4GB memory vs 8GB memory in MacBook Pro?

By tmort23
May 29, 2010
  1. Im looking to buy a Macbook Pro for college, and Im wondering how much of a difference I would see in the computer if I were to add an additional 4GB of memory or RAMM.

    The Macbook pro originally comes with "4GB (two 2GB SO-DIMMs) of 1066MHz DDR3 memory but two SO-DIMM slots support up to 8GB" (quoted from

    If its not too much money, I wouldnt mind upgrading, but I do not want to do it if there wont be much of an improvement. Can anyone explain to me the differences? and if I would see any?

    Thank you!

  2. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +170

    Depends what you use it for, e.g. if it's some serious video editing work then it may be useful but for web browsing, word processing, gaming then an extra 4GB is pretty much a waste of money. Just had a look on their website and the 4GB to 8GB upgrade is £320 which is an insane amount to charge considering you can buy 4GB of DDR3 RAM for less than £100. But then that's pretty typical of Apple really.

    You would be much better off spending your money on an SSD upgrade.
  3. tmort23

    tmort23 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    Ok, thanks.

    What is an SSD upgrade?
  4. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +170

    An SSD is a solid state drive - they are much quicker than normal hard drives, and will load applications and games faster and makes the OS snappier. Also they are shock resistant and don't break down as easily which is good for laptops.

    Depending on how much hard drive space you need, you might want to wait a few months/year as SSD prices per gigabyte are very high at the moment. It wouldn't be wise to shell out for a 300GB SSD now, but if you don't carry around much data on your laptop a 100GB or so SSD would be reasonable. Or you could get an additional external hard drive along with an SSD...
  5. tmort23

    tmort23 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    Ok, so its instead of a hard drive?

    But Ill look into them, thank you.
  6. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    I agree with slh28, an SSD will have a much more noticeable impact on the performance of the MacBook Pro but depending on your workload you could run into some problems because Mac OS X (as of yet) does not support TRIM functions on SSDs & so there could be a slight or even big performance degradation over time.

    As for the 8GB, it could end up being useful if you were to use lots of virtual machines concurrently, other than that, even happy multimedia editing applications will work very well ith 4GB of ram, unless you have 4/5 of those running at the same time. ;)
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