How effective are SSD/HDD/RAM upgrades?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by miramar11, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. miramar11 macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2012
    I've recently returned to my 2008 MBP.

    However, it's a little slow compared to my newer machine (that I sold to downsize).

    It's stock with 2GB RAM, and I believe it's original 5400 RPM HDD.

    If I upgraded it with an SSD and 4GB of RAM can anyone tell me about how much of a performance increase I'd notice?

  2. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    An SSD will speed up anything, I think you may be limited to SATA2 so the speed improvement will be "large" rather than "SATA3-huge". You'll probably need to get a SATA3 drive anyway so you'll need to check compatibility but equally you can view it as transferrable to another suitable machine in the future so not necessarily limited to the remaining life in your 2008.

    RAM will be of benefit but normally it depends whether you have enough in the first place but I'd warrant 2GB will always see a benefit from going to 4GB.

    2->4GB RAM may see a useful benefit on its own as you will need to swap to disk less in any case.
  3. magnumpi macrumors member

    Sep 24, 2012
    The speed bump from the SSD upgrade is quite large comming from a regular hard drive, it's going to pump new life into your computer. Totally worth it imho.
  4. CarreraGuy macrumors regular


    Jan 15, 2013
    Put a 512gb SSD and added 8gb RAM into my 2010 MBP.

    If I were you I'd upgrade to at least 4gb RAM plus the SSD upgrade. But yes you will certainly notice a difference on startup and app load times with the SSD.
  5. mentaluproar macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2010
    Ohio, USA
    All CPUs have to wait for other components to catch up with them before they can continue with their tasks. The hard drive is where all if this data starts out from. Switching to an SSD means the CPU doesn't to wait a long to get that data. Major help in loading apps.

    The RAM is where everything you are currently doing/likely to resume doing resides. For the sake of this thread, assume nothing can be processed coming directly from the SSD. It must hit the RAM first. When you run out of RAM, data is thrown back at the drive in a form the computer can swap back and forth without having to worry much about. This takes time, even if you have an SSD. Mavericks can compress RAM, and it does this without breaking a sweat, but you still need more ram than that 2 for it handle bigger chunks at the same time. Otherwise, the OS is constantly compressing the contents of RAM.

    Basically, the SSD lets it work faster, and the RAM will let it work smarter rather than harder.

    I don't know what your machine can handle, but aim for 8 gigs of ram if you can. As for the SSD, while Samsung is the current favorite brand here, anything that doesn't have a Sandforce controller should be fine.
  6. miramar11 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2012
    Thanks for the help guys.

    It's a 2.4Ghz Duo Core MBP, 667Mhz DDR2 RAM, max 6GB I believe.

    I've been thinking about trying a 750GB 7200RPM HDD. My desktop had an SSD, and I'd much prefer the space to speed.

    Do you think it'd be worth it to try to upgrade or should I invest in a new MBP all together?
  7. kelon111 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2013
    Either get an SSD for your old MacBook Pro or just get one of the new Air or Retina models.

    If you want to see how fast an SSD makes a computer , try going to your local Apple store and trying out one of the MacBook Airs.
  8. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
    You can also put the HDD in the DVD drivebay and buy a smaller and cheaper SSD (a 120 GB Crucial M500 is only about $70). This way you speed up your machine significantly and also have the space. Ok you lose the DVD drive (which you can use if needed with an external cable or caddy) but I personally never use the DVD drive anyway.

    I had the same machine (late 2008 15" - correct?) until recently (passed it on to a family member) and with the addition of a Samsung 840 Evo (and with 4GB RAM) it was not much slower then my 2012 MBPro (which has a HDD) - both running on Mavericks
  9. Sam5281 macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2014
    I am in the same position - late 2008 MBP deciding on SSD worthy enough.

    Amazed by immense amount of knowledge on this board

    Keep us posted w/ your decision
  10. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    Yes, that would be a great performance bump. If you do anything more complex than just browsing (e.g. Photoshop, virtual machine), think about upgrading to 8GB. Mavericks does a good job compressing RAM, so you'd be ok with 4GB, but previous OSX versions would be benefited from the extra memory.

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