SSD or RAM upgrade for Maya/FCS?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Jamessinwest, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. Jamessinwest macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    #1
    I'm planning on buying a MBP (probably the 15" 2.8GHz model) for college this summer and I know I will be doing a lot of Maya animation and rendering and extensive FCS work on it. My budget only really has room for either the SSD upgrade to 256GB with maybe the processor upgrade to 3.06GHz or the RAM upgrade to 8GB.

    My question is, which upgrade will give me the most power for my money for what I want to do, which is alot of modeling, rendering, and HD video work.

    Thanks in advance,
    Jamessinwest

    PS: in light of the recent discovery of the downgrade of the SATA speed, maybe i should go for the 17" and bypass the processor upgrade in order to maximize the SSD, but I DO like the SD card slot on the 15".
     
  2. Jamessinwest thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 21, 2009
  3. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

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    #3
    If you really need that powerful of computer, get an iMac. You can get a lot more for your money.
     
  4. cawesjmu macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #4

    So now with the firmware update to the MBPs allowing SATA II and 3.0GB speeds, the SSD is still an option in the smaller MBP sizes. For rendering I think you'll see a bigger boost from the processor upgrade. Also, you can upgrade the hard drive in a year or so when SSD are cheaper, but you won't be able to upgrade the processor without getting a whole new computer.
     
  5. frozenlead macrumors newbie

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    Dec 8, 2008
    #5
    The MBP is a bit underpowered for the types of things you're doing. I would look for a quad-core PC notebook. It'll make things much better for you. Unless, of course, you simply must have OS X - you can't put a price on things you like, I suppose.

    Take a look at what Sager has to offer, as well. Most of them are gaming notebooks, but some of them have quad-cores (including Intel i7's!), most have options for professional GPUs over consumer ones, and they have nice large screens for you (18.4" is the largest, I believe). Plus, the option for some serious CUDA is a plus.

    Edit: forgot link http://sagernotebook.com/default.php
     
  6. The Hammer macrumors regular

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    Toronto, Canada
  7. iToaster macrumors 68000

    iToaster

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    #7
    RAM will give a more noticeable boost when working in Maya and FCS.
     
  8. Jamessinwest thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #8
    Thanks for the responses guys! I definitely need a mac to run FCS, simple as that, and I saw the firmware upgrade today, that helps. So you guys think I should upgrade the processor/RAM and wait on the SSD. Does anyone have any experience rendering with an SSD? Also should I do the RAM upgrade myself? I don't think it would be much trouble to do that myself
     
  9. The Hammer macrumors regular

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    #9
    Yes I do.
     
  10. txhockey9404 macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 25, 2008
    #10
    Yes. SSD is still a fairly new technology, and it will only get better and cheaper, so in maybe two years you could get a 512gb SSD with great read/write speeds for the price of a 128gb now.
     
  11. Jamessinwest thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #11
    Thanks guys! Final question. Should I upgrade the RAM myself or pay Apple $1000 to do it?
     
  12. awesomebase macrumors regular

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    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland
    #12
    Ram

    Just do the RAM and CPU upgrade. In fact, I would get the fastest CPU first as 4GB of RAM is still plenty and you can always do the RAM later if you wanted to. Going from 4GB to 8GB and a faster processor will definitely give you a good amount of speed.
    If you really need horsepower, get a Mac Pro... the Dual quad-core configs can take up to 32GB of RAM...
     
  13. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #13
    do the ram upgrade yourself. ifixit has usually good tutorials. buy ram from OWC or newegg.
     
  14. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 27, 2008
    #14
    Your school won't have labs? Also 4gb -> 8gb right now isn't cost efficient.
     
  15. Jamessinwest thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #15
    So I think the general consensus is to get the processor upgrade because I can't upgrade later, and since everything else I can upgrade myself, I should wait as long as possible to do so. Anyone disagree? It seems like the best idea because I'll be doing most of my heavy duty computer work in mysecond two years at Columbia Engineering. (<-- just throwing that name out there in case anyone else here goes there.)

    By the way, thanks to everyone for the rapid responses.

    Sincerely,
    Jamessinwest
     

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