Would I see a big performance bump by upgrading RAM in my 2010 MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Random Gecko, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. Random Gecko macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2008
    London, England
    I have a Mid-2010 MacBook Pro - 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3, NVIDIA GeForce 320M 256 MB graphics.

    Basically things like 1080p video are a no-no, it just freezes up, and it sometimes doesn't run as smoothly as it used to. The fan will also go mental at certain times. Logic Pro X runs fine but with too many plug-ins running, it starts to sweat a bit.
    I'm presuming I should just bite the bullet and buy a new machine rather than trying to upgrade this relic but considering RAM is fairly cheap, would I see any significant performance bumps in the short-term if I went up to 8GB?
    Is there anything else I can upgrade fairly cheaply and see a big increase in performance?
  2. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    4gb is already a lot for your described usage.

    Your macbook should play 1080p without issues. Video playback is not connected to ram.

    I suspect either a software issue or defective hardware.

    My recommendation in order:

    • check hardware
    • reset pram
    • reset smc
    • repair disk permissions
    • reinstall the OS
    • install an ssd
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    It would be useful in logic pro but won't have any effect on the video playback (although that should play 1080p fine my 2010 does so without issue).

    The best all round improvement will come from replacing the HDD with an SSD( http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-BX100...id=1446213231&sr=8-1&keywords=BX100+256gb+SSD ). You may want to clean out any dust to help your heat issues. A re-install of OSX and apps with a migration of data from a back up may help as well.

    To be honest at pushing 6 years old it all depends on how you want to spend your money and time, is it just better to put any money you would use for upgrades towards a refurbished or new computer??

    Damn Meister you got in first with almost exactly the same advice.
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    What the guy above said. Although before that I'd check the HDD is by downloading SMART Utility (assuming you're on OS X 10.9 or higher? If not, let me know and I'll link you an earlier version of SMART Utility). If it says anything other than 'Passed', you're in trouble.

    In all honesty the Core 2 Duos are pretty weak performance wise -- about half as powerful than the CPUs in the iPhone 6S, believe it or not. There isn't a quick fix.

    Best thing to do in order to bring out the best of your computer is:

    - Upgrade RAM to 8GB
    - Replace HDD with SSD
    - Install El Capitan (assuming you don't have any Kontakt plugins or Avid applications, if so, just stick with Yosemite)

    At least the SSD will somewhat compensate for the CPU.

    You can run a Time Machine backup on your computer and then restore it to the SSD, so it'll be exactly as you left it (providng the HDD or volume isn't corrupted).

    Sorry there isn't a quick fix for this one, the age of the machine simply means you've gotta upgrade some components for your usage.
  5. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Core2Duos are not that weak.

    Even an iPad2 with 512mb ram can easily stream 1080p to an external screen.
  6. kevink2 macrumors 65816

    Nov 2, 2008
    I didn't remember that the 13" models used the Intel Core 2 Duo. My 15" came with the i5.

    If there are video playback issues, maybe there are video driver issues.

    Where is the video source? If streaming, maybe it is ISP related.
  7. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    Not sure how those old models run with El Capitan, just be careful if you go that route that some old Apps will not work.
    Go for Max RAM and do install an internal SSD, this will make a night and day difference. You can also remove the optical drive and put there the SSD and get a bigger HDD where the current one is.
    And while you do this you will have the opportunity to clean the Mac internals they collect a huge amount of dust in the cooling fans, which could a reason why you may be also experience some issues.
    Use smart fan monitor to see how they are running and what temperature you are having.

    I have an late 2008 MacBook Pro and doing these upgrades a few years ago and were the best thing I eve did to this machine, which by the way runs extremely well with Snow Leopard - I do have some old apps and games that run in Rosetta :).

    I bought my stuff in www.macsales.com and followed their instructions as well as those in ifixit.
  8. justin77 macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2015
    Yeah, but this guy's setup is in dire need of an upgrade. Look at his graphics card and processor.

    To the original question: if you absolutely cannot upgrade to a new computer, max out your ram (I think your computer might be able to accommodate 16GB (if it can, do it). SSD will also be your new best friend.

    Don't bother doing the rest of these suggestions (except PRAM and SMC). Disk permissions no longer exist in El Capitan, so that's not necessary, and I highly doubt that you're going to get anywhere but exactly where you are (after wasting a bunch of time) if you reinstall the OS (but you can, if all else fails... Make sure you do it from recovery mode and using the "soft" method, which doesn't wipe everything out.)

    so recommendations:

    • Get a newer computer. If not possible, follow the next steps.
    • INSTALL an SSD
    • Max out your ram (if you can go to 16GB, do it.)
    • maybe Reset PRAM and SMC
    • If you have any bugs, as a final resort, reinstall OS from recovery mode (soft method)

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