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Speed Up Your Mac

Everybody wants their Mac to run as fast as possible, and thanks to OWC, there are a handful of easy DIY upgrades that allow you to get even more performance out of your Mac.

Before You Open Your Toolkit...

Here are some quick tips to boost your Mac's speed before you upgrade.
Hard Drive

Clean Up Your Hard Drive

All spinning-disk drives, no matter their size, suffer from the same physical limitations. Because data is written from the outside edge to the inside edge, as the drive fills up, the available space becomes less and less efficient. The outer 30 - 50 % of the physical space on the drive has the highest storage density, and is the highest performing section of the drive. The bottom line is that once your hard drive is past 50% full, you'll start to see dramatic performance reductions as the drive continues to fill up. The best remedy - keep your hard drive under 50% full by deleting unused files, or better yet, upgrade to a new high-capacity drive from MacSales.com.

Upgrade

Avoid a Major OS Upgrade Unless it's Necessary

While an OS upgrade might be critical for security updates, or if you need access to software only available on the most current version, major OS upgrades can cause your Mac to slow down - especially if yours is an older model. Each new major OS revision adds more features, but at the same time adds more lines of code for your machine to process. These new revisions are built for machines that have newer, faster processors, modern internal i/o, and often require more RAM, and higher-performance video cards. While you should always take your current OS to it's final version, you should carefully consider the costs and benefits of a major OS upgrade before taking the leap.

Mac Booster

Streamline Your Startup

If your Mac exhibits slow boot sequences and slow operation, the culprit may be your startup process launching and running too many programs 'behind the scenes' at boot. Often when you install software, you agree to it launching on startup, but once the apps launch, they aren't always conspicuous, and may only show up in the menu bar. If your Mac is running slow, especially if it takes a long time for the OS to boot, it's a good idea to look at the startup items. Navigate to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items. Here you can make sure only critical items launch at startup, instead of unused programs that take up valuable RAM running in the background.

The Top 3 Speed Boosting Upgrades

How to get the easiest and most cost effective speed boost for your Mac with these simple upgrades.

Did You Know

The OWC Memory Lab tests each memory upgrade in the exact Mac it's custom designed for. This means an OWC memory upgrade always performs flawlessly and often exceeds factory capacity.

Upgrading memory is by far the best pathway to a total system performance boost for your Mac. With limited memory, your Mac relies heavily on the internal drive as a cache to make up for the lack of resources. Even with a fast SSD, the internal drive is much slower than memory, and you'll see the dreaded spinning beach ball while your under-resourced system struggles to catch up.

The great news is that upgrading your Mac's memory is easy and inexpensive with OWC - 4GB from $33.99 and 16GB from $129.99. Depending on your model, you can upgrade up to 128GB. Because all OWC memory is developed and tested in our dedicated Memory Lab, it's always 100% compatible and remarkably dependable. Max out your memory and unleash the full potential of your Mac.

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Resources

Comprehensive Install Videos Install Video Memory Benchmarks

Check out these benchmarks that show the difference memory makes:

More Memory = Faster Mac

Read this blog post from the Rocketyard about the benefits of a memory upgrade.

Upgrade to a Solid State Drive

Upgrade

Did You Know

An SSD's performance can degrade over time as it fills up. To prevent this, many SSDs require the use of TRIM, an operating system feature which manages how data is stored. All OWC SSDs use on-board technology that doesn't require TRIM, meaning they work right out of the box, and will never slow down with time.

Even though today's hard drives are fast, an OWC SSD is even faster. And with no moving parts, SSDs are more rugged, run cooler and quieter, and consume far less power than hard drives.

With an OWC SSD, everything on your Mac happens at lightning speed. Your Mac boots in seconds, not minutes. Apps launch in an instant, and data operations like loading and saving happen much faster. The performance difference is simply astounding - OWC SSDs, available up to 4TB, deliver real-world performance up to 100x faster than hard drives.

If your budget won't stretch to an SSD upgrade, you can still get a great speed boost with a new SSHD. Combining a spinning-disk hard drive and solid state cache technologies, SSHDs offer similar power consumption and reliability advantages to SSDs as well as a significant speed boost at a great value price.

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Resources

Comprehensive Install Videos Install Video Watch Comparison Videos

Check out our real-world "shoot-out" test videos to see just how much faster your Mac can be with an OWC SSD upgrade.

The RocketYard Blog

Read about upgrading to an OWC SSD.

Upgrade Your Internal Drive Capacity

Did You Know

Most Macs with spinning hard drives ship with 5400 RPM drives. Upgrading to a higher capacity drive with a 7200 RPM speed will not only give you a faster drive, but the increased capacity delivers more useable space.

No matter how much memory you have, or how fast your drive, without enough free space, your Mac won't run at its full speed potential. Modern operating systems like OS X use this free space for caching to maximize efficiency and performance. And once free space drops below 50% total capacity, the system begins to show the painful signs of slowing down.

A general rule of thumb for calculating the required free space is to have no less than 15GB + 1.5 x (the amount of memory installed). For example, if your machine has 8GB of memory and a 120GB HDD, 27GB is the ideal amount of free space you should leave on that drive.

If your internal drive is close to full, it's time to upgrade to a higher capacity, higher performance drive. Especially as modern drives are so much faster, more efficient, and cheaper per gigabyte than ever before.

A new internal drive is an easy DIY upgrade with our free install videos. You shouldn't have to suffer a slow Mac with a full internal drive. Upgrade today.

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Resources

Comprehensive Install Videos Install Video Drives Explained

Everything you need to know about HDDs and SSDs.

Clean Up Your Drives

Using DriveSlim to clean up duplicate and unwanted files to gain space on your drive.

Keep Your Mac Running Optimally

Simple tech tips to keep your Mac running as fast and efficient as possible.