New Macbook Pro 2.9 vs 3.1GHz Processor with 8GB vs 16GB Memory

dehvon422

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 27, 2015
1
1
Hi- I'm finally upgrading my computer and want to purchase the 13 inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display. I am getting the 1 TB of storage due to all my pictures. I was curious what to do regarding the processor and memory. I have a lot of pictures and do a little with photoshop but the rest of the work I do relates to updating websites and working within word and excel.

Do you think I need to upgrade the processor from the standard 2.9GHz with the i5 to the 3.1GHz with the i7?

Also do you think I should upgrade the 8GB memory tot eh 16GB?

I don't know all that much about computers so I wasn't sure if the extra storage would work best with the upgraded processor and memory. All advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you! :)
 
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johngwheeler

macrumors 6502
Dec 30, 2010
452
64
I come from a land down-under...
Stock CPU, 16GB if you need it

Hi- I'm finally upgrading my computer and want to purchase the 13 inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display. I am getting the 1 TB of storage due to all my pictures. I was curious what to do regarding the processor and memory. I have a lot of pictures and do a little with photoshop but the rest of the work I do relates to updating websites and working within word and excel.

Do you think I need to upgrade the processor from the standard 2.9GHz with the i5 to the 3.1GHz with the i7?

Also do you think I should upgrade the 8GB memory tot eh 16GB?

I don't know all that much about computers so I wasn't sure if the extra storage would work best with the upgraded processor and memory. All advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you! :)
CPU upgrades are seldom noticeable unless you regularly run long-running CPU intensive tasks where the performance difference would significantly reduce the time to perform a task (rendering , encoding etc.). For most desktop apps, the i5 will turbo boost to almost the same frequency as the i7 and for a task that takes a couple of seconds, you'd be hard-pressed to see the difference.

Get as much memory as you think your application needs to run happily in the "green zone" of memory usage (in Mac Activity Monitor). If you find that your application use consistently causes your disk swap space usage to exceed 100MB, then I'd recommend getting 16GB. Don't worry about small "free memory" values - this is normal, as Mac OS uses free memory as disk cache. I'm a bit lazy about closing apps and browser tabs, and find that 16GB means I have to do less "housekeeping", and maybe tidy things up once every couple of days. If I only had 8GB, I'd have to be much more careful about closing apps and browser before opening new ones - which isn't the way I like to work.

Photoshop can benefit from more RAM, I understand.
 
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T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,102
2,095
Oregon
I don't know all that much about computers so I wasn't sure if the extra storage would work best with the upgraded processor and memory. All advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you! :)
The stock 1TB model with 2.9GHz i5 and 8GB of RAM will probably work fine for you.
 

Smeaton1724

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2011
820
795
Leeds, UK
If you are going 1TB, then what's the extra going from 8 to 16GB?

I went 2.9 Ghz, 512GB SSD and thought well for the sake of it I might aswell go 16GB. At first I thought it was a waste but after 5 weeks I have no complaints, for Virtual Machines I use it, period, more so than my thought that it 'might be nice to have'.
 

Mr.C

macrumors 601
Apr 3, 2011
4,500
603
London, UK.
If i were you, I'd get the fastest computer you can afford with the most memory you can afford.
As usual you're giving poor and incorrect advice. Encouraging people to spend more then they need to. This isn't the first thread you've done this in.
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
231
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
Hi- I'm finally upgrading my computer and want to purchase the 13 inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display. I am getting the 1 TB of storage due to all my pictures. I was curious what to do regarding the processor and memory. I have a lot of pictures and do a little with photoshop but the rest of the work I do relates to updating websites and working within word and excel.

Do you think I need to upgrade the processor from the standard 2.9GHz with the i5 to the 3.1GHz with the i7?

Also do you think I should upgrade the 8GB memory tot eh 16GB?

I don't know all that much about computers so I wasn't sure if the extra storage would work best with the upgraded processor and memory. All advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you! :)
If you have to ask, you generally don't need it.

The 3.1GHz i7 is only 4-5% at best better than the 2.9GHz i5, because the i7 used here is still a dual core part like the i5.

You only need 16GB if you're running multiple VMs or doing heavy video editing, but if you're going to do that, you'll need a quad core anyway, so you'll need a 15" rMBP for that.

The sweet spot is the 2.7/8/256 model. You can just keep everything in external storage.
 

Wahlstrm

macrumors 6502a
Dec 4, 2013
681
551
The RAM will be useful if not now then in a year or two. Cameras push out 50mpix now at the high end and in a few years that might be standard even in the low end. For every version of every app and OS X update the machine needs more ram to run as it used to before. So, even if you might not max it out today you will eventually.

The CPU upgrade is not even close to be worth it, it will most likely never ever give anything more than maybe peace of mind that you "got the best".. But even than only last for about 8-10 months till Apple release the next one :)
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,456
4,309
The RAM will be useful if not now then in a year or two. Cameras push out 50mpix now at the high end and in a few years that might be standard even in the low end. For every version of every app and OS X update the machine needs more ram to run as it used to before. So, even if you might not max it out today you will eventually.
Since you want to go there: Cameras have been pushing 200mpix for years at the high end.
The average consumer on the other hand has no use for 50 mpix and in a few years this will certainly not be standard.

Listen to yjchua! If you think you need more cpu or ram for some reason, then go straight with the 15"
 

ZBoater

macrumors G3
Jul 2, 2007
8,307
1,018
Sunny Florida
As usual you're giving poor and incorrect advice. Encouraging people to spend more then they need to. This isn't the first thread you've done this in.
And, as usual, your assuming yours is the only answer.

You are right. It's not the first thread I've done this. And it won't be the last... :cool:
 

inhalexhale1

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2011
1,037
685
PA
Hi- I'm finally upgrading my computer and want to purchase the 13 inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display. I am getting the 1 TB of storage due to all my pictures. I was curious what to do regarding the processor and memory. I have a lot of pictures and do a little with photoshop but the rest of the work I do relates to updating websites and working within word and excel.

Do you think I need to upgrade the processor from the standard 2.9GHz with the i5 to the 3.1GHz with the i7?

Also do you think I should upgrade the 8GB memory tot eh 16GB?

I don't know all that much about computers so I wasn't sure if the extra storage would work best with the upgraded processor and memory. All advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you! :)
The i7 option is not a good choice in an upgrade. It provides very minimal gains. On the other hand, 16GB of memory is a good choice, and something you could notice. If I were buying that computer, I would get the memory upgrade but stick with the i5.
 
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