Will more memory do anything for me?

katmichaels

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 29, 2017
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Hi. I would love some input from those who know - I have the following system and I'm wondering if getting more memory would improve my system, considering that my processor is fairly slow. If it would, how much would help and how much would be overkill. Thanks!

MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012)
2.3 GHz Intel Core i7
4 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
 

UL2RA

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May 7, 2017
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That's not a slow processor. The crappy HDD it comes with is slow. More RAM may help, but you'll see a night and day difference in speed by upgrading to a solid state drive.
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
5,285
2,276
Perth, Western Australia
More memory will help massively. Even without upgrading to SSD, going to 8 gigs will roughly halve your boot time for a start. Based on the experience i had with my 2011 (basically the same machine - minor spec bump).

16 will help also, due to caching, but the BIG jum (as far as RAM goes) is from 4 GB to 8. SSD is also a no brainer now.

With 4 GB, that machine is extremely hamstrung by the memory limit.

Upgrade to SSD, definitely go to 8 GB and preferably 16 GB, as it isn't that expensive (and even if you aren't consuming the full 8 GB - 16 GB still improved system performance by about 10% when i had it in my old machine - and the difference between 8-16 GB of DDR3 is not much now).

With 16 GB and an SSD that will still be a very potent machine. It will be a night and day difference.
 
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Sterkenburg

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2016
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The processor is the least likely thing to be a bottleneck in your system, older i7 CPUs are still very good, particularly the quad cores in 15" MBP models. A good quality SSD + 8GB RAM is the upgrade you are looking for.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
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One more vote for putting an SSD into it, rather than increasing RAM.

The SSD will run circles around a platter-based hard drive!
 

katmichaels

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 29, 2017
2
0
THANK YOU all so much for the responses. I didn't realize I could swap out the drive. I will do that for sure. Someone asked for a screenshot of my activity monitor, so here it is...

 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,178
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California
Yes, you would benefit from more memory. When you see that memory pressure graph at the bottom outside the green and in the yellow like yours is, you could use more memory.
 
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UL2RA

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After seeing your activity monitor, definitely get more RAM. But get an SSD also. It'll be like getting a new computer.
 

shyam09

macrumors 68020
Oct 31, 2010
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I'd recommend a Samsung EVO SSD. I assume you're looking to get at least 500 GB or more?
 

ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
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I agree with the other Members!

Going to 8 or 16 GB of RAM is a good idea IMO. Doing that with a SSD will be even better. Your CPU is still faster than the majority of the CPUs used in current 2017 model year laptops. Increase the RAM and go to a SSD and you will be amazed by how well the machine performs because it will be as if you bought a brand new system.
 
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TonyK

macrumors 65816
May 24, 2009
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OP, think of it this way. You are opening your computer to do a) memory upgrade or b) an SSD upgrade. Instead of having to re-open the case at a later time, do the most you can now which is upgrade to 16GB of memory and install the SSD. Did that with my old 2007 MBP and never regretted the effort.
 
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Arctic Moose

macrumors regular
Jun 22, 2017
109
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Gothenburg, Sweden
MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012)
2.3 GHz Intel Core i7
4 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
I just realized that the mid 2012 came with an optical drive, which means you could swap the hard drive for a fast SSD, but also replace the optical drive with either another SSD or a one (or possibly even two) TB spinning disk for data storage. All you need is a mounting kit which is $20 or so.

I did this with my 2010 MBP, which meant I could continue using it as my only computer until just recently. (You could even make a Fusion Drive if you like, but I think having the system and home folder only on SSD is a better experience, even though it does require a little more administration to move data around.)