Upgrade current computer or buy new?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by rbfinch2, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. rbfinch2 macrumors member

    Jul 3, 2013
    I was thinking of up grading to an iMac but what if I just upgrade. I'm looking for reliability considering my data is very important to me and my macbook is running a little slower.

    Here's my question to everyone:
    Replace my late 2009 uni macbook with a SSD and more RAM or buy a new computer.
  2. Commy1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2013
    SSD's and extra ram in older Macs are like experiencing a new computer. This is the route I took when I bought my used Macbook and wanted to speed it up a bit.
    Take into consideration that your computer won't support anything higher than SATA II speeds, so you can pick up a great SSD for your needs at a good price.

    Correct me if I'm wrong on the SATA thing.
  3. wb123 macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2013
    SSD, RAM, and a couple of forms of backing your data up.
  4. seveej macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2009
    Helsinki, Finland
    You are absolutely correct, the Late2009 MacBook is SATA II (3Gbps).
    That said:
    - if speed is of essence, do some research. Some of the SSD's still on sale as SATA II are outright bad. Just as a disk being SATA III does not guarantee it will use the entire bandwidth, a disk being SATA II, does not guarantee it will use even the halved bandwidth of SATA II. Do some research.
    - there are more and more decently priced SATA III drives out there, and may thus be an overall better investment.
    - when doing research, focus especially on SSD experiences with your specific hardware.

    Agree wholeheartedly, and with emphasis on that last thing. Also keep in mind, that (unless you're willing to dish out a stupendous amount of money upgrading a four-year old machine) your SSD will probably be of lower capacity than the previous HDD. Get a set of decent external HDD's for backup.

    P.S. I'm assuming your current RAM is the stock 2 gigs. If you're running snow leopard, and are not doing any heavy lifting, 4 gigs will be plenty. If not, go for 8. Even though Apple does not say so, your machine can support it.

  5. Commy1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2013
  6. exampasson macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2013
    SSD, RAM, and a couple of forms of backing your data up. [​IMG]
  7. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    Last fall I upgraded my Early 2009 UB 17" with a Crucial M4 512GB SSD ($379). Even though the MBP only had SATA II, I went with something with enough performance left for even SATA III - a bit of future-Mac proofing, if you will. Since it's SATA III, it'll make a newer Mac happy, or at least, a great USB 3.0 external. As it ended up in my case, it allowed me to offer the new owner a great deal to leave the SSD installed when I prepped it for him. (Sold the MBP for my 15" rMBP Mid-2012 loaded w/ all internal options installed - see sig.)

    Anyway, the drive it replaced was a Seagate XT, which was nice, but no SSD. After the SSD was installed, I wouldn't say it was a night/day difference, but the system as a whole felt like a new machine. Boot times definitely were much faster, as one would expect. I don't restart much, so I didn't have much good start times to compare off of. I'm sure others have a bit better data on that point than I do.

    I think an upgrade to 8GB of RAM is a no-brainer these days $61 for PNY 8GB kit (2x 4GB) at Amazon, or around $73 for Crucial or Corsair. I did this upgrade at the end of 2009 for $77 (the Crucial 8GB kit PC3-8500 (2x 4GB SODIMM)).

    Bottom line? Well, for ~16% of the price of a new rMBP (I used $2800 for a 2013 15" 16/512) you'll get a machine that'll respond more like one from a couple years ago, at least to where storage is a bottle neck. Extra RAM will help if you keep lots of things open and or are editing large files with many effects. The more it can keep in physical memory, the better.

    So, if you're not ready to just jump into a new machine for whatever reason, I think you'll get at least a couple years more life, most likely still be able to run the latest OS, and be able to watch what'll be new on the horizon. The only reason I sold mine so quick after installing the SSD is that one of those "deals you can't refuse" came along. I really was planning on keeping the 17" UB until at least this fall to see what'll be out. Really! ;)
  8. rabidz7 macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2012
    Upgrade! Upgrade! Upgrade!
    I'd keep the current drive in an OptiBay. Stick the SSD in main bay, and ram the old HDD into the OptiBay, boot from the optibay, clone the OptiBay to the HDD, boot from the SSD, wipe the HDD, build fusion drive.

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