Better upgrade: faster processor or more RAM?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by PilotNYC, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. PilotNYC macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2013

    I am finally upgrading my MBP 2010 15" (2.4 Core2 Duo, 4gb RAM, 320GB HDD) to the late 2013 entry-level 15" (Quad-core i7 2.0, 256gb SSD, 8gb RAM). I mainly use my MBP to produce music with Ableton Live. My current computer is not up to the task and it is very frustrating. I also edit home videos with iMovie and such.

    I can afford ONE upgrade after paying the $1,999 for the new model. Either I get extra 8GB ram for a total of 16GB of RAM or I upgrade the processor to 2.3 GHz. Which upgrade will help me more? Thanks a lot in advance
  2. isephmusic macrumors 6502

    Oct 31, 2012
    hey dude i would get the ram upgrade ! if you were doing video then get the processor but with ableton i use soft synths a lot and they take up ram because its being stored in real time memory. i freeze tracks all the time and i all goes back to ram ! 16gb is perfect for producers ;)
  3. snapdragonx macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2012
    I personally think more RAM is your best bet.

    Unless you're doing a lot of video work, 3D rendering, that kind of thing, then you probably won't notice the difference between the various i7 CPUs. And even then, it's only when encoding/rendering that you'd notice any difference, and it would be minimal between 2/2.3GHz.
  4. ScottishDuck macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2010
    Argyll, Scotland
    RAM is definitely the best option. Modern CPUs are significantly more powerful than most tasks require and will stay that way for years.
  5. mthos macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2013
    8GB additional ram > 0.3GHz additional CPU clock speed in my opinion, especially if you are doing video editing, etc where you have open a lot of programs that eat up ram, or are using virtual machines for Windows.

    As others have said modern CPU's are powerful as it is. You rarely will notice a real world difference (no benchmarks) going from a 2.0GHz to 2.3GHz, I know I sure didn't while testing both units (base and high end 15").

    Bottom line is 8GB more ram will future proof you longer than a 0.3GHz clock increase. Especially with Apple's new "compressed memory" in Mavericks. 16GB by their logic is really like 24GB. (50% increase). Plenty of headroom for the future, where the 0.3GHz won't make or break you for years, if ever.

    My two cents.
  6. Tears Apart macrumors 6502a

    Tears Apart

    Jun 10, 2009
    Outside Closer
    Ram for sure, in your case.

    Processor would make sense only if you worked with single documents that would benefit more from fast processing and wouldn't use much ram.

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