Owner of a mid-2010 13'' Macbook. What should I do with it?

Rock69

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I have a:

13'' Macbook Pro mid-2010 (not Retina)
2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
NVIDIA GeForce 320M 256 MB
8 GB 1067 MHz DDR3
SATA HD 500GB
Serial No. 3403078YATM

It started to suffer from overheating issues last year but I've been able to manage it by using a base support with cooling fans and TG Pro to control its own internal fan.

I know how to do maintenance on computers (on PC's as well) so, for an almost 7 years old laptop, it performs rather well. However, I'm starting to consider doing something with it, as it is getting slower and and the temperature maintenance is a bit of a pain in the ass. However, my bank account is not exactly overflowing with cash so I'm wondering what could be my options:

A) Selling it?
I would have to fix the overheating and also buy a new battery, since this one is lasting about 3 hours only. Is it worth it?

B) Fixing those issues and keeping it a bit longer until I have more money to get a newer model?
A tech support guy suggested replacing my SATA HD for a SSD...he told me it would make a great difference in terms of speed and processing.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
 
Check out EveryMac for hardware details of your laptop.
http://www.everymac.com/

If I remember right, the 2010 MBP is pretty easy to open and access the internals. As Ubrales says, this may just be a matter of cleaning the dust out of the inside with a can of compressed air. iFixit usually has disassembly instructions.
https://www.ifixit.com/Device/MacBook_Pro_13%22_Unibody_Mid_2010

The Core 2 Duos don't dynamically undervolt like the Core i CPUs do, so they run hotter than they really need to. They do support manual undervolting though, and on the PC there was software which allowed you to set their voltage at different frequencies. On my last C2D laptop, that was enough to lower temps by 10 degress C. A quick Google search yields a few links to similar software for OS X.
https://www.google.com/search?q=os+x+core+2+duo+undervolt&oq=os+x+core+2+duo+undervolt

I think this model used a SATA2 HDD (confirm on EveryMac). So upgrading it to a SSD is probably your best bet for a performance improvement. Yeah you won't get 550 MB/s sequential speeds. But the sequential speeds aren't as important as the 4k speeds, and those are down near 30 MB/s so well within SATA2's speed limit. (A laptop HDD's sequential speeds are around 100 MB/s, so a 500 MB/s SSD is only a 5x speed increase. A laptop HDD's 4k speeds are around 1 MB/s, so a SSD's 30 MB/s represents a 30x speed increase.)

Some of these older MBPs used a proprietary thermostat attached to the HDD though. If you don't transfer the thermostat to the new drive, it causes the fan to run at full power all the time. EveryMac should be able to tell you if your model is one of those affected.

The nVidia 320M is actually slower than the Intel integrated graphics on the latest Core i CPUs. :(
 

clarkjd

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If you like the machine, then follow option B. Not being an Apple Guru, I have no idea how you would transfer your system over to an SSD(or if it is even possible), but if you could get an SSD installed, the performance jump would be like having a new machine.

Option C: Boat anchor?
 

game junky

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Computers in general don't retain their value well after about 3 years - new generation of processors, new features or form factor changes, weight vs battery life not maximized vs newer models, etc.

Which is the better options of your suggestions depends on how you feel about OSX and what you do on your system on a daily basis. If you don't need to play games or use video editting/graphic design suites then that laptop is probably still more than capable of getting the job done and it's probably worth assess the cost of repair.

Installing an SSD is a great idea to improve your day to day performance and there are likely sites (I googled install ssd in 2010 MBP and it came up with a youtube video of the install process) with detailed instructions for how to clone your existing drive and expand the partition. Check for compatibility - I am guessing there is a list of compatible drives, hopefully the Samsung 840 or 850 evo are on there. Good price vs performance and they're incredibly reliable
 
Check out EveryMac for hardware details of your laptop.
http://www.everymac.com/

If I remember right, the 2010 MBP is pretty easy to open and access the internals. As Ubrales says, this may just be a matter of cleaning the dust out of the inside with a can of compressed air. iFixit usually has disassembly instructions.
https://www.ifixit.com/Device/MacBook_Pro_13%22_Unibody_Mid_2010

The Core 2 Duos don't dynamically undervolt like the Core i CPUs do, so they run hotter than they really need to. They do support manual undervolting though, and on the PC there was software which allowed you to set their voltage at different frequencies. On my last C2D laptop, that was enough to lower temps by 10 degress C. A quick Google search yields a few links to similar software for OS X.
https://www.google.com/search?q=os+x+core+2+duo+undervolt&oq=os+x+core+2+duo+undervolt

I think this model used a SATA2 HDD (confirm on EveryMac). So upgrading it to a SSD is probably your best bet for a performance improvement. Yeah you won't get 550 MB/s sequential speeds. But the sequential speeds aren't as important as the 4k speeds, and those are down near 30 MB/s so well within SATA2's speed limit. (A laptop HDD's sequential speeds are around 100 MB/s, so a 500 MB/s SSD is only a 5x speed increase. A laptop HDD's 4k speeds are around 1 MB/s, so a SSD's 30 MB/s represents a 30x speed increase.)

Some of these older MBPs used a proprietary thermostat attached to the HDD though. If you don't transfer the thermostat to the new drive, it causes the fan to run at full power all the time. EveryMac should be able to tell you if your model is one of those affected.

The nVidia 320M is actually slower than the Intel integrated graphics on the latest Core i CPUs. :(
 

Rock69

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Nov 19, 2011
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Ok guys, thanks for the help. I'm convinced in getting an SSD and cleaning my laptop, I found a guy that can do it for cheap (he has the compressed air, which I don't).

Quick question: Do I have to get a specific SSD for my 2010 Macbook? I'm willing to fork out a bit more and get one with 240GB so that the loss in storage is not that massive...and I'd plan on using my SATA as an external HD.
 

Ubrales

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Yes you need to get an SSD designed for the Mac - this will be helpful - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrixBggrvRM (This video is just to familiarize yourself with the steps involved and the type of SSD - you can still go with the guy who you picked to install the SSD).

Regarding the can of compressed air; it is available at most computer stores and also at stores like Walmart - inexpensive.
 

The Macbook Airs and newer Macbook Pros need a proprietary SSD (it looks like a M.2 SSD except Apple had to "think different" and use their own proprietary interface. A couple years ago they even added their own encryption to try to screw over the one company making compatible SSDs.) I hear the newest MBP has the SSD integrated into the motherboard - yet another reason to avoid it.

But the regular Macbooks (not the new ultra-thin one) and older Macbook Pros which came with a HDD take a standard 2.5" SSD. Just be careful of the thermostat and fan on max problem I mentioned earlier.
 
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