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So if I wanted to give an old Core Duo Macbook it's "Final" Upgrade?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: February 16, 2011 12:10PM
I have this dilemma...

I plan on getting an iPad.. without question, it will do 90% of what I currently do with my old Core Duo (NOT Core 2 Duo... the FIRST model of Macbook) Macbook. Just waiting for "iPad 2.0", because I can afford to wait.

But I want to keep my Macbook around for that other 10%.

It's already at Max RAM... (I don't recall right now what that is, as it's at home, but I know it's "maxed out"). 2Gb? 3Gb? One of those.

The battery is getting "iffy"... runs about an hour or less.

Here's what I'm thinking...

If I could replace the HD with an SSD of modest size (everything I keep on that laptop rattles around in the 160Gb HD.. and never filled the 80Gb original before it took a dirt nap)...

And replace the battery with a shiny new OWC one...

Follow all this with a clean install of a "minimal" 10.6.

I'm wondering;
Decent speed boost, or not?
No, I know the battery won't boost the speed... just mentioning that as part of the whole upgrade package..



Paul F.
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A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

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Eureka, CA
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Re: So if I wanted to give an old Core Duo Macbook it's "Final" Upgrade?
Posted by: jdc
Date: February 16, 2011 12:15PM
2 gigs is the max.

SSD would be your only salvation for speed at this time.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: So if I wanted to give an old Core Duo Macbook it's "Final" Upgrade?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: February 16, 2011 12:18PM
Precisely what I'm thinking...

I sorta forgot to pose the essense of the dilemma;
Is the SSD speed really worth what they cost at the moment for this application?

Of course, that's sort of objective... since my tolerance for spending money on an "old" laptop is different that many folks.. but still...



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: So if I wanted to give an old Core Duo Macbook it's "Final" Upgrade?
Posted by: jdc
Date: February 16, 2011 12:27PM
My wife has the same Macbook -- 2.0 Core Duo bought it the day they came out -- Its pristine, its only been out of the house a handful of times and the battery still goes 3+ hours.

She doesnt notice anything wrong with the speed but Im still thinking that in the next year or so a nice 60 gig SSD will give it a huge kick -- enough for it to last another 5 years. Shes only using about 30 gigs max.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: So if I wanted to give an old Core Duo Macbook it's "Final" Upgrade?
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: February 16, 2011 12:35PM
I don't think SSDs will be cheap enough to justify (unless you get a 40GB) along with a new battery,
for a combined $200, when your NEW iPad may surprise you, and you'll want that $200 to get it
tweaked instead of less-than, because you have $200 into the MacBook.

You'd probably like $80/month via the Barclays card, for a MacBook Air (or a refurb MacBook) over
upgrading a non-Core2. What's the rate on refurbs with 1 year right now? $750?

Compared to the old days, upgrades not made at purchase just aren't going to get the ROI that
they did when we were paying $3500 for a computer.
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Re: So if I wanted to give an old Core Duo Macbook it's "Final" Upgrade?
Posted by: hal
Date: February 16, 2011 12:42PM
THe 500gb 7200rpm drives are very, very fast, but still half the speed of a good SSD. HOWEVER, the stock drive in that thing is a real dog. A 500gb 7200rpm drive WILL make a noticeable difference. The seagate momentus XT line with 4gb of solid state space integrated with 500GB 7200 is even better. I've seen these for $99 recently. Other 7200 500GB drives (500gb because they are much faster than the smaller drives and cheaper than the larger ones) can be found for as little as $50 with good shopping skills (seagate, hitachi, samsung).

SSD is really coming down in price, but I'm not sure if it;s there yet for THIS upgrade...
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Re: So if I wanted to give an old Core Duo Macbook it's "Final" Upgrade?
Posted by: clay
Date: February 16, 2011 12:45PM
The most i'd do would be an SSD, if you can find a big enough one for cheap enough. The OWC ones look great, but OCZ has some offerings that appear to be comparable from a technical standpoint (same sandforce controller), but at a lower price point. I probably wouldn't bother with the battery, unless you really do need the portability. Putting too much money into this machine doesn't make a whole lot of sense in some respects (you'd never get more out of it at resale), but if you plan on keeping it for another year or two, it might be worth the $200 or whatever it'll cost to get the two upgrades.

At least the SSD would be portable to a new machine (or just resell individually and put the hard drive back in) where the battery would not hold its value well in the resale market.
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Re: So if I wanted to give an old Core Duo Macbook it's "Final" Upgrade?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: February 16, 2011 12:46PM
If you're keeping the SSD for the long haul, I'd say do it--SSD is likely more reliable for reasonable amount of read-write cycles, especially if you move the Macbook around at all.
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Re: So if I wanted to give an old Core Duo Macbook it's "Final" Upgrade?
Posted by: silvarios
Date: February 16, 2011 12:53PM
Quote
jdc
She doesnt notice anything wrong with the speed but Im still thinking that in the next year or so a nice 60 gig SSD will give it a huge kick -- enough for it to last another 5 years. Shes only using about 30 gigs max.

Do you think Apple will support the older Core Duo models for much longer? Genuinely interested. I have a Core Duo Mac mini.
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Re: So if I wanted to give an old Core Duo Macbook it's "Final" Upgrade?
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: February 16, 2011 12:59PM
what is the deal with the "hybrid" drives?




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Re: So if I wanted to give an old Core Duo Macbook it's "Final" Upgrade?
Posted by: silvarios
Date: February 16, 2011 01:10PM
Quote
bazookaman
what is the deal with the "hybrid" drives?

I'm assuming you are referring to the spinning platter drive that uses a small SSD as cache? In theory, should be faster than just a spinning platter drive, not sure how well they work in practice. Unsure of reliability. I think only Seagate has drives on the market at this time. More expensive than a normal spinning platter, much cheaper than an SSD.
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Re: So if I wanted to give an old Core Duo Macbook it's "Final" Upgrade?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: February 16, 2011 01:11PM
Interesting range of opinions!

Thanks!

I can see it's not going to be as straight forward a choice as I'd hoped.

It IS a bit of money, but I'm thinking that an iPad will mean I won't NEED a new full-laptop for more like 5 years... in which case this would be a nice "service life extention".

I definitely WOULD want the new battery if I choose to extend this beasts life by putting money in it... some of the things I use it for are being away from AC power.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: So if I wanted to give an old Core Duo Macbook it's "Final" Upgrade?
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: February 16, 2011 01:13PM
Seagate needs the hybrid just to overcome their ROM issues, which are now listed in their spec sheets
as "certain SATA incompatibilities..."
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Re: So if I wanted to give an old Core Duo Macbook it's "Final" Upgrade?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: February 16, 2011 01:24PM
i wouldn't do it. too much money in an old machine. as long as you're not opening a lot of stuff at once then the responsiveness isn't hard drive bound.



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Re: So if I wanted to give an old Core Duo Macbook it's "Final" Upgrade?
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: February 16, 2011 01:51PM
I have a 2GHz Core Duo Blackbook (not Core2) w/2GB RAM and adding a 320G 7200RPM drive and a fresh install of 10.6 resulted in a nice speed boost. Cheap and easy - do it.

I also recently added a 120GB OWC SSD to Mrs. Z's 2.2GHz MBPro and it made a big speed difference in loading programs and data - totally worthwhile. And this is only a SATA I connection with 115 MB/sec max throughput. I'm really trying not to buy a 60 GB one for the Blackbook.
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Re: So if I wanted to give an old Core Duo Macbook it's "Final" Upgrade?
Posted by: jdc
Date: February 16, 2011 08:52PM
OWC jamie or Larry stated that SSD prices would be half in a year or so -- so thats when I will buy.

Yeah, the MBs are limited by the SATA 1 connection, so maybe its overkill -- but for $50 I can manage.

barefeats found nothing astounding with the hybrid drives -- too bad, I was hoping for more when I first read about them. only a few clicks faster here and there -- but nothing like a SSD

[barefeats.com]



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: So if I wanted to give an old Core Duo Macbook it's "Final" Upgrade?
Posted by: sekker
Date: February 16, 2011 11:58PM
Do keep in mind the iPad will take space with backups on whatever machine you use to load with iTunes.

I think the battery and SSD would make that machine as fast as a modern MBA. I just went back to an SSD boot drive - my machine flies. I would go with a quality SSD, tho.
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