Core i7 Speed Increase: Max RAM or SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by andym172, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. andym172 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 24, 2003
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    UK
    #1
    I'm just about to start the process of building a nippy 15" Core i7 Macbook Pro. I have the MBP currently with the standard 4GB RAM and 500GB HD, and am looking to max the RAM and replace the current HD with an OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 240GB Solid State Drive (SSD).

    But which to do first?

    The RAM upgrade is approx half the cost of the SSD, but which will provide the biggest performance increase?

    I mostly use the computer for editing digital photos from my Canon 1Ds3, with each RAW file being circa 23mb and each 16bit TIFF being multiples of that. As a result speed is of the essence.

    Any advice hugely appreciated :)
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    RAM upgrade won't help unless you need more. Check your Activity Monitor to see the amount of page outs and report it here. SSD is likely more noticeable upgrade anyway
     
  3. redscull macrumors 6502a

    redscull

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    Jul 1, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    Extra RAM doesn't make your computer faster unless you need more RAM than you have. So, how much RAM do you typically use doing whatever it is you're doing? If you never need more than 4GB, then more than 4GB isn't going to do anything at all (except allow you to start using your computer differently).

    But you're almost always using the disk drive, at the very least, to boot up and maybe shut down. So the faster disk will definitely be a boost no matter what you do.
     
  4. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

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    #4
    Check your RAM and make sure that you don't do too many page ins/outs. Other than that, an SSD is going to make all aspects of your Photoshop/Lightroom/Aperture workflow faster.
     
  5. andym172 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    UK
    #5
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #6
    OWC is faster and has great firmware so there is no need for TRIM etc
     
  7. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

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    #7
    I got a Kingston SSDNow V+ only because it was the only large drive I could find. Whatever drive you get, just make sure that it supports a garbage collection.
     
  8. elleana macrumors regular

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    Nov 30, 2009
    #8
    SSD for sure. 4GB is enough for most applications/usage patterns.
     
  9. Khryz macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 7, 2007
    #9
    OWC drives don't need to TRIM?
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #10
    Nope, the firmware takes care of block management and wear leveling.
     
  11. boogieman macrumors regular

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    Nov 10, 2004
    #11
    Absolutely love my kingston v+ 512. I have to agree that's gonna be your best upgrade its like getting a whole new computer once you install it.
     
  12. Khryz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    #12
    Well that changes a lot of things!

    I was going to wait until 10.7 in the hope OSX would support TRIM then.
     
  13. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #13
    The OWC drive is great, a friend of mine has it and it gave the Mac a huge jump in speed.
     

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