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Worth the upgrade? :)


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Mozsh

 
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Hey guys,
Ive got a Intel Core 2 Duo processor (2.26 GHz), and 4 gb of RAM on my Macbook pro for early 2010. I understand I am unable to upgrade my processor, but i need a slightly faster mac for both my daily uses and just for some occasional gaming. I was looking into upgrading my RAM to 8 gbs but I was unsure if it would make a big difference with my old Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

I want to avoid building or buying a new computer at all costs, and i was just wondering how much of a difference an extra 4 gb of RAM would serve.

I'm also a newbie to this site in regards to posting, so I may be posting this thread in the wrong section.

Thanks in advance,

Mozsh
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harryb2448

 
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G'day and welcome to the forums.

The increased memory will no doubt give you a small boost, but do not expect it to have the same impact as a faster processor. Your best investment may well be a solid state drive.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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Mozsh

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
G'day and welcome to the forums.

The increased memory will no doubt give you a small boost, but do not expect it to have the same impact as a faster processor. Your best investment may well be a solid state drive.
I currently have a 250 gb regular memory drive, do you think downgrading in size to a 120 gb SSD would be beneficial?
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RavingMac

 
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You may want to consider going with the Data Doubler. This would let you move your current HD in place of your SuperDrive and install the 120GB SSD as your boot drive.
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/drive...t/datadoubler/

I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mozsh View Post
Hey guys,
Ive got a Intel Core 2 Duo processor (2.26 GHz), and 4 gb of RAM on my Macbook pro for early 2010. I understand I am unable to upgrade my processor, but i need a slightly faster mac for both my daily uses and just for some occasional gaming. I was looking into upgrading my RAM to 8 gbs but I was unsure if it would make a big difference with my old Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

I want to avoid building or buying a new computer at all costs, and i was just wondering how much of a difference an extra 4 gb of RAM would serve.
Unless you are totally maxing out your current 4 gig of ram (which most people are not)...8 gig of ram will not give you much (if any) of a performance boost. If you said that you did a lot of photo or video editing via Photoshop or Final Cut programs...then you might immediately benefit from 8 gig of ram. But if you're doing what most computer users are doing (internet, e-mail, mp3 playing, etc.)...you don't need 8 gig for this.

But. We just had another thread similar to this one...discussing similar questions. And an 8gig upgrade for your computer will only cost around $50-$60 for the ram. So if that amount is "small potatoes" for you...then go for it...forget about all the "techno-speak"...and JUST DO IT!

- Nick

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

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razormac View Post
You may want to consider going with the Data Doubler. This would let you move your current HD in place of your SuperDrive and install the 120GB SSD as your boot drive.
Mount 2.5
is that some sort of double storage device? half SSD, and half HDD?
That would be exactly what I would love, but I thought it was impossible with laptops.

-Mozsh
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Mozsh

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
Unless you are totally maxing out your current 4 gig of ram (which most people are not)...8 gig of ram will not give you much (if any) of a performance boost. If you said that you did a lot of photo or video editing via Photoshop or Final Cut programs...then you might immediately benefit from 8 gig of ram. But if you're doing what most computer users are doing (internet, e-mail, mp3 playing, etc.)...you don't need 8 gig for this.

But. We just had another thread similar to this one...discussing similar questions. And an 8gig upgrade for your computer will only cost around $50-$60 for the ram. So if that amount is "small potatoes" for you...then go for it...forget about all the "techno-speak"...and JUST DO IT!

- Nick
I actually do use my mac for editing, both photos and video, but mainly video. I use programs like C4D, AE, PS, and Final Cut, but the issue is for my occasional gaming. I dont have much time for gaming, but for something like 60$ I was wondering if it would help with fps
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shanlon

 
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You will see a huge performance increase by purchasing a Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid Solid State Drive. 100$ for 500GB. I've installed in many macbook pro's and it's great.

15" 2010 Macbook Pro / i5 // 8GB RAM // 128GB SSD
Late 2009 Mac Mini // Snow Leopard Server
Drobo FS - 9.02TB
iPhone 4 16GB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mozsh View Post
I actually do use my mac for editing, both photos and video, but mainly video. I use programs like C4D, AE, PS, and Final Cut, but the issue is for my occasional gaming. I dont have much time for gaming, but for something like 60$ I was wondering if it would help with fps
Some games have "minimum specs"...and "recommended specs". Compare this against your computers spec's. If a game says it requires "2 gig ram"...and you already have 4 gig's...then 8 gig's probably won't improve things.

FPS has a lot to do with your video hardware (and cpu speed to a degree). If I've correctly identified your MacBook Pro model...technically it is a "Mid-2009" model...not a 2010 (although they weren't discontinued until April 2010). This MacBook has the "integrated" GeForce 9400M video hardware...which is slower than having "dedicated" video hardware with it's own "dedicated" ram.

- most Mac's are not considered the best gaming computers
- this MacBook Pro was basically the low-end model (when it was new)
- and now it is 2+ years old (things move fast in "computerland")

These are things that will work against you when gaming on a Mac...especially if you're trying to play the "latest & greatest" game titles.

- Nick

p.s. But again...if $50-$60 bucks is not a big deal...just do it!

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

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
Some games have "minimum specs"...and "recommended specs". Compare this against your computers spec's. If a game says it requires "2 gig ram"...and you already have 4 gig's...then 8 gig's probably won't improve things.

FPS has a lot to do with your video hardware (and cpu speed to a degree). If I've correctly identified your MacBook Pro model...technically it is a "Mid-2009" model...not a 2010 (although they weren't discontinued until April 2010). This MacBook has the "integrated" GeForce 9400M video hardware...which is slower than having "dedicated" video hardware with it's own "dedicated" ram.

- most Mac's are not considered the best gaming computers
- this MacBook Pro was basically the low-end model (when it was new)
- and now it is 2+ years old (things move fast in "computerland")

These are things that will work against you when gaming on a Mac...especially if you're trying to play the "latest & greatest" game titles.

- Nick

p.s. But again...if $50-$60 bucks is not a big deal...just do it!
Yeah I know that a Mac is nothing compared to a Pc in the gaming world, I was just looking for a slight boost in [Frames Per Second] or less lag. Im just an oldschool gamer, and I remembered the days of Diablo 2, and I was trying to prep my mac for Diablo 3 launch.
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Mozsh

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanlon View Post
You will see a huge performance increase by purchasing a Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid Solid State Drive. 100$ for 500GB. I've installed in many macbook pro's and it's great.
Ive been looking into this since you've made the comment. How does it compare to a SSD drive?
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mozsh View Post
Yeah I know that a Mac is nothing compared to a Pc in the gaming world, I was just looking for a slight boost in [Frames Per Second] or less lag. Im just an oldschool gamer, and I remembered the days of Diablo 2, and I was trying to prep my mac for Diablo 3 launch.
Yeah...lots of folks are "holding their breath" waiting for the launch of Diablo 3 (if it EVER is released)!!!

Check out the Mac specs on this page:

Diablo III System Requirements - Diablo Wiki

As you can see...it lists "minimum" & "recommended" specs. Your computer has no problem meeting the minimum specs. It does have the ram (4 gig) for the recommended specs...but it may come up short on the "recommended" video specs.

As you can see...the specs do not really specify a specific cpu speed (just at a minimum an Intel core duo...or recommended core 2 duo)...which to me means that the video hardware is more important than cpu speed.

Of course this doesn't mean you won't be able to play Diablo 3...just that you may not be able to play it at max. settings.

- Nick

p.s. Not sure what OS version you're running. But the Mac system requirements mention nothing about compatibility with Mac OS 10.7 "Lion"...so who knows at this point???

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

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
Yeah...lots of folks are "holding their breath" waiting for the launch of Diablo 3 (if it EVER is released)!!!

Check out the Mac specs on this page:

Diablo III System Requirements - Diablo Wiki

As you can see...it lists "minimum" & "recommended" specs. Your computer has no problem meeting the minimum specs. It does have the ram (4 gig) for the recommended specs...but it may come up short on the "recommended" video specs.

As you can see...the specs do not really specify a specific cpu speed (just at a minimum an Intel core duo...or recommended core 2 duo)...which to me means that the video hardware is more important than cpu speed.

Of course this doesn't mean you won't be able to play Diablo 3...just that you may not be able to play it at max. settings.

- Nick

p.s. Not sure what OS version you're running. But the Mac system requirements mention nothing about compatibility with Mac OS 10.7 "Lion"...so who knows at this point???
Thanks alot for all the helpful advice Nick.
In the end I think I will go with a Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid Solid State Drive for 110$ and a 2x4 gb RAM for 60$. Overall I think that this will be very useful in regards to preformance, especially for upgrades less that 200$.

thanks again,

Mozsh
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mozsh View Post
Thanks alot for all the helpful advice Nick.
In the end I think I will go with a Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid Solid State Drive for 110$ and a 2x4 gb RAM for 60$. Overall I think that this will be very useful in regards to preformance, especially for upgrades less that 200$.
By doing what you mentioned...you're pretty much doing the most you can with what you got. If you need more than this (to say run Diablo 3 at the settings you prefer)...I guess that it's time to get a newer Mac (desktop or laptop)...or just do your gaming on a Windows computer!

Good luck,

- Nick

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

 
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It all depends on the ammount of services and open programs the OP may be running. Where the performace increase comes from primarily is the paging file (Which is HDD space used as ram). More RAM = less of a need to transfer running programs / services to the paging file which has significantly less performance than RAM does.

Maxing out the RAM and upgrading the HDD to an SSD (or Hybrid HDD/SSD) improves both the need to move data to the paging file(s) and the speed of the paging files themselves.

The perf improvement in daily usage is substantial as a result.

Gaming is the only exception.
As mentioned earlier, since the CPU and GPU are not upgradeable, they become the ball and chain in this scenario. An older Core 2 Duo is still a very capable CPU unless you start throwing modern games at it which are more CPU dependant than they have been in the past. Additionally, GPU is always going to determine your max FPS at your given resolution. The nvidia 9400m GPU (That I believe is in your model) while on the lower end of the nvidia 9000 series is still a dedicated GPU which actually beats the current lower end MBP Intel graphics. Only the 15" and 17" with dedicated ATI GPUs would give you better GPU performance.

So, if you are not seriously into high end 3D gaming at max settings, you will see the perf increase you are hoping for from the previous posted recommendations (RAM and SSD).

-MikeM
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