13" Processor Upgrade vs RAM upgrade

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by phib3r0ptik, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. phib3r0ptik macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    #1
    Looking at getting a 13" MPB to replace my aging Macbook. I am aware of the imminent arrival of the next gen next year, but still seriously considering getting a current gen.

    Anyway, I am debating between getting the 2.66GHz version with 4GB RAM and the 2.4GHz version with 8GB RAM. I already have a 500GB 7200rpm HDD which I will transplant into it. Some stage in the next year or so I will look into getting an SSD and optibay for it.
    I know that if I get the faster processor I can upgrade the RAM at a later date, but is the faster processor worth the money, or would I be better spending on RAM?
     
  2. j0hnnys macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #2
    the CPU upgrade wouldn't make much of a difference, except for a few cases. something like video converting with the CPU upgrade will probably be no more than 10% faster than the one without it. As for gaming, it's best to stay with the regular 2.4GHz and save money. so probably if you plan on doing stuff that requires alot of time and time isn't your thing, the CPU upgrade might be worth your money.
    as for the ram upgrade, i'm pretty sure 4GB should be enough for you.
     
  3. phib3r0ptik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    #3
    Yeah, that's what I was thinking. The few times that I will be utilizing the CPU fully processing simulations, renderings etc a 260MHz increase won't really be too noticeable.

    I have 4GB in my current Macbook, and there are times when I max it out. I am going to need to run Windows 7 in Parallels or Virtualbox for some applications, namely Solidworks. I doubt that 4GB would give me enough leeway for OS X and Windows 7 together, especially for CAD software or similar.
     
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #4
    For that situation, the RAM upgrade would definitely be better. However, buy your RAM from newegg or OWC, just not apple, as they will rip you off if you upgrade from them
     
  5. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #5
    From personal experience, I strongly recommend that if you're going to be doing much heavy virtual machine stuff (and its sounds like you are) AVOID THE CORE 2 DUO like the plague! I had the new 13" and sold it for the new 15" (i7) and it was ridiculous what a difference there was in my Vista virtual machine. A both machines had "only" 4GB of RAM. My two cents... take it or leave it. lol
     
  6. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #6
    RAM should make a much bigger difference than CPU
     
  7. MisterFeeney macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #7
    I'd get the processor and RAM, like you mentioned, at a later time from somewhere like OWC for around $150. Then you get it all. :)

    As for a noticeable difference, I believe there would be a slight boost if you are using a power hungry application. If you don't plan on such applications, stick with the 2.4.
     
  8. Tonsko macrumors 6502

    Tonsko

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    #8
    Have the 2.66 2010 13", 4Gb. It runs OSX with 1 (one) Win7 VM (fusion, rather than parallels). If you want to run more than 1 VM concurrently, you will need the RAM upgrade. It does just about do it, but prepare to wait 30 secs per mouse click or something soft. Thinking about an 8Gb upgrade.

    As for the i-series CPUs... I didn't want the 15" for footrpint/portability, and was really gutted that there was no i-series CPU option for the 13", as I would well have got that instead. Boo, hiss.
     
  9. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #9
    Both had 4GB, with 2GB assigned to each OS. In other words, all things were equal except the CPU. And for virtual OS usage, the i7 was tremendously faster.

    Now, if things were lopsided, say C2D with 8GB RAM vs. i7 with 4GB, I'm not sure...
     

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