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  1. #1

    davenz's Avatar
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    What makes the biggest difference in speed
    What component makes up the biggest proportion of speed. Ram, Hard Drive/SSD, or Processor?

    Say I want to upgrade a macbook with moderate specs. What is going to see the biggest speed increase? already running 3gb ram, 2.0ghz quad core, regular HDD.
    "if people with a cluttered desk have a cluttered mind, what do people with a empty desk have?"

  2. #2

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davenz View Post
    What component makes up the biggest proportion of speed. Ram, Hard Drive/SSD, or Processor?

    Say I want to upgrade a macbook with moderate specs. What is going to see the biggest speed increase? already running 3gb ram, 2.0ghz quad core, regular HDD.
    It depends on what you are doing on the machine. It would help to know what your needs are, as well as which exact model/year MacBook you have and what version of OS X you are running.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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  3. #3


    Member Since
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    It does depend on what you are doing but for most people the most noticeable speed difference would be the hard drive especially if you get SSD.

  4. #4

    davenz's Avatar
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    Mostly running lots of applications, booting up, playing video, surfing the web, no major power sucking programs like adobe suite.

    Running 10.6.8
    "if people with a cluttered desk have a cluttered mind, what do people with a empty desk have?"

  5. #5


    Member Since
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    15" MacBook Pro (Late-2011), 2.4 GHz Core i7, 8GB RAM, 750GB HDD
    Quote Originally Posted by davenz View Post
    Mostly running lots of applications, booting up, playing video, surfing the web, no major power sucking programs like adobe suite.

    Running 10.6.8
    RAM and the HDD would make the most difference in your case. If you're runnng a notebook, you can pretty much rule out upgrading the processor anyways. I'd say uprading from 3GB to 4 or even 8GB of RAM would make the biggest difference up front, followed by upgrading the HDD.
    -------------------------------------------------
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  6. #6

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by davenz View Post
    What component makes up the biggest proportion of speed. Ram, Hard Drive/SSD, or Processor?

    Say I want to upgrade a macbook with moderate specs. What is going to see the biggest speed increase? already running 3gb ram, 2.0ghz quad core, regular HDD.
    Just to clarify...you can cross a processor upgrade of the list...since the processor on your MacBook is not upgradeable (it is soldered onto the logic board).

    Also...there is/was no such thing as a 2.0ghz MacBook with a "QUAD-CORE" cpu (Apple never made one)!

    This leaves us with ram & HD. A ram upgrade will not necessarily speed anything up if you don't need it. You currently have 3 gig of ram...so lets say all you did on your computer was internet & and e-mail...then a further ram upgrade would not do much or anything.

    There were also 5 different MacBooks with a 2.0ghz "Core 2 Duo" cpu...and if you have an older model...you may already be maxed out on ram with 3gig.

    Finally the HD. You probably have a standard 5400rpm HD...upgrading to a 7200rpm HD may speed things up a little bit. An SSD would probably speed things up more:

    - boot times
    - opening of files
    - opening of applications

    ...what an SSD won't do is allow you to run applications better/faster...since this is dependent on the computers cpu & gpu.

    So overall...ram may help speed things up (if you really need more ram)...an SSD will definitely makes things seem/feel faster.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

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