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

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Hybrid SSD vs SSD battery life/8GB or 16GB RAM?

Hey everyone! I'm looking to upgrade my 2009 MBP 2.53 just because it's running very slowly and is due for battery replacement.

I'd like to use it for work, which is mainly website maintenance on Wix/Wordpress, browsing, occasional light video editing, PowerPoint/Keynote presentations connected to HDTV, with iTunes/Spotify in the background.

I'm about ready to purchase from ifixit a new battery, 8GB of RAM, and the Seagate 500 GB Hybrid SSD, but I thought I'd ask a couple questions from you experts first :)

For the type of work I described, is it worth it to spend extra on a SSD (would probably have to compromise for smaller amount of storage) over a Hybrid? Also is there any benefit to battery life using one or the other?

As for RAM, I've read that although Apple rates my MBP for 8GB max, but others are saying I could go for 16GB. Is that worth the effort/expense or should 8GB suffice since I won't be able to run anything past El Capitan?

I don't need the most powerful computer of all time, just something that'll serve me well for maybe another year or two while I save and wait to purchase a totally new computer later.

Edit: Last thing, do I also need to purchase a new hard drive cable or is that included when you buy a new hard drive already? Forgive my ignorance, I'm new here and this is my first computer repair job.

Thanks so much for your time!

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8 GB of RAM is fine. Few programs can even use that much.

  • For the work you are doing I think an SSHD will do the job. Check how full your current drive is to determine if a 500 GB will suffice or if you need to go to a 1 TB.

* UPDATE 1/6/17

@pccheese - Please take a look at this discussion when I asked this question on Meta and see what Louis Rossman, Oldturkey , Nick and Dan had to say about it.


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I have a 250 GB that's almost full (about 30 GB left over after deleting a lot of old files). 100 GB is "Other" storage that I'm trying to figure out how to delete. I think a 500GB will do just fine, especially if I can get some of that 100 GB back. Do you know anything about that?


You may have a partition on your drive. I clean up a lot of stuff from the downloads folder. There are usually a lot of duplicates. This can also happen in the music folder. Get cheap external enclosure to put your old drive to use for storage and to initially use Migration Assistant to move your old information to the new drive.


Thanks, I've been going through a lot of folders more carefully and I'm now down to 73 GB of "Other." And again, regarding the hard drive cable, I've been reading today that those often need replacing when you install a new hard drive, particularly with the Seagate SSHDs, so I'm thinking I'll grab one of those as well just in case.


Use this one instead of the one that came with it. Wider data path, better built. You may only be able to use one retaining screw but that's OK>

MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable


Oh wow, I never would have thought to use a 2012 cable on my '09. Thanks for the tip!


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@mayer is the expert, but an SSD on an old laptop can work wonders. On my 10 year old laptop with a hdd, the drive usage spikes to 100% just from opening chrome. On my modern computer with a SSD, opening chrome is instant and barely impacts the drive at all. SSD upgrades apply to both MAC and PC. You can get a 500 GB SSD these days for about $120. Hope this helps.

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Thanks a lot! Yeah, now that you mentioned it I'm seeing some 480/512 GB SSDs in that price range. I'm a little torn now, but I still might go with the SSHD on ifixit because it comes with the tool kit, and I wouldn't know what tools to buy otherwise, haha.


Well, I like ifixit and all, but there HDDs and SSDs are a bit over priced. Also, you gotta pay for shipping, so if you bought it of amazon, b&h, it would be cheaper. Remember, SSDs are the king of upgrades, and then ram, but 8 GB is plenty of RAM. If I open task manager on my PC, the hdd is always the weak point. And most sshds aren't much an improvement.


George, just how much experience do YOU have comparing and contrasting SSD vs SSHD in these older machines? Because I have a whole lot!


Not nearly as much as you do, but I have had machines with HDDs, SSDs, and SSHDs. If your looking for an upgrade, I think an SSD is the way to go. If you. Compare the read speed of the two an SSD is still a huge leap. A SSHD is better than a HDD, but not really much of an upgrade. You still know better than I do, though.


Not to mention, SSDs use much less power. Probably still not enough to make a difference.


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