However, there are a few Macs still available across sites such as eBay and Amazon that are not only close-to-par with their current gens in areas like processing power, but they offer the ability to upgrade general hardware. Generally Mac Pros and Mac Minis will be easiest to work with. Smaller systems like those found in the Macbook and Macbook Air include smaller and sometimes custom parts that are harder to work with. This article will detail how you can save a few bucks by buying a used, slightly older Mac, and upgrade some parts to get it up to speed with the current generations.
What Is Worth Upgrading? When it comes to making upgrades to your Mac, or any PC for that matter, you first need to consider which devices are truly worthwhile for the money. Also not to be overlooked is what parts specifically should be upgraded to boost performance.
RAM is fairly cheap and easy to acquire. If you find that launching programs is horrendously slow or that you experience crashes and freezes, a RAM upgrade may need to be in the works.
To check RAM usage, try an app like Dr. There are three main reasons to replace a drive: The drive is failing. More storage is needed. An SSD is tremendously faster. In regard to tackling reason two, rather than upgrading for the sake of more storage, try using an external drive.
Some models cannot be upgraded at all, while devices like the Mac Mini only support a hard drive upgrade. This is because the RAM was soldered into place. Here is a quick rundown of most devices that have their RAM pre-configured and soldered into place: And if you do decide to upgrade on your own, watching a YouTube walkthrough is highly recommended.
If your Mac is still under warranty, and you open it up for any reason on your own, you will void the warranty! Once a single screw has been removed, Apple will not touch the device. Proceed with caution or consider hiring a trained repairman to do the upgrade work for you. Consider the cost to performance return rate and whether or not you can take the risk of messing up an install. I would not attempt a repair or upgrade on a mission critical machine if you have not done such an upgrade in the past.
Some of the Best Macs to Upgrade In conclusion, if you need a powerful machine on the cheap, look to an older model Mac Mini or Mac Pro, as they are easily upgraded.
Unfortunately, the RAM is soldered in place from the factory. To be able to upgrade both RAM and a hard drive but still have portability, you may wish to look towards a Macbook Pro.
If you just wish to upgrade the drive only, look towards a Macbook Pro. Upgrading an older Mac is only a viable option if, once again, the device is not mission critical and if you are okay with not having the most up-to-date software, hardware, and or support from Apple in the coming years.
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