Upgrade: HD or RAM first?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Krafty, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. Krafty macrumors 601

    Krafty

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    La La Land
    #1
    Alright well, being a college student I'm running a 1 year old MacBook CD. Instead of begging my parents for a MacBook Pro I decided I would suck it up and stick with what I got, since in reality there isnt a REAL need to upgrade. In order to keep up though, there are 2 upgrades I need: RAM and HD.

    I recently bought a bigger HD (from stock 60GB to 120GB) a couple months ago. For me, I listen to a lot of music and download albums constantly, but being a graphic designer too, I have a lot of renders and .pngs in which I have a lot of folders, most ranging in 200-800MB+. I am not down to 32GB which I've been trying to balance out, but this is keeping me from being able to put the Adobe Suite on cause it will eat up what I have left. I also wanted to run XP, but I really dont have enough room.

    As of RAM, I recently made a post if I should get an updated Mac cause I needed (or thought) a faster Mac. I have 2GHz right now, but since I'm not too tech savy I can't really tell if I'm using full CPU or not, but I multi-task a lot, and often it causes programs (or OSX) to freeze or run slowly or I have to wait a minute to switch programs. Right now I'm running on stock 1GB.

    I need both, but since my budget is tight I have to take it one step at a time. But which one should I upgrade first?
     
  2. krnboy503 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    #2
    I bought my macbook before winter term started...because I got tired of my windows laptop I had been using for the past two years. The stock was 2.0ghz intel core 2 duo, 1gb ram, 80gb hard drive, superdrive. The first thing I did was get a 2gb (1gbx2) on eBay and install that which took less than 5 min max. I didnt notice the difference because I didnt even turn it on when it was at 1gb ram. While I was running programs like CS3, I noticed it was lagging a second or two when i was editing.... next thing you know I order 4gb (2gbx2) again on eBay and installed it within a week. I noticed a slight change, for example not much lag, and so fourth. I heard from other posts that the macbook i have only supports up to 3gb but on my system info it says 4gb so i dont really know and dont care? haha. So if I were you, I'd probably go with the ram first. But hearing how you have lots of files, go with the hard drive. I got a 250gb internal for about $100 on newegg.com. Hope this wasn't too long. :p
     
  3. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #3
    Ram first, that way you can enjoy the speed increase while waiting for the larger HD .. :)
     
  4. rsm5068 macrumors regular

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    Jan 21, 2008
  5. scr1968 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    #5
    RAM is always the way to go I think. Should make a significant improvement if you are running more than one thing at a time. The Adobe Suite should appreciate the extra RAM for sure.

    You might also consider an external HD instead of replacing your internal one. Just a thought. You could get a much larger one that you could if you went the internal route. Not as portable I know, but more storage in the end.

    SCR
     
  6. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    I'd go with the RAM first unless you're REALLY struggling for disk space. Another 1gb stick isn't going to cost you that much and makes a big difference. 4Gb is more of a luxury - if you're running Parallels or are a VERY heavy Photoshop user it's worth it, but as you're on a tight budget, 2gb total should do you quite nicely - the jump to 4 is a much smaller difference for most people.

    Given that an extra 1gb RAM won't cost you very much, you should then be able to upgrade the HD that bit sooner.

    Your 2ghz CPU should be quite adequate - the SR machines are faster, but it's not a night and day difference. At work we run CS3 on slower machines than yours without problems =]

    BTW - don't buy RAM from Apple. Get it from Crucial, OWC or someone similar - you'll save a bundle.
     
  7. Krafty thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    La La Land
    #7
    Thanks for all the posts
    Yeah, I closed everything but FireFox cause my mom needed the internet (washing clothes at her house real quick so i dont have my router), and I opened up Photoshop to make something real quick, clicked "File" and it froze. I had to force it to quit.

    I got a 160GB 3-4 years ago, and its held up, but now its down to around 40-50GB (with a LOT more stuff than I have on my Mac) of backup files and whatnot (Which reminds me I need to make another).
     
  8. Krafty thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    La La Land
    #8
    Ha, I know that much :)
    Meh, not really.. Its more of if I can get it it would be a LOT better.
    What's an est. of a 1GB stick? Also, do they come with the little screw? I had one but I cant find it.
     
  9. GfulDedFan macrumors 65816

    GfulDedFan

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana
    #9
    I'm thinking that you should be able to pick up a 2GB Kit (that's 2ea. 1GB chips) for about $40-$50 dollars. Keep in mind that your MacBook Core Duo will be maxed out at 2GB.

    If you're talking about the screws for the Ram Door, they are not to be removed from the door and they loosen to remove the door but don't come out. If you indeed lost one, you'll have to get them through an Apple Genius (you can't order them yourself from Apple :( ) or some third party that might have them. If you find them from some third party, post about it here 'cause 2 of mine are stripped and I need to replace 'em. :cool:

    Hope this helps -GDF
     
  10. ziwi macrumors 65816

    ziwi

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Right back where I started...
    #10
    He does have a core duo not a C2D so if he went with the new MacBook or MBP refurb he would stand to gain alot in HP by effectively doubling the processors.
    It seems as if you are running out of space quickly and perhaps an external drive could help with archiving the items you do not need access to regularly. If that is the case then Ram will make the existing computer seem a little snappier. I would not discount the additional staying power of the C2D over the standard CD though.
     
  11. Krafty thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    La La Land
    #11
    Yeah, on newegg I found these:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231159

    Will this work?

    And I meant the screwdriver.

    And where can I find a cheap 200gb hd?
     
  12. GfulDedFan macrumors 65816

    GfulDedFan

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana
    #12
    yepitwill
    You'll need a #0 Phillips. And if you end up getting the HD, you also need a #8 Torq screwdriver

    You could try HERE You can also look at RAM there too.
     
  13. Krafty thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    La La Land
  14. GfulDedFan macrumors 65816

    GfulDedFan

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana
  15. Csmitte macrumors 6502

    Csmitte

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    #15
    nuff said!
     
  16. robrose20 macrumors 6502

    robrose20

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    #16
    max out the ram ... it will improve performance tremendously.
     
  17. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Up the irons
    #17
    I would purchase the hard drive first. Then come back and ask yourself whether the extra memory is needed when you have everything loaded on the drive.
     
  18. a4abt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Location:
    Miami
    #18
    RAM first

    I upgraded mine and saw a performance increase when multiple applications are running. I also upgraded the hard drive, but no performance increase.

    RAM upgrades are affordable (4gb for $95) compared to Apple's prices (4gb for $700).
     

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