13" 2.53 ghz 8gb ram vs 15" 2.8ghz 4gb ram ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by gratas, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. gratas macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2010
    Hey what's up guys, this my first post here i just want some opinion from you which would be a better choice :

    I am looking into buying a Macbook Pro, I produce/compose/engineer music. I work with Pro Tools, Cubase, Native instruments etc.

    I currently own a 2ghz 4gb ram (or is it 3gb) imac desktop, which i absolutely destroy with the software i work.

    I am currently looking into buying a macbook pro, im curious which one would you guys think be better choice for my type of use:

    13" 2.53 ghz 8gb ram or 15" 2.8ghz 4gb ram ? ? ?

  2. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    For your work I believe the 8GB RAM would be more beneficial than the small bump in CPU speed.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Double the RAM trumps 11% bump in CPU speed for most applications.
  4. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    No huge difference in performance. Your decision should be between a larger screen or better portability.
  5. mattgoldey macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2010
    Rowlett, TX
    The extra RAM will be a much bigger difference-maker than a few extra clock cycles on the CPU.
  6. gratas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2010
    That's what i really dont have enough knowledge about, how does the ghz affect the performance, cuz for example i have running software and it's glitching to a point where i can't work, but when i look under cpu performance i still have 700-1gb free ram, which makes me think that the ghz is lacking.

    I have no technical knowledge, just great basic knowledge of what does what, i originally wanted to buy the 13".

    I do want a portable laptop, because i am going to buy a large screen for home use anyways. So my biggest issue is power and speed.

    maybe i should wait till june until the new ones come out.
  7. Jazwire macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2009
    You can always update the ram later, you cant ever update the cpu.

    The 2.8 has twice the cache and a better GPU (which you cant update either.)
  8. iSax1234 macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2010

    You can later change from 4 gigs to 8 gigs of ram for a relatively small price. The 2.8 ghz model has a 15 in higher res screen and also has discrete graphics or an ACTUAL graphics card, so that may boost your performance as in some audio programs do rely on graphics? Not a lot but I believe main stage does but I'm not sure.

    Anyways upgrading RAM your self is cheaper than Apple RAM so I would go 2.8 ghz route because you get a lot better computer that will be very very fast and very very usable.

    Also you may want to wait, actually who cares
  9. Mactagonist macrumors 65816

    Feb 5, 2008
    NYC - Manhattan

    First pick a size based on your screen real estate needs.

    Then decide if your usage is CPU bound, disk access bound or RAM bound.

    Invest accordingly.
  10. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    Yeah, you beat me to it. Any increase in chip speed that doesn't represent an exponential increase is unlikely to make much difference in what you perceive to be the overall speed of your applications. The difference between the speed of a 2.53Ghz and a 2.8Ghz CPU isn't going to make any practical difference to you in your day to day use of the machine even before you consider the greater RAM in the 13 inch machine.
  11. mesq macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2010
    VST plugins utilise CPU processing power. Plugins such as Reverb and Delay and some software synthesisers require alot of processing power.

    Audio Samples and VST "Romplers" (Plugins that use samples such as Spectrasonics or East West) require alot of RAM as audio samples have to be loaded into RAM.

    What you want is the best CPU with the most RAM you can have. If your session is glitching out there are things you can try.

    What is your audio interface - Are you using the ASIO drivers?
    If you do not need low latency monitoring have u tried adjusting your audio buffer size until the glitching stops?
    Have you paused or exited programs which may be adding to your CPU workload?
    Are you bouncing down intensive MIDI parts to Audio or Freezing channels?
    Check your signal paths and make sure you are not using reverbs etc unneccessarily (for instance loading multiple reverbs as inserts instead of using sends)

    Anyway, think about it this way - some of the best music of the modern era was edited on computers a thousand times slower than what we have today. I'm sure you can find a way to streamline your approach ;) Streamlining your workflow will save you loads of frustration in the long run and is better for project management anyway. If you really need extra CPU consider buying a dedicated DSP machine such as Muse receptor.

    Anyway at the end of this rant my answer to your question: Get the 2.8 ghz with 8 gig of ram if you can afford it and don't want the 13 inch screen.
  12. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    What about the 2.66 GHz 15" and buying the ram from a third party and installing yourself?
    This would be very close to the price of the 2.8 GHz 15" once taxes are accounted for and seems like a better idea than paying apple double the price of ram, what $800?, to have it installed at the factory in the case of the 13".
  13. gratas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2010
    First of all thank you for you great answer,

    I do use a lot of VST's example like Native Instruments Massive, and yes i freeze and bounce my MIDI to audio, and i don't like switching the buffer size because i loose quality and preciseness. The reason i want as much power for the buck because bouncing freezing takes extra time, when my projects get really deep and i get to a point where wrapping a project is waist of so much time, bouncing and freezing, just because if i want to go back and make a slight adjustment not only i have to be unfreezing, i have delete the audio, adjust the VST sound, bounce it again, the freeze it again, my goal is to save time to work on actual creative part of it, time is money.

    I'm not sure if i want a 15" because i want portability, I will have a 30" at home so the screen doesn't really matter to me, but than will the graphic card have noticeable on the 30" display ?

    And the RAM, i haven't been following really technical aspects of the hardware but damn there are millions of different kinds of RAM out there, i know there are several major names that are good but another question here, isn't it better to have the RAM from apple, since its factory? There are rams that have price differences in hundreds, i would assume they have the best for the buck.

  14. gratas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2010
    Didn't include:

    Interface: Motu 828MK3- ASIO Drivers.

    My budget for the laptop itself is no more than $2300-$2400 with tax.
  15. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    owc and newegg gskill ram are two excellent options for under $400 for ram. I would suggest crucial but owc is less for 8 GB. The gskill ram from newegg is a more budget ram but people here have had excellent results with it, and the price would be closer to the lower threes. And no it does not matter where you get your ram from as long as it is compatible and has been tested to work in MacBooks.
    And the discrete graphics in the 2.66 and 2.8 GHz may help with some of the programs you use, not sure. But any that utilize it on that ultra high resolution monitor will benefit greatly.
  16. JosX macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2009
    Northumberland, UK
    I've noticed that my uMBP 15" 2.8 is much faster than my unibody 2.4 macbook was, & the current 2.53 macbook pro is pretty much the same in terms of specs. They both had 4GB RAM, but this one does everything faster, plus with the discrete graphics card, anything like watching HD movies, playing games, rendering becomes much faster than with the lower models. I think the GPU also helps speed things up in general as the integrated graphics share 256MB RAM with the system.

    For RAM, Apple is the worst place to buy from, it's ridiculously overpriced. Newegg seem to be good if you're in the US, but for the UK, try offtek.co.uk. I've bought RAM from them in the past & it's great, you can find you're computer model & it'll tell you exactly what type of RAM you need, & offer it at very good prices.
  17. zipa macrumors 65816

    Feb 19, 2010
    RAM is RAM. Get the cheapest that fits your machine.
  18. kernkraft macrumors 68020


    Jun 25, 2009
    I would get the 15" one and if it's not enough, I would upgrade the RAM with third party moduls, like Crucial and sell the 4GB on Ebay. Don't pay for the RAM, so you speculatively match the performance of a faster, larger MBP!

    But first, I would wait for the new MB Pros to come out with new processors. You might regret not waiting for a few weeks or months.

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