Which is the bigger speed boost? More RAM or better CPU?

Gary King

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 14, 2004
Which is the bigger speed boost?

512 MB RAM -> 1024 MB RAM, or 1.25 GHz G4 -> 1.8 GHz G5?


Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
Bergen, Norway
Depends on what you're doing.

Example: Ripping CDs will benefit more from the CPU upgrade, while working with large Photoshop files will benefit more from the RAM upgrade.


macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
Both would really help actually. But I think G4 --> G5 would be more significant.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 4, 2005
Deepest Regions of Hell

I just went from 1G to 2G on my 15" PowerBook and i have noticed a big jump im speed...less "spinning beach ball" and my progs runnin smoother...but a bigger CPU like was said above has its definite advantages...


macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
The Cool Part of CA, USA
Depends wildly on what you've got and what you're doing.

If you're trying to work in Tiger doing anything more than basic word processing with 256MB RAM, then adding more RAM is definitely going to be the bigger boost. If you've already got a gig of RAM and don't do heavy photoshop or video work, then more RAM probably won't do you any noticable good (if you're not even using everything you've already got) but the CPU will make a difference.

It's also as Mitthrawnuruodo said; some things care more about RAM, some things CPU.

Basically, due to how cheap RAM is, I'd say start by looking at the cost of at least a gig of RAM (or more, depending on what you do--Photoshop CS2 under Tiger, for example, LOVES RAM), and only then start looking at whether you can afford more CPU.

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
Adelaide, Australia
Remember that the G5 will have faster RAM too.

We really need to know what is needed from the computer before we can say which'd be faster though.