First time mac user, not sure which to get

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by emilymariez96, Dec 22, 2018.

  1. emilymariez96 macrumors newbie

    emilymariez96

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2018
    #1
    Hi, I am looking into purchasing my very first Macbook pro laptop. I am looking into getting them 2018 13 inch Macbook pro with 256 gb storage. I am not sure if I should stick with the base 8 gb of RAM or upgrade it to 16 gb of RAM.
    I am looking for a laptop to last awhile, hopefully throughout the last 2 and a half years of college. My main uses for the laptop will be school work, emails, google docs, Microsoft word/powerpoint, Youtube videos, and other social media platforms. I do frequently have a few tabs open at once, however, I never have more than 10 tabs open at a time. I am interested in possibly playing 1 game on the laptop, The Sims 4. I don't play often, and I am looking into switching over to playing on console, so if it is not possible for it to run smoothly on the Macbook pro it is not a big deal.

    I would always prefer to save a few bucks and stick with the 8 gb of RAM but if it is necessary I can get the 16 gb of RAM. I am not the most literate when it comes to tech so I'm not sure which one is best for me. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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  3. revmacian macrumors 6502a

    revmacian

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    Oct 20, 2018
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    #3
    I am writing this on a 2014 Mac mini, with 4GB RAM, and I do pretty much the same things you do, as noted in your post, with the exception of Microsoft apps. I have seen that my Mac mini handles everything rather well and I see no reason to upgrade to a new machine solely for the increase in RAM. macOS will use all available RAM, regardless of how much is installed, because macOS is based on BSD. And, in the BSD world there is a saying; "unused RAM is wasted RAM".

    I have also seen many notable YouTube tech people editing 4k video on a MacBook Air 2018 with 8GB RAM. Yes, you read that correctly.. editing 4k video.. with 8GB RAM. I think that is much more resource-intensive than what is included in your current workflow.

    If I were you, I would choose 8GB RAM and use any extra money to invest in more storage space or buy an external SSD.
     
  4. unglued macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2016
    #4
    8GB fits your use-case. When RAM gets low it will use your storage SSD space to page RAM. SSD is basically RAM and on Apple systems very fast you won't notice any difference. For games, you can check its software requirements I would guess it would require more video RAM than system RAM.

    You can visit an Apple Store and have someone help you load Activity Monitor to check Memory Pressure and stats as you load all your apps and test out the laptop. Also, your battery will last longer and temperatures lower with 8GB vs 16GB and you'll have $200 to spend at Starbucks for x-mas win win for everybody :)
     
  5. emilymariez96 thread starter macrumors newbie

    emilymariez96

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    Dec 22, 2018
    #5
    Thank you all for the quick and informed replies! I appreciate it!
     
  6. Dominus Mortem macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    #6
    I did a test between my 8gb and 16gb laptops and they were both pretty much able to do the same thing at about the same performance level with one reporting 7gb used and the other reporting 12gb used. I loaded up a couple hundred photos, had 20 Safari tabs open, App Store, iTunes, and a few other things. With more ram the apps just reserve larger amounts. You have to be doing some seriously intensive stuff to actually use up more than 8gb. I always want 16gb in my laptops, but honestly, it's a waste for me, and probably would be for you too.
     
  7. Howard2k macrumors 68000

    Howard2k

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    Mar 10, 2016
    #7
    For what you've described I'd buy 8GB. I drive mine far harder by the sounds of it and mine is totally ok on 8GB.
     
  8. revmacian macrumors 6502a

    revmacian

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    Oct 20, 2018
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    USA
    #8
    Also, keep in mind that the T2 chip in the new MacBook Pro machines offloads a lot of the work from the CPU. This will make the machine seem much more powerful that the specs would suggest.
     
  9. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #9
    If you want to keep it long term 256 gb won't last long.
     
  10. Howard2k macrumors 68000

    Howard2k

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    #10
    That’s absurd. If you know how to manage storage it’s a non-issue.
     
  11. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #11
    In this day no computer should come standard with anything less than 512 gb.
     
  12. OLDGUYWITHAHIFI Suspended

    OLDGUYWITHAHIFI

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2018
    #12
    You could do much of what you are going to use a laptop for on a Chromebook with 4gb of ram and a ARM processor. A MacBook Pro with 16gb of ram to do schoolwork? I guess you like to spend money.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 22, 2018 ---
    I beg to differ. I do a fair amount of video work and have music and photos on one of my laptops. I have yet to come close to filling 256gb.
     
  13. emilymariez96 thread starter macrumors newbie

    emilymariez96

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    Dec 22, 2018
    #13
    I have many personal reasons as to why I want a MBP. If I was interested in the cheapest laptop for my uses I would not have posted this in a Mac forum. Thanks for the input though.
     
  14. OLDGUYWITHAHIFI Suspended

    OLDGUYWITHAHIFI

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    Nov 14, 2018
    #14
    Point being, your list of tasks is not vey taxing on even a basic laptop let alone a MBP.

    Enjoy the MBP and welcome to Apple.
     
  15. AppleSE2 macrumors newbie

    AppleSE2

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    Dec 21, 2018
    #15
    I used an iBook G4 12 inch and MacBook matte black Core Duo for my Bachelor degree.

    I used a MacBook Pro 13 inch 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo for my Master degree.

    I recently purchased a MacBook i5 with 16 gigs of RAM.

    That being said, I think you’ll be well served by any Macintosh model you choose. Don’t get wrapped up in the “future proof” mindset. Go to an Apple store or Best Buy, and test them out. See what size or configuration suits your needs or desires.

    Best of luck.
     
  16. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #16
    MacNut wrote:
    "In this day no computer should come standard with anything less than 512 gb."

    Nah...
    A real story:

    I have a friend who's main interest is writing (you can find his books on amazon).
    In 2008 he bought a new iMac (with a platter-based internal drive, either 350gb or 500gb). He also likes to take photos now and then. He doesn't collect music, and never watches movies.

    He used it for TEN YEARS, and earlier this year replaced it with a beautiful new 27" 5k iMac.
    I helped him pick the right iMac and then "migrate over".

    With the first iMac, over a ten-year period, he had used a total of 80gb of drive space.
    80gb total.

    So... when it was time to buy the new one, I advised him to get an iMac with a 256gb SSD inside.

    That will last him ten more years, I'm sure!
     
  17. Jack Neill macrumors regular

    Jack Neill

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    San Antonio Texas
    #17
    Agreed, I bought a 250 Samsung 860 Evo on Amazon for 49.99. Apple can't get a bulk discount and start storage at 512? It's 2019. Come on.
     
  18. Howard2k macrumors 68000

    Howard2k

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    Mar 10, 2016
    #18
    Yes that’s right. That’s exactly how it works. Apple can’t get a discount on the drive hardware, that’s why they charge so much for an upgrade.
     
  19. Jack Neill, Dec 23, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018

    Jack Neill macrumors regular

    Jack Neill

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    San Antonio Texas
    #19
    I am laughing at the nah sayers on saying storage isn't an issue. It's really about personal use case. I get some people will never use it but I have about 16TB in personal files, photos, games, and home movies and movies I ripped form my old DVD collection. My iTunes I have on my main Mac is 311Gb and my main family photos library is 120GB.

    128 or even 256 in 2019 is a joke.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 23, 2018 ---
    Ok, I'll take your word for it.

    Screen Shot 2018-12-23 at 10.17.48 AM.png
     
  20. nihil0 macrumors member

    nihil0

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    #20
    Then you should also know that SSD is not recommended as a drive for long time storage. That is why 256 gb is sufficient when combines with HDD for backups or long time storage.
     
  21. Jack Neill macrumors regular

    Jack Neill

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    Sep 13, 2015
    Location:
    San Antonio Texas
    #21
    No it just isnt. I have around 650GB of files I want to carry with me on a daily basis and I want a SSD, not a antiquated, slow platter drive. Long term storage has nothing to do with it. I keep local time machines and clones of my machines already. This is 2019. A Samsung 1TB of SSD is 130ish on Amazon. 256 in 2019 is a joke. 256 was a joke in 2010. That's like telling a truck owner that they would get by with a Prius.
     
  22. Howard2k macrumors 68000

    Howard2k

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    #22

    So what you mean is that it is insufficient for you. There of plenty of people who have MacBooks with 256, 128, or sometimes even smaller capacities. Are these people all hallucinating that their machines work? Or are they just using them as desk ornaments? Or is it actually possible that there are people who do know how to manage machines with smaller capacities?

    But hey, feel free to keep throwing money at Apple.
     
  23. Jack Neill macrumors regular

    Jack Neill

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    Sep 13, 2015
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    #23
    That was the point I tried to make in my original post.
     
  24. Apple_Glen_UK macrumors regular

    Apple_Glen_UK

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Location:
    West Sussex, England
    #24
    Just on the subject of storage; when I purchased my 13" MacBook Pro 2015 in September 2015 I decided to fork out a little extra and go for 512GB as I planned to hang on to it for several years. I use it for browsing the net, storing my photos and listening to music. I don't keep anything in the Cloud - I prefer to store things on my computer. I have somewhere in the region of 11,000 photos and 3,000 songs and am continually adding to it but even after three-and-a-half-years of owning it, I still have tonnes of space...

    ABOUT MY MAC - STORAGE.jpg

    I probably could have got away with less storage, but bearing in mind I plan to have this machine for several more years yet, I'm glad I opted for 512GB.
     
  25. Falhófnir macrumors 68030

    Falhófnir

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2017
    #25
    Bearing in mind for SSDs you really want to be leaving at least 20% free it’s probably not even as overkill as it currently looks - certainly with a 256GB drive it would now be starting to look a lot less spacious with your use given that rule of thumb!
     

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