Best upgrade for 15inch rMBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ipodmac, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. ipodmac macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2012
    I only want to upgrade 1 thing really so was thinking of upgrading the RAM to 16GB. Is this the best upgrade or is the processor upgrade to 2.6GHz a better upgrade?

  2. jetjaguar macrumors 68030


    Apr 6, 2009
  3. ipodmac thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2012
    Yeah I heard that the processor upgrade wasn't really worth it? I see you have the 2.6GHz version.
  4. Doctor Suarez macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2006
    Agreed. That's what I did on the order I just placed. My editor friend who pushes his Macs hard says CPU is the last place to spend money. A quad-core i7 is overkill for just about anything these days.

    As for the SSD, it really does depend. I was all set to insist on going with a 1TB HDD in an iMac, until my friend pointed out that for most people our data footprint is actually shrinking. He was dead-on. I use Spotify, so I don't need to hoard all that music on my hard drive anymore, and any movie files I keep are used so rarely it's just silly to keep them on the main disk taking up space.

    I wound up going with the 256 GB SSD, and a cheap USB 3 external HDD for media hoarding. Without the 150 GB of rarely-accessed media data, my entire data footprint is closer to 100 GB.
  5. SAIRUS macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2008
    Yeah RAM is more important.

    ...although I got the 2.6 version myself. I mean unless you're really made of money, this laptop is meant to last some time, so why not spring the extra for the CPU as well?

    Oh I run a LOT of virtualization software. Some people run Windows, pff, I run servers.
  6. Erasmus macrumors 68030


    Jun 22, 2006
    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    If you run out of RAM, and have to use virtual memory with a normal hard disk, you are in for a world of slow hurt. Replace the HDD with a SSD, and RAM limitations aren't nearly as bad.

    So yes, as the other posters have said, the CPU upgrade isn't worth it to most people, and the RAM upgrade is probably a safer choice. Unless you use programs like Handbrake that can load the CPU to 100% for extended periods of time, but don't use much RAM. In that case, the CPU upgrade is for you.

    But if you don't use either CPU or RAM demanding apps very often, you could certainly do without either, and would probably never notice the difference. 8GB RAM is enough for pretty much everyone, including me, for at least a couple of years. Unless you're massively into virtualisation, of course.

    The only potential problem is that if you DO start using large amounts of virtual RAM on a SSD constantly, you could burn through your write cycles, and kill your SSD within a few years. But if you use that much RAM, you would know it, and wouldn't be asking us whether RAM upgrades are worth it.
  7. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    The RAM is the best upgrade. The processor isn't really going to make of a difference for most people (and usually if it did you'd know). The 256GB SSD is fine for a lot of folks and if you really want you can upgrade that down the line. OWC makes SSDs for the rMBP.
  8. iLikeTheShiny macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2013
    It totally depends on what you'll be doing on it. Depending on your usage, you may not need or notice any of them. It also depends on your data footprint. Figure out what's most important for your case, and then the decision will be easier.

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