Future-proofing new MacBook 12"

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by VoiceVote, Jun 12, 2017.


Which upgrade should I get to future-proof my MacBook?

  1. Processor upgrade (core i5 or core i7)

    2 vote(s)
  2. RAM upgrade (16GB)

    9 vote(s)
  3. Both

    9 vote(s)
  4. Neither, the base model will last you just fine

    14 vote(s)
  1. VoiceVote macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2017
    Hi folks,

    I'm in the market for a 2017 MacBook 12". Since it's not a powerful machine and I'd like to keep it in service for as long as possible, I'm thinking of shelling out for either the 16GB RAM update or the i5 processor upgrade (or both, I guess).

    I don't plan to do anything especially taxing with it; I mostly use my current computer (2012 MacBook Air) for browsing, e-mail, word processing, music, streaming video and occasional Photoshop tinkering.

    Which of those two updates would do more to get it ready for the demands of future OS and software updates? Or will the base configuration (Core m3, 8GB) be enough for my needs?

  2. Graham Perks macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2003
    Austin, TX
    If it were me, I'd rather get the larger SSD (which automatically pushes you to i5, otherwise I think the m3 would suffice). We'll soon find out more when benchmarks are available. Early benchmarks suggest the SoCs are all within 10% of one another's performance, so there's little noticeable value in upgrading.
  3. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    For what you're doing the base model will serve you well as long as the battery and keyboard last.
    Unless you like having several dozen open web pages in Safari 8gb is more than enough.
    Even 256gb is enough unless you're going to be downloading gigs of RAW DSLR files and 4K video into it while on assignment/vacation. Or you're obessed with keeping your entire 200gb iTunes library on it at a time.
  4. VoiceVote thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2017
    My current machine has 256GB of storage and I've been bumping up against that limit for a while (I've got a lot of old stuff with sentimental value in iTunes and Photos) so there's a good chance I'll get the SSD/processor upgrade. But doing that AND the RAM upgrade might be more than my poor wallet could take.
  5. mgoi macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2012
    I cast my vote in favor of upgrading both if you can afford it. I am considering doing the same. I tend to keep my machines for 5+ years, and even with iCloud and Dropbox I would still go for the larger SSD as I would like to have access to large photo libraries at all times. I am less sold on the RAM update, but given that I won't have an option to upgrade later I still think that 16GB is the right move. Upgrading my 2011 Mac Mini to 16GB gave it a new lease on life, as with that amount of RAM you can keep a number of apps running, and app launch time also appears to be reduced. Projecting myself to 2020, I want to make sure that my then 3-year old MacBook will remain capable of meeting all of my needs.
  6. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    For browsing/ email/ word processing - is there any such thing as "future proofing" anymore? I think anything from Apple purchased since the Core 2 Duo days should manage to do these tasks today. I think your hardware consumables would physically fail (battery, keyboard, screen cabling) before anything sold today would ever be in danger of not being "future proof" for light activities.
  7. petsk macrumors 6502


    Oct 13, 2009
    Northern Europe
    You can't really future-proof the Macbook. When the m3 is obsolete, also the i5 and i7 will be obsolete. Apple will drop support for all of them at the same time, and the performance difference 5 years down the road is going to be none-existing.

    Saving the money for an earlier upgrade is the best decision you can make if talking about future-proofing.
  8. DrDan99 macrumors newbie


    Apr 26, 2017
    West Michigan
    In the good old days of self updates of RAM and drives, I bought what I needed for the short term (2yrs) but every computer in my memory needed a buff-up of one (usually both) of those in about 2 years and in 4 years needed to be replaced. With current Macs inability to upgrade, I buy a bit more trying for 3-4 year life. CPU is rarely an issue for 3-4 years and if it is then M3 vs i5 or i7 won't matter a bit.

    So a few hundred dollars for RAM and more storage “buys” another year or two I hope. Since my needs seem to change over time this works for me. If you are sure your needs will not change for 4-5 years. Just buy what you need and your good for that time and you save the money for future upgrades.

Share This Page