2017 non TB 16gb ram vs 2018 TB 8 gb ram

Su988

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 27, 2019
3
0
Hello all,

I am having a hard time deciding between 2017 non TB 16gb ram VS 2018 TB 8gb ram MacBook Pro 13”, both with 256 gb storage.

At this point I am leaning towards the non TB option. Would you choose ram over all the other good things the 2018 model has to offer (not you TB).

PS: I do UI design work so have many tabs and software running at the same time. N I’d like my laptop to last a while.

Any input would be appreciated. Thank you!
 

bosozoku

macrumors member
Feb 23, 2018
84
44
Tokyo
... Why not a 2018 with 16GB of RAM?
price, I think...
I would go with 16Gb of RAM. You do not need TB actually, and you do not want to run tasks that fully utilize 4 cores / 8 threads on slim 13 inch laptop either.
[doublepost=1551331634][/doublepost]
Hello all,

I am having a hard time deciding between 2017 non TB 16gb ram VS 2018 TB 8gb ram MacBook Pro 13”, both with 256 gb storage.

At this point I am leaning towards the non TB option. Would you choose ram over all the other good things the 2018 model has to offer (not you TB).

PS: I do UI design work so have many tabs and software running at the same time. N I’d like my laptop to last a while.

Any input would be appreciated. Thank you!
If you do design you will be fine with 2core cpu. Get 16Gb ram!
 

buran-energia

macrumors regular
Oct 9, 2017
241
76
It's not only touch bar and 2 cores, it's better gpu, speakers, true tone ability, bluetooth 5, faster wifi (2x2 vs 3x3?), most importantly, better cooling (2 fans vs 1), meaning less noise and heat under load or when plugged into 4k monitor. Try to get 2018 with TB and 16 (e.g. refurb).

edit: and probably better keyboard
 
Last edited:

filmbuff

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2011
807
141
price, I think...
I would go with 16Gb of RAM. You do not need TB actually, and you do not want to run tasks that fully utilize 4 cores / 8 threads on slim 13 inch laptop either.
[doublepost=1551331634][/doublepost]
If you do design you will be fine with 2core cpu. Get 16Gb ram!
Why? 4 cores and a better processor is great for day to day stuff. Light photo editing, happens faster. Files convert and export faster. Gotta convert a file with Handbrake? That's faster. Unzip a large file you downloaded? Faster. RAM is rarely a bottleneck unless you're running VMs.
 
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Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
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It's not only touch bar and 2 cores, it's better gpu, speakers, true tone ability, bluetooth 5, faster wifi (2x2 vs 3x3?), most importantly, better cooling (2 fans vs 1), meaning less noise and heat under load or when plugged into 4k monitor. Try to get 2018 with TB and 16 (e.g. refurb).

edit: and probably better keyboard

Seconded. I'd take the 2018 in a heartbeat.
(Yes 2x2 vs 3x3 is correct, the wifi is significantly faster on the TB vs nTB).
 
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Su988

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 27, 2019
3
0
Update: first thank you all for your replies.

So there is a refurb 13” 2018 TB with 16gb ram available at Apple store for a couple hundred bucks cheaper than the 13” 2018 TB 8gb ram brand new.

Which one would y’all go for?
[doublepost=1551371480][/doublepost]
It's not only touch bar and 2 cores, it's better gpu, speakers, true tone ability, bluetooth 5, faster wifi (2x2 vs 3x3?), most importantly, better cooling (2 fans vs 1), meaning less noise and heat under load or when plugged into 4k monitor. Try to get 2018 with TB and 16 (e.g. refurb).

edit: and probably better keyboard
So there is a refurb 13” 2018 TB with 16gb ram available at Apple store for a couple hundred bucks cheaper than the 13” 2018 TB 8gb ram brand new.

Which one would you say to go for?
 

Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
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1,983
Update: first thank you all for your replies.

So there is a refurb 13” 2018 TB with 16gb ram available at Apple store for a couple hundred bucks cheaper than the 13” 2018 TB 8gb ram brand new.

Which one would y’all go for?
I use a refurb. No issue in my experience, I’d buy a refurb again.
 

lambertjohn

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2012
1,041
1,017
I say just get the refurb 2018 16GB 13" MBP and move on with your life. In a year, the financial hit will be a mute issue. Typing this post on a 2015 15" refurb right now. Bought it direct from Apple, and for the two years I've owned it, it's been great. But I'd take a 2018 13" MBP in a heartbeat if I could afford it. Quad-core, True Tone, BT 5.0, faster wifi, 500 NIT screen, gen 3 keyboard, impressive battery life, nice compact size. Heck, I'd even settle for the 8GB version, but even on the refurb site they start at $1529. But if you've got the money, go for it!!
 
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Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
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1,983
I say just get the refurb 2018 16GB 13" MBP and move on with your life. In a year, the financial hit will be a mute issue. Typing this post on a 2015 15" refurb right now. Bought it direct from Apple, and for the two years I've owned it, it's been great. But I'd take a 2018 13" MBP in a heartbeat if I could afford it. Quad-core, True Tone, BT 5.0, faster wifi, 500 NIT screen, gen 3 keyboard, impressive battery life, nice compact size. Heck, I'd even settle for the 8GB version, but even on the refurb site they start at $1529. But if you've got the money, go for it!!

Wifi on the TB and 2015 is the same (802.11ac 3x3).

The 2016-2017 nTB and the Air line (including the 2018) are all slower than the 2015 Pro wifi.
 
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cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,334
1,709
You'll be fine with 8gb of RAM specifically with a 13" MBP for a couple reasons.

Knowing the machine has an iGPU your workload would need to be specific enough that you'd know if you needed more RAM. Example, allocating RAM to VM's....

While not always the case the vast majority of task that use a lot of RAM and need physical RAM (not compressed and not swap) are graphic intensive. So your bottleneck will be the iGPU for those task.

Since I have a 13" MBP i5 I performed a little demo. All I did was open DaVinci Resolve, opened a 4k@30hz video taken on my iPhone 6S and just started adding effects.

The entire time this is as bad as memory pressure got....

Screen Shot 2019-03-02 at 9.31.21 AM.png


Not good but reasonable considering the task I was asking of the laptop. The poor CPU/GPU though....

Screen Shot 2019-03-02 at 9.31.51 AM.png


The line at the far right is max temp and CPU cores 1-3 hit 100c and tjunction throttled performance. Even using proxies at 1/4 resolution was getting 20-30 fps and adding effects might as well been paused.

Now a more reasonable request would be iMovie and GIMP for image editing and the 13" MBP handles like a champ especially considering Safari, Mail, Messages, etc were also running in the background. Now this isn't fair since DaVinci does more it requires more but this is while using every option available in iMovie at the same 4k@30hz video.

Screen Shot 2019-03-02 at 8.14.51 AM.png


Screen Shot 2019-03-02 at 10.05.53 AM.png


Preview playback was smooth, never dropped off of 30fps.

The point I'm alluding to is 8gb will be fine for the 13" MBP because without a specific workload you'll likely be bounced off other performance bottlenecks. Getting 16gb of RAM could have little to no effect on system performance.

All that said, if 16gb is available and you can comfortably afford it definitely go for it. It won't hurt anything and it if you ever get an eGPU and your workload changes 8gb RAM could become a real problem.

Although I currently don't have one I try to keep my laptops on the less expensive side and use a more powerful desktop.
 
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Howard2k

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Mar 10, 2016
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Your argument of "8GB is enough" isn't particularly convincing when it's using another 1.5GB of swap.

Using swap doesn’t mean that system is broken. It just means it’s using swap. Plenty of folks use 8GB without issue.
 

Howard2k

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Mar 10, 2016
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It means you don't have enough RAM for the task you're trying to achieve.
Not necessarily, no. It might also mean that you have other applications open that are idle and consuming RAM and those apps can have their memory commitment moved to disk.

Again, there are plenty of people running with 8GB without issue.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,334
1,709
I apologize I probably wasn't clear enough.

Your argument of "8GB is enough" isn't particularly convincing when it's using another 1.5GB of swap.
It means you don't have enough RAM for the task you're trying to achieve.
For the most part I don't disagree with you. MacOS is swapping compressed memory to the SSD to make room for the active task. Having more RAM would have reduced swap usage. However its mostly compressed memory and doesn't effect performance. Memory pressure is what would effect performance as the system is using every bit of RAM it can spare.

I used video editing for example because it doesn't compress well. Throwing everything I could at to the point the CPU/GPU was rendering <1 FPS and thermal throttling due to tjmax I was able to get a small slice of yellow from the memory pressure (1.5gb of swap as well).

Adding 16gb of RAM to that situation is a moot point. While it would have reduced swap like you mentioned it wouldn't have mattered due to it not being the bottleneck.

If you NEED xx amount of RAM expect to see a little swap usage on occasion. However to be clear I'm not arguing that "8gb is enough" because there are situations it's not. All I was pointing out is the specs of the 13" MBP with the way MacOS memory management works there are going to be a lot of times that you will hit processing limitations before limitations due to 8gb of RAM.