MBP Core i7 Ram upgrade

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rambosamboo, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. rambosamboo macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2010
    Hi everyone,

    I will be receiving my new 15" Macbook Pro tomorrow and was considering a memory upgrade from the standard 4GB to 8GB ram.

    1) Would you recommend such an upgrade? Will primarily use the machine to run statistics software and Excel 2010 + Outlook 2010 (Bootcamp Windows 7). Thought that the extra Ram would probably also give me the option to work faster in a VM environment and maybe skip Boot Camp and go with parrallels.

    2) Reading around the forum I read about users experiencing freezes due to bad memory. Was wondering if i should buy the memory from a particular brand e.g. Samsung, Infineon or even the memory used by Apple. Which brand do you recommend?

    Many thanks in advance!
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    1. If you're going to run VM, then definitely upgrade the RAM to 8GB. If not, then 4GB should be sufficient

    2. OWC and Crucial have always been popular here but something cheaper like G.Skill from NewEgg should also work just fine
  3. xPAULx macrumors member


    Nov 14, 2009
    Wales (UK)
    I have just ordered a 15'' MBP myself!
    I use alot of ram intensive apps like, After effects, maya, Logic Pro etc.
    I got the 4GB DDR3 option so I can upgrade to 8GB Crucial Ram.
    You save exactly £100 this way!

    I think if you are running multiple apps at the same time then it is really worth the upgrade!
    Also it helps future proof your mac, and make it run smoother for longer!
  4. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    This. Very few pieces of software require more than 4GB RAM unless you're really going top end media creation tools. However, the one exception to this is if you're using emulation.

    (Sorry hellhammer for the +1 type post. Just thought it needed emphasising).
  5. jdelgado macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2009
    I have a 15in i7 MBP and upgraded to 8GB of RAM. I could not be happier. The upgrade was absolutely worth it. I run Parallels regularly (windows 7), large Excel worksheets, along with Word, and the usual stuff (web, mail, etc). Parallels launches and saves faster, and switching between MacOS and VM is also better (no more beach balls).
    I got OWC memory. Although I had a couple of kernel panics, I cannot attribute them to the RAM.
  6. racketeer71 macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2010
    I'm with the other VM-freaks in this thread.

    I often felt my computer grinding almost to a halt when I only had 4GB - although I had survived with 3GB for 3+ years. The 8GB in my 15" i7 made life soooo much nicer, when running VMWare Fusion in Parallels. One of the main areas where I have seen a huge improvement is in the "resume from suspended".
  7. rambosamboo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2010
    many thanks for all the replies. will opt for an 8GB upgrade from crucial just to be on the safe side.

    what are your thoughts on SSD? i have seen many youtube videos and was impressed with the speed for launching applications. Will there be a significant benefit for VMs as well? I decided against SSD for now and chose a 500GB (7200rpm) drive. I remember reading about the successor to the Intel X-25 G2 with 320GB. Will this drive be released anytime soon? Are there currently any alternative drives with this capacity available at an affordable price that are as fast as the Intel X-25?

    again many many thanks in advance!
  8. circularforward macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2010
    The Seagate Momentus XT is a hybrid hdd with a 4gb SLC NAND solid state memory paired with a 7200rpm hdd. It offers performance between a ssd and traditional hdd if you run the same apps daily.
  9. rambosamboo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2010

    Thanks guys, received my MBP yesterday and am very happy :)
  10. js81 macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    Got mine yesterday - only real complaint I have is with the hard drive. I got the standard 5400rpm drive, and this drive (Toshiba MK5055GSXF) has to be about the slowest 5400rpm drive I've ever seen. Checked the benchmark, and it scored 305 according to harddrivebenchmark.net.

    I still have my 640GB Samsung 5400rpm (HM641JI) drive that I had installed in my 13" MBP. It scores 555 according to the same benchmark. I had planned on selling it, but I think I may install it after all.

    Don't know how good Apple's 7200rpm drives are; check the benchmark and see how it compares.
  11. rambosamboo, Sep 16, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2011

    rambosamboo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2010
    @ js81
    the 7200m drive I got in my MBP is a Seagate Momentus ST9500420ASG. The score according to harddrivebenchmark.net is 446 , surprisingly significantly lower than your 5400 Samsung drive :confused:
  12. zhenya, Sep 16, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2011

    zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    The difference between 5400 and 7200 rpm laptop drives is minimal, at most. As you've discovered, many 5400 rpm drives will outperform their 'faster' 7200 counterparts. If you want a real speed boost, go for the SSD. It's the biggest upgrade, by far, you can give your laptop. It's hard to live with a regular laptop drive even for basic tasks once you've gotten used to a SSD.

    Intel will likely be updating their line sometime by the end of the year (according to their roadmap), but who knows, Intel is notoriously slow to update their (excellent) drives. It could be 1 month or 5.

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