7200 RPM

    or a hybrid drive

    $99 Seagate Momentus XT ST95005620AS 500GB 7200 RPM

    I have read reviews:

    From what I can tell the Momentus XT performs better, but is the value worth the price? $20 extra?

    I have also been reading that there are a couple problems with the Momentus XT when it comes to spin down, and power consumption. Seagate has been active on issuing new firmwares to fix these problems, but I don't know any 'advanced' user that has given his or her take on this drive. Heck, there may be some issues on the WD Scorpio Black that I don't know about as I have only researched the Momentus XT.

    A solid state drive is out of the question due to budget concerns, and my need of storage space. Plus I use my optical drive so 2 internal hard drives isn't an option.


    Also, is it worth upgrading this dinosaur? Should I just sale this Macbook and purchase a notebook and do the whole OSx86 thing (i know there are compatibility issues abroad, but there are quite a few laptops by other manufacturers that seem to work flawlessly once all the drivers are set)? I can get around $400 for my macbook and purchase a compaq/acer/dell laptop with higher specs for that amount alone, not to mention the extra $100+ on top that I was using to upgrade my macbook. OR maybe just sale my Macbook and use the cash to buy another Macbook (preowned of course). What do you think? Worth the headache?
    How much life does my macbook have left in it until the logic board fries? or something else?

    ^Btw I am leaning towards not selling my macbook, what a headache all of that would cause. Just asking for some opinions from the experts.
  2. msjones macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2007
    Nottinghamshire, UK
    Matched pairs of ram does have a slight performance increase but you would see more of a difference in the 3GB when running applications and multitasking.

    You will see a slight decrease in battery time upgrading to a 7200rpm but I do mean slight. Personally I favour WD drives over others as I have never had one fail on me but I'm sure other MR users will have different experiences.

    I would keep the MacBook. If you ever go down the hackintosh route it should be with a desktop. Netbooks are just to slow to run OS X to it's potential.

    Your MacBook is still a pretty decent machine for her age, it should last another few years :)
  3. anotherarunan macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2007
    London, United Kingdom (UK)
    First things first, I'd keep your macbook for now - for your uses, bar the video converting, the processor is fine, and you dont seem to be playing any sort of graphically demanding games.

    I'm in the same situation as you in wanting to upgrade my late 2007 MB's hard drive. From what I hear the momentus XT seems to be getting very mixed reviews, some love it, and it speeds up their machine like a dream - some hate it, claim it starts beachballing after 6-8 weeks and that it drains batterly life massively.

    But I think you'll really notice upgrading the RAM. Like you said, upgrading to 4gb would be ideal to match the pairs, but I dont think it's worth the money if the funds are tight - just get a 2gb and 1gb - the difference isn't huge.

    The new hard drive and especially the RAM upgrade will make your machine feel like brand new - then start saving for a new macbook pro in a year or two, which will obviously be better, and hopefully SSD prices will come down by a bit then for you to afford to get with your new machine!
  4. jojones88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2011
    I think I'll go with the WD Scorpio Black 500GB. Your opinions sued me to do a little more research on the Seagate Momentus XT 500GB.\/

    Amazon reviews: It still has a higher percentage of satisfied customers

    Seagate Forums: They're just saturated with people trying to make returns. Even after the newest firmware update. A lot of these folks are Mac users.

    Apparently it was having problems spinning down too often to begin with, then after a couple firmware updates the hdd refuses to spin down. Many members over at Seagate call themselves 'beta testers' and many of them are pretty upset that Seagate slacked off at thoroughly testing its hardware before releasing it.

    If the drive worked as stated then I would purchase it. However, there is just too much bad joojoo surrounding it right now.

    Western Digital Scorpio Black wd5000bpkt 7200RPM 500GB is my choice.

    Plus I just found this:
    at newegg:

    Western Digital Scorpio Black wd5000bpkt 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Notebook Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $69.99 w/code $59.99 With free shipping

    Use this code at checkout: EMCKFJH45

    The BPKT model supposed to be newer and somewhat improved than the BEKT. It has lower power consumption, and some new features such as Advanced Format (which I bet is just some marketing jargon, that doesn't mean anything), it supposed to be quieter too. I can't find any benchmarks to compare the two though.

    Thanks for all the help. I'm placing an order for the Ram and the Hard drive right now.
  5. anotherarunan macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2007
    London, United Kingdom (UK)
    Let us know how you get on with that hard drive!
  6. jojones88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2011
    Roger that!

    I spent just $105 (including shipping) total. This includes:

    Western Digital Scorpio Black wd5000bpkt 500GB 7200 RPM 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s
    Kingston 2GB 200-Pin DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300)
    Kingston 1GB 200-Pin DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300)

    I'll post back as soon as the parts arrive, and I install them.
  7. jojones88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2011
    (Sorry for the double-post. I thought it would be nice to give the topic a boost and show my update)

    Well I received my Scorpio Black 500GB 7200RPM several days ago, and received the ram the day afterwards.

    I spent a little time with the new hard drive installed and actually noticed a speed boost compared to my older Scorpio Black 250GB 5400RPM. I know it wasn't just because of a clean install, because I had did a clean install on my Macbook less than a month ago before the upgrade. It booted faster by at least 7-8 seconds I know. I can't comment too much on the battery life, as my battery is quite old and needs replacement anyways.

    I installed the ram the next day. Everything worked just great. I spent the better part of a day installing all my favorite applications (Office 2011, iLife 11, Toast, etc) and even made a 50GB bootcamp partition for Windows XP.

    I cannot really tell a performance difference in Windows XP as I heavily modify my XP installation by removing many utilities and background annoyances. This usually takes me a few hours to get an XP installation where I want to to be. I strip it for speed basically. I only use the XP installion for gaming anyways, and to run the odd program or two that doesn't have a OS X port. I haven't played any games yet, as they are not installed, but I'll get around to playing some Portal later tonight and edit back how it went.

    My Macbook feels brand new. You guys were right. I'm very satisfied with this old machine. Any future upgrade I do WILL be a solid state drive. I'm in the process of weening myself off of Disc based media. (I still burn DVD's for Movies/Backups and CD's to play in my car)

    I only wish it had a better GPU. This Intel 950 isn't too kind to any game released past 2007.
  8. Yaboze macrumors 6502a


    May 31, 2007
    The Garden State
    4GB of RAM and a 7200 RPM drive helps out a lot. It bought me some time for sure.

    With the new RAM and HD, you do a nice clean install and it's like a new machine.

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