Macbook Pro 13" mid 2012 - Ram or SSD upgrade?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by markw3st, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. markw3st macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2017
    Hi guys,

    I have started to use my macbook pro for gaming (not wise really, i know), but i have what i have.

    I have the 2.5ghz i5, with 4gb of ram.

    A couple of the simulation games i play are lagging and have slow response times and I want to improve the overall experience but being able to have the graphics a bit higher than 'low'.

    Eeventually i will upgrade both, but for an immediate impact what would be better? 16GB ram or a SSD?

    Thank you in advance.
  2. markw3st thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2017
    Lol, so definitive :)
    --- Post Merged, Feb 6, 2017 ---
    And that will defo help my games run faster?
  3. Eerriikkoo macrumors member

    Feb 6, 2017
    I'd say Ram. Initial loading times benefit from ssd but more ram enables a game to hold more assets in memory so it will run better/faster.
    All in all your best option would be to upgrade both ssd and ram.
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Yep. Best upgrade you can make to any computer with a spinning drive.

    You'd see the main impact with loading times; games will be much snappier to load up. In terms of graphics settings/FPS, it may help slightly, but only slightly, if at all. Fundementally the bottleneck for gaming is your iGPU and even with additional VRAM (by upgrading the system RAM to 8GB+ and updating to macOS Sierra), you won't see any noticable performance boosts.

    Your best bet for gaming on your machine (after updating the SSD/RAM) would be through BootCamp, because the drivers will be frequently updated. When you're running Windows, run Intel Driver Update to find the latest iGPU: Driver Update Utility Installer.exe

    If you'll be running Windows 10, the latest driver can be pulled by manually searching for driver updates in devmgmt.

    Otherwise if you're sticking on macOS, an SSD/RAM upgrade and updating to the latest OS is all you can do really. Even through Windows, I imagine you won't see much more than 2-3FPS gain. It's not worth it.
  5. markw3st thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2017
    So less lagging? Thats all i want, the games to run smoothly :)
    --- Post Merged, Feb 6, 2017 ---
    I can run windows on my mac? Really? Is it complicated to do? And that will help gaming performance?
    Thank you for help sir :)
  6. wolfaaron macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2012
    How much an SSD will help you in games depends on how the game is made. Typically a game pre-loads its assets and puts most of the assets (sometimes all of them) into RAM. Then your game retrieves them as you need them. But with not enough ram sometimes it has tor request them from the disk, that's where your SSD comes in handy.

    So if you want better loading times get an SSD first. But as long as your hard drive isn't failing I recommend more ram first before upgrading the SSD this way your games can pre-load everything into the ram and rely less on the hard drive during gameplay.
  7. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    I vote SSD. The reason is because your current HDD likely write/reads around 50-100 MB/s, and it has a latency. Most SSDs read/write around 500 MB/s, and essentially eliminate latency. So the speed increase is on a significant scale. Your computer will cold boot in around 15 seconds.

    Upgrading the RAM can make a significant impact as well. The best way to determine the impact is to take a look at the Activity Monitor and RAM utilization stats, while you are using the most resource-intensive programs, where you can probably determine whether you want to invest in 8 or 16gb. For gaming, the RAM upgrade benefits could be much greater than with normal usage, IMO.
  8. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Ehh, again there's only so much that you can compensate for with the graphics card bottleneck. But loading times will certainly be quicker; in-game FPS boost, perhaps not so much, if at all. Though the general performance (browsing Internet, loading times) from an SSD will make your computer run like butter!

    You'll need to have a Windows 10 DVD, but it's a pretty easy thing to do. Just open up BootCamp Assistant on your Mac and it will take you through partitioning your drive & installing Windows on that. From there you hold Alt on startup to boot into either macOS or Windows. :)
  9. markw3st thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2017
    You lovely people :)

    I had a feeling there would be no definitive answer and both would have pro's and cons.
  10. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Pretty easy and yes most games will perform better in Windows.

    This link will fill you in.
  11. Eerriikkoo macrumors member

    Feb 6, 2017
    I think it is simple:
    What is the main bottleneck?
    Before anything it is probably your graphics card. You cannot upgrade that. So whatever you do lag will always happen, especially with graphically demanding games.
    Then comes the ingame performance which will be bottlenecked by ram shortage. And if you resolve that by upgrading you will encounter the next bottleneck, which is the harddrive.
    And yes Windows will make most games run smoother. Often games will be made to run on Windows first (Directx) and then are ported to run on macOS (OpenGL or maybe Metal nowadays?) But still the same bottlenecks will apply.
  12. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    Open up activity monitor and see if you are running out of RAM. That's your first upgrade. Do you need 8GB or 16GB is the second question.

    The SSD will make the machine load programs and boot faster, and generally make anything that reads/writes to the disk much faster.

    Lastly, you have the integrated graphics and dual core CPU - there's nothing you can do about that except go to a 15" model.

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