SSD or RAM?

YashV625

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 16, 2016
3
0
India
So I've been looking forward to change some components of my Macbook Pro.
So should I buy RAM and expand it to 8 GB or should I buy a SSD?
Any suggestions would be of great help.
Thanks
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,266
So I've been looking forward to change some components of my Macbook Pro.
So should I buy RAM and expand it to 8 GB or should I buy a SSD?
Any suggestions would be of great help.
Thanks
SSD as a priority; their read/write/access speeds are so much better than a conventional HDD, so it will (to a point) compensate for a RAM bottleneck as well. SSD first, then RAM later.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kohlson

YashV625

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 16, 2016
3
0
India
SSD as a priority; their read/write/access speeds are so much better than a conventional HDD, so it will (to a point) compensate for a RAM bottleneck as well. SSD first, then RAM later.
Thanks for that.
This is not really related to an upgrade, but I saw this in a YouTube video where a guy removes his SuperDrive and replaces it with the old HDD.
Would doing this be easy? I do need space and I don't have a lot of $$$ to buy a SSD with a large storage space.
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,738
3,586
So should I buy RAM and expand it to 8 GB or should I buy a SSD?
As others have said, ideally both, but if your wallet says no I'd go for the SSD first as (for general use) I would expect that to have the most noticeable effect.

Also, if you are running low on RAM, the main effect is that the system will start making heavier use of the disk - reducing data caching and relying more on virtual memory - and the SSD will reduce the impact of that.

You can look at the "memory pressure" and "Swap used" readouts in Activity Monitor to see if you have a RAM problem (ignore the % used - OS X doesn't like to leave spare RAM hanging around when it could be used for caching data etc)

If money is tight, remember that you don't have to go for the super-duper ultra pro turbo-plus premium jobs that win the benchmarks. Reviews tend to over-emphasize the peak, sustained data transfer rates that people editing 4k video obsess over. Sure, transfer speed is important, but the biggest bottleneck in general use comes from the 'seek time' involved in accessing lots of small, scattered files and supporting multiple tasks accessing different files. Pretty much any SSD has seek times an order of magnitude faster than a spinning HD with a physical head flying around.
 

bent christian

Suspended
Nov 5, 2015
509
1,966
Definitely SSD first. Depending on your usage, upgrading RAM might not be necessary. Swapping out the drive will make it feel like a completely new machine.
 

apnance

macrumors newbie
Feb 25, 2016
23
3
Los Angeles
So I've been looking forward to change some components of my Macbook Pro.
So should I buy RAM and expand it to 8 GB or should I buy a SSD?
Any suggestions would be of great help.
Thanks
I recently upgraded my 2012 mini. I bumped the RAM from 4 -> 16GB and replaced the mechanical drive with a 250GB Samsung Evo SSD. I'm using my device primarily for iOS development and for me the RAM upgrade improved my experience significantly more than the SSD. Sure it boots noticeably faster but the RAM stopped the never-ending beachball fest that made iOS development a f*cking nightmare.

Oddly, I never noticed memory pressure problems before the upgrade but bumping the memory solved 80% of the problem for me. I did the upgrade in two steps, replacing the RAM first and upgrading the drive two weeks later. Doing it this way gave me two weeks to experience the improvement that RAM alone made in my experience. Honestly I would have been fine with the memory upgrade alone but upgrading the drive fit my budget so it was nice to have.

If you're doing RAM intensive work, my experience suggests the RAM upgrade offers the better ROI.
 

MickeyVee

macrumors member
Jun 28, 2009
82
28
Canada
I just dropped a Samsung 1TB SSD in my 2012 MacMini on Saturday and it's like a screaming new machine. Apps that took 30 seconds to start now do so in a couple of bounces in the doc. Even my Win10 VM fully boots within 10 seconds. Totally amazing! BTW, I have 8GB RAM and use Office 2016 and LightRoom on top of the regular sufing and email.
 

Durentis

macrumors newbie
Mar 20, 2014
23
13
Thanks for that.
This is not really related to an upgrade, but I saw this in a YouTube video where a guy removes his SuperDrive and replaces it with the old HDD.
Would doing this be easy? I do need space and I don't have a lot of $$$ to buy a SSD with a large storage space.
I did this ages ago; was easy and worked great. Make sure you get the correct one for your model/year of Macbook Pro.
https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DDAMBS0GB/

Also, you'll want to reinstall OSX onto the SSD and use the HDD for your longterm storage stuff for the best performance benefit.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,499
7,027
Hong Kong
Depends on how you use your Mac, and do you feel that's slow (very OSX version dependent).

I my personal experience, anything after OSX 10.7, SSD sway better.

If you mainly use it to run some long time operation (something only require few clicks and then let it run itself for few hours. e.g. video encoding), you will benefit from RAM more than SSD.

However, if you only use it to do a lot of short time operation (you have to keep using your trackpad, click here, click there...). Then SSD should gives you much more value than the RAM.

And one good thing about upgrading SSD is that even you run out of RAM, now your SWAP is on the high speed SSD (especially good for small files read write), the performance impact will be much much lower than when you using HDD and run out of RAM. Therefore, even though you didn't increase the memory size, but may still effectively make you feel that the RAM size is no longer that important.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,705
10,487
California
Why not buy the SSD Directly from Crucial??
Usually cheaper on Amazon. For example the Crucial BX200 in 256GB is $11 cheaper on Amazon, plus free two day shipping if you are an Amazon Prime member. Same with Crucial memory usually for some reason. If you look up the RAM part number on the Crucial site then search for that same part number on Amazon, it is almost always less on Amazon.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.