MacBook Pro SSD or 8GB of RAM?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 05benfra, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. 05benfra macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2010
    Hi guys,

    I am looking to buy a Macbook Pro in the coming weeks, and was in need of some advice.
    I am purchasing the Mac for university, it will mainly be used mainly for games, the Adobe CS5 suite, and for general Office software. Video editing, photo editing and website creation would probably be the primary use though.
    First of all I was wondering what people's thoughts were on the i5 processor vs the i7. Using the above programs would I really notice much of a difference?
    Furthermore, once adding a high resolution screen (I can't decide out of matte or glossy?!), I have some money left. Should I spend this on upgrading the RAM from 4GB to 8GB, or on a SSD of the size 128GB or 256GB.
    Essentially, would I notice much difference when conducting the above tasks with the extra RAM? Or would I benefit more from the SSD (I am worried about the small size of the SSD's that I can afford).
    At the moment I seem to be settling for the 8GB of RAM, in hope that in the future, as technology develops, I could purchase my own SSD, for hopefully a cheaper price and a larger size, and input it myself.

    Am I thinking along the right lines?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    i7 is faster but only ~10% so I would stick with 2.4GHz i5. Whatever you add, buy it from aftermarket. 8GB RAM costs only 220$ from OWC. You could think about doing OptiBay to get both, SSD and HD. Then 80GB would be enough for SSD
  3. KirkL macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2010
    United States
    I'm pretty sure RAM only becomes a factor when you're multitasking and the i Series processors are already better at that.

    If you want Programs to open faster and OS X to boot faster, get the SSD.

    Like Hellhammer said, buy it and install it yourself.
  4. Tmacfan4321 macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2007
    University Park, PA
    SSD absolutely. RAM won't change perceived performance unless you run into memory limitations and then upgrade.

    Also, buy the SSD aftermarket, you will get a better performing drive that way.
  5. gramirez2012 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    Chicago, USA
    I bought my 2010 MBP with the 128GB SSD, and I'm totally sold on it - this thing is FAST! :) So far I haven't run out of space.
  6. TopHatPlus macrumors 6502

    Aug 1, 2010
    Southern Ontario
    for the price of the ram which will barely dent over the next few years and the out rageous price of the ssd i would pick ram and i am picking ram when i buy mine in a few weeks, i can buy a 1 tb ss for $170 then thats what i am willing to pay for a built in >_< but i am getting the 7200 rpm 500gb hdd, i would note ven consider anything less then 500gb and the $1200 is a little high >_< and the extra ram makes your computer over done for today but adequate for tomorrow you must remember you buy a fast machine today but is it fast tomorrow?

    and i plan in 1-2 years the price of a 500 gb + ssd will be around $200 so i will get one then =D
  7. Tmacfan4321 macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2007
    University Park, PA
    You can have an Optibay setup with a 60GB SandForce controlled drive and a 750GB 5400RPM HDD for under $300. You get speed and storage at a pretty low price.
  8. kernkraft macrumors 68020


    Jun 25, 2009
    I would just get the standard computer and see how that is working out for you. Cloning the content of the HDD after should be easy later on. If you really want one of them, go for a 60-100 GB SSD. They are relatively affordable, even if you buy mid-range.

    In a year or two, memory prices will be so much lower, I think. Also, what people often forget is that the real cost of the RAM is not the upgrade fee. You pay that extra cost for the extra 4 GB. If you look at it this way, it becomes obvious how much you can save on getting the RAM from elsewhere.

    I upgraded a few MBPs in the last two years and for some reason, I am now able to sell the stock 2 GB units for the same price that a whole 4GB aftermarket upgrade cost me a year ago. Has anybody else noticed the memory price rise recently?
  9. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    Get the i7 and 8GB of RAM.

    The 8GB of RAM can be had for only $198 now from

    SSD is FAST but in most cases a 7200RPM will do just fine with most things just launching apps and boot up time is just a bit slower. You can always add the SSD later but you cant add an i7 later. I know the i7 is only 10% but imo 10% is alot of performance jump.
  10. 05benfra thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2010
    Okay guys, thanks a million, it sounds like it might be an idea to get an SSD in a few months, hopefully they will have dropped in price slightly by then.
    Are SSD's difficult to implement? I'm fine with sorting out upgrades etc, but I've never replaced a hard drive myself.
  11. egraphixstudios macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2007
    I would be another vote for SSD.

    the speed and response of having a SSD compared to double ram is a no brainer.

    my system is so fast and responsive- not only is it dead silent- snow leopard load times are around 20secs! from power on...:apple:
  12. Tmacfan4321 macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2007
    University Park, PA
    If you're going to wait for that long, just wait until Intel releases its G3 revision of the X25-M. It should be coming within the next four months and supposedly it will drop prices dramatically and increase write performance to become competitive with the newest SSDs.

    I skimped on my Vertex 2 in anticipation of the G3 line.
  13. 05benfra thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2010
    Ahh decisions decisions!!!
    Now I'm liking the idea of the following spec:
    # 2.66GHz Intel Core i7
    # 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    # 256GB Solid State Drive
    # SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    # MacBook Pro 15-inch Hi-Res Glossy Widescreen Display

    Glossy vs matte? I've only ever used matte before but I'm under the impression (from different reviews) that colours are sharper on the high res glossy than the high res matte?
  14. Tmacfan4321 macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2007
    University Park, PA
    Get an aftermarket SSD instead of an Apple supplied one. It should be cheaper and it will definitely be faster.

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