RAM upgrade on MBP? Experts weigh in please

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by grantwolsey, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. grantwolsey macrumors member

    grantwolsey

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    #1
    I have a 15" Aluminum Unibody MacBook Pro I bought late in 2009 of which I upgraded the RAM from 2 GB to 4 GB before I even used it once. Now that OWC has a 8 GB RAM kit available, how big of a speed increase would I see if I chose to install that? (I know, you'd say "Well what kind of increase did you see when you doubled it from 2 to 4?" But remember I said I upgraded it before I even used it, so I have nothing to compare it to, really)

    Thank you all,
    Grant
     
  2. Pikkuroope macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #2
    It does make a difference, not a huge one but definitely a difference.
     
  3. grantwolsey thread starter macrumors member

    grantwolsey

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    #3
    A difference as in...at least a 50% noticeable increase in performance? More or less?
     
  4. grantwolsey thread starter macrumors member

    grantwolsey

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    #4
    Or would the only noticeable difference be the amount of applications I can have open without the kind of lag I had before?
     
  5. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #5
    Yes, it's more dependent on your particular usage. One way to gauge this is to check the ratio of pageins vs. pageouts (Activity Monitor can show this). If the number of pageouts is relatively high, this would indicate the system is swapping to disk more often. Anytime a page is swapped to/from the disk, there's a substantial performance hit compared with accessing physical memory.

    If, after your normal usage, you have a relatively low number of pageouts, then you might not see much improvement by going to 8GB. So to answer your original question [about the number of apps open], that's one of the situations where you would see an improvement, as there would be more physical memory available to allocate to those apps.
     
  6. grantwolsey thread starter macrumors member

    grantwolsey

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    #6
    OOoohhh yeah, just opened up Act. Monitor and it's showing 366.6 MB page outs as opposed to 36.46 MB page ins. So I guess the above post would definitely apply to my usage habits on my MBP, right? Usually have a bunch of power-intensive apps open, such as Handbrake, vmWare, and Final Cut Pro. I'd see a big bump, correct?
     
  7. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #7
    It does sound like it would help. It's not too expensive an upgrade in any event, and you'll know you've done as much as you can to give your apps the most breathing room possible on your machine.
     
  8. polkunus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    #8
    It depends on the application.

    For example, multiple instances of photoshop, video editing/rendering or gaming will be affected. Simple tasks however will probably not be effected.


    This is like asking a doctor, "Will I be healthier if I consume vitamin C? How much %?"

    The doctor would most likely reply with, "Well it depends on your health, your consumption, blood levels, immune system.. etc."
     
  9. grantwolsey thread starter macrumors member

    grantwolsey

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    #9
    Well when I was shopping around for this MBP I was a retard and didn't pay attention to the things I SHOULD'VE been paying attention to, especially considering what I was going to be using it for. For example, I didn't even bother to find out about the graphics card-switching capabilities on MBPs that was available, even at that time. Things like that, along with RAM and processing power, would've been extremely relevant to a film student who was going to be processing HD video around the clock.

    Since then I've learned about processors and such, and even though I learned you pretty much can't upgrade the processor on a laptop like mine because it's soldered into the motherboard (a 2.53 GHz core duo chip compared to a sandybridge quad-core processor is pretty much a sissy girl) I wondered about other ways I could make my MBP faster, such as RAM. In any case, it looks like I will be making the upgrade soon. It looks like the only option I have in the speed boost department for a machine like mine.

    Thank you all for your help, especially @gr8tfly; it's appreciated.
     
  10. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #10
    Glad to help. :)

    I have an Early 2009 UB 17" MBP (2.66GHz) with the 8GB upgrade that I'll be using for some light HD editing with FCE. I have a Canon HF10, but just haven't had a chance to start using it yet.
     

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