RAM or processor speed on a 13in MBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bchaplin, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. bchaplin macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    #1
    I'm thinking of buying a 13in MBP. (I know that new ones are around the corner, but that's NOT my question -- I have reasons for wanting to buy one now.)

    The two most "power hungry" apps I'll be running are Lightroom and Parallels, so that I can use Windows 7. I am deciding between getting the 2.26 GHZ 13in MBP with a 6 GB RAM upgrade, or the 2.53 GHz 13in MBP with the standard 4 GB RAM. I would like for pictures to open more quickly in Lightroom than they do now (on my 2 year old MBP with 2.4HZz processor and 2 GB RAM...), and I want to be sure that I can run Windows using Parallels, without any lags. Which of the two systems would you advise?
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    forlod bygningen
    #2
    You will notice the 2GB of more RAM more than the 0.27GHz difference.
    Maybe you can also add a 7.200rpm HDD to your MBP later.
     
  3. bchaplin thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    #3
    Thanks!
    The hard drive is a whole different issue. I had already decided to upgrade it immediately on getting the laptop -- whichever MBP I choose -- so that's been factored into the total cost. I'll research 7200 rpm vs slower speed HD's. So I'm assuming this is a major factor in performance?
     
  4. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #4
    With 500GB HDDs it's not as much as a difference as maybe with a 250GB 5.400rpm drive vs. a 500GB 7.200rpm HDD.

    For example:
    500GB 5.400rpm will give you around 73MB/s of read and write speeds, 500GB 7.200rpm will give you around 92MB/s.

    320GB 5.400rpm will be slower than a 500GB 5.400 drive.
     
  5. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Millis, Massachusetts
    #5
    This is very true. If it was me I would go for memory instead of the processor upgrade. I just want to point out that you can always upgrade the memory later... but the processor cannot be upgraded once you buy the machine.

    I own a 13" MBP (latest model) and like it a lot. I upgraded the memory (4GB) and the harddisk (500GB) myself. I have the stock 2.26GHZ processor. If apple had a more reasonable price for the 500GB harddisk I would have let them do it. But as it is get the stock 160GB... buy the 500GB hard disk that you want do the install. Not only do you save a lot of money but you can use that brand new 160GB drive in an external enclosure for something else. Doing the disk yourself is a no brainer.
     
  6. bchaplin thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    #6
    Thanks!
    Which hard drive did you get?
    I was eyeing the 5400 rpm WD Scorpio from OWC, as they have instructions and install kits for technical dummies like me. Now that it has been pointed out I'll look into 7200 rpm options as well.
     
  7. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Millis, Massachusetts
    #7
    I bought the WD scorpio blue 500gb 2.5" 5400rpm drive. It's been in my 13" mbp since july and I'm very satisfied with it. Bought mine from newegg. If you look in the user guide that came with your mbp there is a section in there that tells you how to swap out your HD.
     

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