Thoughts on 8gb MBP Upgrade

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by deviance, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. deviance macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2008
    Just wondered what your thoughts were on upgrading the ram from 4 to 8gb on a 2009 MBP are?

    Currently that would cost around £125

    Has anyone contemplated / done it - what were your thoughts?

    does the increase in performance warrant the upgrade price?

    I will be upgrading to an SSD as soon as the G3 Intels come out, but until then I'm wondering is a cheeky ram upgrade is in order ...
  2. mulo macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2010
    Behind you
  3. Kyffin macrumors 6502

    Sep 5, 2010
    Hi, just done this and am very happy with how its turned out- everything seems to be motoring along nicely; the OS seems to be making the most of the extra memory, and so far I've not been able to throw anything at it that it can't handle.

    Can't say whether it's be worth it for you- I upgraded because of page-outs and slowdowns and am loving being able to really cane a load of heavy apps at the same time- in a way it was worth it to not keep looking at Activity Monitor!
  4. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    I'll go out on a limb as I'm no mac expert but have been in the IT field since the Apple ][ days.

    A memory upgrade is only useful if the current amount of memory is slowing the system down. Do you know that your current 4GB is creating a bottleneck? If so, is it doing it frequently enough that you'd get £125 worth of benefit by upgrading the memory? My guess is unless you're doing memory intensive stuff like using multiple virtual machines, pro level photo editing, large simulations, crunching gigantic datasets or similar, then you may not see much benefit from a memory upgrade. After all, if you're typically only using 2-3GB of memory, then it doesn't much matter whether there's 4GB or 8GB total space available. (yes I know this is simplistic and there are other factors)

    I think there's a way to see the degree to which OSX is using memory and swapping out to disk. Perhaps someone else can post how to do so; that would be the easiest way to determine if a memory upgrade would be of any benefit.
  5. deviance thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2008
    thanks for the useful feedback. I do use PS/AE quite heavily and at the same time. I've just chatted to some people in the office and the general consensus was to wait until I upgrade to the SSD and see how the computer performs before doing the ram upgrade which seems sensible seeing as I'm using the stock 5400 drive at the moment
  6. Kyffin macrumors 6502

    Sep 5, 2010
    Looks like we might have similar uses- I decided to upgrade because photo editing was a mare (I can easily wait an extra second or two for itunes to load rather than dropping a ton on impatience).

    Since I did both at the same time I can't really say which would be the most useful- I'm thinking of looking at the G3 too, but needed the storage now.

    With the memory and faster drive I'm able to worth with RAW files without lag in phocus and everything is faster- no hangups, instant changes, and can run loads else in the background. It really is like a different machine (and amazing how it'll absorb anything you can throw at it- and this is the base 13").

    I decided to do it because I'd read that the price of RAM is good at the moment and shouldn't change in the foreseeable (from the internet with a pinch of salt), and I thought that since 8GB is tops I might as well max it out and it'll be ready for the next few years. Hope this helps!
  7. deviance thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2008
    that helps hugely. thanks a lot!

    I think I'll wait for the G3 and see just how much more performance I see, and then look at whether to get the ram upgrade ...
  8. galstaph macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2002
    The Great White North Eh
    I did mine about a month ago. Seems fine, a little faster (no pageouts or swap being used most of the time), but in the programs I use I can still grind the system to a halt (large files in sketchup pro, rendering, autocad for mac), an ssd would help greatly, but still expensive for the size I want (400-500gb). For me I'm thinking of upgrading once sandy bridge comes out to fix my processor bottleneck slightly (and hopefully better graphics than the current lineup).
    the ssd will likely give the most impressionable effect on performance though

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