Slower processor, more ram vs. faster processor, less ram

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ardesigns, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. ardesigns macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2008
    Hi. I'm in the market for a new MBP and, looking through the models, it's between the:

    13" 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo with 8gb of RAM
    13" 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo with 4gb of RAM

    I'll be using it for: Adobe apps (Flash, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, InDesign; often 2 of these at a time), videos (esp. streamed online), word processing, and general web browsing. I often have at least 1 of the mentioned Adobe applications, as well as a streaming video and 5-10 browser tabs open at once.

    So, which is better for my purposes, the 4gb more RAM but slower processor, or the faster processor with 4gb less RAM?

  2. Neolithium macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2010
    Wherever the army needs me.
    Faster processor with less RAM. Only because you can then take that savings and buy 8GB of aftermarket RAM and upgrade yourself for a lot less than the what Apple's upgrade would cost.
  3. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    May 6, 2010
    New York
    Get the 2.6. 4GB of ram is more than plenty for 90% of everyday users. it even does me just fine doing audio recording and editing.

    You can upgrade to 8GB of RAM later on for around $100. But you'll never be able to upgrade your CPU.
  4. mulo macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2010
    Behind you
    what good is a faster processor if there isn't enough/the right data in ram for it to access. what good is more ram if the processor cant keep up anyway.

    do as below :D

    oh and with your usage i would highly recommend a 15"
  5. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I have to disagree here. The 2.66 is an extra $300, which is a huge ripoff for a negligible gain. Get the 2.4, then upgrade the RAM aftermarket. That will be far more of a performance improvement than a small CPU clock bump.
  6. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    May 6, 2010
    New York
    I agree with your thinking, and I'd use the same logic for my own purchase. But the OP basically said he wants A, or B. There was no C option (C being the 2.4 stock).

    So given those 2 options, I'd get the 2.6 and upgrade RAM later.
  7. ardesigns thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2008
    Thanks everyone for your help!
    I've decided to buy the Macbook Pro (13") with the Core 2 Duo 2.66 GHz processor, and then buy the RAM and install it myself.

    On that note, can anyone recommend a good place to buy RAM for my new MBP?

    Thanks again!
  8. coochiekuta macrumors 6502

    Nov 6, 2010
    here and there
    agree with those who suggest the 2.4 with 4 gigs of ram.
  9. US Marine macrumors member

    US Marine

    Nov 21, 2010
    Charleston, SC
    I know it's too late, but I've gotta give +1 to the 2.4 over the 2.6. The price difference between the two is robbery.
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Go with the slower CPU, you'll not really notice a huge difference between the two, but you're paying a premium for that faster machine. You'll be better suited to put the money into ram
  11. Gen macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2008
    Most def go with 2.4
    Apple wants an extra $300 for only .22 speed increase, which you will not notice.
    Save that money and go buy 8GB of ram - you'll see a way better performance gain.
  12. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Oct 14, 2010
    one more for "C" ... 2.4 and then buy the Ram elsewhere.

    the .22 bump is not worth much. :cool:
  13. ardesigns thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2008
    Woops! Didn't mean to imply I had bought it already. I was holding off until I found a place to buy the RAM so I could figure out the grand total cost.

    Here's what I'm thinking now, per the majority here's advice:

    13" MBP Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz with a 320 or 500gb hard drive (just wish the SSD's weren't so damn expensive!), and buying 8gb of RAM from for $120
  14. iTouch.lover22 macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2009
    If you don't need a 13" MBP now, I'd wait for the refresh sometime early next year. I'm after one too, but I'm waiting until then. That way you can get something better than the 2.66 C2D for cheaper :) But if you need it, buy it now. As for which option, I would agree, don't bother with 2.66gHz, not worth the premium. 8GB RAM sounds like a good upgrade for your uses, and it's a good thing the prices for DDR3 RAM prices are so low right now!
  15. Mabyboi macrumors 6502


    Apr 23, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I had this same debate a few months back... one of my friends actually ended up giving me a 160gb intel x25-m SSD that he won at an intel event, so when i went to go buy my macbook the only difference was the 2.4ghz vs 2.66ghz (since the 320gb HDD vs 500gb HDD was no longer an issue) and i found the 300$ price difference to be outrageous.

    Get the 2.4ghz option, go buy some ram on the side for like $100, use the other $200 to buy yourself applecare, or an apple TV or something :D
  16. shyam09 macrumors 68020


    Oct 31, 2010
    personally if you want to spend money on something (either or) it would have to be an SSD. i know its not what you are asking (and to answer you question i would go with the faster processor) but if you want to spend some more money or something, get the base model 2.4 Ghz + 4GB ram and upgrade the HDD to an SSD, you will experience far more better and and faster performance on the SSD (am i correct?)
  17. wirelessmacuser macrumors 68000


    Dec 20, 2009
    I would suggest ordering the 2.4 with it's standard amount of ram. Then, I'd upgrade it to 8GB yourself since ram prices are very low presently. A commodity item, the prices can rise quickly should conditions change.

    I've got lots of experience with SSD's, I'd suggest waiting at least six months before going that route. Their still too expensive for the capacity and the controller development is still on the rise. In fact I'd wait a year, by then they will be much less expensive, and better quality overall.
  18. JKK photography macrumors regular

    JKK photography

    Jul 14, 2009
    I agree. Then, with the ~200$ you saved, start saving up for an SSD. Then you'll have a computer faster than what the 2.66 w/ 8GB of RAM would had of ever gotten you, and probably for less money as well.

    That's what I'm doing. ;)
  19. ardesigns thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2008
    Here's everything I'm getting, in case there's anyone in a similar position who's interested:

    Macbook Pro 13” 2.4 GHz 250 GB HDD 4 GB RAM ($1,199) (link)
    Crucial 8 GB (2x4GB) RAM ($98.63) (link)
    Seagate Momentus XT 500GB 7200 RPM SSD Hybrid HDD ($119.99) (link)
    AcomData 2.5” Black USB 2.0 HDD Enclosure Kit ($12.99) (link)

    Total comes to: $1,430.61, just $230 over the original MBP price, and for twice the RAM and HDD capacity (and with a "hybrid" HDD, along with a bonus 250 GB external HDD)!

    So, that's:
    The standard MBP 2.4 GHz. I'm then going to install 8 GB of RAM for $100, and install a 500GB, 7200 RPM "SSD Hybrid" HDD by Seagate for $120, and I'm going to use an HDD enclosure kit to house my left over 250 GB HDD that originally shipped with the laptop. I may also sell the 4 GB (2x2GB) of brand-new RAM on eBay for somewhere around $50 (same thing is going for $75 at OWC; PM if interested in buying it from me for $50).

    Thanks everyone for all of the help you've given me, and I'm really looking forward to my new, zippy MBP!!
  20. SPEEDwithJJ macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2008
  21. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    That's where I got mine, I was trying to hold off until early next year, but between that price (who can beat a MBP for 999) and an unexpected bonus, I jumped on the deal.
  22. jetblk328i macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2010
    if you live near microcenter, you can use the money you save from the MBP to upgrade to SSD.
  23. dime21 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
  24. miata macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2010
    Silicon Valley, Earth
    Apple refurb 13" 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo ($1,019)
    8 GB aftermarket RAM ($100-13)
    SSD 120 GB drive aftermarket
    OWC on-the-go FW800 external enclosure for HDD if you don't already have something.

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