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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Upgrading MBP, how and what, ( warning Mac dummy)


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PLUMMER

 
Member Since: Feb 23, 2008
Location: Shelby Township, Michigan
Posts: 55
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Mac Specs: MBP 2.4 DUO,8GB,G4SE 8600GT 256,leopard 10.5.8

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I have been searching for an exact match on my application. The local store is a joke, kinda get tired of waiting hours to learn there is only one person in the store that can do it but doesn't have time.

I upgraded my ram to 8GB because that's what Mac phone and store support told me too. The MBP recognizes it, but it made zero change in operation. 1gb to 8

MBP 2.4 core 2 Duo
8 GB 1067Mhz DDR3
10.5.8 OS
3MB L2 cache
Model ID 5,1
Bus 1.07Ghz
Boot rom MBP51.007E.B06

Is there anything else to upgrade and what do I have to do to upgrade OS exactly,(literally)
Last I noted was I had to do 10.6 I think before going any higher

My goal is to improve the machine performance best I can or decide to buy new. It's used primarily by wife for work from home. Hospital . It's much slower than it used to be, even with general web surfing and using iWork. Trackpad has been acting up, like not clicking. Other than this minor stuff, its been the best computer I've ever owned. No video editing, pics or music type stuff done with this machine. Thanks

What would the pros recommend, and I don't mind paying a pro to work on it. If that's what it takes.
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EssArTee4

 
Member Since: Jul 29, 2011
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SSD best bang for your buck. Better yet, get a Data Doubler, move your current HDD to the SuperDrive bay and use a SSD to boot.
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bobtomay

 
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Still have my '06 MBP 2.33Ghz - my first Mac - one of the best computers I've ever owned, for sure my favorite - at least it was the most hassle free and got to play with a new OS at the same time

Trackpad acting up, like not clicking:
Could be stuff under the trackpad - ever opened it up and dusted/cleaned it out?
Still original battery? Could be a bulged battery - definitely causes that specific problem.

Upgrade the OS - specifically - before anything else you have to purchase Snow Leopard before Apple decides to quit selling it again:
Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard - Apple Store (U.S.)

The hard drive that shipped in that MBP was slow then and it's slower now.

New hard drive - OWC 500-750 GB WD at 7200 for ~$100 will add some speed to your machine, DIY kit will also give you the tools you need to do the job and an external case to put the old drive in to use it as a storage drive - link.

Or replace with an SSD - even faster - more expensive and less storage space.
Personally, I wouldn't bother with an SSD in a 5+ yr old computer.
Would guess you already know she's going to want a new one sometime in the next year or so.

Probably don't even need to replace the drive just to get it back to it's original speed, some maintenance would likely do that. Running Onyx, getting free space up to 40% and maybe running a defragger depending on how much space has been used on the drive.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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VAMountaineer

 
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Upgrading your OS will do ZERO to help your speed performance. do not get sucked into the normal macidiot trap of thinking you "have to" have the latest OS. It is a dumb trap to fall into.

I would put 10.6 on that system, or perhaps 10.7.. personally I despise everything about 10.7 and 10.8, but that's me...

You will get FAR better performance improvement by putting an SSD (solid state) or SSHD (solid state hybrid drive) in the system, than ANY OTHER change.

SSD = max cost, max performance.. probably a 10x-20x speed bump over your original drive.
SSDH = average cost, high perofrmance. probably a 7-10x speed bump over your original drive.

A quick tutorial on HDDs is in order here..

HDD -> "hard disk drive"
- THis is your conventional hard drive - a spinning platter on which a bazillion digits of information are dumped.. It can get fragmented, corrupted, is a power hog, and is susceptible to impact/bumps/drops/etc.. but it's cheap.. a 500gb drive is ~$75-100... speed (RPM) is important with these.. min acceptable is 5400, 7200 is recommended, 10,000 is high performance (and $$)..

SSD - >Solid State Drive
- this is the macdaddy drive. it's 100% solid state chips. Stupid-fast performance, and insanely expensive. IF you want a boot time under 10 seconds, here's where you start.. but you'll pay for it. a 500gb is around $300-350.. a 1tb is around $575-600....

SSHD -> "Hybrid SSD"
- this is a combination of SSD and HDD.. it's got a small amount of solid state circuitry (say 8-10gb), and has a conventional disk drive on board.. So it "learns" over time what's most important, nad will store that stuff on the SSD portion.. The rest of your data gets dumped on the disk.. From the user perspective its all 100% seamless, you'll never see it switch from SSD to HDD.. and your billfold will be grateful..
SSDH - 500gb - - ~$100.. 1tb ~$140-160..

In real-world use, I see an SSHD give about 75-80% of the performance boost that one gets with a flat-out SSD... so in terms of bang-for-the-buck, it's a no-brainer..

Also bear in mind that no Macbook Pro prior to 2012 will handle all the speed from the newer 6gb bandwidth drives, so your fanbois who want to drop large coin in a super fast SSD will be throwing 90% of that money down the drain, as the performance is mostly wasted.. (in other words, 2008-2011 era systems run 3gb bandwidth buss speeds, so a 6gb SataIII drive is a total waste over a SataII 3gb speed drive)..

Rules of thumb: NEVER defragment an SSD.. you can ruin it.
Defragmentation on a conventional HDD is a good idea.
Also, deleting your User Caches folder regularly is one of the easiest methods of gaining a lot of speed back..

the other day I popped up a client's machine ( a rather new 2011 macbook pro) - he was complaining of speed issues.. at a cursory glance, he had over 6gb in his user cache folder.. I sent him off to get me a cup of coffee while I "looked around", and as soon as he walked off, I blitzed the user cache folder, rebooted the machine, and VOILA, it was WAY faster.....
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PLUMMER

 
Member Since: Feb 23, 2008
Location: Shelby Township, Michigan
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Sweet, so at least there are some options. Big thanks for all that info. The HD might be 1/3 full, we don't store much. It's. 232GB and we have 59GB used.
Is it a big deal swapping drives or do I have to back it all up before I wedge the new one in. I do have a micro center down the road.
What I'm understanding is I'm not gonna be able to use the advantages of SSD so just use the SSHD. I would like to up the OS to use iCloud and link my devices. I'm might be a good plumber but am NOT good at computers.
I did open it up to clean the track pad area, not much to clean but it did work for a couple days, then back to the quirks. Wireless Mac mouse works fine tho. It just won't click on anything. Sometimes you'll find a spot that works but its real hardto drag without loosing it. On its 2nd battery but no bulging on either. Any experts local?
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VAMountaineer

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLUMMER View Post
Sweet, so at least there are some options. Big thanks for all that info. The HD might be 1/3 full, we don't store much. It's. 232GB and we have 59GB used.
Is it a big deal swapping drives or do I have to back it all up before I wedge the new one in. I do have a micro center down the road.
What I'm understanding is I'm not gonna be able to use the advantages of SSD so just use the SSHD. I would like to up the OS to use iCloud and link my devices. I'm might be a good plumber but am NOT good at computers.
I did open it up to clean the track pad area, not much to clean but it did work for a couple days, then back to the quirks. Wireless Mac mouse works fine tho. It just won't click on anything. Sometimes you'll find a spot that works but its real hardto drag without loosing it. On its 2nd battery but no bulging on either. Any experts local?
sorry --looks like i confused more than helped.. sorry.

1. i'd recommend getting the SSDH (hybrid drive) -- they're ~$100 on amazon. what I meant by all the gibberish about SSD vs SSHD is more for the gearheads... You'd see a massive advantage of EITHER ONE over your current drive.. But (IMHO) the jump to a $500 drive over a $100 SSHD isn't going to be pay off on your system...

2. you need to pull your battery connection (and press the power button a few times) to discharge your machine PRIOR to removing your old HDD.. Otherwise you'll blow the harness..

hope that helps..
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PLUMMER

 
Member Since: Feb 23, 2008
Location: Shelby Township, Michigan
Posts: 55
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Mac Specs: MBP 2.4 DUO,8GB,G4SE 8600GT 256,leopard 10.5.8

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Yes it does help thanks, I'm assuming I have to back everything up before swapping drives. Any particular brand of drive? Is amazon better than micro center?

And I think of it this way, if the SSHD buys me another couples years great but if the SSD buys more time it might be worth it to me. Looks like I will only need a very small 250gig drive for my needs, unless you say different for performance. I looked at that new Mac Pro coming out, and that looks like what I might get in a few years, I'd rather spend more now IF it means I won't be outdated in just a couple years. Again thanks for the patients and help
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PLUMMER

 
Member Since: Feb 23, 2008
Location: Shelby Township, Michigan
Posts: 55
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Mac Specs: MBP 2.4 DUO,8GB,G4SE 8600GT 256,leopard 10.5.8

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I see the apple brand is $749.......wow 256gig 512mbps 3.0 interface

Lots to choose from haha.....
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VAMountaineer

 
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go to amazon.. find the 500gb seagate SSHD hybrid drive. i bought 9 this morning. they're $100 ish delivered.. it's 8mm, it's fast, its great....

Or go buy the Crucial M500 500gb for around $300... it's faster, but 3x's the price, and (unless you're a serious power user, which i seriously doubt based on your statements), i think it's overkill..
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PLUMMER

 
Member Since: Feb 23, 2008
Location: Shelby Township, Michigan
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Thanks for the info. When I do the new SSHD can I just put a current OS on there and then upload all of the backed up data. Or do I have to bring up my current drive step by step, since I'm at 10.4 or 10.5 now.
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MacInWin

 
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The folks at MacSales.com (OWC) have videos you can watch to see how to change out hard drives, etc. Pretty good service for that. I'm having problems with an SSD I got from them, so I won't recommend their SSDs but the videos are great for how to do things.
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VAMountaineer

 
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For a while OWC had the best SSD drives options available..

But, the new Crucial M500s surpass the rest of the market now, and the OWC markup is a bit steep (IMHO)....
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PLUMMER

 
Member Since: Feb 23, 2008
Location: Shelby Township, Michigan
Posts: 55
PLUMMER is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: MBP 2.4 DUO,8GB,G4SE 8600GT 256,leopard 10.5.8

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Sweet , thanks for making it easy. When I do the cloning or using old drive to new drive swap. Is there a way to just do the. New drive with latest OS and then upload or clone the old drive. And is the latest OS the best to have?
I did find a crucial M500 120 GB for $114 at the same place with the videos, OWC. Unfortunately for me it does have to be idiot proof like those videos when it comes to computers. I have some kind of brain block for puters. If it had levers, knobs or wheels I'd be ok. Kinda scary that I actually went to college for mechanical and chemical engineering. Anyways thanks again, not all forums are this easy going.
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PLUMMER

 
Member Since: Feb 23, 2008
Location: Shelby Township, Michigan
Posts: 55
PLUMMER is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: MBP 2.4 DUO,8GB,G4SE 8600GT 256,leopard 10.5.8

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For the external case, which is best. OWC express, newer tech adapter, or newer tech voyager.. Micro center down the road has both the seagate SSHD and crucial m5 SSD for under $100
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PLUMMER

 
Member Since: Feb 23, 2008
Location: Shelby Township, Michigan
Posts: 55
PLUMMER is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: MBP 2.4 DUO,8GB,G4SE 8600GT 256,leopard 10.5.8

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Does the write speed make any difference? Crucial 130 versus the Samsung 400. Or is this something I won't notice. MC only has the crucial in stock unless I get a larger hd for more money
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