16GB RAM or 512GB SSD? What to choose?

jafingi

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 3, 2009
1,468
154
Denmark
Hey guys,

I'll be buying the Haswell 15" rMBP when it is announced, but I'm really unsure what I should upgrade.

First off, I had thought about upgrading to 16GB og RAM. But I'm honestly in doubt whether I will ever use that much RAM.

I will be using Photoshop and Windows 7 in Parallels. In my iMac I have 12GB, but I just upgraded it myself (it was initially a 4GB iMac) because it was so cheap. My current RAM usage looks like this:



My thought was to have the standard 256GB SSD, and then move my iTunes Library (90GB) to an external HDD or maybe the cloud.

But now I'm not sure whether I should go for the 16GB RAM or the 512GB SSD upgrade?

My budget is $2500, so I can't upgrade both. So it's either one thing, or the other.

What do you think I would benefit most of? I'm just thinking, I can always solve an eventual disk space "problem" with moving data to the cloud or an external HDD. But RAM can't be upgraded in any ways.

But one thing I am uncertain of is that IF I went with the 512GB SSD and just 8GB RAM, and I in (maybe rare) events use more than 8GB RAM, OSX would just use the pagefile on the SSD, and that would maybe be fast enough (faster than a 7200rpm HDD) so not making me notice the 8GB RAM is maxed out?

What do you think? Anyone else using a 8GB RAM rMBP with Photoshop and a VM?

I normally use it for development (web development in Sublime Text 2), XCode iOS development, Photoshop designing (webdesign - no photo editing), and Windows for Visual Studio in a Parallels VM. Normally only have 2-3 tabs open in Chrome, and iTunes playing music. Mail is always open :)
 
Last edited:

SpoekGTi

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2012
131
1
The Netherlands
Hey guys,

I'll be buying the Haswell 15" rMBP when it is announced, but I'm really unsure what I should upgrade.

First off, I had thought about upgrading to 16GB og RAM. But I'm honestly in doubt whether I will ever use that much RAM.

I will be using Photoshop and Windows 7 in Parallels. In my iMac I have 12GB, but I just upgraded it myself (it was initially a 4GB iMac) because it was so cheap. My current RAM usage looks like this:

Image

My thought was to have the standard 256GB SSD, and then move my iTunes Library (90GB) to an external HDD or maybe the cloud.

But now I'm not sure whether I should go for the 16GB RAM or the 512GB SSD upgrade?

My budget is $2500, so I can't upgrade both. So it's either one thing, or the other.

What do you think I would benefit most of? I'm just thinking, I can always solve an eventual disk space "problem" with moving data to the cloud or an external HDD. But RAM can't be upgraded in any ways.

But one thing I am uncertain of is that IF I went with the 512GB SSD and just 8GB RAM, and I in (maybe rare) events use more than 8GB RAM, OSX would just use the pagefile on the SSD, and that would maybe be fast enough (faster than a 7200rpm HDD) so not making me notice the 8GB RAM is maxed out?

What do you think? Anyone else using a 8GB RAM rMBP with Photoshop and a VM?

I normally use it for development (web development in Sublime Text 2), XCode iOS development, Photoshop designing (webdesign - no photo editing), and Windows for Visual Studio in a Parallels VM. Normally only have 2-3 tabs open in Chrome, and iTunes playing music. Mail is always open :)

I would go for the 16GB and 256GB, its easier to get a SSD upgrade in the future for the rMBP than to solder 8GB of extra ram onto it :)

I use a lot of VM's (mostly 3+) on my Air with 8GB and it runs fine cause of the swap on the SSD when needed
 

jafingi

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 3, 2009
1,468
154
Denmark
I would go for the 16GB and 256GB, its easier to get a SSD upgrade in the future for the rMBP than to solder 8GB of extra ram onto it :)

I use a lot of VM's (mostly 3+) on my Air with 8GB and it runs fine cause of the swap on the SSD when needed
I had not seen you could buy SSD replacements (OWC) for the rMBP! Well, since that's the case, I'll definitely go for the 16GB RAM! :)
 

SpoekGTi

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2012
131
1
The Netherlands
May your new rMBP be presented and shipped swiftly to you :p, i'm sitting it out for the next 3 yrs, i dont believe my Air needs to be replace in 1 year already.

Maybe in 2016 i'm getting a rMBP for at home, for on the road i still prefer the Air.
 

tann

macrumors 68000
Apr 15, 2010
1,720
401
UK
I would say go for the 16gb of ram over the extra ssd space, unless you need to install a hefty sized bootcamp partition or something similar.

Most hard drive space issues can be solved with external hard drives.

Enjoy your new computer!
 

UBS28

macrumors 65816
Oct 2, 2012
1,073
359
I would go for the 16GB and 256GB, its easier to get a SSD upgrade in the future for the rMBP than to solder 8GB of extra ram onto it :)

I use a lot of VM's (mostly 3+) on my Air with 8GB and it runs fine cause of the swap on the SSD when needed
But then you void your warranty if you replace it with those custom made OWC drives?

----------

Hey guys,

I'll be buying the Haswell 15" rMBP when it is announced, but I'm really unsure what I should upgrade.

First off, I had thought about upgrading to 16GB og RAM. But I'm honestly in doubt whether I will ever use that much RAM.

I will be using Photoshop and Windows 7 in Parallels. In my iMac I have 12GB, but I just upgraded it myself (it was initially a 4GB iMac) because it was so cheap. My current RAM usage looks like this:

Image

My thought was to have the standard 256GB SSD, and then move my iTunes Library (90GB) to an external HDD or maybe the cloud.

But now I'm not sure whether I should go for the 16GB RAM or the 512GB SSD upgrade?

My budget is $2500, so I can't upgrade both. So it's either one thing, or the other.

What do you think I would benefit most of? I'm just thinking, I can always solve an eventual disk space "problem" with moving data to the cloud or an external HDD. But RAM can't be upgraded in any ways.

But one thing I am uncertain of is that IF I went with the 512GB SSD and just 8GB RAM, and I in (maybe rare) events use more than 8GB RAM, OSX would just use the pagefile on the SSD, and that would maybe be fast enough (faster than a 7200rpm HDD) so not making me notice the 8GB RAM is maxed out?

What do you think? Anyone else using a 8GB RAM rMBP with Photoshop and a VM?

I normally use it for development (web development in Sublime Text 2), XCode iOS development, Photoshop designing (webdesign - no photo editing), and Windows for Visual Studio in a Parallels VM. Normally only have 2-3 tabs open in Chrome, and iTunes playing music. Mail is always open :)
I would save a bit more money and then go for the 16 GB + 512 gb SSD setup.
 

Freyqq

macrumors 601
Dec 13, 2004
4,017
169
tough decision

ram can never be upgraded, so you're stuck with what you get. Storage can be supplemented by an external drive or the cloud pretty easily.

On the other hand, sounds like storage space is probably more likely to be useful for you.
 

jafingi

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 3, 2009
1,468
154
Denmark
Thanks for all your replies guys! Really appreciate it!

I'll be going with the 16GB RAM over the 512GB SSD, as the RAM is soldered on, and I can upgrade the SSD if I ever run out of space (and I don't have a problem carrying around a small external HDD for my music files - which I almost doesn't listen to other than when I'm home).

Also, I'm thinking of a solution, where I'll have my iTunes library on a Time Capsule. I'm only listening to music at home anyways, so I think that'll be a good way to cut off that 80GB from the SSD :)

Now I'll just have to wait, and have my fingers crossed, hoping that Apple will present the new Haswell rMBP in 8 days :D Already sold my iMac, so I only have my 2008 MBP with SSD now. Still going strong, but I'm looking so much forward to getting the retina!
 

BigBeast

macrumors 6502a
Mar 6, 2009
643
40
I'd also do the 16GB RAM upgrade and upgrade the SSD myself via an OWC drive.

Additionally, I'd buy my MBP through eBay. I've purchased all of my Macs on eBay– both used and new. It can save you hundreds of dollars. The rMBP I am currently typing this post on is the maxed out model from 2012, which I purchased on eBay. I saved approx. $500 by not having to pay tax, and getting a lower than retail price.
 

jafingi

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 3, 2009
1,468
154
Denmark
I'd also do the 16GB RAM upgrade and upgrade the SSD myself via an OWC drive.

Additionally, I'd buy my MBP through eBay. I've purchased all of my Macs on eBay– both used and new. It can save you hundreds of dollars. The rMBP I am currently typing this post on is the maxed out model from 2012, which I purchased on eBay. I saved approx. $500 by not having to pay tax, and getting a lower than retail price.
I buy small stuff on eBay, but never computers. I live in Denmark, so the shipping would be very expensive (also, there are some guarantee problems..).

So I buy directly from the Apple Store. The 15" base-rMBP with 16GB RAM costs 18519 DKK = $3230 USD.

The 512GB SSD upgrade costs whopping 2280 DKK = $400 USD.
 

BigBeast

macrumors 6502a
Mar 6, 2009
643
40
I buy small stuff on eBay, but never computers. I live in Denmark, so the shipping would be very expensive (also, there are some guarantee problems..).

So I buy directly from the Apple Store. The 15" base-rMBP with 16GB RAM costs 18519 DKK = $3230 USD.

The 512GB SSD upgrade costs whopping 2280 DKK = $400 USD.
I wow! I hadn't considered that. What about Macmall.com? I've ordered from them before as well- no tax at least. I'm not sure how it goes with Denmark though.
 

jafingi

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 3, 2009
1,468
154
Denmark
I wow! I hadn't considered that. What about Macmall.com? I've ordered from them before as well- no tax at least. I'm not sure how it goes with Denmark though.
If I buy from a country outside of EU, there will be added tax and toll fee when it arrives to Denmark :( So Apple Store or some of their Danish resellers are my only options unfortunately.
 

NewishMacGuy

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2007
636
0
This is really the quandary with the rMBP lines: due to the lack of easy and widely available aftermarket upgrades you have to pay Apple's vig to get a properly configured machine - and it's just too expensive.

I was in your boat last year when the retina first came out - needing a new laptop b/c my MacBook was REALLY old. And needing more than the standard rMBP-15 base config, but not being a multi-millionaire.

If you're running VMs, 16GB is awfully helpful as OSX really doesn't play well with 4GB systems these days. Windows 7 is marginally better (I think), but far from optimal. And if you're gonna pay $2500 for a laptop you darn sure should be able to put your 90GB media collection on it.

My solution was to hit up CL for some computer swapping and wait for Apple to pull a "MacBook Air" on the retina line. Sold the MB for $250, bought a 2011 uMBP-15 for $800 and added a 750GB hybrid drive & 16GB RAM upgrade for another $180. This'll do the trick until the rMBP starts shipping with a decent enough base configuration so that I can get what I need for less than $2500, which is still a lot of wood for a laptop.

Look at what's happened to the MBA pricing in the 4years that's been out. Those who bought the first one's paid dearly for the early-adopter status. Heck, I paid dearly to buy 2 original iPhones on Day One, only to have the price dropped significantly in my face a few short months later. Speaking as an ex-banker, I haven't had that kind of dough since before the financial crisis.

The pricing is actually nearly there now. I suspect that the 512GB drive will be base config soon, or that the prices will drop by a few hundred bucks, maybe even 8 days hence!


___
 

ltorrelles

macrumors newbie
Nov 16, 2012
28
1
Barcelona, Spain
I'd rather wait to see how the new rMBP is like on the inside, but if it keeps the same structure as of now, I'd go with 16GB of ram, no doubt.

You can even make the SSD switching yourself later on, it doesn't happen the same with the RAM.
 

TheBearman

macrumors 6502
May 23, 2008
432
72
Cary, NC
But then you void your warranty if you replace it with those custom made OWC drives?

----------

I don't believe that's the case. I know several folks who have done this without issue. Still might be worth checking.

As for the original question, as others have said memory can't be upgraded so I'd suggest the 16gb of RAM.