Difference between 512GB SSD models worth it?

MrCookieMonster

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 13, 2014
47
4
I hate seeing threads asking which model someone should buy, but I am finding myself in the same dilemma :D

I know I want minimum of 512GB SSD and a max of 13" screen which leaves me with:
  • Macbook 1.3Ghz @ £1549
  • Macbook Pro NTB 2.3Ghz @ £1649
  • Macbook Pro TB 3.1Ghz @ £1949
Primary tasks would be around coding Xcode (not massive heavy lifting) and the usual stack of products around this, then occasional photo/video editing.

I like the slightly larger screen real estate of the Pro v Macbook for coding, but I am slightly concerned about the fan noise I see mentioned for the Pro NTB model which is mentioned quite a bit.

This then leaves the £1949 model which for 8GB is fairly high (for the spec) (in my eyes).

Just wondering if anyones is coding against these options and what their thoughts are?

Im coming from a Mid 2009 Macbook Pro (with SSD and 4GB) which is showing its ages and limiting a number of things I do (or at least impacting my workflow).

Any thoughts appreciated..
 

CheesePuff

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2008
682
440
Southwest Florida, USA
  • Macbook Pro NTB 2.3Ghz @ £1649 all the way for the best bang for your buck and performance for what you're looking for, along with the slightly larger display which is crucial for Xcode.
 
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andy9l

macrumors 68000
Aug 31, 2009
1,697
364
England, UK
As soon as you mention Xcode, you're onto the MBPs.

I put up with a 12" MB and Xcode for 2 years. I thought it was "fine for a laptop". Then I got my 2017 3.1GHz TB MBP. Holy moly was I wrong.

I've mentioned in another thread today that 8GB is exceptionally low for a developer's use case. At least for my usage it was - constantly in the amber/orange memory pressure.

I would strongly advise prioritising RAM over the 28W CPU or Touch Bar. As a dev, you're like going to end up forcing the Touch Bar to show standard Fn keys anyway. The 28W CPU has been shown to only provide real benefit when you're stressing both the CPU and GPU at the same time (which causes throttling to base speeds).
 
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MrCookieMonster

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 13, 2014
47
4
Thanks.

I was set on the nTB model and as you say adding more memory. I like TouchId but aren't worried about the TouchBar at the moment.

This was until I started reading about the fan set up being different between TB and nTB models.

I get the impression the fan noise is quite loud on the nTB models and I am seeing it mentioned quite a bit. I know forums tend to focus on the negative. But its put a question mark over this model in my mind...

How have you found the fan. Do you stress it much and when it kicks in how is the noise?
 

andy9l

macrumors 68000
Aug 31, 2009
1,697
364
England, UK
Thanks.

I was set on the nTB model and as you say adding more memory. I like TouchId but aren't worried about the TouchBar at the moment.

This was until I started reading about the fan set up being different between TB and nTB models.

I get the impression the fan noise is quite loud on the nTB models and I am seeing it mentioned quite a bit. I know forums tend to focus on the negative. But its put a question mark over this model in my mind...

How have you found the fan. Do you stress it much and when it kicks in how is the noise?
Well I have a 2017 13" Touch Bar 3.1GHz / 16GB / 256GB model - so I've got "the quiet model". When first setting it up and pulling all my data from iCloud / processing imported videos etc. the fans ramped up for an extended time. It's just a very soft and consistent whisper sound. Like someone saying "shhh" but incredibly softly. It 'sounds well-built', if that's even possible.

The other time I noticed them ramp up for an extended period is when watching Twitch full screen on a 4K screen. Macs or Safari seem to hate that platform - same on my near-maxed 5K iMac. If you're not a huge nerd who watches gaming though, that's not going to be an issue.

Other than that, I don't think I've really heard them. Although I do spend a lot of time with headphones on!
 

deany

macrumors 68030
Sep 16, 2012
2,873
2,088
North Wales
Assuming Xcode worked well on the 2015...anyone Chip in?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Apple-MacB...=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B00UTCKMW0


https://uk.camelcamelcamel.com/Apple-MacBook-Display-13-inch-Yosemite/product/B00UTCKMW0

I'd look for £1200, I think those sub £1200 are incorrect on the camelcamelcamel graph.

I am bias towards the 2015 though with a 4K https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00WUACDIU/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 display paid for in the difference on the 2016
 
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TokMok3

macrumors 6502a
Aug 22, 2015
618
395
I'm running Xcode 9 on a MacBook Pro 2015 with 16GB RAM, at this very moment I have Safary, Preview for reading a Pdf and Xcode 9 running an App on the simulator(iPad) and the available memory for the system shows 6.62GB RAM of the 16GB RAM. I will recommend the MacBook Pro with 16GB RAM, I will put the many on RAM because storage can be solve in many ways as others had advice. Xcode 9 takes a lot of RAM to run because the simulators are more polished. You need to take into consideration compiling time, because you are going to run an app for testing hundreds of times in a single day, when you have to do that, the seconds it takes to compile counts, time is money.

I noted that the temperature on the MacBook Pro increases and can hear the sound of the fans for 10 seconds only at the moment when the simulator starts running, then immediately the temperature decreases and the fans return to normal. Once the simulator is running on memory, I don't see a rise in temperature or hear the fans any more.
 
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andy9l

macrumors 68000
Aug 31, 2009
1,697
364
England, UK
I'm running Xcode 11 on a MacBook Pro 2015 with 16GB RAM, at this very moment I have Safary, Preview for reading a Pdf and Xcode 11 running an App on the simulator(iPad) and the available memory for the system shows 6.62GB RAM of the 16GB RAM.
Your Mac will always try to use all available RAM. If you had 32GB, then the Mac would try to use most of it too. Free RAM is utterly pointless.

The important thing to look at when deciding if you need more RAM or not is the memory pressure graph in Activity Monitor. This will tell you if you need more RAM. If it's high, it means your Mac is having to swap lots of data from RAM onto the SSD. This is slow, and you would benefit from more RAM.

If your Mac is using 7.5GB of RAM and you only have 8GB, but your memory pressure is low - you wouldn't benefit at all from more RAM. This goes against what 'available' suggests on face value.

Just thought I'd make this clear. It's an incredibly common misconception that available RAM bears any relevance to needing more RAM. It doesn't.

No company will want to educate people of this slight quirk - more users needlessly upgrading RAM is better for business.
 
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TokMok3

macrumors 6502a
Aug 22, 2015
618
395
Your Mac will always try to use all available RAM. If you had 32GB, then the Mac would try to use most of it too. Free RAM is utterly pointless.

The important thing to look at when deciding if you need more RAM or not is the memory pressure graph in Activity Monitor. This will tell you if you need more RAM. If it's high, it means your Mac is having to swap lots of data from RAM onto the SSD. This is slow, and you would benefit from more RAM.

If your Mac is using 7.5GB of RAM and you only have 8GB, but your memory pressure is low - you wouldn't benefit at all from more RAM. This goes against what 'available' suggests on face value.

Just thought I'd make this clear. It's an incredibly common misconception that available RAM bears any relevance to needing more RAM. It doesn't.

No company will want to educate people of this slight quirk - more users needlessly upgrading RAM is better for business.
The problem is that the memory in the new MacBook Pro is not user upgradable, because is soldered to the logic board and after investing in these expensive machines it will be wise to take memory into consideration. The only way to test for memory pressure is only after buying the machine. The less the machine has to swap data from memory to the SSD, the less stress for the machine. I could be wrong on that.
 

andy9l

macrumors 68000
Aug 31, 2009
1,697
364
England, UK
The problem is that the memory in the new MacBook Pro is not user upgradable, because is soldered to the logic board and after investing in these expensive machines it will be wise to take memory into consideration. The only way to test for memory pressure is only after buying the machine. The less the machine has to swap data from memory to the SSD, the less stress for the machine. I could be wrong on that.
That's been the case for several years now. If the user already has a Mac they can check their memory pressure on their existing machine.

You're correct RE the impact of swapping. I wasn't suggesting otherwise. Simply that 0.5GB 'available' doesn't mean anything at all these days.
 

MrCookieMonster

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 13, 2014
47
4
Thanks for all the responses.

I have decided to go for the base model MBP without the touch bar and instead upgrade to 16GB and 512SSD. Should be here in a few days!

Hopefully I made the right choice!
 

Daniel L

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2009
416
101
Thanks for all the responses.

I have decided to go for the base model MBP without the touch bar and instead upgrade to 16GB and 512SSD. Should be here in a few days!

Hopefully I made the right choice!
I think you made the best choice out of the 3. I have a touch bar 15 and the touch bar is useless
 

MrCookieMonster

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 13, 2014
47
4
I would have like the touch bar primarily for the touch id. The only other thing I liked the idea of was the extra fan after hearing some complaints about fan noise in the nonTB model. But hopefully it won't be too bad :)
 

TokMok3

macrumors 6502a
Aug 22, 2015
618
395
Thanks for all the responses.

I have decided to go for the base model MBP without the touch bar and instead upgrade to 16GB and 512SSD. Should be here in a few days!

Hopefully I made the right choice!
Personally, I think you take the better choice. Good luck and enjoy your new machine.
 
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