best Mac hardware configuration for running L4Mac

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bryan jay | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Mar 1 2013 11:49 PM

Hi all,

I've browsed the forum on this question and what I've found has been outdated information. If someone can point me to a more recent thread, I would appreciate it.

I have been running L4Mac on my Core2Duo with 2GB of RAM and a standard 5200rpm HD.  I am *not* pleased with the performance.  It is slow and a chore to use.  I want to upgrade, but I'm also on a tight budget, so I'm wondering what other users might recommend.  Assume that the only thing I want my new Mac to do is run L4mac well.  

1.  Apple says my macbook is maxed out at 2GB RAM, but everymac.com says it is possible to upgrade to 3GB.  Will I see any improvement in performance with that extra GB of RAM?

2.  Assuming that I ditch this macbook and buy a new model, what is most important for improved performance?  HDD speed (SSD or 7200rpm HD) or just more RAM.  If more RAM, would 4GB be enough or should I shoot for more?  I'm thinking that a Macbook Air might be a good option because I don't want to spring the bucks for a MBpro and I need portability so I can't go the way of the mini or an iMac.

Thanks for any advice,

Bryan

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Unix | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 2 2013 12:40 AM

Yes:

bryan jay:
I have been running L4Mac on my Core2Duo with 2GB of RAM [...] everymac.com says it is possible to upgrade to 3GB.  Will I see any improvement in performance with that extra GB of RAM?

  • More modern CPU
  • SSD
    bryan jay:
    2.  Assuming that I ditch this macbook and buy a new model, what is most important for improved performance?  HDD speed (SSD or 7200rpm HD) or just more RAM.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 2 2013 5:49 AM

bryan jay:
Apple says my macbook is maxed out at 2GB RAM, but everymac.com says it is possible to upgrade to 3GB.  Will I see any improvement in performance with that extra GB of RAM?

Yes… but no. Why waste your time going from 2 to 3? You need to be looking for 8GB.

bryan jay:
what is most important for improved performance?  HDD speed (SSD or 7200rpm HD) or just more RAM.

SSD

bryan jay:
If more RAM, would 4GB be enough or should I shoot for more?  I'm thinking that a Macbook Air might be a good option because I don't want to spring the bucks for a MBpro and I need portability so I can't go the way of the mini or an iMac.

Here is the priority I would have:

  1. SSD Drive. Probably 128 GB or larger. I would only get a 64 GB drive if my purpose for the machine was ONLY Logos & simple word processor (pages). 
  2. 8 GB Ram. If I had to choose between an SSD drive or more ram, I would choose the SSD. 4 GB is the minimum, however.
  3. Processor speed. Any new computer will be much faster than what you have, but when you are comparing apples to apples (pun intended), I think the first two are more important. [Since we are talking about newish macs, I don't think there will be a dramatic difference here. 8 GB of ram is more important than a "bump" up in processor, imo. 

THIS might be a computer I would consider… but the processor is a little bit older. 

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 2 2013 9:25 PM

bryan jay:
1.  Apple says my macbook is maxed out at 2GB RAM, but everymac.com says it is possible to upgrade to 3GB.  Will I see any improvement in performance with that extra GB of RAM?

Wiki has => http://wiki.logos.com/Mac_Troubleshooting#Slow_Performance that includes an Activity Monitor screen shot.  If have significant Page Outs, then increasing RAM is noticeable (in many applications).

Upgrading hard disk to 7200 RPM would be up to 30 % faster, albeit usable time on battery would decrease.  Seagate has a Momentus XT drive, which has a Solid State Disk (SSD) disk cache with 7200 RPM hard drive => http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148940

bryan jay:
2.  Assuming that I ditch this macbook and buy a new model, what is most important for improved performance?  HDD speed (SSD or 7200rpm HD) or just more RAM.  If more RAM, would 4GB be enough or should I shoot for more?  I'm thinking that a Macbook Air might be a good option because I don't want to spring the bucks for a MBpro and I need portability so I can't go the way of the mini or an iMac.

Logos 5 is a resource intensive application on Mac & PC – benefits from fast processor, graphics, and quick storage along with adequate memory (i.e. newer hardware since Logos 5 being designed for use over 5 to 8 years); Solid State Disk (SSD) is noticeably faster than hard disk. If was shopping for a computer to run Logos (Mac or PC), would look for 2nd or 3rd Generation Intel Core i5 or i7 along with Sata III SSD and 4 GB or more RAM.

Apple offers refurbished MacBook Air models => http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/macbook_air

For Logos use, would look at 2011 (or newer) models with 4 GB Ram (or more) and 128 GB SSD (or more). Personally prefer 13" screen size.

Nifty MiniDrive is a storage option for MacBook Air => http://mac.appstorm.net/reviews/hardware-reviews/nifty-minidrive-the-seamless-way-to-add-storage-space-to-your-macbook/

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 2 2013 9:33 PM

bryan jay:
Thanks for any advice

Logos 5 for OS X has a free engine option.  Blog has => http://blog.logos.com/2012/11/5-ways-to-move-to-logos-5/

A number of forum users have noted that Logos 5 is faster than Logos 4.

In OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, Logos 5 has Full Screen option (so can hide Apple's menu bar while using Logos 5).

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Posts 113
bryan jay | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 7 2013 11:35 AM

thanks everyone for the advice.  

KS4J, I'm a bit flabbergasted that I had to hear on a forum that I could get the L5 engine for free.  Why is it that I was never informed of that by the L4 home screen?  I thought you had to buy an upgrade.

As far as purchase of a new computer, here is my quandry.  I am not pleased with the lack of upgradability in Apple's new products.  I really want a more powerful computer and had decided to buy a Mac mini which seems to give me the most bang for the buck.  However, I'm sacrificing portability, so i thought I might upgrade this core2duo as I mentioned in my original post and use it to supplement the mini.  I could upgrade to 3GB of RAM and a hybrid SSD.  The full SSDs are just too pricey right now.

The nice thing about the mini over the MBP or MBA is that it has upgradable parts.  I just can't see spending thousands of dollars on computers that are starting to look more and more like their disposable iPod iPad cousins.  

I want to spend no more than 1500 max for whatever combinations of products I buy.  

Thanks, this is very helpful information that you all have given me, even if some of you did conveniently overlook that I said I was on a budget : )

bryan

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 7 2013 11:52 AM

bryan jay:
KS4J, I'm a bit flabbergasted that I had to hear on a forum that I could get the L5 engine for free.  Why is it that I was never informed of that by the L4 home screen?  I thought you had to buy an upgrade.

The engine wasn't available to the public (without purchasing a new base package) until very recently. The best place to get info on things like this is the website/forums/twitter.

bryan jay:
I want to spend no more than 1500 max for whatever combinations of products I buy.

My 2 cents: I wouldn't spend anything on your current MB Air. Going from 2GB to 3GB won't show much improvement. I don't know if you qualify for educational discount at all or not… but you could get a 13 inch MacBook Air, with a 256MB SSD HD, and 8GB of Ram for under $1500. 

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 7 2013 11:57 AM

I forgot to add… If you go with the mini (which isn't a bad idea, portability excluded), I would look at getting the base ram (4GB) and upgrading with another company like Crucial. Also, you should really consider adding the fusion drive option… 

FYI - The fusion drive is actually 2 HD's… a regular HD + a smaller SSD. The OS automatically puts the more used data on the SSD for enhanced performance. 

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bryan jay | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 7 2013 12:06 PM

yeah, I already thought of doing the RAM upgrade through a third party.  Basically when I start looking at SSDs I just keep thinking... these things are great, but the price is still too cutting edge.  I'm thinking that I may need to just get the mini with a 7200rpm drive, and then when SSDs come down in price in 3 to 5 years, I can upgrade it.  That's EXACTLY why I find myself moving away from Apple's laptops.  They are sacrificing upgradability for design... granted, a very nice design, but for a practical buyer like myself, I'm disappointed.

This article really put me off to Apple's fusion drives:   http://www.mactrast.com/2012/11/apple-ssds-and-the-fusion-drive-ripoff/

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fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 7 2013 1:29 PM

bryan jay:
I'm a bit flabbergasted that I had to hear on a forum that I could get the L5 engine for free.  Why is it that I was never informed of that by the L4 home screen?

You were, for example by this blog: 5 Ways to Move to Logos 5

bryan jay:
it is possible to upgrade to 3GB.  Will I see any improvement in performance with that extra GB of RAM?

Yes -- for one day or so. Then you will have gotten used to it, and will be just as disappointed as you are now.

bryan jay:
I want to spend no more than 1500

Remember that if you buy another laptop, you could sell your current one, which would give you a bit more to spend.

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 7 2013 8:11 PM

bryan jay:
 I'm thinking that I may need to just get the mini with a 7200rpm drive, and then when SSDs come down in price in 3 to 5 years, I can upgrade it.

Upgrading RAM in Mac Mini is easy; hard drive is a bit harder.  I Fix It => http://www.ifixit.com/Device/Mac_Mini_Late_2012 shows new Mac Mini model needs motherboard movement so can access hard drive.

bryan jay:
That's EXACTLY why I find myself moving away from Apple's laptops.  They are sacrificing upgradability for design... granted, a very nice design, but for a practical buyer like myself, I'm disappointed.

Ultrabook models by many manufacturers are slim and light, but lack easy hardware upgrades.

If have reliable and fast network connectivity, remotely controlling Logos is an option.

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bryan jay | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 7 2013 8:57 PM

OK, full disclosure will really get you guys drooling.  I have a sis-in-law who works for Apple corporate so I can get a 15% family discount on any new product.  That helps a bit.  

As far as upgrading my current machine you guys have convinced me that is not a good idea.  Especially since I also need to disclose that my current MB has a serious display problem... the screen turns off and on with movement of the hinge.  Sometimes it takes me quite a while and lots of jiggling to get it to come on at all. ifixit rates this as an inexpensive, but extremely difficult teardown and repair.  

I'm still torn on the mac mini thing.  portability vs. performance and only 1500 to spend can make for a tortuous decision.  If I was willing to go up to 1800 or so, I could get a mini AND a MBA, but even then, I would be sacrificing specs to get TWO computers.  If I just spent 1800 on a MBP I could get something really screaming.  

One additional question.  Is it possible to get a reasonably priced external case with a thunderbolt connection that I could put an old 1TB 5200 drive into and use for storage?

Bryan

P.S. Another disclosure is that we're talking doing this purchase in July since I live in Moscow and won't be back to the U.S. until then.  Model choices may have changed by then.  Of course, a quick check of my posts on this forum will show that I've been talking about hardware upgrades for years and never taken the plunge, but my current MB is getting to the point that a purchase is inevitable.

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HansK | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 7 2013 10:46 PM

2 weeks ago I've upgraded my Mid 2010 MBP from 4GB to 8GB RAM and exchanged the HD to 512GB SSD. The HD is now in the place of the Superdrive.

This can be easily done by yourself. There are a lot of instruction videos online.

Logos5 runs now like sunshine and even some other problems I had with the GeForce card (know problem on the Mac phora) seem to have been solved.

Hans

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 8 2013 5:24 AM

HansK:
exchanged the HD to 512GB SSD

Do you mind sharing which one you got? From where?

HansK:

This can be easily done by yourself. There are a lot of instruction videos online.

Was there one site which you particularly trust? Do you have a link?

I also have a mid 2010 MBP… it is <almost> out of warranty… I don't want to mess with anything until then. Wink

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HansK | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 8 2013 6:00 PM

Replacing the HD with an SSD can be done without breaking the warranty.

I have a Crucial M4 SSD, found at MAPP.NL (I am in The Netherlands). Very good service.

You can find some good instruction videos on Youtube (Type fe "macbook pro ssd install").

Hans

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