More RAM or more SSD for Macbook Pro

bobby24

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 22, 2019
4
0
Folks - I am planning to buy a new MacBook Pro. I have budget for 1 upgrade. Which upgrade would you recommend?

1. RAM upgrade from 8 GB to 16 GB
Or
2. SSD upgrade from 128 GB to 256 GB

Right now, I have about 1 GB of user files (I will not be using this MacBook Pro to store photos etc).

Thanks in advance!
 

Falhófnir

macrumors 68040
Aug 19, 2017
3,495
3,881
What will your use case look like? If you're going to be having a lot of RAM hungry applications open simultaneously then maybe the RAM would be the one to go for, but generally speaking the storage capacity is the one I'd suggest for most people (unless you're literally just storing pages/ word files with no media content whatsoever) in which case, you might even be ok with 8GB/128GB!
 

bobby24

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 22, 2019
4
0
O
What will your use case look like? If you're going to be having a lot of RAM hungry applications open simultaneously then maybe the RAM would be the one to go for, but generally speaking the storage capacity is the one I'd suggest for most people (unless you're literally just storing pages/ word files with no media content whatsoever) in which case, you might even be ok with 8GB/128GB!
Thanks for the prompt response! Regular use most times but sometimes will have a lot of browser windows open along with VMware connections to remote servers.

Also you are correct, no media content, only documents.

Thanks again!
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,602
1,185
Georgia
Definitely RAM. With the ever increasing RAM usage of web pages. Soon enough 8GB will be hard to manage with multiple tabs and several programs open.

You can always manage storage. Using external hard drives, mini USB C flash or micro SD, NAS, cloud services, &c. Not enough RAM is not enough RAM and your performance tanks.

As you say you only have about 1GB of user files and won't store photos. It doesn't sound like 128GB will be much of a storage issue anyway. Unless you have a lot of programs.
 
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bobby24

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 22, 2019
4
0
Definitely RAM. With the ever increasing RAM usage of web pages. Soon enough 8GB will be hard to manage with multiple tabs and several programs open.

You can always manage storage. Using external hard drives, mini USB C flash or micro SD, NAS, cloud services, &c. Not enough RAM is not enough RAM and your performance tanks.

As you say you only have about 1GB of user files and won't store photos. It doesn't sound like 128GB will be much of a storage issue anyway. Unless you have a lot of programs.
Thanks! I just checked my early 2015 MacBook Pro and I am using 37 GB total. This new MacBook Pro will be the replacement for that.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,602
1,185
Georgia
Thanks! I just checked my early 2015 MacBook Pro and I am using 37 GB total. This new MacBook Pro will be the replacement for that.
The 128GB is more than triple your current usage. Unless your usage patterns change. It should be plenty.
 

G.C. Jones

macrumors newbie
Jan 13, 2014
14
3
Charleston, SC
I agree....RAM in this case would be the preferred upgrade; with a new machine offering Thunderbolt 3 ports, a larger external SSD boot drive if desired would be quite fast, along with many other storage options. So limited internal RAM would be your bottleneck, not the OEM internal SSD.
 

iluvmacs99

macrumors regular
Apr 9, 2019
244
114
Folks - I am planning to buy a new MacBook Pro. I have budget for 1 upgrade. Which upgrade would you recommend?

1. RAM upgrade from 8 GB to 16 GB
Or
2. SSD upgrade from 128 GB to 256 GB

Right now, I have about 1 GB of user files (I will not be using this MacBook Pro to store photos etc).

Thanks in advance!
I would recommend the SSD upgrade to 256Gb over memory as the newer Macbook Pro uses a faster SSD which allows seamless memory paging. So if you have 8Gb of RAM, you essentially have 16Gb RAM via seamless paging with little delay since the SSD is so fast in moving information from SSD to RAM and back, it makes almost no difference if you have physical 16Gb or 8Gb with 8Gb of virtual memory. And you get double the storage space with 256Gb. 8Gb of ram today coupled with a fast SSD is more than enough for most usage. 128Gb storage is barely enough, because you also need to keep about 20% storage space free for paging and some storage for security updates and eventually bigger and larger OS upgrades, which will make 128Gb too little. I have 128Gb on my Macbook Air and I wish I had 256Gb as 128Gb is already almost full and I have only a few applications installed!
 

onespeedvelo

macrumors newbie
Jun 2, 2015
25
30
upgrade the ssd. I have a Mac mini 2018 and 128GB would not be enough in this day and age! But because the Apple SSD are extremely fast the system would use the SSD for swaps when he runs out of memory.. I have 8GB of Ram and was planning to upgrade when I noticed I have actually no problem with 50 plus tabs open on safari even with Xcode and photo app running... Memory on Mac is well managed! of course if you are a photo professional with lots of big raw camera files that need to be stored in RAM at the same time for editing that's a different story