I've a MacBook Pro (mid 2009), and it has low performance. If I can should I upgrade the memory` and/or a new hard drive or SSD? I don't want to buy another one if my Mac is in perfect condition.

My budget for a upgrade is between 300€ and 400€, depending on components suggested.

  • When you say "low performance" is there something specific you can measure? We can't guess whether an SSD will even help you if you need a better GPU or just a clean erase and re-install of the software. – bmike Oct 16 '15 at 17:09

The most important upgrade is making the system drive a Solid State Drive (SSD). This alone may double the effective speed of your computer. Extra RAM is a nice second.

Since SSDs are usually more expensive than traditional hard drives per GB, you could explore a 'hybrid' drive, though I'd recommend the fastest SSD that your Mac's PCI bus throughput can handle.

When I upgraded my old MacBook Pro (I think it was also a 2009 model), large SSDs were still expensive, so I bought a 128MB SSD for the main system drive and moved the existing HDD into the spot where the Optical Drive was (with a special mounting bracket), and put the Optical Drive in a cheap external USB case.

I found all the parts on eBay for under $250USD and was honestly shocked at how much faster that MacBook performed.

  • Liked the part " was honestly shocked at how much faster that MacBook performed" – Andre Oct 16 '15 at 14:55
  • Definitely buy an SSD. I would recommend a 1TB Samsung 850 EVO (I have heard they are compatible, but haven't tried - do research) – Daniel Oct 16 '15 at 16:22
  • Also, I would upgrade to the most (not just more, but most) RAM it can hold, at the fastest speed. It might be worth looking into a faster CPU as well (but that's the last thing). – Daniel Oct 16 '15 at 16:23

I would always recommend before paying for an upgrade, seeing who would buy your old Mac and for what $$. I tend to upgrade to a new machine far more often since I like to help people get in to a used Mac and support them in getting started.

They get a machine from someone that cared for it (original owner) and can get great value in the assistance you provide to help get them set up and answer questions for a short period of time. I would recommend making the support formal and limited and in writing. No sense having hard feelings 6 months down the road.

With that information, you can then budget your upgrade knowing it's not better to get a new entry level Mac rather than upgrade only one aspect of an older Mac.

  • thx for the suggestion @bmike – Andre Oct 19 '15 at 16:18

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