Macbook Pro i5 Upgrade : SSD/8gb RAM

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by smcbaird, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. smcbaird macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hey guys

    Recently purchased an i5 15" Macbook Pro and must say am loving it to date. However i held back from upgrading ram/hard drive online when purchasing as i heard its much cheaper to do it yourself.
    The main area of interest is swapping the 320gb 5400rpm hd for an ssd (approx 120-160gb in size). However recently i have heard of a hybrid hd. I am curious to know what sorts of performance differences i will experience if i take the plunge and also find out more about these hybrid drives.

    The other area was upgrading RAM to 8gb. What sort of performance increase would i notice with this? was considering this as am told it will enhance the life of my mac.

    What i do on my mac: word processing, video, web browsing, editing, games

    Any help/insight would be greatly appreciated

    Merry xmas!
  2. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    As far as I know there is only one hybrid drive that would be the Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid. I have a 13" MBP that I installed one in and also upgraded the RAM to 8 GB. So far the Hybrid is great, it offers quick start up times. My startup went from about 50 seconds down to about 20. It will also learn the most frequently used files you open apps and attempt to store that information in the SSD section making startup for those pretty quick too. Is it as fast as a SSD, absolutely not however at only $120 for 500 GB it's a great bang for the buck. That comes to $.24 per GB whereas as 120 GB SSD is about $2.00 per GB.

    The RAM upgrade was also a dramatic improvement in speed. If you tend to run a lot of apps or run really large files a RAM upgrade helps significantly. Overall the system is quicker because it spends less or no time doing RAM swapping.

    I got both upgrades from OWC, If you haven't shopped there before they're great on service, specializing in Macs and prices. What they sell works and if you have questions or need help getting from them is available 24/7. BTW I'm simply a satisfied customer.
  3. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    RAM upgrades may or may not have impact on performance depending on your usage. I went from 4 to 8 and got nothing but a bill. How is your RAM currently being used? (Activity Monitor)

    SSD's turbocharge your computer; mine starts up in about 15 seconds. Not all SSD's are made the same and some of them have drastically better reviews and performance stats.

    The Momentus XT has mixed reviews, but the people who give them the thumbs up absolutely love them. One potential issue with a hybrid drive is that if one part of it breaks, you have defeated the purpose of its existence. Statistically and theoretically speaking, the part to die first will almost always be the HDD and that would leave you with a drive of the size that laptops were back in the 1990s. If you don't use a boat load of data, get a 120/8 gig SSD; if you do then it becomes a little more complex, but options include: shell out the cash for a big SSD, hybrid, upgrade to a better HDD, put a secondary HDD in your CD bay, add a secondary SSD in the optical bar, use an external, use a Time Capsule, or be really creative. I've literally used about 70GB for the last 5 years and so a 120GB SSD for me is huge and all I need. I still backup on the HDD that the computer came with, but I don't need additional storage due to lack of space.

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