Upgrade existing or buy new MacBook Pro?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 23, 2012
I've got a 15inch mid 2009 MacBook Pro with a 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB 1067 MHz DDR3 RAM and running NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256MB Graphics. I've begun doing a lot more video and photo processing and was wondering if I could boost my existing system cheaper than I could purchase a new computer with the specs needed to run Final Cut and Aperture?


Jan 15, 2003
I'd suggest upgrading to 8 GB 1333 MHz RAM and to a 7200 RPM hard drive, like the Hitachi 750 GB/7200 RPM. Inexpensive relative to a new machine, since the processor and graphics unit cannot be upgraded.

If your machine is still too slow for you, you can transfer the RAM and hard drive to a new MBP.


macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2009
Seattle, WA
My system is very similar to yours. I don't use Final Cut but I do use Lightroom or Aperture and my MBP handles it without any issues at all. I suggest you try more RAM, which is really cheap, and also get an SSD. That should perk up your system nicely. If you still find your MBP too slow for you after that, you need a CPU upgrade, meaning a new MBP. You can move the SSD to the new MBP, so a net cash outlay for you to try this route is $50 for RAM (according to OWC pricing). That's what I would do.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 23, 2012
is 8GB the max?

I was wondering if I could put more than 8GB of DDR3 RAM into my MBP? If so would it improve performance more so than installing the 8GB RAM? Any particular brands to look for?


macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
8 GB is the max for your machine.

You should consider replacing the machine with either the current MBP or the 2012 model when it appears. The quad core CPUs in the current machines will give a strong boost to all CPU intensive applications.

I'm not saying that your current machine is slow, but a significant speed boost can only be expected with a new CPU. Note also that the 2.4 and 2.5 GHz quad cores will eventually allow you to put up to 32 GB of RAM into the machine.

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