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What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: dmag
Date: January 30, 2014 04:07AM
Hi,

I'm currently running a 2.5ghz i5 2012 Macbook Pro, with 4GB RAM and a 500GB 5400rpm drive.

My general use is email, making simple graphics, small-size video rendering (Camtasia and Screenflow), and evaluating online video projects.

Some of it is on YouTube and any videos that are running at more than 360p will tend to buffer. I can't stream HD video at all.

I'm thinking of bumping the RAM to 16GB and the HD to 1.0 or 1.5TB.

What kind of real world boost in speed would I expect for this? Will the video buffering be helped? The investment is about $350, including shipping.

I need a large drive and can't afford $850 for the one-gig SSD...so I have to stay with the 5400s for now.

That said, I don't want to fool myself here. If adding 12GB of RAM isn't going to do all that much, maybe I'm better off saving up for the SSD or my next MBP.

Hope I explained it well enough, and that you have an opinion on this.

Thanks.
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: January 30, 2014 05:39AM
You would see a bump but not earth shattering. With your workload, you would get about the same effect as going to 8GB. Your current 4GB may be bogged by the OS (you don't say what version your running) and adding an additional 4GB (or 8gb) would let both it and your apps run better.

I think you would get a bigger bang with the HD.. any 7200rpm options? or a second smaller SSD drive in place of the optical (assuming you don't need it)?



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: space-time
Date: January 30, 2014 05:59AM
Some of it is on YouTube and any videos that are running at more than 360p will tend to buffer. I can't stream HD video at all.

how was when the machine was new? this machine should be plenty powerful to stream HD, I watch netflix all the time on mine (2011). I suspect you have some software conflict somewhere. try a new user account. do some basic maintenance (Onyx). Safe boot. etc.
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: sekker
Date: January 30, 2014 06:22AM
Replacing the optical drive with an SSD would bd your best bang for the buck.

Even a 120 GB would be fine.

I just ordered a 480 GB SSD from amazon for $260. That's a nice sweet spot right now.
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: dmag
Date: January 30, 2014 06:33AM
Thanks, guys.

480GB for $260? I'll check into that. I was seeing that size at in the $400s.

I'm running one partition in Lion and one in Mavericks. I'll have everything over on the Mavericks side soon, as I think all of my apps are ready for it.

Netflix is almost always okay. But the YouTube stuff and videos from the general Web seem to buffer a lot.
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: dmag
Date: January 30, 2014 06:42AM
Just saw a 1TB Seagate SSD hybrid 2.5-inch drive on Amazon for about $100.

I'm not familiar with the hybrids. How do they stack up with the regular SSDs?

Thanks.
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: ka jowct
Date: January 30, 2014 06:55AM
I need a large drive and can't afford $850 for the one-gig SSD...so I have to stay with the 5400s for now.

You can get 7200 RPM drives for your MBP. I put a 750GB 7200 RPM drive into my 2011 MBP. I also have a compact 1TB external for use with it, if I ever have to travel with it and need plenty of storage: but unlike you, I'm not routinely travelling with my MBP. I don't know if you would run into heat issues with a 1TB 7200 RPM internal: I was somewhat concerned about that.

8GB RAM certainly ought to help. My MBP is a refurb that supposedly had the stock 4GB of RAM, but came with 8. I had intended to upgrade the RAM immediately, but when I discovered that I had 8GB, I decided to wait and see if I really needed 16. So far, I haven't felt the need for 16, but I'm not doing much heavy lifting with it. I have used it lately with Peak LE to digitize some audio cassettes that I want to preserve. That amount of RAM and the 7200 RPM drive have been fine so far for that.
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: Blankity Blank
Date: January 30, 2014 07:03AM
Quote
dmag
Just saw a 1TB Seagate SSD hybrid 2.5-inch drive on Amazon for about $100.

I'm not familiar with the hybrids. How do they stack up with the regular SSDs?

Thanks.
Slightly different beasts.

Hybrid drives include a small amount of solid state storage (in the neighborhood of 8 - 16GB) where it stores the most frequently accessed assets, facilitating faster retrieval. All your other data, applications, etc. are still stored on the traditional magnetic media portion of the unit.

This is in contrast to an actual SSD device where everything is stored on one larger, more capacious solid state device.

From your description of the circumstances and your budget, I would go for the ~500GB SSD, a bump to 8GB of RAM and put the old internal drive in an external case for additional 'B list' data storage.

I'm also wondering if your buffering issues might have anything to do with a less than speedy (by today's standards) internet connection. Do you normally get decent download speeds?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/30/2014 07:17AM by Blankity Blank.
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: dmag
Date: January 30, 2014 07:05AM
Quote
ka jowct
I have used it lately with Peak LE to digitize some audio cassettes that I want to preserve. That amount of RAM and the 7200 RPM drive have been fine so far for that.

Nice to know that 8MB is good enough for that. I have some cassettes I will be digitizing in the future. Thanks.
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: dmag
Date: January 30, 2014 07:12AM
Quote
Blankity Blank
Slightly different beasts.

Hybrid drives include a small amount of solid state storage (in the neighborhood of 8 - 16GB) where it stores the most frequently accessed assets, facilitating faster retrieval. All your other data, applications, etc. are still stored on the traditional magnetic media portion of the unit.

This is in contrast to an actual SSD device where everything is stored on one larger, more capacitous solid state device.

Thanks for the clarity. Probably not for me. I'd be better off saving for a true SSD. I saw a 960-gig unit on OWC for like $850. Can't afford that.

I'm looking for the 480-gig Amazon unit that was mentioned earlier for $260. Haven't found it yet.
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: Blankity Blank
Date: January 30, 2014 07:24AM
As always, keeping an eye on the usual suspects like dealmac and Slick Deals is worth the few minutes of time it takes.

(I've also added another 2¢ and a quick question to my original comments.)
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: Black
Date: January 30, 2014 07:37AM
Quote
dmag
Quote
Blankity Blank
Slightly different beasts.

Hybrid drives include a small amount of solid state storage (in the neighborhood of 8 - 16GB) where it stores the most frequently accessed assets, facilitating faster retrieval. All your other data, applications, etc. are still stored on the traditional magnetic media portion of the unit.

This is in contrast to an actual SSD device where everything is stored on one larger, more capacitous solid state device.

Thanks for the clarity. Probably not for me. I'd be better off saving for a true SSD. I saw a 960-gig unit on OWC for like $850. Can't afford that.

I'm looking for the 480-gig Amazon unit that was mentioned earlier for $260. Haven't found it yet.

[camelcamelcamel.com]

Set your own price alert for the above, or watch this forum.




New forum user map 8/2015: [www.zeemaps.com]
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: decay
Date: January 30, 2014 07:42AM
the hybrid is a nice bump for those on a budget, but it won't be a quantum improvement like a SSD.

i'm happy with the Seagate Momentus XT ST750LX003 750GB in my 2010 MBP for work. the lags are gone from the 7200 RPM drive; i don't need SSD speed, i need storage for large disk images and such.



---
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: sekker
Date: January 30, 2014 07:43AM
Here's a related Crucial 480GB SSD currently at Amazon for $290

[www.amazon.com]

One of the big space hogs for data you usually want to store but don't use regularly are iOS device backups. I have over 100GB of them on my main machine. What I did was make an external boot drive and now boot to that when I need to do backups and/or iOS updates on my iPad, etc. I always have the daily iCloud backups for emergency issues and/or theft.

If you don't want to replace your optical, then I'd go with a 480GB SSD and clean up / maybe do a fresh install. Take the hard drive and put it into an external box, use it for your iOS drive if you have that issue.

What I do NOT recommend is to have a small, portable, non-backed up drive to use for storing important information. That's a disaster waiting to happen by losing the drive, dropping the drive and causing mechanical failure, etc. That's why, if someone recommends re-using the internal, I recommend keeping it internal! Use an external optical drive instead.
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: January 30, 2014 07:43AM
Quote
dmag
I'm looking for the 480-gig Amazon unit that was mentioned earlier for $260. Haven't found it yet.

It's up to $289 now...

[www.amazon.com]




__________________________________
Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: dmag
Date: January 30, 2014 07:59AM
Quote
Blankity Blank
From your description of the circumstances and your budget, I would go for the ~500GB SSD, a bump to 8GB of RAM and put the old internal drive in an external case for additional 'B list' data storage.

I'm also wondering if your buffering issues might have anything to do with a less than speedy (by today's standards) internet connection. Do you normally get decent download speeds?

Just saw a Crucial 960GB unit that has several 5-star comments from Macbook Pro users. Seems the Mac experience with SSD is a lot better than for PC guys. Cost is sub-$500. The 480GB unit is $290.

Internet test just done is 2.54mbps download and 1.78mbps upload. It's slower right now than usual. Normally, I'm in the 4mbps range for download and in 2-3mbps for upload.
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: dmag
Date: January 30, 2014 08:00AM
Quote
bazookaman
Quote
dmag
I'm looking for the 480-gig Amazon unit that was mentioned earlier for $260. Haven't found it yet.

It's up to $289 now...

[www.amazon.com]

Yup, just found it. Thanks.
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: dmag
Date: January 30, 2014 08:01AM
Quote
Black
Quote
dmag
Quote
Blankity Blank
Slightly different beasts.

Hybrid drives include a small amount of solid state storage (in the neighborhood of 8 - 16GB) where it stores the most frequently accessed assets, facilitating faster retrieval. All your other data, applications, etc. are still stored on the traditional magnetic media portion of the unit.

This is in contrast to an actual SSD device where everything is stored on one larger, more capacitous solid state device.

Thanks for the clarity. Probably not for me. I'd be better off saving for a true SSD. I saw a 960-gig unit on OWC for like $850. Can't afford that.

I'm looking for the 480-gig Amazon unit that was mentioned earlier for $260. Haven't found it yet.

[camelcamelcamel.com]

Set your own price alert for the above, or watch this forum.

That's great. Thanks. I didn't know about that site. Will do.
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: dmag
Date: January 30, 2014 08:17AM
Quote
sekker
Here's a related Crucial 480GB SSD currently at Amazon for $290

[www.amazon.com]

One of the big space hogs for data you usually want to store but don't use regularly are iOS device backups. I have over 100GB of them on my main machine. What I did was make an external boot drive and now boot to that when I need to do backups and/or iOS updates on my iPad, etc. I always have the daily iCloud backups for emergency issues and/or theft.

If you don't want to replace your optical, then I'd go with a 480GB SSD and clean up / maybe do a fresh install. Take the hard drive and put it into an external box, use it for your iOS drive if you have that issue.

What I do NOT recommend is to have a small, portable, non-backed up drive to use for storing important information. That's a disaster waiting to happen by losing the drive, dropping the drive and causing mechanical failure, etc. That's why, if someone recommends re-using the internal, I recommend keeping it internal! Use an external optical drive instead.

I don't have the IOS issue at present. Currently backing up with Time Machine onto a 2TB 2.5-inch Toshiba external I was given.

Once I get this SSD thing figured out I'll look at pulling the optical and slapping a HD in there. I've seen the kit and it looks painless.

Thanks for the insights.
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: Blankity Blank
Date: January 30, 2014 08:39AM
Quote
dmag
Internet test just done is 2.54mbps download and 1.78mbps upload. It's slower right now than usual. Normally, I'm in the 4mbps range for download and in 2-3mbps for upload.
So less than blazing fast. tongue sticking out smiley

From my experience, I'm not surpised streaming is not exactly ideal and HD is functionally a no go.

For me, streaming gets glitchy almost any time I have a connection that clocks under ~12Mbps (Keeping in mind that the speeds shown on test sites are more or less 'raw speeds' vs what one typically gets surfing site to site).

On some sites you can pick a lower resolution to view to help compensate for slower connections; You Tube is one such site. I have an achingly slow connection and have to downgrade to at least a 240p feed to get tolerable results for any clip over a minute long.
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: dmag
Date: January 30, 2014 09:25AM
Quote
Blankity Blank
I have an achingly slow connection and have to downgrade to at least a 240p feed to get tolerable results for any clip over a minute long.

Buying an SSD won't change the streaming issue, I suppose. Would the RAM upgrade help on that aspect?
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: PeterW
Date: January 30, 2014 09:34AM
No, the only thing that would help is faster internet. 2.5/1.8 is pathetic - even my sat delivers 10/4.
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: jdc
Date: January 30, 2014 10:10AM
I think the heart of the issue comes in the last few posts.

We have had this discussion here before -- SSD vs RAM -- it always goes in the SSDs favor, it gives you a huge boost in raw speed.

However, your net connection is *seriously* hampering your ability to run HD.

Even my kids early 2007 20" iMac w/2 GB ram and 2.16 C2D can play HD video full screen -- something like this: [vimeo.com] -- easily. NO stuttering whatsoever.

Your net speed is killing you -- even LTE on my iPhone is 3-4X faster. And at home Ive got 18/3...



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/30/2014 10:46AM by jdc.
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: dmag
Date: January 30, 2014 10:29AM
Quote
jdc
I think the heart of the issue comes in the last few posts.

Although we have had this discussion here before -- SSD vs RAM -- it always goes in the SSDs favor, it gives you a huge boost in raw speed.

However, your net connection is *seriously* hampering your ability to run HD.

Even my kids early 2007 20" iMac w/2 GB ram and 2.16 C2D can play HD video full screen -- something like this: [vimeo.com] -- easily. NO stuttering whatsoever.

Your net speed is killing you -- even LTE on my iPhone is 3-4X faster. And at home Ive got 18/3...

No doubt you're right. I live in a small place and those kinds of speeds aren't available. Thanks.
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: RoadToad
Date: January 30, 2014 11:06AM
Quote
sekker
Replacing the optical drive with an SSD would bd your best bang for the buck.

Even a 120 GB would be fine.

I just ordered a 480 GB SSD from amazon for $260. That's a nice sweet spot right now.

This.




Badger, Badger, Badger, Badger, Badger...
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Re: What difference would 16GB RAM mean in my MBP (now have 4GB)?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: February 02, 2014 11:31AM
DMag,

"Internet test just done is 2.54mbps download and 1.78mbps upload."

Here's one of your primary problems. Your 'net speed is ridiculously slow. Even basic cable based internet service is 15/5. Truth to say, I’m amazed you have such slow access to the Internet. I wouldn't spend any money on the machine until after you get faster access to the Internet. That in itself will be a huge improvement for all things online.

Consider... My office has 15/5 internet from the local cable provider shared by three computers and several iOS devices. Our primary machine is a '07 or '08 2.x Core 2 Duo based imac with 4 gigs of RAM and Mavericks. It has no trouble whatsoever streaming from Youtube, Netflix, Amazon VOD and such. I use it for general purpose computing and a bit of low-end desktop publishing and video processing. Just a bit. It's boot drive isn't even an internal drive. It's an external drive connected via USB 2.0. If my office machine can handle streaming and such without a problem, then your machine in its existing form should have no problems whatsoever with it. So, I'd upgrade your Internet service before spending bucks on upgrading the computer.

As others have pointed out, you could also have a software issue. It might be worth creating a new account on the machine and see if it suffers from the same streaming issues. If it doesn't, then your primary account is fouled up in some manner. I have a "Test" account on each of my machines for the sole purpose of troubleshooting software related problems.

That said, if I were to upgrade your machine, I'd bump it to 8 gigs of RAM and throw in a SSD. That's what I did with my '09 Macbook Pro. It has a Core 2 Duo, 8 gigs of RAM and a 240 gig SSD. Runs like a champ. I use it for general purpose computing, video processing at times, basic desktop publishing and a slew of streaming tasks. It performed these tasks before the upgrades, too. 'course, it does them more smoothly and faster with the upgrades. smiling smiley

Robert
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