You can upgrade the RAM and the disk but not the NVIDIA graphics processor. I don’t know what a GHS is.
On my 2009 MacBook I upgraded the memory and disk and it did wonders for the boot time and responsiveness. I found my $200 investment was well worth the money.
I expect you have 2 GB of memory so an 8 GB memory upgrade (~$100) will make a big difference. You can also upgrade the disk to a small SSD or large hybrid SSHD for around $80 to $260. Larger SSDs cost more. Your choice. The hybrid Seagate SSHD comes with an 8 GB SSD cache that provides SSD-like performance. My storage needs were minimal so I opted for a 120 GB SSD but if I had needed 500 GB to 1 TB of capacity I would probably have chosen the SSHD.
Order the parts from OWC (macsales.com) or Crucial.com. They provide Mac-tested and warranted parts with excellent service.
First confirm which model MacBook you have. About this Mac > More Info… Note the season and year. Then click on System Report and note the Model Identifier. For example, if it is a Late 2009 model it would be a MacBook 6,1. A late 2008 model (non-aluminum) would be a 4,1.
If it is a Late 2009 MacBook 6,1 it can hold up to 8 GB of RAM. Apple originally supported 4 GB of RAM but OWC has tested and supports 8 GB.
If it is a Late 2008 MacBook 4,1 it can hold up to 6 GB of RAM. Apple originally supported 4 GB of RAM but OWC has tested and supports 6 GB.
In these instances OWC supports larger RAM than Crucial so I would buy it form OWC. 8 GB for the 6,1 would cost you $105. 6 GB for the 4,1 would cost $125.
The disk-bus speed for the Late 2009 MacBook is 3 Gbps, which is good for supporting SSDs and SSHDs. Here are some example SSDs. If your capacity needs are modest you may want to chose an SSD. If you want the combination of 1 TB high capacity and SSD-like speed, choose the SSHD.
Crucial M500 120 GB: $81
Crucial M500 240 GB: $138
Crucial M500 480 GB: $260
Seagate 1 TB SSHD: $105
For a $5 toolkit with the necessary screwdrivers I recommend http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/TOOLKITMHD/
For an enclosure to transfer the data Google “USB 3.0 enclosure”
The Crucial and OWC sites have tutorials on installing the memory and disks.
If you don’t want to do the upgrade yourself take it to an Apple Authorized Service Provider https://locate.apple.com/country. An Apple store will not install non-Apple parts.
I had this exact same question. Thank you for the well planned and sourced response. I recently upgraded my late 2009 to 4g memory because I've heard conflicting reports about whether or not I could do 8 gb of ram. I've been thinking about getting a seagate 500gb hybrid drive. If anyone on here has done that and has a review or tips I would appreciate it. I'm still not sure if it is going to come with a kit to transfer my old hd data onto the new one. Either way, thanks Debenkorn for the great answer.
You're Neighborhood Mac Novice who can't afford a brand new MB Pro.
Thanks for the post, it was helpful. Can you help with a question I have?
I have mid-2010 Macbook 13" . It still has 2GB RAM and runs OS X 10.9.5. Im considering upgrading the RAM to 8 GB as suggested in your post. The question I have is : the battery cycle count shows 427. So, is it still advisable to go ahead with the up gradation. Im planning to upgrade to these units:
Crucial 4GB DDR3 1066 MT/s PC3-8500 204-Pin Memory for Mac
Please suggest, if thats good enough.
I don't know what a battery cycle is and why it would keep you from upgrading. Read my earlier post on this thread. But to answer your question, I had gotten my 4g ram from Crucial the first time and gotten the HD and the ram from OWC recently. I think Crucial is great but it wouldn't let me buy the two 4g ram. But OWC did. Long story short, spend the extra money and do the 8g upgrade. I ended up wasting money because I did it twice. After my previous post, I ended up purchasing from OWC: 500gb Seagate Hybrid drive with DIY kit (the case and usb to make your old hd external), a small toolkit to do the install, and the two 4gb ram. I think it cost a little under $180.00. Shipping was free, in live in the continental U.S. The upgrade was worth it. Unless you really really can't afford it, just do it all right now and you will love your new MacBook!