MBP 13" i5 or i7 and 4Gb or 8Gb RAM?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ValkyrieX, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2012
    Hey guys, i'm a 18 yr old student who has stopped gaming for a long time now since my crappy PC has aged. I am about to gift myself a MBP for christmas, and I don't know what to choose, depending on my needs. I live in Brazil, where the cheapest MBP is the equivalent to US$2000, so I'll ask a friend to bring me the MBP from the US. I am not exactly overflowing with money, and my budget is kind of strict, as I don't want to ask my parents any extra cash.
    I have around $1500, but my budget can be a little more elastic, in the matter of $150.
    I want a MBP 13", but I don't know which of the i5 or the i7 processors are best for me, and if I should buy 4Gb or 8Gb RAM. Remember, RAM is also expensive as ******* here in Brazil, so if I'll have to upgrade it, it should better be now.

    TL;DR: i5 or i7, 4Gb or 8Gb RAM - don't game but want to someday - not very intensively - budget: $1500+-$150
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    Well, you're not going to playing any games on either model regardless (Integrated graphics are okay, but there not yet at the level where you can play 3D games without hiccups).

    Honestly, difference between i5 and i7 is negligible for most tasks. My advice?

    1. Buy the base model.
    2. Buy 8 GB of RAM aftermarket (if prices are ridiculous in Brazil then ask your friend to buy the RAM for you too, it should be $50 US)

    Place the RAM in yourself. It's very very very easy. Instructions are on Apple's website.

    Good luck!
  3. macrumors G3


    Jun 12, 2012
    if that is your budget....cruise over to the education store and buy a retina base
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2012
    don't care about retina
  5. macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2012
    Novosibirsk, RU and Minnesota, US
    What are your purposes for getting a laptop? Just web browsing and word processing? Or do you do photo and/or video work, or other processor intensive work?

    Gaming on a MBP is nearly worthless unless you partition the drive to be able to boot windows so you can play PC games, in which case you'll want 8gb RAM, and i7 will be a help as well (though i5 will do the job just fine).

    If you're just looking for browsing and word processing, I suggest getting the air, so you can stay below your budget (especially as a student).
  6. macrumors G3


    Jun 12, 2012
    this. If you do not care about retina, just get a 13" air with 8gb of ram and still have money to spare.
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2012
    Thanks for your response. Air is out of the question here for me. I don't do CPU intensive stuff but as I said, I would someday like to game a bit. I will make a dual boot w/ Win7 once I get the laptop tho
  8. macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    i5 w/8GB Ram is plenty sufficient.
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    Guys, perhaps the OP needs an Ethernet port and an optical drive?

    I mean, there are places (even in the USA) where the connectivity of the Macbook Pro is still appreciated over that of the Air.

    OP, I don't mean any offense by this. I too am not natively American so I am assuming that optical media and Ethernet ports still have value in some parts of the world.
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2012
    None taken, an Optical drive is not essential but it would do no harm, we don't use cd's / dvd's anymore but its not like the floppy disk which should never come close again
    Ethernet cable is also not needed, but just as the optical drive - not sure if it could come in handy or not.
    My reasons why the MBA is out of question is that I don't like how they feel on my hand, that's it. And the clock speed is too low IMO but that's it
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    Oh okay. Lol, my beef with the Air is the limited connectivity, you're screwed if you don't have Wi-Fi (as infrequently as that may be).

    In any event, honestly there's little value in the i7 in my opinion ... You're saving a lot more money by going with the i5 and upgrading the RAM yourself.

    When I owned a 13" MBP, I bought the base model, bought the RAM and HDD separately and put them in myself. It doesn't void your warranty. Apple designed them such that you can upgrade these parts yourself.
  12. macrumors G3


    Jun 12, 2012
    Not at all....you know usb to ethernet cables exist?
  13. macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2011
    Get the i5 with 8gb of ram (37 dollars from amazon).
    This is what I just purchased and I have no regrets!
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    Yeah I am. My first choice of dongle would actually be Thunderbolt to Ethernet so that I can get all my Bandwidth. Regardless though, you do not always have dongles on hand.

    Case in point is Hotels for me. Many offer Wi-Fi, but the throughput can be spotty at times due to distance from router and/or interference from building. For this reason many Hotels still have Ethernet jacks (and they provide the Ethernet cables).
  15. macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2009
  16. macrumors 603

    Aug 3, 2006
    I'd go with the i5 model and upgrade the RAM yourself. If you want an extra boost, you could also swap out the HDD for a SSD.

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