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MacBook Pro Core i7 Performance Recommendations

Last updated May 13, 2010 - Send Feedback

Demanding tasks can see huge improvement with the right selection of hardware. If you’re in that category, go straight to an MPG Pro Laptop with dual solid state drives. Or an MPG Pro Workstation.

  1. For all-around use, an SSD might be of more benefit than more memory— it depends.
  2. For tasks slightly exceeding memory capacity, adding 8GB memory is the first step.
  3. For big jobs, there is no substitute for a dual-SSD setup, along with 8GB memory.

That advice is to be tempered with what follows, your needs might vary.

Maxing it out

For anyone who wants the “max”, you need only one graph of the diglloydMedium benchmark, which shows just how good performance can be with the MPG Pro Laptop configuration:

Mac Pro Nehalem performance at Mac Performance Guide
Time in seconds, lower is faster

Not for everyone

Not everyone needs a super fast MacBook Pro. In fact, many tasks will do just fine with 4GB memory. But every user will benefit from the responsiveness of a quality solid state drive. Do get the right kind of SSD, because most brands degrade over time.

SSD is for more than big jobs

As I ran these tests, I had to reinstall the hard disk drive, whereupon the MacBook Pro positively crawled compared to the SSD setup. I’m referring not just to the tests, but booting up, launching applications, saving files, etc.

For users with a budget, replacing the hard drive with a solid state drive is likely to result in all-around performance that is much perkier than just adding memory, since many tasks will do just fine with 4GB of memory; the slowdown is disk access. It all depends on what you do. You can monitor your memory usage with Activity Monitor.


Get Up To 64GB of Memory!

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