Upgrading a Mid 2009 unibody Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dvcat, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. dvcat macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2011
    Hello all,
    I am planning to upgrade my unibody 13.3 inch mid 2009 Macbook Pro, specifically get more RAM and possibly put in an SSD. I have a couple of questions and would greatly appreciate some advice:

    1. I plan to stress out the macbook a lot by running ram/cpu intensive programs (mostly experiments on large datasets) so I wanted to boost up the ram by getting an 8 gib module. I went through the Buyer's guide which recommended going to MacRamDirect.com. Its not clear to me from briefly looking at that site why buying ram from there is any better than say buying a Kingston ram kit from Amazon would be? Can someone who has looked at this more closely comment on which brand of RAM would be better to go by and whether the buyer's guide is current? I don't especially mind paying a bit more as long as I can get chips that don't die out in the middle of the night. (I am currently having nasty experiences with this happening on my work laptop which is a early 2011 Macbook Pro)

    2. I am thinking of shelling out money on an SSD. I don't mind buying a smaller capacity one (Say 128 GB) but again I am more worried about getting as much of a reliable one as I can get without having to go overboard on the price. Could someone recommend brands and trusted suppliers with decent after sales support?
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
  3. dvcat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2011
    Sorry if it wasn't clear enough. I am planning to get 8 GB ram total. I did some research online and here are prices that I found. I am kind of confused and would greatly appreciate some advice on some brands from anyone else.

    1. Kingston 8 gig : 87.74

    1. Kingston: 95.99

    1. (Micron?) $77.99

    1. hynix/samsung: $139.55

    1. generic: $119.99

    1. Samsung "original" $98.00

    1. Samsung "original" $88.00


    1. Generic: $89.98

    New Egg: Actually They have two different prices for Kingston Ram
    Kingston :
    1. $64
    2. $79

    While, price is an issue, I don't necessarily want to buy RAM from someone who is bad at honoring warranties or is in the habit of selling people fake or bad chips. So I would greatly appreciate if someone who has bought from anyone of the above manufacturers chimes in with their opinions on where to buy from so that I can get a better idea.

    Also, I would greatly appreciate some light on the following SSD related topics: Like brands to buy, where to buy SSDs.

  4. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    Your computer supports a maximum configuration of 2x4GB modules, for a 8GB RAM setup. Crucial is a very affordable and trusted brand by many. If your RAM modules die, they replace/refund em for free for life.
    Also, all SSD's are reliable as hell, as long as you have that newest update with TRIM enabling.
  5. -aggie-, Jun 30, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011

    -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    I went with two Crucial 4 GB modules from Micro Center. No problems and they were the cheapest deal out there. Crucial seems to be the most recommended RAM on here and they have a website that allows you to see exactly what RAM you need for your model of Mac.

    Edit: Just checked prices. $90 for a 2x4. Crucial sells them online for 39 for 1 and 78 for 2.

  6. dvcat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2011
    Thank you for your replies. So there is no reason I would need to get the Apple RAMS from macramdirect, would I now?

    Also Reg. SSDs are there any specifications as to which SSDs I can get or does any generic laptop SSD fit into the Mac?
  7. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    No, but faster is always better ;)
  8. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    Unless you like throwing money away.

    You just need a 2.5” SSD. I forget the other dimension. Just check the specs on your mac.
  9. dvcat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2011
    Thanks for the awesome replies. I am thinking of getting the Intel 320 series 160 GB SSD after reading a few reviews? What do you guys think? Also are there preferred sites that you buy form?

    Thanks in advance!
  10. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    OCZ Vertex 3 offers a theoretical maximum of 375MB/s on your computer, because it goes well beyond the limit of SATA-II connections. They sell 120GB Vertex 3 drives for $200. This will give you a 33% boost in speed, at the cost of storage space.
  11. dvcat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2011
    So I found a New Egg deal for the Intel 510 Series 120 GB SSD. I believe from Anand Tech it has good performance specs but I came across a thread where people were complaining about issues with the MBP 2011 model. Do these apply to mine too?
  12. lindstedt56 macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2011
    Newegg has a kit of 8gb Gskill ram on sale for $55.
  13. roux macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I have the same macbook. I ordered the 8gb Crucial Kit, DDR3 1066, 8500 for $59.99 which included the $10 discount for being a new customer from Newegg. Shipping was free. Ordered late Monday afternoon and received today.
  14. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    i think the ssd will be a good investment for you. i think the intel 320 would be a good choice if you are concerned with reliability as they have pegged as the more reliable ssds, but i can't say how true that is personally as i have never had one.

    i mainly just think it is a good investment because you could always use it in another computer and for now it will boost your 09 model quite a bit.
  15. MattiaC28 macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    I have your same MBP and I want to upgrade to a SSD too. After surfing a bit I was thinking about a Crucial M4 (I need 200+ Gb so the price is quite different) given that it costs significantly less than the OCZ Vertex 3 but offers a good value for the money. It is also sata III compatible so when I'll get a new MBP I will be able to use the faster interface, the Intel 320 is only sata II ;)
    Anyway any advice would be appreciated given that it will be my first SSD.

    P.S. I upgraded my ram to 6Gb with a Transcend module from amazon, no issues at all.
  16. dvcat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2011
    Hello all,
    FYI just so other folks with same configs can get some more intuition, here is what my finally ended up ordering:

    1. RAM: Crucial 8GB module from crucial.com. Reasoning. Apple uses Micron RAM modules and posters (see above) here made good arguments as to why I shouldn't go for the RAMdirect.com. This primarily was the reason I didn't go for Transcend/Corsair. Although, I guess from prior experiences with desktop PCs, those are really good brands.

    2. SSD: I went with the Intel 320 120 GB RAM. I read some reviews on Anandtech clearly emphasizing the reliability of the Intel drive over OCX and others. Obviously the Intel turns out to be slightly more expensive. Another more interesting problem that I had to handle was the fact that with the $30 rebate coupon from Intel, the 510 120 GB SSD was costing only $10 more than the regular SSD. I went through a few threads on Macrumors and essentially got the feeling after counting the number of people who were having issues with the Intel 510 and were wishing that they had used the 320 that it would be better for me to buy the 320. I bought this in Amazon just because I had a gift card.

    On a general note, 120 GB didn't seem like much to me when I started off because I have been spoiled by a 250GB hard disk which was filled with around 150 GB of stuff. I installed Onyx and Disk Inventory and went through the drive carefully. I found loads of stuff from previous installed, files that I had completely forgotten about and stuff like that, ending up reducing my disk usage to ~ 50 GB. (Your mileage may vary, take what you will of this)

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