Apple MacBook Pro RAM vs. HDD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MichaelPuff, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. MichaelPuff macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    #1
    Hi Guys,

    I currently have a 13" MacBook Pro 2.26
    2GB of RAM
    160GB 5400RPM HDD
    2.26GHz Core 2 Duo

    iStat Pro: CPU: User 20% Sys 16% Nice 0% Idle 64% (Average)
    Memory: Wired 187MB Active 1.04GB Inactive 518MB Free 20MB (Average)
    HD: 72.21 Used 76.52 Free
    Temp: CPU runs at about 120F-150F

    So... Should I buy a bigger HDD (Seagate 320GB 7200RPM) or More RAM (G.Skill 4GB) or both.
    and would the 7200RPM boost performance noticeably?

    Also, is it true that more RAM will make the computer run cooler?
     
  2. celticpride678

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #2
    I think both are needed.

    Hard Drive- Allows more space, 7200 RPM is faster
    RAM- Faster, allows more things at once, boosts performance

    I have never heard of RAM making the computer cooler.
     
  3. macfrik macrumors 6502

    macfrik

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Location:
    Utah
    #3
    If money is not an issue here, go upgrade both. But I think, RAM is better for your Macbook Pro in terms of overall performance.

    7200 rpm drives cause vibration though. This is what I don't like about faster drives. Sometimes you can hear the rotation of the drive resonates through flat surface such as wooden table.
     
  4. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Southern Cal
  5. Surely Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #5
    I believe that swapping out the HDD voids the warranty on the MBP.

    Upgrading the RAM does not result in voiding the warranty.


    More RAM will cause the HDD to be accessed less, which may possibly lead to a reduction in heat production.
     
  6. andrew upstairs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Location:
    Downtown Los Angeles
    #6
    No, it doesn't.
     
  7. Surely Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #7
    Thanks, I stand corrected. I was, unfortunately, relaying bad info that I read in one of the threads here. I hate when that happens.

    Anyway, here is an exerpt from the MBP manual regarding warranty and replacing the HDD:

    Here is a link to the manual: http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/MacBook_Pro_13inch_Mid2009.pdf

    See page 36 for replacement instructions.



    Downtown LA, huh? So you're the guy that lives there. :p
     
  8. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Nowhere
    #8
    I think what that warning is for is when you damage your laptop during install of a new drive...I don't see how you can damage it, unless you're really bad at electronics.

    Apple won't cover the new hard drive, only the other parts.
     
  9. Surely Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #9
    No, it means that if you damage the drive, memory, or the any other part of the MBP during an attempted installation of a HDD or memory, it voids your warranty.
     
  10. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Nowhere
    #10
    Uh that's what I just said.
     
  11. Surely Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #11
    Maybe that's what you meant, but that's not what you said (or how I interpreted it).

    What you said makes it seem like Apple won't cover the new HDD if you damage it during installation, but they will still cover the rest of your MBP if you damage that during installation.
     
  12. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Nowhere
    #12
    The second line was when you successfully installed the drive yourself. So when you take it into a Genius Bar, they will know the hard drive is not the stock one, so they will cover everything else except the hard drive, which you installed. Same goes for RAM.
     
  13. moral-hazard macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #13
    Both are good upgrades. I did hard drive first. I used a 500GB Western Digital Scorpio Blue. It's dead silent, runs cool, and doesn't vibrate. I don't know that a 320gb 7200rpm drive is worth it - if you need more speed from the drive, get an SSD, if not, do a 500GB 5400RPM. I don't have *confirmed* evidence, but it seems like people with the 5400 drives get somewhat better battery life. Obviously this varies by drive, but my machine runs great with the 500gb blue.

    I also did 4GB of ram down the line. I use mushkin ram in alot of my builds so I got that for the MBP as well. It works great, and really helped me out with running virtual machines which has been very helpful with my software development work.

    My advice:
    If you need more HDD space and/or want a little faster performance while loading programs / booting up the computer, do the HDD first.

    If you need to run more programs / things at once, do the RAM first.
     
  14. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #14
    Yeah, I would:D
     
  15. toxicdrift macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    #15
    i was in the same situation.. just ordered the crucial 4gb kit & patriot torqx 128gb ssd .. should be with me in next week.. cant wait :D
     
  16. johnnj macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Not here
    #16
    Look at how far in to swap your machine is going during normal usage. That's a pretty good gauge on what your memory shortfall is.

    Ditto on the SSD. I think it's the single most significant single upgrade that you can do that'll give you the most noticeable performance increase. It's just a matter of whether you need speed or storage capacity more. It's also a matter of money.

    There is actually one scenario in which increasing physical RAM will reduce heat output. Before I upgraded to 8 gigs, I used to run the 9600M GPU so that the 9400 wouldn't share the 256 megs of system RAM. Running the dedicated GPU produces a ton of heat, even when the machine isn't doing 3D rendering. After I upgraded to 8gb, I turned the GPU off because I had enough memory to keep me out of swap even with the shared memory of the 9400.

    John
     
  17. m85476585 macrumors 65816

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    Feb 26, 2008

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