Mid 2009 Model A1278 / 2.26 or 2.53 GHz Core 2 Duo processor EMC 2326

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Should I repair or buy a new one?

I have seen a lot questions here but my case is a bit different.

First thing first:

I've upgraded my MacBook Pro 13" from 2 GB to 8 GB about 3-4 years ago. After that I the upgraded OS to Mavericks I found out most of the time with my daily usage my RAM is not enough and I need to use RAM cleaner for years to keep me workable.

I'm constantly cleaning my Mac memory and removed unused background apps but it doesn't seem to help much. I saw applications starting to getting slow a bit. Some apps consuming process very scary.

Here my systems specs:

  • Processor 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • Memory 8 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
  • Graphics NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 MB
  • Serial Number ---166D
  • Running OS-X 10.9.4 (13E28)
  • My HDD is 500 GB and I have only 98 GB left

Here is my question:

  1. Should I fix this MacBook Pro (if fix which part should I replace or repair.
  2. Buy a new one. Between iMac or MacBook Pro?
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2 Answers

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You hitting the classic problem here. The drive has become fragmented and is on the tight side with not enough free space.

This is quite repairable! I would recommend replacing the hard drive with a newer faster & larger drive.

You do need to be careful here as your systems HD SATA port speed is only SATA II (3.0 Gb/s). So you'll need to make sure your drive you get is compatible. I would recommend getting a SSHD hybrid drive. That way you'll get the speed of a SSD but the deep storage of a traditional HD.

Seagate makes a nice one that will work in your system: Seagate Laptop SSHD, here's the spec sheet for the drive: Seagate Laptop SSHD spec sheet. I would go with the 1TB drive so you have some room to grow and can leave 1/4 of the drive free. That way the files & OS won't get fragmented as quickly.

Follow this IFIXIT guide: MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2009 Hard Drive Replacement. I would also recommend you make sure the systems firmware is upto date before you put the new drive in. Follow this Apple T/N: EFI and SMC firmware updates for Intel-based Macs.

Lastly, I would also make sure you have the updated your apps. Some older apps can leave the memory dirty. Try using Activity Monitor to capture what apps are not clearing out when you closed them.

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I saw this link in ifixit. OK to buy this?

1 TB SSD Hybrid 2.5" Hard Drive


Or? http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Seagate/S...

My firmware is same to apple website now.


Yes, either will work they are both the Seagate ST1000LM014 drive.


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You still have a hard drive, which means your computer is broken. Toss that in the trash and get an SSD.

For the ultimate in speed, two SSDs. get that sata caddy, dump the optical drive, and put two SSDs that are identical in there. Set it up in RAID 0.

It will blaze.

So if you want 512 GB of storage, get two Crucial MX100 256 GB drives for $109 each, set them up in RAID 0. It will become one 512 GB drive with twice the speed of one.

It's addictive.

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@Louis - Remember this is an older Core 2 Duo. I wouldn't throw that much into it. Besides I'm sure a Seagate hybrid or even a Western Digital dual drive will offer more than enough zip here.


Nope. I have tried SSHD's. They are garbage. They only have 8-16GB cache and it does nothing to big applications. I'd rather have my SSD over another SSHD. My other reason for going this route is I own a laptop that I feel the money into a SSD was worth it.


@Nick - We have over 200 of these drives in the field in i5 & i7 MacBook Pro systems with great success. We had nothing but problems doing a dual drive setup (HD/SSD) across a few different series. Sure a dual SSD would likely have been better but we needed the space and didn't want (still don't) the costs of the larger SSD's we would have needed. Your performance can very depending on what app or size of the data files being used. We do very large CAD and other graphical stuff. SSHD's are much better than older HD's and given the size limits & price of the SSD's I can't see many people trying what we do with them. I should also point out the constant churning of files also wears out a SSD much faster than a HD. We've seen that as well in a few of our desktop systems.


Okay, key me offer some clarification. Yes, they can be good but due to the limited SSD cache they tend to vary heavily. I used mine in a machine I use for semi heavy applications and light stuff, so that's probably why. I also noticed the read/write speeds are worse then normal hard drives too. While they aren't complete junk, they tend to only really work for pure lightweight users. If you even border this in the slightest they just give you the finger and run like a normal hard drive(if not worse then a normal drive). I use a Dell Latitude E6540.


SSHDs are good mostly for bootup. I use them just because they cost an additional ten bucks and when customers see their laptop boot way faster than it did when they bought it, it gives them that impression that we did a kickass job - even though the rest of the machine will be just as slow as it was before! But it is worth the ten dollar investment to give someone the overall feel that we are the best.

But yeah for regular performance they are $@$*. I only recommend investing this much into an old machine because you can use SSDs in newer machines as well(besides Retina & Air), and even in a PC if you decide to go that route. The storage medium is the real bottleneck in all modern machines so getting rid of as much of that as possible will make the biggest difference.


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