We currently have two MacBooks in our home, a 2007 white MacBook and a 2008 Aluminum MacBook. Apple did a brilliant job of designing these computers. There are two–and only two–customizable parts of a MacBook: RAM memory and the Hard Drive. Apple seems to realize that these are the only two “add-ons” that you can adjust to make your hardware work better.
My MacBook is approaching four years of age (no longer under AppleCare) and I had replaced my original 250GB drive with a 500GB drive, and I have 6GB of RAM instead of the 2GB the computer came with. Well, those 500GB were gone, and I needed more storage space…so off to OWC I went. I purchased an OWC 1TB upgrade kit ($139), and used Carbon Copy Cloner to make a clone of my current computer. I started the process at 8pm, and dropped the drive…quickly…into my MacBook the next morning. No more space issues (note: my 500GB was also a 5400 rpm drive. I would consider an SSD drive, but to my knowledge, no 1TB SSD drives exist, and if they did, I would need a second mortgage to afford one).
My wife’s MacBook sees–in general–less use than my MacBook. In all honesty, my iPad sees more use than both MacBooks combined, and my MacBook is the iTunes hub for all our iOS devices. My wife uses her MacBook for photos and blogging. Her 80GB hard drive had filled, so I swapped my 500GB drive to her computer. Same process…Carbon Copy Cloner all night, drop the drive in the next day. I had previously updated my wife’s MacBook for more RAM, too (I think she has 4GB). Her MacBook will be the first to age out…she has OS X Lion, but Mountain Lion will probably not work for her device. So she’ll get the next new MacBook in the family (this white MacBook was actually a Craigslist find). I wish her computer had the customizable track pad (allowing for gestures and right click), but we’ll just wait. Until then, she can use her MacBook for more pictures (having three boys aged twelve years to three months gives you many chances to take pictures).
If you have a recent MacBook and have been considering a RAM or hard drive update, there’s no technical reason not to upgrade your computer. Apple makes it easy for you to upgrade these items, and there are many online resources (especially on OWC’s website) that you can use to help you along the way. Disclaimer: if you are unable to make toast, do not try to change the hard drive or RAM in your computer.