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Model A1181: 1.83, 2, 2.1, 2.13, 2.16, 2.2, or 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Will this SSD fit in my Early 2008 polycarbonate MacBook?

Hello everyone, I want to replace my hard drive in my MacBook with an SSD. I have read the guide on how to replace it from iFixIt, however I was wondering if this Samsung drive from eBay would work, as it's unclear what size the SSD itself needs to be. I am willing to take the risk from eBay.

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You'll need find a different 2.5" SSD than the one you have selected. Your systems SATA port runs at SATA I (1.5 Gb/s) I/O speed. The Samsung drive you have linked to is a fixed SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) which is too fast for your system. The newer Samsung 850 EVO drive would be a better choice as it offers SATA speed sense technology which will match your systems SATA port speed.

Samsung 850 EVO specs.

There are a few other SSD drives out there that will work as well. Just make sure you check the spec sheets SATA Interface line that is shows SATA I (1.5 Gb/s) as workable.

I would also recommend before you alter things make sure your systems firmware is up to date. Follow this Apple T/N: About EFI and SMC firmware updates for Intel-based Mac computers.

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Hey, Dan! Have you seen successful speed-sensing with the Samsung 850? I've read stories about issues between Macs and 3rd-party SSDs with Sandforce controllers (such as the newer Samsungs), but I haven't been able to test enough to judge for myself. Crucial makes a SATA III SSD line with Marvell controllers that they recommend for SATA II and SATA I systems - the MX200/BX200 series, sold under both the Crucial and the Micron brands.


Hi Adlerpe, Yes & No! If you first make sure the systems firmware is up to date I've had good success on many systems when swapping out HD's for SSD's. Forget about dual drive setups (optical drive) as many systems have issues with the SATA port. Here you can only use a fixed speed drive and you need to be careful what you use. The Sandforce issue was fixed in the newer SSD firmware. But, not all SSD's that use the Sandforce controller updated their firmware or you need to do it before you installed it which is a big pain!


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The Samsung SSD you've linked to is a 2,5" SATA II drive, which is the same size and connector as the original hard drive. Physically, it should swap in fine. A 2.5" hard drive/hybrid drive/SSD is the normal size for almost all laptops until a few years ago, when SSD cards started replacing traditional 2.5"-sized devices. Most 2.5" SSDs are 7mm high, while the traditional platter drives are 9.5mm high; SSDs in the original retail package usually include a spacer to fill the gap, but your mounting bracket may eliminate that need.

I've had complications with replacing hard drives with SSDs in older pre-2012 MacBooks/MacBook Pros: Sometimes the SSD won't mount on the desktop when it's run internally, although the original HD works fine and the SSD works as an external drive. In one of these cases, I got a recommendation from an OtherWorld Computing tech support operator that's worked every time I've tried it: Replace the original hard drive ribbon cable (which attaches the HD/SSD to the logic board) with a brand new cable. SSDs transfer data a lot faster than HDs; the tech's explanation was that the original cable may get damaged through wear, while the new cable allows a cleaner signal. This may be especially important in a case like yours, where the 3Gb SATA II needs to downscale to the 1.5Gb SATA I connection on your logic board.

I don't know how accurate that tech's explanation is, but I've tried it in eight different Mac laptops from 2007 through 2011, and the cable replacement trick has worked each time. You can certainly try the original cable first, and then replace the cable with a new one if you can't get the MacBook to boot off the internal SSD.

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