Is 16GB necessary and worth it on the 13" tMBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by TazmoStarkana, Nov 24, 2016.

  1. TazmoStarkana, Nov 24, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016

    TazmoStarkana macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2016
    I'm a web developer and commonly work with photoshop and illustrator. I think those are the most resource demanding apps I use. The rest is the browser and certain development tools. I do not use Xcode, which I assume is resource demanding too.

    I have the 13" tMBP /w 8GB and when I fire up a bunch of apps and tabs in safari, the memory usage is at 5.5-6gb. 2gb wired, 2.5gb apps. 128mb swap used.

    I think 8 gB may be enough but I am worried of the future that new OS updates may be more memory demanding as well as apps. So far so good though.

    Anyway is it worth for me to order a custom build with 16GB? What has your experience been like with 8 and 16 gb ram?

    One thing I noticed is UI lag and staggering when swiping between full screen apps and there 3/4 finger up swipe to get a birds eye view. Is this because the 2.9GHz i5 is weak or is this something with the macOS?

    --- UPDATE ---

    I decided to go with 16GB from B&H using PayPal Credit (no interest and no payment for 6mo)
  2. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    While the RAM prices Apple charges are highway robbery, so is selling a laptop in 2016-2017 with 8 GB of RAM for $2000.

    I'd recommend getting the RAM upgrade if you can afford it. It's likely to be the first bottleneck you encounter, causing poor performance or the need for an upgrade as you cannot upgrade it later.

    The likelihood is that future MacOS and other software updates, and possibly changes to your workflow, will require more than 8 GB of RAM. It makes sense considering 8 GB of RAM was the norm 5 years ago.

    Some people will undoubtedly tell you that "8 GB is perfectly fine for their needs" etc, but turn around in 2-3 years and say of course you need to buy a new computer, you only have 8 GB of RAM.
  3. TazmoStarkana thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2016
    I see I see. Yes Apple prices have always been criminal but we can't resist. They got us by the balls!

    The thing is if I get the 16GB version I will need to wait 3-4 weeks. So if Im going to wait that long it better be worth it. Unfortunately I cant upgrade in the future so It's s decision to be made at the time of purchase.

    Is there a noticeable difference in the UI experience between the i5 or i7 or is it all dependent on the Iris 550?
  4. protoxx macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2013
    If you don't have enough storage you can use cloud or external drives.
    If it's not fast enough you can be more patient.
    If you need more memory, you're out of luck. You have to run fewer programs.
  5. mbpowner macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2016
    Also 2000 is a rip off for only 8gb ram. Even with 16gb ram, windows charge that amount for 32/64 gb ram.

    I still love macs dont get me wrong but the prices they charge arent compatible with what is offered
    --- Post Merged, Nov 24, 2016 ---
    Also not sure if you can upgrade ram on macs? With windows you can
  6. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    It's absolutely worth the wait to get the right machine.

    I don't think the i7 helps at all with the animation choppiness. I suspect it's resource/GPU based. The i7 is still a dual-core and is only slightly faster than the i5.
  7. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I think for your use it will be worth the wait unless you don't anticipate keeping the machine longer than about 2 years.
  8. iizmoo macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2014
    I used to use a 2013 MBA with 8GB, I'm also a web developer with Vagrant, MySQL and Jetbrains IDEs running. 8GB is ok, but that was when I first got the MBA 3 years ago. There's a good use case for 16GB so you can work with larger DB, run multiple VM (again, not necessary, but helpful), and in cases when you have to open multiple software at once, it help to stop swapping. Esp if this is a work computer, the $200 or $180 (with discounts) is worth it.

    For the 13", I think the 16GB option is just the right size and a big upgrade from previous generations. It suck for the 15" peep since they have twice as many cores, but if you the 13" it's really awesome and worth every penny. Going from my 2013 MBA, I only got ~15% CP improvement, a lot of the speed increase coming from the SSD and iGPU. So I expect to keep this one for 5 years even though I'm perfectly willing to upgrade at 3, there just isn't that much improvements made on a 3 years cycle anymore. I expect I'll just feel it's not justified and keep using this MBP. So if one think about increasing workflow (which tend to be RAM bloated) then the upgrade is very cost effective.
  9. TazmoStarkana thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2016
    What CPU did you get? You didnt state it in your sig. 2.9?

    Also is it worth getting 512? I never ever needed more than 250 and dont think I ever will.

    But I know more capacity gives it better performance. What are the SSD performance gains from 250 to 500?

    I guess the only good reason for me to get 500gb is to back up photos and 4k videos from my iphone 7 onto the laptop.
  10. yillbs macrumors 6502


    Oct 2, 2015
    I have a 13 inch MacBook Pro, and I'm about as power user as a power user can be. I find having 16GB to be plenty, but I do not think 8 would cut it for me. I'd suggest the upgrade if you can afford it, as others have pointed out.
  11. TazmoStarkana thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2016
    Well it's settled. I ordered a 13" 2.9GHz 16GB 256GB Silver from B&H. Should have it before new year. Will return this 8GB model to the apple store monday.
  12. yillbs macrumors 6502


    Oct 2, 2015
    Good, don't even look at it from a " future proof " point of view. Look at it from a " do you want to need 16GB one day, you're at 7.8GB, and the laptop crawls. Mac is a lot like open VM kernel In it will use as much as it can take, it doesn't mean that's al in use, but for instance, say you're real usage is 4GB, it might take 6GB, just so it can have it. It's also used for caching. Having to much will never be an issue, having to little can ruin your life (first world problems)
  13. TazmoStarkana thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2016
    Another neat thing was that I ordered it from B&H using PayPal credit. $2000. No payment and interest for 6 months.

    I paid about $2200 at the apple store (tax was about $170) and I got the 8GB with 512GB SSD using my CC (which has 12% interest). The only price I pay now is waiting 3-4 weeks. Im in no rush but I'm also impatient. :)
  14. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    Very nice! You may want to update your original post so that people don't keep giving you advice forever (nobody reads through the thread first!).
  15. iizmoo macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2014
    I have the Classic MBP (no Touch Bar), with the default i5 @ 2.0 Ghz . For most of my work in web dev, I find that I only ever burst no more than 1-2 minutes max. In which case this thing still goes up to 3.1Ghz, the 2.9 goes to 3.4Ghz, so not that much of a difference. Keep in mind my old MBA was a i7 @ 1.7Ghz -> 3.3Ghz.

    I went through 3 rounds of ordering, did nTB, canceled and ordered the TB, then canceled and ordered the nTB again, and that's what I have right now. I found the $300 extra, and lower battery life just couldn't justify the cost, even with that 2.9Ghz CPU and a Iris 550 vs 540. Someone did a benchmark after release and the 2.9 was only something like 4% faster than the 2.0 once accounting for burst, etc...

    This is also a personal laptop for me along with doing some work, so included are music, about 50GB of Photos library, as well as needed space for doing video editing in FCPX. I wanted enough local space in case it was necessary to work with 50GB FCPX project files, and outputting another 50GB ProRes422 product file. On my old MBA, I was using around 170GB. It was ok at a 256GB SSD, but not enough space to locally work with big FCPX projects. Add in about 50-100GB of file growth over the next few years and a 512GB SSD could be perfectly justifiable even if you currently use less than 256.
  16. TazmoStarkana thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2016
    I do plan on using this laptop with the new LG 5K display. I am worried it may lag or be choppy once I actually get the monitor and test it. If that is the case then I am screwed because B&H does not have a friendly return policy.

    Im still waiting to see MKBHD's review. But he is testing it with a maxed out 15"... Hope they or someone reviews it with the 13" soon.
  17. mcomp112, Jan 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  18. jun180 macrumors regular


    Apr 27, 2010
    I was torn on this when I purchased the 13" TB and NTB To try. I find the 16GB useful when running VM's and many applications open, but for general use the 8GB is perfectly fine.

    What I'd be interested to find out if there is a material impact on battery life between the 8GB and 16GB, with all other factors remaining the same.

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