Help Me Decide: Processor Speed vs. Extra Ram

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Vashti, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. Vashti macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2003
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #1
    Hey y'all. I'm going to take advantage of Black Friday sales before midnight Pacific time. I'm weighing the comparative value of a 2.0 macbook upgraded (to 250 hard drive and 4 GB ram) or the 2.4 macbook without any changes. So the question comes down to which helps me more - extra ram or extra processing speed?

    I do pretty basic things - music, e-mail, web, word processing, excel, light picture editing. I do often have many apps open at once.

    I asked at the apple store and via phone to apple online. One said ram, the other said processing speed. So I thought I'd turn it over to you experts to see if you could illuminate me.

    Thanks for the help. I will be ordering within an hour.
     
  2. mark2288 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    #2
    For what you do, I would probably say go with more RAM, but then again RAM/hard-drive is easily upgradeable in the Macbook whereas the processor is not. You may want to get the best processor now and upgrade the RAM, hard-drive later on.
     
  3. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #3
    I'd get the faster processor. You can always upgrade the ram later when the price drops, you can't upgrade the processor.

    And plus you get the back-lit keyboard.
     
  4. bruinsrme macrumors 603

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
  5. noodle654 macrumors 68020

    noodle654

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Location:
    Never Ender
    #5
    Definitely processor. You can upgrade that all later on and for much cheaper than what Apple offers.
     
  6. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    is a state of mind.
    #6
    I agree, *but* if you are strapped for cash and don't expect to have the upgrade money down the line then I would get the 2.0GHz. That is still a pretty darn fast machine.
     
  7. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #7
    2 gigs of ram should be fine for this. I doubt you need 4 gigs at the moment..
    The ram is ddr3 and its faster than the ddr2 in the old macbooks.

    'If', and its a big if, you find it is running slow/paging out..then stump up the extra cash in 6 months or so and bump up the ram. Cheaper than replacing the whole laptop.
     
  8. Vashti thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2003
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #8
    Thanks, y'all. This is really helping. If I'm reading this right, it seems like folks think the Ram would be better if I can only do one - but most of you think I should upgrade the processor and then buy more ram if I need it later. Does that sound right?

    Again, thanks. I really appreciate the help!
     
  9. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #9
    I had convinced myself I was wrong for spending extra $300 on CPU, 90 GB HD space, and iluminated keyboard. But reading the firs few replies made me rethink, especially with Snow Leopard around the corner. I thought was rather pointless to have upgraded HD when I want a faster 7200 rpm HD and not this snail they included. Realistically, the 5400 rpm HD that came with it will become a better external backup not money wasted. And the 20% faster CPU may meet minimum requirements for some software three years from now. The illuminated keyboard will prevent many first stroke errors in bed (ok not that kind of stroke). You get point. So turns out I am genius and not an idiot, or just got lucky!

    So the high-end MB may work out!
     
  10. Vashti thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2003
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #10
    Done! I ordered the 2.4 version with no extra Ram. If I need it later, I'll buy it then. Thanks a lot for all the guidance. Happy Holidays.
     
  11. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #11
    Actually, if I were you, I would upgrade the ram now... You will need it. And, it's only $150 to have Apple do it and not mess with your warranty. But if you cannot afford it, then definitely wait.

    Congrats.
     
  12. MacsBestFriend macrumors 6502a

    MacsBestFriend

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    Location:
    upstate ny (purgatory)
    #12
    2.0 MacBook with iPod Touch or 2.4?

    I would recommend the 2.4 because of what others have said about upgrading when prices drop. the backlit keyboard is nice also! (please disregard the title, i copied from the thread i posted by accident)
     
  13. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    is a state of mind.
    #13
    RAM is user upgradeable and has no impact on the warranty.
     
  14. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #14
    For future reference, you can find the ram here at crucial for $132.

    It wouldn't surprise me if this was under 100 dollars in six months, and less than 80 in a year.
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #15
    As you wish: OWC has it for $99
     
  16. BayouBengal macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    Houston,TX
    #16
    I took the base model 2.4ghz route because like others said, the CPU is not upgradable. I can buy more ram or a HDD when the time comes. I may end up buying the ram sooner than I thought, I'm getting the itch already haha.
     
  17. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #17
    Start saving for some of these :cool:

    (im pretty sure they will work..have to check tho..)
     
  18. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    #18
    is it just me or is OWC dropping their prices on RAM very often?

    i remember looking at it about a week ago and it was 117.99 lol
     

Share This Page