I'm sure this has been discussed before but: RAM vs. CPU for a newbie


macrumors member
Original poster
May 26, 2006

I'm sure this has been debated before, but I am a newbie to this, so please forgive me:eek: . I am looking to buy a macbook pro very soon (can't wait for merom) and my budget is sorta limited. I am wondering if it better to get 2.16Ghz vs 2.0Ghz, or 2GB of RAM vs the stock 1GB. What is worth more, the leap from 1GB to 2GB of RAM, or the leap from 2.0Ghz to 2.16Ghz of CPU processing speed? Additionally, how much does the integrated graphics on the macbook matter, as I am also considering buying a maxed-out macbook insterad of a pro model, but I would like to do some gaming through boot camp.
As well, I do plan to purchase the macbook soon, but I am wondering what are the advantages of merom? If it is simply 64-bit, is the only advantage that you can support a lot more RAM (which is unneccessary for me). Thanks a lot

EDIT: approximately how long will it take to merom to come out? are we talking weeks, months, or years? also, what specifically would be the advantages of merom, for the avrage user.


Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
Andover, MA
RAM trumps CPU, especially when it's such a small CPU bump. Integrated graphics are fine unless you want to play newer games, most of which (3D ones) won't run or will crawl without a separate card.

Merom is better, stronger, faster... but not here yet. If you can wait, wait... but availability might not be for some time.

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
Adelaide, Australia
Most people wouldn't ever notice such a small CPU difference but the extra RAM would be noticed. Having said that, the RAM can easily be upgraded later but the CPU will be more difficult, if possible at all. As for the GPU, the MacBook Pro is a much better machine for gaming. :)


macrumors 68000
Apr 2, 2006
i agree with the previous two, you are NEVER going to notice the extra 160Mhz RAM however you will notice a VERY big difference. most MAc users reccommend a 1GB minimum for any MAC running OSX


macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2006
Hey, the RAM will make a lot more difference in performance than the 0.16Ghz CPU processor speed. 512Mb is enough for just basic tasks(which is what I do), but when loading up Front Row, there is some lag, and it reallly gets to me.


macrumors regular
Mar 4, 2003
CanadaRAM said:
Buy the MacBook stock with 512 and add your RAM from a reputable third party RAM seller, to save money.
Remember, if you do this, reputable is the key word. There's a lot of cheap RAM out there that will seriously screw up your computer. Companies like Kingston and Corsair, even Samsung, are generally regarded as having been held to higher standards then generic RAM makers.

I agree with 1GB minimum, especially if you're running anything besides iLife, internet, and office software. On my MacBook Pro 2.0 I have 1GB, and it runs fine but I'm planning to upgrade so I can use more programs/open more windows without it getting laggy.