Worth upgrading mid2007 white macbook to SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by drury, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. drury macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2011
    I have a mid 2007 white MacBook. I don't currently have the money to get a new computer (even though I'd love to). I was thinking with all the good reports coming out with the SSD performance in MacBook airs, perhaps I could get a speed boost of my own by replacing the hard drive in my computer with an SSD. I don't need a very big one so I'm thinking of spending no more than $250, but hopefully less.

    The first question I have is has anyone performed the upgrade on that model of MacBook and do you have recommendations for SSD drives and tips for doing the actual upgrade?

    The second question is do you think that it's worth plunking a hundred fifty bucks into a machine thats getting to its end of life cycle. Perhaps the upgrade will give the computer some new life and I can feel happy with it for another year if I can't get the money together for a new computer right away. On the other hand, is it better to just put that $200 into a piggy bank to start saving for the new airs coming out?

    If it will help answer this question this is how I use my computer:

    Apps that are always running:

    Transmission, Dictionary, Preview, Safari (only a few tabs at a time), Mail, Skype, iChat, Things, Notational Velocity, iCal, iTunes

    Apps that I will run on top of that when I'm doing some specific task (ordered from least intensive to most): Twitter, MarsEdit, Kindle, Reeder, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, iPhoto, GarageBand, iMovie, Miro

    I usually run one or both of the office productivity suites at full blast, with multiple documents open in each, when I'm working as a math professor. Sometimes I run Photoshop, XCode, Coda, but not that often.

    So, hopefully that helps clarify my MacBook usage.

    Also, if you recommend waiting, not upgrading to SSD, but just waiting to get a new computer, do you think I could do this kind of usage on a 13" Macbook Air, or should I really think about getting the 15" Macbook Pro?
  2. Skizoboy macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2011
    I would definitely recommend the SSD upgrade. I did it on my early 2008 Macbook and it made a spectacular improvement in global performance.
    Actually my white macbook is now faster than my girlfriend's 2011 Macbook pro (Except when it comes to processing power or gaming obviously…)

    Keep in mind that the SSD you buy today will go into your future macbook pro, this is well spent money.
  3. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    On a 2007 MacBook, I'm not sure it's worth doing. But if you do decide to do this, make sure you find someone who has done it already for that model. Don't go by hearsay or the fact that it worked in the model after yours.
    Based on the fact you're using a 2007 MacBook, the Air should be fine for you, especially once the 2011 model comes out.
  4. ahilal macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2010
    Oakland, CA

    The answer is yes you should. I have either the same Mac as you or very close to it. Mine is a 2007-ish black MacBook from before the unibody models. Core 2 Duo.

    I recently installed an SSD and the performance is noticeably better than before. Startup times and application launches in particular are improved. It used to take a whole minute or more to launch Adobe Fireworks. Now it's more like 20-30 seconds. Rebooting is also more like 30 seconds. Everyday usage definitely feels smoother, too. It's somewhat intangible past a point but YES it does make a difference.

    I was thinking about a new MacBook pro but I see no real reason to upgrade anymore. It's almost disappointing but as long as the thing is hanging on, I can't justify the purchase of a new one!

    The real story is how the Apple Store genius bar helped me do the install for free. I tried doing it myself and managed to bend up some of the case parts (the SSD wasn't an ideal smooth fit and I screwed up some internal case tines - woops). They completed my half-finished install for me and installed a newer version of 10.6 that supports TRIM. I am an owner of 10.6 but apparently only the very latest version has TRIM and they refused to give me a disc for it.

    What they did do was install that new new version from a hard drive so my system could get up and running with the SSD. I went on my way with the upgrade working fine and PAID NOTHING FOR THIS SERVICE. One of the best customer service experiences of my life.

  5. ahilal macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2010
    Oakland, CA
    I was a little hesitant to go from 160GB hard drive to a 128GB SSD and you might even be considering a smaller one since they're so expensive. It did require changing the way I store media. Now all music and photos are on a mirrored RAID external drive. OS and applications and light documents only on the SSD. For things like Transmission I had to change up my download directory and such.

    It was probably a good idea to get everything off the main drive, actually. As long as you can take big media off the table, 128GB is plenty to run an OS on.
  6. omicron macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2011
    The hard drive is currently the slowest component in a computer. I'll warn you. You will plop that SSD in and it will run fine. The next few days you will wonder if you wasted your money.

    Then go into the apple store and play with one of their MacBooks. Guaranteed you'll wonder if something is broken with the darned thing. Thats how fast they are. You don't know what you've lost until you've truly lost it.

    I would say get it. What do you use your computer for? if its just internet and word processing then I'd say just get the SSD.
  7. drury thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2011
    Which SSD did you buy?
  8. ahilal macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2010
    Oakland, CA
    It was a Kingston, I believe. 128 gig, sold on Woot! some months back. Not the top performing model in the world but it has TRIM support and was near $1 per gig at the time.
  9. ataboc macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2007
    I slapped a 64 GB OCZ SSD in my late 2007 Macbook and i plan to keep it for as long as possible.

    I have 4gbs of ram and i run two external 2tb drives.

    I wouldn't hesitate to put one in there at all. With all of my media on externals, i have plenty of room. I also run an external 28" monitor at 1900X1200 and it's great!

    programs open lightning fast. Runs a lot cooler too.

    when i get home, i'll try and figure out which one i purchased specifically.

    you're in luck. since the motherboard speed of the older macbooks is less, you can purchase a less expensive SSD.

    Buy one!
  10. mcdonap macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2011
    I added an SSD to my 2007 MacBook, (2,1 2.16GHz), this past November.

    I went with an OWC - they're calling it the "3G" model now. I just used Disk Utility to copy my old drive, and I made sure it was bootable. Installing it was a breeze.

    What Omicron posted is true - you get used to the speed! I reinstalled my old drive after a few days, and I couldn't believe how slow it felt! I immediately reinstalled the SSD and never looked back.

    Good luck if you decide to give it a try.
  11. jskee macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2011
    Are you having any problems with TRIM? I heard its not supported for SSDs not provided by apple.
  12. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    i think it will be worth it. as stated it's not only cheap in comparison to buying a whole new machine, it can also be used elsewhere and isn't restricted to the 07 mb, and therefore is a good investment.
  13. benchlegs macrumors member


    Apr 22, 2011
    I own a 2007 2.1 MacBook which I upgraded to an Intel 120GB SSD and have no regrets. Between my SSD upgrade, ram upgrade and Apple replacing the top, my machine looks and performs like new.

    I used a Rosewill enclosure and Carbon Copy Cloner to clone my old 80BG drive to the new SSD. Then I took the old drive and put it into the enclosure which I now use as an external drive for storage.
  14. Mobius 1, Jun 28, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011

    Mobius 1 macrumors 6502

    Feb 11, 2011
    might want to use firefox instead ;)

    ssd should make things snappier, but if you're processing or playing games it wouldn't help much
  15. mcdonap macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2011
    None that I know of! I did add Trim Enabler even though the OWC drives have their own garbage collection. I'm hoping that OSX will support TRIM for all ssd's with Lion.

    Performance is still lightning fast, so I don't think there are any issues.
  16. mcdonap macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2011
    Here's a link to the post on the TRIM Support Enabler I mentioned in my previous post. This utility was written by Cindori.

  17. winterquilt macrumors regular


    Feb 18, 2008
    I want to prolong the life of my computer for as long as possible, I've had my Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.2 GHz, 13" white MacBook since Nov 2007 - Feb 2008 (MB061LL/B) and want to install an SSD into it, but I am not sure how much benefit I will get from it as it's listed as having 1.5 Gbps Serial ATA (SATA), but I'm not sure how far I can go up to?

    It surely can't be just 1.5 Gbps SATA? I've heard of 3 Gbps, but not 1.5 Gbps! Obviously I would like 6 Gbps but am not sure if it can handle it? If it were only 1.5 Gbps then there wouldn't be much point in me getting an SSD would there?

    I found out that you can get 1.5Gbps, which is pretty lousy, but if it's what I have then I read this SSD drive would be useful for me:


    ..unfortunately we're talking about the 250MB speed range, which I am sure will be a vast improvement over my 5400RPM Western Digital 500GB HDD right now. But, apparently, that HDD would not support TRIM on my computer, only "1 Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Linux 2.6.33", however I think that's because OS X Lion wasn't out then?

    I am on SL right now but will upgrade to OS X Lion, however lower range SSD models support TRIM from OS X Lion? you know, the one I need at 1.5 GBps? (I think I need that one).

    I read that SSD TRIM is not supported outside of Apple's own SSD releases, is this still true? and what of garbage collection?

    I saw TRIM enabler here: http://www.groths.org/?p=461 but am not sure if it actually works, or could even be dangerous for your drive. In this instance, not the SSD market and OS X Lion itself has matured a little I am looking for official support for TRIM.

    So I am looking for a 500GB SSD for my 5yr old MacBook, with TRIM support and am hoping that because I (more than likely) don't even qualify for 3 Gbps that it'll be cheaper.

    Thanks guys!
  18. logana macrumors 65816


    Feb 4, 2006
    A 500GB SSD will cost more than your MacBook is worth.....

    WHY ????

    Sell the MacBook and buy an i5 MacBook Pro - probably far cheaper !!!!

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