MacBook Pro 2017 vs 2018 / cores vs RAM

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Builds, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Builds, Jan 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019

    Builds macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2008

    I'm an average user - 15-20 tabs on Chrome, Excel, Mail, VLC, some Photoshop editing from time to time, and one game which I play on lowest settings. I can buy right now one of two options. For my purposes, which of the following would be better? (I know there are more ideals variations, but I'm asking specifically of these two, which is the better one)

    - MacBook Pro 2017 with i5 Dual Core 3.1GHz and 16GB of RAM (Iris 650)
    - MacBook Pro 2018 with i5 Quad Core 2.3GHz and 8GB of RAM (Iris 655)

    Thanks for your time
  2. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2014
    Out of those two I'd probably take the 16GB RAM (and higher base clock).
  3. Builds thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2008
    So basically it's better to have more RAM than less cores for my purposes?
  4. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    More cores typically helps in very compute-intensive applications, such as video transcoding. The statement that you typically keep 20 Chrome tabs open would, all by itself, suggest you want more RAM than more cores.
  5. jerwin, Jan 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019

    jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
    Sometimes you lack the cores necessary to get through a certain workload. And sometimes you lack the memory required to keep each of those cores fed.

    are there any instances in your computing where you've thought "gee-- this is taking a long time"?
  6. DeepIn2U macrumors 603


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Both of these machines use PCIe (16lanes) for storage (blade NVME SSD M.2)! Is there really a need to have more RAM to keep CPU's fed with data to crunch through threads?! Honestly in this day and age I think 8GB RAM should be sufficient while a very high performing SSD more than compensates for lack of RAM.

    Does anyone, with heavy gaming experience with lower RAM or higher RAM care to comment?
  7. Builds thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2008
    Thanks all for your input! I will search for MBR18 with 16GB and if not will go for the 2017. Tnx!
  8. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2014
    Not gaming experience, but in VM and database work I can assure you that running short of RAM on a disk-based paging system is disastrous. If paging to fast SSD, it's merely deeply unpleasant. SSD isn't RAM, not even close, even when compressing pages (which takes CPU). This is not to say that SSD paging and swap compression is useless, because they do make a RAM shortage a lot less annoying, especially if it's a mild shortage. I disagree that it "more than compensates" though.
  9. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2008
    Zurich, Switzerland
    I would go for a 2018 for the keyboard alone.
    That's a hassle I don't need. Especially once the warranty has run out.

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