Upgrading MacBook Pro Performance: RAM and SSD (1)

Recently, I had decided to replace my old MacBook Pro with a newer one due to its performance. Mine was a MB991ZP/A with Intel P8700 Core 2 Duo 2.53 GHz, 8 GB DDR3 PC8500 (upgraded from 4 gigs), and 250 GB SATA which I got couple months after entering university. As a matter of fact, it was a very powerful laptop despite its poor graphics performance; I could run Mac OS X along with Windows 7 through virtualisation and open Microsoft Visual Studio smoothly. However after 2.5 half years assisted me, it is not as great as it once. Not to mention some hardware problems caused by aging such as SuperDrive and battery. On the other hand, computer technology has also improved so much. Intel now has their i-series processor and a conventional hard disk drive is going to be succeeded by Solid State Disk (SSD).

My choice is 13″ MacBook Pro highest spec and it goes to MD102ZA/A. It comes with Intel I7-3520M 2.9 GHz, 8 GB DDR3 PC12800, and 750 GB SATA. I purchased it for about $1250 in second-hand market. Yes, I bought a used machine on purpose: I could save some money and use it later for further upgrade. It still has 9 months Apple warranty remaining though which make me less worried.

Before I go to the point of this post, I would like you to know that Apple indeed offers RAM and SSD upgrade. Nevertheless, it is simply overpriced. Some people have already said that Apple products are not worth; for the additional hardware I would certainly agree. Quoting from this article about Apple bargain in memory, “You better shop around”, not only you will get much lower price, but also wider choices of manufacturer.

Upgrade #1: RAM

As I said before, this MBP is equipped with two 4 GB DDR3 PC in each slot or simply 8 GB in total. This series however supports up to 16 GB memory and so I decided to replace the original 8 GB memory with the 16 GB one. The next question is: what brand?

While several options of brand available in USA market such as Kingston, Crucial, Mushkin, Patriot, and so on, Corsair seems the only available option in Indonesia. Therefore the option is pretty much obvious. So I started looking for Corsair RAM and found this. That memory is specialised for Mac and sold a kit which consist of two 8 GB memory modules. The price is moderate among its competitor and the quality is great for Corsair has been known as major player in memory industry. Some reviews in NewEgg and Amazon also affirmed me to get this memory.

Unfortunately, Indonesian market doesn’t have that series of memory yet. But there is still another solution. So instead of getting a two-in-one kit, I can buy them separately. I searched for Corsair 8 GB Mac memory that is similar to the two-in-one kit and thankfully it exists here. My searching ended up with that solution and so I purchased two single 8 GB memory module for about $135. However, the price would be slightly lower if the two-in-one kit is available here.

Corsair RAM 8 GB

2 modules of Corsair 8 GB memory for Mac

After the package arrived, I started the “operation” on my own following the instruction below. The only tool needed in this operation is only a Philips Screwdriver. Note that the screwdriver must fit in size unless you want to screw the screw.

More about SSD upgrade available in the next post.


One thought on “Upgrading MacBook Pro Performance: RAM and SSD (1)

  1. Pingback: Upgrading MacBook Pro Performance: RAM and SSD (2) | It's always a matter of perspective

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