2010 13" MacBook Pro 7,1 RAM

WelshDog

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 29, 2002
81
66
Austin
My sister has a 2010 13" MBP model designation 7,1. This is a unique model in that it can use 16 GB RAM instead of the 8 GB that is standard for this MBP line. Right now her computer is nearly unusable it is so slow. I checked her system profile and she only has 4 GB RAM and is running Sierra. Also, the computer has a standard hard drive - not an SSD.

I know that 4 GB is generally considered completely inadequate for the current MacOS releases. My question is will going to 8 GB be enough to make the machine usable? Would 16 GB make much difference over 8? I have a 2010 15" MBP with 8 GB, but it has an SSD which made a big difference in it's performance. Will the RAM upgrade to my sister's MBP be enough?

Thanks!
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,526
2,299
Delaware
Even if you should choose to stay with 4GB of RAM, upgrading to an SSD will be the best choice at this point.
Upgrading the RAM will also make a improvement, but not nearly as much as an SSD.
upgrading RAM, plus SSD, will be a great thing for a brother to do for his sister :D
 
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ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
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Even if you should choose to stay with 4GB of RAM, upgrading to an SSD will be the best choice at this point.
Upgrading the RAM will also make a improvement, but not nearly as much as an SSD.
upgrading RAM, plus SSD, will be a great thing for a brother to do for his sister :D
I agree with DeltaMac. With the exception of Users that are maxing their RAM, I've noticed it is usually the HDD that is causing most of the issues due to the latency and limited transfer speeds. With Sierra, the slowdowns caused by HDDs seem more pronounced to me than previous versions of OS X, for whatever reason (might just be me tho?)

If the slowdown is at a point where the system practically isn't even usable, IMO it is also possible that the HDD or the SATA cable is beginning to fail (a SMART utility or a free run through at an Apple Store/Service Provider with the basic MRI can often detect such issues - however, if you have a technician run MRI on the system, one added benefit is that it will check all of the hardware on the system for any issues, so you can be sure it is in good functional shape before investing any money in the RAM/SSD.)

I like to use the memory pressure via the Activity Monitor when assessing the potential gains vs. costs of RAM upgrades. If it is of interest:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201464

If she's on a budget, I personally think prioritizing the SSD over the RAM is worthwhile because it will most likely yield more significant performance gains, plus you will be replacing a (presumably OEM?) HDD that is potentially nearing the end of its service life. If she's open to both, going for the 8GB and SSD would get the system running like a rockstar for a C2D, IMO. Unless she is doing some serious work, I do not think the higher pricing of the 16 GB is justifiable over 8 GB, with this system, in my personal opinion. (With my 2010 C2D MacBook Air with a SSD and 4GB RAM running Sierra, it's biggest bottleneck is by far the CPU.)
 
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Populus

macrumors 6502a
Aug 24, 2012
886
803
Valencia, Spain.
Hi. I'm a proud owner of a 13" MacBook Pro. This is a good machine.

I upgraded the RAM to 8GB and put an SSD, and the machine is still rocking. As for the RAM, 8GB is plenty enough especially in this model, wich integrated GPU takes only a few MB of memory.

8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD and you're set.
 
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WelshDog

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 29, 2002
81
66
Austin
Found a 275 GB SSD direct from Crucial for $99 and got one stick of 8GB RAM from OWC. It's like she has a new computer. She'll get several more years out of it now. Thanks again everyone for the info.
 
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