What to upgrade

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Samtb, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. Samtb macrumors 65816

    Jan 6, 2013
    When buying any MacBook what should be upgraded first? SSD, RAM, CPU?
  2. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    In general, for average uses: SSD, then RAM, then CPU.

    But the base model laptops are very capable machines. It's not a given that the average user would have to upgrade anything.
  3. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Roll the dice:

    1,4 : CPU
    2,5 : SSD
    3,6 : RAM

    May Steve be with you and the everglowing light of your iPhone screen illuminate your path!
  4. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Whatever had the greatest impact in your specific use case, which is likely different than mine.
  5. gmintz09 macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2015
    Probably depends on how you want to use it. For me personally, I upgraded the RAM to hopefully future proof it in some regard depending on the needs of each new version of OS X. Memory management is already great on a Mac, but I just felt like that was something that I should do when I bought it because I couldn't upgrade it later. I also tend to have a lot of things open at once, so 8GB just gave me more breathing room.

    Upgrading to a larger SSD wasn't really a big deal for me because I have an external hard drive that I can move stuff over to if I absolutely have to.

    As far as upgrading the CPU....unless you plan to do relatively intensive tasks on it (like editing high quality videos), probably not necessary...and in that case a MacBook Pro would be more suited to your needs.

    Just my two cents. :)
  6. Samtb thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 6, 2013
    Would an internal ssd be ultimately better though than an external drive?
  7. gmintz09 macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2015
    Well you wouldn't have to lug it around like you would an external drive, so that would be better. It'd be faster in terms of accessing the information since you don't have to worry about data transfer speeds between the external drive and the computer, but I was just saying I didn't need that much storage on my laptop normally. If I do run out of room, I would just archive unneeded files on my external drive. The MacBook Air is primarily serving as an ultra-portable, fast, light device...so for a fair number of people, it's probably not something they are going to need a lot of storage on like they would for a bigger more capable laptop that you might edit high quality videos or images on. Like I said, it just depends on how you plan to use the laptop. If you can spring for the extra storage, go for it, but if I were to pick which thing to upgrade first (RAM, SSD, or CPU), I'd go for the RAM.
  8. Samtb thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 6, 2013
    I do like the ultra portable power of the air but I like the pro too which seems almost as portable and more powerful.
  9. gmintz09 macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2015
    The 13'' MacBook Pro is fairly portable. A little bit heavier and thicker but I think the actual physical dimensions are slightly smaller than the Air. It's more powerful too and it has a better screen. However, that comes with a higher price. Depends what you are going to do with the laptop and whether your needs do require that much power.
  10. Samtb thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 6, 2013
    It's mainly for portable media. Multitasking with non intensive apps on the go. So movies, music, docs etc. I might do the occasional spreadsheet that could be intensive but that's rare and I can always use a desktop for that. The one thing that bothers me about the air is the TN screen though. As I don't have any other TN displays, everything else is IPS, which has much better colour and quality. The new MacBook seems good too but that's even less powerful, lacks ports and the same specs works out to the same price as the MacBook Pro if you buy an adapter to get a few extra ports and I don't know if it's worth that.
  11. gmintz09 macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2015
    If you want my personal opinion (and I think a fair number of people will probably agree), it's generally a good idea to skip the first generation of a new device like in the case of the new MacBook until they get the kinks worked out. It really shouldn't be the price it is right now for what it gives you, but, again, it's a first generation product. The Air was expensive when it first came out too. For what it sounds like you are using the laptop for, the Air would do just fine. Mine is very capable and I would say I use it pretty heavily in terms of multitasking and such. The screen doesn't personally bother me, but I know some people can't go back to it once they've seen and experienced the retina screens. It's totally up to you whether or not you go with the Air or Pro. Both are capable machines, but you're definitely going to be paying more for the Pro. If more power and a better screen is worth the money, then go for it. My needs are similar to yours and therefore I decided to just stick with the Air and bump up the RAM because I didn't need the processing power of the Pro. If you see your needs changing in the future to include more intensive tasks, then a Pro might be a way to future proof it. I personally saw it as too much computer for what I would use it for.

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