Speed up your Macbook – Upgrade RAM or Hard Drive
In this article we continue from where we left off in the previous guide where we talked about multiple ways to make a MacBook run faster by fixing issues related to software. In this troubleshooting guide, we’ll solely focus on the tips to speed up MacBook by upgrading its RAM or Hard Drive. Not just that, we will also delve deeper into whether it’s worth spending the extra bucks and also bring to light the tradeoffs that must be given serious consideration before going for the upgrade. So, let’s follow along! If a MacBook is lagging, taking unusually a lot longer to boot, and applications are quite slow to respond, the current configuration might not be capable of running the latest iteration of macOS as well as the newer version of apps installed on the device. Yes, you read that right! Due to the outdated or low configuration, Mac often takes too long to boot and even apps feel relatively slow while running. But worry not, you can fix your slow MacBook by upgrading the RAM/Hard Drive or both. For those unfamiliar, RAM stands for Random Access Memory and plays a vital role in offering read and write access to a computer (or any storage device) so that it can run smoothly. If your MacBook is taking a lot of time while opening apps or during multitasking like switching between apps, chances are high that its RAM is unable to run multiple apps simultaneously or perhaps some resource-hogging apps aren’t leaving much RAM for others to run smoothly. Hence, upgrading the RAM can help you make your Mac run smoothly. As for the hard drive, it’s used to store a variety of data including photos, videos, music, documents or for that matter any files that are downloaded on a computer. Not just that, hard drives are also used to store data for apps and the operating system that runs on the computer. So, what are the types of hard drives used in a MacBook? Primarily, there are two types of hard drives used in a macOS device:
- HDD: It stands for Hard Disk Drive (also known as a hard drive, hard disk, or fixed disk) and is used to store and retrieve data.
- SSD: It’s known as Solid State Drive. And just like HDD, it’s also used to store and retrieve data.
Read Also – 2 Easy Ways to Fix External Storage Issues with MacBook Pro and MacBook Air What’s the difference between HDD and SSD? The sole difference between these two hard drives lies in the technology that’s used. While HDD is comparatively cheaper and offers more storage space, SSD is way faster, pretty compact, and durable. Not to mention, a solid-state drive is also more efficient and uses less energy due largely to start-up efficiency. Just to give you a better perspective about the SSD v HDD speed comparison, a standard SSD can deliver a read speed of about 550 megabytes per second (MBps) and a write speed of around 520 MBps. Comparatively, a standard HDD may perform the sequential reads and writes at just 125MBps – at best. In terms of SSD vs HDD power consumption, the actual number may vary. However, you can expect a standard solid-state drive to consume at least 50% less power than the hard disk drive – in most cases.
(Image credit: iFixit)
As to when you need to upgrade your hard disk, it depends on two things:
- Your Mac is taking a lot of time to boot up or is rather slow during data transfer.
- Your Mac’s storage has run out of space.
So, Can You Upgrade RAM and Hard Disk on Your MacBook?
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to upgrade RAM on most modern MacBook(including the latest MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs) since in these notebooks the RAM comes soldered to the motherboard of the computer. However, you can upgrade RAM on older MacBooks such as MacBook Core 2 Duo, MacBook Unibody, MacBook Pro 13” (Mid 2009-Mid 2012), MacBook Pro 15” (Late 2008-Mid 2012), and MacBook Pro 17” (All Models). As for upgrading the MacBook hard drive, you can do so on most models. But do note that MacBook SSD upgrade – especially from HDD to SSD – is not possible on all the models. So, the right way to go is to contact a trusted MacBook repair brand and ask for the needed advice. If you want to take the expert advice regarding upgrading the hard drive on your macOS device, we would be happy to help. Simply, tell us your MacBook model number and we will guide you through the best MacBook upgrade options.
Is There Any Catch?
One thing worth noting is that, even after upgrading SSD/HDD on your Mac, you may not be recommended to use the latest iteration of macOS i.e macOS Catalina due to the processor and RAM restrictions. So, you will have to opt for an older version of macOS that can run smoothly on the notebook. Whether the tradeoff is worth it in favour of the speedy and smooth performance of your MacBook is something you’ve to decide. For me, it’s not a dealbreaker. But your mileage may vary depending on your needs.
Keep This in Mind While Upgrading Hard Disk on Your Mac
Another thing you must keep in mind while going for the Hard Disk upgrade on your Mac is to back up your data. As always, you can use Time Machine or iCloud to back up all of your important files. Be warned that you may have to reinstall some licensed software. So, ensure that you have the license key for those applications. Have questions regarding your MacBook’s performance and wanted to know whether upgrading your MacBook’s RAM or hard drive would help? Give our happy techies a call or visit our MacBook repair centre. They would love to answer your queries and doubts. Must Read – How to Resolve Common Problems in a MacBook Air, Pro Trackpad Issues