Macbook Pro Ram Upgrade

Onewinged37

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Original poster
May 1, 2014
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I posted in the macbook pro ram upgrade thread but I didn't get a response quick enough so I thought I'd post an individual thread :p. I currently have an early 2011 Macbook pro with a 13 inch display and 4gb of ram. 4gb is really limiting my computer as I work a lot in final cut, logic, and aperture and I'm wondering if an upgrade to 8 or even 16gb would be worth it for me. My mac is 3 years old now. Is the $100 upgrade to 8gb of ram worth it for my computer? Or even the 16gb? Thanks!
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
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I posted in the macbook pro ram upgrade thread but I didn't get a response quick enough so I thought I'd post an individual thread :p. I currently have an early 2011 Macbook pro with a 13 inch display and 4gb of ram. 4gb is really limiting my computer as I work a lot in final cut, logic, and aperture and I'm wondering if an upgrade to 8 or even 16gb would be worth it for me. My mac is 3 years old now. Is the $100 upgrade to 8gb of ram worth it for my computer? Or even the 16gb? Thanks!
I don't think it's worth it, because for your type of work, it's more suited for a quad-core system with a discrete GPU. And that means a 15" MBP.
 

simonsi

macrumors 601
Jan 3, 2014
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Auckland
The question really is: Does the benefit to you in performance or removal of the current limiter (assuming more RAM does these things for you), equate to more than $100?

The RAM could always be removed and reused or sold to recoup some of the value if you lose use of the 2011 you are putting it into - assuming you don't junk the std RAM modules...
 

Onewinged37

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 1, 2014
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The question really is: Does the benefit to you in performance or removal of the current limiter (assuming more RAM does these things for you), equate to more than $100?

The RAM could always be removed and reused or sold to recoup some of the value if you lose use of the 2011 you are putting it into - assuming you don't junk the std RAM modules...
Would the increased ram increase performance significantly? Cause currently with the 4gb I'm getting a lot of lag/delay time and sometimes the programs even close themselves when heavier effects are added.
 

simonsi

macrumors 601
Jan 3, 2014
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Auckland
Would the increased ram increase performance significantly?
Only if RAM is an issue now. To see that you need to check memory usage (non-Mavericks), or see what your memory pressure is (Mavericks). If you haven't upgraded to Mavericks yet I would recommend it as it is much better at getting the best out of whatever amount of memory you have installed.

If you get to Mavericks and your memory pressure is green in the Activity Monitor them additional RAM won't be of benefit...
 

Onewinged37

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Original poster
May 1, 2014
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Only if RAM is an issue now. To see that you need to check memory usage (non-Mavericks), or see what your memory pressure is (Mavericks). If you haven't upgraded to Mavericks yet I would recommend it as it is much better at getting the best out of whatever amount of memory you have installed.

If you get to Mavericks and your memory pressure is green in the Activity Monitor them additional RAM won't be of benefit...
K it's in the green but it says 3.98 gb is being used of the 4gb. Is that good?
 

simonsi

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Jan 3, 2014
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K it's in the green but it says 3.98 gb is being used of the 4gb. Is that good?
Thats fine, I have 8GB and Mavericks will use 7.98GB of it normally. My RAM pressure is also green most of the time.

Now use you Mac as you would normally, load up what you would have running, Safari, Mail, Exchange, Aperture etc etc and see if the RAM pressure goes yellow or even red.

If it goes red then you would benefit from more RAM now, if it goes yellow then you are closer to needing more RAM but not in dire need. If it stays green you won't see any benefit from additional RAM at all at this time.

If it goes yellow you may see some swap used (RAM swapped out to a file on disk), which will slow things down, if it goes red you are likely to be using lots of swap and the machine will likely be very slow to respond. (equally your cpu is likely to be high and fans on from the general high load).

Mavericks keeps stuff it doesn't need in RAM (recently closed apps etc), just in case you decide to reopen them so it can give you a better experience. If however if it needs the RAM for something else, it will just use it, nothing lost. Keeping your RAM as empty as possible does't bring any benefit at all.
 

saberahul

macrumors 68040
Nov 6, 2008
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It will help in general usage. I have a 2011 13" i7 and upgraded the RAM myself to 8. I bought it off Amazon for $30 about 2 years ago... not sure where the $100 is coming from.
 

simonsi

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Jan 3, 2014
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Auckland
K it's in the green but it says 3.98 gb is being used of the 4gb. Is that good?
Just pushed mine with converting a video, iTunes, Aperture, Safari etc and virtual memory went up to 10GB (so it is using Apple RAM compression), but still no swap used so speed is great....and RAM pressure still green :D
 

Onewinged37

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 1, 2014
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The 100$ rate came from other world computing. Is that too much? And does it sound like I need the extra RAM?
 

snaky69

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Mar 14, 2008
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The 100$ rate came from other world computing. Is that too much? And does it sound like I need the extra RAM?
Check your memory pressure when you're experiencing lag, if it's in the green then RAM is not your problem.
 

Dameatball

macrumors member
Feb 7, 2014
97
19
San Francisco
Yes- even though your mbp is 3 years old, you will immediately notice a difference upgrading to 8mgs (not sure your machine can handle 16). The types of programs you're running are memory intensive. I was in the same spot with a 2011 iMac and was incredibly frustrated at how often it would freeze, spinning circle etc. I've upgraded ram for an iMac, mbp and mini- all of which are very easy, just follow the instructions on apple support and fairly inexpensive. I believe 2x4mgs was $70 (crucial.com).
 

Onewinged37

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 1, 2014
27
0
Check your memory pressure when you're experiencing lag, if it's in the green then RAM is not your problem.

This is my activity monitor when I have no programs like FCP, Logic, or Aperture Running. If Ram's not my problem, what could be?

[/URL][/IMG]

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Yes- even though your mbp is 3 years old, you will immediately notice a difference upgrading to 8mgs (not sure your machine can handle 16). The types of programs you're running are memory intensive. I was in the same spot with a 2011 iMac and was incredibly frustrated at how often it would freeze, spinning circle etc. I've upgraded ram for an iMac, mbp and mini- all of which are very easy, just follow the instructions on apple support and fairly inexpensive. I believe 2x4mgs was $70 (crucial.com).
Is Crucial the best place to buy a 8gb ram upgrade? I was looking at other world computing and they had it for $100. What's the most reputable and best price overall? Here's my current ram situation.

[/URL][/IMG]
 

Dameatball

macrumors member
Feb 7, 2014
97
19
San Francisco
Hi- yes crucial.com has one of the best reps for price/reliability for Mac hardware. If you want, you can go on the crucial site, download their scanner (it's safe) and it will do a scan of your computer and tell you exactly what the correct ram type is for your mbp. Tip- crucial.com has a store in amazon. Not sure why, but the prices on the amazon/crucial.com store have been cheaper for the same exact ram on crucial's site direct all 3x I've purchased ram from them. If you have an amazon account, it's definitely worth taking a look (especially if you have prime- free ship). Final Cut Pro, you're going to want 8mgs wherever you decide to buy it from but I'd definitely recommend starting there.
 

Naimfan

Suspended
Jan 15, 2003
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I'd order it from Amazon and would get Crucial.

If you have the 2.3 GHz 13" i5, you need DDR3-1333 MHz, PC3-10600 204 pin SO-DIMMs.

It could also be your hard drive wearing out. If you notice frequent beachballing, if it takes longer to boot up, or to open applications, a wearing out hard drive is often the culprit.
 

Onewinged37

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 1, 2014
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I'd order it from Amazon and would get Crucial.

If you have the 2.3 GHz 13" i5, you need DDR3-1333 MHz, PC3-10600 204 pin SO-DIMMs.

It could also be your hard drive wearing out. If you notice frequent beachballing, if it takes longer to boot up, or to open applications, a wearing out hard drive is often the culprit.
That is what I'm noticing! Would that mean just buy a new computer altogether?
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
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Close chrome! Like force-quite-close.
Use fcp and monitor the activity monitor memory pressure while working.
Does it go into the yellow?

So far your info isn't conclusive. You need to monitor pressure when you think you are lagging.

----------

No, you need to download Blackmagic disk speed test and post the results :)
The blackmagic speedtest will show between 65mb/s and 75 mb/s.
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
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Close chrome! Like force-quite-close.
Use fcp and monitor the activity monitor memory pressure while working.
Does it go into the yellow?

So far your info isn't conclusive. You need to monitor pressure when you think you are lagging.

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The blackmagic speedtest will show between 65mb/s and 75 mb/s.
That's very slow. A normal HDD should be around 90 MB/s.

A SATA3 SSD will show 450-520MB/s.

A PCIe SSD (found in Haswell Macs) will do over 700MB/s.

You need an SSD. With one the lagging will go away and your Mac will start up in just 11 seconds from a cold shutdown to a full useable state.
 

Onewinged37

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 1, 2014
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That's very slow. A normal HDD should be around 90 MB/s.

A SATA3 SSD will show 450-520MB/s.

A PCIe SSD (found in Haswell Macs) will do over 700MB/s.

You need an SSD. With one the lagging will go away and your Mac will start up in just 11 seconds from a cold shutdown to a full useable state.
Do I need more ram as well. And can you recommend an SSD? Currently my mac starts up in like 30 seconds from a cold shutdown state to fully useable.
 
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yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
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GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
Do I need more ram as well. And can you recommend an SSD? Currently my mac starts up in like 30 seconds from a cold shutdown state to fully useable.
For your RAM, 8GB should do fine, since your RAM pressure isn't that high for now.

As for an SSD, I recommend the Samsung ones (840 Evo or 840 Pro). The Pro variants use higher quality MLC (Evo uses the lower quality TLC), but you won't see much difference in performance between these two. It's worth noting that the Pro variant has higher IOPS figures than the Evo.

For the best value for money, you can go have a look at the 250GB or 500GB 840 Evo.
 

Onewinged37

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 1, 2014
27
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For your RAM, 8GB should do fine, since your RAM pressure isn't that high for now.

As for an SSD, I recommend the Samsung ones (840 Evo or 840 Pro). The Pro variants use higher quality MLC (Evo uses the lower quality TLC), but you won't see much difference in performance between these two. It's worth noting that the Pro variant has higher IOPS figures than the Evo.

For the best value for money, you can go have a look at the 250GB or 500GB 840 Evo.
Would 250gb be enough?