Most beneficial upgrade?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Shelton, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. Shelton macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2008

    I am loving my new Mac Pro. I am kind of pissed that I didn’t switch to a Mac sooner, but that is water under the bridge. I literally cringe on the rare occasions I have to boot into XP.

    The Mac Pro is great, but there are a couple areas that are a little lacking. Thankfully, they are very easily upgradable: the ram and hard drive. I bought my Mac Pro with the stock 2GB of ram and a 500GB Hard Drive. I only have the money to upgrade one of the two right now (I am a poor college kid), and I am not sure which to upgrade.

    The 500GB hard drive is atrociously slow. It usually scores in the 40s in Xbench (My 7 year old Western Digital scores about the same), and it significantly slows the loading of applications. The 2GB of ram is decent; I don’t max it out often, but sometimes I do with very heavy multitasking. I don’t use many design or pro-apps, but I do run several reasonably memory hungry programs (100-250 megs of ram per program).

    My question is: would it be better to get another 2GB of ram or a fast hard drive like the new 640GB Western Digital? Which would see the biggest performance increase? I had read that getting 4 pairs of ram dimms can increase general speed in the Mac Pro? Is there any truth to that?

  2. tvbi macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2004
    RAM - the reason your hard drive is slow is because the system lack RAM and use your hard drive for swapping.
  3. netnothing macrumors 68040


    Mar 13, 2007
  4. Shelton thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2008
  5. GotPro macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2007
    Not to go against what everyone else here has said...

    From personal experience... I replaced the stock 320 Gig hdd with a Hitachi 1TB 32 Meg Cache version... BEFORE I added 2 more gigs to the Stock HDD...

    And I can honestly say there was a larger performance improvement (boot times, app load times, overall system responsiveness) with the HDD replacement than with the extra 2 gigs of ram.

    However, I find I can do much more at once (virtual machines, encoding media, etc. etc.) with the 4 gigs than with the 2.

    Just my experience!
  6. bigbird macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2007
    Another vote for more RAM. If nothing more buy 2 X 1GB sticks now to fill slots 1 & 2 in both risers. Then when you get more $ you can buy 4 X 2GB. At that time put the 4 X 2GB in slots 1 & 2 in both risers and move the 4 X 1GB into slots 3 & 4 of both risers for a total of 12GB.
  7. Shelton thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2008
    I actually just got a little unexpected cash. I am going to get both! Yay!
  8. GotPro macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2007

    I'm really happy with the Hitachi, for what it's worth.

    I also hear that the Spinpoint F1s are pretty speedy!

    Happy shopping! :apple:
  9. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006

  10. AviationFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Way to go!

    If you could only do one thing, I would have concurred with all the previous posters that suggested to get more RAM. The thing is that more RAM will reduce your dependency on a (fast) hard drive, because far less memory swapping is needed.

    - Martin
  11. krye macrumors 68000


    Aug 21, 2007
    RAM RAM RAM RAM (read like Spam Spam Spam Spam)
  12. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Jan 1, 2007
  13. jb60606 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
  14. whistler222 macrumors 6502

    Nov 8, 2007
    upgrade to the wireless mightymouse..

    or not.. or just get RAM.

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