Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > More RAM or faster HD?

More RAM or faster HD?
Thread Tools
jgcan
Forum Regular
Join Date: Oct 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 18, 2003, 10:44 PM
 
I am a switcher and I just bought a PB 17" 1.33 with the stock 512 MB RAM and the 4200 RPM HD.

What will give me the most speed gain in impression of speed (reponsiveness of the OS) and in working with iMovie and iDVD?

1- adding another 512 MB of RAM

OR

2- replacing the HD for a 7200 RPM

Thanks for the help.
     
tooki
Admin Emeritus
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 18, 2003, 11:56 PM
 
I'd add the RAM now, and upgrade the hard drive in a year or two when 7200 RPM notebook drives are more common and evolved, and cheaper.

tooki
     
dirtraven
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Oct 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 19, 2003, 12:19 AM
 
get the ram and buy a 120+GB FW external drive. Not worth the money to upgrade your internal HD since you get more GB for the buck and at least 7200rpm unless you really need the storage for the road. I set mine up with 180GB FW.
12" Al-PB 1Ghz, SuperDrive
768MB, 40GB, DVI 17" Panel
180GB 3.5" FW and 30GB 2.5" USB Pocket Drive
OS 10.2.8
Extreme Card
     
nate_02
Senior User
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Milwaukee
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 19, 2003, 01:03 AM
 
ram,

i upgraded the ram on one of my macs from 128 to 512 and there was an incredible speed increase under OS X.
-nate
     
Luca Rescigno
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 19, 2003, 02:10 AM
 
Originally posted by tooki:
I'd add the RAM now, and upgrade the hard drive in a year or two when 7200 RPM notebook drives are more common and evolved, and cheaper.

tooki
I'd completely agree. For general use of OS X, I think a 7200 RPM internal drive would show a greater speed improvement, but if you're doing heavier stuff like video editing, then the extra RAM will really help a lot. I still think you should upgrade the internal drive to a 7200 RPM eventually, though.

"That's Mama Luigi to you, Mario!" *wheeze*
     
cszar2001
Photo Architect
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Bamberg, Germany
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 19, 2003, 02:31 AM
 
Go for the RAM-the speed increase is noticeable.
An external drive is cheaper and you can still use it with your next PB in a few years-the internal drive doesn`t give you that much flexibility.
"Microsoft is a cross between the Borg and the Ferengi. Unfortunately, they use Borg to do their marketing and Ferengi to do their programming." Simon Slavin

Me on Flickr.
     
tkmd
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Michigan
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 19, 2003, 07:51 AM
 
Panther is faster than Jag. You already have 512 which (for panther) is pretty good- I would go for the 7200 drive- major difference.
Pismo 400 | Powerbook 1.5 GHz | MacPro 2.66/6GB/7300GT
     
Athens
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Great White North
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 19, 2003, 08:00 AM
 
Originally posted by nate_02:
ram,

i upgraded the ram on one of my macs from 128 to 512 and there was an incredible speed increase under OS X.
He already has 512 in it, so he wont see much more speed. A faster hard drive will speed up boot time, app load time, photoshop or any program that uses the hard drive for a scratch disk. Best thing you can do is get a external hard drive, 7200RPM Firewire and use that for virtual memory, scratch disk, save location for large files. Once you have loaded up your programs from the laptop hard drive, there isnt much its needed for if your using the external drive to save, scratch and stuff. If you will be doing alot of video editing I would bump up the ram to 1GB, it the max it can handle. You want to avoid using Virtual Memory at all costs.

PS, only having 128 worth of ram in your computer ment you had just enough for MacOS X and nothing else, so you where in Virtual memory all the time. That is why the 512 you added gave you the illusion of a speed increase, really it just brought your machine back to the way it was supose to run.
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
anaphora68
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: CT
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 19, 2003, 08:09 AM
 
I disagree. Depending on the software you use, RAM would be a better upgrade at this point. You should wait on a HD at this point, just to see how other people's upgrades go first.
     
Athens
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Great White North
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 19, 2003, 08:14 AM
 
he is asking what would make the biggest impact as is, the question is how much ram is he using now? If he is not using all 512MB of his ram then a Ram upgrade will not offer any performance boost in anyway. Only if he is using more then his systems ram will be notice anything. Reguardless of how much ram he is or isnt using a hard drive upgrade would offer noticable speed improvements with his current setup if he stored is apps on it, used it for virtual memory, saved his large massive files on it and used it as a scratch disk.

Ram? Maybe depends on how much he is using, Hard Drive speed? Will make a difference.

I have 1GB or ram in my PC and I usally dont go over 500MB even when I have dozens of things open and dont tons of things at the same time. I have managed to use up 900MB once but that took alot of work
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
jgcan  (op)
Forum Regular
Join Date: Oct 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 19, 2003, 09:17 AM
 
Thanks a lot to all (other opinions are still welcome), I am trying to figure out what will be the most usefull.

For example, when I am working in iMovie and rendering is being done in the background, is it more CPU/RAM intensive (I would think) or is it using the disk a lot?

I will monitor disk and RAM use when I work and will see.

Thanks again for your kind help.
     
vancenase
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Jul 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 19, 2003, 11:05 AM
 
i'd say it's a toss up ... i'm going through this debate too ... but i don't want to throw away the applecare i purchased by opening up the PB to replace the hard drive .... whereas the memory is user-installable ... oh, what do to!
     
Daniel Bayer
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Here
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 19, 2003, 11:46 AM
 
I upgraded to 1GB ram and noticed slight speed improvments overall. Much smoother running more apps. Increases Snappyness™.

I also got the 7200 rpm drive. It made a HUGE difference over a 4200. it would make a good improvement over a 5400. Best thing I could have did IMHO.

This is all based on my daily experince with the scorching book.

For what it is worth, the combination of 1.33, 1gb, 7200 rpm and panther are the fastest Apple portables on earth:

http://ladd.dyndns.org/xbench/compar...nVersion=1.1.3

...Mine's number three...:-)

Good luck eiter way.
( Last edited by Daniel Bayer; Nov 19, 2003 at 11:53 AM. )
"I'll take a extra layer of ram on that
gigaflop sandwich mister"
     
vancenase
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Jul 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 19, 2003, 11:52 AM
 
ah, daniel, you are egging me on! maybe i'll do both! was the hard drive difficult to replace? where did you find docs on how to open up the beast?
     
Daniel Bayer
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Here
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 19, 2003, 11:54 AM
 
Originally posted by vancenase:
ah, daniel, you are egging me on! maybe i'll do both! was the hard drive difficult to replace? where did you find docs on how to open up the beast?
Most important, you will void your waranty onj the swap.

It's a chance you take if you decide to go that route.
"I'll take a extra layer of ram on that
gigaflop sandwich mister"
     
vancenase
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Jul 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 19, 2003, 12:11 PM
 
ack. i think i'll wait until i'm into my applecare a year or so ... maybe when new powerbooks are out then i can give myself a little speed boost to tide me over until i can afford to upgrade to a new powerbook ... but i *really* need the memory upgrade now
     
Podolsky
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Oct 1999
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 19, 2003, 01:18 PM
 
Originally posted by Daniel Bayer:

Snappyness™
LOL!

on the thread - I did both in my 133 17" - have 1 gb of ram and the 5400 rpm bto. I just wanted it so I could use it now rather feel it still needs something. I have a 5400 external HD too. The whole package works great. 7200 rpm seems more than I need.
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:46 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,