Help buying new RAM for my MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sneak3, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. sneak3 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    #1
    Hi there guys!

    I have this mid 2010 mpb 15" and I think it's getting slower everyday.

    Now I decided to switch the RAMS an Im looking forward to leave it with 8gb.

    So 1st question: Is it true what apple says that 2 slots filled is better than 1? So 2x 4gb or 1x 8gb?

    2nd: Do I have to use the slower RAM suggested by apple (PC3-8500 DDR3 1066 MHz type RAM) or I could go on an install this one (PC3-12800 DDR3 1600 MHz type RAM), which is the default for the newer 2012 mpbs?
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    RAM may or may not be the issue. To determine if you can benefit from more RAM, launch Activity Monitor and click the System Memory tab at the bottom to check your page outs. Page outs are cumulative since your last restart, so the best way to check is to restart your computer and track page outs under your normal workload (the apps, browser pages and documents you normally would have open). If your page outs are significant (say 1GB or more) under normal use, you may benefit from more RAM. If your page outs are zero or very low during normal use, you probably won't see any performance improvement from adding RAM.

    Using Activity Monitor to read System Memory and determine how much RAM is being used

    If you're having performance issues, this may help:

    There is a slight performance benefit in using matched pairs of RAM.

    There is no performance benefit to installing faster RAM than the specs your Mac came with. It will not take advantage of the higher speed.
     
  3. sneak3 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 14, 2011
    #3
    The infos in activity monitor shows pages out as 500mb.

    I use zbrush and photoshop, so I guess I need it?

    And really, why wouldnt the computer benefit from higher speeds? It didnt get it.

    I have a pc desktop, and I have always bought the higest rams possible.
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    How long since your last restart?
    Not necessarily.
    Your computer will limit any higher-speed RAM to the speed that's specified in your computer specs. Older Macs cannot take full advantage of higher-speed RAM that exceeds the Mac's specs.
    That doesn't necessarily mean you're getting your money's worth.

    You have a driver that cannot drive faster than 60mph. You can spend more money to take them out of a Subaru and put them in a Ferrari, but they'll still drive 60mph, regardless of what the car can do.
     
  5. sneak3 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 14, 2011
    #5
    Wow I really had no idea that the system limited the higher RAM speeds! Thats so dumb! Why would it?

    What exactly is limiting the faster RAMS? Can I disable it?

    An about the activity monitor, I had just turned on the mpb, spent half an hour editing pics in PS + some quick work on zbrush. Didnt even get to use maya.
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    It's a hardware limitation. No, you can't disable it. The newer, faster RAM was developed/released after the MBP. There's more to making your computer fast than just the RAM sticks.
     
  7. sneak3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    #7
    So you really think I shouldnt get more RAM to make it faster?

    Ive already did all those disc utility things, as well as ccleaner and onyx.

    Also, this is whats on my startup: Flux, gfxcardstatus, lab tick, flashfrozen.

    Any other thoughts?
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    If you only have 500MB of page outs under normal use, you probably won't notice any performance improvement by adding RAM.
    You don't need to "maintain" your Mac and you don't need "cleaner" or "maintenance" apps like CCleaner to keep your Mac running well. Some of these apps can do more harm than good. Some can even degrade, rather than improve system performance.

    Some remove files/folders or unused languages or architectures, which does nothing more than free up some drive space, with the risk of deleting something important in the process. These apps will not make your Mac run faster or more efficiently, since having stuff stored on a drive does not impact performance, unless you're running out of drive space.

    Some of these apps delete caches, which can hurt performance, rather than help it, since more system resources are used and performance suffers while each cache is being rebuilt. Caches exist to improve performance, so deleting them isn't advisable in most cases.

    Many of the tasks performed by these apps should only be done selectively to troubleshoot specific problems, not en masse as routine maintenance.

    Mac OS X does a good job of taking care of itself, without the need for 3rd party software. Among other things, it has its own maintenance scripts that run silently in the background on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, without user intervention. You can use Maintidget to see the last time these scripts were run.

    At a time when you're experiencing slower performance, follow every step of the following instructions precisely. Do not skip any steps.
    1. Launch Activity Monitor
    2. Change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes"
    3. Click on the "% CPU" column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top).
      (If that column isn't visible, right-click on the column headings and check it, NOT "CPU Time")
    4. Click on the System Memory tab at the bottom.
    5. Take a screen shot of the entire Activity Monitor window, then scroll down to see the rest of the list, take another screen shot
    6. Post your screenshots.
     
  9. sneak3 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 14, 2011
    #9
    Ok, will do it.

    But actually whats bothering very very much is the outrageous boot time. Thats what motivated me to go after these steps I mentioned.

    RAM doesnt help with it?

    Any thoughts on that?
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #10
    If you have a HDD and want faster boot times, get a SSD.
     
  11. sneak3 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 14, 2011
    #11
    I see lots of people with faster boot times and they dont have a SSD. What im trying to say is that there are probably some issues with my mbp that are severely slowing the start up.
     
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #12
    Did you address the first 4 performance tips? That should affect startup times.
     
  13. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #13
    Right there if you're using the latest versions of those programs, you should have as much ram as your notebook can hold. Zbrush can easily consume 8GB in its current form. Photoshop recommends 8GB as of CS6. You may have other issues too.


    It's an older drive at this point. You seem to suggest it wasn't this slow on startups initially. A clean install + combo update might help.
     
  14. sneak3 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 14, 2011
    #14
    What 4 performance tips are you talking about exactly?
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #15
    The first 4 in the Performance Tips For Mac OS X link in my first post in this thread.
     
  16. benji888 macrumors 65816

    benji888

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Location:
    United States
    #16
    Unless you are having issues (which others are helping you try to find) yes, upgrading to more RAM will likely help speed things up while working on your mac, (but not likely at startup). Best to use 4GBx2 over 8GBx1.

    Getting the newer faster RAM made for newer faster macs will not make your older computer faster. The newer computers have different hardware that is required for the faster speed. RAM doesn't work like hard drives, RAM is limited by the capability of your "motherboard".
     
  17. sneak3 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 14, 2011
    #17
    I performed your step GGJ, although it helped with the loading time of some tasks, it merely changed the start up time.

    Im going to do a Mtn Lion clean install, as Ive read that mtn is superior in speed.

    Will probably get more RAM for my programs too.

    So besides that, how much the SSD would improve the boot time and the overall experience?
     
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #18
    Booting up involves a lot of disc reading and writing. As SSDs have significantly faster read/write performance than HDDs, the time required for that process is greatly reduced. How much it improves varies, but if you search for some of the SSD threads in the forum you'll find many people reporting much faster startup times.
     
  19. spoonie1972 macrumors 6502a

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    Toronto
  20. sneak3 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 14, 2011
    #20
    But related to what? Just boot time? What else?
     
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #21
    Any task that involves reading or writing to the drive will be much faster with a SSD. That includes boot ups, launching apps, opening files, moving files, etc.
     
  22. spoonie1972 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto
    #22
    Pretty much everything.
    Think about what your typical i/o bottleneck is.. the weak link - hard drive. Speed it up and everything else isnt sitting around waiting on it (as much).
     

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