15” spend extra $ on Vega or Ram? Advice Please

FrostyF

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Nov 2, 2018
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Your Chrome tabs could also eat 32GB RAM, it’s how RAM works. You didn’t actually think you functionally needed 16GB of RAM of chrome did you? That would have been ridiculous and unacceptable.

It uses whatever is not being used, whenever it can.
That’s not what I said at all.
 

MacDonaldTrump

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Nov 28, 2018
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thanks so much to EVERYBODY, really teaching me and the knowledge is way more than I had to base this large decision.

So I was settling for the 2.2, 560, 512, 32gb ram after reading things last night.

Now reading all the extra comments today it seems the shift is back towards the Vega.

Both I think will suit me very well, I think I am learning the benefits of each a little more.

Would either option see a better resale down the track?
I have only ever used 16gm ram and really never noticed sluggish behaviour. I don’t run parallels and do t plan to.
Possibly the chance of some 4K video work down the track for my uni degree.

Thanks so much for all your help.
 

Trey M

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thanks so much to EVERYBODY, really teaching me and the knowledge is way more than I had to base this large decision.

So I was settling for the 2.2, 560, 512, 32gb ram after reading things last night.

Now reading all the extra comments today it seems the shift is back towards the Vega.

Both I think will suit me very well, I think I am learning the benefits of each a little more.

Would either option see a better resale down the track?
I have only ever used 16gm ram and really never noticed sluggish behaviour. I don’t run parallels and do t plan to.
Possibly the chance of some 4K video work down the track for my uni degree.

Thanks so much for all your help.
If I had to choose I would choose the RAM over the Vega. As others have stated, you can always use an eGPU for the few times you're ever likely to really benefit from extra video bandwidth via the GPU. And that's if you ever even need extra bandwidth, which sounds unlikely based on your posts so far.

Definitely in terms of future proofing the RAM is the better bet. I wouldn't worry about resale value, it'll all be close enough when it comes time to sell between the 2 options.

The processor is always the worst bang for your buck in terms of upgrades on Macs, especially when the new i9 benchmarks are very similar to the i7

For me RAM and SSD is always the highest priority in terms of upgrades. There is nothing worse than your computer freezing up (RAM) or getting OS messages about how you're out of space on your SSD.
 

KatanaAzul

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May 7, 2010
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It definitely depends on your use case. I also edit in LR, work with some short videos, and do a little casual gaming on the side, but I’m also on the road over 200 days out of the year, so an eGPU really isn’t an option. For me I went with 16gb RAM and the Vega 20, should arrive next week. If you think you’ll need the GPU power while away from your apartment, maybe that’ll be the better option for you as well. Especially if you’re only looking 3 years out, 16gb ram should be fine IMO.

But again, everyone’s needs are different.
 
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smirking

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I say go with the ram increase. Simply because if you later run into performance limitations with the dGPU, an eGPU is a very solid option.
There's one caveat here. The effects of eGPU on workflow are still hard to predict. I had the BlackMagic eGPU for a week and returned it because it not only didn't do anything meaningful for my photography workflow, the UI of Capture One Pro actually ran slower with the eGPU plugged into my maxed 2016 MBP than without it. I got that specifically to speed up my editing and culling process, which it ended up slowing down significantly. The only area where I saw a benefit in my photography was in the export processing. With the BlackMagic eGPU, I was able to compile exports of my photos up to 20% faster. That's nice, but wasn't a very impactful improvement given how little of my time is spent exporting to begin with.

I don't know why CaptureOne Pro would be more sluggish with an eGPU. I'd guess that perhaps the extra latency added by having to access an eGPU vs an onboard GPU is destructive to the way that program works.

Based on my experiences, I would take the best GPU available if heat issues don't choke off the performance of the GPU. Even with my 2016's Radeon 460, my photo programs perform quite acceptably, but I picked up the eGPU in hopes that I could recoup some additional minutes here and there from my editing workflow. If they can figure out a way to deal with the heat issues with the current line of MBPs, I'd be very tempted to move up my replacement timeline for my 2016.
 
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Chancha

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Mar 19, 2014
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I would go with a 2.2GHz / 32GB / 512GB / 555x, probably can find a refurb

1) VEGA is nice but not while on a budget. Drone videos are typically not all that involving since the camera / sensors in them are not cutting edge by design, unless you do very fancy editing and effects with them which you didn't specify. FCPX is rather efficient on stock config Macs so I am venturing to guess even a 555x is enough for your use. If in the future you need much more GPU power then there is always eGPU route.
2) VEGA option is only available with the higher config and is new, which also means you cannot find savings in 3rd party deals or Apple refurb for a long time
3) Photography in general does need RAM. Lightroom while perfectly fine under 16GB, but it will like it when fed more. Photoshop quickly eats RAM as you throw at it.
4) You mentioned fine art being part of your discipline with even an iPad Pro involved, so I assume illustration / manipulation type of work will be done in Photoshop, which again needs lots and lots of fast storage for cache /scratch, and then having more RAM helps lessen the pressure in that.
5) 32GB may or may not worth it even if you need it, but, as you know pretty much current Macs all have soldered RAM, and this gen MBP happens to be the first to top at 32GB, so with future proofing the machine as an objective I would definitely do 32GB.
6) i9 speeds things up a bit but not at the proportional add-on price that they ask, with savings a priority then settling at 2.2GHz, which is still a 6 core 12 thread i7 just clocks slower.

I think this config will last you not only 3 but like 5 years, with the GPU being a weak link where you can expand with TB3 eGPU when needed.
 

MacDonaldTrump

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Nov 28, 2018
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I think the ram option is leading. I really appreciate the time everyone has taken to educate me.
I guess really for me the fact that the ram is soldered, so I cannot add later is the real factor.
Possibly EGPU will get better?, smaller? Faster?, portable?.maybe cheaper?
As this can be added down the line i see this is the smart option which I can add for 4K work, will use my canon MK4 for video, i understand the limitations of the drone sensors, good for scouting not production.

The advice here is really helping me feel i am making an educated choice, not impulse which is more normal route - THANK YOU
 

leman

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Oct 14, 2008
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The advice here is really helping me feel i am making an educated choice, not impulse which is more normal route - THANK YOU
You are free to waste you money in any way you want :) the only thing I want to say: opinions of random people on the internet should not be a basis for an educated choice. Empirical facts (or at least expert opinion) should. Go look for benchmarks and tests and base your decusion on that.
 

MacDonaldTrump

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You are free to waste you money in any way you want :) the only thing I want to say: opinions of random people on the internet should not be a basis for an educated choice. Empirical facts (or at least expert opinion) should. Go look for benchmarks and tests and base your decusion on that.
Benchmarks are numbers to the uneducated/me
Real people offer opinions, based on those benchmarks, real world use and previous experience, when filtered down to forums where people talk shop, i really expect a better range of information than i can get from some numbers.

I did look at Geekbench first, and other places, but I was still uninformed other than knowing numbers, it seems here from the different opinions I’m not the only one unsure on the best way to move forward - All still seem good options. I know I ultimately will make the decision, I feel better knowing I asked the question.
 
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maflynn

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I guess really for me the fact that the ram is soldered, so I cannot add later is the real factor.
the ram has been soldered onto the logic board since 2012, and there's been no seismic changes to computers, or software that will require 32GB now or the future. You're usage as stated is such that you'll be wasting your money on a feature that you won't be using.

Its your money, your decision, and you need to be comfortable with the decision and peace of mind certainly is one major factor in a buying decision.
 

MacDonaldTrump

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the ram has been soldered onto the logic board since 2012, and there's been no seismic changes to computers, or software that will require 32GB now or the future. You're usage as stated is such that you'll be wasting your money on a feature that you won't be using.

Its your money, your decision, and you need to be comfortable with the decision and peace of mind certainly is one major factor in a buying decision.
Thank you, I was worried that in the future programs may be more dependant on ram and fearful about the fact it cannot be upgraded, like on previous machines. My MacBook Pro 2012 (that i just sold) I upgraded to 16 when purchased, this was really why it kept up until now, I guess I was just thinking the same thing would happen and in 3 years 32 would be standard, and if needed mine would then keep up.

If not, and things wont need 32 down the track, very happy to not waste money, I’d rather take you all out for beer for the help.
 
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koyoot

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Thank you, I was worried that in the future programs may be more dependant on ram and fearful about the fact it cannot be upgraded, like on previous machines. My MacBook Pro 2012 (that i just sold) I upgraded to 16 when purchased, this was really why it kept up until now, I guess I was just thinking the same thing would happen and in 3 years 32 would be standard, and if needed mine would then keep up.

If not, and things wont need 32 down the track, very happy to not waste money, I’d rather take you all out for beer for the help.
It won't grow. In 3 years time we will be 2 generations in future, and still we will be on 7/10 nm process. 16 GB is still plenty today, and will be in future, because of how Moore's Law has slowed down.
 

mr.anthonyramos

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Apr 25, 2015
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Thank you, I was worried that in the future programs may be more dependant on ram and fearful about the fact it cannot be upgraded, like on previous machines. My MacBook Pro 2012 (that i just sold) I upgraded to 16 when purchased, this was really why it kept up until now, I guess I was just thinking the same thing would happen and in 3 years 32 would be standard, and if needed mine would then keep up.

If not, and things wont need 32 down the track, very happy to not waste money, I’d rather take you all out for beer for the help.
Exactly what we were trying to point out. Also as many of us mentioned, should you really need the extra oomph of a GPU, a eGPU is always an option down the road.
 
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maflynn

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Thank you, I was worried that in the future programs may be more dependant on ram and fearful about the fact it cannot be upgraded, like on previous machines. My MacBook Pro 2012 (that i just sold) I upgraded to 16 when purchased, this was really why it kept up until now, I guess I was just thinking the same thing would happen and in 3 years 32 would be standard, and if needed mine would then keep up.

If not, and things wont need 32 down the track, very happy to not waste money, I’d rather take you all out for beer for the help.
My iMac has 8 GB or ram, I've used VMs, Photoshop, Lightroom, windows and various other apps and the 8GB has been more then enough. I know I may not be considered a major heavy hitter with my usage, but overall for much of my usage the 8GB equipped iMac has been more then up to the task.
 
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Qaulity

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Jul 23, 2018
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Yeah, go for the RAM, eGPUs will be available for your consumption should you need one. I would like to see when 40Gbps isn't enough bandwidth for GPU tasks. I guess maybe running a game at 4k or 5k or 8k? Maybe editing 8k or 16k video footage? If you can't see yourself gaming at those resolutions or shooting RAW video at those resolutions and have other things in mind you'll probably be fine with the current TB3 standard for the next decade or so. I think we're at the point where processing power increases are flat across the board and the focus is on power consumption. The next big leap in computing power will be when quantum computing goes mainstream, at which point it won't really matter if you're running a 10nm or 7nm or 4nm process, your tech will be so out of date and so slow you will upgrade anyway.
 

Ma2k5

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Dec 21, 2012
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Thank you, I was worried that in the future programs may be more dependant on ram and fearful about the fact it cannot be upgraded, like on previous machines. My MacBook Pro 2012 (that i just sold) I upgraded to 16 when purchased, this was really why it kept up until now, I guess I was just thinking the same thing would happen and in 3 years 32 would be standard, and if needed mine would then keep up.

If not, and things wont need 32 down the track, very happy to not waste money, I’d rather take you all out for beer for the help.
Right now, 8GB is more than sufficient for the vast majority of users (95%++). In a few years time, it is very likely 8GB will still be sufficient, but perhaps a jump to 16GB might become the norm just because it becomes cheap enough that they will sell it at that for "marketing" reasons, to appear to be selling a superior product. Software companies don't have incentive to make things more RAM hungry, especially in the world of IoT/cross-platform etc.

People have to have a very unique work flow compromising of some huge project or loads of power hungry VM's, or be using software very inefficiently (looking at Logic Pro users) to need 32GB imo.
 

Chancha

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Mar 19, 2014
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Well the OP still hasn't answered directly about RAM usages on his previous Macs. Particularly the 2015 iMac, if he had it installed with more than 16GB, while still feel bottlenecked by the machine, then he may fall out of the "95%" demography described above.
 
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