Macbook Pro 17"

Mid 2009 model Macbook Pro 17' (A1297 MC226LL/A) was picked up slightly used because it had an ExpressCard/34 slot and much less money than a new one! I was looking for one of these specifically for the 1920x1200 LED display

The 7200rpm disk it came with was quite ok but I could feel heat and slight spin under the left palm spot after it was worked for a little bit. I figured SSD would address heat and provide a little boost in performance.

This SSD choice was a compromise for performance and price. There were certainly faster sata 3 options but this laptop only has a sata 2 interface so I saw this as a decent match at about a $1/GB when most were near double that price. 

This SSD is nearly 2x the speed of the same capacity OWC SATA 3 SSD's I have.

Superduper (free) did my disk copy via USB SATA adapter. Open cover, swap disk and boot from SSD. This simple swap made a huge difference in the heat produced in the left palm area. The speed difference is noticeably quicker for use, such as when waking from sleep and applications launch.

Basically … I dig the big display! A scaled screen share from the 27" iMac is quite usable. 

I now use this in place of a high resolution 13" air and while it is of course bigger and a couple years older it is faster. When the fan does kick on it makes less noise than that of the air. 

MacBook Pro (17-inch, Mid 2009) - Technical Specifications

  • Height: 0.98 inch (2.50 cm)
  • Width: 15.47 inches (39.3 cm)
  • Depth: 10.51 inches (26.7 cm)
  • Weight: 6.6 pounds (2.99 kg)

Connections and expansion

  • MagSafe power port
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • One FireWire 800 port (up to 800 Mbps)
  • Three USB 2.0 ports (up to 480 Mbps)
  • Mini DisplayPort
  • Audio line in
  • Audio line out
  • ExpressCard/34 slot
  • Kensington lock slot

Communications

  • Built-in AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi wireless (based on IEEE 802.11n draft specification); IEEE 802.11a/b/g
  • Built-in Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate)
  • Built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45 connector)

Audio

  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Built-in omnidirectional microphone (located under left speaker grille)
  • Combined optical digital audio input/audio line in (minijack)
  • Combined optical digital audio output/audio line out (minijack)

Environmental Status Report

MacBook Pro is designed with the following features to reduce its environmental impact:

  • Highly recyclable aluminum and glass enclosure
  • Mercury-free LED-backlit display
  • Arsenic-free display glass
  • BFR-free
  • PVC-free internal cables
  • Reduced packaging volume
  • Meets ENERGY STAR Version 5.0 requirements
  • Rated EPEAT Gold

Display

  • 17-inch (diagonal) high-resolution LED-backlit anti-glare widescreen display (option) with support for millions of colors
  • Supported resolutions: 1920 by 1200 (native), 1680 by 1050, 1280 by 800, 1152 by 720, 1024 by 640, and 800 by 500 pixels at 16:10 aspect ratio; 1280 by 1024 pixels at 5:4 aspect ratio; 1280 by 1024 pixels at 5:4 aspect ratio stretched; 1600 by 1200, 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, and 640 by 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio; 1600 by 1200, 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, and 640 by 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio stretched; 720 by 480 pixels at 3:2 aspect ratio; 720 by 480 pixels at 3:2 aspect ratio stretched

Graphics and video support

  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory3
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics processor with 512MB of GDDR3 memory
  • Dual display and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 2560 by 1600 pixels on an external display, both at millions of colors
  • Built-in iSight camera
  • Mini DisplayPort

Input

  • Built-in full-size backlit keyboard with 78 (U.S.) or 79 (ISO) keys, including 12 function keys and 4 arrow keys (inverted “T” arrangement)
  • Multi-Touch trackpad for precise cursor control; supports two-finger scrolling, pinch, rotate, swipe, three-finger swipe, four-finger swipe, tap, double-tap, and drag capabilities

Processor and memory

  • 2.8GHz or 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6MB on-chip shared L2 cache running 1:1 
  • 1066MHz frontside bus
  • 4GB (two 2GB SO-DIMMs) of 1066MHz DDR3 memory; two SO-DIMM slots support up to 8GB

Storage

  • 500GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA hard drive; optional 500GB 7200-rpm or 128GB or 256GB solid-state drive
  • 8x slot-loading SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    • Maximum write: 8x DVD-R, DVD+R; 4x DVD-R DL (double layer), DVD+R DL (double layer), DVD-RW, DVD+RW; 24x CD-R; 10x CD-RW
    • Maximum read: 8x DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-ROM; 6x DVD-ROM (double layer DVD-9), DVD-R DL (double layer), DVD+R DL (double layer), DVD-RW, DVD+RW; 24x CD

Battery and power

  • Built-in 95-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery
  • 85W MagSafe Power Adapter with cable management system

What’s in the box

  • MacBook Pro
  • Display cleaning cloth
  • 85W MagSafe Power Adapter, AC wall plug, and power cord
  • Install/restore DVDs

Software

  • Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard (includes iTunes, Time Machine, Quick Look, Spaces, Spotlight, Dashboard, Mail, iChat, Safari, Address Book, QuickTime, iCal, DVD Player, Photo Booth, Front Row, Xcode Developer Tools)
  • iLife ’09 (includes iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iWeb, GarageBand)
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