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btraill

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 3, 2019
32
12
Ontario, Canada
i7, 32GB RAM, 5500 8GB vs i9, 16GB RAM, 5500 4GB

I'm currently using the second configuration.

What is everyone's opinion on the first option presented over the second one. Will performance gain be noticeable? Trying to think 5+ years down the road and starting to question my purchase.

Many thanks in advance!
 

The Mercurian

macrumors 68020
Mar 17, 2012
2,153
2,440
I think if you have to ask then it doens't matter very much as you don't have specific enough needs to push it towards one or the other.

But in general my order of importance is this:

1) 8 cores > 6 cores
2) 32GB > 16GB
3) 1TB SSD > 512GB
4) 8GB VRAM vs 4GV VRAM

Depends what you do however!
 

btraill

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 3, 2019
32
12
Ontario, Canada
I think if you have to ask then it doens't matter very much as you don't have specific enough needs to push it towards one or the other.

But in general my order of importance is this:

1) 8 cores > 6 cores
2) 32GB > 16GB
3) 1TB SSD > 512GB
4) 8GB VRAM vs 4GV VRAM

Depends what you do however!

Understood, just asking for opinions.

It's more so for the peace of mind 3-5+ years down the road when this thing is still kicking. I had made the argument to myself the base i9 would be perfect, but after some benchmarks I am realizing it was probably more 'bang for your buck' to take this route: i7 base model, leave the CPU as-is but upgrade the RAM to 32GB as-well as the GPU to the 8GB 5500M.
 

redheeler

macrumors G3
Oct 17, 2014
8,423
8,845
Colorado, USA
32 GB would be better than the i9 in the long term. It really should be standard on the 15", considering there's no possibility of future upgrades.
 
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btraill

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 3, 2019
32
12
Ontario, Canada
32 GB would be better than the i9 in the long term. It really should be standard on the 15", considering there's no possibility of future upgrades.

Starting to realize that should have been my priority. Whilst I'm not consistently maxing out my memory usage with the 16GB currently -- the contention does get quite high. I'm a unix guy so I understand MacOS handles memory differently/caches... but something keeps irking me that 32GB will quickly become the 'norm' within a couple years on machines of this price. When it does; I'll be kicking myself.
 

The Mercurian

macrumors 68020
Mar 17, 2012
2,153
2,440
I disagree. More cores is more important day to day than more RAM for most users. Any mutli-threaded program will take advantage of the higher core counts - only programs that get huge in memory will take advantage of the RAM. But you know your workflow best!
 

Donnation

Suspended
Nov 2, 2014
1,686
2,083
I’ve never seen so many people worried about what laptop they are going to be using 5 years down the road. It won’t matter if you get 16 or 32GG I’d RAM, it’s going to be outdated and Apple will have a new design by then that blows your current one away.

If you use graphic intensive programs that require 32GB of RAM then get that. If not, that 32GB of RAM isn’t going to make your computer last longer because it’s RAM you don’t ever and won’t ever use.
 

btraill

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 3, 2019
32
12
Ontario, Canada
I’ve never seen so many people worried about what laptop they are going to be using 5 years down the road. It won’t matter if you get 16 or 32GG I’d RAM, it’s going to be outdated and Apple will have a new design by then that blows your current one away.

If you use graphic intensive programs that require 32GB of RAM then get that. If not, that 32GB of RAM isn’t going to make your computer last longer because it’s RAM you don’t ever and won’t ever use.

I hear ya...

I use my electronics for a looong time. I know that RAM technology will be somewhere else in that time span, and that the 16GB vs 32GB argument will be moot at that point. Agreed there.

Just asking for the opinion of people experienced on the hardware end what their take would be regarding performance differences, and if they would be enough to consider the first option over the second option.

Usage: Dev work (no 3d or animations; mostly PHP, SQL, Python, etc) and some moderate gaming.
 

redheeler

macrumors G3
Oct 17, 2014
8,423
8,845
Colorado, USA
I’ve never seen so many people worried about what laptop they are going to be using 5 years down the road. It won’t matter if you get 16 or 32GG I’d RAM, it’s going to be outdated and Apple will have a new design by then that blows your current one away.

If you use graphic intensive programs that require 32GB of RAM then get that. If not, that 32GB of RAM isn’t going to make your computer last longer because it’s RAM you don’t ever and won’t ever use.
I've a 2011 MacBook Pro that is still very much usable for day-to-day tasks. My number one complaint about it? The stock 4 GB RAM is extremely limiting - but on this model it happens to be upgradable, a luxury that Apple no longer provides.

A laptop being outdated doesn't make it unusable, and I don't understand where this mentality comes from. Maybe it was more applicable in years past, when your new laptop could be five times as fast as your five-year-old one. But that's not what happens nowadays.
 
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The Mercurian

macrumors 68020
Mar 17, 2012
2,153
2,440
I hear ya...

I use my electronics for a looong time. I know that RAM technology will be somewhere else in that time span, and that the 16GB vs 32GB argument will be moot at that point. Agreed there.

Just asking for the opinion of people experienced on the hardware end what their take would be regarding performance differences, and if they would be enough to consider the first option over the second option.

Usage: Dev work (no 3d or animations; mostly PHP, SQL, Python, etc) and some moderate gaming.
Unless that usage changes you will benefit from more cores more than RAM I would say
 

kengeon

macrumors newbie
Nov 21, 2019
13
21
It's a real shame that Apple's lower-end spec charges you an additional $200 for the i9, as IMO the best price for performance option would be:

2.3Ghz i9 with 32GB RAM and 5300M.

There's no way you won't feel that 16 of RAM in three years while the additional 2 cores are very nice for compiling Xcode.
 

gndolfo

macrumors newbie
Aug 29, 2010
15
5
I hear ya...

I use my electronics for a looong time. I know that RAM technology will be somewhere else in that time span, and that the 16GB vs 32GB argument will be moot at that point. Agreed there.

Just asking for the opinion of people experienced on the hardware end what their take would be regarding performance differences, and if they would be enough to consider the first option over the second option.

Usage: Dev work (no 3d or animations; mostly PHP, SQL, Python, etc) and some moderate gaming.

With this, in fact, I recommend you base model, maybe more SSD if you think you need it. If you should choose one of your options, RAM one, but not needed, just you could have more safari tabs opened.
 

junkw

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2010
545
458
Haifa, Israel
Why do you need 32GB for development? Seems horrifically overboard?

It's not a need for 32 it's a need for "more than 16".

I just have to toy a bit with a few docker containers and debugging some stuff
I'm almost 16 and swap

Currently the OP is doing only small 3-tier web dev that uses maybe 2GB of RAM but it may change in the next 5 years.
 
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ephone1

macrumors newbie
Apr 27, 2016
11
4
Looking at my memory usage on my 2018 MacBook Pro with 16 Gigs of memory, Outlook is using 1 Gig by itself. I can't attribute that to anything but sloppy programming. It takes more work for programmers to tighten-up code to use less memory, but the constant expansion of hardware tends to make sloppy programing normal.
 

Nacho98

Suspended
Jul 11, 2019
729
674
OP, I just ordered an i7/32/512/8GB 5500M. As I said in another thread, I think this is a really nice, balanced configuration (poverty processor/SSD, middle RAM, highest GPU) that is reasonably priced and should provide great performance and longevity. Not to mention, it will likely run cooler/quieter and deliver better battery life with the poverty processor.
 
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btraill

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 3, 2019
32
12
Ontario, Canada
OP, I just ordered an i7/32/512/8GB 5500M. As I said in another thread, I think this is a really nice, balanced configuration (poverty processor/SSD, middle RAM, highest GPU) that is reasonably priced and should provide great performance and longevity. Not to mention, it will likely run cooler/quieter and deliver better battery life with the poverty processor.

Thinking about that configuration too... There were long ship times on release for that model and my impatience got the best of me.

The additional benefits of the 2 cores and 'potential' to sustain higher turbo/clock speeds will likely be minimal. The other trade-off when going with option 1 can be mitigated using external SSD's.
 
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maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,611
43,609
It's not a need for 32 it's a need for "more than 16".

I just have to toy a bit with a few docker containers and debugging some stuff
I'm almost 16 and swap

Currently the OP is doing only small 3-tier web dev that uses maybe 2GB of RAM but it may change in the next 5 years.

I'm not saying you don't need that, but perhaps not every developer needs that much ram ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 
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drober30

macrumors 6502a
Jul 5, 2007
841
98
Here is what I was thinking when debating these two choices:

  • 32GB is more important for everyday use.
  • i9 is more important for resale 5+ years down the road when i7 will seem ancient.
 

badsimian

macrumors 6502
Aug 23, 2015
374
200
OP, I just ordered an i7/32/512/8GB 5500M. As I said in another thread, I think this is a really nice, balanced configuration (poverty processor/SSD, middle RAM, highest GPU) that is reasonably priced and should provide great performance and longevity. Not to mention, it will likely run cooler/quieter and deliver better battery life with the poverty processor.

I'm wondering about the running cooler. You get a kind of energy budget. Yes more cores on the i9 but they run at a lower base clock. Is there any evidence either way?
 

Nacho98

Suspended
Jul 11, 2019
729
674
Here is what I was thinking when debating these two choices:

  • 32GB is more important for everyday use.
  • i9 is more important for resale 5+ years down the road when i7 will seem ancient.

I was having the same excruciating dilemma as the OP and your points above are totally legit and something I thought of. I figured the 32 GB is important, but the i9 will undoubtedly have better resale. But, will an i9 with 16GB RAM be a weird configuration in the future? Perhaps.

I'm wondering about the running cooler. You get a kind of energy budget. Yes more cores on the i9 but they run at a lower base clock. Is there any evidence either way?

No idea, I just never see people complain about base processors running hot, it's always the higher end ones. I have a 2.2 quad core base in my 2015 and it runs dead cool all the time, talking just north of 30C when doing normal tasks.
 
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