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SSD or RAM?

81Tiger04

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 11, 2009
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As the cost of replacing my HD with a SSD and/or upgrading RAM begin to add up in my head, I'm starting to wonder what is the best route to go.

For my mid-2010 MBP (MacBookPro6,2) , i would like to see a performance upgrade. I would also like to extend the life of my computer. Do I go with a SSD? Or do I upgrade the RAM from 4GB to 8GB?
 

ElectronGuru

macrumors 68000
Sep 5, 2013
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Oregon, USA
Yup. I have several 2010 machines, with 4-8gb of ram. All of them just got SSDs. Everything is better. Runtime, speed, capacity, reliability, even noise! Easily the most beneficial new mac tech of the last decade.
 
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Wuiffi

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2011
686
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SSD will make a enormous user experience difference. However it is expensive, so first think about how much you really need.
You can probably buy 2x4GB Ram for around 70-80$, so think about buying both.

I use a 15" 2010 macbook pro with 8GB Ram and 256GB ssd and it works like a charm (only issue is/was the GT 330M)
 
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Patriks7

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2008
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Easily SSD. As already said above, they breath new life into your system. Put one into a 2007 white MacBook we have at home (which was becoming frustrating to use with even things like checking mail and browsing the web) and now it works pretty damn well again.
 
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Wuiffi

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2011
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The 2010 MBP are SATA2, so this is the limiting factor, not the SSD. So just get the SSD you can get your hands on the cheapest. I guess the Samy 840 Evo and Crucial M500 should be very cheap.

Same goes for RAM. As long as it meets the specifications (DDR3 1066 PC3-8500 204 Pin SODIMM), it should work. Don't fall for advertising, most RAM is the same and "just works". (as long as you don't go ultra cheap. Look for kingston, hynix, crucial, corsair)
 
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simon48

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Sep 1, 2010
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81Tiger04

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 11, 2009
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The 2010 MBP are SATA2, so this is the limiting factor, not the SSD. So just get the SSD you can get your hands on the cheapest. I guess the Samy 840 Evo and Crucial M500 should be very cheap.

Same goes for RAM. As long as it meets the specifications (DDR3 1066 PC3-8500 204 Pin SODIMM), it should work. Don't fall for advertising, most RAM is the same and "just works". (as long as you don't go ultra cheap. Look for kingston, hynix, crucial, corsair)

It really doesn't matter what SSD I get? Why is this? I'm not questioning you, just asking a question that I don't know the "why" to. The Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD is $169.
 
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Wuiffi

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2011
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It really doesn't matter what SSD I get? Why is this? I'm not questioning you, just asking a question that I don't know the "why" to. The Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD is $169.

SSD have different speeds, the more you pay the faster they are (in generell). However this speed need to get "in and out" your system - through the connector.

And the connector on the 2010 models limits speed to 3 Gbit/s (around 375MB/s). Every new SSD is faster than this, so the connector limits the speed no matter what SSD you get. (Even limited all SSDs are many times faster than HDDs)
I'd suggest getting the 840EVO or Crucial M500 because those two have really good value!
 
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Weaselboy

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Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
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:p
It really doesn't matter what SSD I get? Why is this? I'm not questioning you, just asking a question that I don't know the "why" to. The Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD is $169.

What Wuiffi is getting at it is your machine uses a SATA II drive interface that has a max speed of 3Gbps. So even the lowliest SATA III (6Gbps) SSD would more than saturate your SATA II connection, so there is no point spending money for a faster SSD because you can't take advantage of the extra speed anyway.

The EVO and M500 suggested by Wuiffi are very popular with users here. Just get what is cheapest.

Even with a SATA II connection, you are going to notice a big difference.

Edit: Ninja'd by Wuiffi :p
 
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Wuiffi

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2011
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:p

What Wuiffi is getting at it is your machine uses a SATA II drive interface that has a max speed of 3Gbps. So even the lowliest SATA III (6Gbps) SSD would more than saturate your SATA II connection, so there is no point spending money for a faster SSD because you can't take advantage of the extra speed anyway.

The EVO and M500 suggested by Wuiffi are very popular with users here. Just get what is cheapest.

Even with a SATA II connection, you are going to notice a big difference.

Edit: Ninja'd by Wuiffi :p

I was faster, but your explanation is better ;)
 
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whitedragon101

macrumors 65816
Sep 11, 2008
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The comments about speed are partially right. The headline speed of a drive is its sequential access speed, this is the speed for things like copying a file. However the random performance is the speed at which the drive gets lots of little pieces of data. This type of access is what happens when you open a program or boot the machine etc. No consumer SSD even approaches the Sata II 300MB/s max speed for random 4k reads. The best still top out at 100MB/s random 4k read. So performance is still a factor.

To cut a long story short get the Samsung Evo drive. It is cheap, faster and more power efficient than the crucial drive. In fact it uses half the power in both active and idle states.

Anandtech quote :
"With the EVO, Samsung puts forth a formidable competitor to the M500. It's faster, uses less power at idle and carries lower MSRPs for most of the capacity range."
http://www.anandtech.com/show/7173/...iew-120gb-250gb-500gb-750gb-1tb-models-tested
 
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81Tiger04

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 11, 2009
309
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The comments about speed are partially right. The headline speed of a drive is its sequential access speed, this is the speed for things like copying a file. However the random performance is the speed at which the drive gets lots of little pieces of data. This type of access is what happens when you open a program or boot the machine etc. No consumer SSD even approaches the Sata II 300MB/s max speed for random 4k reads. The best still top out at 100MB/s random 4k read. So performance is still a factor.

To cut a long story short get the Samsung Evo drive. It is cheap, faster and more power efficient than the crucial drive. In fact it uses half the power in both active and idle states.

Anandtech quote :
"With the EVO, Samsung puts forth a formidable competitor to the M500. It's faster, uses less power at idle and carries lower MSRPs for most of the capacity range."
http://www.anandtech.com/show/7173/...iew-120gb-250gb-500gb-750gb-1tb-models-tested

Is the Samsung as compatible with Macs as the Crucial M500? I've heard where problems may exist.
 
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AppleGoat

macrumors 6502a
Oct 14, 2010
651
5
I have the Samsung 470 and Samsung 840 Pro in my Early-2011 MacBook Pro. They both are great.

Crucial makes great drives too and has good customer service. Can't go wrong either way.
 
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ionjohn

macrumors 65816
Jun 5, 2013
1,185
9
Canada
As the cost of replacing my HD with a SSD and/or upgrading RAM begin to add up in my head, I'm starting to wonder what is the best route to go.

For my mid-2010 MBP (MacBookPro6,2) , i would like to see a performance upgrade. I would also like to extend the life of my computer. Do I go with a SSD? Or do I upgrade the RAM from 4GB to 8GB?

SSD FTW brother
 
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zipa

macrumors 65816
Feb 19, 2010
1,442
1
Get both if at all possible, but the SSD will have a bigger impact for sure.
 
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iMacLate2013

Cancelled
Jan 24, 2014
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0
Me is also interested in the above topic due to our plan to purchase a new imac.
Due to previous experience with machines used up to now
high performance get's hi prio.

Therefore the first idea was as much ram as possible.
For the same reason ssd instead of hdd, because generally ssd self more speedy
and connected to rest of system through high performant pcie.
For the same reason a ssd with capacity twice a high as the real
data storage needs.
But these both together max ram and high capacity ssd
result in high purchase costs.

So the current thought is maybe half of max possible ram and
ssd as described above.
Currently most painful are lags in system answers to user input
due to processes like swapping ram to disk. How will the above plan
help to avoid these causes of system answer lags?
 
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andycho7

macrumors member
Dec 2, 2013
74
2
I would go with SSD first any time of the day. Unless you have very low amount of RAM for your machine that amount of RAM is bottlenecking the SSD.
 
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maflynn

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Staff member
May 3, 2009
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Boston
You didn't really delineate your usage (unless I missed it) and so its difficult to say if you'll have much improvements with the ram upgrade. The SSD will have instant gratification, so I'd recommend that over the ram (if I had to choose)
 
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whitedragon101

macrumors 65816
Sep 11, 2008
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Is the Samsung as compatible with Macs as the Crucial M500? I've heard where problems may exist.

I have a Samsung Evo 750GB inside my early 2011 17" MBP and its fine stable and incredibly fast. No problems. I haven't heard of any either.

Techradar also voted the Samsung 840 series as the best Mac SSD (and the 840 Evo is better still).

Not to mention that apple SSDs are actually made by Samsung. So they know how to make an SSD that is compatible with OSX. They even have a page on the Samsung Website dedicated to MACS saying how much faster your MAC will be with an 840 series SSD. So thats a big nod in the MAC compatibility direction :
http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/uk/html/why/forMac.html
 
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whitedragon101

macrumors 65816
Sep 11, 2008
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298
Oh its also worth mentioning that with an SSD you get a 2 for 1 performance boost. As not only do you get the improvements of loading and writing drive related stuff but the swap file will be on the SSD.

When you run out of RAM (actually usually way before that) the system starts writing chunks of data that should be in RAM to the hard drive. This is the swap file or virtual memory. When this is written and particularly when read the system really really slows down. Usually this is where you get beach balls. With a Samsung Evo SSD these 4k random reads are 120x faster than an HDD. (xbench random 4k read : 500gb 7200rpm hitachi = 0.2MB/s , Samsung Evo 750GB = 24MB/s )

So basically with an SSD (with fast random 4k reads) even if you do run out of RAM it won't be as noticeable (or noticeable at all) because the virtual memory/swap on the SSD will be so fast.
 
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dylin

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2010
647
49
California
SSD for noticeable performance boost, and RAM right now if you are on a budget.

good luck with your decision. :)
 
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81Tiger04

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 11, 2009
309
3
SC
One CON I've read a few times dealing with the Crucial is that it is slower than the Samsung. How much slower are we talking about? Is there a way to put this into real-time?

This seems to be the biggest CON. Am I missing anything?
 
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