Should I get 8GB of RAM or a 256 GB SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Maserati7200, Apr 24, 2011.

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256 GB SSD or 8GB of RAM

  1. 256 GB SSD

    37 vote(s)
    74.0%
  2. 8 GB of RAM

    13 vote(s)
    26.0%
  1. Maserati7200 macrumors 6502a

    Maserati7200

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    11230, Midwood, Brooklyn, NY, USA, North America
    #1
    Hi,
    I have the June 2009 Model (received it 12/09) of 13" MBP. 2.26 GHz C2D 2GB of RAM 160GB HDD. Lately, my harddrive has been performing rather badly, my computer has been beach balling a lot lately. My drive sometimes is reading and writing for long periods of time, with not much activity on my part. I think this may have to do with the fact that I'm approaching capacity; I have 17.76 GB left on my 160GB drive, and I'm deleting things all the time. At my lowest point I believe I had 13 GB free. My 2GB of RAM gets filled VERY quickly. Now, I think more RAM and an SSD would help. I want to keep this computer for another 2-3 years.
    Right now, I can only upgrade to either 8GB of RAM or a 256 GB SSD. One, but not both. Which one would be more beneficial and why? On one hand, I'm running out of space and 256 GB would do it, and would solve a lot of the problems of the HDD being slow. On the other hand, I'd still have 2GB of RAM, which isn't enough for my needs, however, the need for more RAM may be negated with the SSD. Discuss. Thanks.
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
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    On the fence
    #2
    I'd say 4GB and a 250-320GB HDD. That would provide more benefit than either upgrade by itself.
     
  3. zweigand macrumors 6502a

    zweigand

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    #3
    SSD no question. But 4GB of RAM should be next on your list.
     
  4. polbit macrumors 6502

    polbit

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    SSD, but definitely 4Gb RAM as well, or very soon.
     
  5. Mac-key macrumors 6502a

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    Alabama
    #6
    in my opinion, the best value upgrade you can get is 4gb of RAM...
     
  6. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816

    Dalton63841

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Location:
    SEMO, USA
    #7
    SSD no questions. You should DEFINITELY get 4GB ram in it soon, but until you can, page outs/ins will be significantly faster with an SSD. I can tell you that unless you are doing ALOT of hardcore stuff all simultaneously then you wont notice the difference between 4 and 8GB.

    I got the 8GB kit for mine and I rarely notice the difference from when I had 4. I would LOVE to drop a SSD in mine. Its next on my list(Wish it had been first) along with an Optibay.
     
  7. hehe299792458 macrumors 6502a

    hehe299792458

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    #8
    marginal utility of 8GB of ram is next to none
     
  8. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    #9
    hmm,

    8GB ram = $80 US
    256GB SSD = $500 US

    I'd go with the 8GB, if your on the fence....;)
     
  9. Sasha55 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    #10
    SSD, no question
    you need more RAM if you run VM or some other memory consuming applications. SSD makes you notebook 2-3 times faster for any application.
     
  10. alskdj macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    #11
    Which makes for a strange trade-off...
     
  11. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

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    Nov 3, 2009
    #12
    It makes no sense at all to run 4 gb of ram. Get 4 gb asap.
     
  12. bigjobby macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #13
    I'd go for the RAM simply because if you're running out of it, you're more likely to cause 'thrashing' of your hard drive which is certainly not healthy and will substantially slow down your computer.

    Secondly and if on a budget, I'd skip on the SSD and go for a larger but regular 5400 or 7200 rpm HDD but also invest in a backup/archive solution.

    In essence, if you're experiencing thrashing then upping the RAM should take priority above anything else. Getting an SSD will not resolve this problem.

    Just my 2¢.
     
  13. vincenz macrumors 601

    vincenz

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    #14
    I don't understand why it has to be one or the other.

    One costs $50 whereas the other costs $500, as already pointed out. Surely it's not a money issue. Something doesn't make sense. :confused:

    If you had to pick one or the other though, go for the SSD. But what you really need is 8 GB RAM + 500 GB 7200 RPM hard drive. Most bang for buck for your current needs, especially since it's mostly hard drive capacity that's holding you back right now.
     
  14. thermodynamic Suspended

    thermodynamic

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #15
    Get a 500GB HDD and 8GB RAM :)

    RAM is more useful for user-related functions and doing more of them at once.

    HDDs and SDDs are storage-centric.

    RAM costs little these days, but if the main issue is storage and performance slowing due to it, replace the HDD with a larger one or get a SSD of sufficient capacity.

    Since a 500GB Momentus XT costs $150 and a 256GB SSD costs $300 or more, and 8GB RAM is ~$100, get both a larger HDD and RAM. 160GB HDD is really small to begin with, all things considered...
     
  15. canucksfan88 macrumors 6502a

    canucksfan88

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #16
    you say you can only upgrade one but not both.

    SSD is $500
    RAM is $80

    if you spend $500 on SSD...what is another $80 bucks?

    go for the ram if you dont want to spend a lot.
     
  16. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000

    eternlgladiator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    #17
    I agree...

    If you can afford the SSD surely you can afford the RAM, if not shortly after.
     
  17. sbddude, Apr 25, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011

    sbddude macrumors 6502a

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    #18
  18. Maserati7200, Apr 26, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011

    Maserati7200 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Maserati7200

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    11230, Midwood, Brooklyn, NY, USA, North America
    #19
    Duly noted.
    Thank you everyone for your input, I'll let you all know what I end up doing.

    EDIT: Also, I'd like to add that for those who say 8GB of RAM isn't needed, I'd beg to differ. A friend of mine has the same computer with 4GB of RAM and even that gets used up quickly (according to Activity Monitor).
     
  19. Al Coholic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
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    Under the I-470 Freeway
    #20
    If money's that tight I don't even know why you're considering an SSD. Sounds like bulk storage is what you need.

    500gb drive for $60
    4 gb RAM for $40

    Wait for larger SSD's to be priced within reach of us poor folks. Enjoy your new upgrades until then.
     
  20. Maserati7200 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Maserati7200

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    11230, Midwood, Brooklyn, NY, USA, North America
    #21
    I thought I'd come back to this; I placed the order today and just ended up getting both. Thanks for all of your input. This computer is going to fly now :D
     
  21. Philflow macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    #22
    Save your money and get a Seagate Momentus XT. Close to SSD experience at a fraction of the price.

    A Vertex 3 boots my MBP in 14 seconds, the XT takes 16.
     
  22. Naimfan macrumors 601

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #23
    8 GB Crucial RAM from Newegg: $59.99.
    500 GB Hitachi hard drive from Newegg: $59.99.

    Greatly increased storage and you'll speed things up as well for ~$125 shipped.
     
  23. reputationZed macrumors 65816

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    #24
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    I'd go with 4GB of RAM before you do anything else. That may mean putting of the SSD or going with a smaller SSD. You can always pull the DVD drive, use something like an opti bay for the SSD and keep the HD where it is. Doing so generally allows you to get by with a 80 - 100 GB SSD
     
  24. reputationZed macrumors 65816

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    #25
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    There is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to RAM. For most of us that's around 4GB. In otherwords you will see a marked improvement going from 2GB to 4 GB. The improvement in going from 4 GB to 8 GB is usually not that dramatic in most situations.
     

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