how can I pimp out my macbook?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by xoxtinysingerxo, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. xoxtinysingerxo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Location:
    orlando Fl
    #1
    So my macbook has been running pretty slow for awhile now, I'm assuming because I have 20 GB left of my 160GB hard drive. I'd like to upgrade the hard drive, but how do I know specifically which one to buy? macconnection.com seems to have loads of different brands and to be honest I don't know what any of the specs mean. I think I'd like a 500GB drive.
    I'd also like to upgrade the memory from 2 GB to 4 GB.

    Any help would be insanely appreciated. :D
     
  2. gilkisson macrumors 65816

    gilkisson

    #3
    Cheapest bang-for-the-buck is adding RAM. At http://www.crucial.com/mac/index.aspx they have an automatic scanner app which you can run, and which will (should) tell you the kits they sell which will be compatible with your Mac. Crucial's prices are pretty good, I've never had a problem with their quality.
     
  3. xoxtinysingerxo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    orlando Fl
  4. xoxtinysingerxo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Location:
    orlando Fl
    #5
    I know I need more space though, RAM won't give that to me will it? I've transferred all my movies and tv shows and large files to an external, and still don't have much room left.
     
  5. gilkisson macrumors 65816

    gilkisson

    #6
    Momentus XT Hybrid hard drive. 500GB of space with a decent-size SSD buffer. Great performance, decent price.
     
  6. xoxtinysingerxo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Location:
    orlando Fl
    #7
  7. gilkisson macrumors 65816

    gilkisson

    #8
    Yep, that one. Check Newegg also for price.

    "Serial ATA Connection" just means SATA. It's the method of connecting the drive to the computer.

    7200RPM is how fast the drive *can* spin, if it needs to. As a rule of thumb, faster RPM means it can find your data quicker. But to save battery, your laptop will spin-down the drive when it does not need access at that moment -- which is the vast majority of the time.

    Buffer size -- Say you could read a book by flipping through the pages. No matter how big the book, you could read the pages at the same speed. This buffer is kinda like how much data is on a particular page for your computer to read at that nanosecond.

    But the killer feature of this disk is the "solid state" part of it. "Solid state" means, simplistically, no moving parts. It's part of your disk, but it can read and write far FAR faster to solid state than it can to regular spinning disk.

    So, the most-often-used data, up to 3GB of it, are always "right there", instantly ready. No waiting for the spinning disk to swing around to the proper position, no waiting for the little magnetic arm inside the disk to move to the right position and start reading. Instant, like *now*.

    Your biggest challenge isn't all these terms, however. It's going to be the actual swap. Take a backup. Get a backup. Do a full Time Machine backup, and then I suggest Carbon Copy cloner to make a complete dupe of your current disk, even on to the new disk (assuming you have access to a USB/SATA interface device). You have a little homework to do, but 4GB of RAM plus a hybrid SSD/hard disk will make your MBP a screamer.

    And before you begin, search! Print out how-to documents, read them first. Be sure. Find an IT guy or gal, buy them beer and pizza, get them to help if you are all shy about doing this. And don't be shy to admit that you might not want to do this yourself.

    but by ALL means, get a backup, first and foremost.
     
  8. xoxtinysingerxo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Location:
    orlando Fl
    #9
    so first I'm going to get a..... backup!!
    Do you mean more than just a time machine backup?
    I have absolutely NO intention of doing this myself. I figure better safe than sorry and pay the pro's to do it. Not a chance in hell would I do this myself!
    gilkisson, you have been amazingly helpful. Anything else I should buy for my macbook to make it better, faster, way more awesome?
     
  9. gilkisson macrumors 65816

    gilkisson

    #10
    I love Time Machine, I use it, and I've saved my butt more than once with it. But for something like this, it's just too important to rely on only one safety net. Take your TM backup, and set it aside. Then go get one of those USB to SATA adapter/disk docks (here's an example of how many of them there are, and the prices: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...BESTMATCH&Description=usb+sata&x=0&y=0)...any of them that will handle a 2.5" SATA disk will be perfect.

    Then, download a copy of Carbon Copy Cloner (one of my favorite tools) from http://www.bombich.com/ It's totally free to use, but they gladly accept donations. it's TOTALLY worth the donation of the price of a case of decent beer!

    Slap the new disk in the USB dock station, fire up Carbon Copy Cloner, and tell it you want to clone your internal disk to the new Momentus on the USB thing. Go eat dinner, it'll be done when you get back.

    Shut it all down, rip the old disk out, slap the new disk in, stick the new RAM in, button it all back up, fire it up, and be amazed at how fast it runs.

    Yeah, I'm glossing over the icky parts, like tools, static damage precautions, and stuff, but that's why you're buying the beer and pizza for your IT buddy, right?

    Seriously, it will be like a new machine.
     
  10. xoxtinysingerxo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Location:
    orlando Fl
    #11
    Hahah more likely I'll be spending MY hard earned beer money to pay someone at best buy to do it. I'm a music major, I have no IT buddies :(
     

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