Faster CPU (2014) or more RAM (2013)?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Taylorman22, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. Taylorman22 macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2014
    With this week's sale on the 2.8 i5 13.3 MBP (8gb, 512mb sad) and a 10% Best Buy coupon, I was set to purchase one tomorrow for $1630 out the door. However, I just read that the ram is soldered on and the SSD is also proprietary.

    So, I looked at the apple refurb page and there is an October 2013 2.6 i5 with 16gb RAM and 512 ssd for $1599. From what I can tell in the benchmarks, the 2013 2.6 is not a whole lot slower than the 2014 2.8. But, this has double the RAM, which will probably serve me better, longer.

    Is there any reason why I should buy the 2014 model over the older model with more RAM? Would the older model with more ram, in the real world, run and process faster than the newer one with less ram?
  2. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    In most cases, there is little reason to get the faster CPU/less RAM over the slower CPU/more RAM. Get the latter.
  3. blooperz macrumors 6502

    Dec 10, 2013
    I highly doubt you'll notice a difference between 8 gig and 16 gigs of RAM unless your one of the 2% of power users that actually need it. The diminishing returns on the benefit from increasing RAM kicks in hard after the 8 gig mark. That being said since it seems your only considering these 2 options and don't mind spending that sort of money on a dual core machine, I would go with the 2nd one. You'll probably never notice the difference between the 2 processors in side by side usage, unless your running some sort of benchmark test.
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    I'd go for the late-2013 variant with 16GB of RAM, because the 2.6GHz i5-4288U and 2.8GHz i5-4308U perform almost identically.

    The RAM would be far more beneficial.
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    You didn't state how you'll use the computer so its impossible to say if you need the ram or not.

    Most people don't need the 16GB of ram, and based on then generality I'd recommend the best buy. Why buy a slower computer just because it has more ram that you may not even use.
  6. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Maflynn hits the nail on the head. The 2014 is technicaly faster and noone knows what apps you are running.
  7. Taylorman22 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2014
    Ugh....I can't believe i forgot to mention how I'll be using it. I would prefer quad core, but portability is huge to me, so it needs to be 13".

    I will be using it for general purpose stuff like word, excel, internet, etc...same as everyone. In addition, I'll be using quite a bit of Photoshop, some Final Cut Pro and iMovie, as well as Apple Mainstage with a midi controller for live music.

    I would prefer both, but am operating within a budget. My thought is that in this case more memory would be better over the long haul. From what I can tell on benchmarks, there isn't much difference between the CPUs at this level.
  8. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    You're right. The difference between the 2.6GHz and 2.8GHz is almost nonexistent.

    Go for the late-2013 with 16GB of RAM.
  9. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    I disagree, there is almost nothing to separate the CPU's so the "faster" one will still be almost no different now or in 5yrs.

    The RAM on the other hand looks far more likely to be beneficial over the same time span, more Apps or more memory-hungry apps, who knows but there is considerable possible upside to the extra ram but almost none on the extra cpu speed.
  10. acctman macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2012
    go for the speed, ram is not needs as much as it use to... remember in 2005 when systems need 16-32gb of ram to do what a 8gb system can do now. go for speed...
  11. taelan28 macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2014
    i couldnt be further from a novice on computers and software as i havent really used word in 5 years but WHAT!?!?
  12. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    WHAT is was what I was going to write.

  13. MannyBothans macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2014
    To throw another wrinkle in, I ordered the exact same 2013 refurb last week, and it arrived with an upgraded processor anyway- 2.8ghz i7. Obviously it's a crapshoot, but it stands to reason that many purchasers who loaded up on RAM and SSD would also upgrade the processor when they ordered. Mine only had 4 charging cycles when I got it.
  14. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    For your uses, you won't benefit from 16GB of RAM. However, given the how close in performance of the CPUs are, 16GB would be the better deal.
  15. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    Go with a refurb 2013 2.6GHz/8GB/512GB model and save $160. Use that money towards AppleCare and beer.

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