MBP 13" Early 2011 upgrade ssd/ram?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Pguerra17, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. Pguerra17 macrumors newbie

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    Jun 11, 2012
    #1
    Hello I have a MBP Early 2011 13" and have recently noticed the colorful beachball more than i would like. I'm curious if upgrading my ram from 4gb to say 8 or more would make a difference. Or is just upgrading my hd to a ssd would be enough? Thank you all in advance. :D
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #2
    There are many causes of beachballs and they don't necessarily indicate you need more RAM or a SSD. To determine if you can benefit from more RAM, launch Activity Monitor and click the System Memory tab at the bottom to check your page outs. Page outs are cumulative since your last restart, so the best way to check is to restart your computer and track page outs under your normal workload (the apps, browser pages and documents you normally would have open). If your page outs are significant (say 1GB or more) under normal use, you may benefit from more RAM. If your page outs are zero or very low during normal use, you probably won't see any performance improvement from adding RAM.

    Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor

    If you're having performance issues, this may help:
     
  3. Pguerra17 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Awesome ok i will do this as soon as i get off of work. So you wouldn't consider upgrading my hd to ssd even if my page out is low?
     
  4. Spink10 macrumors 601

    Spink10

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  5. Pguerra17 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    After surfing the web for an hour or loading videos from the tube but mostly when using iphoto.
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #6
    There's no question that you'll see performance improvement by upgrading from a HDD to a SSD, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will resolve your beachball issue, which could be caused by a number of things, including a runaway process or app. Read the performance tips I posted. Also, follow every step of the following instructions precisely. Do not skip any steps.
    1. Launch Activity Monitor
    2. Change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes"
    3. Click on the "% CPU" column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top).
      (If that column isn't visible, right-click on the column headings and check it, NOT "CPU Time")
    4. Click on the System Memory tab at the bottom.
    5. Take a screen shot of the entire Activity Monitor window, then scroll down to see the rest of the list, take another screen shot
    6. Post your screenshots.
     
  7. Pguerra17 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    ok sounds like a plan dont get off for another 5 hours will post pics when completed thank you again for you help
     
  8. phrk macrumors member

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    Mar 26, 2012
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    Germany
    #8
    I have the base 13" early 2011 with Mountain Lion. Installed 8 GB Ram and added a SSD (Samsung 830 - 256 GB). Best laptop experience I ever had!
    I added 8GB when Lion came out because I always had the 4 GB filled up completely. But I wasn't very satisfied with that experience it felt even slower than my Windows PC. After the SSD upgrade it runs just ultra smooth and everything else I have used since feels very slow.
    If you have the money (for me about 230€) got for it!
     
  9. Pguerra17 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 11, 2012
    #9
    Yeah that's about 300$ for me and isn't too bad of a price. I was thinking it was going to cost like 450$+. But I would still have to update my ram so... it might end up costing 450$ :rolleyes:
     
  10. Pguerra17 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    I only have one page of stuff.
     

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  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #11
    That's because you skipped step 2 of the instructions.

    First, you're running Flash. Flash is notorious for consuming system resources, raising temps and decreasing battery life. For Flash-related issues:
    • Find your Flash version and make sure it's the latest version available. Never install or update Flash from a pop-up on a website. Always go to Adobe's site to get Flash or updates.
    • Install ClickToFlash (Safari), Flashblock (Firefox) or FlashBlock (Chrome) to control which Flash content plays on websites.
    • Try using the YouTube HTML5 Video Player to watch YouTube videos, when available. (May impact fullscreen viewing. See link for details.) Some have reported better performance with HTML5, while some have reported worse. Try it and find out what works best for you.

    Second, you have significant page outs in the System Memory tab. To determine if you can benefit from more RAM, launch Activity Monitor and click the System Memory tab at the bottom to check your page outs. Page outs are cumulative since your last restart, so the best way to check is to restart your computer and track page outs under your normal workload (the apps, browser pages and documents you normally would have open). If your page outs are significant (say 1GB or more) under normal use, you may benefit from more RAM. If your page outs are zero or very low during normal use, you probably won't see any performance improvement from adding RAM.

    Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor
     
  12. Pguerra17 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 11, 2012
    #12
    ok not sure if i did it right this time. btw how can you tell?
     

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  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #13
    What is step #2?
     
  14. Pguerra17 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 11, 2012
    #14
    Remove any non-essential items from /Library/LaunchAgents/ and ~/Library/LaunchAgents/
    (Lion users: In Finder, click Go > Go to Folder > then enter the path)

    i did this i deleted what i had in these folders it was only like 4-5 things
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #15
    No, step 2 of the instructions for posting the screen shots of Activity Monitor, as posted in post #6.
     
  16. Pguerra17 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 11, 2012
    #16
    aw ******* lol sorry man i seemed to have skipped over it :eek:. well im at work now so i wont be able to repost any pics for another 8-9 hours.
     
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #17
    No problem. We'll take a look at it then.
     
  18. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #18
    If your beachballs are just normal "you don't have enough computer muscle to not beachball as often as you are" beachballs, then yes, 8GB of RAM will help; you should do that upgrade regardless, in my opinion. SSDs will speed things up too, but you will lose out on capacities offered by the hard drives. So it goes.

    If your beachballs are not that type, then I'd have to know more specifics.
     
  19. Pguerra17 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    3rd tries a charm??? lol
     

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  20. Pguerra17 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #20
    i guess they are not enough computer muscle beach balls but i honestly dont know.
     
  21. JGRE macrumors 6502a

    JGRE

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    Oct 10, 2011
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    Dutch Mountains
    #21
    More RAM

    I have expended the ram from 4 to 8 GB on my 13"MBP and experienced a big improvement on memory consuming programs like aperture and the like.
    As 8 GB ram only cost € 50, it is only a small investment worthwhile.
    I also plan to replace the HD with a SSD, but as they are still quite expensive (€ 350 for a 350 GB SSD) I am still holding off. I expect however a big improvement in both app and system start-up. Once you have a SSD, the need for more ram decreases because a SSD can swap faster compared to a HD.

    ----------

    After installing a SSD, there is less need for more ram, a the read and write speed of a SSD comes quite near to the read and write speed of ram.

    If you are willing to spend money, i would suggest starting with the SSD as this will give you the most benefits. Also see another threat on this forum regarding MBA with standard SSD and the question regarding memory expansion. You can also simply test a MBA with 4GB as an experience in a store.

    BTW, 2x2GB for you MBP will cost only € 50 not € 150.
     
  22. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #22
    Excellent! Now, were you getting beachballs at the time of the screen shot? My guess is no, since there's nothing there that would indicate high system resource usage. If not, try taking a screen shot like that at the time you're getting beachballs, so hopefully we can identify the culprit. Also, keep an eye on page outs. Did you go through the performance tips from my first post?
     
  23. Pguerra17 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 11, 2012
    #23
    Yes I did I think I found the problem. It was the flash plug-in like you said. I notice that when I try to use my subscribtion to nfl rewind or wtf ever its called its because of the flash plug-in. But I cant watch it unless I use flash. Do you know a way around it? I will provide screen shots when i get home.
     
  24. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #24
    See post #11.
     
  25. goy091 macrumors newbie

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    Dec 7, 2011
    #25
    Regardless of system tweaks upgrading the Ram and SSD will make your experience much better. I just did the following on an early 2011 13 MBP for my mom.

    8GB DDR3 Ram - $40
    256GB Kingston SataII SSD - $140

    The computer is worlds faster all for under $200.

    Check out newegg.com
    8GB of ram is $30-$50

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...32314 600032345&IsNodeId=1&name=8GB (2 x 4GB)

    16GB of ram is $50-$100

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...2314 600287035&IsNodeId=1&name=16GB (2 x 8GB)

    SSD sales come up pretty often. I'd recommend the Samsung 830 or Crucial M4. The 256GB variety can be had for less than $200 if you do some searching. You can go a bit cheaper on the SSD, but most recommendations I've seen is to stay away from OCZ drives. The Kingston one I got was cheap but anything is better/faster than a mechanical HDD. 80MB read/write to 220MB read/write.
     

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