mbp 13 inch, which to get: 8 or 16, 128 or 256 ? programming, photoshop

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by minalune, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. minalune macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2014
    Hi there, (sorry I'm new here, didn't know which thread to ask in)

    So I'm looking to buying a 13 inch macBook pro retina(never owned a mac before), on a budget - hoping not to go beyond $1,400 before taxes.. been just saving up money and hope I don't have to go on too much longer.

    I've been looking through various threads to try to find out whether the 16gb RAM is worth it as compared to the 8gb. Lots of posts kept saying to rather get more storage, while others were saying to get the RAM as it's not upgradable, but if I, say, get 8gb+256 storage, is it preferable as opposed to 16gb+128 ? I can't quite afford to get both, that's the thing.

    Could someone explain why more storage is better than more RAM if it is? like 256 being beneficial for performance, how so? (sorry im a bit dum with these things :rolleyes: )

    I want the laptop to last for a while so I'm just looking for a timeproof option, that's why I'm contemplating over the 16gb... I want to learn and practice rhino, thats one big thing I'm worried about setting up as hate when programs get slow big time.

    Also, my big confusion is that I have an external drive that's a decent capacity, do I still need to have the internal 256 or would 128 be enough? I'm wondering if some native OS data could take up lots of memory, or some other unexpected storage space would be lost? but I wouldn't mind keeping movies and photos on the external drive anyway.

    I just want a machine that wouldn't be a dummy and would be able to handle some multitasking - internet, rhino, PS, Processing, vids etc... (plus prob other programming-related programs as I am constantly exploring)

    Please help,

    So sorry I can't manage to ever sound cohesive, hope what I tried to write above makes sense .. Please ask me more questions if I am being too generic or unclear, I would so so appreciate your help, I need a human's advice, tired of google...

    Thank you again for your time!
  2. Zerka macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2014
    San Jose,CA
    If you want the laptop to last, you'll want to get the 16 GB RAM. This way you're insuring in a way that your laptop will be able to stand up the tough tasks you current and future programs are throwing at it. The amount of storage you have will not affect your laptop's performance. If I were you I'd get the 16+128 config, as it will provide you with the power you need. Since you already have an external you'll be fine as long as you save your SSD for your programs and external for most of your files. The amount of storage is simply leisure, if you can afford more, get more. But when it comes to RAM, if you want to future-proof a machine you'll need to prioritize getting the most you can get.
  3. minalune thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2014
    Oh thank you so much, this is just what I need! will do as ya say! ;)

    Exactly what I was thinking but really needed some knowing advice after being confused by all the different opinions on the web, thank you so much! And you replied so fast whaaat?? :D

    All the best, great advice, Zerka!

  4. Zerka macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2014
    San Jose,CA
    No problem, I went through the same dilemma when I was deciding what to get for myself :)

    I hope you're happy with your new rMBP!
  5. minalune thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2014
    Thank you, it's your credit I will be!

  6. blooperz macrumors 6502

    Dec 10, 2013
    8 gigs of ram is all you really need for future proofing...if your buying 16 gigs of ram for the sake of future proofing you just throwing your money down the drain unless you do work that requires heavy ram usage. The computer will be due for an upgrade long before 16 gigs becomes the norm (due to dual core proccessor/graphics constraints) .

    Unless apple changed the harddrives they were putting in, The 128g SSD has noticeably slower write speeds than the 256+ variants that apple puts into it's MacBooks. This has been well documented in many threads/tests for the 2013 model, I doubt its changed for the 2014 lineup since they are essentially the same.

    I'd say the sweet spot is the 8/256 configuration...that way you get the faster hard drive and have enough ram to ensure it will last you a good 4-5 years with proper care.

    Lot's of people will tell you you need 16 gigs of ram to future proof...but trying to future proof a computer is a bit silly...it will be outdated in a years time at the rate technology is advancing regardless of how much ram you have. Also many people think they need a 15" rmbp for emails and online shopping =p so I would be wary of public opinion.

    The only reason I would get 16 gigs of RAM is if you do heavy photoshop work since photoshop is a known ramHog.

    my 2 cents

    final word ~ since you are on a budget I would highly recommend buying off the the refurb page on the mac store...you'll get a much better price with the same warranty and they are basically brand new...and you can get an even better machine for your money if you get the late 2013 model which is for all intents and purposes exactly the same machine as the 2014 ( very minimal processor upgrade)...they have an 8/256 on there right now for $1159
  7. minalune thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2014
    Thank you bluperz! It's good to know 256 ssd are faster than 128! I'll have to possibly consider getting a bigger storage then..

    What about using rhino? Isn't it also a RAM greedy software, dealing with 3d and all that? Would 16 pay off in that case?

    I see what you mean with the 8gb and processors, but I just cant be that concerned with it being outdated as I simply can't afford to be getting a new computer every time a better one comes out, id rather have a machine that would just still do the job for longer and not be annoyingly slow after a while, as I know that i WILL end up having it for a long time unless its broken or stolen... What do you think?

    I will definitely check out the refurbished section, I've heard they practically replace everything in those laptops so they are pretty much brand new isn't it right? This would make be a great deal!
  8. bubbleboil macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2014
    256 is useful when u decided to boot windows either via parallels or boot camp. If u decided to take on programming, there are chances that some stuff only run in windows.

    My MBA runs pretty well with just 8gb RAM with decently heavy program.
  9. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    For you, 8GB should be plenty. My reasoning is simple: if you were going to do heavy Photoshop work that would really require 16GB, then you wouldn't consider the 13" in the first place. As to the SSD, get the smallest one that can conformably fit all your working data + what you need everyday + a bit more. Consider the base system + some apps taking short of 30-40Gb.
  10. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    Not true... he wants to use for photoshop and heck the OS uses ~4GB on idle when 8GB are installed. Definitely recommend against getting 8GB since the days of upgrading RAM in Apple's new laptops are over!

    Definitely go refurb, good advice there.


    If you even mention the word 3D and are thinking about getting a laptop then get 16GB RAM no question. Photoshop will take advantage of it, Yosemite is a RAM hog compared to Mavericks, and overall the computer will multitask better with high end apps open.

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