4gb RAM or Fast Hard Drive

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by brosmooth, May 24, 2009.

  1. brosmooth macrumors member


    Mar 29, 2009
    I have the uMBP, see sig, and ive always planned on getting 4gb of crucial ram, but recently ive been looking at the new...er seagate 7200rpm 500gb HD. I would like some insight from some you pros which i would benefit from most.

    On my mac part i mostly do light stuff, surf web, dl and listen to music, play the ocasional mac game, and sims 3 when it oficially comes out soon
    on my windows 7 part i installed an x64 version cuz i planned on getting the 4gb remember, and all i do on there is gaming, crysis, biaHH, fallout 3...

    so would i benefit in gaming from the 4gb very much? like worth $60 worth? cuz i was thinking if its not, it would be more worth it for faster loading times for mac apps and games... no?
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    I think you'd see the greatest benefit from the RAM.

    You will notice an increase in response time from the HDD, but overall, the RAM will be a bigger boost.
  3. areusche macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2008
    How much hard drive space do you have right now?

    I have a seagate 5400 rpm drive with 500gb. I have 400gb dedicated to OS X and 100gb for Windows XP (waiting for 7 to wipe it). I have both partitions almost full.

    If you have a lot of space now then I would say ram. Otherwise if you're nearing the hard top I would get a new HD. If money is tight take a look at the 5400 rpm version of that drive. I've been running it without any problems. Works like a charm and my computer is still faster then all of the other ones in the house!
  4. RKpro macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2008
    I would go for the RAM.

    I tried 2 different 320GB 7200rpm drives (Hitachi and Seagate), and didn't like the extra vibration for marginal performance increase. So I continue to use the 5400rpm disk as I wait for 120GB SSDs to drop in price another ~30%... Give it a few months...

    But doubling the RAM should is a cheap way to make the system run smoother, especially when multi tasking.
  5. ViciousShadow21 macrumors 68020


    Mar 11, 2009
    To your left or right
    you can get both for about $150 but if you have to choose get the RAM.
  6. beerglass007 macrumors 6502

    May 13, 2008


    I've upgraded my 5400 to the 7200 and noticed the same thing, its quite alot of vibration.

    Do you know if the stock 7200 from Apple does the same, eg all 7200 drives
  7. JamesGorman macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
  8. damnyooneek macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2005
    if you do light stuff 2gb of ram is enough for you and if you upgraded to 4gb you won't notice anything. upgrade to the 7200rpm and you'll notice that your files (pictures, musics, applications, movies) will open faster or what some people call 'snappier'.

    more ram if you multitask, faster hd if you want things to open up 'snappier'
  9. Pagga macrumors 6502


    Feb 21, 2009
    Closer to the Artic circle than I like to be
    Only Solid state can justfy a hd upgrade over a ram upgrade

  10. JCastro macrumors 6502a

    Feb 12, 2008
    I would also recommend the RAM upgrade. I will be doing the same thing very soon. When I start running out of room on my HDD I will look onto replacing it with a 500GB/7200. Hopefully the prices will drop a little more.
  11. magallanes macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    South of Jurassic Park
    a hd with 7200rpm drain more battery than a 5200rpm.
  12. akutad macrumors regular


    Jul 12, 2008
    London, Ontario, Canada
    by like a couple percent. Definitely not a deal breaker.
  13. Dwalls90 macrumors 601


    Feb 5, 2009
    Both? For performance gains and multitasking, the RAM will suit you much better. But if you plan on keeping videos, pictures, applications and music in large quantities, the Hard disk it is!
  14. MagpieX macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2009
    RAM FTW, Always try to get the most ram you can afford. Ram offers one of the biggest performance boosts in computing.
  15. ae3265 macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2009
    I'm using the WD 320gb 7200 rpm Scorpio black in my previous gen MBP and I do not notice any extra vibration whatsoever. It does get a tad warmer on that side.

    Oh, and for speed, upgrade the RAM first. The less the OS has to page out, the better the performance.
  16. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Not if you're not going to use it.
  17. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030


    Jun 15, 2005
    Except if you look on activity monitor and still have hundreds of MBs free with 2 GBs.
  18. Shawny D macrumors member

    Shawny D

    May 13, 2009
    Yeah, check out Activity Monitor and see how much you really use under typical conditions. chances are, you're probably not utilizing the full 2 GB.

    I'm rolling with the same amount of RAM and it's plenty for what I need it to do (similar to your uses, minus the gaming).

    I personally vote for a 7200 RPM drive, since boot times are a lot more noticeable to me than system slowdown from inadequate RAM.
  19. MagpieX macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2009
    Guess I'm to used to working with windows systems, still kinda new to the mac thing my work place only installed there first system 2 weeks ago. Still used to booting up Vista and seeing it already use 1gb of ram lol.

    I had to do some reading earlier and have come to realize OS X is constantly changing the amount of ram software uses.

    I have to say as a trained window professional i do like the Mac OS, it seems to run stable and everything flows nicely.
  20. Shawny D macrumors member

    Shawny D

    May 13, 2009
    The cliche' is true: "Once you go Mac, you never go back.";)
  21. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
  22. J DILLA macrumors member

    Mar 6, 2009
    cliffs on if the stock apple 7200rpm drive causes extra vibration??
  23. elmz macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2008
    I say go with the RAM upgrade. I know that 5400 is quite slow, but you only notice it when doing long installs or large data trasfers. For day to day stuff you will hardly notice the difference. I had raptor drives on my desktop PC and they were pretty zippy. But again I only noticed the increase in speed during installs or data transfers.
  24. uaecasher macrumors 65816


    Jan 29, 2009
    Stillwater, OK
    I suggest SSD :D it will make your laptop super fast

    i got the same laptop as yours i upgraded it to 4gb now i want a SSD

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