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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > What gives the bigger difference? Processor, RAM, or HDD?

What gives the bigger difference? Processor, RAM, or HDD?
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Jolt21
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Jan 21, 2009, 11:29 AM
 
Powerbook G4 owner looking to make the upgrade. the 15"inch i'm looking at comes as 2 options and I cant decide which is the better bang for the buck:

2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB/320GB/9600MGT for $2,383.97

or

2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB/250GB(7200)/9600MGT for $2,194.00


I'm not really worried about HDD space, so is the 2.53 GHz processor with a 5400 rpm HDD faster than a 2.4 GHz processor with a 7200 rpm HDD? or is the difference not really noticeable?

i do some video editing, use final cut, some music programs, and just like power...but i've always had a 7200 rpm HDD, so i don't know what a 5400rpm HDD feels like...
blah
     
Luca Rescigno
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Jan 21, 2009, 11:33 AM
 
I'd personally go for the one with the 7200 RPM hard drive. I remember the first time I switched out my 7200 RPM HD with 2 MB cache for an 8 MB cache version (this was in a Power Mac G4 in like 2003). The difference was noticeable.

I'm not sure an extra 133 MHz would make as much of a difference. On top of that, the 2.4 GHz one is almost $200 cheaper.

"That's Mama Luigi to you, Mario!" *wheeze*
     
rageman
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Jan 21, 2009, 03:29 PM
 
I upgraded recently from a G4 1.5 to 2.4 C2D; with how much faster everything is I doubt you'll notice the difference in HD speed. Assuming warranty is the same and you don't need the extra HD space, I would go for the less expensive model.

I should note, though, that I bought used and got a 17in with high res display and applecare for a couple more years for ~1600. You may want to consider going that route and saving 20-30%.
     
Tuoder
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Jan 21, 2009, 03:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jolt21 View Post
Powerbook G4 owner looking to make the upgrade. the 15"inch i'm looking at comes as 2 options and I cant decide which is the better bang for the buck:

2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB/320GB/9600MGT for $2,383.97

or

2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB/250GB(7200)/9600MGT for $2,194.00


I'm not really worried about HDD space, so is the 2.53 GHz processor with a 5400 rpm HDD faster than a 2.4 GHz processor with a 7200 rpm HDD? or is the difference not really noticeable?

i do some video editing, use final cut, some music programs, and just like power...but i've always had a 7200 rpm HDD, so i don't know what a 5400rpm HDD feels like...
IMHO, I'd rather have the faster CPU, as you can always upgrade the HDD yourself later. Apple rips you off on upgrades anyway. A 320GB 5400RPM HDD can be had for $70, and a 7200 for $90. The upgrade can be done yourself in a couple of hours, if you aren't afraid to do such an upgrade yourself, and the old hard drive can be kept around as an external drive with an enclosure. That being said, I don't think you'll be able to notice a difference in performance either way, except in certain specific CPU, or hard drive-intensive applications anyway.
     
Luca Rescigno
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Jan 21, 2009, 04:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Tuoder View Post
IMHO, I'd rather have the faster CPU, as you can always upgrade the HDD yourself later. Apple rips you off on upgrades anyway. A 320GB 5400RPM HDD can be had for $70, and a 7200 for $90. The upgrade can be done yourself in a couple of hours, if you aren't afraid to do such an upgrade yourself, and the old hard drive can be kept around as an external drive with an enclosure. That being said, I don't think you'll be able to notice a difference in performance either way, except in certain specific CPU, or hard drive-intensive applications anyway.
That's a good point about upgrading the HDD. I wasn't sure you could do that easily with the MacBook Pros (older ones were difficult to upgrade but that was years ago).

"That's Mama Luigi to you, Mario!" *wheeze*
     
Maflynn
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Jan 21, 2009, 04:04 PM
 
The logic I use when I buy a laptop is to configure the laptop with the fastest components that I cannot upgrade myself. I can easily upgrade the ram and the HD on the new unibody models so that leaves the processor speed. I opted for the 2.53 since I think that's the sweet spot in apple's lineup.
~Mike
     
Simon
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Jan 21, 2009, 04:14 PM
 
The unibody MBPs make upgrading the disk and RAM a cinch. I concur with the previous posters. The difference in price is small enough. Buy the beefier model since that has the faster CPU (which you can't upgrade later).

Then, get this 320 GB 7200 rpm disk for $90. Or if you plan on putting more than 250 GB of data on it, get this 500 GB 5400 rpm disk for $120. You can always add RAM later on should you need more than 4GB.
     
Salty
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Jan 23, 2009, 02:04 PM
 
Proc is the only thing not upgradeable. The rest can be done in between.
     
   
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