By now that computer is ~4 years old. Honestly it's up to you. Upgrading with an SSD will give your computer blazing fast boot times, and will open applications much faster.And you are correct, 20 gb won't last long when you start using Adobe programs.
Seeing as you do need more space though, an SSD may not work (sorry kind of rambling here). Unless you do think about dropping a few hundreds for the SSD.
Adobe Creative Suite will eat up battery life just from the nature of the programs. If you do wan another 2 years, I would upgrade the HDD anyway (not too much to do so).
I honestly think it's up to you. For example, I do plan on upgrading my MBP early 2011 with an SDD and 8 gb RAM in two years. And I'd be in the same position as you are now. (I hope I helped )
Thanks for the reply Neil, that goes give me a bit of perspective - I have very limited experience with computer hardware
I think for the money, I will go ahead and upgrade the drive - I'm not quite ready to purchase a new mac yet. Hopefully after a few more years, I will be able to get a Haswell Macbook Pro refurbished for a decent price
As you stated, a SSD isn't really an option for me due to storage.
Would you reccomend going with a SSD Hybrid or would a Hard Drive at 7200 RPM be comparable in terms of performance? I need at least 500gb of storage and wouldn't want to spend more than $130.
Thank you again for you help
Well, from the research I've gathered, any consumer-level SSD will blow any consumer-level HDD out of the water. But for $130, I don't think you're going to find many SSD that will match your specs. A hybrid would be nice, seeing as boot times would be much faster, and you'd still get the storage. 7200 rpm HDDs aren't to hard to find. I *think* most Macs before 2012 come with a 5400 rpm drive (like mine).
And no problem! Glad to help.
Consider a Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid HD. It's a 5400RPM but has 8 Gbyte of onboard "SSD" which works like a great transfer cache and programs and OS load faster. But please check if it is backward compatible with your SATA II.
I had a fast SSD and it's gorgeous but the Hybrid is really nice and cheap (although about 2x a standard HD of the same size).
Please note that the speed gain is working on it but if you apply a big file transfer the data rate transfer is limited to the 5400RPM HD.
Regarding a 7200RPM they're good HDs but not as reliable as a 5400. (I've changed about 15 HD's in 15 years then I think I know what I'm saying).
There's also a Western Digital version of Hybrid Hd but they need a driver and I don't like this.
Thank you for your help.
I am thinking of purchasing the Seagate SSD Hybrid ST1000LM014 for the computer - I have read some reviews on it and many people have stated that they have had great results with the mid 2009 Macbook Pro model.
I would appreciate your thoughts.