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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2011
    Posts
    8
    Question Upgrade (speed up) MacBook Pro 5,5 - 2.26 GHz, 4 GB RAM
    Hi all,

    New to this forum and finally got rid of my Dell Desktop PC to now fully immerse into the Mac world
    (...what pushed me over the edge is the hard drive of the Dell crashing after just 6 months and customer service simply appalling)

    I would like to use my MacBook Pro as a Desktop replacement, but to do so, feel I need to speed it up a bit. I'm running resource intense tools such as Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop, as well as Parallels Desktop (for the few occasions when I actually need Windows...).

    Do you guys have any recommendations on how to upgrade? I need to mention that I'm not exactly an engineer... can probably open the 'can' and replace something - but that's already pushing the limit. I read that multiple things could be done, from just cleaning up the hard drive, to installing more RAM (from 4 GB to 8 GB), or installing a new, faster hard drive. This is my current system:

    - MacBook Pro 5,5
    - 2.26 GHz, 4 GB RAM
    - 250 GB Toshiba hard drive

    Thanks a lot in advance for your suggestions!

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    49,134
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    The two best upgrades for your machine are as you say: More memory, and a larger faster hard drive. Both are easy upgrades and at today's prices for memory and hard drives, will not be expensive to do.

    You could of course opt for a SSD but prices for a large capacity SSD are still way too high to be practical. Perhaps as prices come down that will change.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2011
    Posts
    8
    Thanks a lot! And will these two significantly improve performance? Also, what do I have to look for when shopping for RAM and hard drive?

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    49,134
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    Yes, you'll see some performance gains depending on what you use the machine for. Best place to purchase a new hard drive and memory is from the folks at Other World Computing. They're Mac specialists and stock a wide variety of both. Go to this LINK.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Aug 30, 2009
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    145
    Specs:
    15" MacBook Pro (Late-2011), 2.4 GHz Core i7, 8GB RAM, 750GB HDD
    You can get a faster HDD without shelling out the money for an SSD. The easiest (and most cost effective) way is to move up to a 7200RPM drive. On my MacBook Pro (early 2011 13.3"), I spent about $130 on a 500GB 7200RPM hybrid drive (has 4GB SSD in addition to the 32MB cache), and it's made a noticeable difference in the performance of my system. With you laptop being a bit older, there's a chance a hybrid drive may not play nice with your system.
    -------------------------------------------------
    15" Retina MacBook Pro (Late 2013)
    2.6 GHz Core i7 | 16GB | 1TB SSD | OS X Mavericks 10.9.3

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2011
    Posts
    8
    Thanks, guys. Yeah, mine is a late 2009 MacBook Pro. I visited OWC - while the RAM upgrade seems simple (there's only one option ), the hard disk bit seems much more complicated.

    On this page are some featured ones: MacBook, MacBook Pro

    but to be honest, I have no clue what to look for in the new hard drive. Three brands have the 7200 RPM you mention (Hitachi, Seagate, WD) - ranging from $75 to $130. Any advice?

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2011
    Posts
    8
    i think i found a shortlist: Search Results for SATA 2.5 at MacSales.com

    Any experience with either Seagate Momentus 750GB or Western Digital 'Scorpio Black' 750 GB? Or even 640GB Samsung Spinpoint. Or of course any of the others

  8. #8

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    49,134
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    I have the Western Digital model in my MacBook and a Seagate came stock with the new iMac I bought. I've only been using the iMac for several weeks but so far so good. The WD Scorpio drive in the MacBook made a world of difference in speeding up boot times.

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