upgrade hard drive or memory first

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Z6128, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. Z6128 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #1
    I'll be picking up a MacBook within the next week or so, it only comes with a 160gb hard drive and I can fill that up instantly unless I pick and choose what stays on my external hard drive. I found a 500gb hard drive for $110 and thought of upgrading to that drive. But the MacBook also only comes with 2gb of ram, with a max of 4gb which is also about $100. I plan on upgrading both eventually, but will only have enough for one upgrade up front, which should I go with.

    As far as usage goes, I will be using my MacBook for iLife, internet, email, and music. No real video or photo editing.
     
  2. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    Sep 19, 2008
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    #2
    Absolutely upgrade the RAM. I noticed very little difference upgrading my HD. You can upgrade the HD later when you run out of space.
     
  3. Cboss macrumors 6502

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    Dec 11, 2008
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    Colorado
    #3
    I disagree. With what you're doing 2 GB is more than enough RAM. Since you need the HDD space now I would definitely do that. If you wait a year or so you will probably be able to get the RAM for half that price anyway.
     
  4. Z6128 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 20, 2005
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    New Jersey
    #4
    thats the issue, ill run out of space right away. i know that unless i go with a 7200rpm hard drive, there will be no difference in performance. im just not sure if having everything on my hard drive would be better then waiting a few more seconds for a program to open
     
  5. tdgrn macrumors 6502

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    May 1, 2008
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    Little Rock, AR
    #5
    RAM, for sure. Seriously, the new MacBook's are stupid fast when they have 4GB of DDR3 memory in them.
     
  6. Z6128 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #6
    ive also played around with the macbook in the apple store opening up different apps and found that the macbook is pretty quick with most apps in a macbook working off 2gb of memory. itd probably only be a few months or so before i got the other upgrade so its not too long to go without one or the other. i think a 500gb 5400rpm drive would be fine since its the largest out there now and would allow me to keep all my music, photos, and videos (about 200gb combined) all together without having to worry about space.
     
  7. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    Sep 19, 2008
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    #7
    Why did you ask for advice?
     
  8. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

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    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #8
    The answer is simple: HD first.

    Here is why:
    - 2GB of RAM is plenty for your general usage.
    - HD space has been identified as a concern (2GB of RAM is not).
    - HD prices (5200, 7200) are generally stable.
    - Price for DDR3 RAM will decrease in the future.
    - Currently, there are some issues with third party DDR3 RAM.
    - Noticeable performance increase with 7200 HD (mainly in boot times and cold starting apps).

    QED
     
  9. tbae12 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    #9
    For the things you're going to be using your macbook for you should definitely upgrade your hard drive first. 2gb is plenty of RAM for them. 500GB for that price is a lot cheaper than the ones that come in external hard drive and plus you won't have to pick and choose what goes in them. And then there's the fact that you have to carry around the external along with your laptop.
     
  10. numbersyx macrumors 65816

    numbersyx

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    #10
    Go for what you need - if you need HD space - get the HDD - if you need the memory - get the RAM..
     
  11. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #11
    I'd go with the RAM. You don't need "everything" on your hard drive all the time anyways.
     
  12. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #12
    In your case, HDD first, RAM later. No question. No mucking around with files here there and everywhere.

    Think of the RAM upgrade later as a performance bonus; it'll feel like a new(ish) machine!
     
  13. akbc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #13
    I'd say HDD.

    You should've made this into a poll thread :D

    But yes, HDD first RAM later. RAM price drops and the price isn't stable.

    Besides 2GB of ram is quite plenty for many people.
     
  14. MugsyMD macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Location:
    Somewhere in the World
    #14
    Hard drive upgrade

    Wow, upgrade Hard drive in New MacBook Pro was Awesomely EASY - less than 5 minutes (at most). I bough 2, 500gb drives and use the second 500gb has an exact duplicate using Superduper - and backup weekly. And, if the drive in the MBP fails - in 5 minutes I have my other hard drive installed and back to business. Now, that is peace of mind!:)
     
  15. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #15
    1. Hard drive first.

    2. Make one hundred percent sure that the hard drive is 9.5 mm high and not 12 mm high. If it is 12 mm, it won't fit.

    3. You might buy an external 500 GB hard drive and exchange the drives, so you have a spare external 160 GB drive. Check out how much difference in price it makes and whether it is worth it to you. (This is more important for people who want to upgrade a Mac that is in use, because it makes it very easy to move data from the old to the new hard drive; not so important in your case).

    4. You _must_ have an external drive to do Time Machine backups. It can be slow, ugly and USB, as long as it is big enough for backups.
     

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