13'' rMBP RAM/CPU upgrade worth it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Kaspen, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. Kaspen macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2011
    Hi guys

    I am going to buy the 13'' retina macbook pro, but i can't figure out if i should get some extra ram and a more powerful cpu.

    I am looking to buy the model with the following specs:

    13-inch: 2.4GHz
    with Retina display
    2.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
    Turbo Boost up to 2.9GHz
    8GB 1600MHz memory
    256GB PCIe-based flash storage1
    Intel Iris Graphics
    Built-in battery (9 hours)

    Will it be worth to get 16 gigs of ram and upgrade the cpu to 2.6ghz i5?
    I will be using the computer for school and some light gaming/windows virtual machines.
  2. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    I would only upgrade the RAM if...

    You can financial afford it.
    You will be running multiple WM's
    You will be keeping this machine for several years (3+)

    Almost nobody needs 16 GB RAM - from my non-scientific perspective most Apple users over buy RAM.
  3. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    At work, I have about 3-4 VM's running and some grunt servers as well as a bunch of applications - all of it consuming about 1GB of RAM.

    I think you'll be fine with 8GB of RAM.
  4. Leudast macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2011
    I think the 2.6 upgrade is worth it. You get a slightly higher max freq. on the iGPU that matches the i7, and the geekbench scores that talk about the 2.4 vs 2.6 make it seem very worth it.

    RAM... eh it's all up to what you do. I'm getting 16 because I multitask like a crazy person with a lot of heavy hitting memory intensive programs. 95% of consumers will be more than happy with 8GB
  5. doubleaa macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2011
    I originally ordered the i5 2.6 / 16GB / 512GB. Canceled and reordered the i7 2.8 / 16GB / 512GB.

    Will I ever notice a difference in the i5 and i7? Who knows but at $180 to upgrade to full spec I felt it was worth it. I'll be using this laptop for the next five years if it's as durable as my last one so the cost over that time period is next to nothing.
  6. Kaspen, Oct 26, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013

    Kaspen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2011
    Thanks for your opinions :)

    I think i will stick to 8gb ram but i am still not sure whether i should upgrade the cpu or not. Does anyone know how fast the 2.6 is compared to the 2.4?
  7. Chrsanthny5 macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2013
    I heard the jump is more noticeable from 2.4->2.6 than 2.6->2.8. I got a 2.8, but I'm going to be editing HD video. If you're not going to be doing something like rendering HD video or RAW pics, you should go for the 16GB RAM and 2.4 (2.6 should budget allow) processor, from what I see... if you're looking to keep the thing for a few years

    Edit: Virtual Machines? I'd say RAM. If you're gonna do more than "light" gaming get the processor!

    My $0.02 :)
  8. cpnotebook80 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2007
    Wonder what the geekbench score is for these specs on new rmbp 13". surprised the older models are still around 6k on geekbench index.

    2.8GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
    16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
    256GB PCIe-based Flash Storage
  9. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    I'm curious as well on Geekbench or Handbrake.

    I'm coming from an early 2011 15" MBP HR with 2.3GHz Quad-Core Core i7. I upgraded this to a 480GB OWC ME Pro 6G and 16GB 1600MHz. I run a fair number of VMs and encode using handbrake. So I ordered the max BTO late 2013 13" rMBP. I needed to get a more portable laptop, so I expected there wouldn't be a power bump, but after two years figured the 13" rMBP would catch up in performance. How much of a performance loss if any am I going to experience?
  10. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013

    Check this:


    Instead of paying 300$ for an i7 dual-core upgrade, you'd better add 200$ for 16GB RAM and 100$ for i5 2.6GHz processor.

    Simply, my suggestion is more cost effective! ;)

    PS: Don't forget to buy APPLE CARE PROTECTION.
  11. Kaspen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2011
    Thanks for your suggestions everyone! I really appreciate it :)

    I'll definitely get the 2.6GHz processor and since i am going to use the machine for 3+ years, i will probably upgrade to 16 gigs of ram as well.
  12. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    Good choice and good luck!

    Don't forget to buy APPLE CARE PROTECTION.


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