If you’ve got an oldish (mine is late 2008) MacBook Pro, and you don’t have say €2000 to spend, there is a way to give it a new lease of life if you do have say 10% of that amount of money, which is €200. Upgrade two essential components that play a vital role on the machine’s performance: the memory and the boot drive (hard disk).
Sure the latest processor will help if you run video editing software or some computation intensive software. But for most common usages, performance bottleneck starts with memory access. If your computer has enough memory to run everything you need, you are unlikely to see performance problems. If it must access the disk at some stage, then that is a second tier of performance bottleneck that you need to address. Most of the time, once you’re past the initial application load time, having decent memory will give you a nice performance boost.
So starting with the memory upgrade, I looked for sources and found the following items from Amazon €65,8:
I ordered both items from Amazon UK, they took 3 days to arrive. I shut down my laptop, waited about 10 min for it to cool down, opened it up, removed the modules that were already there and replaced them with the new modules from Kingston. The instructions for upgrading memory on your MacBook Pro from Apple Support page are very straightforward.
The whole operation lasted for about 15 min, including time to dust my machine. It was a child play, and it made a difference already. I now scarcely have to wait for something to complete. And the result can be seen in the third picture on this post, above.
I have ordered a bracket for installing a second hard drive in the machine. I expect it to arrive in the coming days. I’ll publish Part II of this post once I get the kit.