Should I add emphasis to RAM or CPU

Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
1
I'm considering buying a macbook sometime this summer and have questions about the systems available. I can't spend more than 1300USD before taxes so my budget is limited. I want to know if OS 10.4 would run better with 1GB of ram with C2D processor at 2.0ghz or with 2GB of ram with C2D processor at 1.83ghz. It would also be nice to know which one you think would run Leopard better, but since that's not out yet, I'm not expecting a great answer. If prices fall enough by Q3, I might be able to afford 2ghz and 2gb ram, but at this point, I am not going over $1300 (I'm using the student discount, so prices are a bit different for me). So which configuration would be better?
Thanks,
Andrew
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2007
Messages
4,773
Reaction score
166
Points
63
Location
Central New York
Your Mac's Specs
15in i7 MacBook Pro, 8GB RAM, 120GB SSD, 500GB HD
Get the 2GB of RAM over the faster processor. RAM will help you more than the CPU.
 
Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Thanks for the quick reply. I am pretty sure that 2gb and 1.83ghz would be good enough to run 10.5 smoothly, but does anyone disagree? Thanks
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Messages
9,383
Reaction score
417
Points
83
Location
Irvine, CA
Your Mac's Specs
Black Macbook C2D 2GHz 3GB RAM 250GB HD iPhone 4 iPad 3G
Looking at the Apple Store website, you can get a really good Macbook and still stay within budget.

White Macbook
1.83GHz Core2Duo
512MB RAM
80GB hard drive

The above comes out to $1094. Then what you do is head over to Newegg and get this 2x1GB RAM set for a paltry $89.99 and you're looking at a grand total of $1183.99.

I bought that set of RAM a couple weeks ago and I was amazed at how much prices have dropped since then. When I bought it, that same set was $114.99. But it was definitely worth it, my Macbook just flies now :D
 
Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Ooh, thank you! I can get the better CPU and 2gb ram! And prices should fall a bit more in the coming months, so that will help too. I don't really need the bigger drive, though, since I'm only using 45GB on my pc and that's with 16GB of flight simulator stuff installed.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2007
Messages
225
Reaction score
12
Points
18
My personal opinion is any CURRENT processor you get with a new machine is going to suffice for what the average joe needs... the primary thing you need and want is MORE RAM. I just upgraded one of my machines from 1 to 2GB (that's 2 1GB sticks) for $109.00 compared to Apples $350. You can get a good and reliable deal at the same place I did... and lots of us in M-F have used these guys... NewEgg.com
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
236
Reaction score
2
Points
18
Location
Oxford, UK
I went for the cheapest specced MacBook, and added 2Gb RAM, 160Gb hard drive and external DVD burner.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2007
Messages
345
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
Hamilton, New Zealand
Your Mac's Specs
MacBook black, Intel C2D 2GHz, 2GB RAM, 320GB WD Scorpio HD
Too bad that Newegg doesn't accept overseas order nor non-U.S. drawable credit card payments. Hence, I can't buy it from them. Just 1GB RAM here in NZ is about US$245.
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2007
Messages
67
Reaction score
1
Points
8
Your Mac's Specs
White MacBook, 2Ghz C2D, 2GB ram
I had a similar issue, but mine involved the MBP with 1GB of Ram vs a MB with 2. I went with the macbook and saved some money. So far i think I made the right choice. The guys at the apple store tried charging me $350 for 2gb of Ram, but i pointed out I could just upgrade on apples website for only $175. As I was leaving the store empty handed the manager called me back, saying they could do that for me. A little pressure goes along way, i guess.

Back on topic:
Defintely go with the RAM. I really doubt you would notice a difference between 1.83 and 2ghz, but the difference between 1 and 2gb of RAM is DEFINITELY noticeable.
 
Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Thanks for the replies. The only reason that I was thinking of the 2ghz cpu was because it has a 4mb l2 cache, but that doesn't seem important. So now it's a matter of time to see if Apple does their free ipod deal for students again this year.
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2007
Messages
67
Reaction score
1
Points
8
Your Mac's Specs
White MacBook, 2Ghz C2D, 2GB ram
free ipods??? Darn, i guess i should have waited....
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2007
Messages
50
Reaction score
4
Points
8
Location
Knivsta, Sweden
Your Mac's Specs
Macbook 2.0 c2d 2gb 80gb SD Mac Mini c2d 1.83
I have "heard" that the 4 mb cache on 2 ghz books makes a "lot" of difference. Perhaps you should research it more?
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Messages
107
Reaction score
1
Points
18
Location
Knoxville, TN - USA
Your Mac's Specs
iMac 20, Intel Dual Core 2.3GHz, 1Gb RAM, 256Mb Video; G4 tower 444Mhz w/ 1G RAM, 2x G3 towers
just one thought though on the processor versus RAM, you can always get more RAM anytime, but you can't upgrade the processor or video cards... i chose the video over the RAM on my iMac b/c i can always save some money and get the upgrade on the RAM.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2005
Messages
116
Reaction score
7
Points
18
Location
Michigan
Your Mac's Specs
PB 12inch 1.33ghz 1.25gb/60gb pb 15inch 1.25ghz 1.25gb/160gb Power Mac G3 B&W Overclocked 500mhz
just one thought though on the processor versus RAM, you can always get more RAM anytime, but you can't upgrade the processor or video cards... i chose the video over the RAM on my iMac b/c i can always save some money and get the upgrade on the RAM.


I tend to agree with this. Especially with a laptop (as you're getting). Go for the CPU and upgrade the RAM in a month (or whenever it works for you). Now I am not saying that the 1.83Ghz isn't going to do what you need... but your stuck with it. :)

RAM prices are consistently falling and 1gb should be a fine start. If you decide to use parallels then 2gb will be a must! But for day to day operations (web surfing, word processing, email, itunes) 1gb will do the trick for you and certainly won't be distractingly slow.

So I vote for the better processor and upgrade the memory through a 3rd party. If you go this route you'll want to make sure your Macbook comes with a 1gb DIMM and one empty slot though as opposed to 2x 512mb DIMMs.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
280
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
Blumenau, Brazil
Your Mac's Specs
MacBook Pro 2,33GHz C2D 2GB RAM 256MB video + LCD Samsung 20" 206BW + Maxtor OneTouch III 500GB
I second the opinion of faster CPU w/ 4MB L2 cache.

Upgrade your RAM as soon as your budget allow you. It's feasible.

But you won't be able to upgrade your CPU. Think long-term.
 
Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
1
I started to lean toward that last night with the better hard drive, DVD writer and faster CPU. I will likely buy it from the local Apple store, but is it possible to get a 1x1GB configuration over a 2x512MB? I would imagine that there would be a fee.....?
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2007
Messages
67
Reaction score
1
Points
8
Your Mac's Specs
White MacBook, 2Ghz C2D, 2GB ram
Well, the 1x1GB is not standarad, so yes there would be some sort of fee, and probably not worth it. The apple store charges $175 for a 1GB ram stick, which is the same price as upgrading from 1 to 2GB on your macbook anyway.

I think what the others have said makes sense. Think long term. CPU is best here, the ram is easy enough to upgrade and is getting constantly cheaper. If you dont plan on running parallels the only thing you may want the extra 1GB for is Leopard, and thats a big maybe. You definitely wont need it.
CPU is the way to go here.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2005
Messages
696
Reaction score
24
Points
18
Location
Australia
Another vote for the fastest processor(and better videocard) and then upgrading the ram later.
 

Shop Amazon


Shop for your Apple, Mac, iPhone and other computer products on Amazon.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.
Top