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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Macbook Upgrade-Opinions Needed


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milescortez

 
Member Since: Nov 13, 2010
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First of all I love these forums and thanks to all who participate and provide helpful feedback.

I am running a Macbook Unibody 13'' 2.4GHZ with 10.6.6, 250 original HD (5400), 6GB of RAM, plenty of available space on the HD (i use TC and other external storage for all of my data-heavy media (photos, movies, music etc.). Lately the spinning beach ball of death has been appearing a lot. I run Onyx regularly, disk utility etc. I am looking at upgrading. I do a fair amount of multitasking and regularly use HandBrake to convert video to apple TV and iPod formats for my kids. I stream from my TC in the basement to the AppleTV gen2 upstairs. I also regularly do a clean install of snow leopard (every 6 months or so). It's not uncommon for me to have mail, safari, excel, itunes and HB all cranking at the same time. So here are the upgrades I am considering----I've already maxed out the RAM.

1. Upgrade to a new 500 or 750GB HD spinning at 7200 (Probably $150) and keep all media on the MB. How much will this really help with performance?
2. Wipe the drive and reinstall snow leopard and use Drive Genius etc going forward.
3. Upgrade to a 250GB SSD (either Crucial, OCZ or OWC) (probably $550). I know this will help with boot time, opening apps but probably not with the HB processing. Since I leave my comp plugged in and only reboot about weekly not sure how much this matters to me.
4. Upgrade to a pimped out MBA 13 with 256SSD, ($2,000)
5. See what the new MBPs look like in a few weeks...
6. Upgrade to a pimped out 27inch iMac i7 Quad Core, 256GB SSD with 2TB HDD, 16GB RAM (keeping media and everything else on the iMac) ($3500 with 3rd party RAM from Crucial)

Obviously the cost is a big range. I could probably sell my MB as is for $700. I could get the imac AND upgrade the MB to last me a few more years, let the kids play with it etc. I had a Macbook because I use to travel a lot but now with limited travel, iPad, iPhone 4 etc I don;t really find it necessary to be portable all the time.

The iMac option seems pretty sweet but with all that storage (I also have 7TB --2+2+2+1--external) and the trend toward cloud storage I am wondering if it's necessary although it sure would be nice to have everything on the desktop for access speed and multiple redundancy externally.

If Money was no object I'd do it ALL! Since that's not the case I am here for suggestions. I just want everything to run faster!

Thanks for the suggestions....can't wait to read them.
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MYmacROX

 
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Member Since: Mar 17, 2009
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Mac Specs: 2008 15" MBP ML, 2012 21.5" iMac ML

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You'll probably get more bang for your buck out of an iMac. To save a few more bucks, you can look in the refurbished section of Apple's online store.
The move to 7200RPM drive with larger storage (thus allowing more free disk space) may be slightly noticeable. Depends on the machine and the tasks you're performing. I went from a 200GB 5400 to a 500GB 7200 and definitely noticed the difference on my MBP.

FWIW, This isn't a "Law" or anything, but generally speaking, reinstalling your Mac OS is not necessary unless you encounter a specific problem that requires you to do so.

16GB iPhone 5, 64GB Wi-Fi only iPad 1st Gen.

Reminder: Please include your Mac's specs. This will make it much easier for the other members to assist you.
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milescortez

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MYmacROX View Post
The move to 7200RPM drive with larger storage (thus allowing more free disk space) may be slightly noticeable. Depends on the machine and the tasks you're performing. I went from a 200GB 5400 to a 500GB 7200 and definitely noticed the difference on my MBP.
Thanks for the feedback. This quote above is the crux of this issue for me. Some people report minor improvement and others a significant improvement jumping from 5400 to 7200. Was your 5400 drive fairly full? I already have significant free space (210 of 250 is free). The advantage would be having all my large media files local because my itunes files is like 350GB and includes movies, music and iphotos library and is current stored on my TC. I will say that I ran a tuneup today with Drive Genius 3 and the whole setup seems to be better--particularly accessing the itunes media on the external drive (TC).
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MYmacROX

 
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Member Since: Mar 17, 2009
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No, I had about 90GB on my 200GB drive. It ran just fine, I only replaced it cause I wanted to install Win XP via Bootcamp and needed the extra space/speed to make sure everything ran smoothly.

16GB iPhone 5, 64GB Wi-Fi only iPad 1st Gen.

Reminder: Please include your Mac's specs. This will make it much easier for the other members to assist you.
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