Upgrading macbook pro (HD and memory)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by nickarmadillo, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. nickarmadillo macrumors regular

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    St. Louis, MO
    #1
    I have a 2.33Ghz Core2Duo 17" Macbook pro and I am considering upgrading the memory and hard drive. The current HD is a 160GB 5400RPM and I would like to upgrade to a 320GB 7200RPM. I think that I will also upgrade the 2x 1GB 667 sticks to 2x 2GB 667 for a total of 4GB of RAM.

    What is the best deal that I can get on these components? If you could provide some links, that would be great. I just want to make sure that they are compatable and reliable, but most of all, cheap.

    Also, what sort of performance increases will I seem both in daily use (web browsing, word processing, light photoshop) and gaming with these upgrades? Thank you.
     
  2. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

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    #2

    The 2.33GHz Macbook Pro models doesn't support 4GB ram unfortunately.
    If you put in 2x 2GB modules you will be able to use ~3.3GB.

    There are lots of reports on people upgrading HDs around the forum so do a quick search about it and you'll find many reports on different HD upgrades.


    To be honest, the use you'll describing you won't benefit very much with upgrading your memory.

    There will be quite som performance from upgrading the old 160GB drive tho, especially if its starting to get full, since a HD with lots of space is always faster than a nearly full disk.
     
  3. nickarmadillo thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    The only reason I would like to upgrade to 4Gb rather than 3 is so that I can get the dual channel memory benefits with the matched pairs. My machine is beginning to feel very slow and desperately needs an upgrade. Even simple tasks like web browsing and several year old games like Call of Duty 2 are running very slowly.
     
  4. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

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    #4
    If tasks like that s soo slow there seems to be another problem.
    Surfing and such are just as fast on my aging 2.2GHz MBP compared to one of my friends brand new MBP.

    Do you have a full HD? (On a 160G disk you should have atleast 40GB free to have decent performance)

    Maybe it's time to reinstall the OS?

    Also check your activity monitor during normal use, do you use all or most of your memory and do you have lots of page ins/outs?
     
  5. nickarmadillo thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    I think it might be the full HD, which is the reason I'm considering upgrading. I've got about 7Gb left on the 160, and thats without dowloading quite a few of the latest updates and all of my music/photos/apps. 160Gb is simply not enough. Anyone have links to good deals on the upgrades mentioned?
     
  6. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

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    Oct 31, 2006
    #6
    Crucial for RAM, newegg for HD's. Upgrading HD is not covered under warranty just so you are clear.
     
  7. mickbab macrumors 65816

    mickbab

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    #7
    What do you mean by this? That the new harddrive isnt covered by apple's warranty?
     
  8. nickarmadillo thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Links?
     
  9. ValkyrieLenneth macrumors regular

    ValkyrieLenneth

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    #10
    By upgrading the HDD by your self, you will void the warranty on 1st gen Macbook Pro. That's because Apple want an Apple certificated technician to do that. Also, upgrade HDD on 1st gen MBP is quite challenging ;)
     
  10. mickbab macrumors 65816

    mickbab

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    #11
    Ah yes I forgot which one we were talking about.

    What about the current model MacBook Pro? The Apple website says you can do it yourself... does it void warranty?
     
  11. nickarmadillo thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    How challenging would you say? I've never opened up a macbook pro before. I've put ram/HD/vid cards in powermacs and a powerbook before though.
     
  12. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

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    #13
  13. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

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    #14
    7GB free is definitely the problem. Even with normal usage you'll need twice the space for swapfiles.
     
  14. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #15
    My swap is 64MB, though on occasion it can increase to 4GB, but that mean 7GB is enough.

    Of course this is not to say, do not upgrade considering how cheap HDDs are these days.
     
  15. bijou macrumors regular

    bijou

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    Sep 7, 2007
    #16
    Your biggest gain will be from upgrading the hdd in this case. I have the 15" model and upgraded to 2 x 2gb sticks and also have upgraded the hdd twice (the latest was just two days ago, to a WD 320 7200 drive).

    BTW, I used the video from macsales.com and it took about 25 minutes total (due to dropping tiny screws on the floor, ugh). It's definitely easier the second time around.
     
  16. xoggyux macrumors 6502

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    Dec 4, 2008
    #17
    upgrading from 2 -> 4gb ram at least in my case doesnt seam to have a big impact and if you check the system monitor it rarely uses more than 2gb of ram at any given time so i guess 2gb is enough, again if you feel that you want to see the 4gb in the system info, as i do, then go ahead and upgrade since is just $50 more or less.
    I do, however think you should leave the original HDD, if you need extra storage, get an external (one of the small 2.5" ones since they dont need external power supply, just an usb cable) you can find them up to 500gb for less than $100, the challenge part would be to decide what goes to what drive, I just put apps + MP3s in the internal (about 80gb total) and use the external for videos, photos, etc. The up side of this, is that if you got more than 1 computer then you can keep all data into one single device instead of having it duplicated in several computers (like I used to have.... same MP3 collection in 3 different computers <_< what a waste!!!.)
    if you feel a bit more adventurous try getting a belkin network usb, basically you connect it to your router, and you can connect up to 5 usb devices to it, and the laptop will think the devices are connected to it (you need to download the drivers of the website since for mac, they doesnt come with the install cd.) I'll be honest is not lightning fast (copying files to an external HDD with an speed of about 1 MB per second or just over it) however, i can watch movies (even some HD) hear MP3, print wirelessly and save the 2 scare USB ports in my MBP for more important stuff like a mouse and keyboard..... the only bad thing is that is not very fast, however when you going to make LARGE changes into a HDD connected to it, you can always unplug it and connect it to the laptop, then plug it back again to the network hub. Also if you go away from your home (away from your wireless network) you are screwd, but again you can always take the external HDD with you (where an MBP fits, you can probably find some extra space for an small HDD xD)
     
  17. nickarmadillo thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    Thank you for the advice. I already have an external HD, but it is used only for backup purposes. I need to have copies of my files on both my internal and external as I A) do a lot of international traveling and need to have my files with me at all times B Want to ensure that I do not lose any files. I've had the same situation before where my internal was too small, so I stored things on my external. The external went out and I ended up losing a whole years worth of music/documents/pictures. Not a pretty situation.
     
  18. earthandtone macrumors newbie

    earthandtone

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  19. nickarmadillo thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    Cant find any instructions specific to the 17" 2.33 Macbook pro. Would it be different to the 15? Are there any guides for the 17" available?
     
  20. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

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    #21
    The one I posted a few posts ago is just fine. I know it says Core Duo and not core 2 duo, but the procedure is the same
     
  21. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #22
    Don't want to bump an old thread but just wanted to add that I just did this same upgrade (on the same type hardware). I used Core Duo instructions and the procedure applied to the C2D mac.

    In my case I upgraded to a Seagate 500GB ($126 at Best Buy), then did a restore from Time Machine/Air Disk. Everything felt much snappier (I was down to just a few gigs of space) and I think the extra page space plus less fragmentation has improved the responsiveness. Gonna use the old 160GB as an upgrade for my PS3 :)

    For the tools, I bought a 20pc screw driver set at Radio Shack for $17. Only needed 2 of the bits (Phillips #00 and Torx #6, though I found Torx #7 worked better), but now have a nice set for later use.

    For the "spudger" that the instructions list, I used a plastic heath insurance card I had lying around. It has the feel of a playing card but with the size of a credit card. Was good enough for me. :D

    Saved quite a bit of money, an Apple Authorized Service Center wanted to charge me $250 for the drive and $250 for the labor.
     

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