Architecture Student - rMBP, 8 GB or 16 GB of RAM?

11800506

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 31, 2007
1,060
1
Washington D.C. Area
Hey everyone,

I'm an architecture student about to buy a rMBP and am wondering if it is worth it to upgrade to 16 GB of RAM over the standard 8. I'm going to be using my computer for the next 4 years at the least, so I'm most worried about future proofing (since RAM is soldered onto the logic board). I'll be running programs like Rhino, AutoCAD, Revit, CS6, VRay, etc.

Any thoughts? I'm planning on getting the 2.6 config, RAM is just the last sticking point
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,419
759
If you can afford it, go with 16GB. You may never need that much, but since you can't change your mind and upgrade later, it's better to be safe than sorry.
 

AZREOSpecialist

macrumors 68020
Mar 15, 2009
2,117
925
Since the RAM chips are physically attached to the motherboard, not plug-in and upgradeable as in the regular MBP, I would get the 16 GB. The cost is minimal and it will carry you into the future. While 8 GB may be okay for today, it may be insufficient two years from now, and then what?
 

mohsy90

macrumors 65816
Feb 4, 2011
1,332
1
New York
I would highly suggest 16GB ram, once those programs are optimized for retina they'll definitely be using up more Ram. You likely won't exceed 8GB but better be safe than sorry. $180 upgrade to "future proof" it
 

EatMyApple

macrumors 6502
Dec 2, 2008
380
1
I have a rMBP with 2.7 and 16GB RAM running CS6 and AutoCAD 2013 flawlessly, although I am getting around 7-8GB Used RAM (along with other apps) in Activity Monitor.

I recommend getting 16GB RAM then you have nothing to worry about.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,721
1,820
CS6 has a current recommendation of 8. I've always found their recommendations to be slightly low, but that's where software recommendations are going. 8 is becoming the norm, and it's the standard shipping configuration on many windows based options that are no more memory intensive than their OSX counterparts. While I normally like to suggest these things as a 2-3 year investment when calculating budget, I'm aware that there isn't much of a range in these today. I'd go with 16 just because I feel 8 is cutting it slightly close. It's twice as much, but ram mostly goes in x2 increments.
 

adrian1480

macrumors 6502
Sep 2, 2010
270
0
16GB all day.

Honestly, I don't know if i'd buy the rMBP at all. the price for 16GB of ram is stupid considering you can buy 16GB of ram for the regular 15" MBP for $140, and considering you can remove the optical drive on the MBP and replace it with a second hard drive or SSD.

The regular MBP's are by far the better buys for power users and people who are doing serious work because it's by far the more flexible system. And flexibility has its own value.

Price out what a similar 15" MBP would be with 16GB of aftermarket ram (say the 4GB config from Apple) and a second hard drive/ssd. Look at those specs, then ask yourself whether a high-resolution laptop display is worth the extra $1000+ you're looking at paying, and for less storage. Hell, with that extra $1000-$1500, you could buy a top-of-the-line Dreamcolor IPS desktop monitor that you can keep and use regardless of what laptop you own in the future.

Food for thought.
 

uhslax24

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2012
348
73
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA
16GB all day.

Honestly, I don't know if i'd buy the rMBP at all. the price for 16GB of ram is stupid considering you can buy 16GB of ram for the regular 15" MBP for $140, and considering you can remove the optical drive on the MBP and replace it with a second hard drive or SSD.

The regular MBP's are by far the better buys for power users and people who are doing serious work because it's by far the more flexible system. And flexibility has its own value.

Price out what a similar 15" MBP would be with 16GB of aftermarket ram (say the 4GB config from Apple) and a second hard drive/ssd. Look at those specs, then ask yourself whether a high-resolution laptop display is worth the extra $1000+ you're looking at paying, and for less storage. Hell, with that extra $1000-$1500, you could buy a top-of-the-line Dreamcolor IPS desktop monitor that you can keep and use regardless of what laptop you own in the future.

Food for thought.
Isn't the ram upgrade $150 for students though?
 

jterp7

macrumors 6502a
Oct 26, 2011
905
35
16GB all day.

Honestly, I don't know if i'd buy the rMBP at all. the price for 16GB of ram is stupid considering you can buy 16GB of ram for the regular 15" MBP for $140, and considering you can remove the optical drive on the MBP and replace it with a second hard drive or SSD.

The regular MBP's are by far the better buys for power users and people who are doing serious work because it's by far the more flexible system. And flexibility has its own value.

Price out what a similar 15" MBP would be with 16GB of aftermarket ram (say the 4GB config from Apple) and a second hard drive/ssd. Look at those specs, then ask yourself whether a high-resolution laptop display is worth the extra $1000+ you're looking at paying, and for less storage. Hell, with that extra $1000-$1500, you could buy a top-of-the-line Dreamcolor IPS desktop monitor that you can keep and use regardless of what laptop you own in the future.

Food for thought.
unless you're referring to last gen (which are a great deal at Microcenter right now), I don't see how you're getting the 1 grand in savings. Using the comparable cMBP model at 2199 w/ the 2.6 i7 + 1gb 650m, you're still looking at what $115 for 16gb + $700 for a samsung 830 ssd. So $15 more to do it yourself + conventional screen (another $100 for AG or glossy hi-res, so $3114 to do it yourself). The better question is if he MUST have the optical drive or needs the capability for 2 internal HDs. The loss of FW/gigE is significant, but not the biggest difference between the two. The real question is what the OP thinks about the screen, the weight difference, and whether he needs the optical drive and/or the capability to put in 2 HDs.

Summary: regular 2012 MBP with self upgrades = $3114 vs $2999 for equivalent retina MBP done by Apple
 

11800506

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 31, 2007
1,060
1
Washington D.C. Area
Wow! Lots more responses than I was expecting.

I was leaning towards getting the 16 GB, but now I think I definitely will go for it. While the additional $180 (student pricing) is a lot for my budget, I can afford it, and it definitely seems to make the most sense.

As for getting a non-retina Macbook Pro instead, that certainly is the more rational choice and I would get more bang for my buck. However, since I currently have the original unibody Macbook Pro, I (perhaps irrationally) wouldn't want to spend $2000+ just to get a computer that looks exactly the same as the one I have now. And not to add that the weight savings of the rMBP will be really nice since I carry my computer around a lot, and of course, the fact that the retina display is gorgeous.

Thanks everyone :)
 

stevelam

macrumors 65816
Nov 4, 2010
1,215
3
Wow! Lots more responses than I was expecting.

I was leaning towards getting the 16 GB, but now I think I definitely will go for it. While the additional $180 (student pricing) is a lot for my budget, I can afford it, and it definitely seems to make the most sense.

As for getting a non-retina Macbook Pro instead, that certainly is the more rational choice and I would get more bang for my buck. However, since I currently have the original unibody Macbook Pro, I (perhaps irrationally) wouldn't want to spend $2000+ just to get a computer that looks exactly the same as the one I have now. And not to add that the weight savings of the rMBP will be really nice since I carry my computer around a lot, and of course, the fact that the retina display is gorgeous.

Thanks everyone :)
thats ridiculous. also consider the fact that autocad/vray/hell even the adobe software probably won't be updated for retina display for quite a long time, making the 'gorgeous' screen useless to you.
 

jcpb

macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2012
860
0
thats ridiculous. also consider the fact that autocad/vray/hell even the adobe software probably won't be updated for retina display for quite a long time, making the 'gorgeous' screen useless to you.
He can always work at 1:1, why does this matter?
 

vsighi

macrumors 6502
Jun 22, 2010
413
3
San Diego, CA
You know this is all about the money here. You got the money, you will get the 16Gb if you don't...then you get the one @ Best Buy with $ 110.00 off regular price. :rolleyes:

Also show me what can you do with 16Gb of memory and I can't do with 8Gb...just your loading time will be faster.
:apple::apple::apple:
 

Angus9541

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2012
46
0
Rocket scientist/web designer/pro photographer and hard core gamer, 8 or 16 gb of ram, please help!!!!!! :p
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,419
759
Rocket scientist/web designer/pro photographer and hard core gamer, 8 or 16 gb of ram, please help!!!!!! :p
I can fix you up with the maxed-out RAM from one of my earlier notebooks.... a whopping 384MB of RAM! Don't spend it all in one place! :D

Depending on what games and what kind of rockets, you're probably safer going with 16.
 

gnomocop

macrumors newbie
Aug 2, 2012
1
0
I am also an architecture student and I'd been using AutoCAD, Rhino, Photoshop, etc... and I am sure that with a computer that worths 2000€ + you shouldn't worry about the performance. But, as they said before, if you can pay the extra cash you should probably get it, not really a huge performance difference but maybe useful for some tasks.

I don't think you'll note the difference between 8gb/16gb and to be honest I'd been using my desktop computer since the last 5 years with only 4gb RAM and my experience says that if you have any problem using AutoCAD it is because... AutoCAD sucks.

Don't get me wrong: it is, by far, the most extended CAD software and probably the best, but sometimes it is annoying and having 8gb or 16gb wouldn't make a difference...
 

11800506

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 31, 2007
1,060
1
Washington D.C. Area
I am also an architecture student and I'd been using AutoCAD, Rhino, Photoshop, etc... and I am sure that with a computer that worths 2000€ + you shouldn't worry about the performance. But, as they said before, if you can pay the extra cash you should probably get it, not really a huge performance difference but maybe useful for some tasks.

I don't think you'll note the difference between 8gb/16gb and to be honest I'd been using my desktop computer since the last 5 years with only 4gb RAM and my experience says that if you have any problem using AutoCAD it is because... AutoCAD sucks.

Don't get me wrong: it is, by far, the most extended CAD software and probably the best, but sometimes it is annoying and having 8gb or 16gb wouldn't make a difference...
I'm with you there... AutoCAD especially for Mac sucks big time. And I do know that loading times won't be substantially different with 8 or 16 GB of RAM (I mean, I've been using my current 4 year old MBP with 8 GB of RAM thus far and it's been sufficient), but the reason I'm getting 16 GB is because this will be my main workstation for the next four years (at least), and I want it to be able to deal with the demands of software 4 years in the future.

The computer has been ordered, now all that is left is to wait until it comes (between August 21 and 23 :()
 

Rohebot

macrumors newbie
Jul 4, 2012
26
0
Hey everyone,

I'm an architecture student about to buy a rMBP and am wondering if it is worth it to upgrade to 16 GB of RAM over the standard 8. I'm going to be using my computer for the next 4 years at the least, so I'm most worried about future proofing (since RAM is soldered onto the logic board). I'll be running programs like Rhino, AutoCAD, Revit, CS6, VRay, etc.

Any thoughts? I'm planning on getting the 2.6 config, RAM is just the last sticking point
I'm just finishing up my thesis and my advice is to go base + 16gb. Use the money you saved upgrading to buy a PC.

I used my old MBP for rhino/vray/autocad and it just wasn't enough. You need quite a powerhouse for vray and revit and it's too expensive in a mac. I bought the Asus G73JH over a year ago and it's still a powerhouse.

Having both means you don't have to infect your mac with windows ;) it's really nice to have 2 computers too because you can leave one to render and then keep working graphics (or watch movies while you model) on the other.

It's expensive, but hey... so is an education and a computer is a drop in the bucket.

On a side note, forget autocad. It's going to way of hand-drafting. all you need is revit and illustrator. The firm I work for has already mostly phased autocad out already, revit is the future!

r.
 

jamswirl

macrumors regular
Feb 25, 2011
114
0
Go 16. I do architecture and some complex models and renders in revit have used upwards of 10gb ram at times.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,350
4,862
The regular MBP's are by far the better buys for power users and people who are doing serious work because it's by far the more flexible system. And flexibility has its own value.
The retina version is lighter (more mobile) and has better expansion options due to dual TB. I hardly see how its less flexible.
 

greygray

macrumors 68000
Oct 22, 2009
1,848
1
16GB will allow you to go a long way. You can also skip the next few iterations of the rMBP.