MacBook Pro 2017 vs 2018 / cores vs RAM

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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 15, 2008
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Hi.

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)
OR
- MacBook Pro 2018 with i5 Quad Core 2.3GHz and 8GB of RAM (Iris 655)

Thanks for your time
 
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kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
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Out of those two I'd probably take the 16GB RAM (and higher base clock).
 

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
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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.
 

jerwin

macrumors 68030
Jun 13, 2015
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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"?
 
Last edited:

DeepIn2U

macrumors 604
May 30, 2002
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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.
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"?
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?
 
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Builds

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 15, 2008
11
0
Thanks all for your input! I will search for MBR18 with 16GB and if not will go for the 2017. Tnx!
 

kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
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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?
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.
 
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