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Mac Book Memory and Solid State Hard Drive Benchmarks

More memory equals a faster Mac. It's been our company mantra for quite a long time. With the addition of our new Mercury Extreme SSD line, we now have another contender for drastically increasing performance on your Mac.

Let's take, for example, the 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook White Unibody model from Mid 2010. Doubling the memory in the system resulted in a 38% increase in speed of our Adobe Photoshop CS5 Medium Action Test! Maximizing the memory made it 49% faster! Quite impressive of its own merit.

But just adding an OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD sped that same task up by 45% alone!

Here's where the magic happens though. With both the maximum memory installed and an OWC SSD drive installed, the same test is completed 3.4 times faster than the stock machine from Apple making us rethink and expand our company mantra:

More Memory = Faster Mac
OWC SSD Drive = Even Faster Mac
More memory and an OWC SSD Drive = Fastest Mac.



OWC offers memory upgrades available up to 8.0GB to make your MacBook super fast!

OWC's FREE step-by-step installation videos guide you through upgrading your MacBook.

 

Adding more memory to your MacBook
can make a dramatic increase in performance.

Lower times are better.

Installing the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD
as the boot drive for the system
also improves performance dramatically.

Lower times are better.

Start your MacBook twice as fast by using the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD as your boot drive.

Lower times are better.

See the Boot Time Test shootout on a MacBook Pro in action

...and for the best performance, install both!

Lower times are better.

Other World Computing Benchmark Result Tables

Looking to delve deeper? Unlike most benchmarking sites, we put every configuration of the MacBook to the test so you can see exactly what your machine is capable of with additional memory and a solid state drive.

Jump to Results:

See Benchmark Results for Other Models:


"Adobe Photoshop CS5 Medium Action Test" Results

This test measures the time (in seconds) it takes to execute a custom action script comprising of 45 commonly-used, memory-intensive processes on a 17,500 pixel wide image using Adobe Photoshop CS5. It is designed to represent a system-straining photo editing session of a graphic artist on an MacBook/MacBook Pro/Mac mini such as with multiple images, images with multiple layers, or large images such as retail signage, movie posters, event signage, promotional banners and more. These same type of results can be expected from video production suites and other 64 bit applications.

No other processes are running in the background besides those that keep the machine itself running. Memory Usage is left at the default 71% of system memory. Increasing this slider can speed up the test when more memory has been added to the system, however with lower memory amounts, make sure you're leaving enough resources for any additional processes running.

History and cache performance preferences are set as follows:
History States: 20
Cache Levels: 3
Cache Tile Size: 1028K

The only scratch disk used for the purposes of this test is the boot drive itself. No additional drives are installed in the system. Increased performance can be achieved through the use of additional scratch disks. For more information on optimizing your MacBook for Adobe Photoshop CS5, we suggest checking out Lloyd Chambers' Mac Performance Guide article Optimizing Photoshop CS5 Performance.

Lower times are better.

RAM Configuration 1.0GB 2.0GB 4.0GB 6.0GB 8.0GB

MacBook 13" Mid 2010 White Unibody
2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo (MacBook7,1)

5400 RPM 1752.93 1084.24 958.15 851.17
SSD 780.49 575.00 521.63 509.26

MacBook 13" Late 2008 Aluminum Unibody
2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo (MacBook5,1)

5400 RPM 1705.61 1065.38 953.80 871.05
SSD 817.08 584.68 625.45 569.19

MacBook 13" Early 2008 White or Black
2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo (MacBook4,1)

5400 RPM 3264.12 1792.82 955.51 864.80
SSD 1166.52 986.78 670.45 579.49

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"Adobe Photoshop CS5 Small Action Test" Results

This test measures the time (in seconds) it takes to execute a custom action script comprising of 45 commonly-used, memory-intensive processes on a 12,500 pixel wide image using Adobe Photoshop CS5. It is designed to represent a system-straining photo editing session of a graphic artist on an MacBook/MacBook Pro/Mac mini. These same type of results can be expected from video production suites and other 64 bit applications.

No other processes are running in the background besides those that keep the machine itself running. Memory Usage is left at the default 71% of system memory. Increasing this slider can speed up the test when more memory has been added to the system, however with lower memory amounts, make sure you're leaving enough resources for any additional processes running.

History and cache performance preferences are set as follows:
History States: 20
Cache Levels: 3
Cache Tile Size: 1028K

The only scratch disk used for the purposes of this test is the boot drive itself. No additional drives are installed in the system. Increased performance can be achieved through the use of additional scratch disks. For more information on optimizing your MacBook for Adobe Photoshop CS5, we suggest checking out Lloyd Chambers' Mac Performance Guide article Optimizing Photoshop CS5 Performance.

Lower times are better.

RAM Configuration 1.0GB 2.0GB 4.0GB 6.0GB 8.0GB

MacBook 13" Mid 2010 White Unibody
2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo (MacBook7,1)

5400 RPM 701.81 421.90 355.85 320.16
SSD 313.27 297.01 262.85 232.77

MacBook 13" Late 2008 Aluminum Unibody
2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo (MacBook5,1)

5400 RPM 553.29 460.09 366.16 354.55
SSD 338.37 291.88 284.11 260.17

MacBook 13" Early 2008 White or Black
2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo (MacBook4,1)

5400 RPM 1114.91 582.16 489.64 407.24
SSD 573.78 377.85 290.58 261.37

MacBook 13" Mid 2006 White or Black
1.83 GHz Core Duo (MacBook1,1)

5400 RPM 1134.37 714.60
SSD 762.80 600.14

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"HALO Frame Rate Test" Results

Recognized as one of the greatest achievements in video game entertainment, the Xbox version of Halo has already sold over 3 million units and continues to be a top seller. The Macintosh version adds 16-person online multiplayer, new vehicles, new weapons, new maps, customizable multiplayer games, the precision of playing with a mouse and keyboard and more.

For our testing, we ran the Timedemo Benchmark from the Intel-native version of the popular game, Halo v2.0.3
When Halo is launched in Timedemo mode, it will run through four fixed cinematic sequences from the game. Once it's finished, it generates a file called Timedemo.txt in the ~Documents\Halo directory. The contents of the file can be examined to see what settings were used in the timedemo, including what the average framerate for the demo was.

Results are the average frame rate (in frames per second) achieved. Higher results are better.

RAM Configuration 1.0GB 2.0GB 4.0GB 6.0GB 8.0GB

MacBook 13" Mid 2010 White Unibody
2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo (MacBook7,1)

5400 RPM 98.24 99.98 100.14 112.38
SSD 108.95 109.08 109.19 109.28

MacBook 13" Late 2008 Aluminum Unibody
2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo (MacBook5,1)

5400 RPM 79.30 82.44 85.96 86.15
SSD 84.37 85.63 86.03 87.25

MacBook 13" Early 2008 White or Black
2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo (MacBook4,1)

5400 RPM 32.72 33.58 33.68 35.31
SSD 36.31 36.84 37.14 37.35

MacBook 13" Mid 2006 White or Black
1.83 GHz Core Duo (MacBook1,1)

5400 RPM 19.21 20.22
SSD 20.22 21.47

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Want to check your setup against our numbers?
System preferences were also all left as close to factory defaults as possible with few exceptions. Under the Energy Saver pane, sleep has been turned off for both display and hard disk. No network connection, airport or bluetooth settings are enabled in order to eliminate outside influences to the tests.

When a specific program is used outside its factory default, the change is noted at the beginning of each test.


Memory & Hard Drive Upgrades
for MacBook & MacBook Pro Models