16gb of RAM vs 3.1 GHz i7 upgrade

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pedrolucas, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. pedrolucas macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2015
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm looking into buying the new retina Macbook Pro. Since the price is almost the same, I would like to know which upgrade is best for my needs, 16bg of RAM or 3.1GHz i7 processor ?

    Mostly, I use my computer for :

    - Web Browsing
    - MS office
    - Streaming
    - Light Photo editing
    - MATLAB(rarely)
    - Parallels desktop (rarely)

    I also have an external display I use quite often if that changes something.

    I know that I would be fine enough with none of the upgrade but i'm looking into keeping the computer for a long time so I want it to be performant as long as possible.

    Thanks,
    Pedro
     
  2. Matthias46 macrumors newbie

    Matthias46

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  3. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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  4. stempsons macrumors regular

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    Feb 15, 2014
    #4
    RAM, especially if you're planning to run a VM...
     
  5. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    Sunny Florida
  6. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

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    #6
    Considering the minute differences between the processor upgrades, you'd benefit from more RAM(especially running VMs) before you would ever notice the speed difference from the i7.

    Go for the RAM
     
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #7
    The RAM. There are several threads regarding this very question on the first page at the moment. The different is small enough to be considered insignificant between the two processors.

    Though to be honest, your uses warrant neither upgrade for the foreseeable future.
     
  8. danistyping macrumors regular

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    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #8
    Neither. But if you plan on keeping the computer for more than two years or so, get the RAM. Processor is meaningless for your uses.
     
  9. matt550 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 7, 2008
    #9
    I'm basically in the same boat. I've had my last macbook since late 2007. Still works... But time for an upgrade. I'd upgrade the RAM just to max it out. You never know, especially since you can't add it later. I hope to keep my new MacBook pro for as long as possible.
     
  10. 2IS macrumors 68030

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    Jan 9, 2011
    #10
    Neither. 8GB is enough for parallels, especially if you only rarely use it and the i5 is plenty powerful enough for all your uses. No reason to volunteer your money to Apple for upgrades that won't benefit you.
     
  11. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #11
    Neither.
     
  12. sevoneone macrumors 6502

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    May 16, 2010
    #13
    Between those two, RAM all the way. But, as others have mentioned, for your use, you probably won't see much difference between 8 and 16 GB of RAM.

    You would be surprised at how far 8GB will go on an SSD equipped Mac running Yosemite.

    You didn't mention what size SSD you were getting, but I might consider upgrading internal storage before processor or RAM. A 256 GB I think is the bare minimum to consider, but can get very tight very quick if you are used to keeping a large photo/video/music library. 512 should keep you happy for a good while.
     
  13. Hieveryone macrumors 68020

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  14. Cloudsurfer macrumors 65816

    Cloudsurfer

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    Netherlands
    #15
    I also go with neither. Your workflow doesn't look like it requires 16GB nor the small bump in speed to an i7.


    If you'd be a heavy VM user it would be a different case.
     
  15. greg99 macrumors member

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    Apr 2, 2010
    #18
    For the heavy VM user, would you also recommend the RAM side?

    Greg
     
  16. Pootan macrumors member

    Pootan

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    Oct 28, 2014
    #19
    Only reason you'd go i7 instead of ram is if you were running high throughput simulations on MATLAB. Needing 16 gb ram is equally fringe case, like running 16 VM's or something.
     
  17. Cloudsurfer macrumors 65816

    Cloudsurfer

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    #20
    If you're running multiple vm's more RAM is not a luxury.
     
  18. sprezz macrumors regular

    sprezz

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    Zurich, Switzerland
    #21
    which would make the calculation finish 5% faster at best. not worth the money, also, it's not like the MATLAB System is hooked up to some bleeding edge trading system where every nanosecond counts. there are other systems out there for that purpose.

    RAM all the way. if you're out of RAM you're dead. if your out of CPU cycles, just wait a few seconds.
     
  19. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #22
    Heck yes. VM's are RAM hungry, moreso that CPU hungry usually.
     
  20. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #23
    I would not buy any upgrades. If you are convinced you need more processing power and ram, just get the 15".
     
  21. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #24
    I played with the 13" and 15" at the store, and the 15" was just a tad too large for my taste. This will obviously vary from person to person.
     
  22. Pootan macrumors member

    Pootan

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    Oct 28, 2014
    #25
    That is not necessarily true, if you have a cache optimization simulation, increased cache size of i7 will end up almost twice as fast.

    Also being out of ram just means least used blocks in ram will be replaced and cached in the ssd, exactly what happens when you run out of space in the cpu cache, where it will be replaced and be put on ram. It only costs a few cpu cycles either way. Only time you will have heavy slow downs is when everything you want to access sequentially can't be cached in the ram at once, maybe if you are trying to live preview a 4gb video.

    ----------

    Don't get me the wron way, I'm not saying get the i7, I was just saying that either case is pretty fringe. Doubling ram or doubling cache would end up being about the same when you rarely tax both.
     

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