Confused About Processor Speed and Ram: What Makes the Difference?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by waynechriss, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. waynechriss macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    #1
    I was just curious what distinguishes how fast a computer runs, the processor or the amount of ram thats in it. I'm just talking about the basic 2.13GHz to 2.26GHz and the ram 2GB to the 4GB kinda thing.

    I'm just wondering because i have a white macbook with 2GB of ram and a 2.13GHz processor and i want to do some graphic art (web comics, animations, photoshop, etc) and editing (photos, videos) on it. Does the 2.0GHz, to 2.13GHz to 2.26GHz (for example) matter to me? I'm going to upgrade the Ram from 2GB to 4GB how much of a difference does that make? Cuz i feel my computer is pretty fast, but that's just me being a first time mac owner.

    Thanks for any info.
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #2
    Both are significant, but doubling the RAM from say 2GB to 4GB will increase the overall snappiness more than a CPU bump from 2.26GHz to 2.53GHz.

    CPU/Processor is there for calculating stuff, and the RAM is responsible for holding on to open applications and its documents, so that the computer doesn't need to read from the HDD all the time, which will slow down the speed tremendously.

    The more RAM the more applications you can run simultaneously, the more CPU speed, the faster they run.
     
  3. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #3
    Do not forget the bus connecting RAM and CPU together. Its speed is just as important in determining performance.
     
  4. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #4
    CPU: Calculates everything that a computer does.

    RAM: Is the fast temporary storage that allows file to get to the CPU quicker.


    For graphics, more RAM would improve your performance quite significantly. Recently, my iMac has been struggling with 3.3GB RAM as I've been using Photoshop and Illustrator a lot at the same time...
     
  5. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 27, 2008
  6. mnobre macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    #6
    In this cases if the processor diference is just clock speed you shouldn't care much about the 260MHz but if we're talking about a significant cache memory and BUS speed then an extra investment should be a nice idea.

    Memory wise i have to say you can buy cheap (and good) dimms and they boost your performance, in particular if we are talking about very demanding apps as photoshop, it's very good money for performance.

    Cheers,

    Mário
     
  7. waynechriss thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    #7
    Ok that all makes sense, thanks.

    Is there any possible way to increase processor performance since you can get more memory for the ram?
     
  8. mnobre macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    #8
    Well you can change memory easly, just unscrew remove former memory put in the new one, as for processor to change it you must take it to an Apple technician, i am not sure if it's doable or if they change the entire mainboard (wich is giving you a new mac with the same case and hard drive) but it will be quite expensive. if you want to get a processor buy the Mac with that one, don't change it afterwards, 2 expensive imo.

    Hope it helped.

    Cheers,

    Mário
     
  9. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #9
    2gb to 4gb you'll see a slight increase. A SSD you'll see lightyears..

    Processor speed is negligible if your HDD can't keep up. :rolleyes:
     
  10. MikeT125 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    #10
    How are you supposed to put in a solid state drive? Are you suggesting taking apart your iMac and replacing the drive entirely or using some sort of external drive??
     
  11. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #11
    Just get a 2.5->3.5 bracket, take it to the Apple Store and have them switch it out. Probably like $30 bucks.
     

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