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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > 2009/2010 MacBook & best OSX version?

2009/2010 MacBook & best OSX version?
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andi*pandi
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Apr 15, 2015, 03:20 PM
 
I've recently come by a 2009 (possibly 2010? it has magsafe) white macbook 2.4 duo running 10.6.8, 3gb ram. It surprisingly has a good battery. Pricing memory at crucial... is 4g really the max? This page says if I update to 10.7 I can install 16gb ram.
http://www.everymac.com/systems/appl...010-specs.html

Not played around with it much, it will be a kid machine... I see that I can get free OSX upgrades, and know that I want to go to at least 10.7 for software I'll be installing (minecraft). Don't see older OSX on the app store of course though.

Would 10.10 run like a dead horse? Any other things to be aware of?
( Last edited by andi*pandi; Apr 15, 2015 at 04:06 PM. )
     
P
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Apr 15, 2015, 05:05 PM
 
I have never seen everymac.com be wrong when they state a higher max RAM than Apple does, so it seems very likely that they're right: 8 GB max with 10.7.4 or less, 16 GB max otherwise.

As I see it, there are two OS options: Snow Leopard or Mavericks. Snow Leopard is getting tricky now that it does not seem to be get security updates anymore, so I would aim for Mavericks - but with at least 8 GB RAM. Don't use Yosemite myself (no reason to, a Wifi problems scared me), but Mavericks was a good one.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Apr 15, 2015, 06:30 PM
 
Mavericks was indeed an awesome OS, but I'm pretty happy with Yosemite, so if you've never acquired Mavericks through the App Store and can thus no longer get it, you're not going wrong with 10.10 at this point. It doesn't seem any slower than Mavericks on my machines (some ancient aluminum iMac 24" and an early 2011 13" MacBook Pro).

Btw, all MacBooks ever built (since May 2006) have MagSafe.* The major differentiator was the unibody plastic MacBook that came out in 2009 (and the brief appearance of an aluminum unibody MacBook in late 2008 that was replaced by the 13" MacBook Pro in 2009).


*) up to now, obviously.
( Last edited by Spheric Harlot; Apr 15, 2015 at 06:33 PM. Reason: added footnote)
     
macgurunc
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Apr 17, 2015, 05:46 PM
 
I would steer the upgrade money to an SSD instead of more RAM (or do both). An SSD breathes new life into any OS X machine that has a mechanical hard drive and the prices have come down a lot.
     
turtle777
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Apr 18, 2015, 02:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by macgurunc View Post
I would steer the upgrade money to an SSD instead of more RAM (or do both). An SSD breathes new life into any OS X machine that has a mechanical hard drive and the prices have come down a lot.
Seconded.

I recently installed a SSD in a 2009 MBP (2.26 GHz).
Best upgrade I ever did. Took only a few minutes to do. Much better than any RAM upgrade.

OWC has great kits and instructions. They even provide an ext. enclosure so you can continue using your old HD.

Solid State Drives For Apple Macs. Upgrade to the Right SSD Today!

OS X 10.10 runs just fine on that machine.

-t
     
OreoCookie
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Apr 18, 2015, 11:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Seconded.

I recently installed a SSD in a 2009 MBP (2.26 GHz).
Thirded. I gave my 2010 15" MacBook Pro with SSD upgrade to my gf. Apart from the fan which is much more vigorous than in my new machine, the 15" machine one works great with 10.10.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
andi*pandi  (op)
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Apr 23, 2015, 05:15 PM
 
thanks all!

I'll look into the SSD. Trying to keep the investment low, but this sounds like it makes a speedier mac.

also, OWC has really nice videos on swapping these out.
( Last edited by andi*pandi; Apr 23, 2015 at 05:32 PM. )
     
Spheric Harlot
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Apr 23, 2015, 05:47 PM
 
The current best SSD appears to be the Samsung 850 EVO, though in part due to included Windows-only tools.

It's closely followed by the slightly cheaper Crucial BX100 SSD series.

From The Wirecutter: The best consumer-grade SSD (for most people) | Ars Technica

I'm running a 1TB Crucial M500 in my 2011 MBP, and I'm very happy with it. FWIW, I've followed Crucial's advice and not bothered with enabling TRIM, but disabling hard drive sleep, to allow the drive's own garbage-collection algorithms to clean up things. Seems to be working fine.
     
Thorzdad
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Apr 25, 2015, 01:11 PM
 
If you can't stay on 10.6.8, I would go for 10.9 Mavericks, and nothing newer. I have a late 2009 iMac and ran 10.10 on it via an external drive and, while it ran, it could be balky at times, even with 8G of ram.

My wife has a white MacBook similar to what you describe for her job, and it was recently updated to 10.10, and it's not fun.
     
andi*pandi  (op)
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Apr 27, 2015, 09:09 PM
 
good to know.

Also, just booted up after a week... I had charged it when I first got it, then unplugged to see how long the battery would last on standby, to see if I needed a new one... cheered to myself when after a few days it still booted up... then left it til I had time to tinker with it again.

Today I didn't expect to find it still had charge, but when plugged in the battery won't charge and the case seems to bulge a little over the battery compartment (thought this model wasn't supposed to have user access to battery?) System says it is model 4,1, (pre-unibody). :/

So, free laptop, is adding up to not-free:

ram $108 for 4gb (possible up to 12)
SSD $130 for 240gb (currently 200gb internal)
battery $89

Agh.
     
Doc HM
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Apr 28, 2015, 07:15 AM
 
Unibody Macbook is model 6,1 or 7,1. 4,1 is late model v1 macbook. Bulgy battery is quite common on the v. old MacBooks now.

If it's an original macbook I would spend any money on it at all let alone the $320+ you are up to. Original MacBooks also only support the slowest SATA standard so you'll not get full benefit from the SSD although it will be a lot quicker to boot and open apps. CPU speed will still be slow though.
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Spheric Harlot
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Apr 28, 2015, 08:23 AM
 
I concur.

If it's pre-unibody, don't invest a penny more.
     
andi*pandi  (op)
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Apr 29, 2015, 07:05 PM
 
Haven't bought anything yet, thank goodness.

Tried a different outlet, and it charged, so maybe battery's ok and the outlet is bad. I was able to install latest minecraft at least, so kid = happy. Maybe I'll see if our tech guys have some RAM sitting around.

Given the age of the beast, do you all still think that upgrading OS to 10.10 is a good idea, or let it sit at 10.6.8?
     
Thorzdad
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Apr 29, 2015, 07:20 PM
 
I'd say you're safe with updating to 10.8, maybe 10.9.
I wouldn't put 10.10 on it, if I were you. Like I said, my wife had her white Macbook updated to 10.10 and really doesn't like the experience.
     
P
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Apr 29, 2015, 08:03 PM
 
10.9 Mavericks is a good one.

I've come to see recent OS X releases in a sort of tick-tick pattern. 10.5 was the Big Bang, and 10.6 was the one that fixed it up. 10.7 was another bang, and it took two releases to fix that one up. Yosemite is a third bang, and one I haven't bothered with yet.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Apr 29, 2015, 08:07 PM
 
It won't go beyond 10.7.

I'm running that on my late 2006 emergency backup MacBook with 3 GB, and it's okay. It does iCloud, at least, which I need on the backup to access my contacts and calendars.
     
P
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Apr 29, 2015, 08:30 PM
 
Didn't notice that the machine was now the older Penryn model - the platypus of MacBooks. In that case, 10.7 is indeed the only option, as that GPU does not have a 64-bit driver required by 10.8. Max RAM is also 6GB.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
foo2
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Apr 29, 2015, 08:40 PM
 
If the machine *was* in fact the newer 2010 Macbook 2.4 P8600, I'd encourage the following:

* Put 10.10.3 on it
* Put an SSD in there
* Put 8GB or so of RAM in there

I've doing exactly this, and I'm thrilled. Sure, it's not as fast as my i7 iMac with 16GB, but it's still reasonably fast. I'm not planning on playing any games or converting any movies... and for web browsing and a simple, portable machine, it's wonderful.

I'd like to understand from others why they'd not suggest 10.10 on this generation of machine - with the SSD and RAM, it's *wonderful*. If I had to choose one or the other, I concur with a few other posts - get the SSD. With just 3GB and the SSD, it's an entirely new machine. With the 9GB that I have in there now, it's grand.
iMac 3.3/i5 (2015) 24GB 2TB 10.13.1
MBP 15/2.5 (2014) 16GB 500GB 10.13.1
MBP 15/2.3 (2012) 16GB 250GB 10.13.1
MB 13/2.4 (2010) 9GB 120GB 10.13.1
MB 13/2.0 (E-2009) 4GB 120GB 10.13
     
andi*pandi  (op)
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Apr 29, 2015, 09:49 PM
 
sadly, it took me a while to find the info but it is actually an older machine, pre-unibody. But I learned a lot, and thanks everyone for the help!
     
andi*pandi  (op)
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Nov 3, 2017, 12:57 PM
 
Bumping for a question I think I know the answer to...

For about a month, this white macbook has been flaky with the screen. My daughter can open it, login, then the screen goes dark.... sometimes you are able to vaguely see enough to click things, but mostly it's just dim. It doesn't always happen. The battery appears to be charged. Sometimes fiddling with brightness buttons helps. I reset PRAM and SMC: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3964

Suggestions here seem daunting: https://www.ifixit.com/Answers/View/...ill+running---

Is there hope for poor little macbook?

:sad:
     
foo2
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Nov 3, 2017, 01:05 PM
 
* Build another user account on the MacBook and reproduce the problem. Can you?
* Boot from the recovery partition (you're running 10.13, right?) or a MacOS CD and reproduce the problem. Can you?
* Attach a HDMI / VGA output cable to it and reproduce the problem with an external screen. Can you?
iMac 3.3/i5 (2015) 24GB 2TB 10.13.1
MBP 15/2.5 (2014) 16GB 500GB 10.13.1
MBP 15/2.3 (2012) 16GB 250GB 10.13.1
MB 13/2.4 (2010) 9GB 120GB 10.13.1
MB 13/2.0 (E-2009) 4GB 120GB 10.13
     
reader50
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Nov 3, 2017, 01:45 PM
 
I'm guessing the backlight is going. If so, you can replace the backlight or use an external monitor. Or a display cable or connector is failing. The other possibility is the GPU - you don't want it to be this one.

Try foo2's tests. If it's the backlight or cable or connectors, your results will be:

yes
yes
no
     
P
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Nov 4, 2017, 06:25 AM
 
Yup, almost certainly the backlight is going or gone.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
   
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