Mid-2009 13" MacBook Pro - Upgrade or Replace?

ecschwarz

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 28, 2010
1,239
229
I thought I'd pick the collective brains on here - I have a friend who has a 2.2GHz 13" MacBook Pro (Mid 2009 model) and it's been a pretty good machine for her. We've upgraded the RAM to 8GB, but it still has the pokey original 5400rpm hard drive (with plenty of free space). It's been updated to Lion and Mountain Lion, and has just been feeling more and more sluggish (lots of spinning beach balls).

After checking all the usual things that would cause speed issues, and even loading a fresh install of the OS, I've chalked it up to more or less that it's an older machine (benchmarks are similar to the MacBook Pro I recently replaced). The battery is probably due for replacement, too. Meanwhile, I think she's been itching to replace it with something newer (probably a MacBook Air).

My question is, if she spent the money on an SSD and new battery, would it really improve the situation, or would it be a band-aid that would probably give her another year or two before she was wanting a new Mac anyway?
 

Dalton63841

macrumors 65816
Nov 27, 2010
1,449
5
SEMO, USA
SSD is by far the biggest boost in performance that can be done. Check the specks of mine in my sig. It's FAST, especially for a 4 year old computer.
 

KUguardgrl13

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2013
2,485
109
Kansas, USA
I have the same model. 8 gb RAM with a new HDD. Runs reasonably well for being 4 years old. If it lasts through my final year of college I'll be happy.
 

ecschwarz

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 28, 2010
1,239
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Good to know - I had a hard time believing it has gotten to the point of being that bad, but I'm guessing it's just a mix of the slower hard drive and the extra toll on the CPU of some of the newer software that's out there. Her usage is rather limited (and for a sort-of comparison, I've had zero page outs on my Mac with 8GB RAM, so I suspect she's fine there).

Excuse my ignorance on the subject of SSDs (I'm still living in the land of spinning platters), but that leads to a few other questions:

- If we go the SSD route, are there any that are favorites for this machine?
- It seems like everyone has their own opinion on things (TRIM or not TRIM? Any other special work?)
- Process-wise, would setting it up be the same method as cloning from one hard drive to another, or would there need to be special preparations first?

I have no problem with the installation from a hardware perspective, it's more the SSD quirks and nuances that I'd want to make sure I'm aware of.

Thanks again!
 

ramram55

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2012
750
150
- If we go the SSD route, are there any that are favorites for this machine?
Samsung, Crucial or Intel
- It seems like everyone has their own opinion on things (TRIM or not TRIM?
Any other special work?)
there is tons of trim write up google it.
- Process-wise, would setting it up be the same method as cloning from one hard drive to another, or would there need to be special preparations first?
clone it, very simple to do. clone the internal to external, and swap the drives.
 

NewishMacGuy

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2007
636
0
An SSD will make a big difference in any machine, but that one's getting long in the tooth. Any recently built SSD will be limited to about half it's potential speed in that machine, which is still 3x the speed of a fast HDD. It'll work, and be faster, but IMO "upgrade" money is better spent applying towards a whole new computer than on anything older than a 2011 (Sandy Bridge) machine at this point.

Also, Apple's equipment tends to last a long time and be usable, but they're not shy about abandoning older hardware in new software releases either.

You should be able to get $400 or so for a 2009 uMBP-13. Add the $200 that you'd spend on the SSD and you're over halfway to a new MBA (not including the government theft of your productivity of course).


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