Do bigger SSD's make laptops faster? What effects speed the most: SSD, RAM or CPU?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Sandwich Jumper, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. Sandwich Jumper macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    #1
    So you have to deal with choosing the CPU, the RAM. and the Hard Drive when customizing a apple computer on their website.

    How do you make a cost friendly laptop that is the most versatile for whatever you throw at it?

    A friend has told me to skip maxing the RAM, plug in 8 with a 256 or greater SSD and I'll be fine with whatever I want as long as I am not crushing it with high res footage.

    An apple rep told me to max the processor out and RAM, and just use a portable HD, and that I'd be fine with the 128 that i came with on the low end.

    Then I look online and the info contradicts itself.

    Programs I use on a regular basis

    Final Draft
    Adobe Photoshop & InDesign
    Scrivener
    Adobe Premiere (or used to anyway)
    FCP (light usage)


    I went to Best Buy today hand the apple rep there basically told me to get an MacBook Air base model with 8GRAM.

    The 15" rPro's are overkill for what I use a laptop for. So its essentially a 13rpo or Air. But I just don't understand what is the most important
     
  2. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #2
    If you're getting a laptop to be portable, then getting one with such a small SSD that you need to get a portal HD to go with it right away is kinda dumb.

    Larger SSDs tend to be faster, but it's questionable if you would notice the speed difference in every day use. The biggest speed difference is from 128GB to 256GB

    With either MacBook, get 8GB of RAM and at least a 256GB SSD. Larger on the SSD if you think you need it and don't want to deal with an external HD.
     
  3. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #3
    What is the benchmark on the 2013 256gb SSD? I get 700MB/s write and over 700MB/s read on my 512gb. I thought the 256 was a bit slower?

    I have a 2013 11" i7/8gb/512gb MBA. Previous machine was a 2011 13" i5/4gb/256gb MBA. The new machine renders faster in Final Cut Pro and has less latency in Logic Pro. Aside from that, performance "feels" surprisingly similar in the Finder, Safari, Mail, iTunes, etc.
     
  4. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #4
    The issue isnt speed, but upgradability. If you get big ram and small ssd, then 2 years from now the ram is maxed, you cant touch the ssd and you are stuck. get the big ssd now which you cant upgrade and minimal ram which you can.
     
  5. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #5
    This doesn't make sense to me... The RAM is cannot be upgraded after purchasing a MacBook Air. There are currently no third party SSD upgrades available for the 2013 MBA. They are available for older models but are rather pricey.
     
  6. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #6
    Say WHAT?
     
  7. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #7
    Unless you know you need it, the mid-range model is fine (i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD).

    My opinion is 128GB although possibly fine for a lot of people, is inadequate for serious use. The 256GB is also much faster. 8GB of RAM is because you're using it for the pro-apps. You don't need the faster processor. If your budget is low, upgrade the RAM at the very least.
     
  8. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #8
    I leaned long time ago... just like trying to quiet down the interior of my car so there is less noise, more (cleaner) music... EVERYTHING COUNTS. We tend to search for the easy answer, the ONE silver bullet that will solve the problem. Nope, EVERYTHING comes into play.

    Lets just say unless you rely on the laptop to make a living, (every minute is costing you money, clients beating you down with deadlines), an extra 20% rendering time (whatever you are playing with) it not going to kill you.

    For you, if at all possible, you want to keep your entire workspace in Ram. You can calculate this, or you know by experience, you want to keep the SSD swapping to a minimal, or even none. This gives you maximum performance and smoothness. In the Mac World, under Activity Monitor, this is PAGE OUT. If you have a PAGE OUT of a couple of hundred MB, nothing to panic about but that means while you working with Photoshop, you probably want to close everything else. You got zero Page Outs, you may run a couple of thing on the side.

    Big SSD is expensive (never mind the speed). Since everybody is on a budget, otherwise you wouldn't had to post this, I am in the school of pushing stuff that I don't use often to an near-line storage, like my file server, where basically I have low cost unlimited storage. Don't clog up your expensive SSD with stuff you seldom look at.

    I5 vs I7 is minimal, not worth analyzing, unless like I say, you do this for a living. Some people prefer I5, they say it runs cooler for them, temp, for some is an important feature for a laptop.

    So get 4GB minimal, 8GB if you can afford it, then the money left over whatever SSD you can afford. Don't forget after buying the laptop, you will have secondary expenses: extra power plugs, cables, nice pouch, pack, extended warranty support if u into that kind of thing, blah-blah.
     
  9. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #9
    You can't upgrade the RAM in the MacBook Air. The SSD is replaceable, but who knows how much ones that fit the 2013 Air will cost.
     
  10. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    #10
    Excellent advice.
     

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