Better upgrade: faster processor or more RAM?

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

  1. PilotNYC macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2013
    #1
    Hello,

    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

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    #2
    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

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    #3
    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

    ScottishDuck

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Location:
    Argyll, Scotland
    #4
    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

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    #5
    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

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Location:
    Outside Closer
    #6
    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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