Help upgrading MacBook Pro 15" Mid-2010

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by John Nail, May 12, 2019.

  1. John Nail macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    #1
    My wife has an old Macbook Pro 2010 15" 2.8 i7 that we have always just considered ded, especially since she primarily works on a 2017 iMac 27 and iPad, both of which we bought last year. Unfortunately, she needs something with a little more power than the iPad when she travels for business. I was just reading about upgrading the RAM in the iMac, which I am definitely going to do in the very near future, and got the idea to update her dinosaur MacBook Pro, which has basically been lying dormant for the better part of 2-3 years. My thought, based on some upgrade threads here, is to upgrade the HD to a 850 EVO 500 GB SSD and max out the RAM at 8 GB, even though it is only DDR3-1066 from OWC. I was also thinking about replacing the battery, but I am not sure if it needs it yet. All of these seem fairly straightforward to accomplish, at a 1/10th of the price of buying a new mac laptop, and should provide the ole bird with some new legs when called to limited action.

    But planning these upgrades got me to thinking about whether I need to check if this system is even worth upgrading, like testing if the CPU, logic board, graphics card, etc. is in good working order. I am a windows guy who is slowly being pulled over to the Apple dark side, so I am not sure on what to run or how to run these diagnostics to see if everything is in decent enough working order. Does anyone have any recommendations on what (1) needs to be done to see if the upgrade is worth it, (2) I should do to prep the system, or (3) any other recommendations for what to update/ upgrade?

    Many thanks!
     
  2. mikzn macrumors 65816

    mikzn

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #2
    The EVO 850 / 860 is a great SSD and can be taken out later and put into a (Cheap) enclosure for external drive so that can be justified somewhat. I have doen this with several drives and it works great as an extra enclosure - you can even use the existing HDD drive in the enclosure if you purchase it with the SSD

    I would hold off on the battery and RAM until you replace the drive - that will be the big difference and if it works fine and becomes a "keeper" you can always replace the battery and upgrade the RAM later. Easy to do later

    I would install MAC OS Sierra (Just my preference - Mojave proabably won't work on that Model)

    My guess is with the dual core i7 processor it will still be a very decent performing MBP
     
  3. John Nail thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    #3
    Good thoughts, thank you! I probably will still do the ram since it’s pretty cheap and I will have the back part open, but I might hold off on the battery. Any other words of advice for doing this?
     
  4. jerryk macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #4
    Interesting when that you are considering using a mac when many are moving to Windows because of MacBook hardware.

    Anyway, adding the SSD should make a big/huge different. But at that age, if you have the original battery, it is likely going to go in the not too distant future. Check the battery cycle count in the About this Mac. The batteries last 800 or so cycles. Also see if the pack is swelling when you have the unit open.
     
  5. John Nail thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    #5
    Oh, not me. I’m on a surface and won’t be moving off of that. I did just jump to iPhone, though, and have been fairly happy with that. The wife is not interested in learning a new OS.

    Noted about the battery. Thanks.
     
  6. Audit13 macrumors 601

    Audit13

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #6
    This MacBook is also infamous for having an undersized capacitor that handles switching from integrated graphics to the nVidia GPU. This issue manifests itself by generating a kernel panic. You can test it by running the OpenGL test: https://www.maxon.net/en/products/cinebench-r20-overview/

    You can save some money by using sodimms made for a pc from makers such as crucial, Kingston, and Samsung. I used Hynix PC ram on my mid-2010 15" with no issues.
     
  7. mikzn, May 12, 2019
    Last edited: May 12, 2019

    mikzn macrumors 65816

    mikzn

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #7
    Yep I would max out the ram too - once I had everything else figured out - but I would (IMHO) spend money on the enclosure and SSD first because they can be used with your other mac and PC for that matter.

    If you buy the enclosure you could install the new Mac OS first via the enclosure (USB) on the 850 / 860 and then (Step 2) migrate the info from the iMac 27 if that is a better source of data? - then (step3) physically swap the SSD for the HDD in the 2010 MBP to install the new Mac os with your wife's most current data from the iMac - of course - i am guessing at your situation - your wife's old MBP may have info that is more important too?
     
  8. John Nail thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    #8
    This is an important consideration that I had not really fully thought through yet. I think the data on the MBP is important, but it probably should not be the starting point. The iMac has all of her business stuff on it. So maybe I should create a backup of the MBP on one drive to secure those materials and just move the material from the iMac over to the new SSD? Is is possible to move only one profile (so she isn't burdened with my information and files)?
    --- Post Merged, May 13, 2019 ---
    Or, would it just be better to do a clean install on the MBP?
     

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7 May 12, 2019