Buying a new Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by stefan.giba, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. stefan.giba macrumors newbie


    Jul 29, 2019
    Hello guys. I am studying Computer Science and I'm looking forward to buying a new Macbook Pro. I was thinking about getting the 13 inch version, but I'm not sure if it's worth it to invest more money into getting 16GB of RAM, or just getting the base 8GB. At least 512GB of SSD are not an option since I tend to store most of my stuff on my laptop. As for what I do, I am currently working in Web Development, but my personal projects involve mobile development as well as some Machine Learning tasks.
    What should I do?
  2. kindaichi81 macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2015
    1.4Ghz base model + 512GB SSD + 16GB should be your choice. future proof. u can easily use more than 5 to 10 years.
  3. ruslan120 macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2009

    Regrettably 8GB is not enough if you're doing more than basic tasks (IMO).

    You'll be researching a lot for CS which means a lot of web tabs. Running complex programs later in the college career -> more RAM usage. With 8GB it might work adequately, but chances are you'll be using tons of swap which will not be good for the SSD... which is soldered on.
  4. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    I will disagree with the other and suggest that 8GB is enough. MacOS is very efficient with RAM. I routinely run 5 or 6 GUI apps alongside a Windows 10 VM and it all works fine with 8GB. Memory pressure is always in the green. But if you've got an extra $200 laying around--sure, go for the RAM.
  5. phillytim, Jul 29, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019

    phillytim macrumors 65816


    Aug 12, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    It is ridiculous for a $1000+ computing appliance, which cannot be opened up & upgraded at all, to come with less than 16GB RAM these days.

    If you're in computer science, then yeahhhh - no brainer - pay for the RAM & SSD upgrades.

    Both MacOS and apps will grow, as will your own unforseen needs, and become more hungry for resources over the next 4 years.

    Frankly you may be best served with a 15" MacBook Pro - especially for your eyes, since you are talking about extensive programming - which already comes with 16GB RAM.

    From one past computer science major, you're welcome.
  6. ruslan120 macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2009
    Ayy same here! This should be renamed, "the CompSci thread".

    Stefan, let me know if you need pointers in the future.

    (sorry I'll show myself out).
  7. jerryk macrumors 601

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I would go with 16 GB if you can. If you do anything where you want to run the front in web components and the back end server with DB and processes all you machine you will want the extra memory. And ML likes a lot of memory.

    The downside of the Mac for ML is that if does utilize a Nvidia GPU, so tensor (n-dimension structures) operations so prevalent in ML can be slow. For training small models this make be OK. But, if you plan on doing much you may want to consider cloud based environments like Colab, or a non-Mac system with a Nvidia GPU running Linux or Windows.

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6 July 29, 2019