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Old Dec 27, 2012, 11:13 PM   #1
alanca3
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Question SSD and memory upgrade worth it?

I'm on a 13" mid 2012 macbook pro (macbook 9,2) with a 2.5Ghz processor and Intel 4000 graphics. Right now I have 4 GB of memory and 500 GB of storage (5400 RPM). Would there be a noticeable difference in speed if I used a "Data Doubler" with a 130 GB SSD and 16 GB of memory?

I heavy multi-task (games, skype, browsers, steam, etc), game, and then a little photo/video editing.

I can run Borderlands on all high settings with no noticeable lag. I like to also play Minecraft, Left 4 Dead 2, Portal 1/2, Half Life, and a few other steam games. Would those above upgrades help me?

(I want to use Parallels, but it's too laggy to use Parallels and Mountain Lion at the same time)
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 11:37 PM   #2
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A SSD and more RAM wouldn't really help your games, especially if you're fairly happy with how they run now, but they would help with your issues running Parallels.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 12:50 AM   #3
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Hello! Sorry to hijack this thread- didnt want to spam forums. I'm actually considering doing the exact same thing as OP- only my laptop is older. It's a mid-2010 15" 2.53 ghz model. Would upgrading the hd and ram extend the life of my older laptop?

Am considering Intel 320 120 gb and Kingston 8gb (2x4 kit) of memory. Thoughts? Should I get 160 gb ssd instead?
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 03:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by suicidal nun View Post
Hello! Sorry to hijack this thread- didnt want to spam forums. I'm actually considering doing the exact same thing as OP- only my laptop is older. It's a mid-2010 15" 2.53 ghz model. Would upgrading the hd and ram extend the life of my older laptop?

Am considering Intel 320 120 gb and Kingston 8gb (2x4 kit) of memory. Thoughts? Should I get 160 gb ssd instead?
More space is better than 120GB I bought an Intel 320 160GB. It works very well.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 04:51 AM   #5
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The standard conventional wisdom answer on whether to buy ram or not is to check your page outs in activity monitor, and buy if needed. But more ram is always better for heavy multi tasking, and it happens to be the cheapest it's ever been. Going over 4 gigs also increases video ram in the HD 3000 and HD 4000 integrated graphics from 384 to 512 mb of vram.

As for an SSD, it would decrease the amount of time your system boots up and shuts down, and definitely speed up cold app launches. It could speed up apps that need to access a lot of data off the hard drive. Fortunately, like ram, they're the cheapest they've ever been (and in the long run are expected to get ever bigger, faster and cheaper).
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 05:03 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by alanca3 View Post
I heavy multi-task (games, skype, browsers, steam, etc), game, and then a little photo/video editing.
Tiny off topic: I think it would be more correct if in the future you'd say: "I like to have a ton of things open at the same time". Multitasking would actually mean that you "handle multiple tasks", but you're most likely handling only one: "play whatever game you're in" and just having a bunch of tools open up in the background that you don't explicitly interact with often. Not really multitasking on your side ( on the OS side, yeah, since the OS needs to keep track of all that, but that's nothing new ).

Back on topic: As others have nicely pointed out: SSD or RAM will surely not improve your gaming performance. RAM would only help if you can't run certain games now because system requirements memory-wise are not met or if you're really pushing the limits of the current amount that you have...
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 11:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Badrottie View Post
More space is better than 120GB I bought an Intel 320 160GB. It works very well.
I'm tempted to get a bigger ssd but I already have a 1TB external hd so I figure I'll have all the media files there.

My plan is to use time machine to move everything over to the ssd. Any way I can resize the time machine partition since I am going from 500gb 5400hd to 120gb ssd. Would like to free up more space for media
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 11:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by suicidal nun View Post
Hello! Sorry to hijack this thread- didnt want to spam forums. I'm actually considering doing the exact same thing as OP- only my laptop is older. It's a mid-2010 15" 2.53 ghz model. Would upgrading the hd and ram extend the life of my older laptop?

Am considering Intel 320 120 gb and Kingston 8gb (2x4 kit) of memory. Thoughts? Should I get 160 gb ssd instead?
I have the same machine that I upgraded to 8GB of RAM about a year ago.. I just put a Samsung 830 256GB in and put the old 500GB drive in the optibay and it's like a brand new machine. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.

One of the best things is its practically silent now. The only time it makes noise is when they old HD spins up (usually to access media that I store on that drive). Every single thing I do is faster. Loading games. Parallels. Boot time. Waking from sleep. Everything.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 07:41 AM   #9
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As you have discovered VMs and ML 10.8.2 on 4GB of RAM are really unworkable. I find that 10.8.2 pages out quite a bit on 4GB alone, without dedicating some of that RAM to a VM. You can make one VM get by on 8GB, but you'll probably still pageout a bit if you do moderate work on either side; 16GB is really the way to go if you need to run a VM regularly, though 12GB would also probably be fine. Upgrading your RAM will make a HUGE difference in your computing experience where Parallels is concerned.

So will adding an SSD. Speeding the OS disk access is one of the main benefits of going with an SSD, I would imagine that your VM will benefit just as much as ML. This is one area where taking the hybrid route (as I have) isn't likely to help you much. While the MoXT is faster with my VM than the old 5400rpm drive, that's just down to the difference in the HDD speed. It's definitely not as snappy with the VM as it is with ML. Likely because I don't use the VM enough to have cached its associated files in the SSD portion of the drive.

Both these upgrades will be significant for your all around usage. It'll feel like you got a new machine from the future. Those of you with machines older than 2011 will get less of a speed boost from the SSD, but it will still be significant.

You may wish to get a 256GB SSD for maximum performance gains. In SSD land, smaller drives are usually slower.


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