Best will captain the province as they go in search of their first win in seven Magners League games.
Stephen Ferris is also set to start at blindside flanker, having overcome the rib injury which kept him out of last weekend's 25-18 defeat at Glasgow.
But Paddy Wallace is a notable absentee from McLaughlin's selection, as a thigh injury keeps him on the sidelines.
The changes in the back-line see Jamie Smith return at full-back, Simon Danielli reverts to the left wing and Niall O'Connor gets the nod over Ian Humphreys for the out-half slot.
Best and Springbok prop BJ Botha will add strength and experience to the front row, with Andi Kyriacou and Declan Fitzpatrick making way.
Ryan Caldwell drops to the replacements bench, with Dan Tuohy drafted into the second row, and Ferris and Willie Faloon have been introduced into the back row, at the expense of Chris Henry and David Pollock.
Looking forward to the Murrayfield encounter, McLaughlin said: "We are all very positive heading over to face Edinburgh. We have played them quite a few times this season, the last time at Ravenhill we gained the points.
"In September, when we faced them in the league, we were narrowly beaten by three points. We had a really strong first half, but just couldn't sustain it, and that's been our problem over the last number of games - doing well early on, but just unable to sustain it until the final whistle.
"The players are training hard, and working well together. Everyone knows what is expected of them. Yesterday (Thursday), the Ireland defence coach Les Kiss was up doing a lot of work with us, and our attack is solid.
"So, it is just a matter of going out at Murrayfield on Sunday with the attitude that we can gain the victory.
"We have to be mentally and physically tough and make sure we don't give away soft, cheap and easy points," he added.
Meanwhile, openside flanker Roddy Grant, who only signed a professional contract with Edinburgh last summer, will captain the Scottish club for their vital Magners League match against Ulster.
Grant is among four changes, one positional, from the team that started last weekend's away defeat to the Newport Gwent Dragons.
The other alterations made by Edinburgh coach Rob Moffat see Scotland centre Nick De Luca return from injury to start at outside centre, Greig Laidlaw starting at scrum half with Mike Blair reverting to the bench, and Ben Cairns moving from centre to full-back in place of Jim Thompson who drops to the bench.
Moffat said: "Roddy has been one of our most consistent players this season. He sets high standards for himself and I believe he will demand that of others.
"As a coach you are always looking for leaders, people who are willing to accept responsibility, and Roddy has those characteristics in droves."
Edinburgh are without the services of two players who played at Rodney Parade last Sunday. Flanker Ross Rennie (hamstring) and winger Simon Webster (Achilles) join long-term casualties Simon Cross (knee), Andrew Easson (knee), Chris Paterson (kidney), Craig Hamilton (head knock) and Ross Samson (arm) on the injury list.
EDINBURGH: Ben Cairns; Tim Visser, Nick De Luca, John Houston, Mark Robertson; Phil Godman, Greig Laidlaw; Allan Jacobsen, Ross Ford, Geoff Cross, Scott MacLeod, Jim Hamilton, Alan MacDonald, Roddy Grant (capt), Dave Callam.
Replacements: Andrew Kelly, Kyle Traynor, Fraser McKenzie, Scott Newlands, Mike Blair, Andrew Turnbull, Jim Thompson.
ULSTER: Jamie Smith; Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Ian Whitten, Simon Danielli; Niall O'Connor, Paul Marshall; Tom Court, Rory Best (capt), BJ Botha, Ed O'Donoghue, Dan Tuohy, Stephen Ferris, Willie Faloon, Robbie Diack.
Replacements: Andi Kyriacou, Bryan Young, Ryan Caldwell, Thomas Anderson, Isaac Boss, Ian Humphreys, Nevin Spence.
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: David Changleng, Bob Nevins (both Scotland)