> I am guessing new SSD but other thoughts welcome.
500Gb Samsung 840 Evo SSD is an excellent choice, I upgraded my wife's MBP at Christmas. Key knowledge is which version of SATA the Macbook has. The Evo is SATA-III (latest) at 6Gb/s. If your mac only has SATA-II (3Gb/s), then its still worth getting an SSD, if only SATA-I, then it might not be worth the money.
In reply to Lurking Dave: The 500 gig hard-drive in my 2010 MacBook Pro start behaving oddly in the autumn, I got in early and had it replaced with a new (and faster) 750 gig drive. Cheap and I got all my data shifted across which was good.
Only three sites needed:
First: everymac.com will allow you to identify how much RAM you can fit, and other details about your MacBook model
Second: go to crucial.com/uk to find out the price of RAM and SSDs
Thirdly, and most importantly, iFixit.com will give you excellent guides and walkthroughs as to how easy/hard it is to upgrade the RAM and SSD.
How easy this is depends on the model - I put an SSD in the in-laws old intel MB last month and it was incredibly easy (few screws to be undone, nothing tricky). Newer models are somewhat harder.
SSDs make a vast difference to the everyday 'speed' of the system and you need a new drive anyway... adding RAM can help depending on what you are needing to do. Many older MBs take 6Gb which should be plenty.
An SSD in a really old system still makes a big difference - I put a small, cheap 3Gb/s SSD in a 2003 PowerMac G5 for the OS and it runs everything I ask it to in good time. Over a decade old and was getting desperately slow with an HDD for the OS, now a 30Gb SSD and a fat terabyte data drive for the rest.
Partly prompted by that thread I put in a SSD on my Mac (mid-2010 MacBook Pro).
Was easy to fit and has made loads of difference to the performance. Used to get the spinning wheel thing quite a lot when switching between apps or just generally when doing things but after the upgrade I don't really ever see it.
I was going to put in more memory but I don't think I'll bother as it's fine as it is now.
> An SSD in a really old system still makes a big difference - I put a small, cheap 3Gb/s SSD in a 2003 PowerMac G5 for the OS and it runs everything I ask it to in good time. Over a decade old and was getting desperately slow with an HDD for the OS, now a 30Gb SSD and a fat terabyte data drive for the rest.
Yes of course, I was merely alluding to the economics of the situation. With a MacBook, he doesn't have the luxury of using a small SSD + a larger HDD.
In reply to Lurking Dave: Definitely get an SSD. My Mac Mini is fitted with a Samsung 840 Pro (128GB) and it boots in five seconds flat; all apps open in <1 second. imo the ridiculous performance improvement makes it pointless to use a hard disk as your boot drive (although it makes sense to keep using spinning media for mass file storage). 1>
P.S. Your version of Mac OS makes a difference. Everything since Lion seems to rely more heavily on small reads and writes to and from the boot drive, which makes an SSD even more promotion. Snow Leopard is far more hard disk friendly.