More RAM or faster hard drive to improve performance?

wickedking94

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 27, 2010
271
4
I'm looking to boost the performance of my mid 2010 MacBook Pro so I can render in Maya faster. My current configuration is:
2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo
GeForce 320M
320GB 5400 RPM HDD
4GB DDR3 RAM
Mac os 10.6.8

Would I get better performance from upgrading the RAM to 8GB or upgrading the HDD to a 7200 RPM one?

Doing both really isn't an option, thanks!
 

Nov 28, 2010
22,668
27
located
RAM will probably more help than a 7,200 RPM HDD. Or you could get an SSD, and OptiBay adapter and more RAM.
Btw, is your Maya version 64-bit?

MacBook, MacBook Pro: Replacing the Hard Disk Drive, transferring data to the new HDD

the guide includes:
  • 0. Identify your MacBook or MacBook Pro
  • 1. Getting a new HDD
  • 2. Guides to replace the internal HDD with a newer one
  • 3. Transferring data from the old HDD to the new HDD
  • 4. Using the optical disk drive (ODD) slot for placing an SSD or HDD inside the MB/P (OPTIBAY)

 

wickedking94

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 27, 2010
271
4
You'll get the most improvement from a quad-core i7
I can't exactly replace the CPU in a macbook pro nor can I afford a new CPU anyway.

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RAM will probably more help than a 7,200 RPM HDD. Or you could get an SSD, and OptiBay adapter and more RAM.
Btw, is your Maya version 64-bit?
Thanks for your reply. First, I can't afford an SSD, I'm trying to get the best out of a limited budget upgrade, and second as much as the OptiBay adapter looks cool I use my Optical drive a lot so I really dont want to replace it.

My Maya version is 64-bit I checked it in activity monitor. And after looking at activity monitor I think RAM is a good idea to because when I render a frame it takes about 1GB out of 4GB so i think it might be putting a lot to virtual memory and slowing it down considerably.
 

outz

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2007
437
0
yeah, i'd def go with ram. i bumped my mbp to 8GB of crucial for around $40
 

Blue604

macrumors regular
Mar 6, 2012
163
0
Funny enough I'm getting two 4GB Crucial sticks for 40$ :)
RAM are so cheap right now. I just got 8GB of Crucial rams here in Canada for $40 plus tax. You made the right choice. HD now is a lot more expensive due to thai flooding.
 

mikethebigo

macrumors 68000
May 25, 2009
1,830
152
I made the jump from 4 to 8 GB RAM on my 13 MBP and the difference is large and noticeable. What will happen is you'll still have slower load times than with an SSD when opening an app the first time after a boot. After that though, I don't experience any page-outs, and every program is stored in inactive memory until called upon again. This means that I can multitask and task switch at really high speeds and it's great.

RAM is so much cheaper than an SSD, and SSDs still have some reliability issues, and the RAM upgrade does noticeably improve performance.
 

Blue604

macrumors regular
Mar 6, 2012
163
0
I made the jump from 4 to 8 GB RAM on my 13 MBP and the difference is large and noticeable. What will happen is you'll still have slower load times than with an SSD when opening an app the first time after a boot. After that though, I don't experience any page-outs, and every program is stored in inactive memory until called upon again. This means that I can multitask and task switch at really high speeds and it's great.

RAM is so much cheaper than an SSD, and SSDs still have some reliability issues, and the RAM upgrade does noticeably improve performance.
Agreed. I was happy with my 2009 Macbook pro 13", except for working in aperture. I have around 27,000 photos, and it shows beachball a lot when I was just browsing my photos. I was thinking about spending a lot to get 512GB SSD, but I just did the 4GB to 8GB Ram upgrade, and no more beachball in aperture! Cost me $45 with tax for 8GB of ram. Now even in iMovie is pretty smooth too!

Btw, I upgraded my stock 250GB 5400rpm HD to 500GB 7200rpm one a year ago due to harddrive failure. And the difference wasn't as noticeable as the Ram upgrade this time.
 
Last edited:

GunsUp

macrumors member
Jan 4, 2012
33
0
Kansas City, Missouri
I'm looking to boost the performance of my mid 2010 MacBook Pro so I can render in Maya faster. My current configuration is:
2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo
GeForce 320M
320GB 5400 RPM HDD
4GB DDR3 RAM
Mac os 10.6.8

Would I get better performance from upgrading the RAM to 8GB or upgrading the HDD to a 7200 RPM one?

Doing both really isn't an option, thanks!
I have 8 gig (2x4gig) from my 17" 2011 i7 Macbook Pro - Will that work? If it does, can you pay shipping thats it and ill ship you the 8 gig no other charges needed, are you in the USA? and i understand not having allot of money to spend, took me while to get my mbp so i would like to help
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
5,336
2,312
Perth, Western Australia
You'll get the most improvement from a quad-core i7
Depends what you're doing, but if it is typical home user stuff, you won't.

Email, web browsing, system startup, etc - the MBP in my sig is slower than the MBA in my sig.


Depends on your workload, but order would be SSD, RAM and then CPU for performance.

If you're running CPU heavy apps, CPU may make a heap of difference, but most people aren't. My MBP only comes into its own when video encoding and gaming.
 

Zwhaler

macrumors demi-god
Jun 10, 2006
6,758
983
The 4 to 8GB RAM upgrade in my 2010 2.66GHz i7 MacBook Pro helped a lot with video editing and I'm sure you'll benefit as well.
 

robvas

macrumors 68030
Mar 29, 2009
2,801
372
USA
Depends what you're doing, but if it is typical home user stuff, you won't.

Email, web browsing, system startup, etc - the MBP in my sig is slower than the MBA in my sig.


Depends on your workload, but order would be SSD, RAM and then CPU for performance.

If you're running CPU heavy apps, CPU may make a heap of difference, but most people aren't. My MBP only comes into its own when video encoding and gaming.
Did you read the first post in this thread? He's looking to speed up rendering in Maya.