MBP 13" 2017 upgrade RAM or processor?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by hindvik, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. hindvik macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2017
    Haven't seen any thread addressing this question for the new model. What I use my mac for: excel and stata (mostly financial and macro econ modeling, use some pretty phat spreadsheets and models); am learning R and how to write in C; watching rick and morty; porn. Would I be better served upgrading the RAM to 16GB or the processor to whatever the processor upgrade is? Thanks in advance.
  2. SurfaceBookUser, Jul 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017

    SurfaceBookUser macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2016
    RAM, no question. The only reason to consider the CPU option is if you run computation intensive jobs that take hours on a daily basis. Even then the RAM might be a better option depending on the specific tasks at hand. A solid amount of really fast RAM and a fast SSD are the key to a really fast machine for 95% of users.

    For what it's worth, I bought a November 2016 13" TB and the only upgrade I picked was 16GB RAM.
  3. iregret macrumors 6502a

    Jan 23, 2012
  4. Sterkenburg macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2016
    RAM, absolutely. Processor upgrades give marginal benefits these days, and are rarely worth the money unless you work daily on intensive tasks where execution time is crucial.
  5. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    RAM. Although if you are working with huge datasets, getting a larger SSD may also be worth the expenditure since the 2017s are capable of reading/writing in the ballpark of 2 GB/s, greatly shortening load times if you can store those datasets on the local SSD (as opposed to an external drive.)

    Do you have the choice of single core, dual core, or quad core Stata/Stata MP, or do you have a specific version already and need to use that specific version? I ask because I know you econ fellows run some pretty complex models against sizable datasets that can get very CPU-heavy...

    I have found that very large Excel spreadsheets can also be quite RAM heavy.

    Is R getting big in econ circles? It's becoming crazy popular in market research as of late!
  6. hindvik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2017
    Thanks for the responses. Definitely going to upgrade the RAM.

    Zap - I just have the single core stata/SE version that I picked up in college when I could get the steep discount. R is for sure gaining popularity. Personally, I'm attracted to the openness of it and think it will be a great language to develope my programming skills with.

    Now the question is whether to upgrade the CPU as well. Can anyone ballpark the increase in performance between the stock 3.1 GHz i5 and the 3.5 GHz i7? Both are obviously dual-core
  7. Jamalogo10 macrumors member


    Jun 13, 2017
    I have the i7 in the nontouch bar. Performance increases are higher than in the past but I still believe for most users its not worth it. When comparing geekbench scores to non i7's its 8% increase in performance.

    I'm not sure but I think the hyper threading may lower overall temperatures. This may be because of the 2 virtual cores lessening the strain on the actual cores. Everyone talks about the fan speeding up and sounding like a small jet engine. I have yet to encounter this and I'm not sure why.

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