MBP 2011: More RAM or SSD?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by east1999, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. east1999 macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2011
    Hey guys!

    I'm sure you get this a lot.

    I have a 13" 2011 Macbook Pro with 4 gigs or RAM, recently updated to Mavericks. The laptop has performed very well overall, but I get a few troubling hiccups whenever I try to multitask.

    I've been considering an upgrade because, even though I don't mind when it is slower at certain tasks (processor-related), I really hate freezes & the need to close down Chrome to stop seeing that beach ball. Here's what Activity Monitor says:


    I see all the memory is in use.. is it time for more RAM? I understand a new SSD usually speeds up a laptop tenfold, so I've been comparing prices and it seems they're almost the same (16gb RAM vs. 240gb SSD). I have some concern with disk-related operations like opening programs, files, etc., which can be a hassle.. but is RAM really the problem here?

  2. jorgk, Nov 13, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013

    jorgk macrumors member


    Mar 20, 2013
    Not an expert myself, but the amount of RAM "swap" used was nil - so I would conclude RAM is not the problem. Did you look at those figures after some one-two days of use? (If less, please go on and look later again).

    I've got a late-2011 MBP 15". I upgraded the RAM to 8 GB (was cheap some time ago - payed 26 € on eBay !) but also installed a SSD (m4 Crucial). That was almost next to each other, but my impression was that the SSD made the bigger difference.
  3. themumu macrumors 6502a


    Feb 13, 2011
  4. boomdog macrumors regular


    Oct 3, 2013
    The most Easterly point of the UK
    SSD's make a massive discount. As an earlier poster mentioned, you can probably pick up an 8GB ram pack pretty cheap so get the SSD now and then save again for 8GB of RAM.
  5. 8281 macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2010
    I have the same computer, and I upgraded the RAM first. I went from 4 to 8 GB and noticed a decent performance boost, but as other people have said, the SSD is what really made the thing fly.

    I'd get the SSD first, and if you notice it still slowing down a bit, opt for 8GB of RAM. I can't imagine you would need more than that.
  6. endlightend macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2013
    To basically repeat what other posters have said, your activity monitor indicates no swap used, so your RAM is not maxed out. There's a lot of forum users recommending upgrades from 4GB to 8GB RAM, but just as many defending the position that 4GB is plenty for most casual users.

    SSD's on the other hand, seem to be a necessity these days. If you're still running a HDD, upgrading to an SSD is like getting a new computer. Not to mention SSD prices are considered to be at a 'low' right now and RAM prices have spiked in the last several months.

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