More important RAM or Processor for rMBP

gjm87

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 17, 2014
119
15
Hi All,

I am looking into buying a new rMBP and wanted to know if I should invest in 16gb of RAM or an upgraded processor? I will use photoshop and indesign as well as play simcity and X-Plane 10 on it. Any thoughts on what I should do?

Thanks,
Greg
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,903
480
Hi All,

I am looking into buying a new rMBP and wanted to know if I should invest in 16gb of RAM or an upgraded processor? I will use photoshop and indesign as well as play simcity and X-Plane 10 on it. Any thoughts on what I should do?

Thanks,
Greg
I'd say you're more likely to be bottlenecked by RAM than by the processor.
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,903
480
Do you think the i5 with 16gb RAM is enough or would 8gb do it?
Define "enough".

I have no idea how large or small your files are in photoshop or indesign. Both applications are RAM hungry, especially with large files with a lot of layers.
 

gjm87

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 17, 2014
119
15
They don't have huge layers or anything like that. I just use it to help enhance photos as I am taking some photography classes and the such.
 

Praxis91

macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2011
103
884
If you can afford the upgrade, do it. :D It will be great if you plan on doing photo/video editing or running any virtual machines. It will help you both if you plan to keep the laptop for 3+ years (e.g. somewhat futureproof), or if you plan to sell it after 1-2.
 

mwchris

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2008
155
4
Kentucky
Buy RAM & Bump the Processor

From http://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/mac/apple-mac-i5-vs-i7-processor-which-cpu-imac-macbook-buying-advice-3489917/

So, as a general rule, if you are a programmer, video editor, or work in 3D rendering, or deal in huge finance documents then you should veer towards the Intel i7 CPU. If you are a photographer, image editor, gamer or musician, then the i5 is a more financially prudent choice. It’s worth noting that the i5 often provides plenty of power for the average Mac user. Spend the money on extra storage or RAM.
I was in a similar boat as you. As others have said, buy more Ram. However, the following information, coupled with the fact I plan to keep the computer for at least five years swayed me to save up a bit more money and purchase the entry-level 15-Inch MacBook Pro "Core i7" 2.0 15-Inch with 16 gigs of ram.

From http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook_pro/macbook-pro-retina-display-faq/macbook-pro-retina-display-late-2013-performance-benchmarks.html

Nevertheless, someone most interested in overall performance still would be best off choosing the entry-level 15-Inch MacBook Pro "Core i7" 2.0 15-Inch (IG). It is roughly 85% faster than the stock high-end 13-Inch MacBook Pro "Core i5" 2.6 13", but only costs 11% more (US$200). In turn, the entry-level 15-Inch model is only about 9% slower overall than the high-end stock MacBook Pro "Core i7" 2.3 15" (DG), but costs 23% less (US$600).
 

leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
9,980
4,555
Just get the base model and invest the money you would have spend on updates into a good external drive for backups.
 

moxxey

macrumors regular
Feb 27, 2011
181
4
I agree with the RAM conclusion.

I have a 15" i7 quad-core rMBP with 8GB of RAM and a 13" i5 dual-core rMBP with 16GB of RAM and for day-to-day activity, the 13" can often feel more efficient. I can easily max out the 15" 8GB, too.

Unless you are rendering 3D, converting video or need heavy CPU-intensive requirements, then a faster CPU will make far less difference than a chunk of RAM.

I'd go for a lesser CPU and get as much RAM and the biggest drive as possible. I can get by with a 256GB SSD drive though.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
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Boston
At this point in the world of computers, ram is the bottleneck, not the CPU. Clock speeds used to be a major factor in determine computer performance, but given the modern design, its not really a major metric to measure the speed.

If there's going to be an area that will choke a performance, it will be ram.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
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If you want an update but dont know wich one then you have too much money and dont need either of them.
 

slo-climber

macrumors member
Oct 28, 2013
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0
While top end rMBP offer "only" 16 GB of RAM and iMac beside some top end PC laptops offer 32 GB, I wonder if 16 GB is enough for hard Photoshop editing. Like two raws panorama, of which every image is HDR of 3 image.

If 16 GB is enough (which probably is) I wonder for how many years this will be sufficient. Because current rMBP can't be upgraded with more than 16 GB.
 

maflynn

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Staff member
May 3, 2009
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If 16 GB is enough (which probably is) I wonder for how many years this will be sufficient. Because current rMBP can't be upgraded with more than 16 GB.
8GB is more then enough for such tasks, and if the computer starts running out, it will swap memory pages to disk. I think people lose site that OSX has excellent memory management and the computer won't stop working if it starts running low on memory.

I think 16GB will be more then enough for the foreseeable future
 

joeytp

macrumors member
Mar 6, 2014
32
0
Quebec, Canada
If 16 GB is enough (which probably is) I wonder for how many years this will be sufficient. Because current rMBP can't be upgraded with more than 16 GB.
I was gonna post the same comment ! RAM can't be upgrape after purshache because it is welded :O :eek: so for long term use i would go for the 16 GB:confused:

Sorry for my poor english... frenchy on board hahaha
 
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gjm87

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 17, 2014
119
15
If you can afford it, go for 16GB of RAM as it's soldered to the logic board.

Ps and Id are RAM-intensive, so you'll probably need all the RAM you can get.
Do you think Sim City will run fine as well on this?
 

Meister

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Oct 10, 2013
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I would strongly advise for 64gb to put undr your pillow for good luck.
It also keeps the boogey man away. ;)
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
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Sagittarius A*
While top end rMBP offer "only" 16 GB of RAM and iMac beside some top end PC laptops offer 32 GB, I wonder if 16 GB is enough for hard Photoshop editing. Like two raws panorama, of which every image is HDR of 3 image.

If 16 GB is enough (which probably is) I wonder for how many years this will be sufficient. Because current rMBP can't be upgraded with more than 16 GB.
8gb with CS6 certainly was nowhere near enough for me, having looked at activity monitor doing RAW I'm glad my primary Photoshop machine is a Mac Pro with 32gb. I know of some serious photographers who use 48/96gb in their 5,1 dual CPU Mac Pro's :D
 

Meister

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Oct 10, 2013
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8gb with CS6 certainly was nowhere near enough for me, having looked at activity monitor doing RAW I'm glad my primary Photoshop machine is a Mac Pro with 32gb. I know of some serious photographers who use 48/96gb in their 5,1 dual CPU Mac Pro's :D
It depends on how you use photoshop. Even 4gb works with a single raw file just fine.
It really depends.

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Is memory compression also not noticeable between the i5 and i7?
I strongly doubt its noticable.
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
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It depends on how you use photoshop. Even 4gb works with a single raw file just fine.
It really depends.

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I strongly doubt its noticable.
Raw, Layers, panorama, HDR, the lend of my friends D3X :D

I can even have Quark, Illustrator and Firefox with a whole heap of tabs open.

Back to topic - If a client was ordering a new soldered in memory MacBook Pro and used CS I would definitely recommend the 16gb ram option.