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Thread: How to Trick Out my new MacBook Pro

  1. #1
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    Default How to Trick Out my new MacBook Pro

    I just purchased a refurbished Macbook Pro 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 (MacBookPro9,2) with 4 GB (1600 MHz DDR3) and Intel HD Graphics 4000 1024 MB. I use it only for work, which is location photography. I primarily use Lightroom, Photoshop, and DxO Optics Pro 10. It really drags almost to a stop when I have Lightroom and DxO Optics Pro 10 open. What can I do to trick this out to its max to make it as fast as possible?

    Thanks.

    Happy New Year!!

    Robert

  2. #2
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    And Happy New Year to you!

    Nice machine. I have basically the same one. Only 2 things I can think of that would improve things - lotsa memory and at least one and maybe two internal SSDs in a RAID to run off of.

    The RAM is a no brainer. 16 Gigs will make that a new machine. If you monitor memory during your high usage times you'll find it running itself right out of free memory and dumping data off to the hard drive. Performance killer.

    Setting up the SSDs is a lot harder but just as enhancing. If you don't want to do the internal paired SSDs you could run on an external setup of one sort or another, but I am less enamored of that after doing it, more descriptively, 'trying' to do it. Having to hook up a second piece of equipment everywhere I go, to get performance, just made it a mess. I want to sit down, pop open the lid and work for five minutes. And I want to do it RIGHT NOW. While speed is often its own reward, simple is, for me, right up there on the list. Hence I would recommend a pair of SSDs internally. You lose your DVD drive, but oh well, DVDs have been king for a while, long live the king and all that. A few years from now they will be like VCR tapes. Mostly a memory.

    That is a great MBP. Last you a long time.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  3. #3
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    Default How to Trick Out my new MacBook Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    And Happy New Year to you!

    Nice machine. I have basically the same one. Only 2 things I can think of that would improve things - lotsa memory and at least one and maybe two internal SSDs in a RAID to run off of.

    The RAM is a no brainer. 16 Gigs will make that a new machine. If you monitor memory during your high usage times you'll find it running itself right out of free memory and dumping data off to the hard drive. Performance killer.

    Setting up the SSDs is a lot harder but just as enhancing. If you don't want to do the internal paired SSDs you could run on an external setup of one sort or another, but I am less enamored of that after doing it, more descriptively, 'trying' to do it. Having to hook up a second piece of equipment everywhere I go, to get performance, just made it a mess. I want to sit down, pop open the lid and work for five minutes. And I want to do it RIGHT NOW. While speed is often its own reward, simple is, for me, right up there on the list. Hence I would recommend a pair of SSDs internally. You lose your DVD drive, but oh well, DVDs have been king for a while, long live the king and all that. A few years from now they will be like VCR tapes. Mostly a memory.

    That is a great MBP. Last you a long time.

    Rick
    Thanks Rick. I was beginning to question my choice. What is your suggestion for learning how to set up the SSD's?

  4. #4
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    Default Found Video on How to Upgrade

    Hey Rick. I found several videos on YouTube on how to install dual SSD's into a RAID configuration. Do you guys sell the hardware (the drives and the 16GB of RAM)? I didn't see anything in the store.
    Thanks

  5. #5
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    The memory is the first ram on the memory page:
    http://www.macgurus.com/Item/mgram

    I love Crucial SSDs. They have the most superb support of any manufacturer anywhere.
    http://www.macgurus.com/Category/CrucialSSD


    MacGurus does not carry the slot load optical to drive adapter. I have seen it at a number of different places. Under $10 at Amazon.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  6. #6
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    One other thing, if you are running El Capitan as the operating system, please note that Apple removed RAID from the Disk Utility GUI. This means if you are going to RAID the two SSDs you will either have to do it with command line in Terminal or use an application like SoftRAID to create the bootable RAID0. We will help you do that.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  7. #7
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    Default El Capitan

    Thanks Rick!! I have resisted upgrading to El Capitan on my laptop. I made the mistake of upgrading to 10.11 on my Mac Pro shortly after it was available and immediately had problems. Those seem to have been corrected. I assume that at some point I will have to upgrade to El Capitan on my laptop: will I then have to download and install SoftRAID?

  8. #8
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    Won't 'have to' install SoftRAID. Using Terminal to create the RAID is not all that hard. I'll bet other people are working on a GUI to manage RAIDs on Macs.

    Note: thought about carrying/selling/supporting SoftRAID again after a lot of years not paying much attention. Seems OWC decided the same thing and bought the company. Such is life, another company that will probably become trash.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  9. #9
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    So, Ricks, I am about to order what I need. One last question. The video I watched on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDXSDnEv9uY) involves 2, 480GB SSD's. Will I see an appreciable difference in performance between installing 1, 1TB SSD, or pairing 2, 480GB SSD's, or EVEN 2, 1TB SSD's? The video was made in 6/2013, so perhaps there was no 1TB option when the video was made, and I may be asking the obvious. But there is a lot I do not know, so I'd rather ask the obvious.

    Thank you.

  10. #10
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    Speed limit for a single SSD, whether 480GB or 1TB, is speed of the SATAII bus, around 250 MB/sec.

    Install two SSDs, on separate SATAII buses and the speed limit is around 500 MB/sec. Size is determined by how big a boot drive you need.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  11. #11
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    Default

    Thanks Rick.

  12. #12
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    I ordered what I need. I let you know how it goes after I've installed the hardware.

  13. #13
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    Yer gonna have fun. You have an enclosure you can put the internal drive into and boot to it when you create your RAID?
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  14. #14
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    Default

    Rick. I have so far installed the 16gb of RAM in the MBP and you were right: a different machine!! I've not yet put in the additional SSD's yet because I have to go pick them up at Fed Ex (difficult to get Fed Ex Ground and UPS deliveries at my location), but for now this does the trick.

    Many thanks.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    Yer gonna have fun. You have an enclosure you can put the internal drive into and boot to it when you create your RAID?
    No. I don't. I was going to create a bootable external HD and boot it up with that once I have installed the RAID. Not the right way to go about it? I will have to research that.

  16. #16
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    Any external bootable copy of your boot drive will work.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  17. #17
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    I realize that your suggestion of putting the internal HD into an external enclosure was the best option: it eliminates a step in the process and I can use it as a bootable backup going forward. Good insurance when I take it on the road. Thanks. I'll let you know when I get it all completed.

  18. #18
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    Can't beat $17 unless someone gives you one.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

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