16GB RAM overkill?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by scjfly, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. scjfly macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    #1
    I have a Late 2011 13" MBP with the 2.4 I5 processor.

    Over the last year or so I have noticed my computer running extremely slow when opening various apps (iPhoto, Excel, etc.). I have 200 gb free on my hard rive and the memory pressure shown in activity monitor remains low even when computer is slow.

    To increase speed, I'm looking to upgrade to a SSD as well as add more RAM. I'm currently at 4gb. From what I've read, the SSD will be a huge upgrade. Concerning RAM, Is it worth spending the extra coin for the 16 gb ($170) over 8gb ($80).

    Not sure at what point my cpu will be the bottleneck causing the other upgrades to net little improvement.

    Thanks for any input.
     
  2. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #2
    I would say so. If 4GB doesn't really put the pressure into the orange/red than 8GB should be more than enough. Excel and iphoto and I assume a browser isn't a whole lot nor RAM intensive. Really the browser is the only part that can really suck RAM with enough open tabs but that shouldn't hurt performance.

    If it is only when opening apps, likely the problem is the HDD. Add the SSD and you might not even need any extra RAM.
    It is not the newest computer, I wouldn't spend to much on upgrades. An SSD can in theory find other uses as an external or in a new notebook. Any new notebook you will get will likely have DDR4 and no use for any RAM you buy now.

    Just get the SSD now and hold with the RAM and see if you need it. If RAM pressure doesn't get into the yellow/orange stage and stays in the green, it isn't needed.
     
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #3
    The CPU will be the last thing to be the bottleneck.
    First comes the storage drive, be it HDD (slow) or SSD (faster).
    Then there will be the RAM (quite fast), and then after some dinosaurs flew by, will be the CPU (frelling fracking fast).
     
  4. littlepud macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    #4
    I found 8 GB of RAM to be a bottleneck, but only because I run 2-3 VMs at a time.
     
  5. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #5
    Then ram is certainly not your problem.

    This is what you do: Get a good ssd (--> ssd wiki thread) and replace your hdd.
    See what happens :)

    Don't upgrade the ram yet, you can always do this later.
     
  6. uhslax24 macrumors 6502

    uhslax24

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    Jul 21, 2012
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA
    #6
    This has my vote.
     
  7. scjfly thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    #7
    Great info everyone! I'll go with the SSD upgrade for now. I know it's an old computer but it honestly does everything I need. My only issue is the speed.

    Thanks a lot.
     
  8. scjfly thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    #8
    Do you guys see any benefit of installing the OS and all applications fresh onto the new SDD instead of using time machine? Obviously time machine will be much simpler and quicker.

    Thanks for helping out the computer illiterate!
     
  9. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #9
    got nothing to do with computer illiteracy. I would be asking myself the same question.

    Imo installing the OS fresh would give you a good opportunity to see how the new ssd performs without the posibility of exisiting software interference. The slowness of your system could've software causes and you would see that then.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #10
    I usually do, for the fact that I want a fresh copy, typically the older a computer is more cruft starts accumulating in the ~/Library and various other folders. I start off fresh and don't need to worry about that :)
     
  11. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #11
    Relative to the cost of an SSD, 8GB should be a small extra cost. It is around $72 for the 2010 MacBooks I have been refurbishing.

    If I were going to "pop the hood" on the Macbook I would put in 8GB of memory, swap the HD for an SSD, and use compressed air to blow out any dust, especially from any cooling fan blades. For the SSD, don't for get to install TRIM Enabler.
    Likely you do not need a new battery. But if you did, that would be a good time to do that also.

    Run Speedisk before and after.
     
  12. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #12
    SSDs are actually not that expensive anymore. 128GB is enough for many people and compared to this and tha general resale value of a 2010 MBP almost $80 is definitely something IMO.
    256GB is still fairly okay in price, only 512GB and up is really costly.
     
  13. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #13
    The Samsung EVO 840 500GB dropped to $249 at most of the online stores. :D
     
  14. scjfly thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    #14
    Got the SSD installed a few days ago and just wanted to report back that the results are nothing short of amazing. Much better than when new. I'm probably still going to bump up the RAM as I'm getting into using VM's, but haven't noticed any bottlenecks.

    Once again this is on a otherwise stock late 2011 mbp 2.4 i5. Went with the 1tb EVO.

    Thanks for all the help.
     

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  15. irnchriz macrumors 65816

    irnchriz

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #15
    If you are running more than 1 VM at a time grab 16GB otherwise 8 will do.
     
  16. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #16
    I think 8GB should be fine even if you're running a VM.

    Anyways you need to decide if it's worth putting more money into the computer (even if it's just a $90 difference) versus a new computer later that can't use your current parts.
     

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