SSD or RAM ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kkasaye, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. kkasaye macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2012
    I'm purchasing my first macbook pro 13" 2012 model this weekend but after seeing how much faster SSD does make the laptop, I don't know which I should initially upgrade. I was planning to upgrade RAM and SSD, but which do you think I should let apple install and which do you think I should install later on? Because I'm a student budget is tight and I can only afford to upgrade one of the two later on the year. Keep in mind if I upgrade the SSD it's to 128 gb and if it's the RAM it is to 8gb. Thanks!
  2. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
  3. Feed Me macrumors 6502a

    Feed Me

    Jan 7, 2012
    Location Location

    Buy the cheapest base model and you can upgrade both the SSD and RAM yourself for a much lower price than either upgrade offered by Apple!

    And, unless you're doing RAM-intensive stuff, 4gb will be just dandy, and I'd go for the manual SSD upgrade any day.
  4. kkasaye thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2012
    I'm going to be doing standard university work, some video and picture editing and running some games, but not intense gaming, probably run most games on medium.


    that sounds pretty good, I might do that. But does installing either of the two void warranty?
  5. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    ram pretty much has nothing to do with games and most will run just fine with 4/8gb of ram. so if thats the most intensive thing you do, SSD upgrade would probably make more sense.
  6. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    It does not void the warranty, as those two items (HDD and RAM) are user replaceable items.

    MacBook, MacBook Pro: Replacing the Hard Disk Drive, transferring data to the new HDD

    the guide includes:
    • 0. Identify your MacBook or MacBook Pro
    • 1. Getting a new HDD
    • 2. Guides to replace the internal HDD with a newer one
    • 3. Transferring data from the old HDD to the new HDD
    • 4. Using the optical disk drive (ODD) slot for placing an SSD or HDD inside the MB/P (OPTIBAY)

    As for what to get first: SSD.

  7. InlawBiker macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2007
    I would do RAM first because it's so much cheaper and more important. It is pretty easy to run out of 4GB of memory.

    The SSD is really good at sending stored data to memory. If there is no memory left to put the data then there's no point in having the SSD.
  8. kkasaye thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2012
    Thanks a lot! I'll just end up getting the SSD myself and end up getting the 256 gb since it's something like $200 cheaper than getting apple to do it. and as for the RAM I didn't know it was that cheap... I'll just get the base MBP and upgrade both myself. Thanks again
  9. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    Actually I think you have it the wrong way round. If you run low on memory with an SSD it has much less of an effect that with a conventional HD because reading and writing to the swap file is so much faster. I would choose a disk upgrade to SSD over a RAM upgrade all day long. It generates no heat or noise, uses less battery, and gives a big performance boost.
  10. striker33 macrumors 65816


    Aug 6, 2010
    Definitely buy the base model as suggested above.

    Then buy a cheap 256GB (or higher) SATA II SSD, as they are dirt cheap now, and put it in. Theres no point in going higher than an SSD capable of 250-300MB/s read speed on a 13" MBP. You'll still get boot times under 10 seconds, and apps will load instantly.

    It might vary depending on brand, but I got the above results using an OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD from way back when the 2010 MBPs came out.
  11. Geo411m macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2010
    Don't buy a SATA II SSD. Buy a SATA III SSD (M4 or Samsung 830) as those are faster drives that your 2012 MBP will support. I found the SSD upgrade making your computer much faster than the RAM. Adding more RAM only allows you to run more programs at the same time before paging occurs. However with the SSD, even if paging occurs it'll be faster due to the SSD speeds VS 5400 HD speeds.
  12. kkasaye thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2012
    Alright thanks, that's what I'll end up doing. I see some 256gb Samsung SSD on amazon for under 300 so I'll end up getting those. The idea of my soon to be purchased macbook booting in under 15 seconds excites me. :D
  13. Geo411m macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2010
    Look around at prices, I got mine for $199 on tigerdirect. Also, My boot times are under 10 seconds (more like 8-9 secs) and every app opens nearly instant. I think the M4 was going for $179 for a 256GB a few days ago, which is also a very good drive.

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