Help on upgrading MacBook Pro Mid 2010

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by joools3, May 23, 2013.

  1. joools3 macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2013
    Hello everyone!! I'm very new to this and would really love some help. Currently, I own a Macbook Pro 2010 model and would like to upgrade it to make it faster. Right now, it's pretty slow. Start up time is ridiculous. Running various programs such as websites and word doc is also ridiculous. I have a 500gb drive, which I only used 70g. I don't even know why I opted for the bigger drive when I purchased it! LOL

    I'm not sure why it's getting so slow. I don't game. I only use it for web surfing, Microsoft office, and storing pictures. What should I do in order to make it fast? I've been reading numerous threads and people suggest opting for the SSD and increase in ram? If so, which ones? I would prolly only get 128gb and am only willing to pay a bit. Reason being is I am planning on purchasing the Macbook Air once a new release is made. There are rumours that a new one might unveil next month. So I will wait. But in the meantime, I'd like to get this Macbook super fast cuz I am probably going to keep this for those times when I need a CD drive.

    Here are the specs of my MBP:
    Processor 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    Memory 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3
    Graphics NVIDIA GeForce 320M 256 MB
    Serial Number W80394BTATP
    Software Mac OS X Lion 10.7 (11A511)

    Hardware Overview:

    Model Name: MacBook Pro
    Model Identifier: MacBookPro7,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz
    Number of Processors: 1
    Total Number of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache: 3 MB
    Memory: 4 GB
    Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz
    Boot ROM Version: MBP71.0039.B0B
    SMC Version (system): 1.62f7
    Serial Number (system): W80394BTATP
    Hardware UUID: 9C9075C1-9529-5ACC-8842-FA42AD6023EB
    Sudden Motion Sensor:
    State: Enabled

    Thank you so much for your help and advice!!! :):):):):)


    In addition, why is my MBP so slow? Could it be because I I haven't updated the operating system to the current one?
  2. auhagen macrumors regular

    May 30, 2010
    Hmm I got the same machine, actually typing from it right now.

    Mine was not slow at all, and I use it for a lot of stuff.
    I have recently putted a SSD in it. The Samsung 840 (non pro) 250gb version (the 120gb version is just too slow).
    It didn't cost me a fortune, and made everything fly. Other than that I'm waiting for 8gb ram to arrive.

    Do those upgrades, and It will feel like a new mac, unless your doing CPU intensive stuff.

    I dont know why your mac is slowing down. It could be a number of issues. You could try reinstalling osx from scratch, and see if that makes a difference.

    I'm running 10.8.2 and it's not as fast as 10.6.8 was on the machine, but I personally cant justify buying a new MBP/MBA when my current is working so well, for the stuff I do on my laptop.
  3. jdblas69 macrumors regular

    Aug 15, 2012
    I just installed a SSD in the same MBP, I used a crucial m4, no issues so far.

    I already had upgraded to 8gb ram a year or so ago. I think OWC has confirmed that this module actually can support 16gb of ram. For now I am happy with the 8gb ram.

    If you are not using RAM intensive programs then you probably will benefit more by putting in a SSD. For me the RAM was cheap so I thought why not upgrade. Looking back now I think I would have opted for the SSD drive first as it would have been more of a benefit.
  4. joools3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2013
    That's very weird because my MBP is SUPER slow. It takes 2 minutes or longer to start up, and then sometimes it won't even shut down. And yesterday it wouldn't turn on at all, so I had to reinstall OSX and do a Disk Utility Repair.

    And I do not do ANYTHING with this MBP. Some surfing, emailing and storing photos! That's it! Could it be that my hard drive is failing?? Or maybe a virus? I used to stream movies a lot. Not so anymore.

  5. rpang macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2009
    So Cal...
    I would upgrade your hard drive with an ssd. It will make a night and day difference. For some reason, the stock 5400rpm drives are just way slow, especially with more and more data on it. Even a 7200 rpm drive will give you an improvement.
  6. Aaron from KY, May 23, 2013
    Last edited: May 23, 2013

    Aaron from KY macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2010
    Northern Kentucky
    Sounds like it could be the hard drive failing. It is 3 years old after all, these things happen. I would recommend looking at Intel or Samsung SSDs, they seem to be the most reliable. One in the 128-256GB range should do you nicely and be around $100-250. 8GB of DDR3 1066 RAM could also help extend your system's life, expect it to cost around $40-60. So for $160-300 you could have a zippy machine again.:)
  7. jg321 macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2012
    As everyone else has said, SSD will sort this out and make it feel like a new machine, whether or not the HDD is failing. 256GB seems to be the sweet spot at the moment for price/capacity.
  8. rivettmj macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2012
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Another vote for an SSD here, took my 2010 MBP from 1:15 boot to 0:12 (Samsung 256gb 840 drive)

    While your in there swapping the drive out, bump the memory to 8gb as well, its dirt cheap at this point so might as well do that as well while you have the bottom case off.

    If you having boot problems currently it very well might be your drive starting to fail, do you have any desk related notes in the /var/log/system.log file?
  9. happyfrappy macrumors 6502

    Oct 14, 2007
    Location eh?
    I own the same model, get rid of the 5400 RPM HDD and boot/shutdown is much faster with a 7200 RPM or SSD--I use a 500GB Western Digital Scorpio Black boot up is 40sec/shutdown ~30sec. It could be a failing drive at this point, directory/file corruption is common when a drive is nearing failure--sometimes format with zeros will remap bad sectors and be a short term solution. If you're willing to replace the drive with a SSD, it'll be pointless to want a MacBook Air later on... your 13" MBP is user upgradable to any sized SATA SSD vs MacBook Air maxing to 256GB at Apple expensive CTO pricing too.

    Considering after the firmware update Apple issued for the 2010 MBPs once you install Lion/Mountain Lion, the 13" can use 16GB of RAM which gives plenty of headroom for RAM shopping... dropping in a single 8GB stick won't dent the lack of memory interleaving, matched sized pairs make a 2-5% performance difference under Photoshop. I'm amazed someone would order a larger HDD, 4GB RAM back in 2010 was the "bare" minimal for running the OS+something bloated like Photoshop Elements 8/9 :eek:

    ...I only retired my 13" MBP from regular work-duty as I needed a larger screen for music usage, Photoshop tasks on an i7(15") isn't too much faster vs Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz. Ultra low voltage i5 MacBook Air i5(dual-core) won't feel much snappier than your 13" MBP for day-to-day tasks.
  10. lucasfer899 macrumors 6502


    Sep 23, 2012
    SSD and RAM.
    Go for an 8GB kit, at least. I was having huge lag issues, and overall slugness on my Mid2010 13' MBP, installed memory monitor, was hitting the memory ceiling 24/7. As soon as I but the new RAM in it was like a new laptop. :rolleyes:
  11. joools3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2013
    Can you tell me which model you have? I googled Samsung SSD 840 drive and a whole variety popped up but with the same specs only different model numbers. Which one do I choose? Lol - I think I'd like to go for a 120 GB since I don't use much anyway.... but I guess with price points the 256 might be a better option.

    Thanks for your help!! :)


    LOL yes I do not know why I upgraded to the bigger hard drive! I don't even use it. I guess during that time I figured "bigger was better" :D:D:D

    I really want the Air because it's extremely portable and very thin. I usually just use the MBP whenever I cannot fully access a site on the iPad. So having the Air would be awesome due to its size (11inch) and weight. I can surf and stream movies without the bulk. But you're right - it's way expensive, so if I do get my MBP up and running quick, I may not switch after all! I'm really glad to hear that the Air won't feel that much faster compared to an upgraded MBP. woot woot! :p:p

    Thanks for all your advice!

  12. OlegShv macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2010
    outer Shpongolia
    I have a 2010 MBP with a 2.53 GHz CPU. I upgraded the RAM to 8GB - massive difference, especially when browsing the web since Safari is a memory hog. The next step will be an SSD - I am looking at Samsung 840 series, 512 GB version. Once I add the SSD, I expect it to last me another 2-3 years. I used my previous PPC Powerbook for 5 years, but this MBP may outlast it.
  13. bmustaf macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2007
    Telluride, CO
    I removed the optical drive, threw in an SSD in it with the adapter that's easily available out there, and welded the old HD and the SSD together into a fusion drive, very reliable, fast, and tons of storage.

    Had it this way for 6-7 months and no issues at all running fusion drive on a machine of this era (I have nearly the exact machine you do).
  14. Acorn, May 23, 2013
    Last edited: May 23, 2013

    Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    if the machine was a 2010 15 inch with the i5 it might have been worth trying to extend its life. however the 2010 with the 13 inch core 2 duo really isnt worth the investment even if its the cheapest option. Its like putting expensive rims on a piece of crap car. yea its a little nicer but you really question if it was worth the expense.

    the core2duo machines are barely fetching 500 dollars now if its mint. spending almost half that cost again on a ssd and memory doesnt seem smart to me. your just digging yourself further into a hole.

    at this point your better off investing on a new machine thats actually worth something. my thinking is if you sell the core2duo and get 500 for it, then keep the 200 dollars for the upgrade you were thinking about your like 200 dollars from a refurbished late 2012/2013 machine.

    just my opinion though i speak from experience. I have a 2010 13 inch core2duo 2.66 ghz machine with 16 gb upgraded ram on it and a 750 gb 7200 rpm hard drive. Now I have a machine with tons of upgrades that I cant get anything for. oh and to top it off the battery died so I had to invest that into it as well. at this point the only person that will benefit from the machine is someone who buys it from me after i spent retail on all the upgrades. since none of my upgrades increased its value. its still a core 2 duo.I still cant get what I have into it back.
  15. joools3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2013
    Wow a different opinion! Thank you! My brother said pretty much the same thing. I guess for now I will reformat and install a new OS and see if that changes anything.

  16. rivettmj macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2012
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Is the drive I have (its a 470 not a 480, since this was a couple of years ago, memory was fuzzy :p )

    I would still go with an SSD, even for a C2D laptop, the CPU is not normally the limiting factor, its the hard drive and memory. As an added bonus the SSD is portable, you can always get an external case for it (~20$) and use it as an ultra fast external drive.

    When I upgraded my MBP I also bought a (14$!) and put the 500gb drive out of the MBP in it, instant portable hard drive "for free" I'm currently using it on my Dell laptop to store ISO images.
  17. joools3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2013
    Would I be able to get a SATA III cuz that's the latest one... I'm not sure what the difference is though. :confused::confused::confused:

  18. rivettmj macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2012
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    SATA III is a faster protocol, it should be fully backwards compatible with SATA II, you just wont get the added speed above what your laptop can handle. (If you every upgrade to a different laptop that takes SATA III you could move the drive over and gain the speed increase)
  19. joools3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2013
    Thank you for everyone's helpful advice. My next question would be this:
    I am planning on purchases a Mac Air 11.6 inch with 128 GB SSD and upgrade to 8GB ram. Is that a smart choice? Or should I stick with the basic of 64gb? I am using about 60gb on my MBP now... and I would like to store my pics on the Air even tho I have the MBP and a 500GB external drive... just to be safe. What do you guys think?

    I am also considering the apple extended warranty. What do you guys think on this?
  20. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2010
    Should be fine if your are currently using only 70GB. Definetly get the 128, 64 is going to annoy you badly. I can live with 64 in mine because I only use it for office work and browsing. I dont store stuff on it.
    Have a look in the refurbished section of the apple online store.
    What they offer changes from day to day. You can save some money if you wait for the exact model you want.
    You can purchase the apple care extended warranty anytime during the first year of purchasing your mac. You dont have to get it with the mac
  21. cupcakes2000 macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2010
    Also on top of all the very good disk and RAM advice, download and run Onyx. Google it. It's pretty useful and will probably speed things up without any expense and hardware changes. It's a diagnostic utility and is very simple to use.

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