Help me decide: More ram or faster processor?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Cscottrun, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. Cscottrun macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2011
    #1
    Background: I am a college student. I don't play games on my laptop. My main program usages are the basics: Microsoft Office, iTunes, spotify, and some exam taking software. The rest of the time I am browsing the internet either just surfing sites, Netflix, or maybe torrenting every once in a while (nothing heavy, maybe a movie or album once a month, and it never stays running once the download is complete.)

    Here's what I'm looking at right now:

    Either gonna go all the way up to the 3.0ghz i7 with 8gb of ram, or the 2.8ghz i5 with 16 gb of ram. Help.
     
  2. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #2
    Why do you want a faster processor or more ram? What for?
    The apps you mentioned could pretty much be run by an iphone.
     
  3. Cscottrun thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 8, 2011
    #3
    Thanks for the help. As tim the tool man says...more power.
     
  4. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #4
    More power for what?
    Any current macbook pro is already utter overkill for your needs. Any upgrade on top of that is just obscene.
    Like buying a masserati to drive a block to the supermarket.

    If you are fine with 128gb storage and absolutely need the retina get the rmbp 2.4/4/128 from 2013 on a discount. Same performance for your needs and much cheaper. Save the money and spend it on strippers and cigars.
     
  5. austinpike macrumors 6502

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    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    MN
    #5
    A Bugatti and a Honda both get you to the grocery store just as quickly (assuming legal speed limits)... you can spend the $ on more power but it sounds like you don't really have a need for it. I'd focus on portability in your situation. (i.e., Macbook Air.) Bank the rest, sell this one and trade up if/when retina Air comes out.
     
  6. Cscottrun thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 8, 2011
    #6
    I'm in a position where, luckily, I don't need to bank the rest. I don't know where I will end up or what I will need to run on my computer in a year or two, so for now, can someone actually answer the question?
     
  7. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #7
    flip a coin?
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    California
    #8
    Meister is correct. Given the usage you described you will never notice the difference of either the faster CPU or more memory. So if you are saying those two configs. are your only choice, I would just buy whichever is cheapest.
     
  9. Menge macrumors 6502a

    Menge

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    Dec 22, 2008
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    #9
    When OS X gets to a point where your processor is slow, it'll still run alright.
    When OS X gets to a point where your RAM is not enough, it'll run slow as hell.
    None are user-upgradable with aftermarket.

    For me, upping the RAM when buying it is the way to go.
     
  10. jbachandouris macrumors 601

    jbachandouris

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    Aug 18, 2009
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    #10
    OP says he has a MacBook Pro (doesn't say retina). Processor is not upgradeable.

    Memory is upgradeable. Hard drive can be upgraded to SSD. As others said, you DON'T need it. I upgraded my 2011 MBP to 8GB and a 240GB SSD. I use mine about the same as yours and I noticed NO difference. True boot up times with an SSD are MUCH faster, but the memory did nothing.
     
  11. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

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    Jul 29, 2012
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    Rialto, CA
    #11
    Goodness gracious, did you even read what his needs are? When I said this forum would make you believe you need 16gb of RAM to run chrome, I guess I wasn't exaggerating as much as I thought.

    If Apple had a 32GB option, this forum would tell my Grandma to get 32Gb of RAM to run office, just for the sake of maxing the RAM.
     
  12. Qaanol macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #12
    If you’re spending your own money, don’t get either upgrade. Take the $200 and use it to have fun. Buy a needlessly-expensive bottle of wine and share it with some friends or whatever.

    If someone is buying the computer for you, get the RAM. You won’t benefit from it, but maybe in a few years it might be worth an extra $50 in resale value. Also, the faster processor would just make the computer run hotter and drain the battery quicker.
     
  13. Menge macrumors 6502a

    Menge

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    Dec 22, 2008
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    Amsterdam
    #13
    He never says he has one. He just asks what's more important.

    I read his needs and, if you read my post again, I say that if he wants a long-lasting machine he should up the RAM now (because it's not upgradable and in the future, 8GB might not be breeze-cool as it is now). I never said he needs RAM now.
     
  14. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
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    NYC
    #14
    Neither. Just get the i5 with 8GB of RAM and spend the difference on something useful like AppleCare or perhaps a nice case.
     
  15. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #15
    CPU upgrades buy very little when it comes to notebooks. You can compare one against another, but you're unlikely to perceive any noticeable difference.

    That is what I would do for his usage patterns.
     
  16. TechGod macrumors 68040

    TechGod

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    New Zealand
    #16
    You are wasting money. You don't need that much power.
     
  17. Medic311 macrumors 68000

    Medic311

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    Jul 30, 2011
    #17

    5 years from now, you will never wish that you had gone with the i7 vs the i5
    5 years from now, you will never wish that you had gone with 16GB vs 8GB

    hope that helps
     
  18. iRacer macrumors member

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    Sep 18, 2010
    #18
    You never said hoe much storage you were looking at.
    How about more storage space?
     
  19. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Atlanta
    #19

    In 5 more years OP will likely have moved on to a new platform that is ARM based.
     
  20. Medic311 macrumors 68000

    Medic311

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    #20
    in 5 years Elon Musk will be president
     
  21. dylin macrumors 6502a

    dylin

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    Jun 10, 2010
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    California
    #21
    From what Meister asked, you don't really need to upgrade anything. Just the basics will be fine. Just save your money

    and like jbachandouris said, since its most likely not a retina, then you can eventually upgrade the RAM later yourself.

    a processor upgrade even later down the line, won't make the much off a difference for later use later unless you need the absolute millisecond difference for encoding or rendering.

    So just save your money and don't make any upgrades.
     
  22. acctman macrumors 65816

    acctman

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    Oct 26, 2012
    Location:
    Georgia
    #22
    why would you want to keep a 5 year old laptop... you'll probably get a new one in 3yrs or less.
     
  23. Lachhh macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2014
    Location:
    Mainland Europe
    #23
    Screw that bruh, sounds like you need a Mac Pro. A laptop would burn up from so much intense heavy lifting.

    My serious recommendation: If you want a mac laptop and can stand 13" being the biggest available size, get a baseline macbook air. Far better bang for the buck for the usage scenario you're describing.
     
  24. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Boston
    #24
    The state of the processors, and your stated usage patterns, I don't think you need a 2.8GHz processor or pay the upgrade for 16GB of ram.

    I'd recommend the 2.6GHz 8GB/256GB configuration.
     

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