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Mid-2010 MBP 13" CL Score

Rick Dangerous

Well-known member
Got a nice clean 13" MBP (mid-2010) 2.4Ghz Dual core from Craigslist this weekend for $85. The things that made it appealing to me were how clean it is, it has 8GB ram, and a 500GB SSD (a nice start.) This era is also pretty cheap to upgrade/repair right now. My short list for this unit is:

-16GB Ram
-New Battery
-New Screw Kit (missing two)
-New feet (missing one)
-New Thermal paste for the heat sync

Got it setup my first night and used Dosdudes Patcher to get it up to Catalina. A few questions:

-Possible to have RAM faster than 1066mhz in there, or no?
-Is the thermal paste needed, will it help? Its a reasonable amount of work to get the board out which is why i ask.
-Can i use "Patched Sur" to get up to Big Sur (since it has a SSD) or would that be playing with fire?

My main concerns are the slow ram and lack of video ram (integrated 256) but i think for light emulation duties, web/email, home office work, and running a dual boot Ubuntu setup it should work just fine. I also like the optical drive and plan to watch some DVD's in bed on it.

Anything I missed for upgrades, what else should i be doing with this machine? :)
 

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Rick Dangerous

Well-known member
External Superdrive also shows black screen on stock DVD player when I pop a movie in. Very interesting...

Can anyone recommend a good 3rd party DVD player program I could use to test further?
 

Byrd

Well-known member
Does the DVD mount? Try VLC as an alternative.

I'd try the dosdude1 patchers for Mojave and Catalina - see if Catalina runs OK, but if you get inexplicable pauses, slowdowns downgrade to Mojave. I'm currently trying the same on a 2010 Core2Duo Mac Mini (similar specs) and think Catalina is pushing it too much, some unusual pauses and video glitches (it's being used as a glorified smart TV box running Kodi).

JB
 

Rick Dangerous

Well-known member
I reset the PRAM, NVRAM, SMC chip, and checked if it was a corrupted PList file. None worked. The drives are good it's a bug somewhere. After resetting the SMC chip I get 5 second of audio from the disk before it cuts out. And yes it mounts on the desktop.
 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
Nice find!

-Can i use "Patched Sur" to get up to Big Sur (since it has a SSD) or would that be playing with fire?

This will work but Big Sur removes whatever Catalina still has that makes it perform almost-fine with these old machines -- it will be literally unusable. We're talking "minimizing a window will take a minute, moving it will take 30 seconds" kinds of poor performance.
 

joshc

Well-known member
Nice score, these are great laptops. Worth redoing the thermal paste IMO, the original was never that good anyway. My mid 2012 is overdue for it, it definitely runs warmer than it used to. I wouldn't bother with Big Sur, it will be really slow.
 

Byrd

Well-known member
This will work but Big Sur removes whatever Catalina still has that makes it perform almost-fine with these old machines -- it will be literally unusable. We're talking "minimizing a window will take a minute, moving it will take 30 seconds" kinds of poor performance.

Slight exaggeration there! Big Sur seems much more reliant on more modern CPU instructions, GPU support and RAM. My 2011 11” MBA 8GB runs it like a dream.

Catalina is hit and miss on unsupported Macs - I’ve just patched it to said 2010 Mac Mini Core2Duo 2.4Ghz 8GB 256GB SSD Geforce 320M runs like an absolute dog until I killed Spotlight from Terminal after letting it be for a few hours. Safari and Kodi are perfectly usable now.

My 2009 Mac Mini Core2Duo 2.0Ghz 4GB 256GB Geforce 9400M is much snappier for anything GPU related, but this machine has dead sound and rust 😃

Back on topic, Catalina on the 2010 MB should be OK.
 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
Slight exaggeration there! Big Sur seems much more reliant on more modern CPU instructions, GPU support and RAM. My 2011 11” MBA 8GB runs it like a dream.

Oh, that's super interesting. It's been a few months since I read about it but when I did that's very close to what the people doing the patcher were saying it would be like.

That said, a 2011 Mac running Sandy Bridge does have meaningfully newer instructions than a 2009-2010 one running Penryn so it might still be true for this machine.

Also, it seems super weird that a 2009 2.0 mini would be faster than a 2010 2.4 mini, is it maybe time to pull the 2010 machine apart to do some maintenance on its cooling?
 

Rick Dangerous

Well-known member
What's the right MS Office for this machine. I don't think 2011 will run on Catalina which is a shame. Would like to get a disc copy if i can...
 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
2016/2019 will run on catalina and are the current "perpetually licensed" versions. They won't come on discs but they are not subscription based.

Here's 2019/mac from Apple: https://www.apple.com/shop/product/HP7C2LL/A/microsoft-office-home-and-student-2019-1-mac
(the homebiz version is also available if you need/want outlook: https://www.apple.com/shop/product/HP7A2LL/A/microsoft-office-home-and-business-2019-1-mac )

2011 was a great version and will more or less handle modern/current office documents, but the last OS it runs on is 10.14 and to be honest I don't even know if it runs well there, that's just the last OS X to still run 32-bit software.

Depending on what you need there's also iWork.

This isn't what was asked but if you need to license multiple computers and want to be legit about it Office 365 is a pretty good deal. You can usually find it on reasonable sale and if you have it set to auto-renew you'll often keep whatever promotional price you got when you renew. I bough 365 Family for $70/year (a meaningful discount) a couple years ago and it renewed at the same price. That gets 6 total accounts each with 1tb of online storage and each with 6 activated installs of office.

365 also gets you some features MS has added to 365 but not the perpetual version, some of which are Pretty neat, like the boosted editing/proofing tools that sort of move in the Grammarly direction.

I also genuinely use the online version once in a while, and, as Microsoft makes running an on-prem sharepoint server more difficult I'm probably going to end up migrating my personal documents up to my consumer onedrive account, but that's a whole different set of things. (Also the online version probably won't be very good on a penryn laptop, it's just a super duper heavy web site that uses a whole raftload of ram.)
 

Rick Dangerous

Well-known member
Great post, very informative thank you!

I hate subscription services with a passionate so looks like I may have to she'll out for the 2019 home and student. Found it for $125 on Amazon which is $25 cheaper so that helps.

Cheers'
 
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