8 GB Ram or SSD - what am I to do?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by helfo, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. helfo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    #1
    I don't know what to do. Because of limited budget I have to decide to buy a 8 GB RAM Upgrade or a 160GB Intel SSD.

    Which is best for performance?

    I use the mac for photoshop, logic pro and so on.
     
  2. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

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    Sep 5, 2005
    Location:
    Bath, United Kingdom
    #2
    RAM all the way…

    With the SSD the major difference will be in the load time of apps and boot time, but for operations like Photoshop filters etc the SSD really isn't going to help much.

    8 GB RAM. :D
     
  3. Markov macrumors 6502

    Markov

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    May 18, 2007
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    Philadelphia
    #3
    +1

    But the SSD is a great idea for later on, as the prices for them will drop at that point.
     
  4. AppleNewton macrumors 68000

    AppleNewton

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    #4
    depends on if you need space a slight speed bump.
    while the harddrive is the slowest component of most computers....the ssd does provide a suitable and faster reliability. not really in terms overall space at the moment.


    however more memory especially in macbooks/mbps tends to boost performance a tad bit (from my experience).
    especially if you plan on using external displays and running alot of plug-ins in applications such as PS, logic, final cut, etc.


    maybe pick up the 8gb memory and if possible an external scratch drive for PS content.
     
  5. Pika macrumors 68000

    Pika

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    #5
    First you need to tell us wich MacBook Pro do you have...

    If you have the MacBook Pro 15" 2.66 or 2.93 you can upgrade it up to 8GB of RAM.
    If you have the MacBook Pro 17" 2.66 or 2.93 you can also upgrade up to 8GB of RAM.
    If you have the MacBook Pro 15" 2.53 or 2.4 you can upgrade up to 4GB of RAM
     
  6. Airforcekid macrumors 65816

    Airforcekid

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    #6
    SSD you cant realy use 8GB yet and the price on it will drop a lot soon!
     
  7. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

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    #7
    For Photoshop and Logic Pro that makes little sense.
     
  8. helfo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    #8
    I'll get a MBP 17'' 2,93.

    A compromise could be an upgrade to 6GB (is it possible to have one 2GB and one 4GB module?) and a 80GB Intel. But is 80GB enough for a system harddisk?

    I'll go to use a second normal harddisk (500GB) by offer up the dvd.
     
  9. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    #9
    yes

    Depends on what you're doing with it. For the apps that you stated, 160 may even be too small.
     
  10. xoggyux macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    #10
    I say SSD. Maybe those apps you mentioned could take advantage of more ram though the difference might just shave you a few seconds over minutes and even hours, anyway SSD will not just increase the performance of those programs (again maybe not as much as 8gb) however it will indeed increase the performance of the rest of the computer doing other stuff (that you will likely do) which 8gb will have none or little effect.
    In the otherside $400++++ for ram makes little sence since in about (6months? :confused::confused: or less) they will cost what ram usually cost ~$50 for (two modules of max capacity) and upgrading to 6GB makes little sence also since for one part you lose dual channel (again not big deal for what you will be using it) and finally eventually you will want to buy 8GB so..
    So overall go for SSD (they prices are likely to drop also, however I think RAM prices will drop more rapidly)
     
  11. stylinexpat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #11
    SSD!! I have the new 120gb SSD Vertex and could not be happier. Well I would be if it booted up just a bit faster:D
     
  12. eddietr macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 29, 2006
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    Virginia
    #12
    It really depends on what you're doing. I don't think there is a general answer.

    The first thing I did with my new MBP is put in a 160GB Intel X25. And for type of work I do the performance gain there is fantastic.

    But once I upgraded the RAM, now I can do things that I couldn't do before on a laptop.

    If I had to give up one of them today? I'd give up the SSD. Again, because the RAM allows me to do things that I would normally have to go back to my desk to do.
     
  13. ViciousShadow21 macrumors 68020

    ViciousShadow21

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    #13
    get the RAM!!! and wait for the next gen SSD's.
     
  14. Guy Mancuso macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 28, 2009
    #14
    Ram

    I just bought a 15 inch MPB 2.93 and am running 2 Intel XM 25 80gb SSD drives in Raid O and have 6gb of Ram. BTW I am a working Pro photographer and if anything is going to help you in CS4 it will be Ram. I seen a nice increase from going from 4gb that came with the box to 6gb and will see more increase with 8gb of ram. i am getting the second 4gb chip jsut waiting for my tax refund this week . I dumped a load of money on this laptop so i need another week . Anyway running some very specific test in CS4 even with one SSD installed or even 2 in Raid O the increase was marginal. However the increase in Ram was much more significant. CS4 only runs in One core so even if you had a 8 core box not much will help you but Ram. My theory is get the fastest processor possible since you can't change that and add the Ram. If money is short pass on the SSD and get the 8gb of ram and get a fast 7200 drive HD than rip out the DVD super drive install another 7200 drive and partition off about 80gb of scratch off the top portion of the platter and use that for scratch. Between Ram and a scratch partition that is the fastest avenue to take with CS4 . Now if you want the hardware for the second drive go to Maxupgrades and install there frame for your second drive. That is what I am using. Now I say all that for top end performance with big files. I shoot MF digital so my files are HUGE.

    Now back to the SSD drives on my laptop, I went this way for several reasons and actually sold my MacPro and my old MPB to get more high speed mobile unit and so far it is matching my 2.66 667 12gb of Ram Mac Pro. Now I say that with a slight warning for normal PS needs . You get into lot's of layers and such and very big files than obviously a desktop will be the better choice. I am on the road a lot processing and I needed the mobility more. Please let me give you a fair warning. This is a load of money in this MPB so be certain this is how far you want to take this . I am well over 4k right now in it with adding a Drobo to my system and all the stuff I need but I replaced a MacPro and to get up to those speeds it will cost you. Also let's remember I am a working Pro and my reputation stands on delivering on time all the time. So all backup is a major importance and speed is essential to what I do. If your not doing this on a everyday basis than maybe think twice. I love the SSD drives but right now there expensive and not the fastest ship on the sea with PS. Sure you can open a application in the blink of a eye and boot faster than anything around you. Question is does that REALLY matter. Not I am in favor of the SSD but they WILL get better They will go DOWN in price and the will get FASTER. Question is can you wait for all that. I can't no freaking patience . LOL
     
  15. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

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    Feb 28, 2008
    #15
    SSD all the way unless your machine is paging out a lot.
     
  16. RKpro macrumors 6502

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    Oct 27, 2008
    #16
    If you only had 2GB of RAM, then I'd say go for the RAM. But since you've already got 4GB, I say go for the SSD. The price difference between 2GB modules and 4GB modules is several timer over.

    Upgrade HDD to SSD > Upgrade 4GB to 8GB
     
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #17
    If performance is paramount, this is a foolish suggestion. Apps like Photoshop and Logic Pro frequently require large amounts of memory. If you have insufficient RAM, you'll be paging to your HDD frequently. While a SSD would be faster than a HDD, having more RAM will reduce the need for paging at all, so you're operating at RAM speed which is MUCH faster than even SSD speed.
     
  18. ViciousShadow21 macrumors 68020

    ViciousShadow21

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    #18
    not to mention that both SSD and the RAM are overpriced at this point. im waiting till BOTH come down. But to me the RAM is more worth paying overpriced prices (that sounded weird).:rolleyes:
     
  19. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    NYC
    #19
    The performance boost from the SSD will be a lot more apparent then what you'll get from 8GB of RAM.
     
  20. XandeR803 macrumors member

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    Jul 25, 2008
    #22
    +1
     
  21. ButtUglyJeff macrumors 6502a

    ButtUglyJeff

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    New York. The state, not the toilet.
    #23
    I don't see DDR3 RAM crashing in price, in a couple of years the way I expect SSD drives to.

    If nothing else you'll spend less if you RAM now, SSD later, then if you SSD now and RAM later.

    Was anybody else just as turned on by that as me? :eek:
     
  22. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #24
    8GB, your apps will have more roam to spare
     
  23. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #25
    Let me see…

    Photoshop is 32-bit, so it can't use more than 3GB of RAM; Logic can run with 2GB of RAM… and just about every other Pro app can benefit from faster read/write to a scratch disk, so I still think the SSD is better.
     

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