MacBook Pro Upgrades

I just got a new MacBook Pro today, turned it on once to make a Lion Recovery Disk thumb drive, then proceeded to unscrew the bottom to perform some organ transplants.

I swapped the 2x2GB RAM sticks with 2x4GB sticks, for total 8GB (approx. $45 at NCIX). Apple charges $210 to upgrade to 8GB. Don’t be a sucker.

I also removed the 750GB hard drive and replaced it with a 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD (approx. $200 at NCIX). The mounting screws are torx-style, but otherwise the process is straightforward.

Lion Recovery Assistant is a new thing, and really useful now that MacBooks no longer come with an install CD. It lets you make a bootable thumb drive, which you can use to install OSX Lion directly over wifi. Pretty neat, but it takes a few hours to download (4GB). Another option is to mirror the existing drive on the SSD, but since it’s a new computer I went for the fresh install route.

There’s another surgery still planned for this computer once the parts arrive. I will remove the optical drive and put it in an external USB enclosure and put the 750GB hard drive in its place using an optical bay caddy. Then I will have the best of both worlds: the speed of SSD plus lots of storage. Badass.

None of these upgrades should void the warranty as long as you don’t screw up. Now it’s time to unleash the power…


Lion Recovery Disk Assistant
OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD (NCIX)
Mushkin 8GB Memory Kit for Apple (NCIX)
Nimitz Optical Bay HDD/SSD Caddy (eBay)
Nimitz External USB Enclosure for SuperDrive (eBay)


28. November 2011 by ehsan
Categories: tech | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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