Buying a new Macbook Pro

stefan.giba

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 29, 2019
4
0
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?
 

kindaichi81

macrumors regular
Nov 3, 2015
160
70
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?
1.4Ghz base model + 512GB SSD + 16GB should be your choice. future proof. u can easily use more than 5 to 10 years.
 
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ruslan120

macrumors 65816
Jul 12, 2009
1,134
842
16GB.

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.
 
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chabig

macrumors 604
Sep 6, 2002
6,768
3,978
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.
 

phillytim

macrumors 65816
Aug 12, 2011
1,312
628
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.
 
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jerryk

macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
5,920
2,990
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.
 

darkgremio

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2011
296
44
16gb for sure. I had trouble running and IDE, while compiling. Running a secondary tab for sandbox, while running a sub tab/side screen with safari running multiple tabs.
 
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