Top Four Mac Hardware Upgrades

Just because your Mac isn’t new doesn’t mean it can’t run as fast as a new machine. With a small hardware upgrade, your Mac can be faster than new for a generally small cost. In this article we will be giving you a short list of the best upgrades to add speed, storage and efficiency to your Mac. Before we start I just want to point out that the upgrades we’ve covered in this article do require physically opening up your Mac; if you do not feel comfortable doing this to your machine, please do not attempt!

1. Solid State Drives

Extremessd

Solid state drives are made from flash storage, which means they have no moving parts. Because of this, Solid State Drives (SSDs) are more reliable, durable and most importantly, faster. In fact, some solid state drives can write data at over 400MB/s which causes extremely fast boot times, application launches and an overall faster computing experience. The downside? SSDs carry a pretty hefty price tag and often have less storage than a traditional hard drive.

 

2. More RAM

RAM

While this may seem like a pretty basic upgrade, RAM is vital to your Mac’s performance and multitasking capabilities and can easily speed up an old Mac. If you notice your Mac freezing when multiple applications are running, you definitely need extra RAM. One nice thing about RAM upgrades is that they’re relatively cheap. For instance, I recently upgraded my Mac Mini’s RAM from 2GB to 8GB for just over $40. After this upgrade, my Mini’s performance improved tenfold.

 

3. Faster Hard Drive

Hdd

If you want faster boot times but don’t want to dump a ton of money into a solid state drive, a faster hard drive is a fine option. Since most Macs come standard with 5400rpm hard drives they can often be a speed bottleneck when it comes to launching applications and booting your Mac. We strongly recommend upgrading to a 7200rpm drive which offers better performance and a bit of extra storage if you choose a larger drive.

 

4. OWC Data Doubler

Owc data doubler 2

If you want a solid state drive and a standard hard drive in your MacBook Pro, you’re in luck! With the Other World Computing (OWC) Data Doubler you can easily replace your Mac’s DVD drive with an extra hard drive bay. This is useful if you would like to use a solid state drive for booting your Mac and a traditional hard drive for your files. While the Data Double features a straightforward installation process, I would not recommend it to those who aren’t tech savvy as the process does require removing parts from your Mac.

That wraps up today’s Switching To Mac article, we hope we helped you make your Mac a bit faster. Please remember to check back soon for more Mac and iOS tips, tricks and more.

(RAM Image Credit: xjs-khaos, Flickr)

Comments [1]

  1. I have a late 2008 MacBook Pro. A while ago I upped the Ram to 8Gb and noticed it ran power programs better. Recently I swapped the 160Gb 5200RPM for a 128Gb OCZ Solid State drive. At this point I noticed an insane speed boost. Example: When my computer is sleeping and I hit the space bar to wake it, it wakes by the time the space bar is springing back up. The problem is that my 160Gb was full and I upgraded in speed but downgraded in space. So I also got the data doubler (Hard drive caddy tray) and added a 750Gb 7200 RPM Hard drive in the Optical bay slot. Installation was easy. After that I noticed the speed slowed slightly (1/2 second slightly)but now i’m at 878Gb of internal storage. The Mechanical drive doesn’t run often and when only the SSD is running the computer is whisper quite.

    I purchased the following for $235 from amazon with shipping.
    128Gb OCZ Vertex 4 SSD ($99)
    750Gb 7200RPM, 16Mb Cache Western Digital ($90)
    Hard Drive Caddy Tray ($10)
    Apricorn SATA Notebook upgrade kit (20)

    now that i dont have a internal DVD drive i plan on getting an external housing in aluminum from amazon for $20

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