My First Mac 13": upgrade to 8gb? editing and music

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by tondiman, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. tondiman macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2010
    Hey everyone,

    After 2 years i have finally decided to buy my first macbook pro now that the update has arrived. I'm going to get the 13" because my budget is low.

    My primary use will be to edit my many hours of travel video and to eventually make music and mix etc.. The new MBP 13 already has 4gb RAM, which is pretty good, but for lots of music and video editing i was wondering if upgrading to 8GB would be a good idea.. Here is my question:

    I live in italy but can get my MBP at the american base or have it be sent from amazon etc. So i can pay in dollars, (i wont pay VAT or TAX). I read the "buying RAM guide" but i don't know any of those sites. How much should i expect to pay for decent 8gb RAM?? I'm afraid of screwing my comnputer.. is the macbook warrenty still valid if the new RAM screws up the computer? i heard that you can just put back the original RAM and send the computer in and they will accept it.

    Anyway, other than the 8gb RAM, im looking at external hard drive, speakers and programs, and maybe the apple care protection plan.. i guess eventually ill put on a decent editing program and and a decent "music making" program. Is there anyway of getting around those 200$ prices for the programs?

    Thanks a lot
  2. mac4me123 macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2010
    Installing new ram wont void your warranty, and i highley doubt it will screw up. just dont buy the ram from apple
  3. tondiman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2010
    also, is it better to get the 4 x 2gb.. or the 2 x 4gb??

  4. Matty-p macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2010
    it has to be 4gb*2 as the mbp's only have two ram slots the 4gb modules are expensive especilly ddr3 200pin . imo youll probly be able to get away with 4gb ram for now and maybe upgrade to 8gb in the future if you feel your computer is too slow for what you do(after ram prices come down -(hopefully) and you have more money in your bank account!)- as a side note i wouldn't worry too much about screwing up your computer it is relitively fool proof look for an online guide or get a tecky friend to do it or just get apple to do it But be warned youll pay over the odds for the latter.

    external hardrive - well i suggest you dont go for any size smaller than 500gb if it is a portable (2.5" ) hard drive and no less than 1tb if it is a "desktop" external hd (3.5") you can pick there up for about £55 and £60 respectively in the uk not sure about italy/america but look on amozon. also if you were looking for an external drive just fror storage i highly suggest getiing one for back ups too (storage is cheap and i have learned the hard way more than once! it is so easy to do with time machine even if it is just once a week on a sunday or something it is so much better than not at all especilly with once in a lifetime travel photos ect) as a side note if you can find one with firewire 800 that is quite abit faster than usb 2 but usb 2 will dio the trick fine.

    programs-meh a couple of way kinda i guess
    1- get free 30 day trials my guess is the actual editing isn't going to take more than an entire month?
    2- use the bundeled software like imovie and maybe some open souce stuff (audacity is alright for audio but not amazing-try it) it isn't going to be as good as the stuf that costs hundreds$$ like fcp or logic pro but it is free and will probly be ok for your use - try it
  5. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I agree, 4 gigs of ram is a good amount, so I think you should wait to see if spending the extra money on 8 GB. The 4GB modules are really expensive, and your computer only has two slots, so you would have to use two 4GB chips. I just looked up the price on Crucial's site, and it is $500, and I wouldn't expect to pay much less than that at all.
  6. grahamwright1 macrumors regular


    Feb 10, 2008
    North of the Border
    I bought a 17 inch and the 4Gb to 8Gb price was $400, which didn't seem anywhere as bad as in previous generations.
  7. tondiman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2010
  8. carlclarke macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2010
    Save your money for an external monitor?

    I have the late 2009 13" MBP (with 4GB and a 750GB internal disk) and it is a fantasic machine for everyday use. It is small enough to carry in some medium sized photo bags. Power wise it seems sufficient for photo/video editing but you may find the smaller screen a bit limiting at times. If possible I do my editing using the MBP plugged into an external 1920 x 1080 monitor so maybe you would want to consider a good quality external monitor? The 'real deal' Apple display is around £650 and includes a power supply / usb hub / mini display port wiring.

    A couple of other possible useful additions:

    If you find encoding video is a bit slow then you could also consider the Elegato H.264 usb device.

    There is a company with a conversion plate so that you can remove your DVD drive and fit another internal disk. I haven't tried it myself yet but it is on my list for 'one day'. Should be great for editing large video files. The url is:
  9. MacVibe macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2009
    RAM is incredibly pricey right now for 8 Gigs so put that purchase off. Apple isn't even expensive compared with other outlets though if you absolutely need it. It sounds like you aren't sure if you need it or not so I'd wait. For making music: if you are tracking try Reaper, free trial, no DRM, no limitations on track count, inexpensive, and top-notch for tech specs. If by making music you mean virtual instruments, then get the most out of garageband that you can (not very cpu intensive while you are getting started). Then, like a previous poster said, try out Ableton and others on a free trial basis. A stripped down, but very good, version of Ableton comes with many inexpensive keyboards and controllers.
  10. Penn Jennings macrumors 6502

    Apr 22, 2010
    Memory Upgrades

    If you are memory constrained, increasing your memory will improve performance more than anything else that you can do. However, if your application has all of the memory that it requires, adding more will do every little, if anything, to improve performance. Memory is not a resource where more is not always better. So the question is, do you actually need the memory when the application is running?
  11. mingoglia macrumors 6502

    Dec 10, 2009
    4 gig is plenty for most people, at least with the price jump. I personally went with 8 gig because at any given time I'll have at least 1, sometimes 2 virtual machines running. The additional RAM allows more RAM to be dedicated to these vm's and makes a big difference.
  12. 4PPLEM4C macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2010
    IMO upgrading to 8GB is worth it if your going to be running a VM

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