8 Replies Latest reply: Dec 5, 2010 8:52 PM by msim20
msim20 Level 1 (0 points)
I have MB Pro from Oct 2009. Has 2.8GHz C2D processor.
I recently used a MB Air and was envious of its faster application launch times.

As I understand, I can achieve it also by installing an SSD drive in MB Pro.
However, pure SSD drive will not meet my HDD size needs.

So, now I am considering either
a. 4GB to 8GB RAM upgrade or
b. my current 500GB 7200RPM HDD to Seagate hybrid 500GB drive

Any advice on which one is likely to be higher impact upgrade?

Thank you!
  • eww Level 9 (52,980 points)
    Without knowing how you use your machine, it's impossible for anyone to say which upgrade would benefit you more.
  • msim20 Level 1 (0 points)
    i use my machine primarily for office oriented use.

    Mail, Firefox, Omnifocus, iTunes, stickies, iCal, 1Password, Launchbar, Scansnap manager and a few other task bar oriented utilities are generally always running. I do see the beach ball occasionally.

    On top of these I frequently launch MS OFfice applications - where it would be great if they launch faster!

    does this description help?
  • eww Level 9 (52,980 points)
    I doubt very much that you ever need more than 4GB of RAM for the work you describe.

    A faster hard drive would enable you to launch your apps a little faster, but if they're always running anyway, how much good would that do you? Really, how much of your day do you spend waiting for apps to open? One minute? Two? Suppose you could cut that time by a quarter to a third with a hybrid drive. Would that be a worthwhile investment? Only you can decide.

    I recently installed a 500GB Momentus XT hybrid drive in my MBP. It's quicker than my old 5400RPM stock drive, but the difference is hardly transformative.
  • msim20 Level 1 (0 points)
    thank you for your sharing your experience with speed increase. based on that, perhaps i will feel even lesser impact given i already have a 7200 rpm drive. so i am broadly concluding that i do not need an upgrade.

    one last bit of information - see if something can be deciphered about my RAM usage from this screen shot of activity monitor.

    http://img.skitch.com/20101206-rdm35cbbr7mche7whd87npx6p3.jpg

    Message was edited by: msim20
  • eww Level 9 (52,980 points)
    Your Page Outs are more than 10% (almost 16%) of your Page Ins, suggesting that for at least some of what you do, more RAM would significantly benefit you. Apparently my guess that you'd never need more than 4GB of RAM for the work you described was incorrect. So you may want to add RAM.
  • msim20 Level 1 (0 points)
    i purchased my MB Pro last year in October.

    would you know where I can confirm whether it can handle 8GB?

    the page outs observation - i will monitor my page out performance periodically over the next few days / weeks, to see whether i will benefit from a memory upgrade.

    thank you!
  • eww Level 9 (52,980 points)
    The Model identifier of your MBP is probably 5,2 or 5,3. You can check it in the Hardware Overview section of System Profiler. If it's either of those, it can use 8GB of RAM. If it's 5,1, Apple only supports up to 4GB, but it can use 6GB. Though two recent posters have reported using 8GB successfully in that model, many others have reported extreme instability with 8GB installed in MBP 5,1s.
  • msim20 Level 1 (0 points)
    just checked. mine is 5,3.

    all set. thanks for the help!!