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Smittens

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 10, 2020
17
1
Hi all.


I'm considering upgrading my mid-2010 MacBook Pro from 4gb RAM to 16gb RAM. Bear with with me, as I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to tech/computers (my model is good for the 16gb upgrade). I upgraded some components a couple of years ago so I currently have a 256GB SSD with 4GB Ram, running High Sierra 10.13.6. At the same time, I replaced the battery and the touch pad. Touch pad still malfunctions (moves sideways without touch), but I prefer an external mouse anyway, so not a big deal. Battery is ok.


Usage:

I think I am a moderate to heavy user. When browsing (Chrome), I often have 35+ tabs open (plus Safari for University studies). I have a platform with live stock charts that are continuously running (~5 charts) and it's quite important that these are not lagging. I would like to use it for music recording but it was unable to handle my Scarlett Solo Audio Interface - when using the audio interface, the audio would sound like a CD skipping (when playing my guitar with different effects, playback etc). With VirtualDJ, it was suffering in the same way. I use it for some photography as well, and it slows down. iPad Pro can do most of what I need for photography, but I have a Squarespace website that I need to use the Mac for which involves a lot of photos being downloaded, shifted around etc. The iPad Pro is ok for the music, but feel more comfortable using a Mac for files etc. I also use it for various programs with study - Word, PowerPoint, MindNode, OneNote et al, and will often have them all open at the same time. I also study online, so have to listen/watch lectures online, while using other programs to take notes etc. I have to type a lot with study, so reluctant to use the questionable keyboards. Finally, I intend connecting to large external monitor at times (charts, music).


That's most of it!!!


Options:

My situation is that I could stretch myself to get the new lowest spec Macbook Pro 13/14 when it is released (or really stretch myself for higher spec), but it's not the ideal option in the current environment (I am reluctant to go for lowest spec as well). I'd seriously consider it if it was clearly the best option though. I could consider a recent Macbook Air or Macbook (if they were capable of excelling with the load usage outlined).


My other option is to upgrade my RAM from 4gb to 16gb. This would cost me ~$110 USD now. If this was able to carry me over for another 12-24 months, then I might be in a better position to get a new model, or secondhand ones should start to become available within that period. However, I'm not so keen on this option if it isn't up to the job. I'm also not sure what the limitations are with using such an old Mac when it comes to latest software, system requirements etc... Am I able to use most recent OS by upgrading hardware, for instance? (this is where my lack of knowledge really shows!! :) )


Third option being a recent secondhand MacBook Pro/Air/Book. Concerned about keyboard and overall quality when it comes to this option but open to the idea.


Fourth option, get a PC, but given my iPhone, iPad Pro setup, not so keen on this.


Also wondering if I could/should be utilising my 256gb iPad Pro 10.5 more 🤔


Any and all advice appreciated! Cheers
 

sundialsoft

macrumors regular
Sep 2, 2010
161
53
Scotland
The SSD upgrade is probably the most significant thing to do so upgrading the RAM is just icing on the cake. I did both to my older MBP and was 100% happy till Apple made it non-upgradable. As I use Xcode I had to sell it and move on to my MBA as a stop gap. The apps you are using are not too heavy. Have you looked at the performance stats to see how memory is utilised?
 
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Smittens

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 10, 2020
17
1
Using the Activity Monitor?

It’s reading 3.6gb at the moment but I have far fewer tabs open than I normally would. It‘s kernel (?), Chrome, Word, Messenger at or near the top. I also have a couple fewer programs open than I usually would.
 
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sundialsoft

macrumors regular
Sep 2, 2010
161
53
Scotland
Is your SSD quite full ? If not and it has lots of space then the virtual memory function should work efficiently. A nearly full disk will degrade the virtual memory performance. Virtual memory is where apps or parts of apps are swapped out to disk and back in to memory as you use them. This is how computers work.
 
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Smittens

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 10, 2020
17
1
Is your SSD quite full ? If not and it has lots of space then the virtual memory function should work efficiently. A nearly full disk will degrade the virtual memory performance. Virtual memory is where apps or parts of apps are swapped out to disk and back in to memory as you use them. This is how computers work.

I still have 65gb available in my SSD. Ok, I think I understand - thanks! Are you saying that given that I do still have a lot of space left on my SSD, then the RAM upgrade won’t be as usefu/noticeable ?
 
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sundialsoft

macrumors regular
Sep 2, 2010
161
53
Scotland
All I can say is that having been forced to use my MBA which has only 4Gb ram I have been happily using Xcode for several months (and various other apps for graphics etc). My MBP was upgrade to 8Gb and SSD and worked really well.
My guess is that the ram won't give you a very noticeable boost. Keeping the disk tidy is probably the best thing to do.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
21,698
7,905
I still have a 2010 MBP 13", but it's become my "backup" laptop since I got a 2015 MBP.

Having said that, any upgrades you do should be "on the cheap" -- not worth putting lots of money into a 10-year-old laptop any more.

My recommendation:
Get ONE 8gb soDIMM, and put that into the top slot (the one closest to you when the back is removed).
It will give you 10gb of installed RAM -- plenty to last through as long as you're going to keep using it.

Others are going to jump in and say "the overall performance will slow down because the RAM soDIMMs aren't matched".
They're correct.
But... my prediction is whatever slowdown there is will be virtually UN-noticeable to you.

I've used 10gb of RAM in my 2012 Mini for years (2gb + 8gb) and it ran just fine... fast enough for me...

Final thought:
Another reason not to spend too much on what you have now is the new MacBook Pro 14", which is "coming real soon" (as they say)...
 
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Smittens

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 10, 2020
17
1
I still have a 2010 MBP 13", but it's become my "backup" laptop since I got a 2015 MBP.

Having said that, any upgrades you do should be "on the cheap" -- not worth putting lots of money into a 10-year-old laptop any more.

My recommendation:
Get ONE 8gb soDIMM, and put that into the top slot (the one closest to you when the back is removed).
It will give you 10gb of installed RAM -- plenty to last through as long as you're going to keep using it.

Others are going to jump in and say "the overall performance will slow down because the RAM soDIMMs aren't matched".
They're correct.
But... my prediction is whatever slowdown there is will be virtually UN-noticeable to you.

I've used 10gb of RAM in my 2012 Mini for years (2gb + 8gb) and it ran just fine... fast enough for me...

Final thought:
Another reason not to spend too much on what you have now is the new MacBook Pro 14", which is "coming real soon" (as they say)...

Ok, thank you.

Do you mean something like this? (It’s in Australian dollars - approx $50 US)

6091F062-D18D-4744-8051-D95942DF497C.jpeg


I’m also seeing RDIMM options. Is one type better than the other? Is there a certain brand I should be looking for?

For about $35US more I can get 16gb .. would that be worth it?

Cheers
 
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throAU

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2012
7,050
4,814
Perth, Western Australia
My situation is that I could stretch myself to get the new lowest spec Macbook Pro 13/14 when it is released (or really stretch myself for higher spec), but it's not the ideal option in the current environment (I am reluctant to go for lowest spec as well). I'd seriously consider it if it was clearly the best option though. I could consider a recent Macbook Air or Macbook (if they were capable of excelling with the load usage outlined).


My other option is to upgrade my RAM from 4gb to 16gb. This would cost me ~$110 USD now. If this was able to carry me over for another 12-24 months, then I might be in a better position to get a new model, or secondhand ones should start to become available within that period.


I get that you're trying to extend the life of this machine, but as above, putting significant money into a 10 year old machine is a roll of the dice; it could die any minute and the CPU is still sloooow by modern standards.

If I were you, I'd scrap the upgrade idea, sell the 2010 Pro off to some other sucker who wants the ports and upgradability, and look for a refurb/secondhand MacBook Air with 8 GB from say.... 2015 (give or take - consider going back to even 2011 but no earlier! get the newest one you can get for what you consider reasonable money. I think the airs only started getting 8 GB a few years after that though) and run with that for a while. Yes this will be a bit more than the RAM upgrade for your Pro, but... it will have SSD, much faster graphics, much faster CPU, still have a good keyboard.

It will be much better than what you currently have in pretty much every way (2010 to 2011+ was a big step in CPU - 2010 intel CPUs do not have crypto acceleration in hardware for example - and virtually every website now is HTTPS and doing encryption); run that until the new machine comes up that you want.
 
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Smittens

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 10, 2020
17
1
Here's what I would order (in the USA). See if the specs match yours:

Sweet! Thanks for that - on account of what you have said about spending on a 10yr old machine and the below, I might browse the net and see what is available secondhand to tie me over for a while, until I can buy a 2020 MBP.

I get that you're trying to extend the life of this machine, but as above, putting significant money into a 10 year old machine is a roll of the dice; it could die any minute and the CPU is still sloooow by modern standards.

If I were you, I'd scrap the upgrade idea, sell the 2010 Pro off to some other sucker who wants the ports and upgradability, and look for a refurb/secondhand MacBook Air with 8 GB from say.... 2015 (give or take - consider going back to even 2011 but no earlier! get the newest one you can get for what you consider reasonable money. I think the airs only started getting 8 GB a few years after that though) and run with that for a while. Yes this will be a bit more than the RAM upgrade for your Pro, but... it will have SSD, much faster graphics, much faster CPU, still have a good keyboard.

It will be much better than what you currently have in pretty much every way (2010 to 2011+ was a big step in CPU - 2010 intel CPUs do not have crypto acceleration in hardware for example - and virtually every website now is HTTPS and doing encryption); run that until the new machine comes up that you want.

Thanks for the advice :) I think I will browse and see what is available. I could potentially buy the current MBA? I don’t know a whole lot about the MBA tbh.. Would you recommend the new one as a long term option (given my requirements), or are you coming from the angle of buying the cheapest (ie MBA as opposed to MBP) bc it’s only temporary until buying the new 2020 MBP in a year or so?
 
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sundialsoft

macrumors regular
Sep 2, 2010
161
53
Scotland
Sweet! Thanks for that - on account of what you have said about spending on a 10yr old machine and the below, I might browse the net and see what is available secondhand to tie me over for a while, until I can buy a 2020 MBP.



Thanks for the advice :) I think I will browse and see what is available. I could potentially buy the current MBA? I don’t know a whole lot about the MBA tbh.. Would you recommend the new one as a long term option (given my requirements), or are you coming from the angle of buying the cheapest (ie MBA as opposed to MBP) bc it’s only temporary until buying the new 2020 MBP in a year or so?
I loved my MBP and sold it for a good price because it could not run Catalina and I need to be up to date. I have a MBA just for personal stuff and being forced to use it for Xcode has shown it to be perfectly suitable for moderately heavy work. It's SSD is too small (128Gb) so long term it wouldn't work so I am upgrading. I will get the MBA or MBP 2020 13/14" once I compare assuming it's launched (MBP) in the next few weeks. My wife has the 2019 MBA and it's a super MacBook. The keyboard is considered less than perfect but she doesn't get it messy and it has been flawless so far. It has USBC so can connect to a 4K USBC monitor which makes it so much better to use with lots of files.
 
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avz

macrumors 65816
Oct 7, 2018
1,235
1,377
If I were you, I'd scrap the upgrade idea, sell the 2010 Pro off to some other sucker who wants the ports and upgradability,

Love it. In Australia(Sydney) the market seems to be very cruel to the 10 year old MacBooks/Pros. You'll be very lucky to get AU$50-100 offers for this machine.
 
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throAU

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2012
7,050
4,814
Perth, Western Australia
Love it. In Australia(Sydney) the market seems to be very cruel to the 10 year old MacBooks/Pros. You'll be very lucky to get AU$50-100 offers for this machine.

10 years really is the cut off for a lot of technology that makes a huge difference. 2011 brought:
  • USB 3
  • SATA 3
  • Thunderbolt
  • AES-NI crypto acceleration (up to 30x perf on crypto)
  • Quicksync Video (much faster video decode)
  • HD3000 iGPU that didn't totally suck (2x perf)
A machine without all of that really feels the pinch these days. Not so much thunderbolt (unless you have peripherals for it, but 2010 owner probably not :D), but everything else...
 
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Smittens

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 10, 2020
17
1

I’m not seeing much in the way of MBAs so far.. but I was hoping to get a gauge by using the above for what I should be looking for to satisfy my needs, what price I should be happy with etc. I should add that I would prefer a machine that excels beyond my needs I guess, not one that “just” manages. If I can pay via zip pay, I’m willing to fork out a bit more to find the right machine, which may bring us back to the 2020 MBP... in any case, I can get the above MBP for about $1350 ($860USD) - it’s things like 2.7 Ghz Intel Core i5 Processor (Turbo Boost to 3.1Ghz) that I don’t know anything much about (and this applies to all MBs that I’m looking at).... like is a 1.6ghz quad-core i5 better than a 2.3ghz dual-core i7 etc etc ? ... I don’t know if those specs even exist (just an example), I also don’t know what they mean... I guess in terms of speed and power, I’m wondering what specs are priority 1, 2, 3..

Edit: Have just found an article that seems to be breaking down the jargon for me. :)
 
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avz

macrumors 65816
Oct 7, 2018
1,235
1,377

I’m not seeing much in the way of MBAs so far.. but I was hoping to get a gauge by using the above for what I should be looking for to satisfy my needs, what price I should be happy with etc. I should add that I would prefer a machine that excels beyond my needs I guess, not one that “just” manages. If I can pay via zip pay, I’m willing to fork out a bit more to find the right machine, which may bring us back to the 2020 MBP... in any case, I can get the above MBP for about $1350 ($860USD) - it’s things like 2.7 Ghz Intel Core i5 Processor (Turbo Boost to 3.1Ghz) that I don’t know anything much about (and this applies to all MBs that I’m looking at).... like is a 1.6ghz quad-core i5 better than a 2.3ghz dual-core i7 etc etc ? ... I don’t know if those specs even exist (just an example), I also don’t know what they mean... I guess in terms of speed and power, I’m wondering what specs are priority 1, 2, 3..

Edit: Have just found an article that seems to be breaking down the jargon for me. :)

At this price point I'd rather wait and buy the 13 inch 2020 MacBook Pro.
 
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mister donut

macrumors newbie
Jul 27, 2011
11
1
I'm not sure how much it would cost you to ship from an ebay seller in the US, but it looks like our listings are generally priced quite a bit lower. $860USD is too much for a 2015 13", at least in terms of US listings. Here, you could easily get the upgraded 15" with dedicated graphics for that price, which is probably more than you even need since you haven't mentioned video editing.

Regardless of your location, though, check out Luke Miani's channel to get some ideas about buying used Macs on a budget. Here's a good overview where he covers the best used Mac options for several common use cases. And in this one, he compares the 2020 MBA and the 2019 base 13" MBP. He also discusses processors in many of these, so you'll start to figure out the quad-core i5 vs. dual-core i7 type stuff. The exact question you're asking depends on which two Macs you're comparing, so you can factor in whether either of them have hyperthreading, what generation the processors are, and other factors like whether poor thermals will throttle the processor, like the current MacBook Airs.

Speaking of processors, which does your MBP have? I don't see your processor speed or MBP size, but apologize if I missed it. Even if you have a 13" with a Core 2 Duo, upgrading the RAM from 4GB to 16GB will make a huge difference. Especially if it only costs an extra $35 compared to the 8GB upgrade.

Since it sounds like you're on a tight budget, that would be my first choice. Core 2 Duo processors aren't ideal, but I've been running a white 2010 MacBook (not even a Pro) with that same basic processor and 16GB of RAM for about 5 years, and the only reason I'm upgrading right now is to get into video editing. FCPX won't run on this machine, it's not compatible with Metal. Aside from video editing, though, I wouldn't have even bothered upgrading. Even though this Mac is definitely old, it holds up to the ton of tabs I keep open in Firefox, it runs ProTools for music editing, and it's solid with my own SquareSpace site editing, as well. Overall, your current usage sounds pretty similar to mine, so you can probably get by for under $100 for a while still. Then later on, after you've checked out more Luke Miani videos, you'll have a solid idea of what fits your situation best. And if you're buying used, which models are good, and which to avoid.

One other note on the limitations I've recently hit with a C2D processor. Now that everything is shut down and the bulk of my work involves video calls, it's definitely showing signs of age. It can still handle individual Skype and FaceTime calls reasonably well, but group calls are difficult. Even watching Facebook livestreams is pretty bad, cutting out so often that it's not watchable. Ethernet might help, I'll find out this week. But also the 2015 MBP 15" I ordered just arrived, so I'll be testing that out, as well. So if you're doing a ton of video calls and your current MBP can't handle it, that's the only reason I would consider selling it sooner than later. Otherwise, I would keep it running with upgraded RAM. Maybe check your SSD's health using Drive DX, and also possibly upgrade it if it's only SATA I, since II (your MBP's max) or III (backwards compatible to II) will be faster. Also I don't know much about this point, but someone mentioned much earlier that it will help if you have more space free. You can get a Crucial MX500 1TB for $70US, which could be well worth it, and still cost less than $200 to extend the life of your current MBP.

Good luck, whichever way you go!
 
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Smittens

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 10, 2020
17
1
I'm not sure how much it would cost you to ship from an ebay seller in the US, but it looks like our listings are generally priced quite a bit lower. $860USD is too much for a 2015 13", at least in terms of US listings. Here, you could easily get the upgraded 15" with dedicated graphics for that price, which is probably more than you even need since you haven't mentioned video editing.

Regardless of your location, though, check out Luke Miani's channel to get some ideas about buying used Macs on a budget. Here's a good overview where he covers the best used Mac options for several common use cases. And in this one, he compares the 2020 MBA and the 2019 base 13" MBP. He also discusses processors in many of these, so you'll start to figure out the quad-core i5 vs. dual-core i7 type stuff. The exact question you're asking depends on which two Macs you're comparing, so you can factor in whether either of them have hyperthreading, what generation the processors are, and other factors like whether poor thermals will throttle the processor, like the current MacBook Airs.

Speaking of processors, which does your MBP have? I don't see your processor speed or MBP size, but apologize if I missed it. Even if you have a 13" with a Core 2 Duo, upgrading the RAM from 4GB to 16GB will make a huge difference. Especially if it only costs an extra $35 compared to the 8GB upgrade.

Since it sounds like you're on a tight budget, that would be my first choice. Core 2 Duo processors aren't ideal, but I've been running a white 2010 MacBook (not even a Pro) with that same basic processor and 16GB of RAM for about 5 years, and the only reason I'm upgrading right now is to get into video editing. FCPX won't run on this machine, it's not compatible with Metal. Aside from video editing, though, I wouldn't have even bothered upgrading. Even though this Mac is definitely old, it holds up to the ton of tabs I keep open in Firefox, it runs ProTools for music editing, and it's solid with my own SquareSpace site editing, as well. Overall, your current usage sounds pretty similar to mine, so you can probably get by for under $100 for a while still. Then later on, after you've checked out more Luke Miani videos, you'll have a solid idea of what fits your situation best. And if you're buying used, which models are good, and which to avoid.

One other note on the limitations I've recently hit with a C2D processor. Now that everything is shut down and the bulk of my work involves video calls, it's definitely showing signs of age. It can still handle individual Skype and FaceTime calls reasonably well, but group calls are difficult. Even watching Facebook livestreams is pretty bad, cutting out so often that it's not watchable. Ethernet might help, I'll find out this week. But also the 2015 MBP 15" I ordered just arrived, so I'll be testing that out, as well. So if you're doing a ton of video calls and your current MBP can't handle it, that's the only reason I would consider selling it sooner than later. Otherwise, I would keep it running with upgraded RAM. Maybe check your SSD's health using Drive DX, and also possibly upgrade it if it's only SATA I, since II (your MBP's max) or III (backwards compatible to II) will be faster. Also I don't know much about this point, but someone mentioned much earlier that it will help if you have more space free. You can get a Crucial MX500 1TB for $70US, which could be well worth it, and still cost less than $200 to extend the life of your current MBP.

Good luck, whichever way you go!


Thanks so much for such a comprehensive response!!

To answer your questions:
It's a MBP, 13" with 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo. Storage is 256 SSD SATA.

I have now checked out those Luke Miani videos - thanks! Actually, a few days ago I watched one of his videos covering the iMacs (something else I'm weighing up as I figure out my needs), but I didn't see the videos you linked me to and they were definitely helpful. If I follow his advice, I'd probably be looking at the mid 2013 - early 2015 15" MBP as that should comfortably do everything I need.

Good to hear that the the 16gb RAM upgrade made a huge difference to your performance!

As it stands (and it's all very fluid), I'm going to grab a keyboard for my iPad Pro and see what difference that makes for my use of the iPad, which until now has basically just been used for browsing and note-taking (Notability with Stylus). I think with the keyboard, I'll start (and should start) to use it more often for other work as it is a fairly powerful machine (10.5", 2nd Gen, 256gb). A potential consequence of that is that I could possibly get an iMac instead (better value for specs) and use my iPad as my portable machine (and still have my 2010 MBP (likely with 16gb RAM for those times when portable notebook essential). But then I think to myself, is getting an iMac worthwhile when I could get a MBP and hook it up to a large monitor for a similar result? 😆

I'll have a look and price some used 15" MBP from late 2013 - mid 2015 (here and in the US), bc there is a chance I will need to do some video editing soon and it should exceed any other demands I have for it.

Finally, I will probably be best served by taking a breath, waiting for the 13/14" release in a month or two and seeing if the upgrades there make it far and away the best option (mainly compared to the 2013-2015 15" MBP), at which point I can possibly buy something with After Pay.. and at the very least, by then I'll have a clearer picture of exactly what I need.

Thanks again for your advice and assistance. I feel like I'm gaining a much better grasp having watched those YouTube clips and for having read a few articles!!
 
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Mattcheap20

macrumors newbie
May 6, 2020
1
0
I have a 2010 MacBook Pro, I just reformatted and it still shuts down, and FaceTime was giving me a green screen. I know 10 years is forever but this model has USB ports, and I do a lot of video from externals drives. I can’t even download iMovie, what else can I do? If I do buy a new model what’s the best for video editing and connecting External drives?
 
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brijesht

macrumors newbie
May 24, 2011
18
2
India
Hey guys -- So I'm in a similar, if not the same boat - MBP 13", mid 2010 - and I upgraded to 120gb SSD & 8 GB RAM around '16 - it worked great. But I feel it's gone quite slow and i'm always running out of space (duh!) and these are interrelated - so what I've already ordered is a SSD(250GB) which should help. My usage is mostly browsers, some basic programming stuff (learning unity, jupyter notebooks, python scripts). I plan to upgrade disk space(already bought) & battery for sure.

I have a few specific questions for things I'm contemplating:
1) Is it worth it to also upgrade to 16GB - I already have 8GB (4gbx2) - would it make a 'huge difference'? ~$85
2) Is it wise to install optical drive replacer mount SSD? (https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DDAMBS0GB/)

I mean I do want to use my existing 120GB ssd once I get that new 250GB - question is, does an installation like this mess up the 'sealing' of MBP in anyway - I don't want to have dust issues!

I almost bought up the new 13" M1 MBP - but somehow thought of making this usable for another year or so with keeping the expense ~$200 - and then buy the new M1 MBP next year (yeah, the one with magsafe and supposedly more...'ports'!).

tl;dr - Should I go for 16GB & the SSD optical-drive mount to upgrade my 13" 2010 MBP?
 
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throAU

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2012
7,050
4,814
Perth, Western Australia
Not sure 16 GB is an option on the 2010 models? I'd definitely check to make sure your RAM is compatible with the machine before going ahead.

At this point however I'd not be throwing money at a machine > decade old, you're missing AES acceleration, modern video codec support, etc. and the hardware is well beyond its expected life (capacitors on the board may just die, and you've got a broken machine, etc. - caps don't live forever).

I mean you do you, but... if you've kept it this long I'd be spending the bare minimum to keep it running until you upgrade. RAM and disk isn't the only reason that machine will be feeling slow in 2021.
 
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justashooter

macrumors regular
Apr 8, 2020
229
117
8gb ram is sufficient for that model for most uses, web browsing, office products, etc. It will support 16gb, I've bought ram modules used without a problem, save some money. Using the OWC Data Doubler will not change how well the MBP is sealed. You could put some soft rubber/foam between the Data Double and the DVD slot if you wanted to. I have had one in my 2012 MBP for a few years.
 
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brijesht

macrumors newbie
May 24, 2011
18
2
India
Not sure 16 GB is an option on the 2010 models? I'd definitely check to make sure your RAM is compatible with the machine before going ahead.

At this point however I'd not be throwing money at a machine > decade old, you're missing AES acceleration, modern video codec support, etc. and the hardware is well beyond its expected life (capacitors on the board may just die, and you've got a broken machine, etc. - caps don't live forever).

I mean you do you, but... if you've kept it this long I'd be spending the bare minimum to keep it running until you upgrade. RAM and disk isn't the only reason that machine will be feeling slow in 2021.
yeah, it was originally not designed for upwards of 8GB but from where it stands now, it 'can' be upgraded to 16GB - and I totally get you when you say it's a decade+ old machine and can go kaput anytime - my only intention was to spend bare minimum (less than $200) before I go ahead for the new MBP in their next iteration. Thanks, I'll just go with the SSD upgrade for now.
 
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brijesht

macrumors newbie
May 24, 2011
18
2
India
8gb ram is sufficient for that model for most uses, web browsing, office products, etc. It will support 16gb, I've bought ram modules used without a problem, save some money. Using the OWC Data Doubler will not change how well the MBP is sealed. You could put some soft rubber/foam between the Data Double and the DVD slot if you wanted to. I have had one in my 2012 MBP for a few years.
alright then, I'll try staying content with 8GB and hope the slightly higher SSD gives some boost to its performance. Will also go for the data doubler as well - do you have any opinions on the battery? I'm just thinking of going for it since the original battery lasts for about 45 mins as of now, although I barely use it without the magsafe attached - and since it's only ~$85, I think it may be worth it if it gives a few hours(which, if its reviews are anything, seems to be the case) - thanks for taking your time to respond - appreciate it.
 
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throAU

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2012
7,050
4,814
Perth, Western Australia
yeah, it was originally not designed for upwards of 8GB but from where it stands now, it 'can' be upgraded to 16GB - and I totally get you when you say it's a decade+ old machine and can go kaput anytime - my only intention was to spend bare minimum (less than $200) before I go ahead for the new MBP in their next iteration. Thanks, I'll just go with the SSD upgrade for now.

Yeah SSD only would be a good idea. Even if the machine dies you can stick it in an external enclosure and haven't blown your money.

Any money spent on DDR3 SDRAM is dead money if the machine expires.
 
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