8GB of RAM or 7200 RpM Drive?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by appleguy123, May 7, 2011.

?

Which upgrade should I perform?

  1. 8GB of RAM

    80.0%
  2. 7200 RpM drive.

    20.0%
  1. appleguy123 macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #1
    I van get 8GB of RAM for $95 or a 7200 RpM drive for about $70. Which of these do you think would influence my Mac's performance more?
    It's a mid 2009 MacBook Pro 17" with stock specs.
     
  2. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

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    #2
    It depends on what your uses are... Do you need more space, or do you run a lot of apps simultaneously?
     
  3. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #3
    Without knowing what you're doing on your computer, and what your needs are, we cannot tell if you need an RAM upgrade, HDD upgrade, both, or possibly no upgrade.
     
  4. parapup macrumors 65816

    parapup

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    #4
    I had to do both. First I added 8Gb RAM but the 5400RPM disk Apple ships proved to be too much of a pain for my purposes. I had a 256GB SSD in my PC laptop which I sold with regular disk - so now my setup is 256GB SSD in place of the optical drive which is used for booting, 5400RPM disk to store big files and 8GB of RAM - that does it for me.

    Based on my experience adding a 7200RPM drive and 8GB RAM will be a good idea - if you can only do one - RAM it is.
     
  5. appleguy123 thread starter macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #5
    The hard drive won't be bigger than my current one, just faster.
    I run about 8 apps at the same time.
    I browse with Safari, write papers, edit video, mess with GarageBand/Audacity, play a lot of videos from my hard drive, and do a lot of presentations with KeyNote.

    I only have the money to do one right now, but I might do the other sometime in the future.
     
  6. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

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    #6

    It's really not worth spending the money for a 7200 RPM drive and you dont need another 8GB to run less than 10 apps. I'd save the money for an SSD.
     
  7. appleguy123 thread starter macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #7
    I don't see SSD prices dropping to a reasonable price in the time during which I'd like to keep this laptop(another year and a half).
     
  8. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    #8
    A 7200RPM HDD won't give you more space than a 7200RPM one. It will just make your computer a bit faster.
     
  9. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

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    #9
    I know that.... First I was talking about the HDD, then I was talking about the RAM


    Edit: Fixed that for you ;)
     
  10. Mac-key macrumors 6502a

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  11. fkhan3 macrumors 6502

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  12. gorskiegangsta macrumors 65816

    gorskiegangsta

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    #12
    As others have said, depends on what you're using the computer for. That being said, adding more ram won't make a computer run faster - it'll just allow it to run more tasks simultaneously. Getting a higher RPM hard drive (or an SSD) on the other hand, will make your machine run faster.
     
  13. grahamnp macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 4, 2008
    #13
    If you are using more than 4GB of RAM, get the RAM. IMO, using more RAM than you have is an unacceptable situation but if you don't need more than 4, 8GB is just a waste of money.

    A 7.2k RPM drive will boost performance regardless of how you use the computer but the differences may be subtle depending on your workload.
     
  14. smugDrew macrumors member

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    #14
    More memory - every time! Probably a good idea for OS X Lion too.
     
  15. adnoh macrumors 6502a

    adnoh

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    #15
    if you are under-utilisng your RAM already then adding more will make no difference.

    A faster HD will reduce load times whatever you do with your mac.
     
  16. appleguy123 thread starter macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #16
    Ms there any app that will monitor my usage and tell me how much ram I use on average?
     
  17. Mac-key macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    istat pro is what I use...

    Or you can just check your activity monitor in the utilities folder in your applications
     
  18. appleguy123 thread starter macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #18
    I have both of those. What I mean is an app that can log my usage over a certain amount of time and determine the average usage.
     
  19. hans1972 macrumors regular

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    Apr 5, 2010
    #19
    Page ins/page outs ratio

    1. Start Activity Monitor
    2. Click on the System Memory tab
    3. Provide the value for Page ins, Page outs and swap used

    Page outs should be low compared to Page ins.
    Swap used indicates how large your swap file is, which is used when you are running out of memory.

    My page ins/page outs ratio is
    21.32 Gb / 3.25 Gb = 6.56 (MBA)
    2,38Gb / 446,5Mb = 5,33 (iMac)

    The ratio is high enough to indicate that these Macs don´t need more memory.
     
  20. appleguy123 thread starter macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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  21. altecXP macrumors 65816

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    #21
    I'd go with 8GB, then add the 7200 when you have the $$.
     
  22. appleguy123 thread starter macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #22
    What is inactive ram? Why doesn't It count under my free ram?
     

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