When I started ramseeker, the computer ram I compared the most was generic memory and not RAM from brand name memory like Crucial or Kingston Memory as ram for both desktop and notebook computers was so expensive that it made no sense to install brand name memory in your PC or Mac when the generic memory would work just as well.
Then, RAM Prices Dropped
And all of sudden you could consider buying brand name ram from manaufacturers that no only sell the memory but make it too. I like to think that even though all the memory stores on ramseeker are on the up and up, buying name brand ram for you computer just feels, well a little more secure.
It used to be that the brand name memory from Crucial was very expensive – in part due to the fact that they advertised heavily to create a brand. Crucial has only been around since the early 90’s. Compared to other industries, the RAM business is quite young.
Both of the memory brands – Kingston or Crucial offer something generic sellers really can’t compete with and that’s customer support and warranty. Because these two brands make their own memory upgrades it’s easier for them to support the memory in the rare case of a problem with the RAM upgrade.
Asking which memory brand is better is kind of like asking the chicken or egg question. There’s no right answer. This i ford versus chevy, or republican vs democrat – you’ll tend to favor one brand over the other. I have found that Crucial memory to be a little easier to buy online than Kingston but this is changing too as both Kingston Memory and Crucial Memory are on sale and a fraction of the price they were just one year ago.
One More Brand
Another memory brand you should consider when you’re ready to buy memory is Corsair memory. These folks used to charge an arm and a leg for RAM, but now tend to be one of the cheaper memory brands you can buy today.
First, I want to say that considering we are in the last bit of 2011 and the last iMac refresh was in May, (MacBook Pros for 2011 were just released in October) I would **wait to buy an iMac right now **as there’s a very good chance we’ll see new iMacs models released in 2012.
Is 2012 The End of the iMac?
Over the years, notebooks and now tablets have become increasingly popular so the one question I have to ask is will there even be an Apple iMac in 2012? The iPad in a way has all but replaced the iMac except for two important options :
screen size. A 27 inch iPad would be pretty heavy (and expensive)
Full size keyboard. You can’t touch type on a tablet. You could possibly connect a third party keyboard to an Apple iPad, but then you really have something that resembles a notebook or MacBook Air mor than a tablet.
I know that having a big screen can be more beneficial than having a faster processor (as I type this, I have 87% of my processor doing nothing at all) The iMac is/was a success due to the design over all else. That all in one design is attractive and cable free. This can’t be overlooked when marketing to the small office or home computer crowd.
Wait and See.
As I write this, the iMac has been a current model for over six months – a lifetime when talking about computers. Apple’s release schedule has been pretty much spot on the past few years – new iMacs in early spring and maybe an iPad, early winter for notebooks, and fall for the iPod and holiday shopping market. I can see a new iMac in about May 2012, so if you can wait to buy a new Apple iMac, I would – if for no other reason to see what Apple does next.
Both the Apple iMac and MacBook Pro lines are in need of a makeover and Apple is rumored to make the MacBook Pro of 2012 more like the MacBook Air, and the design on the iMac has been the same for so long I wonder if Apple will release a brand new desktop computer in the summer of 2012?
Only time will tell of course, but I would think it would be wise to hold off until summer 2012 if you can to see what the new or replacement iMacs end up looking like. I think the wait will be worth it.
I never really understood why this question even needed to be asked. I mean when you consider the price you pay for even the cheapest MacBook Pro and then compare the cost of a RAM upgrade it makes no sense to me why when you buy a MacBook Pro you wouldn’t increase the MacBook Pro’s ram at the same time.
The Price of MacBook Pro Memory
An example. Let’s say you’re waiting for the new MacBook Pro to be released but you can’t wait – you need to buy a MacBook Pro today, so you go shopping for a deal and you find one. You manage to save almost $80 on a brand new Apple MacBook Pro. This means that compared to walking into the Apple Store you shopped online, found a better deal on a MacBook Pro than you could have got from Apple and you probably even qualified for free shipping too.
This leaves you with $79.00 in savings to do what with? Buy RAM for your MacBook Pro ! At the time I write this it costs about $40 or so for 8GB of RAM and if you shop around for 16GB you can get that too for not much more. But, for the sake of this article we’ll stick with the 8GB as this doubles your RAM without terminating your warranty. Apple currently only supports 8GB of RAM on the MBP’s so we’ll stop there for now.
This leaves you with another $30 to buy a MacBook Pro stand or a small MacBook Pro case for you new laptop.
Oh, the bonus is that you have enough RAM to do other stuff with. I’m writing this on a 2011 Apple Mac Mini (a birthday pressent) and the very first thing I did was upgrade my RAM. I’ve got a few windows open and iTunes running and I am using over the 4GB the Mac Mini already shipped with.
What happens when you don’t have enough memory? You use swap disk space which is exponentially slower and slows your system down considerably – so much so that any speed benefit you thought you may have by buying a fast MacBook Pro could be negated when the swap disk kicks in.
MacBook Pro ram is not the cheapest it’s ever been, but close (It was down close to $30 for 8GB earlier this year), but even at the slightly higher ram prices for Apple MacBook Pro, upgrading the RAM is the biggest bargain in computing today.
I’m still plunking away on my 2008 MacBook Pro and one thought I had to squeeze a few more months out of it until I saw what the 2012 MacBook Pro notebooks looked like would be to install a MacBook Pro SSD drive into this aging MacBook Pro of mine to squeeze a tad more life out of what I’ve already got and have paid for.
A MacBook Pro SSD drive shouldn’t cost more than $200 or so and I’ve found that 128GB SSD’s are priced at about $200 which is the price point I want to be at. The 64GB SSD’s are the cheapest SSD drives for MacBook Pro you can buy but they’re not the largest and by the time you install an OS on them there’s not a lot of room left for my files and music.
Ultimately, I would love a 500GB SSD drive that would allow me enough room for my entire music collection to be stored on the SSD, but the costs for 500GB or even 250GB is still pretty pricey , especially considering I want to install an SSD in an older Mac, I don’t think this is the best money spent.
Cheap MacBook Pro SSD Drives
Not that I do a lot of shopping for computer upgrades, but when I do the first place I check is at Amazon as I have found that for most items, whether it’s solid state drives for MacBook Pro or even a brand new MacBook Pro, it’s hard to beat them when it comes to price and the cheapest SSD drives for both Apple and PC are on sale at Amazon for a much better price than anywhere else.
<code>Save on the Crucial 128GB SSD
Take the Crucial 128GB M4 sSD drive. This drive is on sale at Amazon and cheaper than you can buy the exact same solid state drive at Crucial, and it’s also the best selling SSD drive del at Amazon.
There are other brands offering SSD’s for MacBook Pro if Crucial doesn’t do it for you such as Kingston and Patriot offers ings and they may even be a few bucks cheaper than the Crucial Brand but over the years I have trusted the Crucial Brand when it comes to buying ram for MacBook Pro so I doubt I would have any problem when it comes to buying Crucial SSD’s on sale.
If you want to browse the best selling SSD drives you’re welcome to but I am going to buy a Crucial SSD for my MacBook Pro.
It’s time for a bit of predicting of the future today, partly due to the fact that I’m due for a new computer to buy in 2012 as my MacBook Pro I’m writing this on is close to becoming obsolete but due part to fiscal constraints, it will be 2012 when I am ready to pull the trigger on new MacBook Pro or iMac, regardless of the year.
In the meantime, I can speculate on what may be coming down the pipe from Apple in 2012 when it comes to both the 2012 MacBook Pro and Apple iMac.
2012 MacBook Pro
My guess is that the new MacBook Pro will look an awful lot like the current 2011 MacBook Air lineup with a more sleek design than current MacBook Pro models and the optical drive will get the kiss of death. The only reason I have a need for an optical drive is to watch my DVD collection and I find I could easily sell my DVD’s and get a netfliz account instead.
What Apple may do is to offer an external optical drive like they do with the MacBook Air. I think it’s silly to have two 13 inch MacBook models, so I wonder if Apple may discontinue the MacBook Air with a 13 inch screen and just offer the 11 inch version if at first glance you can’t tell the two computers apart. The only thing I can think of holding back this idea is processor speed and solid state drive prices. They may still offer two versions: a lite spec’d MacBook Air version and a more heavy duty MacBook Pro.
There’s also the 2012 MacBook Pro price to consider. Apple can’t raise the prices on the MacBook Pros or everybody will buy competing windows OS machines, and they can’t drop them too much too on the MacBook Pros either as this will kill the MacBook Air sales.
So, it’s my opinion the MacBook Air will stay the same for the time being and we’ll see the MacBook Pro ditch the optical drive, shed hopefully a pound or more to compete with the upcoming ultrabook models from Acer, Samsung and the like and possibly lower the prices slightly due to lower component costs (that said, if the SSD drives are big enough the MacBook Pro could see a price increase to compensate for the price of the solid state drive in the 2012 MacBook Pro)
I don’t see what Apple can do with the Apple iMac. One of the selling points of the iMac is the All in One design that offers cable free desktop computing. If you take away the optical drive you may get a bit thinner and cheaper Apple desktop, but except from offering faster processors, drives etc there’s not much one can do to the iMac. It’s not like they can shrink the screen any. One option may be to switch the iMac over to iOS instead of Mac OS as this is a consumer based computer and the iPad sales are strong. Would an big iPad on a stick work? Maybe.
Personally, I don’t need a touch screen iMac and could do just fine with leaving the Apple iMac alone. One option might be to drop the price some on the iMac to the under $1000 mark and yet offer more speed, better display. It’s my opinion that the iMac is all about the ease of use and the display. I can buy a $399 notebook computer with a 15.6 inch LED display, so for a few more inches of display space the over thousand dollar price point seems a bit pricey.
RAM won’t matter.
I could be wrong, and I hope so because I soon could be out of a job, but adding more memory to either the Apple iMac or the MacBook Pro won’t be as big of a deal as it once was. Out of the box now in 2011 , both Macs come with enough ram for the task in which they were designed (OK, the MBP is a little low), but with the iMac and to a lesser degree, the MacBook Pro the factory ram from Apple is more than enough RAM for every day tasks. I don’t know about you folks, but I do most of my work in the cloud already and the 4GB of RAM I have on my current MacBook Pro is not limiting in any way.
I hope Apple drops the price of the MacBook Pro or the iMac for 2012. Windows 7 is pretty good for most tasks and it’s getting harder and harder for me to justify the premium a new Mac computer commands. I’d love to be able to buy a new MacBook Pro in 2012, but I may have to start investigating other notebook options from PC manufacturers depending on what we see from Apple in new and exciting products for 2012.