Back to basics memory v hard drive space

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Gnasher70, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. Gnasher70 macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2011
    I'm in the market for a new MacBook pro and although I know that extra memory is a must when putting a new mac together I've never really known what the difference is between CPU , memory and hard disk space?

    My other question is would I notice anything perforance increase in the i7 2.5 over the i7 2.4 processor ? What would that equate to in the real world in terms of benefit? Is it woth the extra $$$? :)
  2. wgr73 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 31, 2005
    New Mexico
    CPU is the processing power, think about how a calculator crunches numbers...that's what a CPU does.

    The hard drive is mainly for storage of data, pictures, music, ect.

    RAM is essentially the buffer between the hard drive and the CPU (loose terms here). Your stored data has to be written to memory (RAM) before the CPU can process the data. That is why faster memory is usually always better. Extra memory is not a must when you spec a computer. I think the stock MBP comes with 4gb of RAM. That would be plenty for the average user. When you start getting into intensive programs that utilize more memory (Photoshop, ect..) then upgrade.

    And you probably won't notice the difference in speed between the two. :cool:
  3. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    0.1 GHZ is practically nothing, what do you typically use your machine for?
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    The extra 100MHz is not noticeable, unless you do very CPU intensive tasks, which would save you a minute or two per day.

    What is a Hard Disk Drive? - measured in Bytes (B), MegaBytes (MB), GigaBytes (GB) and TeraBytes (TB)
    What is a CPU? - measured in MegaHertz (MHz) and GigaHertz (GHz)
    What is RAM? - measured again in MB and GB

  5. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    If you know next to nothing about computers(which seems to be the case) all those numbers being thrown about can be confusing. Wikipedia is a great resource for all such questions.

    CPU is the central processing unit, that is what makes calculations and makes your computer tick, so it is an essential part. The GHz is the number of mathematical operations it can do in a second, 2.4GHz means 2.4 billion calculations per second, per core. In general day to day usage such as web browsing and music listening, one would be hard pressed to notice any difference between the 2.4 and 2.5 variants.

    RAM, also called memory by certain people can be seen as a queue to the CPU. Information needing to be processed by the processor will reside there, all open programs will allocate themselves a portion of your total RAM to be able to run. Once you run out of RAM(happens with heavy multi-tasking, having a lot of programs open and running at once) the computer will use the hard drive as RAM. Since the hard drive is much, much, much slower than RAM is, a noticeable system slowdown will occur. Therefore, it is always advisable to have as much RAM as you need. Most people can get by with 4GB, but if you find yourself running out, the 8GB upgrade is both easy and cheap.

    Hard drive space is just that, space. The more you have, the more stuff you can have on your laptop, be it pictures, applications, movies, music, etc.

    Does that help?

    Edit: Damn, I was beat to it.

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