Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Notebooks > MacBook Pro

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Dec 19, 2011, 08:46 AM   #1
theSeb
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Poole, England
Upgrade RAM, CPU, SSD - is it worth it?

The same questions are often asked on these forums:

- Should I get the 2.2 GHz or the 2.4 GHz MBP?
- Should I get the i5 or the i7 MBA
- Is the MBA powerful enough for me or should I get a MBP?
- Should I upgrade the RAM or get a SSD
- Should I upgrade the CPU or RAM?
- Do I need more than 4 GB RAM?
- Which SSD should I get ?
- Why is the MBA SSD slow

…and so forth.

So let me try and answer them as simply as possible:

Q: Should I get the 2.2 GHz or the 2.4 GHz MBP?

A: If you use the computer for productivity (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Keynote, Numbers, Mail etc) - CPU makes very little difference. First Upgrade: SSD. Second Upgrade: RAM

The 2.4 GHz 15" MBP has a faster GPU (6770m vs 6750m) so I would only recommend this upgrade if you are planning on playing games often. You can expect an increase of around 2 to 10 frames per second with this increase, depending on the game. Only you can determine if that is worth it.


-----

Q: Should I get the i5 or the i7 MBA?

A: Most users won't see a difference in their daily activities, unless you're rendering 3D graphics or encoding movies often

-----

Q: Is the MBA powerful enough for me or should I get a MBP?

A: The MBA is powerful enough for most users. Any extra CPU power is like chocolate sauce on a nice ice cream - a bonus. The MBP has firewire ports and an Gigabit Ethernet port. Do you need them? The MBP RAM and HDD can be upgraded easily. The MBA SSD can be upgraded (expensive) but the RAM cannot.

If you want to play games and you can afford it, then get a MBP with a discrete GPU. 4 GB RAM and the normal HDD are good enough and upgrading won't make the game any smoother.


----

Q: Should I upgrade the RAM or get a SSD?

A: Most users will see the benefit of upgrading from a HDD to SSD before the benefits of adding RAM. However, if you're running out of RAM and using a mechanical HDD, the performance penalties are severe.

----

Q: Should I upgrade the CPU or RAM?

A: Most users will see the benefit of more RAM rather than a faster CPU unless you use the computer for tasks that need CPU power, for example rendering 3D models, professional audio creation and encoding movies. If you use the computer for such activities often then it's worth to upgrade. Upgrading to the 2.4 QC 2011 MBP is not worth it for most people (apart from the GPU update as above). The 2.5 GHz QC upgrade makes even less sense

----

Q: Do I need more than 4 GB RAM?

A: Check your Activity Monitor and see if you have significant Page Outs versus Page Ins. 4 GB is perfectly fine for Lion, but since upgrading to 8GB with after-market brands is so cheap, I would do it anyway.

----

Q: Which SSD should I get?

A: It won't make a difference to most people. Get the one that's good value for money and has a good reliability track record. Refer to the SSD Buying Guide sticky in this sub-forum

----

Q: Why is the MBA/MB SSD supplied by Apple slow in benchmarks that I've seen?

A: The Apple supplied SSD is fast compared to a mechanical HDD and for most users it is "fast enough". In other words most users won't see the difference or the benefits when using a "fast" SSD. The differences between "fast" and "slow" SSDs in most normal daily tasks that involve data reads or writes are negligible.

----

If you want a more detailed explanation, then read on and check out the benchmarks.

These questions are not always easy to answer without knowing all of the requirements and the particular user’s workflow. Simply looking at synthetic benchmarks does not always give one all of the answers they are looking for. If one computer scores 10,000 in Geekbench and another scores 5,000, does that mean one is twice as fast as the other? If a disk speed benchmark shows that one SSD writes and reads data at twice the speed of another, does that mean it will be twice as fast?

The simple answer is no. These benchmarks show the absolute top speed a particular component of your computer can achieve. Think of it like this: if you compare a Ferrari FXX and a BMW M3 then in most conditions the Ferrari will be much faster. It will certainly be faster in a ¼ mile drag and around normal circuits.

However, when you’re using your computer you’re not always doing tasks like racing around a racetrack. Sometimes you’re just going to get some groceries on roads with police and 30 mph speed limits. Just because the Ferrari is three times as fast around a racetrack it does not mean that it will be thrice as fast to get your groceries.

I’ve tried to show what happens when you run the same workflows on different computers and different configurations in the real world. I’ve created a number of tests that are fairly typical tasks.

One important thing to note is that these tests were run exclusively with nothing else, apart from background system tasks, running. That’s the big difference between a computer like a Ferrari and computer like a M3. One can do a lot more at the same time on a faster computer with faster storage and more random access memory.

The lineup:

- 2009 MBP 13” 2.53 Core 2 Duo upgraded to 8 GB 1066 MHz RAM and a 500 GB Seagate Momentus XT HDD
- 2011 MBA 13” i7 1.8 GHz 256 GB SSD (Samsung) 4 GB RAM
- 2011 Mini Server i7 Quad 2.0 GHz (I7-2635QM) 750 GB WD Scorpio Black 7200 RPM HDD 4 GB 1333 MHz RAM
- 2011 Mini Server i7 Quad 2.0 GHz (I7-2635QM) 750 GB WD Scorpio Black 7200 RPM HDD 8 GB 1600 MHz RAM
- 2011 Mini Server i7 Quad 2.0 GHz (I7-2635QM) 240 GB OCZ Vertex 3 4 GB RAM
- 2011 Mini Server i7 Quad 2.0 GHz (I7-2635QM) 240 GB OCZ Vertex 3 8 GB 1600 MHz RAM

The quad core CPU in the mini is the same as the baseline early 2011 15” MBP so it makes for a nice comparison. Unfortunately I do not have a late MBP to use in these tests, however the point is to look at the relative performance of these machines to draw conclusions based on that.


All tests were created in Automator and run multiple times after clean reboots or caches were cleared, except for the tests with the Momentus XT since I do not know how to clear its cache and how persistent it is. In order to get consistent results, I discounted the highest and lowest benchmarks and averaged the rest of the results. I made sure that the results could be replicated a number of times to account for any spikes or anomalies during testing.

Disk Copy Test – Copy 1 5.1 GB File

Shorter bars are better. Scores are in seconds.





This test involves copying one 5.1 GB mkv movie file from one location to another. From a hard drive point of view the data is incompressible and it is a sequential read and write. As expected the OCZ Vertex 3 pulls ahead with the MBA’s Samsung SSD coming in 2nd place 11 seconds behind. The extra RAM did not make any difference in this scenario. What’s interesting, and surprising to me, is how much slower the Seagate MomentusXT is in comparison to the Western Digital Scorpio Black.

If your workflow revolves around large incompressible data then a SSD drive or multiple HDDs in a hardware RAID configuration are a must.

Geekbench 64-bit test

You can download and run Geekbench on your own machine or you can check out the average scores for each Mac model on the Geekbench website. I’ve run these tests to highlight a couple of things.

Geekbench tests how fast your CPU and RAM are. It has nothing to with your storage speeds. Longer bars are better.




The poor, old MBP struggles in last place and it’s amazing to see how CPU technology is increasing for the little MBA to get such a respectable score. You’ll note that the Mini with upgraded RAM scores more than the stock Mini. The increase in score has nothing to do with the fact that we’ve increased the amount of memory. It is because the 8 GB memory is 1600 MHz (yes, your Sandy Bridge Mac supports it) as opposed to the stock memory in the 2011 Mac lineup, which runs at 1333 MHz. Without going into the technical details of it all, memory with a higher clock rate runs faster, as long as your CPU and/or motherboard supports it.

I must add that 200 points in Geekbench is not a huge difference in the real world. During these tests, results may vary by as much as 50 points above or behind the average score of your computer. However, if you look at the details of the benchmark, you’ll see that all of the points were gained in the memory tests, as expected.

Cinebench R11.5 CPU

This is a great benchmark that you can download and run yourself from the Maxon website. The CPU test uses all available cores.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ”Maxon website”
CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer's performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and Mac OS X). And best of all: It's completely free.
You can read more here: http://www.maxon.net/downloads/cinebench.html

Longer bars are better. Scores are in points.




The quad core in the Mini Server easily stretches its legs to beat the competition and the 2009 MBP comes in last. What about the Geekbench scores? Shouldn’t the faster RAM help? No, faster RAM will not make your CPU faster. It will make certain things faster, as we shall see later, but in this use-case it does not help. Having more RAM also does not help since the test is not constrained in this regard.

Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL

This benchmark tests your graphics subsystem so basically it will show you how powerful your GPU is in comparison to others. Gaming performance and how smooth 3D models are to navigate will be some of the things affected by your GPU’s speed. There is also another discussion around how some image editing suites attempt to use your GPU to speed up certain things, but that is not something I’ll be getting into in this post.

Longer bars are better. Scores are in frames per second.



The Nvidia 320M in the 2009 MBP loses out to the integrated Intel HD3000 in this test. The Intel graphics in the mini are a smidgeon faster in comparison to the MBA.

Looking at the detailed specs for each of the CPUs, I do not see anything to explain this as the HD3000 runs at the same frequency. Perhaps someone has some views on this?

The mini with 8GB of Kingston 1600 MHz RAM comes out on top by around 0.75 of a frame per second – not exactly a noticeable difference. It’s important to bear in mind that the difference is not because of the extra amount of RAM. It’s because the Kingston RAM is faster than stock and the integrated Intel GPU uses the system RAM.

Encoding a 1080p 120 seconds clip

This test uses the HandBrake command line tool to encode a 1080p clip that is 120 seconds long using the High Profile preset. The clip is a BluRay rip in mkv format and the output is an iTunes friendly m4v file. Encoding is all about the CPU power as we will see in the results below.

Shorter bars are better. Scores are in seconds




The quad core CPU wins by a quite margin as expected. It’s difficult to explain the 2 seconds difference between the configurations, but I can reproduce it constantly. I assume it has to do with the final operations at the end of the encode operation where various clip info is written into the file.


Productivity – Combine Excel Files (11.6 MB each)

The test uses 2 files and each of them has 9 sheets. Each sheet has about 40,000 rows of data across 3 to 5 columns. Automator is used to open the files and then they are combined and saved as a new file. This is probably about as intensive operation as an office bound excel user would undertake before considering a database-based solution.

Shorter bars are better. Scores are in seconds.



Unsurprisingly the SSD equipped configurations pull ahead. What’s interesting to note is the miniscule difference between the “slow” Samsung SSD in the MBA and the “fast” Vertex 3 SSD in the Mini. Extra RAM does not help in this case because we never run out of RAM.

However, when using the stock 7200 RPM HDD, extra RAM did reduce the time by 3 seconds. There was no difference between the SSD equipped models and I don’t expect any caching during this test so I have to discount the difference as an anomaly, unless someone has a different opinion and would like to share it.

I am going to go back to a car analogy and use it to try to explain what we’re seeing. In its simplest terms a car can be broken down into an engine & gearbox, which drives the wheel, which are shod in tyres that are in contact with the ground. A car also has suspension to keep as much of the tyre as possible in contact with the ground. So these 3 basic components (engine, tyres and suspension) are they key characteristics that determine performance. Of course there are many other variables like mass, but let’s not sidetrack ourselves and keep this simple. The engine is the most important, but a powerful engine without good tyres or on old worn-out tyres will not be very good to drive. Suspension is the other component. Upgrading the suspension will make the car better but all 3 of these have to work in symmetry for the best results. A car with a powerful engine, sticky tyres and good suspension will be faster than the same car with worse suspension.

When using Excel the storage system is your engine, the CPU is your tyres and the RAM is your suspension. Excel does not require much CPU power. In fact, most of your tasks do not require much CPU power and a quad core processor is overkill for most people. In other words: not everybody needs a V8, but it’s nice to have.


Productivity – Sort Excel (11.6 MB each)

We’re using the same file as in the previous test, but in this time the file is open and then we sort by column A, then B, then C in the first sheet. The file is not saved and then we quit Excel. This is another fairly typical task in Excel.


Shorter bars are better. Scores are in seconds.




Again the Vertex 3 equipped Mini shoots ahead with the MBA in second place. It’s worth noting that I’ve rounded the times up or down for readability, but the real differences were around 0.7 of a second. The extra RAM in the mini makes no difference and the results were nearly identical. This is also one of the few tests where the 2009 MBP managed to keep up with the Mini in its default (7200 RPM HDD) configuration. The majority of the time in this test is taken by opening the file in the first place. The actual sorting operation uses the CPU, but even the Core 2 Duo chip in the MBP is good enough for this since it is hardly a taxing task. When allowing the test to run cached it drops down to 7.5 seconds for the Mini SSD and MBA systems.

The faster SSD makes no noticeable difference in these types of daily tasks when compared to a slower SSD.

Resize 140 images and create thumbnails

This test resizes 140 images into 1280 x ??? (proportional scale) and then creates 128 pixel size thumbnails. Each image is around 3.8 MB large and 3800 x 2533 resolution. A fairly typical task if you’re doing some amateur photography.

Shorter bars are better. Scores are in seconds.




As usual, the Mini with a Vertex 3 SSD takes the lead. Looking at the Mini with a mechanical hard drive the extra RAM does speed up the operation by 4 seconds so there is some caching going on. The 2009 MBP is not far behind the Mini server, despite its age and slow CPU. The upgraded RAM and Momentus XT HDD are helping to keep it in the running. Again the difference between the dual core + slow SSD MBA and the quad core + fast SSD Mini is minimal at 2 seconds.

The CPU takes a backstage in this test and the key factor is storage system speed. If the workload increases (number of images / resolution of images) then a faster SSD and more RAM will help. As long as your computer is not running out of RAM, having more generally does not make it faster. In this case the storage is the engine, the RAM is the tyres and the CPU is the suspension.

Resize 140 images and add watermark

This test is similar to the previous one, except that instead of creating thumbnails, it adds a watermark to the top left corner. The original images used for input are the same as in the previous benchmark.

Shorter bars are better. Scores are in seconds.



This is actually the most intensive benchmark that I ran in terms of the storage and RAM. CPU plays an insignificant role. The test uses Pixelmator actions in Automator to add the watermark and this uses a lot of memory resulting in large amounts of page outs and much swapping to the HDD or SSD.

When we run out of memory we end up in a situation of disk thrashing because the virtual memory subsystem is paging in and paging out large amounts of data at the same time as the disk is trying to read and write the data required for this user operation.

The Mini with 4 GB of RAM and a 7200 RPM HDD suffers badly during this test and is more than twice as slow as the 2009 MBP, which has been upgraded to 8 GB of RAM. If your typical workflow involves using large amounts of memory (restart, check your page outs versus page ins after your typical work day – search for more info on this forum if you’re not following) , then upgrading the RAM is the best upgrade you can do.

Take a look at the the performance of the Mini with 8 GB of RAM and 7200 HDD versus the Mini with 4 GB of RAM and a Vertex 3 SSD - the Mini with more RAM is faster, despite its slower, mechanical HDD.

Even with the excessive disk usage of the virtual memory system during this test, the slow Samsung SSD in the MBA again manages to keep up with the much faster Vertex 3 and is only 3 seconds slower.

The clear winner is the Mini with 8 GB of RAM and SSD. What would be interesting to see is how a Mini with 16 GB of RAM and a mechanical HDD would perform. Considering the fact that we end up with around 11 GB of page outs after this test, even when using 8 GB of RAM, I believe that it would be faster than the 8GB SSD equipped mini. As I’ve said before on this forum, 1333 MHz RAM is about 20 times faster than the fastest consumer SSDs.

Last edited by theSeb; Dec 20, 2011 at 09:15 AM.
theSeb is offline   8 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 19, 2011, 08:47 AM   #2
theSeb
Thread Starter
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Poole, England
Conclusions

There are a couple of things to bear in mind that benchmarks cannot always show. When running the resize and watermark test on the systems with mechanical hard drives the computer is basically unusable. The amount of disk thrashing going on results in the computer not responding and beach balls all over the place. Whilst the system feels slow when using a SSD equipped system, it is still possible to actually do something else.

Don’t forget that all of these tests were run in isolation without the benefits of caching so the importance of RAM is downplayed except for in the last test. If you’re doing multiple things at once, RAM becomes very important. It is so cheap these days (aftermarket) that there is no reason not to upgrade.

Most users will not see the difference between different CPUs. So if you’re trying to figure out whether you should get a machine with 2 GHz quad core or a 2.2 GHz or a 2.4 GHz, this will not make much of a difference to you if you intend to use the machine for general productivity.

If you intend on gaming the GPU is the most important so go for a machine with the best GPU that you can afford. Any quad core CPU is generally fast enough for today’s games. Most games do not require more than 4 GB of RAM and a SSD will make the game load faster, but, usually, will not make it a smoother and more playable experience. Unless you use graphic processing or video software that is beyond simple touch ups or editing home movies, it doesn't really matter which Mac you go for. An MBA will even be good enough for the job.

Upgrading the HDD to a SSD will result in great performance benefits to most users. The machine becomes more snappy in everyday things, but it won’t make games run smoother or 3D models encode faster.

Your computer is very much like a car. Simply having a fast CPU and GPU (engine) will make it great for some tasks, but you need to make sure that the other parts of your system match the engine for the particular task. Winter tyres will make driving to the shop when it snows easier, but it won’t make you faster on the quarter mile. The same approach needs to be taken when considering what computer to choose. Make sure you know what you’re going to use it for and match the machine for that.

General productivity, such as office applications, web surfing (apart from flash videos, which is a different beast altogether) and mail, does not require much CPU power. More RAM will allow you to have many documents and applications open at the same time without thrashing the disk and a SSD will make the whole experience more enjoyable and snappy when waiting for documents to open or save and for applications to open.

If you write code beyond "Hello World" type applications, then the key things for you will be CPU and RAM. Development IDEs love RAM and compilation times are CPU dependent. Faster storage does not reduce your compile times because source files are small and fit into cache.

Synthetic or very heavy workload benchmarks showing one SSD as much faster than another do not always mean much. In general tasks the Samsung SSD easily keeps up with the Vertex 3. The difference would only really be seen if I ran the storage-orientated tests at the same time. Effectively the point is that a “slow” SSD is good enough for most users and reliability is the factor that should be taken first when choosing a SSD for your system, not outright benchmark speeds.

Just because your SSD can achieve 300 MPH, it does not mean that it can always get to those speeds therefore a SSD that can get to 240 MPH is often good enough since your HDD tops out at 130 MPH.

I ran these tests many times and tried to get average results to show typical scores or timings. Usually when the tests were run on SSD equipped systems the times differed by a maximum of 0.5 of a second. When running on systems with mechanical HDDs the differences between the runs were more pronounced and could differ by a couple of seconds. I assume this has to do with the latency of a HDD and where the drive arm is at the start and during the test.

One last thing to note: these tests were run with the notebooks plugged in to the charger. When unplugged the differences in CPU performance are quite large. For example, the MBA only managed 7.5 fps in the Cinebench OpenGL test and 1.3 in the CPU test.

Last edited by theSeb; Dec 20, 2011 at 09:20 AM.
theSeb is offline   7 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 19, 2011, 10:35 AM   #3
thundersteele
macrumors 68030
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Wow, thats a lot of work, and very useful.

Before I bought my mac, I went to the Apple store and compared application launch times on the MBP and the MBA. That made it pretty clear to me that I should either buy a SSD or it wouldn't be worth upgrading from my 2008 model. It's a huge advantage for my everyday use.
thundersteele is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 19, 2011, 11:04 AM   #4
theSeb
Thread Starter
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Poole, England
Quote:
Originally Posted by thundersteele View Post
Wow, thats a lot of work, and very useful.

Before I bought my mac, I went to the Apple store and compared application launch times on the MBP and the MBA. That made it pretty clear to me that I should either buy a SSD or it wouldn't be worth upgrading from my 2008 model. It's a huge advantage for my everyday use.
Yes, lol, it took a couple of hours to do this. You end up falling in love with SSDs because you are restarting the damn computer so often.
theSeb is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 19, 2011, 06:28 PM   #5
bdodds1985
macrumors 6502a
 
bdodds1985's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Tartarus
and still... those questions will be asked. i know i did when i started here but this post wasnt here. maybe change the name to "what sould i get" and make it a stickie. great post
__________________

| Mac Mini | MBP |
bdodds1985 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 20, 2011, 04:26 AM   #6
theSeb
Thread Starter
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Poole, England
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdodds1985 View Post
and still... those questions will be asked. i know i did when i started here but this post wasnt here. maybe change the name to "what sould i get" and make it a stickie. great post
Thanks. Unfortunately it doesn't seem like there is much interest so I don't think I'll bother doing this again.

Perhaps there is too much text, but I tried to explain things as simply as possible without getting into technical details. Maybe if I changed the topic to "Should I get a MBP now or wait until 2012" then there will be more replies?
theSeb is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 20, 2011, 06:43 AM   #7
maflynn
Moderator
 
maflynn's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Boston
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdodds1985 View Post
and still... those questions will be asked. i know i did when i started here but this post wasnt here. maybe change the name to "what sould i get" and make it a stickie. great post
Making it a stickie won't help, we will always get these types of questions.
__________________
~Mike Flynn

Last edited by maflynn; Dec 20, 2011 at 07:12 AM. Reason: clarification
maflynn is online now   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 20, 2011, 07:04 AM   #8
eternalife
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by theSeb View Post
Thanks. Unfortunately it doesn't seem like there is much interest so I don't think I'll bother doing this again.

Perhaps there is too much text, but I tried to explain things as simply as possible without getting into technical details. Maybe if I changed the topic to "Should I get a MBP now or wait until 2012" then there will be more replies?
I think why you aren't getting that many responses is the people you are targeting with your thread (who ask should I buy this or that) don't even understand your thread. People who want to know the difference between a 2.2 and 2.4 cpu aren't going to follow most of what you are talking about.
eternalife is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 20, 2011, 07:33 AM   #9
theSeb
Thread Starter
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Poole, England
Quote:
Originally Posted by eternalife View Post
People who want to know the difference between a 2.2 and 2.4 cpu aren't going to follow most of what you are talking about.
I thought the point was kind of clear - IT WON'T MAKE A DIFFERENCE UNLESS YOU'RE DOING A, B or C but maybe not.

Maybe I should make a simpler summary? For example:

1. if you're using Excel, Word etc then a faster processor won't make a difference.
theSeb is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 20, 2011, 07:40 AM   #10
GermanyChris
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Here
Quote:
Originally Posted by theSeb View Post
I thought the point was kind of clear - IT WON'T MAKE A DIFFERENCE UNLESS YOU'RE DOING A, B or C but maybe not.

Maybe I should make a simpler summary? For example:

1. if you're using Excel, Word etc then a faster processor won't make a difference.
Thats actually a good idea..

I like this stuff and didn't read your whole post..it's like anandTech I skip to his conclusions, then I read the article if I choose..Information is great graphs are great but not loosing sight of the question is more important..would I benefit from an SSD/RAM you answered the question fully but I don't have the patience to read the whole thing..

Bottom line first

Thanks for the post though, that took quite a while and hopefully people will find it useful.
GermanyChris is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 20, 2011, 07:45 AM   #11
theSeb
Thread Starter
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Poole, England
Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanyChris View Post
Thats actually a good idea..

I like this stuff and didn't read your whole post..it's like anandTech I skip to his conclusions, then I read the article if I choose..Information is great graphs are great but not loosing sight of the question is more important..would I benefit from an SSD/RAM you answered the question fully but I don't have the patience to read the whole thing..

Bottom line first

Thanks for the post though, that took quite a while and hopefully people will find it useful.
Thanks for the feedback. I'll try to create a simple bullet point summary at the top and if somebody wants to read more on how I got to those conclusions, they can.
theSeb is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 20, 2011, 09:15 AM   #12
sliesnham
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Great piece of work. So many questions answered in one thread. I too scanned through, read the conclusions and then went back to the bits that were most interesting/relevant to me.

For instance, most people looking to buy a 13" MBP would do well to buy the basic version and upgrade the RAM and fit a 240/256GB SSD for the same price as the fully loaded 13" and have a faster real world computer with a spare HDD for backups.
sliesnham is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 20, 2011, 09:37 AM   #13
theSeb
Thread Starter
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Poole, England
Quote:
Originally Posted by sliesnham View Post
Great piece of work. So many questions answered in one thread. I too scanned through, read the conclusions and then went back to the bits that were most interesting/relevant to me.

For instance, most people looking to buy a 13" MBP would do well to buy the basic version and upgrade the RAM and fit a 240/256GB SSD for the same price as the fully loaded 13" and have a faster real world computer with a spare HDD for backups.
I've put a more condensed summary at the top now, but that is a good point. I shall think about the best format to give that condensed kind of info that people are actually interested in.
theSeb is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 20, 2011, 10:23 AM   #14
Hrothgar
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
This is very helpful and very timely. I'm trying to decide whether to buy a new MBP. I've got a 5-year old 17", and it works fine for most things, but runs into walls now and then. Most frustrating is that it doesn't seem to have resources to run VMWare Fusion 4.

So -- I generally use the computer for Internet, Word, watching DVD's and Windows/Quicken. I do use Google Sketchup- although my current set up is fine for that.

I'm leaning towards another 17" -- I like the big screen and don't mind the weight/size. I also feel like the keyboard is bigger, although I think it's the same size as the 15"

I get the idea that I can buy the basic unit without upgrades and be perfectly fine? I thought about the SSD, but a 128 gb isn't big enough (I assume 128 gb is the same capacity for SSD as HDD). And that's a lot of money to save 2 seconds here and there. Also, i have a 500 gb external WD drive I've been using for backup, and I'll have the 500gb internal drive from my old machine.

Can someone tell me what to buy?
Hrothgar is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 20, 2011, 10:33 AM   #15
theSeb
Thread Starter
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Poole, England
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hrothgar View Post
This is very helpful and very timely. I'm trying to decide whether to buy a new MBP. I've got a 5-year old 17", and it works fine for most things, but runs into walls now and then. Most frustrating is that it doesn't seem to have resources to run VMWare Fusion 4.
What operating system are you running in a virtual machine? I assume it's Windows 7? If so, then I would recommend upgrading the RAM to 8 GBs. Running Windows 7 in a VM with 4 GBs is a frustrating experience.

Quote:
So -- I generally use the computer for Internet, Word, watching DVD's and Windows/Quicken. I do use Google Sketchup- although my current set up is fine for that.

I'm leaning towards another 17" -- I like the big screen and don't mind the weight/size. I also feel like the keyboard is bigger, although I think it's the same size as the 15"

I get the idea that I can buy the basic unit without upgrades and be perfectly fine? I thought about the SSD, but a 128 gb isn't big enough (I assume 128 gb is the same capacity for SSD as HDD).
Yes and no. Normally a 128 GB has around 120 GB of usable space due to "over-provisioning". This is what I've experienced with third party SSDs, but I cannot confirm for sure how much space the Apple supplied SSDs allocate for this.

Code:
http://www.storagesearch.com/ssd-jargon.html

SSD Over-Provisioning is a technique used in the design of some flash SSDs. By providing extra memory capacity (which the user can't access) the SSD controller can more easily create pre-erased blocks - ready to be used in the virtual pool. 

2 beneficial effects of Over-Provisioning are:-
faster overall write IOPS, and
better reliability
Quote:
Also, i have a 500 gb external WD drive I've been using for backup, and I'll have the 500gb internal drive from my old machine.

Can someone tell me what to buy?
You'll be perfectly fine, but I would recommend the RAM upgrade as above.

As for storage, you have a couple of options. You could always remove the optical drive and put in a small SSD.
theSeb is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 20, 2011, 11:43 AM   #16
bdodds1985
macrumors 6502a
 
bdodds1985's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Tartarus
Quote:
Originally Posted by theSeb View Post
Thanks. Unfortunately it doesn't seem like there is much interest so I don't think I'll bother doing this again.

Perhaps there is too much text, but I tried to explain things as simply as possible without getting into technical details. Maybe if I changed the topic to "Should I get a MBP now or wait until 2012" then there will be more replies?
until this post fades out and someone asks the questions youve answered all over again. pretty sure i did it when i joined here. o well, im a noob! but im a new apple owning noob so na na na boo boo pc users forums run like doo doo.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
Making it a stickie won't help, we will always get these types of questions.
with all the constant changes unless the sticky was updated everytime a refresh comes out with comparisons to older models it would be useful i think. kind of a what should i get, expect, merged with i just bought this and pictures with pop ups for those who still cant seem to follow
__________________

| Mac Mini | MBP |
bdodds1985 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 20, 2011, 01:52 PM   #17
Hrothgar
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Thank you.
Hrothgar is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 24, 2011, 07:27 AM   #18
philipma1957
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by theSeb View Post
The same questions are often asked on these forums:

- Should I get the 2.2 GHz or the 2.4 GHz MBP?
- Should I get the i5 or the i7 MBA
- Is the MBA powerful enough for me or should I get a MBP?
- Should I upgrade the RAM or get a SSD
- Should I upgrade the CPU or RAM?
- Do I need more than 4 GB RAM?
- Which SSD should I get ?
- Why is the MBA SSD slow

…and so forth.

So let me try and answer them as simply as possible:

Q: Should I get the 2.2 GHz or the 2.4 GHz MBP?

A: If you use the computer for productivity (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Keynote, Numbers, Mail etc) - CPU makes very little difference. First Upgrade: SSD. Second Upgrade: RAM

The 2.4 GHz 15" MBP has a faster GPU (6770m vs 6750m) so I would only recommend this upgrade if you are planning on playing games often. You can expect an increase of around 2 to 10 frames per second with this increase, depending on the game. Only you can determine if that is worth it.


-----

Q: Should I get the i5 or the i7 MBA?

A: Most users won't see a difference in their daily activities, unless you're rendering 3D graphics or encoding movies often

-----

Q: Is the MBA powerful enough for me or should I get a MBP?

A: The MBA is powerful enough for most users. Any extra CPU power is like chocolate sauce on a nice ice cream - a bonus. The MBP has firewire ports and an Gigabit Ethernet port. Do you need them? The MBP RAM and HDD can be upgraded easily. The MBA SSD can be upgraded (expensive) but the RAM cannot.

If you want to play games and you can afford it, then get a MBP with a discrete GPU. 4 GB RAM and the normal HDD are good enough and upgrading won't make the game any smoother.


----

Q: Should I upgrade the RAM or get a SSD?

A: Most users will see the benefit of upgrading from a HDD to SSD before the benefits of adding RAM. However, if you're running out of RAM and using a mechanical HDD, the performance penalties are severe.

----

Q: Should I upgrade the CPU or RAM?

A: Most users will see the benefit of more RAM rather than a faster CPU unless you use the computer for tasks that need CPU power, for example rendering 3D models, professional audio creation and encoding movies. If you use the computer for such activities often then it's worth to upgrade. Upgrading to the 2.4 QC 2011 MBP is not worth it for most people (apart from the GPU update as above). The 2.5 GHz QC upgrade makes even less sense

----

Q: Do I need more than 4 GB RAM?

A: Check your Activity Monitor and see if you have significant Page Outs versus Page Ins. 4 GB is perfectly fine for Lion, but since upgrading to 8GB with after-market brands is so cheap, I would do it anyway.

----

Q: Which SSD should I get?

A: It won't make a difference to most people. Get the one that's good value for money and has a good reliability track record. Refer to the SSD Buying Guide sticky in this sub-forum

----

Q: Why is the MBA/MB SSD supplied by Apple slow in benchmarks that I've seen?

A: The Apple supplied SSD is fast compared to a mechanical HDD and for most users it is "fast enough". In other words most users won't see the difference or the benefits when using a "fast" SSD. The differences between "fast" and "slow" SSDs in most normal daily tasks that involve data reads or writes are negligible.

----

If you want a more detailed explanation, then read on and check out the benchmarks.

These questions are not always easy to answer without knowing all of the requirements and the particular user’s workflow. Simply looking at synthetic benchmarks does not always give one all of the answers they are looking for. If one computer scores 10,000 in Geekbench and another scores 5,000, does that mean one is twice as fast as the other? If a disk speed benchmark shows that one SSD writes and reads data at twice the speed of another, does that mean it will be twice as fast?

The simple answer is no. These benchmarks show the absolute top speed a particular component of your computer can achieve. Think of it like this: if you compare a Ferrari FXX and a BMW M3 then in most conditions the Ferrari will be much faster. It will certainly be faster in a ¼ mile drag and around normal circuits.

However, when you’re using your computer you’re not always doing tasks like racing around a racetrack. Sometimes you’re just going to get some groceries on roads with police and 30 mph speed limits. Just because the Ferrari is three times as fast around a racetrack it does not mean that it will be thrice as fast to get your groceries.

I’ve tried to show what happens when you run the same workflows on different computers and different configurations in the real world. I’ve created a number of tests that are fairly typical tasks.

One important thing to note is that these tests were run exclusively with nothing else, apart from background system tasks, running. That’s the big difference between a computer like a Ferrari and computer like a M3. One can do a lot more at the same time on a faster computer with faster storage and more random access memory.

The lineup:

- 2009 MBP 13” 2.53 Core 2 Duo upgraded to 8 GB 1066 MHz RAM and a 500 GB Seagate Momentus XT HDD
- 2011 MBA 13” i7 1.8 GHz 256 GB SSD (Samsung) 4 GB RAM
- 2011 Mini Server i7 Quad 2.0 GHz (I7-2635QM) 750 GB WD Scorpio Black 7200 RPM HDD 4 GB 1333 MHz RAM
- 2011 Mini Server i7 Quad 2.0 GHz (I7-2635QM) 750 GB WD Scorpio Black 7200 RPM HDD 8 GB 1600 MHz RAM
- 2011 Mini Server i7 Quad 2.0 GHz (I7-2635QM) 240 GB OCZ Vertex 3 4 GB RAM
- 2011 Mini Server i7 Quad 2.0 GHz (I7-2635QM) 240 GB OCZ Vertex 3 8 GB 1600 MHz RAM

The quad core CPU in the mini is the same as the baseline early 2011 15” MBP so it makes for a nice comparison. Unfortunately I do not have a late MBP to use in these tests, however the point is to look at the relative performance of these machines to draw conclusions based on that.


All tests were created in Automator and run multiple times after clean reboots or caches were cleared, except for the tests with the Momentus XT since I do not know how to clear its cache and how persistent it is. In order to get consistent results, I discounted the highest and lowest benchmarks and averaged the rest of the results. I made sure that the results could be replicated a number of times to account for any spikes or anomalies during testing.

Disk Copy Test – Copy 1 5.1 GB File

Shorter bars are better. Scores are in seconds.

Image



This test involves copying one 5.1 GB mkv movie file from one location to another. From a hard drive point of view the data is incompressible and it is a sequential read and write. As expected the OCZ Vertex 3 pulls ahead with the MBA’s Samsung SSD coming in 2nd place 11 seconds behind. The extra RAM did not make any difference in this scenario. What’s interesting, and surprising to me, is how much slower the Seagate MomentusXT is in comparison to the Western Digital Scorpio Black.

If your workflow revolves around large incompressible data then a SSD drive or multiple HDDs in a hardware RAID configuration are a must.

Geekbench 64-bit test

You can download and run Geekbench on your own machine or you can check out the average scores for each Mac model on the Geekbench website. I’ve run these tests to highlight a couple of things.

Geekbench tests how fast your CPU and RAM are. It has nothing to with your storage speeds. Longer bars are better.

Image


The poor, old MBP struggles in last place and it’s amazing to see how CPU technology is increasing for the little MBA to get such a respectable score. You’ll note that the Mini with upgraded RAM scores more than the stock Mini. The increase in score has nothing to do with the fact that we’ve increased the amount of memory. It is because the 8 GB memory is 1600 MHz (yes, your Sandy Bridge Mac supports it) as opposed to the stock memory in the 2011 Mac lineup, which runs at 1333 MHz. Without going into the technical details of it all, memory with a higher clock rate runs faster, as long as your CPU and/or motherboard supports it.

I must add that 200 points in Geekbench is not a huge difference in the real world. During these tests, results may vary by as much as 50 points above or behind the average score of your computer. However, if you look at the details of the benchmark, you’ll see that all of the points were gained in the memory tests, as expected.

Cinebench R11.5 CPU

This is a great benchmark that you can download and run yourself from the Maxon website. The CPU test uses all available cores.



You can read more here: http://www.maxon.net/downloads/cinebench.html

Longer bars are better. Scores are in points.

Image


The quad core in the Mini Server easily stretches its legs to beat the competition and the 2009 MBP comes in last. What about the Geekbench scores? Shouldn’t the faster RAM help? No, faster RAM will not make your CPU faster. It will make certain things faster, as we shall see later, but in this use-case it does not help. Having more RAM also does not help since the test is not constrained in this regard.

Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL

This benchmark tests your graphics subsystem so basically it will show you how powerful your GPU is in comparison to others. Gaming performance and how smooth 3D models are to navigate will be some of the things affected by your GPU’s speed. There is also another discussion around how some image editing suites attempt to use your GPU to speed up certain things, but that is not something I’ll be getting into in this post.

Longer bars are better. Scores are in frames per second.

Image

The Nvidia 320M in the 2009 MBP loses out to the integrated Intel HD3000 in this test. The Intel graphics in the mini are a smidgeon faster in comparison to the MBA.

Looking at the detailed specs for each of the CPUs, I do not see anything to explain this as the HD3000 runs at the same frequency. Perhaps someone has some views on this?

The mini with 8GB of Kingston 1600 MHz RAM comes out on top by around 0.75 of a frame per second – not exactly a noticeable difference. It’s important to bear in mind that the difference is not because of the extra amount of RAM. It’s because the Kingston RAM is faster than stock and the integrated Intel GPU uses the system RAM.

Encoding a 1080p 120 seconds clip

This test uses the HandBrake command line tool to encode a 1080p clip that is 120 seconds long using the High Profile preset. The clip is a BluRay rip in mkv format and the output is an iTunes friendly m4v file. Encoding is all about the CPU power as we will see in the results below.

Shorter bars are better. Scores are in seconds

Image


The quad core CPU wins by a quite margin as expected. It’s difficult to explain the 2 seconds difference between the configurations, but I can reproduce it constantly. I assume it has to do with the final operations at the end of the encode operation where various clip info is written into the file.


Productivity – Combine Excel Files (11.6 MB each)

The test uses 2 files and each of them has 9 sheets. Each sheet has about 40,000 rows of data across 3 to 5 columns. Automator is used to open the files and then they are combined and saved as a new file. This is probably about as intensive operation as an office bound excel user would undertake before considering a database-based solution.

Shorter bars are better. Scores are in seconds.

Image

Unsurprisingly the SSD equipped configurations pull ahead. What’s interesting to note is the miniscule difference between the “slow” Samsung SSD in the MBA and the “fast” Vertex 3 SSD in the Mini. Extra RAM does not help in this case because we never run out of RAM.

However, when using the stock 7200 RPM HDD, extra RAM did reduce the time by 3 seconds. There was no difference between the SSD equipped models and I don’t expect any caching during this test so I have to discount the difference as an anomaly, unless someone has a different opinion and would like to share it.

I am going to go back to a car analogy and use it to try to explain what we’re seeing. In its simplest terms a car can be broken down into an engine & gearbox, which drives the wheel, which are shod in tyres that are in contact with the ground. A car also has suspension to keep as much of the tyre as possible in contact with the ground. So these 3 basic components (engine, tyres and suspension) are they key characteristics that determine performance. Of course there are many other variables like mass, but let’s not sidetrack ourselves and keep this simple. The engine is the most important, but a powerful engine without good tyres or on old worn-out tyres will not be very good to drive. Suspension is the other component. Upgrading the suspension will make the car better but all 3 of these have to work in symmetry for the best results. A car with a powerful engine, sticky tyres and good suspension will be faster than the same car with worse suspension.

When using Excel the storage system is your engine, the CPU is your tyres and the RAM is your suspension. Excel does not require much CPU power. In fact, most of your tasks do not require much CPU power and a quad core processor is overkill for most people. In other words: not everybody needs a V8, but it’s nice to have.


Productivity – Sort Excel (11.6 MB each)

We’re using the same file as in the previous test, but in this time the file is open and then we sort by column A, then B, then C in the first sheet. The file is not saved and then we quit Excel. This is another fairly typical task in Excel.


Shorter bars are better. Scores are in seconds.

Image


Again the Vertex 3 equipped Mini shoots ahead with the MBA in second place. It’s worth noting that I’ve rounded the times up or down for readability, but the real differences were around 0.7 of a second. The extra RAM in the mini makes no difference and the results were nearly identical. This is also one of the few tests where the 2009 MBP managed to keep up with the Mini in its default (7200 RPM HDD) configuration. The majority of the time in this test is taken by opening the file in the first place. The actual sorting operation uses the CPU, but even the Core 2 Duo chip in the MBP is good enough for this since it is hardly a taxing task. When allowing the test to run cached it drops down to 7.5 seconds for the Mini SSD and MBA systems.

The faster SSD makes no noticeable difference in these types of daily tasks when compared to a slower SSD.

Resize 140 images and create thumbnails

This test resizes 140 images into 1280 x ??? (proportional scale) and then creates 128 pixel size thumbnails. Each image is around 3.8 MB large and 3800 x 2533 resolution. A fairly typical task if you’re doing some amateur photography.

Shorter bars are better. Scores are in seconds.

Image


As usual, the Mini with a Vertex 3 SSD takes the lead. Looking at the Mini with a mechanical hard drive the extra RAM does speed up the operation by 4 seconds so there is some caching going on. The 2009 MBP is not far behind the Mini server, despite its age and slow CPU. The upgraded RAM and Momentus XT HDD are helping to keep it in the running. Again the difference between the dual core + slow SSD MBA and the quad core + fast SSD Mini is minimal at 2 seconds.

The CPU takes a backstage in this test and the key factor is storage system speed. If the workload increases (number of images / resolution of images) then a faster SSD and more RAM will help. As long as your computer is not running out of RAM, having more generally does not make it faster. In this case the storage is the engine, the RAM is the tyres and the CPU is the suspension.

Resize 140 images and add watermark

This test is similar to the previous one, except that instead of creating thumbnails, it adds a watermark to the top left corner. The original images used for input are the same as in the previous benchmark.

Shorter bars are better. Scores are in seconds.

Image

This is actually the most intensive benchmark that I ran in terms of the storage and RAM. CPU plays an insignificant role. The test uses Pixelmator actions in Automator to add the watermark and this uses a lot of memory resulting in large amounts of page outs and much swapping to the HDD or SSD.

When we run out of memory we end up in a situation of disk thrashing because the virtual memory subsystem is paging in and paging out large amounts of data at the same time as the disk is trying to read and write the data required for this user operation.

The Mini with 4 GB of RAM and a 7200 RPM HDD suffers badly during this test and is more than twice as slow as the 2009 MBP, which has been upgraded to 8 GB of RAM. If your typical workflow involves using large amounts of memory (restart, check your page outs versus page ins after your typical work day – search for more info on this forum if you’re not following) , then upgrading the RAM is the best upgrade you can do.

Take a look at the the performance of the Mini with 8 GB of RAM and 7200 HDD versus the Mini with 4 GB of RAM and a Vertex 3 SSD - the Mini with more RAM is faster, despite its slower, mechanical HDD.

Even with the excessive disk usage of the virtual memory system during this test, the slow Samsung SSD in the MBA again manages to keep up with the much faster Vertex 3 and is only 3 seconds slower.

The clear winner is the Mini with 8 GB of RAM and SSD. What would be interesting to see is how a Mini with 16 GB of RAM and a mechanical HDD would perform. Considering the fact that we end up with around 11 GB of page outs after this test, even when using 8 GB of RAM, I believe that it would be faster than the 8GB SSD equipped mini. As I’ve said before on this forum, 1333 MHz RAM is about 20 times faster than the fastest consumer SSDs.
this is a great test if you could take the mini server that tested at 980 seconds with the stock ram of 4gb and put in 8gb ram it would be a good comparison many people would love to know what the one simple upgrade of oem ram to 8gb ram does.
philipma1957 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 24, 2011, 08:44 AM   #19
theSeb
Thread Starter
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Poole, England
The test is there - it's down to 287 seconds because the disk isn't thrashing like mad.

theSeb is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 24, 2011, 04:03 PM   #20
thundersteele
macrumors 68030
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Here is my version:

2.2 or 2.4 GHz:
If you don't know whether you need the faster model or not, you don't need it.

SSD:
If you can afford a SSD with sufficient storage for your use, by all means go for it.

RAM or SSD upgrade:
Both. If you can afford a MBP and a SSD, you can also find $40 for the RAM upgrade.

CPU or RAM upgrade:
CPU! The RAM can be upgraded later, for much less money, while the CPU will stay until the laptop explodes.
thundersteele is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 2011, 03:19 PM   #21
theSeb
Thread Starter
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Poole, England
Quote:
Originally Posted by thundersteele View Post
Here is my version:

2.2 or 2.4 GHz:
If you don't know whether you need the faster model or not, you don't need it.

SSD:
If you can afford a SSD with sufficient storage for your use, by all means go for it.

RAM or SSD upgrade:
Both. If you can afford a MBP and a SSD, you can also find $40 for the RAM upgrade.

CPU or RAM upgrade:
CPU! The RAM can be upgraded later, for much less money, while the CPU will stay until the laptop explodes.
I would disagree with your last statement. The CPU upgrade does not make financial sense for most users. For example in the UK it costs £190 to upgrade from 2.4 quad to 2.5 quad. This is not an increase that will be noticeable to most users. I would suggest to hold the money back and spend it on a new computer after a refresh or a couple of them.
theSeb is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 2012, 09:35 AM   #22
bdodds1985
macrumors 6502a
 
bdodds1985's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Tartarus
you are awesome, and thank you for sharing these comparisons with us!
__________________

| Mac Mini | MBP |
bdodds1985 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 2012, 01:49 PM   #23
m85476585
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
This is great information.

There is a MBP FAQ that I wrote a while back in an attempt to answer the most common questions that always came up. It's a bit out of date now because last time I did anything with it was Spring 2010, and I don't think anyone reads it. You could integrate at least the summary of your results into the FAQ and link to this thread for people who want more detail. If we got the FAQ up to data and posted a link to it in a sticky (that no one would read) then maybe it would reduce some of the constant repeated questions (or maybe not).

http://guides.macrumors.com/MacBook_Pro_FAQ

Unfortunately I don't have time to maintain the FAQ any more. Keeping the information accurate might become a problem if there are a lot of people working on it with varying levels of experience.
__________________
Matt
m85476585 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 2012, 02:03 PM   #24
snaky69
macrumors 68040
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
I commend the OP's great work and dedication, but this will most likely end up forgotten 6 or more pages back in a few days.

People who come on here to ask these questions usually don't bother reading or researching for themselves, they simply want someone knowledgable to spoon feed them information so that they can take a decision with their money.

If the average poster isn't able to work out that Google has most if not all the answers to his/her question, neither will he/she bother reading this thread.

Sad, isn't it?
__________________
Early 2008 MBP 2.4Ghz Penryn, 4GB RAM, WD Scorpio Black
2012 MBP 2.6Ghz Ivy Bridge, 16GB RAM, 840EVO and 750GB Opti-bay
iPhone 3G, 16GB, Black
iPhone 4S, 32GB, Black
snaky69 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 2012, 02:19 PM   #25
GermanyChris
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Here
Quote:
Originally Posted by theSeb View Post
I would disagree with your last statement. The CPU upgrade does not make financial sense for most users. For example in the UK it costs £190 to upgrade from 2.4 quad to 2.5 quad. This is not an increase that will be noticeable to most users. I would suggest to hold the money back and spend it on a new computer after a refresh or a couple of them.
Perfect..I can read three or four things and answer my questions...

No need for the indepth stuff unless I care why 8GB won't benefit me etc.

You're the man, this should stem the should I upgrade questions provided it makes it sticky status :0)

You get within 50 miles of Stuttgart the beer is on me...
GermanyChris is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Notebooks > MacBook Pro

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Do bigger SSD's make laptops faster? What effects speed the most: SSD, RAM or CPU? Sandwich Jumper MacBook Air 9 Jan 24, 2014 11:43 AM
13'' rMBP RAM/CPU upgrade worth it? Kaspen MacBook Pro 11 Oct 26, 2013 01:44 PM
2010 27" i5 2.8 CPU upgrade worth it? jezzy iMac 9 Jan 15, 2013 07:57 AM
Is the $100 2.6GHz CPU upgrade worth it (over the stock 2.3GHz) on the rMBP? pgharavi MacBook Pro 46 Aug 6, 2012 09:45 AM
Looking into purchasing a 1.4GHz Sonnet CPU upgrade for my 400MHz Sawtooth. Worth it? alexreich PowerPC Macs 19 Jul 24, 2012 09:31 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:28 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC