Unibody MacBook (Late 2009)

The original polycarbonate Mac notebook got a design overhaul, the first since the original MacBook was introduced in May 2006. Although it’s still white and appears to be made of plastic, the lower case uses a unibody design carved from aluminum – but covered with a rubbery white material.

Unibody MacBook

The Late 2009 MacBook has a 2.26 GHz CPU, and it should come as no surprise that the it has a built-in battery – and that it’s rated at 7 hours. It also has a multitouch glass trackback, just like Apple’s other portables.

This is the oldest MacBook supported by macOS Sierra.

For the first time, a regular MacBook (as opposed to last year’s Unibody MacBook) has no FireWire port or IR receiver for Apple’s remote, and it’s also missing the SD Card reader built into most 2009 ‘Books. There is a single audio port used for both input and output, so you can’t plug in analog speakers/headphones and a microphone at the same time. The graphics processor remains the same, but the display is now LED backlit.

Although this MacBook has a slightly larger footprint than the previous polycarbonate design, it weighs 0.3 lb. less.

Unlike early MacBooks, where every USB port could provide 500 mA of power, only one USB port provides full power – the port closer to the front.

Closed Lid Mode: All Intel ‘Books support “lid closed” (or clamshell) mode, which leaves the built-in display off and dedicates all video RAM to an external display. To used closed lid mode, your ‘Book must be plugged into the AC adapter and connected to an external display and a USB or Bluetooth mouse and keyboard (you might also want to consider external speakers). Power up your ‘Book until the desktop appears on the external display and then close the lid. Your ‘Book will go to sleep, but you can wake it by moving the mouse or using the keyboard. The built-in display will remain off, and the external monitor will become your only display. Since all video RAM is now dedicated to the external monitor, you may have more colors available at higher resolutions. The MacBook is designed to run safely in closed lid mode, but if yours runs hot (perhaps due to overclocking or high ambient temperatures), you may want to open the lid when in closed lid mode: The screen will remain off and the computer will more readily vent heat from the CPU.

To resume use of the internal display, you need to disconnect the external display, put the computer to sleep, and then open the lid. This will wake up your ‘Book and restore use of the built-in display.

Intel-based Macs use a partitioning scheme known as GPT. Only Macintel models can boot from GPT hard drives. Both PowerPC and Intel Macs can boot from APM (Apple’s old partitioning scheme) hard drives, which is the format you must use to create a universal boot drive in Leopard. Power PC Macs running any version of the Mac OS prior to 10.4.2 cannot mount GPT volumes. PowerPC Macs won’t let you install OS X to a USB drive or choose it as your startup volume, although there is a work around for that.


  • introduced 2009.10.20 at US$999; replaced with 2.4 GHz model 2010.05.18
  • Part no.: MC207
  • ID: MacBook6,1

Mac OS

  • requires Mac OS X 10.6.1 Snow Leopard or later. macOS 10.4 Mojave and later are not supported.
  • Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard compatibility
    • Grand Central Dispatch is supported.
    • 32-bit booting only; cannot boot 64-bit OS.
    • 64-bit software is supported.
    • OpenCL is supported.
  • Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion compatibility
    • AirPlay Mirroring is not supported.
    • AirDrop is supported.
    • Power Nap is not supported

Core System

  • CPU: 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, soldered in place, no upgrade options
  • Level 2 cache: 3 MB shared cache
  • Bus: 1066 MHz
  • RAM: 2 GB (using matched modules), expandable to 8 GB using 1066 MHz DDR3 RAM
  • Benchmarks, Geekbench 3:
    • 32-bit single core: 1243
    • 32-bit multicore: 2185
    • 64-bit single core: 1357
    • 64-bit multicore: 2407


  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce 9400M with resolution to 2560 x 1600 on external display (Mini DisplayPort), supports extended desktop.
  • VRAM: uses 256 MB of system memory, very likely uses 16 MB more with an external display (MacBook Pro and MacBook Air with same GPU work that way)
  • Video out: Mini DisplayPort; DVI, VGA, and S-video with optional adapter
  • display: 13.3″ glossy 1280 x 800 18-bit 113 ppi LED backlit color active matrix
  • supports 1280 x 800, 1152 x 720, 1024 x 768, 1024 x 640, and 800 x 500 pixels at 16:10 aspect ratio; 1024 x 768, 800 x 600, and 640 x 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio; 720 x 480 at 3:2 aspect ratio
  • allows mirroring to external display and extended desktop mode


  • Hard drive: 250 GB 5400 rpm SATA
  • SuperDrive: writes DVD±R at up to 8x, DVD±RW and DVD+R DL at 4x, reads DVDs at 8x, writes CD-R at 24x, writes CD-RW at 10x, reads CDs at 24x


  • USB: 2 USB 2.0 ports, only 1 high-powered device device allowed
  • FireWire 400: none
  • FireWire 800: none
  • Ethernet: 10/100/gigabit
  • WiFi: 802.11n AirPort Extreme built in
  • Bluetooth: BT 2.1+EDR
  • IR receiver: none
  • Modem: No longer offered by Apple
  • ExpressCard/34 slots: 0
  • SD Card slots: none


  • size: 9.12 x 13.0 x 1.08″ (232 x 330 x 27.4 mm)
  • Weight: 4.7 pounds (2.13 kg)
  • battery: built-in 60 Watt-hour
  • AC adapter: 60W MagSafe

Online Resources

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