Upgrading the Macbook

Well, my Macbook has been behaving impeccably after the repair. The other day I upgraded the hard disk… here’s how easy it is…

When I bought the Macbook, I had no idea how I’d get on with an Apple (being a diehard Linux user), so bought the cheapest spec version – £750 for a 1.8GHz dual core, 60Gb HDD, with 512k RAM. After playing with it for about 10 minutes I was converted. I still use Linux for a lot of stuff, but for everyday computer usage, it’s the Mac every time.
It was apparent pretty much immediately that 512k RAM is not ideal. So I upgraded using third-party RAM to 2Gb for about £140. Buying a Macbook with 2Gb installed already would have added £350 to the price.

The other day I figured I could do with extra internal hard disk storage. I bought a 120Gb 2.5″ SATA 5400 rpm HDD from www.scan.co.uk for just under £70 (inc VAT), and also ordered an external hard disk case to take the old SATA drive. I slotted in the new one, reinstalled OS X from the original DVD disks, and then copied all of my old home directory to the new home directory. I install all new applications in ~/apps/, so everything I installed on the old disk went across, and, because applications are designed to be self-contained under OS X, they All Just Worked on the new install. Easy.

So, by buying the basic machine and upgrading it (I spent about £230 on the new RAM and disk in total), I’ve saved £300 on what it would have cost me to buy the equivalent machine from Apple. Both the RAM and HDD are user-upgradeable, with the bays being accessible from inside the battery compartment, so no dismantling apart from removing a metal bracket which covers the slots. All you need is a (quite small) cross-head screwdriver and you are away.

If you read this and saved yourself £300 by following my advice, consider buying me a beer via PayPal on the “donate” page :-)

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