Macbook Pro 13" Upgrade HDD and RAM advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sophie8, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. sophie8 macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2009

    I just purchased a Macbookpro 13” 2.26 ghz, and now I want to upgrade it (for sure to a 500 GB HDD).
    I want to use my laptop for photoshop, Lightroom, maybe Aperture (shoot my pictures in raw). While I am editing my pics I would like to listen to music, download music files, use ms office etc.
    What would you recommend me with regard to the size of the ram? Is 4 gb enough?
    I think that I will choose Crucial. Is there maybe another good brand, because I was searching on the forum and I can only find threads recommending Crucial. Is this the best choice?

    With regard to the HDD, I think that the majority here either has a WD Scorpio Blue 5400 rpm or the Seagate Momentus 5400/7200 rpm (AS version).
    I have read many posts about it and I have the impression that the Seagate is more reliable but I am not sure about it. How about Fujitsu and Hitachi, I don’t really read something about those brands. I met a guy who has been repairing computers for 15 years and he swears by Fujitsi for laptops, since they are the most shock resistant hdd.

    I also read a thread where it says that the 7200 rpm doesn’t work well in the 13”. Is that maybe also the reason why you can’t upgrade it to the 7200 rpm on the online Apple store? Since I will mainly use it for processing pictures I would like to have a fast hdd but after reading the thread I am more inclined to stick with the 5400 rpm.

    What are your thoughts about it? Is it true that the 7200 RPM doesn’t perform well in the 13”? If I do a lot of pictures processing, is it much better for me to go for the 7200 rpm or is the 5400 rpm fast enough? Will the 7200 use much more power (I am going to live for a year in a country with many and long power cuts), make a lot of noise and make the laptop very hot?

    I also want to buy an external harddisk to backup my pictures. I want to go for the 1TB. I saw Buffalo which seems very good. Does anyone of you have any experiences with Buffalo? A second choice is Seagate but the problem is that it automatically makes a back up but this is already my backup, so I need to delete it afterwards, which is more troublesome. But if the Seagate is much better for the MacbookPro I would of course go for the Seagate. Unless you can recommend me another better brand.

    I am so sorry for asking so many questions. And thank you so much in advance for taking time answering them!
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    I'll handle the external question. There is no brand that works better per say with your MacBook Pro, there are brands that are used more. Like with your internal drive, faster the better.

    After Taking Part in Numerous Threads and Purchasing Numerous Drives after Research, I have come to a couple of suggestions and a massive "guide."

    There are three (basic/main) parts to the speed of your external drive:
    1. Connection Type – This is the one most people will know about, if they know one. Things like Firewire 800, Firewire 400, USB 2.0, eSata, etc. It comes to how your drive connects to the computer, in general (fastest to slowest) eSata, Firewire 800, Firewire 400, USB 2.0. Firewire is preferable because it is not only faster then USB, but it transfers at a constant speed, whereas USB is variable. eSata is the fastest but it requires a port that is not available without an adaptor, and those adaptors are hit and miss in terms of quality. Chances are most users will do fine with Firewire 800 and have no need for eSata.
    2. Hard Drive Speed – For some reason people seem to forget that if you have 4200 RPM Drive inside your enclosure, it's going to be slow. This depends on the physical drives inside your enclosure. Speed from fastest to slowest: SSD, 7200 RPM, 5400 RPM, 4200 RPM. The higher the revolutions per minute, the faster, unless there are no revolutions at all ;).
    3. Cache – The one people forget. The cache is just like your computer stores the information temporarily. It is important that if you look at this, especially if you are going to try to play files from your drive. Even if you are using it is a back-up, you don't want a 4MB Cache. Higher the cache the better; 64MB is the general highest speed for most stock drives.

    Or you could be OCD, anal and paranoid like me and have two back-up drives...

    Other User's Recommendation's:
    Build Your Own: uberamd, kufford, SaSaSushi, nanofrog, Ti_Poussin
    Drobo: gatepc recommends it, further mixed discussion here.
    EZQuest: LizKat has owned a variety of Monsoons
    G-Tech: RebornKillah recommends the G-Drive Quad 500GB, but it's currently out of production; Digital Skunk notes the great warranty; jaysmith recommend G-Tech
    Hitachi: Trag (SimpleTech Signature Mini 500GB); Thedesolateone also recommends Hitachi.
    Iomega: mc3s (Ultramax 34495 1.5 TB); Justin Lee (eGo 500GB Portable Mac).
    ioSafe: Tterb recommends.
    LaCie: Note: there is an entire thread dedicated to LaCie, I have summed up support from users below, but simply a tally
    jrotunda85, (d2 Quadra 1 TB); RedTomato, gatepc & eVolcre, {although eVolcre owns the one with eSata and Firewire 400}(Hard Disk, Design by Neil Poulton 1 TB); iGary (LaCie Rugged); Gymnut (F.A. Porsche, out of production); VanMac (BigDiskExtreme, out of production); Digital Skunk (2Big Triple, out of production)
    Users expressing general support: cmcbridejr, dpaanlka, LethalWolfe, mpsrig, UltraNeo*, iPhoneNYC, chocolate632, Hellhammer, romanaz
    Users not so happy with LaCie: surfmadison (not a big fan), accacc57, dave12345 (Little Disk), jaysmith, Jerkfish, auero, mperkins37, dfs & jessica.
    Maxtor: adamvk purchased a OneTouch 4 1TB (not sure what version)
    Seagate: steeler (FreeAgent Desk 1.5 TB); MacMini2009, rick3000 (Seagate FreeAgent Desk 1 TB USB Mac); Acid303 does not recommend the (new) Seagate FreeAgent Desk series
    SimpleTech: J&JPolangin (SimpleTech 2TB SimpleDrive Pro Duo); BlizzardBomb recommends the Go; suekitch recommends Seagate because of its warranty
    Western Digital: MacMini2009, xpress1 & MacDawg (MyBook Studio 1TB); Thiol notes purchasing an incredible seven Western Digital MyBook Studio drives all working flawlessly; Acid303 also notes a positive experience with a non-Studio Edition Western Digital drive; terp2007 & matthewscott661 recommend the Passport Series; munkees notes a failure with one of the drives purchased, but a positive experience overall; rikdiddy, RebornKillah & Jerkfish also recommend Western Digital. chrono1081 does not recommend Western Digital & romanaz was also not happy.

    Other Threads:

    1TB is prbly a good size to start at it, I would say most people looking for non-mobile externals start at that size, here is a (not-so) recent thread about that...
    More literature found here.
    Here, is another thread on 1TB Hard Drives
    This one is about LaCie...
    Here is another, there is some more discussion about LaCie in there...
    Here is one on USB 1TB, I'd stick to Firewire...
    And if all else fails, MRoogle
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    That's great post goldenmackid :)

    To OP: 4GB is enough, I do same kinda things as you and 4GB has been perfect. 8GB is so expensive atm, so it's not really worth it. OWC is popular seller as well, but I've trusted Crucial in my orders and so far, no problems.

    Western Digital and Seagate are the most popular HDs here. I've heard nothing bad about Hitachi or Samsung so don't be scared to buy one from them. WD Scorpio Blue 5400rpm would be my choice because it's as fast as 7200rpm drive but doesn't produce so much heat, vibration etc.. Some people here didn't like 7200rpm drive in their MBPs because it sucked the battery a lot faster and the whole computer was like a vibrator. If you have money and want the fastest, get SSD
  4. iphonesrq macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2007
    my post will be much shorter :) but I have the WD Blue 500GB in 3 mbp's and it's great!

Share This Page