13" 8GB RAM rMBP vs 15" 16GB RAM

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by eirikir, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. eirikir macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    #1
    I'm a freelance web developer and am buying a new computer for my work and for personal usage (lots of Internet and watching movies, streamed and downloaded).

    I'm trying to decide between a 13", 8GB RAM rMBP ($1999) and the 15", 16GB RAM base rMBP model ($2599). Both would have 512GB storage. I'm attracted to the larger screen and more RAM of the 15", but the extra $600 ($700 more w/ AppleCare) is giving me a lot of pause.

    I'm planning on selling my 2011 13" MBP, so that should help. It has 4GB RAM, and which I'm constantly throttling because I often have about 5 applications open and a dozen tabs up in Chrome.

    Will I notice a difference between the 8GB and 16GB RAM? Unfortunately, the 13" with 16GB RAM isn't an option for me because those take 2-3 weeks to ship and I'll be leaving the country for several months before then. Also, I know there's a million threads on this decision, but I'd appreciate first-hand accounts from people with similar use-case to mine.

    Will I notice a difference between 15" and 13" MBP? Between work and play, I probably spend about half my waking hours during the week on my computer, and better movie quality wouldn't hurt.
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    Unless you are running a VM or editing something like HUGE Photoshop files, you will not notice the difference between 8GB and 16GB. See this test.

    15 vs 13 is a really personal choice and I don't know how to help you there. I personally prefer a 13" for the portability, but that's just me.
     
  3. eirikir thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    #3
    Thanks, those tests were much more helpful than many others I've seen; it doesn't look like there'll be much difference between 8 and 16GB for me since I very rarely use a VM.

    I'm leaning towards the 13" with 8GB RAM now, for the portability also, but do you have any opinion on i5 vs i7? I'm currently using under 15% of CPU on an older i5, so I'm thinking the RAM will throttle me before the processor, but maybe I'm missing something?
     
  4. eirikir thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    #4
    It looks from this test as I suspected: the core upgrade makes even less of a difference than the RAM does.

    I think I'll go with the 512GB-storage 13" base model, and if I notice a big issue with the screen real estate or the RAM, I can always return it and upgrade to the 15". Thanks again!
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #5
    Yep... even the base processor is very powerful. Unless you are encoding videos all day, the i7 would be a waste of money IMO. Enjoy your new machine. :)
     
  6. Jonathanchasr macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Location:
    NJ
    #6
    I generally go with 16GB of RAM because its better to have more RAM than less, I often use more than 8GB of RAM when I have Chrome open with other applications like Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects and eclipse. As a developer its probably better to have more RAM because you'll have many programs open and projects running. Also the 15 inch and 13 inch do have a few differences, the 13inch does not have a discrete GPU and the screen is smaller. A GPU will probably not matter to you but 15 inch is preferable since you get more room on your screen. If you stay home a lot then a 15 inch will be better but if you travel and want a lighter computer the 13 will be better for you.
     

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