MBP overhaul

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cmoroy, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. cmoroy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    #1
    Here is the skinny. I have a 15" MBP core 2 duo 2.16 GHz w/ 1GB of memory. It was purchased January 2007 and until now it has remained completely stock. I recently bought a canon HF200 so the need has risen for a better performing machine. My 120GB HDD is nearly at capacity and the 1GB RAM does not cut it anymore. My first thought was to buy a new Imac but at a cost of nearly $1700 I'd like to explore my cheaper option. So here is what I have come up with through my research.

    Upgrade the 1GB to 2x2GB PC2-5300 RAM chips. Thoughts?

    My bigger concern though is the Hard drive. I've never changed any computer components and this looks like it is a task that should be left up to someone who knows what they are doing. However I am in guam so an apple repair store is not an option. I have read through the ifixit tutorial and im going to give it a shot. Any advice?

    also i am having a hard time deciding between the 640GB @ 5400RPM WD HD and the 500GB @7200 RPM seagate. I am dealing with AVCHD video editing so i need plenty of space but would the speed of the seagate be worth the sacrifice?

    somewhere in this overhaul ill be installing snow leapord and FCE4

    I know there is more but i just can't think of it right now any help is appreciated
     
  2. cmoroy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    #2
    Oh! My isight camera is inop. I have gone through all the troubleshooting and still not fixed it. I have a green light, the camera still shows up in skype, but there is a black screen. ifixit has a replacement inverter/isight cable but the difficulty is very hard so this is something I am a little more sketchy about taking on
     
  3. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #3
    Based on your editing comment, it is not really advisable to use the system HDD as a scratch disk, meaning the same physical HDD shall not be used to store and run the Mac OS and the videos you want to edit.

    Also AVCHD footage gets converted to something less compressed (AIC or ProRes) during capture/import in FCE, iMovie and FCP, thus the footage will take up more HDD space than on the recording camera's storage medium.

    Therefore it is best to invest in a 7200rpm HDD in an external Firewire 800 enclosure, the HDD can be 2.5" or 3.5" though.
     
  4. migsev macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #4
    Definitely get 4gb of ram in there, although I think the early 2007 models can only read up to 3.3gb? Ram should be easy to install.

    With regards to the hard drive, I've got the 640gb WD myself and couldn't be happier without it. If you aren't having speed issues with your current drive, the 640gb one should be good for you. It might be hard to install yourself if you have no experience at all though. Best thing to do is have another computer with you while replacing the drive. Have the ifixit guide open and ready, as well as videos on the replacement (check youtube).

    All in all, expect to spend about $200-$250 for all the upgrades.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Dozerrox macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Location:
    Exeter
    #5
    You sound like you're on the right track. Check what the maximum amount of ram you can install here.

    I'd personally install the 5400 drive. You won't get a huge performance increase with the 7200 and people seem to have less problems overall with the 5400. I've edited HD video with a 5400 on a mac without problems.

    That's just me though. Good luck with the upgrade! Remember you might get a decent amount of money for the laptop second hand to put towards a new computer. Might be another option.
     
  6. 92jlee macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales, UK
    #6


    Its not hard to replace the hard drive - just check you have the right screws under the ram cover (a random star size)

    I would try a reinstall of osx to test the iSight before you go taking it apart.

    Good luck!
     
  7. cmoroy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    #7
    I have a 500 GB western digital external already. with my time machine backups itunes and iphoto library's it only has 300 gb left. I would still like to keep the option open for me to be able to load my raw footage onto the computer and not an external. I travel quite a bit and as it stands and dont like to drag an external around everywhere. My memory card is only 16GB so if I take a lot of video one day i want to be able to load up and go make more.
     
  8. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #8
    You could use a 2.5" external drive in a 2.5" enclosure with Firewire.
    An extra power adapter is not needed as that drive ann enclosure gets its power via Firewire.

    It's small and fits into almost any pocket.

    But if that is not possible, you can use your internal drive for storage of your video files and even to edit them, but the performance will be lower (especially with HD footage) than with a dedicated scratch drive, even if it is "only" a 2.5" HDD.

    But if your editing is not for work, and time is not an essence, it will do with just the internal system drive.

    Another but though (I just remembered): video editing puts a lot of stress to any HDD, as the platters are constantly spinning and the head is moving all the time, while you scrub through your footage and edit it together and render something and all the shebang that comes with.
    Thus it will wear your HDD out, which will lead to performance loss and maybe even the HDD could fail, as the system (Mac OS) is using the same HDD and wants to access files too and has to write files (page outs for example, temporary files, ...) and so on.

    Maybe someone more awake can explain it to you with better words.
     

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