When are the 12/16 GB RAM and 6.0 GBPS SSD Upgrades Worth It?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by NickZac, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    Dec 11, 2010
    #1
    I have a 2.3 GHz quad core 15in with 8GB RAM and the factory Toshiba 3.0 SSD. I've watched Crucial and OWC drop their prices on the 12 and 16 GB of RAM and the 6.0 GBPS SSDs considerably. So when is it worth it? Do you guys with 12 or 16 GB of RAM and/or the 6.0 GBPS SSDs see any real-world differences for basic tasks over 8 GB RAM/3.0 GBPS SSDs? I'm not opposed to spending the money but unless there is a real-world difference in basic computing tasks, I don't feel a need to. I see on paper the benchmark tests all the time; however, I am not interested in figures as much as your thoughts. Thanks!
     
  2. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    #2
    For basic tasks, you would be wasting your money.

    12/16 GB are worth it if you regularly use up your current 8 GB of RAM. For storage, I seriously doubt there are many applications where a 3.0 GBPS SSD would be a bottleneck.
     
  3. Jiten macrumors 6502a

    Jiten

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    Jul 16, 2008
    #3
    Depends on what you use it for. What do you use it for?
     
  4. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #4
    It is marginal. If you are heavy into Adobe Apps, and do a Boatload of hi-res media authoring, then you might benefit from > 8GB of RAM. The speed increase on the "newer" SSDs is marginal, it will be a tad faster but for most things barely noticeable. I have a 256GB Toshiba Apple SSD in my 2010 15" 2.8GHz MacBook Pro and love it, it's fast enough for me. I have an OWC 120GB 3G SSD in my Mac Pro and it is lightning fast, I have a 120GB 6G OWC SSD in my 27" iMac. I can't tell a difference in the 3G and 6G speed-wise on those two machines, to be honest.

    I think you have a very powerful laptop where you are at. If your needs ever eclipse your current hardware spec in the future you can always upgrade later. For gaming, and web browsing, and pretty much everything you are fine. If you were editing > 20 Megapixel Professional grade photos in Photoshop you might benefit from more RAM, but I doubt it. There are very few things on laptops that we would do that would require more than 8GB of RAM current-day.
     
  5. Beachguy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #5
    My MBA (brand new) from work is only 4gb of RAM, and I run a Windows 7 VM with 1.3GB RAM allocated all day, plus Outlook and several other apps. I've seen the available RAM as low as 16megs, and the Machine does not slow down.

    The SSD works wonders. My MBP (April, 2010) slows down more easily with twice the RAM.
     
  6. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #6
    I make every use of 16gb of memory, but I also run Adobe 5.5 Master Suite and have numerous VM's. I'm also running a SATA3 drive. For me I'd have nothing less, but I agree with the others for day to day/normal use it's unnecessary.
     
  7. NickZac thread starter macrumors 68000

    NickZac

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #7
    Thanks for all the responses! Some of the statistical programs I run are memory hogs. As I type this I have 6 MB of RAM free with 4.6 GB in an 'inactive' state. It sounds like the factory Toshiba is fine to stick with. I am happy with it and it seems to be just as reliable as virtually anything on the market.

    From what I have read, even though my free RAM is virtually none, if a large portion of it is inactive, then it is not that big of a deal. I have read when page outs exceed the page ins, then you have a big upgrade need. Is this true? My current page ins are about 2,500,000 and page outs are 600. Thanks!
     

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  8. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    #8
    Yeah, as long as the page outs stay close to zero, like in your screenshot, you don't have to worry about upgrading RAM.
     
  9. sunnyj macrumors 6502

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    Oct 18, 2010
    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    #9
    i have both sata2 and sata3 ssd's and the real world difference in speed isn't really noticeable.
     
  10. RC85 macrumors member

    RC85

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    Jan 25, 2012
    Location:
    Corn Field USA
    #10
    I'd say if you're a graphic designer, HD video editor, etc you'll benefit

    I upgraded to 8GB OWC RAM and saw a pretty substantial increase on multitasking within Chrome on Lion. I just upgraded a few days ago to an OWC Mercury SSD, fresh Lion install and I haven't noticed a big difference in the average tasks, but where I did see it shine was rendering a movie, it's day and night difference there. I went with an SSD for better reliability vs. a physical HDD. Temps also dropped a bit too. Good luck, let us know what you decide.
     
  11. Tastannin macrumors 6502

    Tastannin

    Joined:
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    Location:
    UT
    #11
    It really does depend on what you do. I do social media for a living, and thus, need multiple browser windows open, and yes, Flash has to be enabled, unfortunately. That along with CS 5.5, Office, iMovie, and Parallels too. Ugh.

    I was hitting a wall with 8GB of RAM, and was able to pick up the $110 16GB Corsair kit at Fry's last night. It's really made a difference so far. I need to see how my Win7 VM does too...usually have to close a couple of apps just to get it run decently without swapping out.

    I'm looking forward to my OWC 240GB SSD coming tomorrow, for even more performance.
     
  12. RC85 macrumors member

    RC85

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    Corn Field USA
    #12
    you're gonna like the SSD. OWC is 10 minutes from my house, which is a plus.
     
  13. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    Dec 13, 2004
    #13
    you don't need any more ram based on that screenshot. You're page outs are very low.
     
  14. bill-p macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    #14
    You'd still benefit from 16GB from what I can see. It's not like you immediately need it, but you're still hitting the limits there, so if you can afford it, I'd say go for it.

    I use the factory Toshiba myself, by the way. Personally, I have used SSDs before, and my conclusion was that while they were good at giving immediate launch speed and search time, most of my workflow revolved around crunching data in spreadsheets, writing and testing softwares, and doing works that are processor-intensive for several hours, so CPU and RAM are ultimately more important to me than shaving off a few seconds off of boot, launch, and search time.
     
  15. NickZac thread starter macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    Dec 11, 2010
    #15
    $110?!?!?!? The cheapest I could find the Crucial and OWC was like $230 and the Corsair for $180. Was that an in-store thing?
     
  16. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #16
    Is it worth it different for different people.

    The faster performance lets me do work faster.

    Time is money is the saying.

    I purchased 16GB when it was $400 and that was worth it to me, even though it's only about $150 now. I have saved a lot of headaches over the few months before the prices went down.

    I recently also picked up a 480GB 6G SSD. Again I need the capacity and the speed really helps with my work. Sure it was expensive, and the price will drop later, but I am already benefiting from the upgrade and therefore it's worth it to me.
     
  17. NickZac thread starter macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    Dec 11, 2010
    #17
    I am not as worried about price as I am time saving and user enjoyment...after all, I did buy a MacBook Pro! :p

    If we were worried too much about price I doubt we would all be rockin Sandy Bridge MBPs lol
     
  18. bdinger macrumors member

    bdinger

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    Jan 22, 2012
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    #18
    If you use Final Cut Pro X and work with HD video, you'll want 16GB. I'm still waiting for the slow boat from China to bring mine, and I had to edit my first video in FCPx this weekend with 4GB. Let's just say that it didn't take very long at all for me to max out, and then build up a 5GB swapfile. And I was only editing about 10 minutes of 1080/30 footage.

    Today in Aperture, I'd say 4GB is sufficient even working with RAW footage. However in that case, I was extremely happy that I had the Crucial C300 as I was trying to initially work with some files on the 750GB/7200rpm disk in the MCE optibay and got annoyed, then moving them to the SSD was a world of difference. Instant updates, etc etc.

    Now that said, I edit standard-def home video in FCP 7 and non-RAW digital photos from my point and shoot or iPhone 4 in Aperture 3 on my white MacBook all the time. I just recently upgraded to 8GB of RAM which was a nice addition, but I was able to do it just fine with 4GB. It has a Intel X-25M Gen 2 SSD running at 3GB/s and like I said - with that workload it performs similarly to my monster MBP with HD/RAW files.

    In fact I'll be honest here, I don't notice much of a difference between my white MacBook and my MBP unless I have FCPx, Motion, or Aperture open. Of course browsing with some processor (javascript/Flash) intense sites will definitely show a difference, but otherwise - bingo.

    Hope it helps!
     
  19. bill-p macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    #19
    Try looking in the ads. I'm sure it'll pop up again soon.

    Past deals were mostly here. They also do $2.99 shipping if I'm not mistaken.
     
  20. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
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    NYC
    #20
    Then get those parts!
     
  21. NickZac thread starter macrumors 68000

    NickZac

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #21
    Then I may just have to. SSD selection looks challenging though. While not the fastest compared to the SandForce drives, the Crucial M4 has the best reviews from users (by a pretty wide margin) and it seems to have some of the best reliability stats on the market. (I place a lot of emphasis on user reviews)
     
  22. squeakr macrumors 68000

    squeakr

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    Apr 22, 2010
    #22
    The best reliability stats go to the intels by a long shot. There just isn't as much feedback on the SATA3 versions, the others top the list though.
     
  23. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #23
    In terms of reliability, I would pick Intel first.

    I have an OWC Mercury because the particular model Intel I would is a bit expensive at the moment.
     
  24. Tastannin macrumors 6502

    Tastannin

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    UT
    #24
    Yup. Fry's in-store only special. Keep your eyes peeled. There were good deals from Newegg earlier (with rebate, etc.) so I'm sure there will be more coming or a price drop.

    The nice thing about technology is if you wait, the price either drops, or the product gets faster/better. :p

    BTW, got my OWC 240GB SSD. It's fast, but I'm slowly realizing that the 16GB of RAM really did more for my workflow than the SSD has done. Need to decide for good ASAP before the OWC return window closes!
     
  25. NickZac thread starter macrumors 68000

    NickZac

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #25
    Intel's long track record of SSD reliability has been excellent. If I went Intel, I would do the 510. The Crucial M4 appears to have a lot of design similarities to some of the Intel units as well, and both have equally good ratings. The 510 is pricy but it appears to have a longer service life than any other unit on the market now. I really don't think I would go SandForce with all the current issues they seem to be prone to.
     

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