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Macbook Pro Mid 2012, 13-inch


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Poll: First upgrade for MacBook Pro, 13-inch Mid 2012 (5 member(s) have cast votes)

Which do I upgrade FIRST to make the performance better?

  1. 2 x 8GB RAM (2 votes [40.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 40.00%

  2. 1 x Samsung EVO SSD 250GB or more (3 votes [60.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 60.00%

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#1 azisel

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 07:33 AM

My MacBook Pro Specs:

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012)

OS X El Capitan

2.5 GHz Intel Core i5

4 GB 1600 MHz DDR3

Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536 MB

 

 

Hi everyone! I have a Macbook Pro. I want to upgrade the RAM and from HDD to SSD. And maybe soon switch my optical drive with SSD, so two SSD total.

 

Now my budget is limited for now, and I need to select which one should I upgrade first? (2 x 8 GB RAM or 1 x Samsung EVO SSD)

 

I just want to make the performance better for now with the budget I have. Which one has the biggest impact to performance RAM or SSD?

 

And if you have suggestions on brands too please do share it with link! Thanks guys!


Edited by azisel, 25 July 2016 - 08:01 AM.


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#2 smax013

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 05:00 PM

It depends.
 
The impact will also depend on what you do with the computer.  
 
If you only use basic browsing and email, then neither will really have that much of an overall impact, but you will notice the SSD upgrade more as opening up your browser and/or email program will happen faster.
 
If you are constantly opening and closing new programs, rebooting, or doing other disk intensive tasks, then you will notice the SSD upgrade more.
 
If you are manipulating large Photoshop files or running a LARGE amount of programs, then you will notice the RAM upgrade more.
 
As to brands, I tend to purchase any memory that I use for a Mac from OWC ( aka www.macsales.com) as offer a lifetime warranty and will give you a trade-in rebate for your old RAM.  I also tend to use OWC SSDs in my Mac as they are designed for and test on Macs (I do use Samsung SSDs on my Windows computers), where as other manufacturer's may or may not test their SSDs with Macs.

If/when you do go with an SSD, here is an article on using TRIM with SSDs in Macs: http://www.howtogeek.com/222077/how-to-enable-trim-for-third-party-ssds-on-mac-os-x/

And personally, if you are going to remove the optical drive to install a second drive, I would personally install a traditional drive as the second data drive. It will provide more bang for the buck. If you really want lots of storage on an SSD, then I would personally get the largest SSD that you can (either 1 TB or 2 TB) as the primary drive and just leave the optical drive in there until you run out of space. Personally, two SSDs is kind of a waste unless you REALLY need the drive speed (and maybe drive security...no moving parts in a laptop drive is nice) for everything.

#3 Geometry_USA

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 08:16 PM

1 x Samsung EVO SSD 250GB would be better choise



#4 azisel

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 10:35 PM

1 x Samsung EVO SSD 250GB would be better choise

 and maybe next time if I have the funds what about the RAM? what's a good brand?



#5 azisel

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 01:41 PM

It depends.
 
The impact will also depend on what you do with the computer.  
 
If you only use basic browsing and email, then neither will really have that much of an overall impact, but you will notice the SSD upgrade more as opening up your browser and/or email program will happen faster.
 
If you are constantly opening and closing new programs, rebooting, or doing other disk intensive tasks, then you will notice the SSD upgrade more.
 
If you are manipulating large Photoshop files or running a LARGE amount of programs, then you will notice the RAM upgrade more.
 
As to brands, I tend to purchase any memory that I use for a Mac from OWC ( aka www.macsales.com) as offer a lifetime warranty and will give you a trade-in rebate for your old RAM.  I also tend to use OWC SSDs in my Mac as they are designed for and test on Macs (I do use Samsung SSDs on my Windows computers), where as other manufacturer's may or may not test their SSDs with Macs.

If/when you do go with an SSD, here is an article on using TRIM with SSDs in Macs: http://www.howtogeek.com/222077/how-to-enable-trim-for-third-party-ssds-on-mac-os-x/

And personally, if you are going to remove the optical drive to install a second drive, I would personally install a traditional drive as the second data drive. It will provide more bang for the buck. If you really want lots of storage on an SSD, then I would personally get the largest SSD that you can (either 1 TB or 2 TB) as the primary drive and just leave the optical drive in there until you run out of space. Personally, two SSDs is kind of a waste unless you REALLY need the drive speed (and maybe drive security...no moving parts in a laptop drive is nice) for everything.

 

 

I am into video editing using iMovie and Final Cut Pro and some gaming that I do (Dota 2 via steam) will RAM be a good choice for now?



#6 Trikein

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 03:10 PM

+1 HD is bigger bottleneck. SSD means faster, more battery, less heat; all things better for laptop. Will help a lot with large file reads like Final Cut. For storage, I would suggest external HDD. My question would be USB 3.0 vs Thunderbolt. Since most external HD will be HDD, I don't think USB 3.0 would bottleneck SSD > HDD and give you more options to use it on non Mac device.


Edited by Trikein, 31 July 2016 - 03:18 PM.


#7 Buddyme2

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 05:22 PM

 

It depends.
 
The impact will also depend on what you do with the computer.  
 
If you only use basic browsing and email, then neither will really have that much of an overall impact, but you will notice the SSD upgrade more as opening up your browser and/or email program will happen faster.
 
If you are constantly opening and closing new programs, rebooting, or doing other disk intensive tasks, then you will notice the SSD upgrade more.
 
If you are manipulating large Photoshop files or running a LARGE amount of programs, then you will notice the RAM upgrade more.
 
As to brands, I tend to purchase any memory that I use for a Mac from OWC ( aka www.macsales.com) as offer a lifetime warranty and will give you a trade-in rebate for your old RAM.  I also tend to use OWC SSDs in my Mac as they are designed for and test on Macs (I do use Samsung SSDs on my Windows computers), where as other manufacturer's may or may not test their SSDs with Macs.

If/when you do go with an SSD, here is an article on using TRIM with SSDs in Macs: http://www.howtogeek.com/222077/how-to-enable-trim-for-third-party-ssds-on-mac-os-x/

And personally, if you are going to remove the optical drive to install a second drive, I would personally install a traditional drive as the second data drive. It will provide more bang for the buck. If you really want lots of storage on an SSD, then I would personally get the largest SSD that you can (either 1 TB or 2 TB) as the primary drive and just leave the optical drive in there until you run out of space. Personally, two SSDs is kind of a waste unless you REALLY need the drive speed (and maybe drive security...no moving parts in a laptop drive is nice) for everything.

 

 

I am into video editing using iMovie and Final Cut Pro and some gaming that I do (Dota 2 via steam) will RAM be a good choice for now?

 

 

When you are editing videos or gaming watch Activity Monitors Memory Pane. If the memory pressure shows green, your Mac has enough RAM. Red, not enough. Even if it shows yellow your Mac would be better off with more RAM. OWC has 8, 12 and 16 GB RAM chips starting from $49.75 and OWC brand SSDs that may be within your budget. 



#8 azisel

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 06:29 PM

+1 HD is bigger bottleneck. SSD means faster, more battery, less heat; all things better for laptop. Will help a lot with large file reads like Final Cut. For storage, I would suggest external HDD. My question would be USB 3.0 vs Thunderbolt. Since most external HD will be HDD, I don't think USB 3.0 would bottleneck SSD > HDD and give you more options to use it on non Mac device.

 

 

Okay I will upgrade to SSD first! but for the RAM would you get DDR3L or DDR3? 



#9 smax013

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 07:19 PM

+1 HD is bigger bottleneck. SSD means faster, more battery, less heat; all things better for laptop. Will help a lot with large file reads like Final Cut.


I agree that a SSD will likely give you more bang for your buck than a RAM upgrade based upon your use. I don't believe the video editing is as memory intensive as photo editing, although I could be wrong.

You might take Buddyme2's advice of looking at the Activity Monitor Panel or iStat Menus (you mention you use it in another thread) to see what happens to your memory usage during your typical activities before you make your final decision. While I suspect you likely will be fine in terms of memory as long as you are not running a lot of programs and/or have a crap ton of browser windows open, you might be pushing it when you do video editing.

FWIW, I am only using about 1.7 GB of my 16 GB of RAM at this moment. That is with about 20 or so web windows/tabs open as well as iTunes (with music playing), Apple Mail, BusyCal, and Chroma actively running plus a handful of memory resident programs (iStat Menus, Bartender, Dropbox, Box, VirusBarrier, Netbarrier, and a couple others that I am likely forgetting).

Plus, with the boot drive as a SSD, even if you run out of physical RAM, it will resort to virtual RAM (i.e. using your hard drive...or if you upgrade your SSD, then the SSD). And virtual RAM will be faster with a SSD.

For storage, I would suggest external HDD. My question would be USB 3.0 vs Thunderbolt. Since most external HD will be HDD, I don't think USB 3.0 would bottleneck SSD > HDD and give you more options to use it on non Mac device.


For a external hard drive for storage, either would be fine. USB 3.0 will be cheaper than Thunderbolt.

If going for an external SSD, USB 3.0 in theory should not bottle neck most SSDs, but theory only goes so far. For example, the OWC SSDs I recommended/link to have max read "speeds" of up to about 560 MBps and write "speeds" of up to about 525 MBps. With USB having a theoretically maximum throughput (that means in reality lower) of 640 MBps, USB 3.0 is only the bottleneck if the actual USB throughput is greater than about 88% of the theoretical maximum. One of the OWC's 2.5 drive enclosures sold with a 2.5" SSD (which would be one of their SSDs) inside of is listed as having USB 3.0 "speeds" up to 500 MBps. So, it looks like USB 3.0 might slightly bottleneck a SSD.

Of course, buying a large capacity SSD (whether for internal or external use) is a rather expensive proposition.

#10 smax013

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 07:27 PM

but for the RAM would you get DDR3L or DDR3?


I would get what the site that you choose to go with offers/recommends for your model of Mac.

FWIW, both OWC and Crucial (both places I have bought RAM for Macs in the past and both places I would recommend for purchase of RAM) supply DDR3L SO-DIMMs. Both sites offers "lifetime warranties" for their RAM, but then OWC offers a trade-in rebate if you want to cut the cost down a bit more. Looks like you would get either an $8 or $10 rebate for your 4 GB of RAM depending on whether it is two 2 GB modules or one 4 GB module. Here is their page on their rebates...your Macbook Pro is a 1600 MHz system:

https://eshop.macsales.com/tech_center/support/rebates/memory.cfm

Of course, 16 GB kit from Crucial is still cheaper than OWC's price right now even with the rebate*.

Here is OWC:

https://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/1600DDR3S16P/

Here is Crucial:

http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/macbook-pro-%2813-inch-and-15-inch%2C-mid-2012%29/CT3373650

* Not sure how shipping would impact this.

Edited by smax013, 31 July 2016 - 07:32 PM.





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