Worth upgrades for MacBook Pro 2007 2.2 ghz 4 GB RAM 120 Gb/5400 ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rjt1000, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. rjt1000 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #1
    Hi all,

    I have a 15 inch Santa Rosa MacBook Pro (3,1) with 4 GB RAM and 120 GB/ 5400 rpm stock Fujitsu hard drive purchased in October 2007.

    I am now celebrating its 3rd birthday and the end of Apple Care without any major problems (Apple replaced a power adapter and battery about a year ago).

    This is the model with the GeForce 8600M GT graphics card that is prone to early death but Apple has promised replacement within 4 years of purchase should it fail. I have had no symptoms of failure and run smcFanControl at the higher RPM settings and have noted only moderate temps with Temperature Monitor.

    Although everything functions OK for my needs (mostly web browsing, email, YouTube, itunes), it does feel sluggish from time to time with more intensive tasks. The hard drive has plenty of free space as I move large and less used files to an external hard drive regularly.

    I am considering putting a little money into upgrades: changing out one of the 2 GB sticks for a 4 GB stick ($108) and changing the stock Fujitsu hard drive for the OWC SSD ($270). I would do the upgrades myself as I have some experience opening laptops.

    Would I likely notice the difference? And would this be value for the money ($400) in a computer this old?

    Alternatively I could sell the MacBook Pro (net perhaps $750 on eBay) and put the money towards the 15 inch MBP low end i5 refurb ($1529)

    What would you do and which would net me the best performance overall?

    Thanks for your comments and advice.
     
  2. chriscl macrumors 6502

    chriscl

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    #2
    I have exactly the same model; I think you will find that 4GB is the highest amount of RAM you can have (chipset limitation) as that's what I have in mine.

    The hard disk is an easy upgrade as long as you have the correct Torx drivers to remove the casing (and do so slowly, especially the plastic clips holding the body together). I upgraded my HDD to a Western Digital 320GB (and am now considering another upgrade due to nearly filling it!) There are a series of videos (iFixit has some) that take you through the whole disassembly.

    A faster hard disk will make a (slight) difference, but changing hard disks is more about extra space usually.

    As you say, for most stuff I do, my MBP is still perfectly capable, and does still look brand new (although I do take care of it!) You need to decide if it is economical for you to spend a little on a new hard disk, or whether you can afford to buy a newer model. The thing is, unless you are regularly hitting the limits of what your current Mac can do, then do you really need to buy a new one?
     
  3. pedrofan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    #3
    Put, a new drive on it, prefferible a ssd, upgrade the ram to 4gb and clean the fans. Upgrade to snow leopard. You will have a new laptop. I did it with the same macbook pro and the laptops works like a charm!!
     
  4. rjt1000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #4
    Hi and thanks for the reply.

    The Apple factory specification maximum was 4.0GB, but OWC tested our model to support 6.0GB maximum RAM:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/MacBook/Pro/Core2/
     
  5. rjt1000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #5
    Hi,.

    I am still running leopard, so snow leopard would be a cheap upgrade. Would it give me much performance boost?

    Is cleaning the fan as easy as blowing some air on it when I open the case? I have kept the MBP in great shape and wouldn't expect the fans to be too dirty.

    Is the OWC SSD a good choice?

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  6. charlieroberts macrumors 6502a

    charlieroberts

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    #6
    Go for the upgrades. SSD will make you very happy and I personally find that the new MBP haven't got that much to offer (I also have a SR MBP).
    Of course they are a lot faster, but besides speed, which is by itself overrated, I only miss out on the Unibody, and a somewhat improved battery life.
    I'll wait with my SSD and 6GB Ram for something more lustworthy that has nothing to do with a processor upgrade.
     
  7. noodle654 macrumors 68020

    noodle654

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Location:
    Never Ender
    #7
    I have the same exact computer. I installed a 320GB Seagate Momentus XT SSD/HDD hybrid. Works great, nice little speed boost. Also, you can install 6GB of RAM in these computers. Apple says 4GB, but 6GB does work, you just lose Dual Channel because the RAM isn't matched.
     
  8. paintballswimgu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    #8
    I used to have that model, before it died. Great computer. Go for a new harddrive. SSD or one of the 500gb 7200rpms. Ram isn't the most cost effective upgrade. A faster hard drive will be noticeable on that mac.
     
  9. rjt1000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #9
    Hi,

    Did you (or others here) notice much difference with the 6 GB RAM over 4 GB? I currently have the 2 + 2 pair for 4 GB. I am trying to understand the dual channel mode which would be lost with 2 + 4 mismatched pair for 6 GB. The extra RAM trumps the dual channel mode in this case?

    The consensus seems to be that the SSD upgrade will be clearly noticeable so I will likely do that first.

    Perhaps that will calm my tech cravings and allow me to wait for the next updates for the MBP which hopefully will include Sandy Bridge and maybe on board flash memory.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  10. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    #10
    Ssd

    There is no doubt that the SSD is the most awesome upgrade you can make. Check your peripherals to make sure there are snow leopard drivers before you go that route.

     
  11. JamesGorman macrumors 65816

    JamesGorman

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    #11
    Losing dual channel will not reflect in real world usage, so go ahead and make the ram upgrade.
    The SSD will give you the most noticeable speed boost, but this will also cost you the most. As for snow leopard, I dont know how much of a performance increase you will notice, but for 29 dollars, I think its worth it either way.
     
  12. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Up the irons
    #12
    If you don't mind shelling out the cash, go with an SSD. That will make your machine seem a lot faster. :cool:
     

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