White Unibody on Steroids

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Milchschokolade, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. Milchschokolade macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2014
    I'm a happy owner of a Mid-2010, white unibody MB (aka: MC516LL/A - MacBook7,1)

    I know that to some this is probably a dinosaur... but it does what I need it to do, and as a [subjective] bonus, I just like how it looks. Am I the only one who would like Apple to make another white computer?

    Anyway, I would like to breathe some new life into this machine. I would like to continue using it in 2017 and beyond.

    Any recommendations, suggestions, articles/videos, or other words of advice welcome. :)

    --- --- ---
    Back in 2014 I upgraded the RAM to Crucial 8GB (4GBx2) (1066 MHz; DDR3) (CT2K4G3S1067M)

    Now I'm considering:
    - Upgrade the drive to 500 GB SSD
    - Removal of CD/DVD drive
    - New battery
    - New OS
    - Clean fans

    (1) SSD Upgrade
    I'm considering either putting in a 500GB SSD or a cheaper 250GB SSD + putting the original 250GB HD in the DVD drive space.

    In 2017, what is the most reliable SSD that this machine can handle? Any recommendations as to brand and specific model? I see the prices on amazon are around 100/150 USD (for 250/500 GB respectively). Anything to avoid or be mindful of here?

    Also, will my battery life suffer a lot if I double up with the original HD in the DVD/CD bay? How much more battery life will I get if I just go with a 500 GB SSD?

    (2) Removal of CD/DVD drive
    I'm thinking of removing the CD/DVD drive simply to make the laptop a bit lighter, but would the empty space on the inside be a problem in any way?

    Alternatively, I'm thinking of putting in the original HD in it's place. How difficult of a process is that? Are there any complications/risks to consider when attaching an extra HD that shouldn't be there?

    Are there any other creative solutions for repurposing the CD/DVD drive space (other than HD bay)?

    (3) New Battery
    What's the best quality battery that I can use? Can someone recommend a good brand? How much should I expect to pay for a quality battery?

    (4) New OS
    I'm running OS X Mavericks (10.9.5) on this C2D machine, and it's quite snappy. I'm a bit wary of upgrading to a newer OS... but I could use some of the functionality/compatibility of MacOS High Sierra. Given the upgraded RAM and SSD, will MacOS run well, or should I stick to OS X Mavericks if I'm happy with its solid performance?

    Is there anything else I can do to upgrade this machine and make it better? All suggestions welcome!

    I know, lots of questions here, but I hope some MB Unibody veterans can help out :)
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    The SSD will make a huge difference, if you want to put in two drives then you need a caddy to hold it they are available on amazon. However if you don't need the capacity why bother just get the 500gb ssd.

    If you need a new battery replace it if you don't then why bother.

    If it will run the latest OS then why not?? Should be good on an ssd equipped MacBook.
  3. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    With SSD, that will run fine on High Sierra (since you already have 8 GB). As far as Apple is concerned, 10.9 Mavericks is almost obsolete. The latest version of iTunes doesn't even run on it. Neither does the latest version of Safari.

    I personally would leave the optical drive in.
  4. Milchschokolade thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2014
    Any idea what SSD brand/type is best for this machine?

    And as for the battery, is there any reputable source? How much should it be?
  5. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Most should be fine, as long as the power specs are decent. I'm using a Samsung 840 EVO. The current model is the 850 EVO.

    I don't know. I've been wondering the same thing for my 2009 MacBook Pro (MacBookPro5,5).
  6. JRoDDz macrumors 68000


    Jul 2, 2009
    New thermal paste on cpu/gpu.
  7. EightyTwenty macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2015
    Is the 2010 Macbook capable of running YouTube videos at a quality of 1080p @ 60fps?

  8. EugW, Oct 4, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017

    EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Yes, should work.

    I just tried this on a late 2008 unibody aluminum MacBook Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz with GeForce 9400M dGPU. The video pauses when I maximize the YouTube screen. However, if I then navigate to any spot in the video, it plays smoothly.

    I also just tried this on a mid-2009 aluminum MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo 2.26 GHz with GeForce 9400M dGPU. No pauses. It just works. It seems the little bit of extra CPU power solves the issues.

    The mid 2010 white MacBook has a Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz and GeForce 320M, but with shared memory. So, it's has a faster GPU and a faster CPU, but the memory is shared. Still should work though.
  9. EightyTwenty macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2015
    Interesting. And you have the video cranked to the highest quality setting, right?

    I have an Athlon II X2 215 and it plays 1080p @ 30fps just fine, but can't quite handle 1080p @ 60fps (it freezes and pauses like crazy).
  10. EugW, Oct 4, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017

    EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Yes, cranked up to 1080p60. Note this is in Safari 11. Video would be h.264, and both the 9400M and the 320M have hardware decoders for it.

    If you are playing on your Athlon, are you using Chrome? Cuz if so, you are using VP9 (not h.264). Depending on which GPU you are using, that machine may not have hardware decode support for VP9.

    If you use Chrome on these Macs, they will likely fail miserably at 1080p60, since it's all software decode for VP9. I did confirm that in Chrome on the MacBook C2D 2.0, it doesn't play well. Slow and stuttery.


    It turns out you can force h.264 use in Chrome if you install an add-on. So depending on which GPU you have, even if you don't have hardware VP9 support, you may have hardware h.264 support, so this add-on may make it work properly in Chrome on your Athlon:

  11. niji Contributor


    Feb 9, 2003
    yes. bring back a white MacBook. would buy it tomorrow.
    immediately reminds me of the apple ad "Middle Seat". truly one of the best apple ads ever.
  12. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    The SATA bus speed on that model is 3GB/sec so just about any current SSD will be as good as another.

    I don't know if removing the DVD drive and leaving the empty space would alter/degrade the air cooling flow in that machine.

    Third-party batteries are hit and miss. I think you can get good ones and bad ones from the same exact source. No recommendations.
  13. elf69 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    Cornwall UK
    I have the 2010 white macbook and love it!

    recently replaced keyboard in it myself, not easy task as some bits glued together.

    I pulled the DVD and have the 250GB hdd in there and a 240GB SSD main drive.
    Relocated the home folder to the HDD as I got lots and lots music and photos, almost 80GB of each!
    Going to replace the 250GB HDD with a 500GB from a failed windows 8 laptop.

    got two friends the same laptop from ebay, they both very happy with them!
  14. djdownhill macrumors regular


    Sep 23, 2017
    Los Angeles
    I'm rocking 2010 Macbook as a daily driver.

    My setup is:

    240gb ADATA SP550 SSD,

    8gb of A-Tech RAM

    OS Sierra

    Windows 10 Pro.

    I only pull out my 2016 MacBook Pro 15.4" on special occasions....
  15. elf69 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    Cornwall UK
    I too have adata 240gb with force trim on.
    8GB mixed random ram, think one 1066 and one 1333 works fine.

    Dont have windows 10 as ten was reason i moved to mac.
    my 2010 in my everyday work laptop.

    got older 2007 imac for home machine
  16. SB-MBP Suspended


    May 11, 2013
    N. Ireland
    240GB SanDisk Extreme SSD
    8GB Crucial RAM
    250GB HDD in Optical Bay, acting as a local Time Machine backup in case of drive failure.

    Battery and parts? Go to OtherWorldComputing. These guys know what they're doing.
    Only non-Apple parts I'd trust, especially with a component like the battery that could burst into flames.
    They made custom SSD sticks for the MB Air - who else does that?! Illustrates their awesome commitment to aftermarket Apple parts.
  17. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    OWC is having serious problems with a few of their SSDs, specifically with several models of the MacBook Air and a Mac Pro. Apparently it is a compability issue to due a firmware identification error. The drives incorrectly identify themselves as spinning HDs, and that causes the High Sierra installer to crash during installation.


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16 September 26, 2017