update late 2009 Mac unibody

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by alw5682, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. alw5682 macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2015
    Hi all,

    I have the late 2009 Mac Unibody with version 10.6.8 with 2GB 1067 MHz memory that I use everyday for college. First off, I just want to say that I am not a computer person so if you respond with any technical computer term, you might have to dumb it down for me since I don't know any computer lingo. :(

    I want to upgrade my macbook because it is pretty old and some new flash player updates require at least 10.7 or later.

    I want to upgrade to Yosemite but I heard you need at least 4 GB or space? What's the next best thing to upgrade to for my macbook? I heard that 10.7 lion is okay and won't slow down my comp. Is that true?
  2. comda macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2011

    Im using a much older macbook, a 2007 model actually running 10.6.8 aswell. So far ive had no issues with flash player not being supported. However ill still lend you a hand.

    The machine you have is capable of a lot still, however many people have reported yosemite being a tad slow on these models. So if you want this system to live on you will have to shed some coin and it will be better then new.

    1st thing. Yes you defiantly need more RAM. So to dumb it down memory. These are in the form of chips. Laptops only have 2 RAM slots so if you want 4gb you're going to have to go out and purchase 2sticks each 2gb of whats called DDR3 laptop memory. This machine however can do 8gb but if you dont want to go that route i would at least suggest purchasing 1x 4gb stick instead of 2x 2gb sticks so you wont have to replace both sticks again down the road if you ever want to upgrade to 8. This will make a difference in how your mac handles multiple applications boot up, video rendering etc.

    The second thing that would turbo boost your laptop is something called a SSD (solid state drive) Many computers still to this day use your standard mechanical drive. If you dont know what this is im talking about the part of the system where all your data is held. your system (snow leopard) all your documents music movies etc. Mechanical drives are alright, however a SSD is way faster and will make your machine better then it was new. My macbook has one and instead of waiting for one minute and 34 seconds to boot i wait less then 20 seconds. HUGE difference. However. SSDs are far more expensive then a standard mechanical drive. you can get a 240GB ssd for around $120.

    IF you have issues on how to physically install these items into your machine check out ifixit.com they have lots of tutorials. IF you plan on doing a SSD copy all your personal data, documents music whatever as when you swap the drive out you will be left with a clean empty drive. At that point i would then us the DVD that came with the computer, intstall snow leopard, then go to the app store and get yosemite if thats what you want. Good luck and hope this sheds a little light on your machine.
  3. Algus macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2014

    There are two kinds of memory, RAM and storage

    RAM: This is the memory used by everything that is loaded up and you are using

    Storage: This is everything stored in reserve to be loaded into RAM as you need it

    So say you have 2 GB RAM and 80 GB storage. You have 80 GB of stuff that can be called up and put into the 2 GB of RAM as you need it. There is more to it than that but this is a simplification

    So if you look at Yosemite specs:

    2 GB or more of memory
    8 GB or more of storage

    That means you need 2 GB RAM and at least 8 GB space on your hard drive.

    If you click Apple Icon->About This Mac you will get a screen with info on your Mac. There is a tab for Storage where you can see what is on your hard drive and how much space it is taking up. Then there is a tab for Memory where you can see how much RAM you have installed.

    As long as you meet all the requirements you can download Yosemite from the App Store and install it via the on screen instructions that come when you click on the downloader.

    Be sure to have your Mac plugged in during the update as it takes awhile and if you lose power during the update, well bad things could happen.

    Now what OS to upgrade to

    I do not recommend you use OS X Lion as security fixes for this version stopped in October. If you upgrade to Mountain Lion or newer, you will still get patches and fixes though in general it is good to be on the latest version of the OS. These are all free updates, unlike Windows where you would have to buy new versions, so no reason not to update.

    Now it is also possible to upgrade the hardware on your computer (the physical components inside the computer) and this would make the computer work better. You could buy more RAM or replace your hard drive with a solid state drive, both of which would make your computer faster.

    If you were to replace the hard drive, you would need to do a clean install of OS X. This means you would be installing the OS fresh instead of just updating it (since OS X is not on the new drive in the first place). Obviously you would want to backup all of your computer's information before you do that.

    This article has details on doing a clean install of OS X. If you decide to upgrade the hardware, you can usually find instructions for your specific device by googling it. A good website for instructions is iFixit. I like to buy my parts from Other World Computing. They have video tutorials and stuff on their website too that can help you out.

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