ram always helps, but if you have 2gb+ of ram and it's running slow then that's not your issue. i have 4gb of ram and fcp still runs a little slow sometimes. get an external anyway to back your shit up, but it will only make a difference if you have like 400mb of free space on your internal drive
i just replaced my internal with a 500gb drive and my computer is running faster
putting in a newinternal HD isnt goign to speed up your computer depending on rpm or w/e its based on. I would just get a firewire external hard drive 500gb and then upgrade ram to 4gb (seems ideal for me). ram is what makes your computer faster/slower not harddrive space
not just a bigger internal hard drive, but a faster one. That coupled with more ram will make a difference.
What macbook is it? the earlier macbooks can only recognize about 3 gb of ram, so if you put 4gb in, it will only use 3gb, but 3 is better than 2. If it is a 2009 or newer model it will use all 4gb of ram if you so choose to add that.
a 5400 rpm 1tb internal won't speed up a computer, but if you're going from a 5400 rpm 250gb drive with like 10gb free to a 7200 rpm 500gb internal with 235 gb free then it will make a difference as I am currently experiencing
obviously it depends on how much free space you have now and how fast your current internal is. make sure you get a 7200 rpm internal if you're replacing it and they don't really make 7200's that are larger than 500gb. i got mine for like 70 bucks off otherworldcomputing.com. it's a 2.5" hitachi notebook drive.
but all of that will make no difference unless you have as much ram as you can. generally macbooks max out at 4gb of ram and that is a must. it's pretty cheap, just make sure you get the right kind. white/blackbooks take DDR2 and alumibody's take DDR3. look at how much you have, i'm guessing it's 2gb. doubling your ram will do wonders for your machine
RAM determines speed, not hard drive space. Provided you have the right connection/rpm, your harddrives will only perform as fast as your RAM, if that makes sense.
For editing, you need at least 7200 rpm drives, or solid state. Samsung makes good internals at the moment; look into them.
Also, avoid keeping footage/everything else on your OS drive (main hard drive). It gums up the system. It is preferable to work from an external via firewire 800 (firewire 400 if using SD footage) or eSata connection. Only the 17" Macbook Pros have the eSata ability so don't worry about that.
2gb of RAM was ideal for editing SD footage for me. Now that I'm shooting HD, I have 8gb of RAM on the i7 processor, and its insanely fast. I'm sure you could get away from 4gb of RAM just fine, provided you have the aforementioned hard drive configuration.
only use 7200 rpm drives (Samsung are great at the moment)
keep your footage/files off your main internal (OS) drive
use a firewire 800 connection or faster
BACK EVERYTHING UP.
Another good way to get lots of storage for cheap is to use an external hard drive dock. It's a device that connects to your laptop using either firewire 800 or eSata connection. It has two slots that you put internal hard drives in. Since internal drives are cheaper, you can nearly double your storage/price ratio.
Right now I have one using an eSata connection, which allows me to access external drives with the same speed as internal drives. I have two 1tb hard drives that I have mirrored using time machine. I keep the primary in the dock at all times, and I keep the backup in a Pelican case.
So for the dock + two 1tb harddrives I paid about $200 total. That's a steal. Then you can take the money you saved and upgrade the RAM.