Do I need more ram or a new Macbook Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Sharyn, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. Sharyn macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2005
    I have a first generation Intel Core Duo 2 GHz MacBook with 1 GB of ram with an 80 GB hard drive. I use Photoshop Elements 4 and iPhoto often. On many occasions when I alternate between the two programs I get the spinning beach ball and it seems to take a long time to do certain tasks in Photoshop Elements. This does not happen all the time, but when it does it is very annoying. My question is will upgrading the ram to 2 GB (2 GB is the highest I can go on this computer) help resolve this problem or will I have to invest the money to purchase a Macbook Pro with a dedicated video card.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    RAM is going to help a lot, especially if you're on Leopard :)
  3. bmcgrath macrumors 65816


    Oct 5, 2006
    London, United Kingdom
    Go for ram. I had a 2.0ghz Core Duo with 2gb of ram and it was very quick. Great for photoshop and aperture. 2gb really is a must ;)
  4. DannySmurf macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2005
    Get the RAM. Although it is possible that you've got a software issue happening, 2GB of RAM is extremely cheap, and you won't regret the upgrade. And, after that, if the problem doesn't go away, you may want to try reinstalling the OS (Archive&Install is your friend).
  5. tremendous macrumors 6502


    Jan 16, 2008
    UK? Yeah I'm OK. Stop asking.
    I use p/shop on a PB 1.33 with 1GB of RAM and have no problems at all, unless the image is super super big - and even then it's not a massive problem.
  6. Sharyn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2005
    What about my hard drive?

    Ok, you've sold me on the extra ram. My next question is if my hard drive is 3/4 full would that make any difference in the performance of my macbook, in regards to photoshop elements or multitasking between photoshop and other basic programs?
  7. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    While you should max out to 2 gigs of RAM, I suspect your real problem is Elements running under Rosetta. Which OS are you using? You should also upgrade to Elements 6, since it is an Intel binary and won't use Rosetta.

    You certainly don't need a MBP.
  8. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Well, if you can afford $175, what I'd do is buy a new 250 gig hard drive ($115) and bring your RAM to 2 gigs ($44). I'd partition the hard drive into 10 gig and whatever remains, and use the 10 gig partition as your scratch disk for Elements. But you really should upgrade to Elements 6.
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Yes, if your hard drive is 75% full you're getting inner-track performance about 30% slower than when the drive was new. That will slow down all accesses to data files written on those tracks. A new bigger hard drive will help because the 60 GB mark will still be closer to the outer (faster) tracks.
  10. Sharyn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2005
    I am running on OS Tiger. Sorry, if this sounds like a silly question, but if I purchase an external hard drive what do I put on it? Do I put all my pictures on to the hard drive and if so how am I able to retrieve them if I am unable to see thumbnail pics of them. Do I remove all my pictures from my macbook and transfer them to the external hard drive?
  11. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Your Elements is a PowerPC binary if it's not version 6 that was just released a couple of days ago. Although the latest versions of Tiger took care of many of the Rosetta problems, it still suffers from substantial memory leaks in addition to being a memory hog. Thus, those PowerPC apps that use it will still suffer somewhat. I think your first purchase should be an upgrade to Elements 6. Second purchase would be 2 gigs of RAM. Don't get any more than that (two 1 gig sticks) as it won't work in your computer. If you have a single 1 gig stick (instead of two 512 mb sticks), all you need to purchase is another 1 gig stick (about $25).

    Watch this video and buy either a 2.5" USB enclosure with a SATA interface or one of these do-dahs (they are great - I use mine all the time). Before replacing your hard drive, use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone your internal drive to your new drive attached to the USB port via the do-dah. Then all you have to do is pull your old drive and install the new one. Only takes 10 minutes to replace the drive and install your new memory.

    That's the beauty of CCC - you will not notice anything different about your hard drive - other than it'll have a lot more space on it. :) It will be an exact clone of your hard drive. If you buy a 2.5" enclosure, you can put your old drive in it and use it as an external drive.
  12. kde82.Linux macrumors newbie


    Mar 19, 2008
    in Va
    WOW I am lost

    Cave Man<that is a lot of great stuff.

    But for the guy that has this problem, why(Cave Man/ or any one that want to post) can't they YES upgrade the ram to the max of the the laptop. But can't they just get this > < and just USB up to his Laptop and drum everything that is in his saved Folder(aka music{point itune to that new HD's library}, picture's, movies, and most in portent Documents, then what left is just the Apps that he/ anyone that set this up, is just running??????????????????

    I would think this would let the person be able to used the picture, but the MAIN KEY POINT is to free up the main HD(that in the laptop) to have room to run around in(AKA have the space to run the more then one app at the same time) which is what the First question was about the Beach Ball problem.

    CaveMANN>do you agree? :cool:
  13. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Sure, you can. But performance will suffer dramatically. First, using the drive by USB will be dog slow compared to the internal drive on a MB. Second, there's really no point in getting a eSATA PCI card when OP has a MB.

    Personally, I'm no fan of USB hard drives. I'm not a great fan of Firewire, but it's a lot better than USB. What I'd like to see is for Apple to start putting eSATA ports on their Macs. It's just silly hanging on to antiquated technologies for hard drives, such as USB and firewire.
  14. kde82.Linux macrumors newbie


    Mar 19, 2008
    in Va

    understandable thank CAVE MAN

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