Always a tough question to answer.
Nobody likes to invest money into an older item, only to have a something else fail.
I have pulled machines (G3, G4, G5 servers) out of closets still running happily after years, and with thick layers of dust you can’t imagine. While some machines are used in hostile conditions, and just tick along year after year, others, a barely used machine living in an office, has a video card issue. Actually, it’s down to quality of parts.
I recently did this upgrade for a clients daughter. The machine is a 2009 MacBook.
Since the laptop still had the original 250GB drive, swapping it for a 480GB SSD is a smart move for around $199. The machine actually had 8GB ram, which I don’t see often, most have a total of 2GB. So, install the new SSD, add an operating system, a dash of data backups, and Bob really is your uncle.
Is it any Faster?
You bet it is. It’s like night and day.
The best way I can describe an SSD in an older machine is: I’m not tweaking the engine, I’m just swapping out those square wheels for these new round ones. Of course, with any of these projects, if the logic board fails (mother board), a replacement part only is in the $600+ range. Besides, if a teenager says “Dude It Totally Rocks Now”, we did good.