Resolved Macbook Pro 13" with 2.9 vs 3.1 GHz processor

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by LillaK, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. LillaK, Jul 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017

    LillaK macrumors newbie


    Jul 26, 2017
    Hi all,

    I've decided to purchase my first Macbook. I've chosen Macbook Pro 13" with Touch Bar+Touch ID, but I'm torn between two options: should I choose the older model with a 2.9 GHz processor (i5+Intel Iris Plus Graphics 550) or the new one with a 3.1 GHz processor (i5+Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650)?

    I don't know that much about the specs of computers, thus I'm not sure what the difference would mean in my case. I would like Sims 3 or 4 (with most expansion packs) to play smoothly on it. Mostly, I just surf the net, download and watch movies. Generally, I work with Word and Powerpoint. I'm lazy about closing tabs, like to have a lot opened. Also, I'm planning on using this laptop for a greater amount of time.

    Another thing I've hesitantly considered: upgrading from 8GB memory to 16GB. Everyone suggests that it would be useful, but what about my particular case?

    Thank you in advance for the answers, all's valued!:)
  2. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    They are essentially the same, so get whichever is cheaper. The newer one will have better battery life, though. As for RAM, if you're going to keep the laptop longer than three years I might spring for it. But for those tasks 8 is fine. I have the same computer and am also bad about tabs, and it's never an issue.

    A theoretical Sims 5 might need 16 GB in a few years, but by then your graphics card wouldn't be able to handle it anyway.
  3. LillaK thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jul 26, 2017
    Yes, I'd definitely like to keep it longer than 3 years.
  4. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    The performance difference is probably 10% or so on compute bound tasks. In real life you'll see almost no difference between the two CPU's. I don't know how much difference the graphics makes.

    8 Gb is probably enough, but if you can afford it, I generally recommend going to 16 especially if you plan on keeping the computer for a while. Since it's soldered in, there's no chance of upgrading memory in a couple years if it turns out to be insufficient. If you can't manage the 16 Gb, don't stress over it.
  5. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    May 1, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I've seen reviews saying the opposite.
    The 2016 is getting better battery life than the 2017 and reviewers can't explain it. One theory was that Sierra wasn't yet optimized for the new hardware and that High Sierra would fix this.
    An other theory says the SSD is causing the difference.
    The SSD in the 2017 is much faster.
  6. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    In December I purchased a 13 MBP with 8GB for my college-age daughter. I though long and hard about going for the 16GB model, and might have had it not been build-to-order (the 8GB with 500GB SSD and the 16GB with 240 GB were in stock).
    Mac OS has improved dramatically in memory management over the last few years. It compresses unused memory requirements, and can swap it out to SSD much more quickly than before (faster drives). So it's more efficient with what it has, and the penalty for going to disk is lessened. That said, our other daughter has a 2011 MBA with 4GB, and runs 10.12 - no complaints. My wife is a programmer with an 8GB MBA - no complaints.

    I would get the model with the latest Intel graphics. In general, that will make a difference in game playing.

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