As the title says, I just bought a new (unopened) late 2011 base 17" macbook pro on ebay to replace my early 2008 15". I am in need of a new laptop and was debating between the 2011 and the retina. In the end I chose the 17" because I want a bump up in screen space and I'm a young guy so an extra pound or two is negligible for my foreseeable future. I checked out the retina at the apple store and though everyone else seems to notice the difference in pixel density, it didn't seem to have a large impact on my experience. I'm also ideologically opposed to non-user upgradable hardware, which helped to influence my decision to stick with the non retina MBP. I'm going to spend a few hundred upgrading RAM and storage to improve performance, but I wanted to seek advice here. My plan was to buy 8 gigs (2 x 4 GB) of Samsung RAM (1333 mhz @ 1.5 V) and a 256 GB Samsung 830 SSD from macsales to replace the stock HDD. Does this seem like a solid plan or do you have other advice? I don't use the optical drive too often, but I was going to leave it instead of replacing it because I just don't need more than 256 GB of storage. My laptop use is split between casual use of web browsing/media and more intensive use in photo editing and gaming on Steam. Thanks in advance for any advice! ---------- I just wanted to seek advice on one more issue. I have yet to use Lion or ML but I am also ideologically opposed to closed software and default/forced integration between the OS and facebook/twitter/private companies. My new 17 shipped with lion, but I can easily clone SL onto the SSD from my 2008 MBP instead of cloning lion onto it. Is there any reason to run lion or ML if no software that I use requires OS X 10.7?