13" with 4K monitor(s) + devs/data analysts

Mity

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 1, 2014
76
16
I'm currently learning programming via MOOCs like Udemy, Coursera, edx, etc. I finished SQL and I'm currently on Python. When I learn, I usually have lots of browser windows open, along with Anaconda, text editor, multiple folders, Word to take notes with screenshots and I'm connected to a 4K display to see everything at once (this is really important for me). I will also be starting a data science MS later this year.

My current Mac is a mid-2014 MBP 13" 8GB RAM and the fans start to come on especially if I begin playing YouTube videos and browse imgur when I take a break (with all the other apps above still open). The fans don't come on if I don't browse media-intensive sites. Right now, on idle, activity monitor shows 5GB of RAM being used of the 8GB total.

For those of you who have the current gen MBP 13, how well does your computer perform when connected to an external display, namely a 4K monitor (or two)? I know that the current gen is spec'd to support two 4K displays but I would like to hear from those of you who actually use it daily.

Questions:
1. I know I need a new computer with more RAM. But do I need more processing power?
2. Do the fans ramp up when connected to a 4K display?
3. Do you find the iGPU is enough or if you had the option to buy again, would you go for a 15" with a dGPU?
4. What I like best about my current MBP 13 is that is near silent when browsing casually or even streaming shows online. How quiet is the new MBP 13?
5. Any software devs / data scientists here? What would you recommend for a newbie?
 
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GoldfishRT

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2014
552
320
Somewhere
For reference I've got a 15" now but was on the 2017 13" without touch-bar for a while and tried out a 2018 13" with the quad core but then returned it:

1. Do you really need more ram? Your uses are actually quite light. Pay less attention to the ram used and more to memory pressure. If it's a flat green line I'd say you're fine with 8 for the foreseeable future. With that said, I think any 13" will be an upgrade from your 2014. If you're happy with the performance now, I think any of the new ones will make you happy.

2. Connected to a Dell 4k at work my fan was never audible. The modern ones are much quieter when they do come on anyway.

3. I think it's fine unless you want to do something graphically intensive. Apple's choice of Iris graphics makes the experience on high resolution displays notably more smooth than the normal Intel HD graphics. In fact, at least on the internal display, the 13" was smoother in playing animations than the 15" I have now is.

4. At home but, not connected to a monitor as I don't have one there, I think the only time I ever heard the fan on the 13" was playing Team Fortress 2. Apple has built incredibly silent machines. Compared to the 2011 15" and 2012 13" the

5. I'm in finance but I'm sure it crosses over at least a little bit - keep up cheat sheets of formulas. I have about 5 pages stuck to the side of my cube that I made while I was in school and they save a whole lot of googling. It was basically a requirement for me to finish my Unix admin classes too.
 

Mity

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 1, 2014
76
16
1. Do you really need more ram? Your uses are actually quite light. Pay less attention to the ram used and more to memory pressure. If it's a flat green line I'd say you're fine with 8 for the foreseeable future. With that said, I think any 13" will be an upgrade from your 2014. If you're happy with the performance now, I think any of the new ones will make you happy.

Interesting. Why do you suppose my fans ramp up? The 4K display? I know I'm not doing CPU-intensive tasks. I'm also planning on cleaning the inside this week and applying new thermal paste:

 
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